The best puzzlers are simple games, with a twist. In Lumines Live!, you need to remove two-tone blocks from the screen by creating squares or rectangles of like pattern, but the blocks only disappear when an EKG-like vertical timeline moves over them. The twist is that the timeline’s speed changes depending on the current "skin" - meaning the game's actual appearance - you’re on. Different skins alter the art style and also speed up or slow down the timeline, which can drastically alter your strategy.
The puzzle aspect of the game remains brilliant (Lumines originally appeared as a PSP launch title). There’s just something in the human psyche that really digs moving little squares around until they disappear. The hitch is that the game’s pricing is a little screwy - the "core" game costs 1200 points ($15), which includes a couple of single-player modes and vs. multiplayer (on Live and split screen). It also includes what amount to trial versions of the Puzzle, Mission and vs. CPU modes. In order to unlock them fully, you need to purchase more downloadable packs from Marketplace, which start at 600 points ($7.50).
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