Actually, the name of the game is LUMINES LIVE but a girl can dream. Available on the Xbox LIVE Arcade for a mere 800 points, LUMINES LIVE is another one of my favorite, mindless puzzle games.
On the surface, LUMINES looks a lot like Tetris but there is more to it. Instead of dropping the classic, static brick shapes that we all grew to love, this game drops squares made up of four bricks. The bricks can be one of two colors. The object is to clear the board by making solid squares of color. The change in the basic objective of the game works against the player. When most people begin playing this game, myself included, it is difficult to not make lines. The knee jerk reaction is to think like Tetris and fill up the board length wise or even Dr. Mario style by going up in down, maybe even a little Connect 4 up in there. Switching over to a square objective definitely takes some getting used to.
Unlike Tetris and some other puzzle games, there were several modes to play. The Challenge Mode allows players to continue dropping squares until there isn’t any more room. The squares slowly speed up and the music changes. To make the level transitions harder, the colors change. What was once orange and white, is now a transparent green and grey. Trust me when I say that mentally processing the change is harder than it sounds.
|Just keep telling yourself "square, square, squares"|
There is a Puzzle Mode that I found to be very difficult. Large shapes are highlighted in the playing field and the objective is to fill up that shape with one color and have the opposite color outlining it. Completing this without any help took a lot of time and one misplaced brick can set the player back significantly. The other single player activity is Mission Mode. This one reminds me a lot of the challenges from Peggle. Each mission has a predetermined set of colored bricks already in the field at the start. The player is given one predetermined brick and you have to clear the field completely in one drop. The first mission is very easy and took seven seconds to complete. After that, they become increasingly more difficult with more bricks and can be incredibly hard. These modes are far less mindless that the general Challenge Mode. They require more thinking and strategy.
Lastly, there is a multiplayer mode. Players can link up locally or over Xbox LIVE to have themselves a good ol’ fashioned versus match. The first person to run out of space and reach the top of their board loses. There are a few quirks here and there that add complexity to the multiplayer. As one person gets more points, the center line shifts over to squeeze out and give the person in last place less space. Also, any squares cleared up against the center line can also clear matching bricks on the opposition’s side.
|Multiplayer, notice the jacked-up change in bricks. Those adorable flowers might be the death of me.|
I liked this game. I definitely wouldn’t play it solely for achievements or for the multiplayer. But if you are looking for yet another mindless game for those times when you lack the focus, LUMINES LIVE is the game for you.