Lumines: Electronic Symphony

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Lumines: Electronic Symphony Game Poster Image
Great puzzler puts kids’ strategy skills to the test.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

This game encourages players to develop both short- and long-term strategies to achieve better results. It suggests that thinking ahead can yield satisfying rewards.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There are no characters in this game.

Ease of Play

The basic objectives are simple to understand and the block movement mechanics are elementary. There are scoring and combination nuances that will take hours to master, but even novice players can experience plenty of success to start, enjoying lengthy games as they experiment with different strategies.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Lumines: Electronic Symphony is a block puzzler with potential to help kids sharpen their logic and strategy skills. It challenges players to weigh risks versus rewards as they work to earn higher scores. Background music is performed by popular electronic artists, but we detected no inappropriate themes or lyrics. The colorful, sometimes kaleidoscopic graphics might be described as psychedelic, though feature no provocative or controversial imagery.

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What's it about?

LUMINES: ELECTRONIC SYMPHONY is the latest in a series of critically acclaimed block puzzlers from Japanese studio Q Entertainment. Players control quartets of blocks falling from the top of the screen, aiming to line them up with similarly colored blocks resting in the play area. Make a square of four matching blocks and they’ll vanish, along with any adjacent blocks of the same color -- though not until a time bar sweeps over them. The action is set to psychedelic graphics that dazzle the eyes, plus music from the likes of LCD Sound System and Underworld. A few different modes allow players to choose a play experience to their taste, ranging from Zen-like sessions that can last an hour or more to more challenging games that end after a set time. A WiFi two-player mode lets pairs of local friends play against each other.

Is it any good?

Much like the original Lumines, which turned out to be an unexpected hit when it arrived alongside the PlayStation Portable seven years ago, Lumines: Electronic Symphony is a major highlight of the PlayStation Vita launch. Its simple yet utterly compelling puzzling action is both challenging and meditative. The gorgeously vivid visuals, sophisticated sound effects, and an outstanding electronic score serve to enhance this already spectacular game.

Improvements over the previous Lumines include a new experience system to keep players coming back for more, unlockable avatars with unique abilities (like being able to freeze the time sweeper to build up bigger combinations), and a new three-dimensional block design that creates a sense of depth in the game board. It’s a bit pricey for a puzzle game, but it may well be the most entertaining game currently available for Sony’s nascent handheld. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about using logic to solve problems. What strategies do you use to tackle real-world puzzles, like finding room for all your toys in a crowded closet? Do you think playing puzzlers like this one help you to think more logically?

  • Families can also discuss the ways music can enhance some experiences. Can you think of situations in which certain kinds of music might help you concentrate or boost your creativity?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thinking games

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