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December 3, 2005

{     Meteos (DS)     } The puzzle game has always been a perfect fit for handheld game systems. Tetris, the preeminent console puzzler, made the original Game Boy a must-own for folks who never gave a second thought to video games (remember the Father's Day ads?). A good puzzle game is so simple it can be fully understood within minutes of turning it on. That's why there are only two major types: the kind where shit falls from the sky and the kind where you rearrange shit that's already there. We don't even need to be told the rules: somehow we just know that three of a kind or a full row is good and that we need to clear this shit out of the way as soon as possible. The distinguishing characteristics between two examples of the puzzle genre are in the physics of how one goes about clearing this randomly colored bric-a-brac off the screen. Shit falls from the sky in Meteos, but the gameplay has more in common with rearrangement games like Panel de Pon or Bejeweled. There are colored blocks, and you put them in order. Yep, three in a row is good. Line up three of the same color and the bricks ignite like a bottle rocket, firing skywards. Because this is a DS game you'll use the stylus for this. The trick is you can only move the bricks up and down. The bricks you launch into space will fall into the screen of other players (or the computer players) in keeping with the "story" of Meteos in which adorable little 2-dimensional critters throw bricks at each other across space. The brilliance of the game is in the solid mechanics. You can elect to play as one of 32 different planets, which alters the game mechanics significantly. Building on the "bricks launching into space" idea each planet has slightly different rules. Some have higher gravity than others, and launched bricks inch slowly toward the sky. Some planets do not allow you to launch horizontal matches. Each one is slightly different, with different tile design and its own set of colors, but not so much as to be alienating. Admittedly, this game came out a good long while ago. Given the sparseness of the DS lineup in the first year of its release anyone who got the system on launch has probably already checked this out (or given up on the system altogether). Just in case you missed it, do yourself a favor and make sure your DS has a copy of Meteos close at hand.

     » Buy it...


Fuck you very much.
As if it wasn't hard enough to resist buying a DS already after playing Mario Kart, and anticipating the release of DS versions of Animal Crossing and Advance Wars (two of my favorite games of all time) you have to go and tell me that the puzzle-game hole that's been left in my soul since the days of Tetris and Bejeweled is simply waiting to be filled with the purchase of a DS and Meteos....
(Insert Nick Nolte as Han Solo voice here): "Aww hell Chewbacca, now I've got to go buy a goddamn Nintendo DS...."

Posted by: Adam Barraclough at December 4, 2005 10:01 PM

Theft is a legitimate and ethical option in this case.

Posted by: Aaron at December 4, 2005 10:17 PM
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