Combining a Tetris feel in a synaesthesia of sound and simple gameplay, Lumines is additive as well as challenging.
Basic gameplay consists of combining colored squares on a grid. Matching colors in a 2×2 or more square get highlighted and disappear as the “timeline” sweeps over them. The “timeline” works on a fixed integral and constantly removes collections of matching colors. New blocks are introduced, and thus need to be placed, according to the tempo of the background song.
Additional modes can be played using the gameplay template. Several different single player modes are playable like time attack, where the player tries to make as many blocks as possible in a fixed time limit and challenge mode where the player tries to last as long as possible. Lumines also has two different multiplayer modes, one where two different PSPs can connect and play, and another where a single player can fight against the game itself. Both use a spilt screen approach where the the player wins by matching more colors which gains that side an extra column of play.