Luminous Corridor 2 is a twin stick shooter by Loren Schmidt that calls back to great games like Robotron. With oppressive arcade music and a trippy, neon wasteland to blast baddies in, it has equal parts charm and challenge.
There's no understating what strong visual aesthetics can provide for a game. Given the right combination of art design and graphical flourish, otherwise standard affairs can transform into unique and bold experiences. This is the case with Luminous Corridor 2.
As an arcade shooter, the game holds up well. A variety of tiny pixelated enemies rush around and threaten to devour the player as they scurry around trying to collect crystals. Droves of silly skeletoids and big teethed chew chews hound you all the way.
The waves can get overwhelming but you have a secret weapon: The crystals. They're not just items to collect. Fire at them and they can be made to explode and take out groups of enemies. It's just enough to give the player meaningful moment to moment decisions.
However, the real draw are the visuals. Wavy biomasses and wiggling creatures create a silly, if slightly unsettling vibe. Coupled with music by Katie Rose Pipkin that's full of blaring bleeps and droning boops, it feels like you're playing an arcade cabinet that's slowly chewing itself up from the inside. The high energy gameplay belies a very specific kind of digital rot that's creeping at the edges.
Luminous Corridor 2 doesn't have the raw strangeness of some of Schmidt's other titles, particularly Strawberry Cubes or the collaborative work Realistic Kissing Simulator. Instead, it slightly warps a familiar arcade format into a genuine mood piece. I highly recommend giving it a look.