March 26, 2005

Since the Tetris/Game Boy bundle in 1989, block-dropping puzzles have been used to show both the hardcore and mainstream markets what handheld systems are capable of. Following this trend, Ubisoft’s new puzzler, Lumines, exemplifies the evolution of gameplay and style that Sony seems to be reaching for with its new PSP console.Designed by Testuya Mizuguchi, the creative mind behind Rez (a cult favorite on the PS2), Lumines combines the familiar controls of falling block games with elements of rhythm games. Your task is to position squares as they drop from above, and to keep them from piling up to the top of the screen. Each square is composed of four smaller squares in one of two different colors. Creating a 2×2 or larger block of the same color will allow that block to be cleared from the screen, thus making room for more pieces.

Lumines is unique, however, because of what happens after your pieces are ready to clear. Completed blocks don’t immediately disappear, but instead change color and stay on-screenA

Score: 5/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.