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Review: Nihilumbra

Review: Nihilumbra


We sit down and review Nihilumbra. How does this quirky 2D side-scroller handle?

As much as i enjoy a game with many difficult maneuvers and complex button combinations to master, a simple game is always preferred after a long day. But simple gameplay can make it difficult for a game to hold my attention, and keep me from getting bored. The people at BeautiFun Games have created the perfect game to fill that position. BeautiFun Games is a 7-person indie development company located in a city just outside of Barcelona, Spain. They began in 2011 as a small group of 15 graduate students. The company slowly shrunk until it only contained 4 of the original members. When one of the four members put his savings into the team, BeautiFun Games was born, and a year later, their first game was born. Since then, they’ve started working on a new IP and have kept up with fixing small issues in Nihilumbra.

Nihilumbra is a 2D platformer that begins in the void, a dimension of nothing. You are a creature of the void. You begin your journey by leaving the void and landing on earth. You escape the void onto Earth. As you progress around earth, the void is hot on your tail looking to return you. As you progress through this new land, you will encounter creatures created by the void, as well as the void itself, that will try to kill you and reabsorb you into the void. As you progress through the world, you will encounter new colours that will assist you in avoiding enemies, solving puzzles, and reaching new platforms.

Nihilumbra features a very simplistic control system. The game uses the arrow keys or WASD keys to move your character. The space bar can be used to jump, or you can use the arrow or W key. The mouse left click is used to paint colours you collect on walls floors and ceilings and the right click is used to erase colours. Picking up a new colour starts a short interactive tutorial sequence to teach you how each magic works. Each colour has its own amount that is depleted when you use it, and restored when that colour is erased. Reaching a checkpoint will erase all colours put into the world, and restore your supply to maximum, and also replace all colours that were originally placed in the world. The tab key is used to open the colour menu, or you can use the number keys to quick select between the different colours. Each world will grant a different colour, and end with a paced race against the void as it devours the world.

The main driving point behind Nihilumbra is the narration. The voice acting follows you through each world, warning you of each new obstacle, and colour that you run across. The voice acting drives home the atmosphere of the game. The landscapes are simple and beautiful, and the pace of the game is slow, even during the chase sequences, so you can have plenty of time to assess the situation and make your plans. There are checkpoints strewed out fairly close to each other, so the game is very forgiving and great for people who do not play games often. There is also a void mode that is unlocked after completing the game, to add a bit more difficulty to the stages for players who want a little more difficulty and replay value.

Overall, Nihilumbra is great for everyone. It is easy for newer gamers, slow paced for people who are looking for a break from the shooters and action-adventures, and is very plot heavy for people who enjoy depth to their games. The game currently retails at $10 USD on Steam, Desura, Green Man Gaming, and various other PC platforms. It is available for PC, Mac, Linux, and Android.

Nihilumbra was developed and produced by BeautiFun Games. It is available on PC, Mac, Linux, Wii U, and Android. A copy of the game was given by BeautiFun Games for review purposes.

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