Dallas-based casual games developer MumboJumbo is running a special for all of its titles at the moment with most marked down “90%,” and only costing $0.99, as celebratory promotion for it’s newest game, Luxor: Amun Rising HD. In fact, it was enough to bring the game all the way up to #21 on the iPad’s paid apps list. Available on both the iPhone and iPad for the same dollar price tag, the game is the successor to a much older title of MumboJumbo’s, LUXOR.
A variation on the match-three style of game, Amun Rising is basically like PopCap’s Zuma with players launching multi-colored balls at a string of advancing ones. The core of the game is still like Zuma’s, but Luxor differentiates itself with a slew of power-ups, new levels, and an altered variation of challenge.
In the game, for whatever reason or another, the Egyptian god Set is trying to destroy Egypt with the most horrid of all concoctions: Dozens and dozens of multi-hued balls guided by sinister scarabs of doom. Players guide a launcher with their finger, Breakout-style, and attempt to match three orbs of the same color in order to remove them before any reach the end of the level’s track.
The launcher holds two colored orbs at any time that may be swapped between using a downward swipe. The player launches balls with a tap. When the player removes three or more orbs, points are accumulated, with combos occurring whenever the removed colors allow another set of same colors to connect for three or more.
Each level changes things up a bit. In Zuma, players are given only one elongated chain of colors to remove. With Amun Rising, there are multiple chains that appear based on a timer (unless the prior chain is cleared, in which case the next chain comes immediately). The challenge comes on two-levels. First, each level becomes more intricate and winds the chain around more labyrinthine twists and turns that prevent players from being able to make a connection with the orbs on the launcher.
To mitigate some of the challenge, players do have access to power-ups that might give them the power to halt the chain, the ability to reverse the direction of the chain temporarily, remove all balls of a specific color, and so on.
For all of its polish, the point of the game is just to achieve a high score. Connected to Game Center, these leaderboards add to the game’s longevity. What is interesting is that scores are augmented by the difficulty level the player sets the game to, with harder levels bringing more points.
To raise scores even higher, players can catch falling gems that appear after a chain is removed or when the level is finished. Beyond this, there are three different game modes including adventure mode, a survival mode that goes on until the user fails or a practice mode containing all levels unlocked in the adventure mode.
If there was anything to complain about with Amun Rising, it’s that the game just isn’t all that original. It’s basically a variation on Zuma. While there are power-ups and new levels, it still feels stagnant in terms of design. Nevertheless, Luxor: Amun Rising HD is still a fairly decent title and a pretty good bargain at its current $0.99 price tag.