Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
There's an inherent flaw in games like Luxor HD. No matter how good the game may be, no matter how crisp the graphics or how clever the sound effects or how spot-on the controls, it's still a game that has been done before. It's a copy, and not even one that brings anything particularly new to the genre. Add to that a price point that is way out of line with most games on the App Store and you have a game that defies recommendation.
If you've never played Popcap's Zuma, you may find Luxor HD new and interesting. Otherwise, all you'll think when you start playing the game is, "Oh! This is Zuma!" and maybe you'll mutter a few curses for paying for a game you've played a million times before. Truth to tell, however - Popcap has yet to translate Zuma to the iPad, so if you are looking for that exact sort of gaming experience, you could certainly do worse than Luxor HD.
Like Zuma, the object of Luxor HD is to fire colored marbles into rows of ever-encroaching marbles. Match three of the same color and they are removed from the board as the remaining marbles retreat a bit from their final destination. The object is to keep these rolling hoards of marbles from ever reaching your home base. You can fire your marbles using a reticule (a difficult task using the iPad's touch interface) or the more conventional "beam" pointer like Zuma. This latter alternative was much more effective for me and showed that this type of game can work fairly well on the iPad.
The trappings surrounding Luxor HD - graphics, sounds, etc - are all well done and as thematically sound as they can be in a game about firing colored marbles at other colored marbles. There are achievements in the game, but oddly there is no integration with Gamecenter or any similar service. This is a very bland PC port given only the slightest upgrade for a touch interface, and things like Gamecenter have become the defacto standard for all games released today.
Finally, I cannot emphasize enough how overpriced Luxor HD is. $9.99 for a simple arcade-style game, no matter how well realized, is just too much to ask. I suggest waiting for the inevitable release of Zuma for the iPad.