Review: Meteos

DS Review


is brought to you by Q Entertainment, a development studio founded last year by Tetsuya Mizuguchi. The name should set bells ringing; he gave the Dreamcast Space Channel 5 and the PS2 an infamous little title named Rez. Q's only other game was also a handheld puzzle game; Lumines has wowed PSP owners since release. With this sort of pedigree behind it, Meteos was always going to be something special.

Meteos is a really unique game. There isn't any other puzzle game around that is like this and that is mainly all down to the Nintendo DS and the use of its touch screen. The game was designed with a fast pace and fast reactions in mind, a point emphasised when you try playing the game with the D-pad. You just won't keep up with the blocks.

Blocks? Yes, like countless other puzzle games, Meteos does feature falling blocks, but the way they are used is very different. As the blocks land on the bottom screen and stack up, the player has the ability to move them up and down in a column. If you manage to set up three or more of the same blocks in a horizontal or vertical line, then the blocks will be shot up the screen by rocket boosters. If the blocks are pushed off the bottom screen, they will be shot into the planet you are battling against. These are the basics of the game, but it's so much deeper when you crack open the shell.

Planets have a huge factor on the way the game will play. Each planet has its own type of music, blocks and gravity. The fire planet Firim has blocks that glitter like liquid and very strong gravity that will make pushing blocks back into space harder than it normally would be, on the other hand you have planets like Vubble that have hardly any gravity, this makes blocks just simply fly away. To make things a bit more twisted for the player, you'll have to make sure you fully push the blocks off the screen, if you don't then the blocks go black and you have a stack of worthless blocks coming back down at you.

The games presentation is fantastic and extremely colourful. Masahiro Sakurai (of Smash Brothers fame) was the designer for Meteos and it really shows. The menus tab up at the side and the game even comes with a stat page that is just ripped right out of SSB. The graphics are simplistic but really are beautiful works of art. Every planet has its own style of block. Everything is distinctive.

Mizuguchi is well known for sticking extraordinary soundtracks into his games. Lumines was highly praised because of the way it fused music into the game and Meteos is no different. As with Rez and Lumines, Meteos combines actually gameplay into the music. Making a successful connection of blocks sets off the boosters that result in a sound effect that mixes into the music; all done flawlessly. It's the same for every planet - and it will take you a good time to eventually hear the last one.

Meteos will last you for pleasingly lengthy period of time. And it's not just because it's awfully addictive; there is a titanic amount of unlockables for the player to grab and the only way you can get these is by playing the game. Every single Meteos block that you shoot off the screen is stored in your Meteos bank; with these stored you can use them to unlock music, planets and weapons. Not all unlockables are done through buying; some are also unlocked through the stats page, which contains some unusual recordings too (how many times you've booted Meteos etc.). Then you have your standard stats like how many certain blocks you have launched, how long you have played and how many multiplayer games you've played.

Multiplayer can be played with either a single or multiple carts, although the former limits you to just four planets. Multiplayer is virtually the same as the single player; there isn't anything different except that you are playing with other people, if you want to be sneaky you can even look at your opponents stack by changing the view on the top screen. Stats are also only collected with multiple carts, so if you want the full experience of multiplayer Meteos, tell your friends to go buy the game.

But how does Meteos stack against the greats of the puzzle genre? Extremely well: the innovation advances the genre. The use of the touch screen is put to maximum effect and you never seem to have any problems using it. Reports have appeared that you can just randomly doodle on the touch screen and you'll get through the game fine, but really when it comes down to it, it's all just a bit of luck and you won't get rewarded with it.

The DS has had a lot of puzzlers in a short space of time, but none quite as amazing and unique as this. And really it's not just puzzlers that Meteos kicks in the teeth; it is probably the DS game to own right now. I'd even put it up there past Ninty's floaty pink hero. I just can't emphasize enough that you must own this title; miss it at your own risk. Because a risk it would be.

N-Europe Final Verdict

Meteos is the must own game for the DS at the moment. Its distinctive presentation is gorgeous, its sound is mesmerising and its gameplay is tremendously addictive. Buy it without hesitation.

  • Gameplay5
  • Playability5
  • Visuals4
  • Audio5
  • Lifespan5
Final Score



Outstanding, unique puzzling
Fantastic soundtrack
The definition of fun


Sounds can drown out the music
Trying to actually think of more

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