A loving homage to 16-bit classic Flashback but despite some fun visuals the clumsy controls and combat could have done with a bit more modernisation.
Lunark harks back to a time when 90s platformers were at their best, managing to offer a fresh approach thanks to a gorgeous art style.
Lunark was a blast from the past for sure, I enjoyed my time with the sci-fi adventure game. As I said Flashback was one of my favorites and playing Lunark I was smiling the whole time thinking back on the fond memories I had as a youth. The more I played the more I really liked Leo and enjoyed seeing his story unfold, while there are issues with checkpoints and controls to get used to at the end of the day Lunark tells a great sci-fi story that fans of the genre will surely enjoy.
Even our minor frustrations with Lunark can't overshadow the joy we felt as we played this unashamedly retro platformer. It is a competently put-together and lovingly crafted homage to an often-overlooked genre of gaming. Even the imprecise controls and Leo's sluggish movements feel like a feature and not a bug in the game's design. If you can wrap your head around them, there is a solid platformer to enjoy.
Even with an inconveniently designed save system, Lunark is a game I'll look back fondly on for reaching the highest of highs. It's easily one of my favorite titles in recent years, one I'll undoubtedly revisit. A must-play for cinematic platformer fans, Lunark's full of surprises, bound to leave lasting positive impressions with players. If this is indie studio Canari Games' first release, I can't wait to see what they come up with next.
Lunark is a carefully crafted flashback to the narrative platformers of the early-90s. With beautiful rotoscoped animation and a plot straight out of a Philip K Dick novel, it's one trip to another world well worth taking.
Lunark is a strong cinematic platformer, more than good enough to hang with the classics of its genre.
Lunark won’t supplant Flashback any time soon. It’s held back by its derivative story and lame dialogue. However, the visuals and animation are truly an artistic achievement. It does manage to improve on the subgenre’s conventions in a minor way and the overall challenge is worthwhile for any fan of Flashback.
A dystopian sci-fi platformer from a fan of nineties games bears a striking resemblance to the iconic Flashback. Maybe that's why you'll enjoy it.
Review in Slovak | Read full review
LUNARK is a solid reminder of how interesting and creative were the Cinematic Platformers and even with the downsides of the genre, Johan Vinet and Canari Games crafted a fantastic game and definitely one worth checking out.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Lunark is a gripping action-platformer that perfectly captures what made the old-school titles that inspired it SO good. Between the creative level design, the slick platforming, the creative puzzling, and the wonderful visuals, it gets so much right, and whilst some aspects of its design may feel questionable to those who aren’t experienced with this style of game, it felt brilliant to me. Just PLEASE, Canari Games… add an auto-save to each checkpoint.
Lunark was a game that intrigued me at first, given the style and the teams behind its development. Unfortunately, at every turn, it did nothing but let me down with its overly forced story, and nothing to keep any interest in it in terms of presentation and gameplay. The longer I spent in this world, the less invested I was in its story. These beats were few and far between, with nothing like notes or diaries left around to fill out the story and world. There was nothing in the gameplay to keep me invested as well. All in all, it was unfortunately just a bland game that thought it was more interesting than what it actually ended up being.
Still, with how beautifully this game runs on Switch (hardly a hitch or dip to be seen during my 3.5 hours of play), I’m very pleased to have experienced this tribute, as Lunark is definitely one done with a lot of love and attention to the genre, even with all the genre-bound frustrations.
Lunark is a brilliant throwback to a genre that has been lost to the ages. While tipping its hat to its inspirations it also manages to carve out an identity of its own.
Lunark is a brilliant homage to the cinematic platformer. Vinet's work in capturing the look and feel of the genre with the rotoscoped animation and methodical platforming style is pitch perfect, even if it sometimes adapts some pieces of the era that you'd rather leave behind and forgets to bring in some elements that feel crucial to the experience, like an exciting story. That said, Vinet's solo debut is a standout and one well worth embarking on. 2023 is the year of taking a breath and remembering where we came from as gamers, and Lunark is just another step in that direction.
Lunark wears its inspirations on its sleeve. It is littered with subtle and blatant nods to Flashback, in particular. In an under-populated genre, the heavy weight of those influences are conspicuous. Yet, at the same time, it’s just pleasing to encounter another cinematic platformer that understands the appeal of the genre, and doesn’t try to fix what ain’t broke. Sometimes, slowing down is precisely what you need.
In the end, Lunark works as a great platformer and homage to various classics. Its gameplay may be hard to control at first but it's not an issue that hinders how fun it can be.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Despite releasing in 2023, playing Lunark feels like opening a perfectly preserved time capsule. It’s unashamedly old-school in its approach and attempts to recreate an experience that we just don’t see enough of these days, and for that reason, I absolutely adore what Canari Games has created here. The art style may be a little too busy at times, which can actually be gameplay-impacting, but it’s easy to forgive when it looks this good, especially when given a chance to shine on the Switch OLED. Lunark is absolutely a game that won’t be for everyone, but it doesn’t need to be. Canari Games’ mission was clearly never to create something that appeals to a huge audience. The mission statement was obviously to deliver a passion project that speaks to fans of cinematic platformers, and Flashback more specifically. On that front, they can consider this a job very well done.
If you're a fan of Flashback and the sort, you really can't go wrong with Lunark, even if it's a tad forgiving and far too short. If you're less comfortable with the sub-genre, or want something meatier, consider waiting for a sale.