Meteos is one of the best puzzlers to hit this side of the solar system in a long time.

User Rating: 9 | Meteos DS
Presenting: Meteos. A game that's not too difficult to describe. Basically, it looks like a Tetris Attack knock-off at first glance. However, your goal in this game is to take the pieces that are raining down from the top of the screen and send them back to where they came from, a process that never seems to become repetitive, no matter how much you do it. In Meteos, you have the task of rearranging a group of blocks that are raining down from the sky so that they form rows of three or more of the same block. Once you do so, they will launch off like rockets, carrying themselves and any other objects located on top of them towards the top of the screen. However, you can only move blocks vertically, and as you proceed, the number of objects raining from the sky increases until it becomes a near deluge. The fun in this game, as in all good puzzle games, comes from the challenge of creating combos to gain even more points and eliminate more blocks from the screen. Once a group of Meteos are in the air, you can arrange more of them to cause them to launch even higher into the sky, towards their goal at the top of the screen. The ability to do this becomes very important if one hopes to achieve truly high scores, as Meteos usually don't reach the top of the screen the first time that you launch them. You'll eventually end up playing on different planets, each of which has it's own unique gravitational pull. On some planets the blocks may move as though they're underwater. On other planets, blocks may reach the sky quickly, but they'll then fall down much more slowly. The desire to create more and more bigger and better combos is what makes this game so repayable. Once you figure out that doing so is the best way to get a higher score, you'll find yourself working harder and harder at it to see just how high you can get your scores to go. There are a few different modes of play to be found in the game. "Simple" works like the multiplayer mode, only you play against CPU opponents. There's the "Star Trip" mode, which is a basic one-player game in which you face off against a computer opponent and work to make them lose by launching your Meteos off of your screen and onto theirs as you travel from planet to planet towards your final goal. Then there's "Deluge" mode, where you attempt to earn the highest score possible in an endless game of Meteos on the planet of your choice. Time War is a selection of four different games that revolve around time limits. In two of them, you must try to score as much as possible within a time limit. In the other two, you have to launch a certain amount of Meteos as quickly as possible, the time in which you do so being your score. There's also a multiplayer mode for up to four people. You can even download a demo version of the game to another person's DS through DS Download play. Finally, you get to use all the Meteos that you launch in the "Fusion" area to create new things to play around with, like more planets or items to use during the game. As a final bonus, the game keeps track of several different statistics, such as how long you've been playing, or how many Meteos you've launched since you started playing the game. Meteos is a fine-looking game, with in-game visuals that are on par with any of the best looking games for the DS. Each different planet has it's own unique look to it, which gives the game a good deal of visual variety. There's even a bit of variety among the blocks, as they take on different forms on different planets. Of note however are the cutscenes that play at the beginning of the game. Oddly enough, they appear to be on a level with the sort of graphics that you would expect most current-gen consoles to be able to put out. Not that you'll see that much of them outside of the intro sequence, but they're still a sight to be seen on a system like the DS. The game sounds very good. Every planet has it's own music, which works very well with their different settings. Often times most of the music only plays when you launch a group of Meteos into the air. Otherwise, music usually sticks to a simple rhythm. It does change and get louder when the stacks of Meteos get closer to the top of the screen though, which is a very nice touch. The sound effects are all the basic crashes and explosions that you would expect from a game where your goal is to launch a bunch of space rocks back into the sky. It's all very well done, and there are never any moments where you notice any audio problems or anything like that. Meteos is a must-buy for the DS. It's the absolute best puzzle game that the system has seen so far, and it's gameplay is so fun that it looks to stay that way for a long, long time. Not only that, but it's very easy to learn when you start playing it, but shows more depth if you continue to play it. With the kind of replay value that it has, this game is not to be missed by anyone who has a Nintendo DS. You really owe it to yourself to pick this one up, as it's a real treat for anyone with a taste for puzzlers, or for fast-paced games that reward practice and dedication.

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