Sneaky Gamer

Lumines: Electronic Symphony

Lumines has been a great title for a few years now and the PSP has seen some great versions. The PS Vita version is just as addictive and possibly even more fun.

The goal behind Lumines is to rotate falling blocks so that they form shapes of the same colour and in doing so allow those blocks to produce points as they disappear when the left-to-right moving timeline hits them. It's a game akin to Tetris but provides a lot more on top.

Electronic Symphony brings new audio tracks and new skins to the Vita and every one of them is a hit. Tracks from various artists including the Chemical brothers and Underworld are used brilliantly to pace the game.

As you progress through the levels (skins) you'll notice that each runs at its own pace. You can have slow falling blocks with a fast moving timeline that produces instant reward for your positional play or you can have a slower moving timeline that requires a lot more skill to prevent an unwanted build-up of blocks.

There are special blocks like Chain blocks and Shuffle blocks that can help you on your way. Chain blocks cause all touching blocks of the same colour to disappear, while shuffle blocks randomise the colour of every block in the formation that they touch.

In addition to these special blocks there are special abilities that can be accessed via the touch screen and replenish over time. The special ability available is determined by the avatar you chose to represent you onscreen. Abilities include changing the next three squares to the same colour, slowing down the appearance of new squares, pausing the timeline and triggering chain or shuffle blocks.

There is also a Duel mode that allows you play against a friend or against the AI.

Lumines is an old favourite but is a perfect partner for the PS Vita. It may be a simple concept but it's a game that you'll be playing again and again many months from now.