Friday 11 January, 2008
Sir Whompus commented on my last entry how he found Lumines to be quite addictive. I can see that might happen and I look forward to giving it a shot on a plane trip I'll be taking soon. I guess part of the problem I might be having is that I only get to play PSP in 30 min. time slices (ie, on my commute) and Lumines isn't particularly friendly towards that. Yes, you can pause and all that, but I've found that when I restart a paused game I lose rather quickly, probably because I'm not "in the zone" or can't remember what it was exactly I was trying to do. (ie, what my current plan/strategy was)
On the other hand, I have had some fun exploring the basics and trying to do find out if the game is "solvable". It sounds pretty nerdy, but my basic question is if, given any random sequence of blocks, I can (guaranteedly) place each block in a position so as not to lose. Most other "block falling" games I've played will make the blocks fall faster quite quickly (thus making it harder to play) AND also have a much narrower playing field (in terms of columns) AND possibly have larger or non-homogeneously shaped pieces. Lumines is different because the the playing field is quite wide, it seems almost spacious, all the pieces have the same shape AND there aren't that many of them (not including rotations) so it seems to be (on the surface) and "easy" game to solve operationally. In fact, I've managed to play quite a bit with some basic strategies I've devised where I'll send different types of pieces to certain locations to create "standard" shapes and whatnot.
There are some other differences which I think are also significant. For example, when you "match" pieces, they don't disappear immediately (which is what normally happens in other games) and there is a weird combo mechanism which I haven't figured out yet.