Lumines - PSP

Just as every good console should have a football game, every handheld should have a puzzle game to challenge your brain. For Sony's PlayStation Portable it's Lumines Puzzle Fusion.

It might not be the latest version of killer Su Doku, but Lumines is highly addictive nonetheless. The aim of the game is to match the colours of falling blocks to form a coloured square.

The blocks, which always have four smaller blocks in them, are randomly generated and may have one, two, three or four blocks all the same colour. The more squares you eliminate at once the higher the score. Rather similar to Tetris, if the blocks don't match then your tray fills up. Get to the top and it's GAME OVER. To add further challenge into the mix, there is a Time Line, which scans the blocks and removes the squares you've matched up. However this takes time to go from left to right and could spell the end of the game or even more points.

Once you've grasped what you've got to do you can chose a couple of gaming options. The first is Challenge Mode. Here the game progresses as described above, However, as you progress in the game the colours of the bricks change along with the music and the background pattern. There are still only two colours and any blocks you have in your tray change to match, but it's amazing what a difference changing the colour makes. The see thru and black blocks for example really mess with our head compared to the green and white a level before.

If this sounds like too much of an annoyance you can opt to stick with a colour scheme that you've unlocked throughout in the Single Skin Mode.

For the single player one further mode exists. Puzzle mode is slightly trickier and requires you to create certain shapes using the blocks. The game starts with simple crosses and blocks and moves on to criss crosses and animal shapes. To further increase the challenge you only get a set amount of time to complete it.

Where the game comes into its own however, is the wireless play option that allows you to challenge other players. Here you can either opt to challenge the CPU or another friend with the game. If you've ever played Bubble Bobble you will know what to expect; basically fast-paced carnage. The more blocks you remove the greater your tray and the less your opponent's. That, mixed in with other speed-up options makes this really good fun.

Verdict

Just like Tetris, Lumines is very addictive. The graphics are simple but effective and the two-player mode will have you coming back for more. In a world where fast- paced action shooting or driving games are aplenty this won't be everyone's cup of tea, but if you're looking for something very different to all that, Lumines has the answer.


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