In the past two to three years, I feel like I’ve come across many games that very specifically value the inherent interactive and visual nature of the medium. Of course, these are elements in every video game, but these interactive experiences—the GNOG’s, Small Radios Big Televisions’s, and Bound’s of the world—really focus in on these aspects to connect with players. I have found that these sorts of games really speak to me, and I think Luna is the latest example of one.
Developed by Funomena, Luna is a virtual reality interactive experience, that can also be played in a traditional 2D manner, where you tinker with colorful and animated dioramas of a lively scene that are suspended in this calm, safe interpretation of outer space.
When you begin every level, a flower is presented in front of you. It then quickly unravels, peeling apart sparkling layers as if it were made of some sort of flexible colored glass. It then reveals the diorama inside, it could be a colorful park in San Francisco or maybe a secluded forest. In all of these scenes is a tiny, red baby bird. This bird is your companion. Together, you go through the game by discovering what you can interact with in these scenes and how those interactions change these spaces. You will also, from time-to-time, run into other animals and interact with them, like a cute turtle I befriended by a river.
When you play around with Luna, there’s a flair to it. Interactions always have a pop, a sizzle, or a surprise that when taken all together with its colors, music, and appearance, made me smile, if only briefly. The virtual reality implementation also gives it a sense of presence and immersion that only amplifies the effectiveness of messing around with it.
That is the game. It doesn’t really have a traditional loop or complicated systems, and I understand that’s not for everyone. But I think that if you perhaps open yourself up to it and take in what is there, you might walk away with a genuine and positive feeling. I would also say that for some other games of its ilk. Regardless, I’m glad it’s a thing that can exist in the modern game space.
Luna is available on Steam, Oculus, and Windows Mixed Reality online marketplaces.
Code for Luna was provided by the developer and played on an oculus rift and in a traditional PC setting.