Luxor 3 (PC)

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Sunday, February 24, 2008

Graphics: 9.00
Sound: 7.00
Gameplay: 9.00
Replays: 9.00

MumboJumbo’s Luxor series has been extremely successful since its inception, offering an orb shooting puzzle experience not unlike that of PopCap’s Zuma but putting an Egyptian spin on things. Now the company is on its second sequel and third overall game in the series, Luxor 3, and has given the title a complete overhaul. The result is one of the prettiest casual puzzle games in recent memories that continues the addictive gameplay seen in previous installments.

For those who have played any of the previous editions of the Luxor franchise, the first thing you will likely notice is how pretty this new edition is. MumboJumbo has taken the existing engine and made everything brighter and bolder, with bigger set pieces and moving backgrounds. Combine that with special effects such as fireworks that go off when the player completes a level, and you have a very professional looking casual game. Though there are numerous games of this type available as shareware, freeware, and boxed retail titles, few can match the graphical prowess of this game. The soundtrack is well put together and matches the Egyptian theme, although it isn’t likely to remain in players’ heads after they’re done playing. In addition to this, the sound effects match the vibrant nature of the

In addition to providing the original orb busting gameplay, there are numerous new modes available to choose from as well (with all of them being woven into the Adventure campaign). You’ve got the classic gameplay as well as the previously included puzzle mode (which provides brain teasers) and Survival modes. However, this time around the developers have thrown in Onslaught and Crossing the Nile. Onslaught is similar to the classic Luxor gameplay, but now obstacles (such as statues that regenerate a minute or so after being hit) which adds quite a bit of challenge. Crossing the Nile has players trying to shoot a scarab across the river, but the path is blocked by numerous orbs. These new modes are fun, and Mumbo Jumbo has clearly come up with some interesting ways to extend the traditional gameplay.

Luxor 3 offers all of the power-ups of the previous games, but also offers some new ones such as Match highlighter (which will make it obvious as to where a good place to shoot your current orb is) as well as a Pyramid blocker which will help out in tight situations. In addition to collecting power-ups and jewels (which add to your overall score) players must collect Ankh coins as well. Luxor 3 offers a store in which power-ups can be upgraded, new set pieces can be purchased (changing the aesthetic of your orb launcher) and other items can be bought as well. This adds some great replay value to the game.

Though there are few casual game developers out there that can match the precedents consistently set by PopCap Games, MumboJumbo is certainly getting closer and closer with their Luxor series. If you’re a fan of the previous games or are looking for a fun puzzle game to suck away an afternoon, Luxor 3 is a great bet. Thanks to its eye catching graphics and long adventure mode, gamers are sure to continue playing this one until the inevitable sequel comes out.

Overall Rating: 9.00

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