Game Reviews

Lumines: In the House Ibiza '10

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Lumines: In the House Ibiza '10

It's a touch ironic that Lumines – a game primarily focused on making an assortment of blocks fit together – just didn't click into place on iPhone, a somewhat simple control setup on PSP needlessly fudged in translation.

Fans of the franchise will be reassured to know that Lumines's second bite of the mobile cherry – this time complete with a licensed, if slightly unspectacular, soundtrack from house label Defected – is a mite more faithful to the game's original setup, number keys proving to be a more comfortable configuration than touchscreen.

Gameplay is similarly authentic, manoeuvring a series of blocks made up of different coloured squares to make match-ups the order of the day.

Linking up the squares in matching coloured groups of 2x2 or more clears them from the board whenever the game's 'time line' swipes across the screen, the idea being – depending on which mode of play you take on – to keep the grid as clear as possible for as long as possible.

Let the block hits the top line and it's Game Over.

At home with house

Despite the narrower screen, it's a setup that entirely suits mobile, the simple controls - rotating each block left or right assigned to keys '4' and '6' respectively – moulding well with Lumines's steady pace to serve up a puzzler that's a palatable first step and a demanding follow-on, all in one.

Where Lumines: In the House Ibiza '10 falls down a little is in the variety of game modes on offer, or rather the lack thereof.

Besides the standard survival setup, where the game drops you from one skin to the next and simply charges you with hanging on for as long as you can, you can also take on Lumines's Time Attack mode – one minute, three minute, five minute and ten minute variants are on offer.

Other than that, it all begins to become a touch samey.

Skin Edit mode gives you the ability to set up a playlist of sorts, picking the skins in the order you'd like to take them on, while Dig Down mode – undoubtedly the most creative of the two – tasks you with getting to the bottom of an already assembled mass of blocks by clearing at least two columns of blocks in quick time.

Repeat offender

The problem is, play seems to switch from one skin to the next with such haste that you're only just beginning to acclimatise to your current setting before it's whipped from beneath your feet.

In essence, Lumines: In the House Ibiza '10 manages to highlight both the series' strengths and weaknesses, all in one bundle.

Connect2Media has ensured that Q Entertainment's puzzler is just as edible as it always was, the approachable yet challenging setup perhaps playing second fiddle to the likes of Tetris and co.

But, its simplicity means there's only so much you can do with it – once you've mastered a skin or two, it's questionable just how long you'll play on for.

The additional modes are a bit of a stretch as they are, and even though the Defected link-up gives play a slightly new edge, Lumines: In the House Ibiza '10 is the kind of house guest who'll likely only make the most fleeting of visits.

Lumines: In the House Ibiza '10

Far more faithful to Lumines than the franchise's iPhone outing, Lumines: In the House Ibiza '10 is as solid as you might expect, but doesn't really bring anything fresh to the table