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Review: Nihilumbra (Nintendo Switch)By Adam Riley At 29.04.2018 13:49

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Born is borne of the Void, a darkness that consumes everything, never being satisfied. Starting as just a small black blob, Born transforms into a more human-like shape and attempts to escape the Void, and thus begins the very smart puzzle-platform antics of Nihilumbra. Spread across five distinctive worlds (ice, forest, desert, volcano, city-scape), Born gets introduced to new abilities that can be used around the current locations, in a similar manner to how Max can make use of his Magic Marker's new abilities when progressing through Max: The Curse of Brotherhood. As with that Nintendo Switch port of Flashbulb Game's exciting platform adventure, BeautiFun's Nihilumbra excels on Switch in handheld mode, bringing back its superb touch controls for affecting the lands Born that must traverse.

From placing ice on ledges to speed Born up and allow for longer leaps, to dropping sticky substances for quietly creeping past sleeping enemies, or even throwing down flames to destroy items of scenery or beasts, Nihilumbra is packed to the brim with inventive ways of progressing. All the while, an ominous voice narrates the story, talking to Born and explaining various aspects of the world around, complemented by a moving soundtrack that ups the ambience considerably, adding to the overall mystique.

The main story mode does not take too long to complete, maybe weighing in at a few hours, and the adventure actually starts to get slightly easier as it goes on, with the abilities accrued being used in tandem to overcome the various obstacles and foes quicker, as well as finishing off the end of world side-scrolling 'Escape the Void' levels. However, even after getting to the end of this extremely enjoyable romp, there are achievement targets to go back and hit through repeated play, lots of extras to unlock, and even a whole new mode that ups the ante significantly, with extra hard challenges for now-veterans to face, increasing longevity massively.

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From the gorgeous settings, to the wonderful narrative development, and the smart implementation of sharp puzzle elements, [i]Nihiliumbra[/i] is an absolute joy to play. It also works marvellously on Nintendo Switch, especially in handheld mode where its touch-screen interactions elevate what was already a fine platform-puzzler to a far higher level, making it something extremely special indeed.



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