Today, we're treated to two brand new "Touch Generations" games from Nintendo - the brand is supposed to encapsulate titles that appeal to anyone and everyone by focusing on simple, touch-screen gameplay and easily explainable ideas. Magnetica fits all those criteria, though its extremely straightforward, color-matching puzzles might be too little for the asking price.
Here's the setup - there's a winding track packed with colored marbles that are slowly rolling towards a hole. Your job is to fling marbles at the procession, matching three of a kind to pop them away. If you fail to match three, the marble takes its place wherever it lands, effectively bumping the line ever closer to the hole.
The longer you clear marbles, the harder the task becomes. Eventually you'll start seeing new colors, rockets that push the line ahead even faster and garbage blocks that need special care to bust. Hidden amongst the marbles are clock items that, if hit, will slow time or even reverse the flow of the line, buying you precious seconds. Once the line starts to close in, the peaceful music changes and that zen-like state of "oh crap!" kicks in, giving Magnetica what all puzzlers need the most: tension.
And that's just the Challenge mode. There's also Quest, which puts you up against 60 levels, each with a finite amount of marbles to pop. Thing is, the marbles start piling in from multiple directions, doubling over themselves and creating a jumble of colors on the screen. Some levels will have empty holes in the corners of the level that, if struck, spit out helpful items. There's a lot going on, make no mistake about it.
Magnetica features a pretty slick two-player game too. In between the colored balls, you'll see items that'll attack the other player and their line, making an already messy situation even worse. Send viruses over to pester the other guy, or bumpers that will bounce your launched marbles away. Basically, a hectic, good time. But is a simple puzzle game worth the same amount of cash as, say, New Super Mario Bros.? We have to say no, though if you're not interested in regular games, or just really need a puzzle fix, Magnetica should fit the bill.