Hue Dunnit: Play The Nihilumbra Demo

Nihilumbra has a lot to thank Portal 2/Tag: The Power of Paint for. For one, there was that time Nihilumbra was struggling with a jar lid, but Portal 2 was nearby and popped the lid off so Nihilumbra could have his pickled onions. The other thing it has to thank it for is the whole moving around using coloured splodges to paint your movement while a narrator berates you thing. There are differences, which you can see for yourself by playing the demo.

It’s not a clone. Not exactly. There’s a different world built around those mechanics, and it’s a 2D platform puzzler rather than a FPS platform puzzler. You’re a shapeless creature from the Void who escapes and heads into the world above. It’s a place where colour exists, and each splodge has properties that you can use to manoeuvre around the levels, helping you speed up and jump. I was about to dismiss it for that, but had a quick play of the demo and was drawn in. The moment that got me was when the little blob takes his form. It’s a lovely moment that I won’t spoil, and explains the strangeness of the trailer’s animation.

There’s also a voiceover, a serious voice that constantly berates you, saying things like: “The world doesn’t care about your existence you are like a child, you don’t need a reason to do anything.” Not funny enough to be GLaDOS, but in my case it’s totally accurate.

Nihilumbra is out now, though I think the $10 price tag is a wee bit much.


  1. Talesdreamer says:

    The demo is really cute and beautiful, love the gloomy artstyle. Remembers me of Limbo, while the gameplay is definitely Portal-esque.
    I’ll surely buy it. Hope it’ll get a little discount soon, though.

  2. imhotep says:

    The framework and narration are no doubt based on existentialism, Sartre et al. Just saying.

  3. sharklaser says:

    don’t even touch it if you like puzzles. puzzles are incredibly easy, on other hand story is nihilistic. it is for “social science” people i guess

    • dE says:

      Dude, that snarl at social science people nearly lashed out of my monitor. You gonna fix that?

      • sharklaser says:

        i wish i knew enough english to understand what you really mean. those words are so uncommon for me.