You’re sitting in the aisle sit on the plane, you still have roughly seven more hours to go before your bird lands and you’re: a) not sleepy at all, but also b) not in the mood for any plot crap. What do you do?
Before I came to live in Barcelona, I was traveling across continents at least twice a year on average. Depending on how cheap my flights were I would have horrible 10+ hour layovers and flights with really crappy entertainment options. Had I not been prepared with a laptop, those hours would’ve been a true waste of time.
After living in Barcelona for 3 years, I got a resident status, which in turn meant I could finally leave the country without requiring a return authorization. I’d been so scared of leaving Spain since 2015, the only way I could see my family was when they came to visit me.
Naturally, one of the first things I did after getting my resident card was to book a flight to Panama for the holidays, and when I hopped on a plane for the first time in so long, I discovered my laptop had been replaced by my brand-spanking-new Nintendo Switch.
I had a direct flight from Madrid to Panama and I couldn’t care less about any of the in-flight entertainment. Having spent most of my time playing heavy action games like Dark Souls and Furi, I just wanted to play something easy; the equivalent of putting my brain on auto-pilot.
That’s when I got hooked on Lumines Remastered, a souped-up version of the classic PSP puzzler that changes the Tetris formula just enough to become it’s own thing and is accompanied by an addictive soundtrack to boot.
I had played the original on my brother’s PlayStation Portable many years before I began backpacking, but I only discovered it was available on Switch the night before my flight. I took a chance on the game (and its discount) and found that the magic was still there and then some.
Everything in Lumines is based on the music and the rhythm. You have a “timeline” that’s basically a vertical line that moves across the screen as you stack and pair two-colored squares to form shapes of the same color. Whenever a square or bigger shape is formed using only one color, the game will take it out of the game screen, but only after the timeline has passed over, wiping out the shape from the board in the process.
To most people, the timeline won’t mean anything. The first few levels are easy enough that you can start making single-colored shapes and not worry about that vertical line at all, however, as you progress through the levels, you’ll find that knowing when to drop a square before or after the timeline passes is paramount to beating the game with a decent score and getting out of sticky situations.
I loved the 12 or so hours I spent with the game, between layovers and actual time on board my flight. The game was so easy to pick up, I took breaks between meals and a nap, came back to it and didn’t even feel the hours fly (sorry) by.
The music is catchy and I’m always looking to beat my best score to reach even crazier block patterns. Currently, my favorite is the gold and chocolate theme, which makes me hungry every time and looks absolutely delightful on my small Switch screen.
Maybe I should make a series of post based solely on light games that are easy to pick up and play during flights or long bus rides?