Review: Luxor Evolved HD Shifts To a Cool New Retro World (iOS/iPad)

MumboJumbo’s latest is its best Luxor game to date.

“Twitch” puzzle games have really been getting better over the years, and one series in particular that has managed to flourish is MumboJumbo’s Luxor franchise.  What started as just another marble shooting game has since grown into a staple for the publisher, thanks to addictive gameplay, ever-changing stages and new gimmicks to keep players drawn in.  And now the team may have stumbled upon its most brilliant entry to date with the retro-powered Luxor Evolved HD.

Take everything you’re used to in the world of Luxor, then mix in the classic design that you’ve seen in video games in the early 80’s.  I’m talking about games like Tempest and Omega Race, where vector designs were king in favor of high-end textures.  Luxor Evolved dwells heavily in this world, with cool explosions, great looking level designs and objects that stem a similar design to the Geometry Wars games that were so popular a few years back.

As for gameplay, it continues to hold true to the Luxor series.  You’re still shooting marbles at a constantly moving stream of balls, trying to match three or better so that they’re eliminated.  All of the traditional elements return, like how balls zip together if they’re the same color (sometimes even forming chain combos), and power-ups that help you out of a jam, such as fireballs (which explode with strings of balls on impact) and a lightning bolt that can clear a whole stream in one shot.

Luxor Evolved lets you unlock a whole bunch of stuff, including bonus levels, secret levels, additional power-ups and boss battles.  The boss encounters are quite interesting because, instead of just traditionally pounding away on an enemy, you have to destroy surrounding spheres before they expose their weak point, then you have to hit it at just the right time.  It’s a neat idea, but we wanted more of these battles.  Maybe some DLC will fix that, with a new Boss Rush mode.