An official version of Luxor has finally arrived into the App Store tonight and is the first non-Ngmoco game to use their Plus+ social network.
Luxor is a popular match-3 ball shooter similar to Zuma but with the ball launcher mounted along the bottom of the screen rather than the center. Luxor was first released in 2005 and claims to be the "#1 Marble Shooter Game of All Time". The game has spawned a number of sequels and the prominent iPhone clone Stone Loops that we (and many of our readers) quite enjoyed.
The iPhone version of Luxor is a high quality production with beautiful graphics and a number of control options. The game offers 3 different control mechanisms:
- Slide to move, tap to fire, swipe down to swap balls.
- Slide to move, release finger to fire, shake device to swap balls.
- Tilt to move, tap to fire, tap with two fingers to swap balls.
Luxor offers only one game mode which takes you across 88 levels of an Egyptian-themed map. The game comes with the usual collection of powerups such as fireballs, lightning bolts, and more. This developer video shows the game off:
Luxor's implementation of Ngmoco's Plus+ network, however, is a bit disappointing. While it offers online achievements and global leaderboards, it doesn't take advantage of the challenge system which makes Plus+ so interesting.
With the arrival of Luxor also comes a lively forum debate about which iPhone marble matching game reigns supreme. The contenders appear to be Luxor [$2.99], Stone Loops [$0.99 / Lite] and newcomer Atlantis Sky Patrol [$2.99].
Naturally, early-adopting Luxor fans feel it delivers the best marble experience. While I'll concede Luxor's graphics are nicer than Stone Loops, I'd be hard pressed to say that most casual gamers would be able to tell a big difference in the gameplay between the two titles. Luxor, however, does deliver a solid but straightforward port of the popular franchise which will please long time fans.
App Store Link: Luxor, $2.99