Proving that a beautiful art style is not enough to carry a game.
edubuccaneer wrote this review on .
Lucidity revolves around a tale of loss, and how a little girl, Sofi, copes with it. Her vivid memory and imagination help her create dream-like environments in which she travels, oh so slowly, from which you must protect her. Sofi's movement is mostly out of your control throughout the entire game as she carelessly collects fireflies. The only way you can interact with her is by laying down items that have a host of uses, like fans, slingshots, ramps and even bombs. Bombs have the double use of being both a defense mechanism and a way to clear a path, since Sofi's dreams are haunted by monsters as well as many obstacles and hazards. Just like a game of Tetris, you are given a different piece out of a random draw, with a peek at the next one. You can save your current piece and use the next in line, out of the random draw, which is a welcome mechanic, but does not save you of some frustration, simply due to the fact that at some points, you just run out of options and are forced to restart the level. The simple nature of this randomness is Lucidity's main problem, and is one that stands in its way throughout the entire story mode. As levels progress, more dangers creep up on the slowly moving Sofi, as the screen not only continuously scrolls, but also kills her with a venom-like fog, and some of the later designs also add obstructions that cannot be destroyed in any way, making the latter half of the game suffer from a lot of trial, error and frustrations. The aforementioned fireflies act as a currency that unlocks bonus stages, and serve as the game's replay incentive, since most of Lucidity's levels require more than one play through in order to be fully emptied of these collectibles.
All of these gameplay problems are a shame because Lucidity is a gorgeous looking game. Its presentation hits all the right notes, with an incredible art style and care in every nook and cranny Sofi explores. Blots of paint and combinations of a huge palette of colors cover each and every level, cutscene and character, in a simplistic but overall beautiful art direction. The music isn't far behind, with whimsical and sometimes sad tunes that chug along with the game at a steady pace.
It's a crying shame such a wonderful art design isn't followed by enjoyable gameplay. The mix between the Lemmings style of indirect character control and the randomness borne out of the Tetris way of giving you puzzle pieces reads great on paper, but fails in execution, due to how little time the is to react and the sheer luck of the draw that comes with this type of game. There's a great, innocent tale to read and live in Lucidity, but in the end, it isn't enjoyable enough as a game to play through in order to live it, only proving that great art can only go so far in a game without good gameplay to accompany it. Lucidity is available for 800 Microsoft Points (10 dollars) on Xbox Live Arcade Marketplace.