Lumines


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If you've been keeping track, then you probably knew this was coming. =)

I am hopelessly addicted to playing Lumines on Sony's new PSP. There is really nothing else available for the handheld that I am all that interested in. Many of the games released so far are smaller versions of games already available for the PS2, games that would benefit from being played on a much larger screen. However, the types of games that do work exceptionally well on handhelds are puzzle and arcade games, and Lumines is one of the best puzzle games to come along in a very, very long time. The game was created by Q? Entertainment in Japan.

Lumines quad exampleThe object of Lumines is to drop quads—blocks containing four (4) tiles of two possible colors in a random configuration—onto a widescreen sized play field to form combos.

Lumines combo exampleCombos consist of at least one 2x2 quad of same-color tiles. Once a combo is formed, it is highlighted and stays on the board until the timeline sweeps past.

Lumines multiple combo exampleAdditional quads can then be formed by adding as few as two additional same-color tiles to the combo. The score increases for each additional quad that is formed before the timeline sweeps them all away. A multiplier bonus is awarded for combos consisting of 4 or more quads in a single pass of the timeline.

Lumines is a classic in the making. It has qualities that set it apart from other puzzle games and that put it squarely in the same league as the venerable Tetris—the mother-of-all falling block puzzle games.

First off, the game is very easy to pick up and play. Anyone can drop blocks and match quads. The sounds and particle effects that reward you for your early efforts are extremely gratifying and hook you into this very addictive game.

Second, the game is difficult to master. Even after playing through several battery recharges with the game, my high score is still less than 100K, and yet it is consistently inching upward. And don't even get me started on the Vs. CPU mode that kicks my ass everytime I play. I've made it to only level 5 of 10 total. The unlockables are HARD as you get further into the game, thereby providing excellent replay value.

Third, the challenge mode is brilliant with its ever changing skins, music, and strategies required. By independently varying both the rate of the falling blocks AND the rate at which the timeline passes, the designers have created a game with unbelievable richness and depth of gameplay.

I can't stop playing this game. There are a total of 40 gorgeous skins to unlock, and each one consists of a unique background design and color scheme for the quad tiles. The visual effects are spectacular, and with each new skin comes an entirely different mood. But the visuals are only part of what makes Lumines so compelling.

The music is infectious, and I am already craving a soundtrack CD with the best tracks to listen to when not playing the game. Featured artists in the game are Shinichi Osawa (Mondo Grosso) and Eri Nobuchika, responsible for the unforgettable rhythms of: Shake Ya Body, I hear the Music in My Soul, and the lead-off track, Shinin'.

Complementary to the soundtrack, sound effect samples are introduced with each button press and combo, which together seamlessly mix with the music. The result is a level of immersion I have never experienced before in a puzzle game.

I am looking forward to Q? Entertainment's next puzzle outing, Meteos, coming out for the Nintendo DS in June.

36 Comments

Capuchin April 8, 2005 5:22 PM

You poor poor luminaholic.

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Oh God do I love Lumines. I got it a few days ago. I have no clue how puzzle mode works though.

I can't get past the Egyptian dude in VS mode either, heh. Well I have only gotten BACK to him twice anyway. Blah.

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Hey Alex, puzzle mode is pretty cool, too. Each level the game tells you what shape you need to form with the blocks, and you have a time limit in which to do it. The shape may be formed with either color tile, however the shape must be surrounded only by the opposite color tile, or by no tile at all.

For instance, the first level is a cross, or plus sign. So, you need 3 tiles of the same color up the center, and one of the same color tile on both sides of the middle tile.

So, if you used the orange tiles for the cross, there can be no other orange tiles touching it.

I'm up to the Up Arrow shape.

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I have rented or borrowed half the games available for the PSP (I generally don't play sports games) and would have to agree that this is the only one that is really any fun for more than an hour or so.

Sadly, I returned it to GameFly and have to wait for my own copy to arrive...

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Oh, okay. The black outline of the shape is what got me.

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I am in love as well ^^

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Finally got my own copy of Lumines ... must ... put ... it ... down ... to ... get ... work ... done ...

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Where is the "play now" button? Do I have to buy it?

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Riparian April 15, 2005 1:39 PM

Is it wrong to be considering a Lumines tattoo?

You know... to complement my Lode Runner tattoo?
http://img72.echo.cx/img72/219/lrink4sf.jpg

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Riparian - I think so, since there is no mascot character in Lumines. And if you used a quad, it might look like Tetris, or worse. I think you should pass on the idea. =p

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what is the name of the song in the first level and were can i get that song,

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The artist's name Shinichi Osawa, the track name is "Shinin" and it was released under the name Mondo Grosso.
Click

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How do you beat the 4x4 Square in Puzzle Mode? =[

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Michael - while at first the 4x4 square would seem impossible, all it takes is a little craftiness to figure it out.

First off, here's an illustration of what I'm about to explain. Click.

The way I did it was line up rows of blocks of alternating color, to one side of the play field. (4 blocks wide, 8 blocks high)

Connect all the rows by stacking quads along side of the rows using quads of four of the same color.

Then, just as you're about to finish, a special block will appear (imagine that!). Use it to get rid of all of the blocks of that color leaving a 4x4 square just in the nick of time! =)

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cool, so there are more people addicted as well ^^. is there a way you can play people online?

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I wish there were a way, Tel. I'm getting tired of getting my ass handed to me everytime I play against the CPU. =p

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hey i found a way for online play! www.teamxlink.com is what im using ^^!! download it and change the network settings on ur psp to ad hoc mode and set it to ch 1. if u have a wireless card it works. well its kinda required. ^^;. well yeah thats as far as i know. but sign up on the site just in case. (yeah im not to good at explain)

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aaaahhhh! i play so much lumines that i dream of it. thanks for the tip on how to play puzzle mode. i thought i had to fill that whole shaded part. i'm working on 4x4 and i'm following your tip. but haven't gotten quadrants in a row. i'm also working on beating that eqyptian on vs. cpu mode. has anybody been over 100K in 1 player mode? I AM ADDICTED!!!!

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i don't know how to play puzzle mode. and who is the eqyptian dude i keep getting shut down by the vampire looking dude any tips

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This game is destined to become a classic. I'm another one of us Luminaholics. Everything I see is Lumines! I looked at the lights outside one day and all I saw were orange and black blocks. Even looking at my computer screen next to the speakers I see white and black blocks. This is definitely the best thing ever for any handheld. Just one thing, how do you pronounce the name? I've been saying something like loominees, but my friends think it's something like loominis or luminis. Anyone know the true pronunciation?

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Casey - yes, definitely a classic, and it's from a classic game designer, too: Tetsuya Mizuguchi.

As far as the pronounciation of Lumines, it is of course a play on words of another word that sounds identical: luminous, which means emitting light, or enlightened, inspiring. To pronounce it correctly, look up "luminous" in the dictionary. =)

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Thanks a bunch. I'm up to level 48 in challenge mode. Where are all of you at?

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Another thing, for the puzzle mode. I'll try to demonstrate this with symbols. *=orange block, +=white block

*+ +*
*+ +*
*+ +*
*+ +*

You leave 2 spaces in the middle. Make sure this whole design is done in the middle of the board, too. Once you have that, you wait for a completely white block, followed by either 2 of these:

+*
++

or two of these.

+*
+*

A combination of those two will work also. now, you put it in like this:

+ +
* *
*++++*
*++++*
*++++*
*++++*

The whites fall through and the oranges on top make the whole thing surrounded by different colors or empty space. It takes a little bit of timing, but I got it after my second or third try.

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Im just curious to know. Has any one got the last skin in this game. The guide says you need to score 999,999 points in challange mode to get it. My record is 634,047 and I think I was on some where from lvl 170-180.By then the game is freaking impossible. Did any one actually get there score to 999,999?

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I suck compared to you. I'm only around level 48. I have heard of some people getting to that score, and it took them 2 hours 17 minutes. It was on some other forum. Search Google for a Lumines forum and it should have some.

Here's the other forum. It hasn't been updated in a while:
http://forums.ubi.com/eve/ubb.x?a=frm&s=400102&f=6461069203

Also, Jay, do you have any connection to Lumines or the video game business, or are you a luminaholic like the rest of us. (Yea, use luminaholic to describe yourself from now on. Trying to get it to catch on.)

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For the 4x4 I find it easier to build the following structure:
**
*+
*++*
****

then wait for
**
+*
followed by
**
**

let the + square dissolve which will leave you with
* *
* *
****
****
insert the * square before the bottom two rows dissolve.

since this structure is very small it works well for the 2 4x4 as you can build in one corner and the reverse in the other. I usually finish that challenge with ~120 seconds left.

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devbone May 31, 2005 9:41 AM

I just scored 410,000 at level 122. Got so tired I just gave up. I have gotten to the 2X's on puzzle mode. I have not gotten past the egyption level on challenge mode.

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Supasnydes July 18, 2005 5:54 AM

Does anyone know where I can download the Lumines Manual online. I bought a used copy and it didn't have one. What is the tempo bar that scrolls across the screen?

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Wow, I absolutely love this game but suck horribly. My highest score is 70,000 (40,000 of which i get in the first 30 seconds via the "all deleted" bonus)

i will never unlock that final skin...

Does anyone know where i can get the Jap import for cheap?

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Have you noticed that a lot of sites say that in Lumines, you're supposed to make 4x4 squares. It's 2x2, not 4x4. I wonder why everyone is getting so mixed up.

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Jack - Have you played Lumines? If so, have you played "Puzzle mode"? That's what we're talking about when mentioning the "4x4 square".

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Hi Casey!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks a lot for your tips in solving the 4x4 puzzle mode...i did it!!!

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I have played this game and guitar hero at the same time and come on everyone you have to play guitar hero.

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jason Brown June 29, 2006 6:02 AM

im up to 991,126 in challenge mode Just missed it this morning. been workin on this for about 4months now between work and stuff. still havent passed the egyptian guy. expect to do it soon tho. Nice high score but cant get puzzle mode for the life of me. dont understand how you can create something that will constantly dissapear. Very wierd when i first started playing this game i couldnt sleep without dreaming about it for about a month.

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Anonymous June 25, 2007 12:42 PM

can anyone tell me how to make 0-3 x2?

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This page helped with regards to the puzzle mode, I had no clue what was going on there XD!
But yeah I've gotten 999,999 three times on challenge mode now, and I still can't put the game down!
I'm just wondering though if there is anything else I can do to satisfy my addiction :D
I've finished everything to the highest score -I have too much time- , except for puzzle mode of course, and I was wondering if there was anything else I could do?

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