dominicrusho's Lumines: Puzzle Fusion (PlayStation Portable) review

Very, very good puzzling action on the PSP

Lumines is a game which features blocks that fall and then ultimately must be "busted". Yeah, I know what you're thinking, not another Tetris clone? In terms of design, Lumines does owe a lot to Tetris, but compared to most puzzlers and pretty much everything else on the PSP, it is refreshingly different due to it's interesting rhythm element.

Design wise, Lumines is a very simple game to get to grips with. Square blocks fall which are composed of four smaller squares. Each smaller square will be one of two possible colours and joining these similarly coloured smaller squares into one large square will result in said block being busted. Anybody who has played Tetris will feel instantly at home. Unlike Tetris, Lumines spices things up a little with a interesting musical element. I know what you're thinking - how on earth can music be intergrated into Tetris? It's actually pretty simple. As the music plays in the background, a large line will sweep across the screen in time to the music. If you can stack more of the same coloured larger cubes together as the line sweeps across, you can potentially have enormous combos of block busting goodness. It's a rather interesting addition, and one which actually works rather well.

Lumines is one of the few games which makes use of the PSP's enourmous display. The colourful backgrounds are insanely bright, crisp and great to look at. Lumines should have shipped with a pair of sunglasses to stop eye strain! Playing through the various modes unlocks new skins and music to play along to - everything from the bright sunshine of the appropriately named "Shinin" to the calm and relaxing sounds of "Japanese Form". Every skin changes the colour of the blocks, so you're not just looking at the same colour schemes over and over again.

The main bulk of the game is contained in the games main challenge mode, but there a few distractions in the shape of a timed puzzle mode, and multiplayer for multiple PSP's. You can also play any skin you unlocked individualy in single skin mode. OK, so Lumines doesn't have much else other than it's main mode but that mode is so strong it's enough to warrant a purchase (and by now, probably a very cheap one). Lumines is definitley worth your time and money, guaranteed.

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