I’ve been a huge fan of Lumines ever since I first stumbled across the demo of it for the Sony PSP back in the day. I’ve been hooked ever since, and have made it a personal mission to collect and play all of its incarnations and sequels. This leads me to the latest iteration from Japanese game development studio Mobcast, Lumines: Puzzle & Music, exclusively for mobile platforms.
While it lacks the precision of a controller needed to make high score combos a breeze, it’s still more than fun enough for fans of the series and puzzle players to get their fix on the go.
For those who haven’t played the series, this is a puzzle game where you arrange squares with different color patterns on a board so that same colors touch and form larger blocks of color that are removed by a time line that sweeps across the board. Using touchscreen controls, you tap the piece to turn the colors a different way, slide the block left or right with a swipe, then flick the block down by swiping your finger down quickly. The faster you’re able to do this and the more combos you make before the line sweeps over them, the higher your score. If you’re able to keep this up, you earn bonus points that multiply by how many times you repeat it.
To make things even more interesting, there’s catchy music and sound effects that play as you move and turn the pieces that seem to always fit the tempo that’s sure to have your feet tapping or head bobbing as you go.
In the main game mode, it’s up to players to complete levels and purify new avatars that you can unlock and use. Some of these avatars have special abilities such as temporarily pausing the time line for you to get in some extra combos and points, which is always a plus. Besides the base game stages, there’s also some stages from the PSP version called Lumines: Classic that you can unlock and play on with multiple difficulty levels. Each base game has a number of stages for you to complete, and there’s even an endless mode for hardcore players as well as a single skin mode where you can select your favorite stage and play it as much as you like.
If there’s any gripes I have with Lumines: Puzzle & Music, it’s the fact that since this is game built for mobile devices with touchscreen controls, it doesn’t have the precision I’m used to when playing on a console with real buttons. But as long as you’re not worried about that and just want to groove to a new Lumines on the go, you’ll enjoy busting out sweet puzzle moves with this one.