CTIA 2005 Aqua Stax First Look

We take a first look at InfoSpace Mobile's intriguing new puzzle game at CTIA.

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SAN FRANCISCO--When a game publisher describes their new product as "a cross between Tetris and Lemmings," it had better have a pretty killer presentation to back it up. Luckily, InfoSpace Mobile's Aqua Stax looks like the real deal--a brand-new puzzle game that actually has a halfway original concept behind it.

We weren't able to play Aqua Stax at this early date, but we did have a chance to look at the game's basic schematic and graphics. You try to preserve a bunch of little climbers, inexplicably called "gumblers," as they clamber up a hill towards a door in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. The problem is that the hill is steadily sinking into one of three types of liquids--water, lava, or sewage, depending on the level--which will instantly kill gumblers upon contact. So, you need to drop variously shaped and colored pieces on the top of the hill constantly, to build it up and keep the gumblers on their automatic beeline towards the door.

Things really start to get tricky when multiple gumblers end up on the hill at the same time--their behavior's always the same, just like the little rodents of Lemmings fame, but it's tricky to drop the pieces in such a way that'll keep them all alive and climbing. We can already see the addictive potential of Aqua Stax, which is due out in the spring of 2006. Our next step will be to bring you a hands-on demo as soon as we can.

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