With Tetris Effect being one of my games of the generation, I actively look out for games that I think are satisfying or aesthetically pleasing. Games where gameplay, visuals and sound come together in such a way that makes you smile or pulls you into the experience. Mixolumia, a new indie puzzle game, is exactly that. It is a fun twist on a match 3 / block alignment game that has kept me coming back for more.
The key to Mixolumia is in its playing area. Its a diamond with a pointy bottom. Blocks of four cubes descend from the top and you’ll be slotting them into place to either line up three or more of the same type together or square blocks of four. The key is that because the bottom is skewed, everything is lined up at 45 degrees and this means blocks will slide down the rooftop of your blocks and slot into place where they land. It is such a simple twist but it utterly changes how you play a block matching game. Sometimes it’ll work to your advantage and others its costly but at all times your brain is thinking ‘will it slide?’
Where the pleasing aspects come in is that Mixolumia has 25 palettes and a few songs to play along to at launch. As you create links or combos, pixel fireworks explode around the screen and the game speed starts to increase. As the speed increases, this can trigger the next musical phase. This will often see an ambient track slowly turn into something more electronic based. The music doesn’t have tons of layers to it and the game lacks lots of tracks but the premise and idea works superbly well.
The game modes are often about trying to clear 455 blocks. The speeding up of the game lines up with this and as you create combos, seeing all your blocks slide and crash into each other and then vanish feels fantastic. It is even better when it goes to plan as often big chains are surprises! Outside of that there is a two minute score attack mode with music designed for especially for that mode too. You also have a zen mode with no game over state (nowhere to place blocks) and no speed increase so if you need to unwind, Mixolumia has you covered. Across the competitive variants there are local and online leaderboards to keep you busy too as you switch up all of the different palettes to see which ones work for you best.
Where Mixolumia may not have you covered is if you want anything beyond that. There is no multiplayer option which the game seems primed for nor is there anything else outside of what you see on your first go. I’d have liked to have seen unlockable board shapes that could switch things up just like how Chime works as some very simple switch ups could infinitely expand its replayability. What is fun is that the Mixolumia site has instructions for how to create your own palettes and music and then insert them into the game. It is something I’m definitely going to explore – who knows – they may end up added to the real thing!
An absolute joy to play, the base of Mixolumia is superb. Some addition modes or variants would greatly improve its longevity but if you are looking for an addictive and zen like block puzzler – this needs to be on your list.
Perfectly pitched as a puzzle game, Mixolumia is one of the best puzzle experiences I've played in recent years.
Excellent puzzle design.
The palettes and music work in sync with the game itself.
Local and online leaderboards keep you returning back for more.
Customisation is available if you have the skill.
Lacking additional options outside of the admittedly superb base experience.
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