Kumo Lumo is a game that looks like THIS and has a villain that looks like THAT and is set on a world that has a BIG WEIRD FACE in the middle instead of proper geology.
Lumo is suitably handsome and suavely HEROIC and needs to save that world. It is entirely that simple.
Except of course it really isn’t…
Raining on good things to make them grow and bad things to make them go away are the core mechanics of the game, the micro-loops if you want to get all technical (which today we do). The level structure, something we spoke about in the game loops post a while back, is where the true game lies. The raining and moving is the physical skill, the decisions and tactics are where the game itself lives.
Micro, Macro and Meta stuff
If raining on a forest or a Sheep is a micro-loop, then the macro-loop comes from the level itself. Each level has an individual challenge; this might be to grow ten forests, or to destroy seven volcanoes and so on. Each challenge is simple in concept and, usually, relatively easy to achieve in game. Things get more complicated when you look up at the top right hand corner of the screen. This is what we call the World Happiness Gauge. That gauge tells you how well you are doing in the level. Every good thing you grow or bad thing you dispatch earns a score that is poured into this gauge and drives up the happiness of the world.
A sad face means the world isn’t happy and you’re not doing very well. A happy face means you’ve done loads of great stuff to save the world. This translates directly into the star rating you get at the end of each level.
BOOM! The game theory dude just whispered the term “meta-loop” through a biscuity, tea soaked beard.
This gives you a few ways to play Kumo Lumo. You can go fast and dirty to complete the level and move on through the game or you can hang around and use more skill and planning to fill the world happiness gauge to achieve a 3-star rating on every level.
Pursuit of Perfection
To hit that 3-Star rating you’ll need to play with a degree of care or use a bit of strategy. Here’s some ideas.
Bag Some Early Targets - Most levels start off relatively easy before the complexity ramps up a minute or two into play. Use this time to rain on as much stuff as you can. It can also be useful to bag a few challenge targets depending on how tough they are. If you are hunting for volcanoes, it’s a good idea to start going after them early.
Speaking of Volcanoes - All Volcanoes are really valuable, so taking a few of them down is great way to rack up the points and help save the world. Note that Volcanoes take more raindrops to kill when they are fully grown, so if you see a baby Volcano it’s well worth attacking before it gets any bigger. Full size Volcanoes can be rained to destruction, but unless you’ve got gallons of water to spare, it might be easier to use a well placed bolt of lightning.
Multikills Are Your Friend - Multikills are really the key to fast score building. If you need to know how multikills work, read our lightning blog post for all the details. The biggest secret about multikill is that Pigs can be used to ‘make’ bacon (now, now, settle down..) and everyone know Pirate Foxes love bacon! Use bacon to get LOTS of Pirate Foxes in the same spot and rack up those monster kills!
Protect Cities - Cities release little Grumblebees, and each Grumblebee is worth a small, but worthwhile, score bonus. If the cities get burned out you’ll miss out on valuable points so protect them at all costs!
Look After The Forests - you’ll be needing the clouds later on so make sure you grow forests whenever you see them, and don’t let any forest fires take hold or you’ll end up in a lot of trouble.
Hoard Sheep - As David Attenborough has taught us, when rained upon Sheep turn into clouds. That, David, is AMAZING SCIENCE. So getting Sheep good and wet (steady…) so they float up and away is a great way of getting valuable water resource up into the air where you may need it later on.*
Watch The Sky - The time of day is a good indicator of how well you are doing. Things get tricky at twilight and downright brutal after dark. Each level has a different daytime length, but if you are still struggling to hit Super Happy after night falls, it might be time to round off the challenge and get out of there pronto. Oh and don’t hold out for dawn… night in Kumo Lumo is eternal!
Keep a Bit of Lightning Handy - You may well find yourself in a tight spot and lightning can both take down some very dangerous enemies and provide some desperately needed fluffy clouds that can keep you alive.
Save the Whales - Just generally. They’re lovely.
*Nope you can’t turn Sheep into mutton using lightning. Hey don’t blame us, we asked everyone on Facebook and the answer was clearly “Save the poor fluffy wuffy animals”. You did it to yourselves, you did! You and no-one else!