Mr Driller Drill Spirits review

NGC explores the spirited world of drilling on DS

It's easy to see how the touch screen can be an incredibly effective way to control a puzzle game. Polarium leads the way in that respect, but we were hoping for something innovative from Mr Driller.

Namco's mining mascot burrows through mud made of coloured blocks, just for the fun of it.

Drilling a block makes all its similarly coloured neighbours vanish, allowing our hero to advance further towards the earth's core for the essential air pockets he needs to avoid suffocating in the cheerfully painted depths.

Drilling blocks also destabilises the ones above, causing them to tremble and quickly collapse. If Mr Driller is underneath when this happens, he's history. So rather than a sedate little puzzle game, this is a frantic sprint to escape a shower of falling masonry.

It's good stuff, even if tactics tend to be beyond all but the most talented of players at the kind of speed the game reaches. And because it's so fast, the touch screen control is pointless. Dragging and tapping the stylus is far too slow.

But it's still Mr Driller, and with better presentation than the GBA version, plus a one-cart link-up, possibly the best handheld version to date.

Shame it could just as easily be on any other machine, and almost certainly will be in the near future.

Mr Driller Drill Spirits is out for DS on 11 March

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