A Paladin’s Steam Review: Nihilumbra. A Bit Pretentious and A Bit Overrated.


Steam Review: Nihilumbra

Hey, a review in the first week of January? That’s a good sign.

You can read this one right over here.

Recently finished this game yesterday so I sat down and wrote a few words about it. I’m feeling overly pleased with myself in that I got any kind of a review done in the first week of the year. So, why don’t you poke this ego bubble before it gets too big, ok? Ok.

A Paladin’s Steam Review: Nihilumbra. A Bit Pretentious and A Bit Overrated.

  • Genre: 2D Platformer with Story.
  • Developed & Published by: BeautiFun Games
  • Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Business Model: Base Game
  • Copy Purchased by Myself

This is an overrated game. As I sit here and think about my experience with this game, that is all I can think. It got a lot of fanfare when it came out in 2013 but I can’t figure out why it did. This isn’t really anything new for the genre and mostly just toes the line of what’s come before. Maybe that’s just me.

Story Thoughts
Nihilumbra is a 2D puzzle platformer where you follow Born, a being that fled something called “the Void”. You journey through multiple “areas” with various puzzles to be solved. All while being narrated/told what you’re feeling the entire time. The game gives off a feeling of being pretentious, whether that was intended or not. I didn’t find the story to be all that new, interesting or even good. It simply existed to talk to me about life, death and acceptance of said life. However, I feel like other games have handled it in a better, less ham-fisted way. As it is, Nihilumbra is all about that point and well, leaves a lot to be desired because of it.

The platforming and puzzle solving itself isn’t too bad. It’s just really forgiving with the difficulty increasing slowly and steadily the entire campaign but never getting too challenging. The only challenge the game really creates is switching between the different colors/powers quickly. Outside of that, there was only one puzzle I got stuck on and that was because I didn’t realize I could use the brown color to stick to the floor while a magnet was running nearby. One puzzle out of the entire experience. Not a really good sign.

PC Settings
Settings are really basic but unsurprisingly so. It has v-sync, some resolution options and that’s about it. But as its a 2D game, it doesn’t really need much. So, not a big deal. Graphics are reasonably ok, though I don’t think they’re the best we’ve ever seen in this genre. Not even back in 2013. Sound is passable but there isn’t much depth to it. The soundtrack itself is overwhelming repetitive and you will quickly tire of each area’s new theme. A mute option would have been loved.

Final Thoughts
I’m not sure how I missed playing this platformer when it came out nearly two years ago, during a time I was all into platformers. Playing it now, well, leaves a feeling of ”mehness” to it. Sorry, I can’t think of another word to describe this feeling and that word is certainly not useful. However, as the game works and there’s nothing inherently wrong with it (other than being overrated/pretentious), I can think of worse ways you could waste two hours of your time. But I can also think of better uses.

Thanks for reading!


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