[PS Vita Review] Nihilumbra

by the_nmac

A new and unique puzzle/platformer for the PS Vita? Count me in!

Discover the beautiful world of Nihilumbra and join Born on his adventure to find himself whilst trying to escape from his inevitable curse.
Born was created from the absolute nothingness: The Void. But somehow he separates himself from the black emptiness and appears in the world. This is where his long odyssey begins, in which he will learn how to use the colors around him to gain powerful abilities and transform the world.

However, his experiences come at a high price. The Void must be one. It seeks to reclaim him and will never stop chasing him, destroying everything in its path along the way.
To survive, Born will have to condemn the earth he walks to its inevitable obliteration by The Void…

– The ability to change ground physics using five different colors.
– Use five worlds as your canvas and transform them at your will.
– Unlock a great surprise by completing the game. Replayability assured.

Nihilumbra for PS Vita Trailer

Nihilumbra is a new puzzle/platformer that feels right at home on the Vita. You are a creature that escapes the Void and takes on a humanoid like form. You spend the majority of the game trying to get away from the Void since it’s continuously coming after you as it tries to absorb you back where you belong. As you start to explore the environments of the real world, you gain access to colors (elemental powers mostly). Using these, you will be able to navigate the world.

In each of the 5 main areas you will gain access to one color. By the last area you will have five colors to choose from, and you’ll need to juggle them around to decide which one can help you in a particular situation. Blue, the first one you get, makes surfaces slippery, thus allowing you to gain momentum to make longer jumps. Green allows you to bounce off it (which makes for some clever puzzle solving). Brown allows you to stick to surfaces. Red creates a very hot surface that is great for taking out the Void’s minions. The last one is yellow which lets you control electricity, therefore allowing to use man-made machines.


The game is moody giving it an almost Limbo-type of atmosphere. You feel alone, isolated, and hunted by a creature. Along the way, you have a constant narrator talking to you, telling you about the colors, you, the Void, and the journey overall. It’s an essential part of the story, always pushing you to move forward. There is a level of morality in play too because, as you continue to escape the Void, it is actually destroying the worlds you have just been through, which is a high cost to pay for your freedom. But don’t worry, the narrator will constantly bring this up so that you don’t forget it.

The game like a said is a puzzle platformer. I said it was the perfect fit for the Vita and here is why. It uses both the buttons and directional inputs of the Vita, as well as the touch controls as well. The game is out on PC and iOS, however this must be the best way to play it. You control your character with the buttons on the Vita itself in terms of direction and jumping. The touch controls are used to help “paint” your elemental colors on the screen. So if you want to make the surface slippery with blue you touch the screen and paint where you want it to be slippery.


It’s a unique platformer, and it keeps getting better as you progress. The first area it’s pretty easy as blue is the only color available to you, so you know how you need to solve problems. But at later levels, when you have many colors to work with you, you will be experimenting to find the best solution. The game itself only consists of 5 areas and honestly I powered through the main story in a few hours in one sitting. However, after you beat the game, you earn access to much harder versions of the levels in Void mode where you can use all of the colors right from the start. These levels are extremely tough and getting through them will take a serious amount of time.

There are 12 trophies in total – One Gold, four Silver, and 7 Bronze. There are 2 related to the main story, and the rest of them are relegated to unique tasks in the game and playing a bit outside the box. There is a bronze trophy for “Die 10 times in a row playing Void mode,” and die you will because there’s a Gold trophy for beating the game in Void mode.

Nihilumbra is a really unique title that takes full advantage of the Vita as only a handful of games have done. It tells a compelling, morally complex story that everyone can enjoy. You should definitely add this to your Vita library.

This review is based on a copy of Nihilumbra provided by BeautiFun Games

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @the_nmac for more reviews and live streaming from the PS4. Also follow @PS4blog_net and @PS3blogdotnet for updates on PlayStation info and reviews you need.

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