I play a lot of word games. Competitive, singleplayer, silly, serious... I like messing around with all the weird and wonderful combinations the English language has to offer. I am used to the ebb and flow of word games, to the way consonants feel, to the hunt for vowels. They comfort me. Which is why discovering that Lumicon is unforgivingly difficult right off the bat was like a smack into a refreshing brick wall.
The game moves very, very quickly. Initial instincts to look at the letters in the gutter and carefully think of a word to build will not serve you well. Letters need to be moving into the playable rows at all times. A second of hesitance, or one moment of poor decision, starting a new row, can lead to an almost instant downfall.
I'm not used to work games being frenetic and punishing. Surprisingly, it's a nice change of pace. The longer your words are, the higher your score will be, yes, but that's a secondary skill. First you need to learn to think quickly, on your toes, and deal with whatever letters come your way. A run without consonants or without vowels can be hard to overcome, though with careful planning you stand a chance.
Ultimately, like Tetris you will lose at Lumicon. It's just a question of how long you can hold on.
Lumicon ($1.99) [iTunes App Store]