NINTENDO DS PREVIEW: MAGNETICA

The DS gets a little more puzzling this June. by Cole Smith

May 16, 2006 - For those that can't get enough puzzles in their life, Nintendo is upping the ante this year with an invasion of arcade-style puzzle games. Magnetica is one such game. Known as Puzz Loop in the arcades, and available in several different versions for free online, Magnetica on the DS offers many more features including the touch screen control system and the portability factor. Let's see your PC do that.

In Magnetica, marbles roll down a twisted spiral path toward the goal and players must stop them. When new marbles appear in the launcher, grab them with the stylus and fire them into the oncoming ones. If players match three or more of the same color, they will disappear. And since like colors attract one another, players can eliminate one color and cause others to crash into each other, forming massive chains of marble elimination.

Players connect marbles of the same color to eliminate them before they reach the end of the line. While game-play simplicity is the key to Magnetica - all actions are controlled with a flick of the stylus - skilled players will be able to form massive chains and use special items to rack up points.

Special powers/weapons/moves/features: In single-player modes, players can find items that will increase their score, slow or stop time, or reverse the course of the marbles. In Versus mode, players get access to an arsenal of weaponry with which to annoy their opponent: Ion Clouds (which create smoke screens), Recoils (which block marbles), Black Holes (which suck up launched marbles) and Gravitons (which alter the path of launched marbles.)

Three different single-player modes will keep players' styluses busy. Challenge mode features 99 levels on four difficulty settings, while Quest mode offers many different missions. Or forgo the timer and take on Puzzle mode, where players must eliminate all marbles on the screen with a limited supply of their own. Obstacles like wind, water, switches and multiple launchers add to the frantic fun.

Players prove their skills in Versus mode, where two people compete over a local wireless connection using either one or two game cards to see who is the Magnetica master. (Game options are the same using one or two game cards.)

We can expect to see Magnetica released in early June, 2006.

By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Writer

Rating out of 5
Magnetica (DS)
NA
Graphics
Not Available
NA
Control
Not Available
NA
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Not Available
NA
Play Value
Not Available
NA
Overall Rating -
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
System: DS
Dev: Mitchell
Pub: Nintendo
Released: June 2006
Players: 1
Preview by Cole

Review Rating Legend
1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor
2.5 - 2.9 = Average
3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
3.5 - 3.9 = Good
4.0 - 4.4 = Great
4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
5.0 = The Best