There are so many falling-block puzzle games that it can be hard to find something outstanding about one or the other. Meteos grabs your attention right out of the gate with a tweak to the mechanic so simple that it's surprising no one's done it before. Blocks fall down and, when lined up in threes by some click-and-dragging with the DS stylus, they fly back up. Rather than blinking or popping out of existence, the blocks actually rocket toward the top of the screen. Depending on the size of the payload, those blocks may not make it off the screen. At which point, you encounter the real fun of Meteos: juggling and combos.
Another slick gameplay trick is the ability to speed up the fall of blocks. If there aren't enough blocks on the screen to make good stacks, you can spin the clock in the corner and temporarily intensify the block rain.
The game has massive replay value with a dozen possible endings, three dozen different environments with variable physics, and unlockables that are purchased with the stores of blocks that you send off the screen during play. There are stats galore--HOORAY!--including number of times powered on, number of blocks launched, and number of versus games won.
Did I mention the multiplayer? Four players using one card. Instead of distributing your attack evenly amongst all four, you can focus all your launched blocks on a single opponent.
It's pretty, it's fun, and it has STATS! By far, my favorite puzzler on the DS. (This from a guy who has Tetris DS and Puyo Pop Fever as well.)
Date Reviewed: August 29, 2006
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