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It’s a sad fact that puzzle games don’t sell magazines, spawn action figures or have blockbuster movies made about them. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. Without the chance of a hype-tastic viral marketing campaign to boost sales, puzzlers have to work with what they’ve got. They’ve got to play like a dream. Soul Bubbles does just that, but it looks and sounds like a dream, too - a very colourful,
While Space Bust-A-Move is okay, it doesn’t do anything particularly new. And when a series has been running for a few thousand years, it needs a shot in the arm now and then.
Project Just, the designers of Space Invaders Extreme 2, are evil geniuses. In combining the ancient arcade shooter with both bingo and roulette they’ve created what is arguably the most addictive game ever. Is it a sinister probing of human frailties, or a genuine attempt to revamp a classic? It doesn’t really matter, because whatever it is, it’s brilliant!
If your idea of ‘strategy’ is casting a fire spell on an ice monster, Spectral Force Genesis might come as a bit of a shock. This isn’t an RPG; it’s a game about diplomacy, about careful resource management, and only in part a game about battling. And Spectral Force doesn’t so much throw you in at the deep end of all this tactical twiddling – it hurls you into the sea.
The first Spectrobes was a space-based, 3D clone of Pokemon, except you were digging up your critters, recreating them from fossils, and then using two of them at a time to fight off alien invaders. It had some great character designs, was nearly crippled by an absolutely useless real-time battle system in which the shoulder buttons executed attacks, and ended up selling remarkably well.
Spore’s main ‘hook’ – the whole ‘design your own peculiar/amusing/offensive-looking creature’ thing – is a bit lost on DS, where the small screen hampers your foul creation’s visual impact. But the main problem with Spore Hero Arena isn’t that the detail of your creature is lost in a haze of pixels, but that the whole game is rather dull.
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