With my recent acquisition of a Switch, I have been trying to figure out what games will be best on the console. I began with what everyone else seems to be buying and grabbed Breath of the Wild. It is a great game, but it is such an expansive game that I found it hard to pick up and put down on a whim. And, I felt like it was making me a worse Red Dead Redemption II player as I would get the horse controls confused with each other.
I tried out other games as well from Mario + Rabbids, to Crash Bandicoot, to LA Noire, but I found none of these were able to make me feel like I was utilizing my Switch. I went back to my PS Vita for a little while before I saw that Lumines was on sale on the Switch store. I had heard great things about this game from Greg Miller of KindaFunny and a friend of mine strongly recommended it as well. I blame both of them for my newfound addiction.
I proceeded to purchase and play the game, thinking that I had found a fun and relaxing puzzle game that I could drop on a moment’s notice. My friend even talked about how he used the game to relax by playing along with the music. I entered the game with this knowledge, but I quickly found out that I would play the game entirely different.
I began by turning off the music and the unique rumble mechanics which jostle your controllers as you reach different scores. I thought that they were both cool, but the sound of the music and controllers interfered with my watching King of the Hill. I felt that this game would be my relax-and-play-something game while I listened to a TV show. I would do this, but I found myself drawn to the game in a more intense manner which kept me from ever relaxing. As the pieces began to fall downward, my eyes would dart across the screen as I tried to decide on what my next play would be. Everything would move faster and faster, and I, in turn, would match this intensity with my own. After doing this for a few hours, I realized that slowing down just a tad and taking a more methodical approach would be my best option. This is when I played one game for an hour and ten minutes. This is when my eyes, hands, and wrists were sore the next day, and this is when I realized that this game was becoming more of an addiction than a pastime. Even now, as I write this, I can see the shapes moving in my head which makes me only want to stop typing and pick up my Switch. But, alas, that will have to wait.
This simple little puzzle game has quickly become a game that I will play for an hour or two at a time-way more than what I intended for this game to be. I assumed that I would play for about five minutes, pause it and go do something, then come back and play for a little while longer-sort of like how I sometimes read a book or watch a YouTube video. However, I have constantly found myself glued to the screen for an hour at a time. I would probably play more if I wasn’t so tired or literally in pain from the game. It is a game that has grabbed me more than most games have.
I hesitate to say that the game is fun. I believe that it is, but I think that the progression meter next to the menu is what keeps me playing the game rather than the pure joy of the game. Lumines challenges you to reach level 105 and to unlock the Endless mode. I reached level 102 at the end of my 1 hour and 10 minute play session, but I am only at 99% completion. I assume that I will have to replay the game in order to reach the full 100%. In most games, this would frustrate me as I would have wanted to simply unlock everything after putting in so much work. Instead, I find the fact that there is still progress to be made in the game exhilarating. The fact that I have a reason to keep playing and to try harder is amazing.
I am addicted to this game. I said that I would stop playing for a day or so, but I ended up playing for around an hour and a half before I began writing this article, and I am planning on playing again after I type this paragraph. Do my eyes and hands still hurt? Yes. They hurt quite a bit, actually. Is that going to stop me? No. Not at all.
So long! I am off to match those pretty shapes. I’ll see you when I see you.