Lumines Hands-On

We try out this unique PSP game from publisher Bandai and designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi's development studio Q Entertainment.

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TOKYO--Nestled among the more conventional stuff on display for Sony's upcoming PSP at the Tokyo Game Show is Lumines, the game from Tetsuya Mizuguchi's Q Entertainment studio. The unique puzzle game most certainly retains the spirit of Mizuguchi's best work at Sega, Space Channel 5, and Rez, thanks to a rich soundtrack and accessible gameplay. The unusual game's full premise doesn't seem completely clear, but what we did see certainly had a good deal of charm.

At first blush, Lumines looks a lot like it should have a name like "Space Tetris," since it features a playfield with dropping blocks that you can shift as they fall. The demo on display at TGS showed two basic colors for the boxes: orange and gray. You use the PSP's face buttons to manipulate the assorted boxes to arrange their like-colored sides in blocks of four that are then removed when a spaceship of some kind flies across the screen, dragging a spotlight behind it. By carefully stacking your boxes, it's possible to create "chain" combinations wherein waves of bricks get removed at once. However, what puts a different spin on the action is the game's use of modern music that appears to be reactive and changes based on your performance.

As mentioned earlier, the game uses a very simple control scheme that requires you to do little more than control the dropping boxes. Look for more on the game soon, and for more updates, be sure to check GameSpot's coverage of the Tokyo Game Show 2004.

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