In the past I have covered Sports, Racing, Adventure and other game genres, but this is the first puzzle game that I will have reviewed. This nothing against the puzzle genre at all, it is just when I get time to sit down and play some games, I want something that is going to get my adrenaline charged or drag me deep into an engrossing storyline, solving puzzles to a deadline and being frustrated is something that happens at work.
However, with Luxor Evolved, Mumbo Jumbo has managed to fuse together a brilliant puzzle game with addictive arcade action that nods back to many brilliant arcade classics, this combination has kept me glued to my PC for a good number of hours in an effort to get further into the game and see what the next levels have in store for me, and also to smash my set times of previous levels.
The Luxor series started off in 2005 and has spanned many titles covering a wide range of systems including, Mac OS X, Windows, XBLA, iOS, Linux, Wii and 3DS. Now, this is not a shovelware tactic to generate a load of income from a mediocre game, Luxor is an extremely popular puzzle game and loved by many, it also has a few inspired clones.
The basic gameplay element to Luxor is to line up three coloured spheres in a row and cause an explosion that will eliminate all of those colours in a row, much like in Bust-a-Move, where you need to match more than two of the same colour. The coloured spheres move along a set path towards your “base” and you will need to fire the coloured spheres from your character located and the bottom of the stage, with a click of the left mouse button, you can also switch to your next cued colour with a tap of the right mouse button. As the levels progress the set path gets more complex with more than one path per level to keep track of, mouse gripping gameplay indeed, luckily there is a handy aiming reticule provided.
You can put together combinations and chain explosions which results in power-ups being awarded, these range from lightning bolts that wipe out all the spheres in your path, a slowing time power-up, which is very handy in the later levels and my favourite, the Scorpion power-up, this sends a little scorpion in the opposite direction the traveling line of spheres and wipes out a good chunk of them from the track, regardless of the colour of the sphere. Quiet often upon completing a chain, some items will fall across the screen, like fruit for bonus points or more power-ups, this gives you an interesting dilemma, and head for the bonus items or continue shooting down this long line of spheres.
What makes Luxor Evolved stand out from the previous games is the addition of retro vector looking graphics, arcade boss battles and special bonus stages. The vector graphics are similar to what can be seen Geometry Wars and Firefly Vegas, and look extremely nice on a HD screen; I particularly like the Egyptian twist on things. The arcade boss battle and bonus stages offer a nice break from the puzzle action and have some fantastic nods to classic arcade games, like GORF for example, where you need to break down the bosses shield and the shoot a coloured sphere at the boss’s weak spot.
A special must go to the music in Luxor Evolved, it is fast enough to keep things going at a high pace but also transforms throughout the stages, depending on if you are doing well at a relaxed pace, or very near death, then it ramps everything up to make you feel panicked.
Luxor Evolved Gameplay Video
So in conclusion, Luxor Evolved satisfies my need for a puzzle game and with a liberal sprinkling of retro arcade action. The music and visuals are brilliant, and the gameplay is well balanced that you can dip in and out, and not feel overwhelmed from where you left off. The urge to replay some of your earlier levels is great and I am sure when you have a couple of friends on the leader board things get quite interesting. If you like puzzle games and brightly coloured vector shapes that explode, you can’t go wrong with Luxor Evolved.
Link: Luxor Evolved on Steam
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