HomeTechnologyNewsA Niche Gaming Product For Non-Gamers - Geek Review

A Niche Gaming Product For Non-Gamers – Geek Review

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Ratings:

7/10

?

  • 1 – Absolute Hot Trash
  • 2 – Classify warm garbage
  • 3 – Very flawed design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptably imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Excellent, but not the best in its class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price:
From $9.99/month

Hannah Stryker/Review Geek

You don’t need a console to have fun playing. Amazon Luna lets you play games with just your computer, an internet connection, and a compatible controller. There are many reasons to consider joining the Amazon Luna universe, and why you might want to stay away.

First introduced by invite-only in October 2020, Amazon Luna officially launched in the United States in March 2022. The cloud gaming service, powered by Amazon Web Services, provides a small, ever-changing list of select games. for Amazon Prime customers. Plus, a monthly Amazon Luna+ membership unlocks over 100 different titles across all platforms. This number has gradually increased since the service was launched. To date, the service is only available in the US, Germany, UK, and Canada.

For those looking for more, Amazon has partnered with Ubisoft ($17.99/mo), then Jackbox Games ($4.99/mo), to add even more content, with many titles exclusive to the Amazon Luna platform.

This is what we like

  • Stability on many platforms
  • Jackbox party games are a must
  • growing library
  • great gaming controller

And what we don’t do

  • still limited titles
  • The main offers are a shame
  • Extras can add up quickly
  • No international availability

Review Geek’s expert reviewers get right down to business with every product we review. We put each piece of hardware through hours of real-world testing and benchmark it in our lab. We never accept payments to endorse or review a product and we never add other people’s reviews. Read more >>

Hardware requirements: Play your favorite game on any device

A person holding a smartphone with the Amazon Luna app showing
Hannah Stryker/Review Geek
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, iPhone/iPad, Android, Fire TV/tablet, Chromebook, Samsung TV
  • Price: Amazon Luna+ ($9.99/month), Ubisoft+ ($17.99/month), Jackbox bundle ($4.99/month)
  • games available: Up to 140, depending on the packages selected

The most important reason to consider Amazon Luna is its wide compatibility. Amazon Luna is available everywhere, unlike game consoles like Sony’s PlayStation 5 with hardware limitations and Apple Arcade, which only works with one company’s devices and software. And when I mean everywhere, you can access it on Windows, Mac, iPhone/iPad, Android, Fire TV/tablet, Chromebook, and Samsung TV.

Of course, since Amazon Luna is a cloud gaming and streaming service, you also need an active internet connection, regardless of what device you’re using. The service works with 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi network connections, although the latter offers a better experience, just like Ethernet.

Digging deeper, there are hardware requirements for each supported platform. However, you should be okay with using a device less than five years old. For example, Amazon requires Windows 10 with DirectX 11 support and an Intel HD Graphic 4000 or better video card to use Amazon Luna on a PC. Macs dating back to 2014 will be compatible with Amazon Luna, as will Apple mobile devices running iOS/iPadOS 15 or later. Other mobile devices require Android 9 or later.

Amazon strongly suggests using a compatible game controller to take advantage of all that Luna has to offer. You can play using virtual on-screen controls (on mobile devices) or with Bluetooth or USB mice and keyboards, as appropriate. The best controller, unsurprisingly, is the official Amazon Luna controller, which you’ll learn more about below.

Membership Levels – Gets Confusing

When Amazon Luna first hit the scene, it cost guests $5.99 per month. Since the service went live, it has gone up to $9.99 per month. Amazon Prime customers can enjoy the fun, at least for a little bit. These customers can play at least (and usually no more than) four games per month at no additional cost. These game titles tend to change on a monthly basis.

This is where things can get a bit confusing. For $17.99 per month, you can access over 40 (additional) Ubisoft+ games or purchase any of those games separately from the Ubisoft online store. Perhaps better yet, you can stream the Ubisoft games you had originally purchased for PC at no additional cost.

There is also a Jackbox Games addon available for $4.99 per month. This membership allows you to play five Jackbox packs of puzzle and strategy games.

The bottom line on pricing: For around $34 per month, you can play nearly 150 games across multiple devices.

Game Library – It’s a Mixed Bag

Amazon Moon Library
Bryan M. Wolfe/Review Geek

If you’re just a casual gamer and an Amazon Prime subscriber, Amazon Luna is worth experiencing. Yes, you only have access to four games per month. Nonetheless, it is an excellent starting point. Of course, Amazon Luna is not reason enough to buy an Amazon Prime membership.

An Amazon Luna+ subscription is required to adopt the service. You’ll find some real winners among the 100+ titles, like “Sonic Mania,” “Resident Evil 2,” and “Alien Isolation.” The most expensive Ubisoft+ subscription unlocks more popular titles like “Far Cry”, “Assassin’s Creed”, “Watch Dogs” and more.

The Jackbox Pack is a real gem, offering access to all nine Jackbox Party packs and “Drawful 2”.

In general, you’ll notice that Amazon Luna+ is packed with older games, while Ubisoft+ is a bit more current. Prices reflect this difference.

Site Design and Usability – Feels Familiar

Image by Amazon Lunan
Bryan M. Wolfe/Review Geek

Game systems with terrible user interfaces are rarely successful. After all, this is where you’ll be spending a lot of your time outside of the game. Amazon did an admirable job designing the interface for its gaming system.

Amazon Luna is organized like Amazon Prime Video by displaying available games in separate rows on the home page. Each row is separated by categories like Trending Games, Editor’s Picks, and Luna Couch Games. The Different Library page is where you can find other games by genre and type. Also, you can sort the titles by alphabet, release date, when they were added, or Metacritic score.

You will find useful information about a title when you click on it. In addition to a gameplay trailer and screenshots, you’ll see a full description, rating, whether the game is single or multiplayer, and more. You can start playing the game from this screen or add it to your Amazon Luna playlist.

Performance: Amazon has this figured out

Amazon Luna works great on multiple platforms. In a word, it’s stable, which is saying a lot given the complexity of the many supported platforms. You want to run things at 1080p at 60 FPS, but you can drop it down to 720p for even better performance.

As noted above, Amazon suggests using a 5GHz Wi-Fi network with a 10Mbps connection. A lot will depend on your Wi-Fi connection and device specifications.

Features: Socialize

Two important features of Amazon Luna make the service even better: Amazon Luna Couch and Amazon Luna Broadcast. With Luna Couch, you can participate in local “co-op” games and invite players to watch or join the game. Of course, the other users must have an Amazon account and compatible hardware and Wi-Fi specifications. They don’t need a Luna subscription, though, which is nice.

After starting a Luna Couch session, you are given a code to share with your friends. This code is all that is needed to unlock the co-op feature.

Meanwhile, Luna Broadcast lets you take your games online for others to watch via Amazon’s Twitch. Once connected, users can watch and chat with you during the game.

Amazon Luna Controller: Brilliant at what it does

An Amazon Luna controller
Hannah Stryker/Review Geek

It is highly recommended to purchase the official Amazon Luna controller if you plan to use Amazon Luna. One of them was delivered to Review Geeks for this review. The controller, often for sale on Amazon, is wireless and designed exclusively for the Amazon Luna. Bluetooth connects the controller to your device and Amazon Luna, providing a high-quality, low-latency gaming experience.

The Amazon Luna Controller looks like many of the better wireless controllers and includes a traditional button layout with two thumbtacks, a D-pad, four face and four side buttons. There is also a dedicated button to access the Moon menu. Interestingly, the Amazon Luna Controller itself connects to Amazon’s cloud servers, designed for a smoother gaming experience.

Not surprisingly, the official controller also includes Amazon Alexa integration for voice control. There is also a microphone and headphone jack, ideal for Luna Couch and Luna Broadcast use.

Official Luna Wireless Controller

Use Amazon’s built-in Luna controller to play on Windows, Mac, Fire TV, Fire tablet, iPhone, iPad, Chromebook, and Android devices.

Competition: worth looking at

The Xbox app on a Samsung Smart TV.
samsung

Amazon Luna is excellent at what it does and presents its content admirably across multiple devices. However, there are some alternatives that might suit your tastes better. Number 1 on this list is Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Priced at $14.99 per month, this product combines all the services that Microsoft Xbox offers, such as Game Pass for Xbox or PC and Xbox Live Gold. PlayStation Now is a similar offer primarily for PlayStation users. It is $59.99 per year.

NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW Ultimate offering is another stellar pick. For $20 a month, you can play up to 100 free games from Steam and Ubisoft and connect (and buy) other PC games, which you can play on multiple platforms. All the time, you can experience GeForce RTX 4080-Class Power.

Should you subscribe to Amazon Luna?

Amazon Luna is an exciting product, but is it worth considering? That depends on your situation. If you own an Xbox or PlayStation, the answer to this question is no, as it brings little to the table that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or PlayStation Now can’t.

And yet, if you don’t consider yourself a gamer and don’t have a separate console, Amazon Luna is a joy to play, regardless of your device.

However, if you decide to give Amazon Luna a try, it’s important to go all out and purchase an Amazon Luna+ subscription and seriously consider one for Ubisoft+ as well. Then while you’re at it, grab the Jackbox pack and have some fun.

Ratings:
7/10

?

  • 1 – Absolute Hot Trash
  • 2 – Classify warm garbage
  • 3 – Very flawed design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptably imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Excellent, but not the best in its class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price:
From $9.99/month

This is what we like

  • Stability on many platforms
  • Jackbox party games are a must
  • growing library
  • great gaming controller

And what we don’t do

  • still limited titles
  • The main offers are a shame
  • Extras can add up quickly
  • No international availability

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