Luxor 2 is an updated version of the popular action puzzle game. The general idea is that a small scarab is pushing a string of little spheres. You destroy the spheres by shooting matching ones into the moving set of spheres. It's a very straight forward game that requires timing, strategy and skill to succeed.
The main game is divided into stages. Each stage contains a number of levels. You must complete all levels in the stage to advance to the next. Whenever you restart the game, any stage you have completed is available as a starting point.
So what's new with Luxor 2? The graphics have been upgraded, and the layouts are brand new. The music has been changed too. Also new are badges which are awarded for reaching certain goals in the game. Some of the badges are easy to earn and others are quite difficult.
In Luxor, destroying all of the spheres caused the scarab to turn into one gem. Now the closer you can destroy a set of spheres to the entry point, the more treasure will fall. You are still guaranteed one piece of treasure if you can destroy the spheres before either they escape through the temple or the scarab is squashed by another set of spheres. You get another bonus at the end of the level based on the distance from the temple the spheres were. While the game calculates this bonus, extra coins and treasure will drop. Another bonus is for accuracy. If you can finish a level always making at least one match, you get a significant number of bonus points.
The end of each stage is a bonus round. During this round, you use little daggers to destroy the spheres. So you never need worry about the colour of the spheres, but you do have to prevent them from escaping. You get a bonus for a perfect round where all of the spheres are destroyed.
The biggest change is that in Luxor 2, there are three modes of play and four levels of difficulty in the main adventure mode. The fourth level of difficulty must be unlocked during play. I believe you would have to successfully complete the Expert challenge but I haven't finished that yet. The screenshots below show level 1-2 at Easy, Normal and Expert. The main difference is that the game makes a level more challenging by adding more colours. The difference between easy and normal is that normal has pink spheres also. Expert adds white spheres at the same level. More colours makes matching more difficult.
Adventure is the base game. It is in adventure mode that you move along a map, unlock new levels, win new badges and building a score for the High Score board. When you complete all the levels in all the stages, you will have a chance to take that score and any extra lives up to the next level of difficulty. So you may finish Easy and move to Normal with 17 lives and 12,000,000 points (but only if you say you want to continue the game.)
Practice mode allows you to play one specific layout from the game. Only layouts that you have unlocked in Adventure mode will be available for practice. During practice, you'll gain scores much as in Adventure mode. Both treasures and power-ups will drop. But there are no coins and no spare lives. The aim of practice mode is to get as many points as you can from a single life.
Survival mode is much the same as practice. The difference is that there are no levels to finish and no breaks. The spheres will just keep coming until you fail and the spheres escape out of the pyramid. Once you fail, you get an overall score for the layout and you'll find how that compares to previous scores.
Small bug. If you look at the complete set of game statistics, you'll see the last couple of colours are orange and turquoise. They are in the wrong order here, the turquiose is the last colour that will be unlocked in the game. So stats about orange and turquiose are inversed.
If you own Luxor, you may wonder if you need to buy this version. The answer is, if you regularly play Luxor, you should. With more levels of difficulty and more modes of play, this game has more variety then the original. Especially nice is being able to practice one of the maps that gives you trouble.
If you haven't played Luxor yet, you might want to download the trial version. It's light entertainment and easy to learn. You can stop playing at any point and your progress is saved.
Final game rating 4 stars.
I have tried other versions of the match 3 in a moving set games. None of them has worked as well for me as Luxor. Your mileage may vary.