Posts Tagged ‘q entertainment’

Game 15: Meteos

Posted: January 3, 2011 by mulholland in Games
Tags: , , , , ,

Game 650/1001 according to the list


Genre: Puzzle
Platform: Nintendo DS
Year of Release: 2005
Developer: Q Entertainment
Publisher: Nintendo and Bandai

Most puzzle games are hard to describe, no story, gameplay that doesn’t make sense outside of the puzzle, and just general weirdness… but here goes nothing.

Meteos is a puzzle game where blocks fall down. Rather than making them disappear by lining them up in some way, you have to line them up so they launch them back up. If they go above the screen boundary, they become missiles that fire at planets that, as far as I can tell, have done nothing wrong other than being in your way.

Planet-specific gravity and other rule changes means that there’s quite a bit of variety, and that it can be easy or hard to launch the blocks high enough or that you wait ages for the blocks to fall down so you can make more combinations.

Our Playthrough

We’ve played through a few of the different campaign modes and other options to get a feel for the game. Enough to get it, but it feels like it’ll take ages to really get all the nuances.

Our Thoughts

Aah Aah Aah I’m an alien from outer space! Let me throw random coloured blocks at you which become missles after passing through the ionosphere. PEW! PEW! PEW!

Yeah… and I’ll die after you throw some indeterminate number of missiles at me… either that or a random axe will appear on screen and demolish things. Or a bomb.

I’m going to be honest from the off… I love this game. It’s pretty good, a very interesting twist on the usual block-dropping games with a nice modern twist – this wouldn’t have worked on any DS predecessor.

It plays very well into addiction theory too. Sorry for the next few lines but out comes my inner psychologist (Please excuse me, I’ll get a drink and here’s me who sat listening intently during your Dune rant while you went off and did your own thing too. It balances out)

Addiction theory dictates that a task becomes more addictive when the rewards are distributed randomly rather than every time you complete a certain task. They found this with rats and humans in experimental conditions and it is believed to be a contributing factor in why video games can be addictive. Meteos falls into this category as in the first hour or so of playing this game it is basically ‘stylus mashing’ until you get a desired result which goes a long way to explaining why this game is particularly gripping. After you actually work out the combinations and tactics needed to make this game work for you… all the better. (Back)

Ah, yes, that’s one thing – I don’t think we’ve figured the game out completely yet, and that’s one of the bonuses. There’s a lot more to it and you keep getting that feel. Not that it’s difficult, it’s just that it seems like there’s more around the corner.

One thing that I love is how the game changes based on which planet you are battling. Such as gravity and which combinations work better and sometimes combinations that simply don’t work. The one where vertical combinations didn’t do anything seemed especially brutal. It helps when you work out multiple combinations where you can actually clear an entire board in about 4-5 well placed movements. Yeah, but you keep trying and basically learn again for every level, at least when you haven’t played for long yet.

Another thing that helps this game’s charm and differences are the graphics. The pieces change every level, based on the theme of the meteor you’re attacking, and while it matters little, the graphics add to making every game feel more distinctive. For the most part the most distinctive differences are between the ocean, forest and volcano planets where the look of the blocks follow suit. Personally those found on the forest worlds are the most beautiful and varied. Yeah. And the boss level ones add to the evil atmosphere, being ugly monsters whose movements can actually get quite distracting. Especially when that giant hammer comes out…

It’s an evil game, in its gameplay, ever so slightly changing rules, fun looks and sheer addictiveness.

Final Thoughts

For a fairly newish gaming developer it’s great to see that there are 6 games by Q Entertainment placed on this list… and I can not wait to try them all. Especially Lumines.

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