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Lunar Axe review – A budget point and click worth playing

Lunar Axe screenshot
Screenshot: GameSpew

If you’re a fan of Artifex Mundi’s brand of puzzle adventure games, you’re probably going to like Lunar Axe. With a smattering of hidden object puzzles and some challenging brainteasers, it’s not the longest game in the world — but it is engaging. And costing just £3.99, there’s very little reason not to jump in if you’re a point and click fan.

Unlike Artifex Mundi games, Lunar Axe fortunately won’t regale you with terrible acting. There’s no voicework to speak of here, but it’s unnecessary. Story is delivered through the odd short cutscene, and through notes and diary entries you’ll find while playing. Following an earthquake which destroys part of the city, you find yourself trapped in a manor house. But it might not be any ordinary earthquake. You see, legends state that a huge leviathan lives under the city — and only the titular Lunar Axe can stop it. But split apart and hidden in three different locations, it’s not going to be easy to find.

That’s where you come in, and so your time with Lunar Axe sees you visit various locations, solving puzzles in order to find the axe and piece it back together. Ultimately, though, the story here doesn’t really matter. It’s the puzzles that are going to keep you playing and, for the most prt, we’ve had a good time solving them.

Lunar Axe music box
Screenshot: GameSpew

There’s a good variety on offer, with some traditional point-and-click adventuring on the cards, requiring us to locate items and use them elsewhere. As mentioned, there are also find-and-seek hidden object puzzles, but it’s the other types that we enjoyed the most: the safe cracking, block sliding puzzles, mazes and more.

Most are pretty self-explanatory to solve, but there were a couple of puzzles that we had to rely on trial and error. Either we’d completely missed the clue, or it didn’t exist to start with. Those particular puzzles aren’t deal-breakers though, and we’ve still enjoyed feeling our way through that everything Lunar Axe has to throw at us.

One thing that does stand out is Lunar Axe’s artwork. This is a hand-drawn game, with some scenes in particular looking like beautiful works of art. The setting is pointedly dark and dreary, so sometimes it’s a little too dark for our liking. But on the whole, it’s a very nice game to look at indeed, with a great amount of detail poured into locations like churches and underground cellars.

Lunar Axe angel ring puzzle
Screenshot: GameSpew

It’s taken us around three hours to complete Lunar Axe, which we think is more than a fair playtime for something that costs less than a fiver. If you know exactly what you’re doing or follow a walkthrough from start to finish, however, it’s likely to take you less than an hour. But that’s the nature of puzzle games, of course: much of the playtime comes from figuring stuff out and piecing everything together.

Is Lunar Axe going to set your world on fire? Absolutely not. This is a budget point and click adventure game, but it’s well worth the asking price. And for fans of the genre, it scratches the puzzle itch more than adequately.

This review of Lunar Axe is based on the PS4 version of the game, via a code provided by the publisher. It’s available now on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.

Lunar Axe review - GameSpew's score

Lunar Axe
7 10 0 1
A point and click adventure filled with engaging puzzles, Lunar Axe is brought to life with beautiful hand-drawn artwork. It's short and simple, but for its bargain asking price there's a lot to enjoy here.
A point and click adventure filled with engaging puzzles, Lunar Axe is brought to life with beautiful hand-drawn artwork. It's short and simple, but for its bargain asking price there's a lot to enjoy here.
7/10
Total Score

We like...

  • Beautiful artwork
  • A great mixture of enjoyable puzzles
  • It's a bargain!

We don't like...

  • We had to rely on trial and error for a few puzzles
  • It's very short
Editor in chief // Kim's been into video games since playing Dizzy on her brother's Commodore 64 as a nipper. She'll give just about anything a go, but she's got a particular soft spot for indie adventures. If she's not gaming, she'll be building Lego, reading a thriller, watching something spooky or... asleep. She does love to sleep.