Reviewed posted November 2005 by Ken Pradel
Q Entertainment has been taking over the
puzzle game industry recently. They quickly jumped on and took
full advantage of the next generation handheld gaming consoles.
Although they have only released two games, both have been
smashing hits. The first is the unique and creative music rhythm/puzzle
game Lumines for the Sony PSP. The second is Meteos, an addictive
puzzle game for the Nintendo DS. Although not as innovative
as Lumines, Meteos combines simple puzzle actions with a space
theme to create a solid, amusing, and challenging game.
Meteos takes the simplicity of traditional puzzle games, and
adds a twist on them. In this game, different colored blocks
called meteos fall into your field. You simply use the stylus
or the buttons to shift them vertically to form chains of three
or more. At this point, the linked meteos will transform into
rockets and launch themselves and any other meteos on top of
them. How far up it goes depends on how many blocks are stacked
up, and what level you are playing on. You play again the AI
players who are also launching meteos. During gameplay, any
meteos launched get sent to your opponent's side in order to
fill up their screen. The screen is filled, the game is over.
One of the more unique aspects of Meteos
is its levels. Instead of playing with numerical levels,
you play as one of 40 different planets. Each planet has
its own unique size, gravity, and colors of meteos. This
allows players to experiment with the different planets in
order to find favorites. There is also a variety of items
to help you out such as rocket boosts, bombs and hammers.
All these are unlocked through the Fusion Room. When you
finish a level, all meteos launched are counted and organized
by color. In the Fusion Room, they can be "fused" into
new goodies like sound tests, weapons, and even planets.
The game also has wireless multiplayer for up to four people
and works both with and without multiple copies of the game.
The only problem with download play is that only the initial
four planets are available, and it has a tendency to lag. However,
when each player has a copy of the game, it works just as well
as it would in single player mode.
The game can be played with both the touch screen and with
the buttons. However, the stylus playing seems to be the focus
and it quickly became my favorite way to play the game. Instead
of having to switch two meteos at a time to form your desired
link, you can quickly drag the meteo to its destination with
the stylus. This is especially useful later in the game as
you will be frantically searching for rows to launch once the
screen starts filling up.
As with most puzzle games, the graphics in this game are not
particularly impressive. Although each level has a unique,
colorful look to it, the quality of the graphics is rather
simplistic. The top screen serves little purpose. The only
time it is used during gameplay is to show the opponent's side
of the screen when it tarts to fill up. Besides that, it is
only used to display the results at the end of each level.
The music on all planets is quirky and fun. Each planet has
a unique set of sound effects and music to match its style.
For example, the robotic planets have some great sounding techno,
and the jungle ones have some cool drum tunes. The sound effects
also vary from planet to planet depending on the theme. This
combination helps set a good mood during gameplay.
Overall, both hardcore puzzle fans and casual gamers will
enjoy this game. It is easy to learn and doesn't require much
time commitment, but it is also quite challenging. In terms
of addictiveness and accessibility, you can safely call this
game the DS' Tetris. If you have a puzzle fan or find yourself
playing casual puzzle games more than you realize, Meteos will
provide a good fix while you are on the go or just need to
kill a few minutes.
Hints and Cheats
- If you need to rack up meteos for the
fusion room, use Heavendor. No matter how many meteos there
are stacked on top of the rocket, the whole thing will automatically
disappear when launched.
- Super rockets are your best friend. The
moment you can unlock it, do so. These will help you collect
more meteos for the fusion room faster as they will turn the
whole row they are on into rockets.
- Once in a while, a strange meteo may fall
into your screen and destroy the entire column it fell on.
These are a rare soul or time meteos. I would highly recommend
launching them as they are expensive to make in the fusion