appears that the goal of the game Lumines is to have
the player reach Nirvana by over-stimulating the body,
mind and soul. One reaches a deep, meditative, Zen-like
state when surrender to the gameplay becomes complete.
From there it's only a short trip to puzzle enlightenment
should you choose to explore that path.
is not for everyone. On the surface it may look like
just another Tetris knock-off but it does offer a
different dimension. It's not necessarily a deeper
or more complex puzzle than Tetris, it's just that
it's different. And if you want to get technical you
could literally say that it does incorporate different
is a word that means fusion. In this case it's the
fusion of light, sound and time. There are multiple
challenges running concurrently throughout the gameplay
but the most fascinating aspect of the game is that
it was designed to appear so simple. After a brief
visit to the in-game tutorial you'll be up and running
in no time. How long you stay that way will be determined
by how you relate to the game which in some cases
can be quite addicting while other simply may not
fusing music with the gameplay I don't want you to
think this is a rhythm game per se. It does require
timing but it's more of an internal process. You must
become one with the rhythm as opposed to trying to
chase it down.
blocks drop down the playfield not unlike Tetris.
Each large block is made up of four smaller blocks.
These smaller blocks only contain one of two colors.
There are no other shapes to worry about, they all
form boxes. To make them disappear you must move them
horizontally, vertically or rotate them to match a
group of four similarly-colored squares. It's all
sounds pretty easy but there's more to it.
will get you a higher score and that's what you're
competing for. You'll get more points if you can arrange
larger versions of similar colored boxes such as 4
x 4 and 9 x 9. Here's the crux of the biscuit: They
don't automatically turn into combos. There is a musical
timeline that sweeps through the playfield in time
to the beat of the tune which may allow you some time
to build up your combo before it's activated. If the
music is slow, you can expect bigger combos but if
the song's pumping you'll be lucky to get anything
more than your basic 2 x 2 combo.
the music interact with the gameplay is a great idea.
To make the most of it you have to mentally prepare
yourself to work with the music and not to see it
as a threat. Your playing style will have to vary
somewhat from tune to tune so you might just as well
go with the flow.
you might expect there are a few different modes as
well as a two-player mode. You'll be fighting for
horizontal space in the two-player mode for your larger
combos. If you don't make good use of your space with
such combos the timeline will shrink your playfield.
It's a good solid fight uncomplicated by extraneous
and arbitrary rules.
thing you'll notice, good or bad, is that there are
no difficulty modes. You play the game as one continuous
challenge. You will reach plateaus where you feel
you are invincible but it will catch up with you eventually.
Skins can be unlocked and drive you further into the
unknown. These skins consist of different backgrounds,
sounds and graphics. All of the skins seem to be consistent
within themselves. The music matches the graphics
appropriately. Various sound effects pepper the soundtrack
when you make combos. With practice you will begin
to orchestrate these sound effects in time to the
beat, most likely without even being aware of it.
Lumines has a way of sneaking up on you.
is a visual, sonic and intellectual treat. It's engrossing
and highly addictive. It may not be the sole reason
to own a PSP but it certainly hints at great things