While it’s no secret I enjoy games that tackle complex, sensitive and inter-personal issues, I also love games that don’t take themselves too seriously. It’s probably in the name, but Lumbermancer [official site] falls squarely into the latter camp as a lovely-looking 2D sidescrolling twin-stick fighter that sees you summoning smalls logs to do your bidding in your quest for the perfect sandwich. The journey sees you fight ghosts and ghouls and the devil himself with a small army of replenishing wooden sword fighters, firestarters, archers and diggers. You fight to obtain the ingredients of the snack and I suddenly realise all of this might be better portrayed by moving pictures, so, er, here:
It’s zany as hell, of course, but Lumbermancer is also a really intuitive sidescroller that demands precise timing and quick-fire decision making to best its progressively tougher stages.
For instance, summoning each log costs you one block of wood, so you’ll want to sporadically set your digger about unearthing new wood so as to replenish your ever-depleting stock. Your Lumbermancer carries a lantern which, once drained, plunges the level into darkness, so you’ll need to quickly summon a firestarter to restore light as you fend off baddies in concert. Certain enemies can only take damage at range, while others can only be bested up close, so switching methods of attack back and forth quickly becomes essential – particularly in later levels.
AND you need to do all of the above while controlling your Lumbermancer with the opposite stick on the same gamepad, making sure they a) don’t die and b) collect all of your fallen foes’ souls. The latter can then be used as currency at the Souls Shop, and also must be gathered so as to progress to each end-of-stage boss. So far, I’ve defeated the black sludge-hurling Witch and have stolen her Witch Lettuce. I’ll eventually fight the devil in Hell’s Mouth, where I understand he keeps the meat filling. I’m suddenly very hungry.