Lumines and Meteos producer Tetsuya Mizuguchi said he was leaving game development in 2012 when he took up the role of a professor, but now he's back and he's making a new Lumines game.
Tucked away in one of central Tokyo's sprawling, bustling regions, Q Entertainment's office building is small and incongruous - but impossible to miss, thanks to the striking logo on the side. "Q?" it asks. "Hopefully," responds the somewhat lost foreign journalist.
Q Entertainment has added its acclaimed puzzler Lumines to the ranks of titles available from Steam.
When I was little, before girls and hair, me and my family used to march to a house full of old people and sing songs at them on Christmas Eve. Interesting creatures, full of stories and sticky toffee sweets, and if you played your cards right you might land your very first kiss. Funny smelling places though, like someone kept forgetting to flush the toilet, but then they are old so maybe it is forgiveable. Soap: another withered person smell. The moral is that old things are not useless and ready to be thrown away; my Grandma used to give me stacks of 20 pence pieces when I saw her. Back of the net.
Q Entertainment has put its musical puzzler Lumines on PC casual gaming site WildGames.
Lumines Plus is, basically, a straight port of the original PSP release of the game that spawned about a billion thousand-yard stares. It's pretty much exactly the same as Tetsuya Mizuguchi's original Tetris-alike; the game with which millions of PSP owners have worn out their eyes and thumbs on their way to racking up insanely high scores. Sure, there are some extra skins, but this is essentially the game that launched a Lumines bandwagon that's (so far) seen the production of a PSP sequel, an Xbox Live Arcade version, a mobile phone variant, and plenty of freeware homebrew imitators.
Which means that you rotate 4x4 blocks as they descend from the top of the screen, in order to create blocks of the same colour that then disappear in synch with a time line that sweeps the screen from left to right. It also means, on the upside, that the game doesn't include any of the annoying skins introduced by Lumines II (even if you're a fan of such acts as Gwen Stefani, Black-Eyed Peas, or Missy Elliot, it's difficult to argue that they're an entirely successful addition to the track list). But on the downside, it also means that the game doesn't include any of the excellent additional modes or introductory tutorials that were also introduced by Lumines II.
So there's no Skin Edit mode to customise your playthrough; no Mission mode to act as a gentle introduction for new players; no Sequencer to pootle around with; and, most crucially, there are no additional difficulty levels. So instead of the reduced playing area of Lumines II, Lumines Plus sticks to the same 10x16 Challenge mode grid as the original, and supplements it with just a Single Skin mode (pretty pointless), Puzzle mode (pretty easy), Time Attack mode (pretty short-lived) and Versus modes (pretty fun actually).
Q Entertainment has apparently only just begun its evolution of the hypnotic puzzle game Lumines, with creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi hinting that yet another version could be in the works for PlayStation 3.
If you count Ninety-Nine Nights, which has yet to be released in the West, Tetsuya Mizuguchi had six games at E3 this year. Four of them were Lumines titles, including a brand new Xbox Live Arcade version announced during Microsoft's pre-E3 conference - featuring Madonna, of all people. But it was actually Gameloft who helped us track him down - the French company had Lumines Mobile on display on its stand, and we arrived just in time to see them attaching a few "Best of Show" nomination plaques to the display.
After Sony and Ubisoft both denied they were behind Lumines II's reported presence at E3, Buena Vista Games has stepped forward and said it's publishing it - and three other Q Entertainment titles.