Puzzle games, you either like them or never play them. I was of the latter opinion until Zoo Keeper changed my mind on the DS. I was absolutely surprised that the best launch DS game happened to be a puzzle game and this appears to again have happened with the PSP. Not only is Lumines one of the most innovative games around, it is a game that is perfect for portable play and is in our opinion the best PSP game launching day one with the system.
Lumines doesn't really have a storyline, but not many puzzle games do. Instead it gives you a quick tutorial video and throws you into the game. We actually skipped the tutorial and got right into the gameplay, figuring out the mechanics right away. This is always an excellent indication of pick up and play ability and Lumines has this in spades.
The mechanics of Lumines reminds us quite a bit of Tetris but with a few key changes. First of all the aim is to get a box of four squares the same colour which are then eliminated. This is a bit harder than getting lines as in Tetris, and first off you will find the game a little hard but once you figure out small nuances such as the fact that the blocks divide when they hit each other, you will be playing like a pro in no time.
The key factor to Lumines is the music. How you play affects how the music plays. If you pull off a particularly good move, a new beat will be added to the music. Also, as you last longer in each game you will move into new songs so the aim of the game really is to survive as long as possible to unlock new items to play with.
The visuals of the game change as the music changes but overall it's not exactly a poster child for the PSP power. What Lumines does though is it gives you a portable game which you can pick up and put down anytime. The problem is you won't want to put it down.
Lumines is a game that many people will unfortunately ignore but we can almost guarantee once you've captured all the monkeys, won all the races in Ridge Racer, grinded all the boards and finished all the underground races, you will still be playing Lumines.