There are various ways of playing Luxor 3. You can match spheres here and there, hoping to make points and get cool stuff once in a while, but as the game gets harder, you'll likely need to add in some strategy into your gameplay. There is a logic when obtaining the power ups in Luxor and this guide will help you with some strategy tips. It took me some time to figure out how to get, for instance, a fireball (I love that one) every time I wanted one. So I started studying some patterns.
How To Get A Power-Up
It is simple enough. The goal in Luxor is to make matches with your own spheres and the ones lined up in a moving string. A match can be done when you hit a group of 2+ spheres with one of yours being of the same color. The Gods appreciate when you make several matches in a row and will reward you with a power up when you complete your 3rd match in a series. The matches may accumulate beyond 3 so you can get a power up after your 6th, 9th, 12th match, etc. But be careful, the number of matches will get reset 1) if you miss your shot and 2) if you have no other choice but to add spheres to singles on a string. At times I find it better to create pairs into a string before starting to eliminate spheres altogether, just so I can get many power ups in a short time.
In the above screen it is possible to make 3 matches by hitting the black pair with a black sphere, then the red ones will collapse together and finally the blue ones will collapse as well. These blue spheres would constitute your 3rd match and a power up would be thrown in the air right after the match is made. Your job is then to catch it if you wish to use it.
The Luxor 3 store
The Simple Power-Ups
Luxor 3 is fun because you accumulate Ankh coins while playing and these coins can be used in the store to increase the potency of power ups. At first you may wonder which power ups you feel like improving. They all start at the "small" status: either they affect only a few spheres or they last only 2 seconds. But as you "shop" to upgrade them, you can get them to "medium", "large" and "huge" status. A fireball's range can then be increased, or a slowing effect will be longer. At the beginning of the game, only a few power ups are available during gameplay and inside the store. The other ones are locked until you reach a certain level (which I do not know by heart). In the first levels you may have the pleasure of using and upgrade in store (their properties are listed for their maximum power, as I fully upgraded all of them):
Lightning bolt : has a vertical blasting effect of roughly 4 spheres width for the whole screen's height
Slow : slows down the speed of the strings for 5 seconds
Net : catches all the game drops (coins, gems, power ups) for 35 seconds
Reverse : reverses the strings for 5 seconds
Fireball : has a circular blasting effect of roughly 8 spheres in diameter
Speed shot : shows the firing target for 20 seconds
Stop : stops the strings for 5 seconds
The more you play, the more difficult the game becomes. Colors are added into Set's strings and more power ups are also available. The first levels include blue, green, red and yellow spheres, but further levels will introduce purple, white and black spheres. Very advanced levels will incorporate light blue and orange spheres. What you may buy in store is (again, the properties are listed for the maximum power):
Color cloud : changes all the spheres in its radius to the color selected by the power up (in this case yellow), the range being roughly 8 spheres in diameter
Scorpion : destroys a maximum of 20 spheres in the string that is closest to the pyramid
Match highlighter : shows where you can make a match in the whole screen for 20 seconds
Pyramid blocker : blocks the entrance to the pyramid and blasts a maximum of 20 spheres
How to add strategy into your gameplay
Some power ups are not available for upgrade in store. They will appear when making a 3rd consecutive match as you play, however. When playing at first, I did not really understand why or how I would get power ups until I realized they were linked to the color of the spheres used to make a 3rd match in a row. I find it a lot more efficient and fun to plan gaming by selecting which power up will be the most appropriate at one point in a level. This is where the list I made of all the power ups that are available in game, associated with their sphere color, can help you:
Blue = Lightning bolt, Slow (see descriptions above)
Red = Fireball, Speed shot (see descriptions above)
Green = Net, Reverse (see descriptions above)
Yellow = Stop (see description above), Wild sphere : it can be of any color so it either creates a match or helps you make a match later in the level
Purple = Scorpion (see description above), Color bomb : eliminates all the spheres of the selected color on the screen (in this case white)
White = Color cloud (see description above), Color replacer : switches all the spheres of your target's color to the one selected by the power up (in this case green)
Black = Match highlighter, Pyramid blocker (see descriptions above)
Light blue = Color sort : regroups all the spheres of the same color on each string in the screen
Orange = Sandstorm : wipes spheres from the bottom to roughly the middle of the screen, on the whole screen width
I hope this guide will help you to plan your powers and to have more fun in the game. Knowing these details helped me complete the "hard" quest with ease within a few days. I am confident that I will complete the "insane" quest almost as easily. It's not that I don't enjoy some challenge from time to time, but feeling frustrated because I can't finish a level is just too annoying. Have fun defeating Set!
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