It's good though.
The gameplay borrows heavily from Zuma: a train of multi-colored balls enters the screen and rolls down a long winding track towards a pyramid at the end. If the train reaches the pyramid, you lose a life. To keep the train from reaching your pyramid, you must fire multi-colored balls of your own at the train. Your shots add to the length of the train, but any sets of 3 or more balls of the same color you make are cleared, creating gaps in the train and slowing its overall advance.
Furthermore, if a disconnected segment could make a set of two or more same-colored balls by connecting with the train behind it, it will roll backwards and connect with the train. You can make scoring chains by setting up balls such that the gap you make from clearing a set will cause a segment to roll back and make another set, which in turn will cause more rollback.
Luxor differs from Zuma in the following ways: First, instead of a rotating turret situated in the center of the board, you have a paddle at the bottom of the screen which can only move horizontally and fire straight up. Second, while the balls in Zuma arrive in one long, uninterrupted train, in Luxor they are delivered in multiple smaller loads pushed by mooks of whichever antagonist you happen to be fighting. A mook that has had its entire load destroyed will die and give an extra bonus. If loads are allowed to catch up to one another, they fuse, crushing a mook in the process and robbing you of a bonus.
Games in the series include:
- Luxor (2005, PC, mac, BREW, J 2 ME and IOS): The original game.
- Luxor HD (2015, PC, Android, IOS and 3DS)
- Luxor: Amun Rising (2005, PC and IOS): Essentially an expansion pack to the first game.
- Luxor: The Wrath of Set (2006, PSP): A PSP port which also features levels from The original.
- Luxor: Amun Rising HD (2012, PC, IOS and Android)
- Luxor 2 (PC, Mac and XBLA): The first proper sequel, but still essentially the same game.
- Luxor: Pharaoh's Challenge (2007, PS2, PSP, NDS and WII): A Console port with a few extra features.
- Luxor 2 HD (2013, PC and IOS)
- Luxor: Reverse to Egypt (2007, PC, Mac and WII): More commonly known as Luxor 3. Introduces an upgrade system for power ups, several new gameplay modes and a 'puzzle' campaign that involves you defeating stationary trains with as few moves as possible.
- Luxor: Quest for the Afterlife (2008, PC and 3DS): Often refereed to as Luxor 4. Has a much more open world approach to levels in that you can select which one to play through branching paths and even go back to previous ones.
- Luxor 5th Passage (2010, PC and Mac): Made to celebrate the series 5th anniversary and serves as a 'best of' package by featuring mostly levels from previous games and a back to basics approach to gameplay (no branching paths, alternate game modes or upgrades).
- Luxor Evolved (2012, PC and IOS): Ditches the Egyptian theme in favor of a more 80s vector arcade one and features much faster game play than the other games.
There has also been a few spinoffs such as the Hidden Object Game Luxor: Adventures and luxor themed mahjong and solitaire games.
The main Luxor series exhibit the following tropes:
- 1-Up: Catching 30 coins in 1, Amun Rising, 2, 5, and Evolved earn an extra life.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Lightning Storm eliminates lone spheres and makes it easier to match 3, but because they're knocked off one at a time, something's bound to make the spheres blast off and head straight to the pyramid.
- Big Bad: Set in most of the games.
- Hijacked by Ganon: Quest for the Afterlife sets up the tomb raiders being followers of Amon. But once you defeat Thutmose and recover the final canopic jar, Nefertiti reveals that, in reality, the tomb raiders actually worship Set, who intends to deny Nefertiti and Akhenaten ascension to the afterlife.
- Bonus Stage: Featured in games from 2 to Evolved. A dagger shooting gallery in 2 and 5th Passage, and a 'make as many 3-matches as you can' buffet in 3 and Quest for the Afterlife.
- Boss Battle: Quest for the Afterlife features missions where you have to defeat thieves (or prophets) by creating enough scarab mooks through making 3-matches to overwhelm your enemy's scarabs and pushing the green circle at the center of the screen towards your enemy's pyramid.
- Cosmetic Award: 3 and Quest for the Afterlife have custom shooter skins and sphere packs.
- Cutscene: Quest for the Afterlife contains only a few.
- Endless Game: Subverted. In 2 through 5, there is a Survival round in which you last on one level for as long as possible.
- Equipment Upgrade: 3 and Quest for the Afterlife has Stores in place to upgrade your powerups for the same coins you usually earn for extra lives. Except there are unlimited lives in these games.
- Excuse Plot: The god of evil, Set, is wreaking havoc throughout Egypt. Put a stop to his nefarious plans by removing spheres off from his scarab minions!
- Although Amun Rising tries to shake things up by putting you in a war with the princes of Megiddo, but still.
- 3 has you being the spirit of a just-deceased pharaoh liberating the Egyptian pantheon from Set.
- Averted for Quest for the Afterlife, with the spirit of Nefertiti explaining on how the treasures you piece back work and information on the thieves you defeat, complete with monologues and gloating from Thutmose, the leader of the followers of Amun/Set that raided Nefertiti's tomb. With voice acting, as well!
- Hard Mode Perks: Higher difficulty levels in later games allow for higher scoring and, in some cases, award more coins. 3 and Quest for the Afterlife also allows for a special strategy that works on higher difficulty levels (see Non-Indicative Difficulty).
- Harder Than Hard: The Challenge of Horus in 2, and Insane from 3 to 5th Passage.
- Loading Screen: Some of the games (3 and Quest for the Afterlife among others) exhibit this.
- Non-Indicative Difficulty: In 3 and Quest for the Afterlife, what powerup that drops is determined by the color of the third 3-match (e.g. Blue gives Lightning Bolt or Slow, Yellow gives Wild Ball and Stop). Teal, the 8th color introduced throughout the game and thus late in the game, always drop Color Sort, which arranges all spheres on the screen into formations that are removed in one 3-match. A savvy player can therefore cheese through Insane by purposely holding onto a teal sphere, then make a 3rd teal 3-match using that sphere to drop Color Sort, and purposely break chains to make the teal 3-match to drop another Color Sort to rearrange the next load of spheres, and so on. Said tactic is probably the reason why Color Sort is changed to arrange only one load of spheres from 5th Passage onwards, as well as dropping the aforementioned powerup system in the favour of the original system in the first and second games.
- Apparently, the AI for the boss battle missions in Quest for the Afterlife doesn't know how to react to many sphere colors thrown at it (which is much more noticeable on Insane), making the such battles embarrassingly easy on Insane, including the Final Boss.
- Power Ups: Earned usually by making 3-matches in a row, whether it be combos or chains.
- Puzzle Game
- Remixed Level: In 5th Passage, some of the levels reappear as Player's Choice levels, even though they play differently.
- Robbing the Dead: The followers of Amun raiding the tomb of Akhenaten and Nefertiti is what sets off the plot for Quest for the Afterlife.
- Sequel Goes Foreign: Quest for the Afterlife allows for exploring ancient lands outside of Egypt.
- Shoot 'Em Up
- Smart Bomb: 5th Passage has one ready when charged.
- Timed Mission: Survival rounds in 3 serve as this.
Tropes found in Luxor Evolved:
- Awesome, but Temporary: In Evolved, there are Super Power Ups in which if you collect 6 fragments of a specific one, then you'll get unlimited Fireballs, Lightning Bolts, or Lasers for a short time.
- Bonus Stage: Successfully survive in the 2nd level of each stage.
- Boss Battle: Against Mecha-versions of Egyptian gods.
- Easter Egg: Collecting enough treasures alloow you to access hidden levels within the game.
- Energy Weapon: The laser powerup.
- Harder Than Hard: Elite Mode, unlocked through Hard.
- Kill Screen: After beating Mecha-Set, the final boss of the game.
- Pinball Scoring: Because of scoring multipliers, treasures can reach to upwards of 100k+ each, levels scoring in the millions, and high scores in the mid-high 10 millions (possibly 100 million+) in a short amount of time. Scoring is astronomical, if done well, when compared to the previous games.
- Remixed Level: Many of their main stages are from the previous iterations.
- Score Multiplier: Commonly seen as a doubler or tripler, but one can see multipliers upwards to 10x or even 20x.
- Secret Level: In Evolved, collecting enough treasures.
- Shout-Out: To classic arcade games in Evolved:
- Slow Motion: Make a match of 7 or more spheres and the game slows down for a few seconds.
- Smart Bomb: Averted when compared to most other games, as it is its own powerup, and it (sometimes) doesn't destroy all spheres on the screen.
- Timed Mission: Every 2nd level in each stage.
- Vector Game