Top Critic Average
Nihilumbra is a beautiful, haunting, if not altogether philosophically poignant, romp through a world fully realized through a masterful marriage of gameplay and presentation.
My biggest takeaway from Nihilumbra is that it's a solid iOS port of a puzzle-platformer that looks and sounds good and has a fun world manipulation mechanic. On the gameplay side of things, the only real issue with it is that its early sections are hampered by a lack of challenge and variety. Where Nihilumbra falls flat is with its relentless demand on hammering home every single plot beat while you're playing. What this all results in is a game that is pretty clever, but not half as clever as it seems to think it is.
Nihilumbra has finally released after a delay of almost one year due to technical issues with the Wii U port, and it was worth the wait. The game tells the story of Born, a blob that wants to escape from the void to the world, but there is a problem: the void wants you back. What makes the story more interesting is that a voice will be narrating the story, helping you to progress while including a few elements that make the story stronger.
Nihilumbra is the kind of game that clearly has grand ambitions, but it seldom has the chops to properly pull things off.
Nihilumbra does a perfect job at creating a nihilistic setting which will plunge the player in a gloomy, depressive spiral. Its visual and sound environments fit the game's plot without any flaws and the initial difficulty level allows the player to finish the plot-driven part of the game without problems. Things get more complicated once the player reaches the following segment, where the difficulty level hikes dramatically and the whole experience becomes much harder.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Nihilumbra is a fantastic example of what can happen when developers are willing to try new things, and focus on just what it is that makes videogames a unique medium. Life may have no intrinsic meaning, but the team at BeautiFun Games seem to have found meaning in making games, and for that, I am grateful.
With a story that will leave thought waves pulsating to the tune of the excellent writing, intriguing gameplay that breaches boundaries of immersion, and with a Wii U version coming soon that will be much more accessible for those with physical disabilities because the controller will replace a mouse, Nihilumbra is a demonstration of how video games that immerse the player in telling stories, gameplay that challenges the forefront of perception, and having puzzles that will be remembrances at lunch can never be beaten by mainstream titles – no matter how unique the fire particles get.
Nihilumbra is the kind of game that many will look over because they think they've played things like it hundreds of times before. It's not.
If you are looking to play Nihilumbra now is a better time than ever before.
The Wii U version of Nihilumbra isn't the game's first picnic on a console, but it never really got the publicity it deserved. If you've passed it up previously, don't sleep on this game now that it's on the Wii U, just have some kittens handy to provide a dose of happiness afterward.