Luxuria Superbia

Luxuria Superbia is a strange artistic and emotional experiment, coyly blending abstract, vibrant visuals with libidinous imagery and themes. You delve into flower-shaped tunnels, coaxing the pale walls to life by opening flower buds, which burst open with images tied to the stage’s theme. But overly simplistic controls and a refusal to evolve forces the game into the realm of tedium, turning this colorful ride into a tiring venture.

The game is tongue-in-cheek regarding its sensual nature, but the signals are clear. The uncomplicated soundtrack is highlighted by descant hums and sighs, while phrases such as “Touch me” and “Keep going” appear in the center of the screen. Progress is demonstrated with a bumpy border enveloping the edge of the screen, and with color slowly climbing a tall pillar with a large, rounded cap, which erupts in varied images upon reaching fulfillment.

Progress is shown with a series of phallic pillars.

You open the flower buds utilizing a twin-stick controller, or two fingers when using a touchscreen device. Points are attributed by keeping the pulsating walls rich in color, and this concept does offer a slight challenge. The game insists on a delicate touch; prodding without delicacy ends the round prematurely. The goal is to keep the walls flushed, but sometimes it’s necessary to back off and let the pace relax, gradually causing the walls to lose color until stimulated again.

The game’s resistance to offering anything new beyond its simple concept hinders it from reaching a satisfying release.

Each stage is based on a theme, such as green fields with flowers.

The longer you traverse the tunnel, the more points you accumulate. An icon on the screen shows how many points you have gained, as well as how close you are to acquiring one of the stage’s three medals: bronze, silver, or gold. When you reach the gold medal, the next stage opens up upon revisiting the menu. There are 12 stages in total, each of which has a different motif, from grassy green fields of birds and bees to the dark lavender of space. But it is not the stages or themes that ultimately bog the game down. The main problem Luxuria Superbia faces is that it’s not particularly engaging–at least, not for long.

There are 12 stages in all, each themed after a color in the rainbow.

In Luxuria Superbia, your only battle is your fight with boredom. From your foray into the first tunnel to the final climax, the pace remains stagnant. The game’s mechanics are easy to pick up after a few failed attempts, but there is no evolution beyond the first stage. Where some games would change in parallel to your progress, Luxuria doesn’t step beyond its comfort zone. After the first two stages, any sense of amusement quickly tapers off as you begin to realize that, though the number of walls increase, each stage is functionally the same. Luxuria gets tiresome and repetitive, and it takes effort not to nod off while completing some of the lengthy stages later in the game.

There is no incentive to complete each stage to full. Earning a gold medal allows you to continue, but unless you’re a completionist, filling the pillar offers no reward. The game yields nothing else after completing each pillar to its top, and there is little reason to play through the game again. Your overall experience may improve if you decide to jump into the game with a partner, who can play with a second controller or offer a second finger with a touchscreen device. While this may result in some extra laughs and enjoyment, it doesn’t take long to have two people yawning, instead of just one. Luxuria Superbia’s unusual premise roused my interest early, but the game’s resistance to offering anything new beyond its simple concept hinders it from finding a satisfying rhythm.

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