Lumines first released on the PSP way back in 2004 to widespread acclaim across the board. It’s only fitting, then, that with the lack of anything similar to it releasing in recent memory, that Lumines is coming back for another spin. Only this time, it’s appealing to a wider audience across a range of different platforms, including the Xbox One. Lumines Remastered is a HD remake of the original, rather than that of a re-skin with prettier, more refined textures. Has this much loved experience stood the tests of time? Definitely, yes.
Similar to the likes of Tetris, and arguably only beaten by that, Lumines is a block dropping puzzle game that comes with heaps of color and more rhythm than you would believe. Try picturing the love-child of Tetris and Rez, and you’ll have an idea as to what to expect. The aim of the game is as simple as needs be. Players control 2×2 blocks that contain different colors and it’s your goal to match these colors up to have them removed from the falling table. This is, much like within the epic original, played out alongside the beat of each song.
Each song represents a level and there’s no shortage of content to get through, which is great when we look at the rather generous asking price. There’s only one way that you can lose a level, which is by stacking the blocks too highly that they touch to top of the table. Sure, it may well be a pretty basic idea, but are they not often the best kinds of ideas? Exactly. The fact of the matter here is that you will literally lose yourselves for hours on end, especially if, like me, you smashed the hell out of the original and haven’t had a fix since.
The only real difference between Lumines Remastered and the original version is that of its visuals. Lumines has never looked so good. It’s more refined, it’s more colorful and it’s sharper than ever before. My one and only gripe with the game is that its difficulty curve isn’t very stead. The difficulty often spikes across modes from time to time, which can truly break player immersion at the worst of times. It’s not at all hard to overlook as it’s quite infrequent, I’ll admit, but when it does occur, it trades all of that heavy fun for frustration.
Outside of that, there’s very little to complain about. Lumines Remastered is a very competent and very addictive puzzle game that’s upheld further by its diverse and wonderful soundtrack. I quite enjoyed the challenge of hitting a high score or combo, only to see the music change, which affects all of the colors of your blocks, promoting some swift thinking and added pressure as a result. Challenge Mode is where the core experience rests at and has you playing the game in sequence, though the alternate modes pack a punch too.
These modes include; Time Attack, Puzzle Mode, Missions Mode, VS CPU and 2P Battle Mode. Each of these modes come with leaderboard support and are fun in their own, despite resting on the laurels of the game’s core function. Time Attack has you playing to the same rules as Challenge Mode, but you’ll be working against a static timer of either 1 minute, 3 minutes or 5 minutes. Puzzle Mode, on the other hand, tasks you with completing 100 mini-puzzles (or shapes to be specific) to create; ranging from very easy to super hard.
It may sound easy in practice, but let me tell you, when you only have 3 minutes to make a tulip with just one color block, it soon becomes a test of brain-might. Missions Mode has you clearing all of the existing on-screen blocks in a set amount of moves, whereas the last two modes, VS CPU and 2P Battle, are fairly self explanatory. These serve themselves as duels and tasks you with making 2×2 blocks of the same color, which will extend your table and impede you oppositions table for each successive formation. It’s a heap of tense fun.
There’s also a Skin Edit Mode that enables you play the game with your own chosen themes. When all is said and done, there’s more than enough included in the proverbial box to justify a purchase. It’s a well developed puzzle game that’s (I know this is a cliché) easy to pick up and hard to put down. I’ve said it once but I’ll say it again, there’s hours worth of playtime here, and despite its difficulty issues, I cannot recommend Lumines Remastered enough. If you enjoy Tetris-esque games or this game’s origin title, pick this up, like, now.
Lumines Remastered is an excellent puzzle game that offers hours and hours worth of content. The several varying modes ensures that there’s always something new to try out, and despite all of them leaning on the same concept, they’re equally as fun and addictive as one another. Issues with the difficulty’s fluctuation to the side, this is easily one of the best games of its kind in recent memory. Don’t pass this by.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.