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Nintendo DS Review: Meteos

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Curse you, Tetsuya Mizuguchi! Unleashing Lumines on an unsuspecting public wasn’t enough? You had to make another incredible puzzle game?

Much as I’m loathe to admit it, Lumines drew from that Tetris vibe everyone is so fond of. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I’m just saying that it really wasn’t that original. (Not that there are very many ways you can make falling blocks seem interesting.) Meteos, in contrast, doesn’t really have any games you can compare it to. It’s also probably the only puzzle game with a plot of any form, let alone alternate endings. Basically, a giant eye is out killing planets by spewing blocks on them, and you’re the only one who can put a stop to it.

Unlike most other games in the genre, you don’t get to control the blocks as they appear. They just fall and fall, faster and faster. What you do get to do is use the stylus to move the blocks either up or down. Match three of the same kind of block (vertically or horizontally), and you jettison all of the blocks above them into the air. You’re basically in constant peril, because when there aren’t a lot of blocks on the screen you’re hard pressed to find a match, and when there are you can easily find a match but have nearly no time to do so. In short, I find playing to be exciting! Challenging, to be sure, but I can respect that.

BOTTOM LINE: Both of Mizuguchi’s puzzle games are good for different reasons, but that doesn’t diminish their quality.

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