Luminux ($1.99) by Bulkypix and Pelagic Games is a frantic arcade puzzle game that gives you a bit more freedom when you play. If you enjoyed games like Spotology and Darkin, then the chances are high that you will enjoy Luminux.
One of my favorite things to do to pass the time when I’m waiting for something (or just have nothing to do) is to play puzzle games. While I play these most of the time to just relax, sometimes I like being challenged with a game that is much more fast-paced. Fortunately, Luminux fits the bill here.
The graphics in Luminux are pretty minimal, and give off a retro feel to me. There’s really not much to it, since it’s just a grid on the screen that fills up with large, colorful, chunky blocks over time. However, even though the visuals look simple, I still enjoyed how bright and vibrant it looks, especially as you clear out blocks — they result in flash and colorful bursts. The animations are smooth and fluid, and the game’s soundtrack is quite upbeat and catchy.
There’s only one game mode that I can see in Luminux, and the goal of it is to get as many points as possible before the screen fills up. At the bottom, there’s a progress bar that will show you how much until the next “level” in the game, which will increase the speed of blocks appearing, and there will be more colors to match. The game will end once the screen fills up with blocks and you can’t move anything.
Now, what makes this game different than other puzzle arcade games? I mean, we see that blocks appear on the screen, and we need to make matches of at least three or more to clear them out. What’s so special? It’s the fact that you have the freedom to move the blocks around anywhere as you please, just by dragging them around the grid, as long as there’s space to do so. If there’s no more space, then the game ends.
This amount of freedom may make the game seem easy at first, but it actually becomes quite challenging, especially as the game picks up in speed, as you’ll need to plan out where to move colors to set them up for the most points possible. It starts off slow, as most puzzles do, but things do speed up rather quickly. I love it — this challenge element will keep you coming back for more.
Your score will be determined by the matches you made. Matches need to be at least three blocks lined up horizontally or vertically, but if you can get four or five, you earn more points. As you play, you will also “rank up,” though I haven’t really noticed anything special with different ranks. It looks like just an incentive to keep you playing and beating your high score from before.
I’ve been playing Luminux quite a bit since I gave it a download last week, and it’s a refreshing new take on arcade puzzle games. I’m surprised that there hasn’t really been anything quite like it before, and that’s a good thing. I just wish that there was more meaning to the ranks, and perhaps even more game modes can be added to keep things fresh.
I recommend picking up Luminux if you want a fast-paced puzzle arcade game to challenge yourself with this week. You can get it on the App Store as a universal download for $1.99.