Tron with Lumens
Up-and-coming indie developer, Snow Games, offers a brand-new 2D action shooter, Lumen Rider. Snow Games has yet to leave a mark on the mobile game industry, with only two releases on the Google Play Store, Gleam of Fire and Lumen Rider. However, Lumen Rider is their first free-to-play game and shows potential for both the game and the studio.
Lumen Rider provides mobile action fans with a new 2D on-rail action shooter featuring players moving at lightning speeds across the screen while shooting enemies and dodging incoming attacks and obstacles. The gameplay is straightforward. The motorcycle moves independently, and for players to jump or fly, they tap and hold the screen. Shooting will have players drag their finger and hold onto the screen to aim and shoot enemies with a shoot button. Once out of ammo, players must reload while driving by pushing the button at the bottom right of the screen.
Simple is Better
Lumen Rider gameplay is fast-paced, and knowing when to maneuver, shoot and reload is all part of the fun. It takes some getting used to, especially when it comes to aiming and shooting, where I struggled the most. Maneuvering and reloading are much easier for me to get the hang of. There are upgrades that help you throughout stages as you drive, like an auto-turret, a magnet to pick up items easier and a bomb that blasts everything on screen. The gameplay experience will vary from player to player, but I had a blast with the game.
Another thing that impressed me was the level of customization. From the player’s rider, the weapon and the stats affecting health and speed. Lumen Rider has plenty of customizable options that make the game more engaging and adds to the overall gameplay. Upgrading stats requires crystals that you earn playing the stages. You can upgrade attack, defense, speed, ammo capacity and more. Earning gear is where the game enters the greedy territory. So far, I have not earned any new gear or weapons.
I have earned loan gear and weapons that last for a couple of stages, but the only way to get and keep new gears is to roll for it in the shop with coins that cost actual money. You can also get coins and loans by watching ads, but if this is the only way to get new gear and weapons, it is a step in the wrong direction. The last way to get the coins is daily missions, but they are a slog, and getting a new gear item or weapon can take days. Lastly, the game is riddled with ads even before starting and after finishing stages. The ad placement is awkward and can definitely hinder the user experience. I understand it is a free-to-play game, but I cannot help but find the bombardment of advertising excessive.
Almost the Perfect System
Graphically, the futuristic cyberpunk feel of Lumen Rider is something I cannot help but love. The motorcycle acts more like a Tron cycle, and shooting robots out of the sky looks excellent. The pixel art direction works very well here, and the backgrounds tell a story you cannot help but think about. And whoever is responsible for the techno and hip-hop-inspired soundtracks deserves a raise because it felt great to listen to as you played.
Overall, Lumen Rider is a must-try for those who love on-rail action shooters with a sci-fi setting and some stellar music. I wish customization was not held back via in-game purchases, but if you are patient enough, you can enjoy the customization without spending a dime. You can get far by upgrading your rider’s stats, which you earn in-game the more stages you complete. This is Snow Games’ second game on Google Play, and it was almost perfect. Hopefully, they will learn from it and definitely keep watch for their next game.
Is it Hardcore?
Lumen Rider is almost the perfect ride; gameplay is fun and engaging, and if you love sci-fi cyberpunk settings, give this one a ride.