I’ve had a Netflix account for a while, but it hasn’t occurred to me until recently that I should give Netflix games a try. After all, with Play Pass at my fingertips, why on earth would I need yet another mobile gaming well to draw from? As it turns out, Netflix had an ace up its sleeve with Lucky Luna, a Netflix-exclusive mobile title for Android.
From the makers of Alto's Odyssey, this puzzle platformer is packed to the gills with dreamy pixel graphics, an atmospheric soundtrack, and more untimely deaths than you can shake a stick at. The lovely art direction did not prepare me for the challenge that Lucky Luna’s platforming had in store, but this gem is worth a try for stalwart gamers who get their kicks from powering through the punishment.
It’s definitely going to make our list of best games for Netflix.
Lucky Luna has the player exploring mystical ruins as the titular character, collecting tablet fragments that slowly reveal the pieces of her mysterious past. The catch here is that unlike the vast majority of platformers, Lucky Luna doesn’t feature a jump button. Heck, it doesn’t feature any controls other than a one-touch swipe to the left or right. The faster you swipe, the faster Luna goes.
I personally may not always enjoy the one-touch slide controls, but I appreciate that they make Lucky Luna more inclusive from an accessibility standpoint than is usually available in challenging platformers like this one.
The dungeons that Luna must traverse are rife with lethal obstacles. Just about anything can kill the poor girl, be it regular old water (I guess she never learned to swim), enemies, the many spiked walls and floors, and all manner of projectiles and other hazards.
Considering the fact that she has no real mobility, offense, or defense herself, Luna must use the environment to her advantage to gain height, find safe harbor from threats, and cross terrain she would otherwise be unable to navigate. Sometimes the game will throw fun new mechanics into the mix, especially during those secret bonus levels, but I won’t spoil them for you.
In what is now considered standard Souls-like fashion, Luna has infinite lives but loses out on a portion of the gems she collects each time she dies. If you can make it back to where you perished you can scoop back up your lost treasures, but if you die again before that then they’re gone for good.
Each level also has quite a few hidden extras, some of which are entire bonus levels that offer up even more challenges for you to overcome. You receive a score at the end of each level on a bronze, silver, and gold scale, which is determined by your run time, gems collected, and number of deaths. Less time, more gems, fewer deaths = one heckuva score.
The portrait-oriented view helps give a real feeling of depth to the cavernous worlds you explore as Luna delves deeper and deeper into the maze of ruins. This is beautifully complimented by the game’s excellent soundtrack, strengthening the dreamlike and sometimes cosmic vibe.
For all its pros, Lucky Luna does have a few potential cons to take into consideration. The difficulty curve is more than I suspect most players are prepared for and some sections of the game are incredibly frustrating. I adore platformers and am usually up for a challenge, but Lucky Luna throws a lot at the player in terms of hazards and environmental elements to puzzle around.
Normally this would be part of the fun, but the trouble comes from Lucky Luna’s swipe controls. The speed at which you swipe left or right makes for razor-thin margins for error, which in turn makes Luna’s movements feel unpredictable. This created some serious frustration for me with no small amount of miscalculated inputs and hundreds of swift, painful deaths.
Compounding the problem is the fact that Lucky Luna doesn’t save your progress during levels. You do get semi-frequent checkpoints, which is a godsend, but if you’re halfway through a level and you have to close out the app, your progress in that level won’t be saved and you’ll have to start all over when you pick the game back up (this includes bonus challenge areas that are nested within a broader level).
If you’re struggling with a level, they can feel really long too, making Lucky Luna feel less pick-up-and-play friendly for the mobile gamer that likes to play in short spurts. I’ve seen other players reporting a handful of bugs, too, but I haven’t encountered any of these myself yet so don’t let that deter you.
All told, Lucky Luna is a fantastic mobile game for Netflix subscribers to pick up. The game is free, you just need to install the Netflix app on your phone, log in, and then navigate to the games section at the bottom to track down Lucky Luna. Give it a try today!
Be an expert in 5 minutes
Get the latest news from Android Central, your trusted companion in the world of Android
A lifelong gamer, Mogan has had a controller in hand since the PlayStation 1 ruled the world and Neopets seemed eternal. She loves to play new and old games alike, especially if it's something weird and charming. Puzzlers, JRPGs, adventure, and rhythm games are her favorites.