Port of sadness, sleepin' flightless mind
World of silence, blinkin' farthest light
Road of brightness, I will get there
Lumines is a series of Falling Blocks puzzle games started in 2005 by famed Space Channel 5 designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi, as one of the first PlayStation Portable titles and the first one under his new game label, Q Entertainment. The premise is much more simplistic when compared to other games like it...blocks fall in 2x2 squares, and the player can only score points by matching up squares of the same color (2x2 or larger). As the music plays in the background, a timeline sweeps the joined blocks away and adds lights and sounds to the mix. Players advance through levels, or "skins" (which changes the background, music, score display, sound effects, even the block appearances) and the tempo of the new songs switches up frequently, requiring the player to stay on their toes as things get harder and harder.
Lumines proved very popular in Japan, selling more than half a million copies since its initial release. It also garnered Greatest Hits status in North America and Europe, prompting a mobile phone version of the game created by Gameloft. A direct sequel was made the following year, and it was later joined by Lumines Plus for the PlayStation 2 and Lumines Live for Xbox 360's Live Arcade. A port of Lumines 2 (with some skins and VS modes removed, plus the Lumines Live interface) was released for the PC, distributed by Wild Tangent Games and Steam. In 2009, a PlayStation 3 version of the game called Lumines Supernova was released on the Playstation Network, which contained a new mode called Dig Down mode, and new skins (including one based on LittleBigPlanet). Lumines Touch Fusion was released for iOS in 2009. A Playstation Vita installment, Lumines Electronic Symphony, was released in 2012. A remake of the first game, Lumines Remastered, was released for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Steam, and Xbox One on June 26, 2018.
Tropes used in Lumines:
- Book-Ends: There are many similarities to "Shinin'," the first song in Challenge, and "Lights," the last song. Both are vocal tracks with a brightness theme to their titles, both use collages of photographs for their backgrounds, both will occasionally display a spinning image of a time-lapse starry sky, and both skins' interfaces and blocks have exactly the same appearances.
- Boring, but Practical: You can play the first few level perfectly using a very simple strategy.
- Broken Record: In the PSP version of the first Lumines, a section of the song will repeat unless you form a block for it to erase. One reviewer said this effect, when combined with the already-repetitive lyrics of the first skin "Shinin'", "almost turned me into Jack from THE Shining."
- Cap: The original Lumines caps out at 999,999 points; your reward for achieving the cap is a new skin. Lumines II adds more digits.
- Drought Level of Doom: "Day Dream" in Lumines Supernova, with a time-line so painfully slow you're lucky if you can clear any blocks. Similarly, "I hear the music in my soul" from the original takes 4 measures for the playhead to do a full sweep, and the moderately-slow BPM doesn't help much either.
- Dueling Games: with Meteos
- Falling Blocks
- Last Lousy Point: In Remastered, unlocking the "45 Degrees" and "Rodent" skins requires completing all of Puzzle Mode's 100 puzzles and Mission Mode's 50 missions, respectively, which can take hours. Meanwhile, all of the other skins are unlocked relatively quickly, possibly in about an hour if you clear Challenge and VS CPU in one shot each.
- Licensed Game: Many of the tracks are licensed. Lumines II is notable for having big-name Western musicians like Beck and Gwen Stefani.
- Loads and Loads of Loading: Remastered has a bit more loading than there really should be. Need to restart 60-second Time Attack? Time to sit around for 10 seconds!
- Mondegreen: Mondo Grosso's English is pretty good, but the first line of "Shinin'" sounds an awful lot like "Word of Silas, creepy Silas Stein."
- Mood Whiplash: The skins in Lumines are made to incite some kind of feeling, via 'synesthesia'; Usually these manifest in emotions, and as such can seriously flip-flop between a few if certain skins are used.
- Musical Gameplay
- Puzzle Game
- Shout-Out: Lumines Supernova contains a LittleBigPlanet themed skin.
- Video Game Remake: Remastered is just the first game but in HD and 60 frames per second, with a few rule tweaks from later games and a "Trance Vibration" feature (similar to the HD ports of Rez) that allows rhythm-based vibration with additional controllers.