TGL is looking back at our favourite games of 2012. Next up – Q Entertainment’s “Lumines Electronic Symphony”.

Lumines Electronic Symphony was originally released back in February as a PlayStation Vita launch title.

As reassuringly familiar as Vita’s hardware launch titles were, Lumines was up there with Uncharted and WipEout as one of the first must have established franchise expansions for Sony’s next gen portable. I positively loved Lumines on PSP; Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s clever advanced slant on the long established Tetris formula was as uniquely addictive as it was positively familiar. Lumines Electronic Symphony on Vita builds on Lumines’ unique charm and offers up a Vita must buy for puzzle enthusiasts and gamers who enjoy both marathons and sprints from they’re age old gaming formulas.

If you’ve played a Lumines game before then you know exactly what’s going on. The goal is pretty straight forward. You must arrange and alter the falling multi-coloured blocks to make solid-coloured squares, all the while timing your coloured matches to the beats and pulses of the music that underscores the particular level you are on. Now, the gameplay doesn’t really advance beyond this but that’s ok because it is the music that really layers the experience. It must be a very daunting task to actually attempt to compile a track list for a Lumines. The music and gameplay must sync to perfection, otherwise it just won’t work. I’m not a dance or house music enthusiast in the slightest but Electronic Symphony is turning me. The fusion of gameplay, pulsating music and beautifully abstract and flush neon visuals make L.E.S one of the most intoxicating experiences you’ll ever take to on a handheld. It’s positively unforgiving at the best of times, but given how rewarding and infectious the experience is, you’ll keep going until you can go no more. And even after that, there’s an element of pick up and play that bests every other game on Vita to date. It’s great in short bursts and great in longer sessions.

But it’s not just about manipulating the rotating blocks, it’s about manipulating the music. A vibrating white line with gravitate from left to right of your screen and will eliminate any combinations of blocks you have compiled. When you rank up the bigger combos, everything gets very busy on screen and it’s quite the sight to behold. There are some beautiful light shows to be unearthed, complimented by the lush colours and visual kaleidoscopic energy. It’s really worth trying to master this game. It’s the definition of rewarding. It’s fantastic.

There’s over 30 renowned artists bulking out the game’s musical set list including The Chemical Brothers, LCD Soundsystem, Goldfrapp and Mylo. Just why Daft Punk are not in there is anyone’s guess, however we understand that Lumines and Daft Punk were at one time working together on something before it fell through. Let’s pray Daft Punk L.E.S DLC gets added to this. Daft Punk would be a perfect match for Lumines.

There’s plenty to do, see and earn, including new skins, new music, in-game rewards and challenging your friends in 2 play ad hoc multi-player modes. Lumines never lets up for a second. There’s strength in depth here.

Buy this. Buy it now. Lumines Electronic Symphony is a beautiful game and a wonderful experience. It’s easily one of Vita’s best games. It would be criminal to deny yourself this.