Super Collapse! 3 Review for the Nintendo DS (NDS)

Super Collapse! 3 Review for the Nintendo DS (NDS)

Your Average (Solid) Puzzler

Puzzle games, while not the deepest video game genre, have nevertheless remained one of my favorites over the many years I’ve been gaming. Why? Something about their addictive nature, simplistic gameplay, and ungodly replay value has always kept me coming back for more. So when Super Collapse! 3, based on a popular click-style PC game, was released for the DS, could I really help playing it?

Super Collapse! 3 screenshot

Nope, absolutely not. And I’ve gotta say, I’m quite impressed. It’s really easy for puzzle games to dip down into the category of mediocrity; after all, there are so many puzzle ideas that have been rehashed countless times. Yet, despite all that, Super Collapse! 3 actually manages to stay relatively fun and fresh. If you’ve ever played a click puzzle game online, then you’ve got a very good idea already how Super Collapse! 3 works. Blocks fill up on the bottom screen; when there’s a group of three or more like-colored blocks, you can click it and it will disappear. The more blocks that you vanish with one tap, the more points you earn.

But the gameplay system is far deeper than just that. The puzzles, for the most part, are constantly growing. At the bottom, off of the feasible game screen, is a meter the width of the game screen. When the meter is full of blocks, those blocks will suddenly pop up on the bottom of your current stack, pushing the entire pile up one line. The rate of this meter varies depending on the puzzle that you’re playing; sometimes the meter will fill up at a snail’s pace, while at other times the meter will fill completely every time you tap the screen. It adds a nice bit of variety to the puzzles and keeps things fresh and interesting.

Super Collapse! 3 screenshot

Once you master the basic concept of Super Collapse! 3 (which admittedly is a very simple thing to do), there is actually quite a bit of strategy present in the game. Especially as you progress in the game and the levels get much more difficult, you’ve got to strategize to set up the more rewarding combinations and ensure that you don’t fail the level. The gameplay mechanic is simple to grasp, but there’s actually a good bit of depth to it — and that’s how a good puzzle game is made.

There are also a number of different modes to this game. The most fun mode is probably Quest Mode; in this mode, you go from area to area simply clearing puzzles. While there’s nothing really quest-related at all to it, it’s fun to play the puzzles in a progression with some sort of predetermined purpose. You collect coins as you go along, with each world offering more and more coins for completed puzzles. Coins can then be cashed in at stores along the way.

Super Collapse! 3 screenshot

Present at these stores are, as you might guess, a myriad of items for you to purchase. While there’s actually a decent bit of variety present in the selection, a lot of them just feel kind of tacked on. The bombs, however, are a staple of Super Collapse games, and actually are pretty fun to use. If, for example, a red colored bomb pops up, tap it and all the red blocks disappear. This can be really useful if you’re swamped in blocks and you quickly need to clear some space to work or just to create some feasible combos.

Other items, while somewhat interesting, just don’t affect gameplay all that much. One item speeds up the rate of the meter temporarily. While this can be detrimental at some times, at other times it can actually be useful — for example, when you’re trying to get more blocks on the screen to set up a large combination. Other items switch around the order of blocks or perform tons of other different random actions. They’re kind of neat, but they’re not at all critical for gameplay, and the game would be just as fun without them.

Quest mode has a few other little add-ons, but none of them are particularly memorable. For example, there’s a casino in every world where you can bet coins and play a new game, usually in an attempt to gain more coins or items. At this point in the game, you get the feeling that the developers were kind of groping; it seems like they were just looking for stuff to add to try to make Super Collapse! 3 more fun and more exciting. They really shouldn’t have bothered, because the game is fun enough as it is.

Super Collapse! 3 screenshot

Other modes include free play, which, while fun, just isn’t quite as engaging as quest mode. In this mode, you’re really just playing through a number of different puzzles of increasing difficulty level. This may appeal to any hardcore puzzle fans out there, but most players will find it too boring — and eventually too difficult — to really be at all worth their time.

While I’m on that subject, it would be a good idea to mention the difficulty level of Super Collapse! 3. Like most puzzle games, the learning curve is nice and smooth — even if you’re brand new to puzzle games as a genre, you’ll have a fine time learning the ropes of this title. However, as the puzzles progress, strategy becomes more and more an issue. It’ll become far too difficult to play for sixty lines (the game lengths are determined by the number of lines that are produced), so you’ll have to figure out a quicker way, a shortcut if you will, to beat the level.

The gameplay value of Super Collapse! 3 is also very typical of any puzzle game; that is, it’s fantastic. If you enjoy the driving concept behind the game, then you’re ensured many hours with this title. It’s simple yet difficult, very fun and addicting to play, and there are enough modes to ensure that you won’t grow tired of it too quickly.

There’s also a multiplayer offering, though it’s nothing that fantastic. Some DS puzzle games, such as Meteos or Tetris, seem almost custom-built for wireless multiplayer. However, in a game like Super Collapse! 3, it’s really more like you’re trying to solve the puzzle rather than trying to put the computer opponent out of commission. Because of that, the multiplayer mode in Super Collapse! 3 just isn’t that fun. The lack of single-card download play is a huge letdown though. It’s not at all that it was botched; it’s just that this game doesn’t seem to be well-suited for multiplayer gaming.

Overall, Super Collapse! 3 is a surprisingly solid puzzle title for the Nintendo DS. It’s addictive and fun, and easy enough for anybody to get into and have fun. The difficulty ramps up, but that’s a good thing — some of the later puzzles are really tough, but all the more rewarding once you beat them. While it’s not the most groundbreaking game on the market, it’s still a good choice for anybody who’s yearning for some classic puzzle fun.


  • 10 Unique Mini-Games!
  • 140 Brand New Puzzles!
  • 3 New and Exciting Modes!
  • 7 Total Collapse Modes!
  • Play the Quest or Spend Your Time in the Quick Play Area.
  • Unlimited Play!

    They’re colorful and cheerful, but simple and underwhelming. 3.0 Control
    The touch screen controls nicely, but sometimes blocks are too small and the stylus too imprecise to work as well as it should. 3.2 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    The music is decent, though very much what you’d expect from a simple puzzle game. 3.4

    Play Value
    There’s plenty to do, but the fact that I could play a very similar game online for free kind of hurts.

    3.6 Overall Rating – Good
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

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