Review: Lumines Remastered
Posted 15 Jul 2018 at 11:00 by Anil Parmar
I had never played a game that merged music and gameplay so brilliantly until I played Lumines when it originally launched in 2004 on the PSP. The fun and addictive puzzle title, created by Rez creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi, was the game that made me realise puzzle games could be much more than just a small, repetitive gameplay loops. Lumines, to me, was interactive art, and playing to today on my Nintendo Switch, it still is.
For anyone unfamiliar, the gameplay behind Lumines is relatively simple. It’s nothing more than a simple block dropping game, where the player is required to create different squares or rectangles of the same colour in order to make them disappear from the board. Unlike games like Puyo Puyo however, the player is only required to deal with two possible colours at any one time, creating a fast paced gameplay loop. The squares disappear in time to the hypnotic electro music, and each song - or skin as they are referred to in game – represents one level. It’s a simplistic gameplay loop, but it still works just as well now as it did back in 2004.
So what does this remaster offer? The latest incarnation Lumines Remastered marks the first time Nintendo fans have been able to get their hands on the series and is a faithful remaster of the original title. The games main single player campaign retains its superbly addictive challenge mode; the 100-level block-dropping puzzle marathon that will challenge even the most hardcore puzzle fan. If you want to enjoy a shorter mode, there’s also a Time Attack mode than lets you play for 60, 180 or 300 seconds at a time.
Moving away from those traditional game types, there’s also the Puzzle and Mission modes, both of which introduce more deliberate problem-solving game types. Puzzles may involve creating a specific shape or accomplishing a specific task. Both modes start out easy but become deceptively tough rather quickly. In terms of multiplayer, local multiplayer is included but unfortunately there’s no option for online play.
More than just addictive
I can’t stop playing Lumines Remastered. It’s not just the gameplay, it’s not the music or even the stunningly simple visuals. It’s the way it all comes together to form one incredibly absorbing and even trance-like gameplay experience. I’ve sunk countless hours into Lumines Remastered and I can’t stop picking it up for just one more go. It is perhaps the proof that puzzle games can be more than just one small gameplay loop; instead it combines visuals, audio and gameplay so seamlessly that it remains, to this day, one of the most impressive puzzle titles ever made. If you’re a Switch owner that’s never jumped in, there hasn’t been a better time.
N-Europe Final Verdict
A perfect puzzle game that takes a simple premise and turns it into something that could well answer the age old 'are videogames art?' question. Fast-paced, addictive and a stunningly unique title.
Fast-paced addictive gameplay
Easy to pick up, difficult to master
Perfect combination of audio and visuals
Lack of online multiplayer