Over three billion years ago (Standard Internet Time), I was hopelessly addicted to Lumines. After burning out -- it took a few weeks -- I put down the genre for a good clip. I regret that decision.
Gel, Set & Match (Xbox LIVE Arcade)
I wish I had a great puzzle-genre related anecdotal story to relate. The ideas and freeze frames scurrying through my brain aren’t thought-provoking, nor can they be associated with Gel, Set & Match in any reasonable fashion. (Example: I puked on my Game Boy once while playing Tetris; thanks, chicken pox.) Instead, I’ll just say that I’ve enjoyed my time with the game and get on with the explanation of it.
The Puzzle Mode is lengthy and has a few interesting twists. Each level under the twenty “card” hood has a par -- a certain limit of pushes and throws required to get the best ranking. If par is achieved in every level, a bonus level is unlocked which can give you additional stars (the game’s currency, which you can use to outfit your elephant-aardvark in a variety of goofy costumes).
I should mention that all three of game’s modes are playable via Xbox LIVE. Puzzle Mode and Action Mode are cooperative experiences, while the Battle Mode is strictly competitive. Puzzle Mode is neither aided nor hurt by the cooperative, but Arcade is an absolute blast with a friend.
But there’s always Action Mode, which also has its own sets of “cards” and variety of levels -- including one that allows it to go infinitely. Very cool stuff.
Score: 8 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)
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