Review: Luxor AR– Beautiful game, really bad software

Luxor AR Title Screen

I like video games — puzzle, breakout like, adventure, RPG, etc… (but not, oddly FPS games).

And I would really like to recommend MumboJumbo’s Luxor: Amun Rising to everyone who likes puzzle type games with a bit of action thrown in.

It is a beautifully executed combination of breakout and a puzzle game. A simple “match the colors” game, but with the ability to set up chain reactions and the like. The animated bits and backgrounds are all well designed, the game play is fluid and quite enjoyable, and — a rarity for me — I actually enjoyed the soundtrack.

But, alas, I cannot recommend this game to other Mac users to anyone for it has two fatal flaws:

The game crashes frequently on a MacBook Pro. Fortunately, it doesn’t often crash during actual game play, but the game will lose saved games. While you don’t have to repeat previously completed levels, you do lose your score, etc.

Luxor AR Game Play

Next, the game requires administrator privileges to run. Why? Because it saves game data in /Library/Application Support/ and non-administrative users cannot write to that directory.

Worse, the game does not give any warning or error when it can’t save game data. It just doesn’t save anything at all; you have to start over at the beginning of the 88 levels upon next launch.

Boo. An otherwise excellent game is utterly destroyed by two glaring flaws; one a simple bug and the other simply not understanding how the targeted platform works.

Update: I have contacted customer support and they have followed up very quickly, asking specific questions to narrow down the problem. So far, the company has been extremely responsive!!


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4 Responses to “Review: Luxor AR– Beautiful game, really bad software”

  1. Michael Rawdon says:

    This is why I always work as a non-administrative user on Mac OS X: So I can complain loudly when something unreasonably requires administrative privileges to run.

  2. Ben says:

    This game would appear to be the same as Zuma by PopCap, the one available for iPods. It’s pretty addictive and I believe is also available for desktop use.

  3. bbum says:

    Neat! Same theme, but very different details. The ball shooter in Zuma is fixed on screen, but spins. Luxor’s is more breakout like, moving back and forth at the bottom of the screen and shooting straight up. The level layout of the two seem to be slightly different in design, as a result — Luxor has one or two tracks with multiple chains per track whereas zuma appears to have up to several tracks with continuous ball chains on each.

    Luxor has 80+ levels, but many of them have the same layout and graphics, but slightly different parameters of play. Zuma appears to have 20 levels, but each level is completely unique.

    I might have to get zuma just to check it out.

  4. Ahruman says:

    There’s a very similar game called Alantis, which seemed to come out at almost the same time. I’m not sure of the releationship between them, or whether Atlantis is better-behaved.

    http://www.bigfishgames.com/mac/atlantisarcade/index.html

    bigfishgames.com also offers Luxor 2 for the PC. Hmm.

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