Lumines Review

Disclosure: We may earn a commission from links on this page

Developer: Q Entertainment Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: March 23, 2005 Also On: None

Every great handheld has had its puzzle games. Game Boy had Tetris, Nintendo DS has Meteos, and the PSP has Lumines. At first glance, Lumines looks just like any other puzzle game launched with any console, but Lumines really has more to it. It was created by Tetsuya Mizuguchi, the man who brought you Rez, Space Channel 5 and Sega Rally.

As you may have guessed, this game is all about the music. When you complete a level, you unlock skins or music. Skins are more involved than you might think, though. Its more than just new colors or images, it really changes how the game looks, implementing totally new styles into the game, including entities than can add or destroy blocks, and the same applies to the unlockable tunes; they really change the game experience.

The game engine gives you a blank area that takes up about 2/3 of the screen area in which blocks fall. Each block, like Tetris, consists of 4 tiles. But unlike Tetris, each block is a square, and each tile of that block can be one of two colors. For example, you can have a block with 3 red and one blue tile, or 2 of each, or even a block solid red.

The goal in Lumines’ single-player mode is to create rectangles. Anytime a rectangle I created at least 2×2 tiles of the same color, they group together and disappear, giving you points. Simple enough, right? Difficulty is added as the levels go on by adding speed to the music and blocks. You can use the Triangle, Square, X, and Circle buttons by default to rotate the blocks, but they can be mapped to L and R as well.

Other game modes Lumines offers include 2 player mode, which is, quite simply, the same as 1 player mode, except with….2 players. There is also a Puzzle mode, which is really rather cool. You pick a puzzle, which could be any shape from a square to a giraffe (yes, a giraffe). The image is watermarked on the background of the play area, and you have to stack the blocks to fit that area.

Other “missions� in puzzle mode can include removing 20 blocks within a time limit, or similar tasks. Yes, yes, there is a ad-hoc multiplayer option, and it works like a charm. No complaints on that; and I’m not going to complain about the fact that there is no online multiplayer because, maybe its just me, but I never really had the urge to play a puzzle game against someone I don’t know from Paraguay.

The best thing about Lumines is the fact that you can play it anytime. It doesn’t take long to boot up or load, so if you’re going to be sitting somewhere even for a moment, you can whip this out and play it for 5 minutes or 2 hours. The music, like I said, makes the game. Although the graphics don’t exactly stretch the PSP to the edge of its ability, it doesn’t need to. Also you could consider that a battery saving feature. The graphics are colorful and vibrant. If you’re into puzzle games, or are looking for a good puzzle game to start with, or if you just like awesome music from Tetsuya Mizuguchi, I recommend Lumines.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 10
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 9
Final: 9
Written by Dave Review Guide

Leave a Comment