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Maboshi's Arcade - WiiWare review

See ya, Minesweeper! So long, Picross...


  • Ultra-simple mechanics
  • Fun alone or with friends
  • Dangerously addictive


  • Dangerously addictive
  • Can be very difficult
  • May not have longevity

Forget the Large Hadron Collider. You want to see mind-freakingly beautiful science in action? Get yourself some Maboshi. Plus there’s zero threat of it ever turning the world inside out.

Never has a name been so apt. Ma-Bo-Shi – circle, stick, square. The title recognizes the three separate games here while simultaneously reveling in their relationship. Circle involves reversing a ball’s roll to help it smoosh ant things. Stick asks you to use a spinning bar to help drag a shape up a track. Finally, Square plays like the mobile phone game Snake. Only the snake is on fire.

Played alone they are wonderful. The fact that Circle and Stick are controlled entirely with the A button smacks of Nintendo’s ‘new ways to play’ ethos, making more use of that juicy, fat A button than even Nintendo themselves. There’s a beautiful tactility to the three games too. Ahhh, but that’s only when played alone.

You see, the games are played in three adjacent windows so that they can rub shoulders with, and subsequently affect, the others. Stick will bash Square’s blocks, Circle’s victims will clear Stick’s enemies, and the smoke from burnt Squares will kill Circle’s assailants. While three separate players can manipulate it, played alone it becomes a masterwork of forward planning as you record a run in one puzzle to replay later and help your score in another. Whether you want your mind frazzled or just some simple fun, Maboshi is what you need. An essential purchase.

Jan 8, 2009

More Info

DescriptionIt seems too simple at first, put this dangerously addictive and shockingly dense title is one of the best WiiWare games around.
US censor ratingEveryone
UK censor rating3+
Release date29 December 2008 (US), 29 August 2008 (UK)