What would happen if you took Tetris, flipped it sideways and injected it with some cocaine? Lumines would happen. What else would you expect from the man who brought you Rez? If you're a Rez fan, then you expect only the most mesmerizing and enchanting gameplay imaginable. You would be right to believe so, as Lumines addicts almost instantly and doesn't let go.
The basic idea behind Lumines is that, like in Tetris, blocks fall from the top of the screen and you place them in the designated play space. Unlike Tetris, these blocks are all square but they have different patterns for you to spin and line up with similar blocks to form at least an area of four that match. You can, of course, make a much larger area and link the blocks together to make bigger combos. Now, there's a line that goes from left to right across the screen that removes these combos every couple of seconds. This line will occasionally speed up or slow down depending on the rhythm of a certain board.
Of course, also like Tetris, if you run out of room to place blocks then you lose. Easy enough, right? Well, it's a little bit more involved than that but that's the basic gist.
There are a few different types of game modes that come with Lumines. There's the basic point mode that let's you try to get as many combos as you can, thus racking up huge scores (like my wife) or not racking up huge scores and crying (like me). There's also challenge mode where you can play against a human over the network or against a PC opponent. Also offered is a mode that lets you play around trying to make certain shapes in a time limit, but it doesn't really hold the attention as much as the basic game does. There are different rewards offered for beating various stages, one of which is getting different skins to play on basic skin mode. You can also get new avatars by defeating the avatars you play against in the game.
There really aren't all that many problems with this game other than the fact that it surely won't appeal to everyone; if you don't like puzzle games, or games that are even remotely quirky. There are some people who will get this game and some that won't. In my opinion, this is the game that should have been released in a bundle with the system, just like Nintendo did with Tetris.
So, if you love puzzle games and you have a PSP, you should definitely jump on this one. If Tetris isn't you're idea of a good time, then leave Lumines alone. Enough of this, I gotta get back to the game.