Shippin' Out May 5-9: Boom Blox

Nintendo puzzlers loom large as Spielberg-supervised Wii game arrives alongside Crosswords DS and Virtual Console Pokemon Puzzle League.


Pokemon Puzzle League
Brain Voyage
Speed Racer

It's been feast or famine on the new release shelves of game stores of late. Last month saw weeks headlined by the first current-gen retail releases in the Grand Theft Auto, Mario Kart, and Gran Turismo series, but it also had weeks where the biggest games coming out included Pokemon Mystery Dungeon and the Nippon Ichi PlayStation 2 turn-based RPG Mana Khemia.

This week is a little of both. On the feast side, Steven Spielberg makes his long-awaited entry into games proper with Boom Blox for the Wii. Over the course of hundreds of single- and multiplayer levels, players must fulfill a number of objectives amid Jengalike towers of blocks. Some levels see players trying to level the towers by throwing balls at them, others require moving blocks around or protecting towers from the advances of the game's distinctly cubed fauna.

Puzzle games on Nintendo systems are something of a theme this week, as the Nintendo DS welcomes the release of Crosswords DS and Brain Voyage, while the Wii's Virtual Console gets the Nintendo 64 game Pokemon Puzzle League (a revamped version of the Tetris Attacks gameplay). Pokemon Puzzle League sells for 1,000 Wii points ($10), while the week's other Virtual Console release, the NES game Renegade, commands a price of 500 Wii points ($5).

Xbox 360 owners will also get a downloadable game this week, as Wits & Wagers arrives Wednesday on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Based on the board game of the same name, Wits & Wagers combines trivia tests with social gaming and betting. Playable by up to six players online the game supports the Xbox 360 Big Button controllers packed in with Scene-It, and will sell for 800 Microsoft points ($10).

Rounding out the week's new releases are Wii and DS adaptations of the new Speed Racer feature film, a Gold edition of Atari's PC role-playing game Neverwinter Nights 2, and the PlayStation Portable strategy game R-Type Command.

This week's new releases are listed below (list compiled from publisher and retailer information--actual dates may vary).

MAY 5, 2008
Pokemon Puzzle League (Wii Virtual Console)
Renegade (Wii Virtual Console)
Crosswords DS (DS)

MAY 6, 2008
Boom Blox (Wii)
Brain Voyage (DS)
Speed Racer (Wii, DS)
The Dog Island (Wii, PS2)
Neverwinter Nights 2 Gold (PC)
R-Type Command (PSP)
Iron Man (PC)

MAY 7, 2008
Wits & Wagers (Xbox Live Arcade)

MAY 8, 2008
Sony had not revealed its PlayStation Network update as of press time.

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