Amazon Luna is the latest video game streaming service, this time offered by Amazon. As with most new video game streaming services, it’s standard to go into these sorts of things with caution. While game streaming has certainly improved a lot in recent years, the concept is still ultimately in its early years. So exactly how does Amazon Luna work?
In this article we’ll cover the basics of Luna, its pricing, and the games available. Most importantly, we’ll try to determine whether or not Amazon Luna is worth trying.
How Much Does Amazon Luna Cost?
Amazon Luna has several plans available at this time, most of which are at a pretty reasonable price range and work for certain lifestyles. The plans range from free to $17.99, so let’s take a quick look at each one.
Amazon Luna Subscription Tiers
- Prime Gaming: Free with Amazon Prime
- Luna+: $7.99
- Family Channel: $5.99
- Retro Channel: $4.99
- Jackbox Games: $4.99
- Ubisoft+: $17.99
As you can see, the price varies. Luna+ is the standard subscription for people who want to play newer games, and the Prime Gaming free version offers a decent look at how the service works. The other channels cater to a specific audience, but we’ll take a more in-depth look at each plans worth in the next section.
Amazon Luna Subscription Plans
Now that we have the tiers in mind, let’s take a closer look at what Amazon Luna has to offer at each of its price points.
Prime Gaming Plan (Free with Amazon Prime)
The free plan for Amazon Luna comes along with your Amazon Prime membership. It offers a small selection of games to try on the service, and the list of games changes each month. This month (October 2022) has six games available to try: Metro Exodus (2019), Earthworm Jim 2 (1996), Skatebird (2022), Monster Truck Championship: Rebel Hunter Edition (2020), Star Wars Pinball (2019), and Blair Witch (2019).
The games available with the free version seem to cover a pretty decent spectrum and most are fairly recent, with the exception of Earthworm Jim 2. The biggest game on the list this month is definitely Metro Exodus.
Since this is essentially a free trial, we can’t really be too hard on it. For a selection of free games, this is honestly pretty solid. Some of the indie games have niche appeal, Star Wars in general is always popular enough to get some attention, and Metro Exodus is a great name to see on a free list. Overall, this plan will work for those who just want to try out Amazon Luna.
Luna+ is Amazon Luna’s standard package. This is the “recommended” plan for anyone who wants to stream a decent selection of games.
Luna+ covers all the major genres pretty evenly. Some standout titles include Resident Evil 2 and 3 (remake versions), Devil May Cry 5, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Alien: Isolation, Two-Point Hospital, and some other well-known games. Along with these, there are many other lesser-known games that fill out the library nicely.
While the game catalog could be better, it’s not bad overall. It’s still a good deal at $7.99, even if you only wanted to play one of these games.
Amazon Luna Family Plan and Retro Channel ($5.99/$4.99)
The Family and Retro Channels are two of the alternate plans. These are designed for specific audiences — families and retro gamers. The family plan ($5.99) offers a selection of family-friendly games, all rated either E or E10+. The retro plan ($4.99) works in the same way, but offers only retro or retro-styled games.
Notable games on the Family channel (pictured above) include Hot Wheels Unleashed, Bridge Constructor: Portal, Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated, and Overcooked.
Notable games on the Retro channel include Metal Slug, Mega Man Legacy Collection, Street Fighter II, Ghosts ‘n Goblins, and Castlevania Collection.
Each of these plans obviously has a target audience, so their ultimate worth depends on the player. The Family channel definitely offers less than the other plans, but since it’s aimed at parents who just want something cheap and easy for their children to play, it makes sense. For that purpose, it seems like it could be a solid option.
The Retro channel also depends on the player, but it seems less worthwhile to me. There are simply better ways to play most of the retro games. Most of the best games in the Retro channel can be found cheap in other places, especially if you’re okay with game emulation. Even if you only want to play games in “official” ways, there are plenty of ways to find these games elsewhere (and usually cheap).
Amazon Luna Ubsioft+ and Jackbox Channels ($17.99/$4.99)
The Ubisoft+ and Jackbox channels are the only two designed specifically around individual companies. The Ubisoft channel features a wide variety of Ubisoft’s games for a fairly steep price, while the Jackbox channel features the Jackbox party games.
Of these two, the Ubisoft+ channel (pictured above) is the more controversial of the two here, as it’s more than twice the price of any other plan. Looking at the games available, though, it does make sense. Many of the games in the Ubisoft channel are still marketed as full price games on other platforms. The channel includes games like Far Cry 6, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Immortals Fenyx Rising, and also a ton of older Ubisoft games in several series. For the Ubsioft+ channel, the price is the main problem. If you really want to play these games cheaper than usual, it might be good for you, though.
The Jackbox channel, however, is a much better deal. I think this channel is most worthwhile for people who frequently host parties or who have a lot of roommates or other people to play Jackbox with. Since it includes all eight main games and Drawful 2, it’s excellent for parties or gatherings. This pack is clearly designed to be bought before an event where you might want these games, not necessarily to be kept all the time. For that, it is fantastic and possibly works as the best channel overall.
Amazon Luna Features
Amazon Luna has several features that make it stand out from (or at least compare to) other game streaming platforms. Here are some of the notable features you should be aware of when considering Amazon Luna.
Luna Couch is one of the more promising features of Amazon Luna. It allows subscribers to create a game session they can invite friends to, without those friends needing a subscription. All the friend needs to have is an Amazon account, a way to access Luna (a device/console to play on), and a minimum internet speed of 10 Mbps. This information all comes from Amazon’s FAQ page for Luna, which contains plenty of other technical information about the service.
Amazon has launched a controller designed specifically for Luna, and so far it seems to have decent reviews. The controller costs $69.99 on Amazon, which is a steep cost for something tied to such a new product.
Whether or not the Luna controller is necessary is up for debate, but if you’re wanting to try out Luna and don’t already have a good controller, it could be a reasonable purchase, especially since some versions include a Luna+ subscription (check this before buying one though, as it likely changes from time to time).
Is Amazon Luna Worth It?
Amazon Luna isn’t a perfect game streaming service, but it has potential and does work for those looking for specific categories. Luna Couch and the variety of plans available show that there’s definitely more to Luna than some streaming services, but it has a way to go before it becomes the best.
If you’re into game streaming, I’d say that Amazon Luna is definitely worth trying out since it has a free option. As with most software like this, it comes down mostly to personal opinion.
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