SEATTLE--What's a good new handheld gaming system without a solid puzzle game to back it up? Nothing, says Namco, who is readying a new version of the popular Mr. Driller series, entitled Mr. Driller Drill Spirits, for launch in November on the Nintendo DS. We got a chance to check out a version of the game today at Nintendo's Gamer's Summit.
From what we saw, Drill Spirits does in fact adhere closely to the classic Mr. Driller formula. You drill downward through colored blocks, attempting to capture capsules buried at key locations in the rock and avoid falling blocks from overhead. The biggest new addition to this game seems to be the pressure mode, which has a giant drill on the top screen burrowing down after you, forcing you to drill down yourself faster than you would in the regular game. Several playable characters, such as Puchi, Holinger-Z, Ataru and Taizo were available for play, each of them tailored to varying skill levels based on their own speed and other abilities.
So far, Mr. Driller takes advantage of the DS' two screens by extending the game board vertically across both of them, which gives you the advantage of being able to see more of what's about to fall down and crush you. This definitely helps in the pressure mode, since you're being pursued vigorously by that nasty drill. The game has a cutesy look rendered in 2D that's consistent with the series, so it's not pushing the DS very hard--but hey, puzzle games aren't about graphics. We'll bring you more on Mr. Driller Drill Spirits soon.
For more updates on the Nintendo DS and other impressions and media, check out GameSpot's coverage of Nintendo's Gamer's Summit.