Luxor 2

Xbox Live Arcade

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8


luxor21360.jpg (35317 bytes)Mixing up the Zuma formula enough to become its own game, Luxor 2 becomes as addictive, engaging, and as fun as the game it borrows many of its mechanics from. Gameplay mechanics wisely craft means of avoiding repetition, and the simple concept of joining colored balls together is still way more fun than it should be. Luxor reigns high amongst the numerous puzzle games on the 360.

Taking a small cue from Breakout, Luxor has players controlling a small colored-ball shooting platform that can only move horizontally. Additional colored balls roll in from various directions, and it’s up to the player to eliminate them by matching at least three of the same color. As levels progress, more colors heighten the challenge, along with a speed increase. If any of the balls hit the pyramid (or pyramids in later stages), you’ll lose.

Early levels provide an excellent entry point, and slowly increasing challenge is properly paced. Design of the levels creates spots where you’re unable to make a shot, due to the balls being under an object or a secondary portion of the stage. When multiple strings are presented charging at the pyramid, this creates an added sense of confusion and chaos.

While the game's main mode is extensive as the player conquers each challenge, repeating stage designs are not fun. All of the attempts to avoid repetition in the design to keep the basic concept interesting is marred when you’re forced to re-do the same level you struggled with earlier. Power-ups, including one that turns the game into an odd Space Invaders clone, don’t provide enough deviation from standard play to make up for the lack of new level designs.

An exclusive Xbox 360 mode takes the Space Invaders style play and embraces it. Like the bonus stages, you’re given a spear that can pop any color ball. While easy to simply fire off rapid shots and destroy everything that comes your way, those gunning for high spots on the leaderboards will be wiser. Shooting specific balls can create massive chains, sending scores into ridiculous levels. While it radically alters the concept of the game, it’s an interesting diversion, and manages to separate this from the PC original.

For $10, this Xbox Live Arcade edition is half the price of the PC edition, with an extra mode. Those addicted to Zuma will have another round of life-altering gameplay with Luxor 2. Plan ahead, call family members to let them know you’re going into seclusion, and settle in with this wildly fun puzzle romp.


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Last updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 09:51 PM