This sequel to one of the earliest hits from the casual experts at PopCap Games comes to the DS for the first time with an exclusive multiplayer mode, new powers, and updated graphics in Zuma's Revenge! As always, players control a sphere-spewing frog through 60 levels and six boss battles, creating matches of three or more like-colored orbs. In addition to the classic "Adventure" mode, gamers can expand their experience with the "Iron Frog" endurance mode, the challenges of the "Daily Dungeon" mode, or the multiplayer action in the new "Versus" mode. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
Kids and Family, Action & Adventure, Arcade and Puzzle
The eccentric and industrious Penguins of Madagascar must work together to solve adventuresome platform puzzles and foil the diabolical plots of the villainous dolphin, Dr. Blowhole. Skipper, Kowalski, Private, and Rico flip switches, traverse gaps, and make their way past traps set by the dastardly dolphin, designed to prove deadly to unsuspecting pen-gu-ins who don't work together.
As in the Nickelodeon's movie-inspired animated TV series, each penguin character has a specialty, and players must figure out the best way to use their abilities together, in order to overcome obstacles and proceed through each level. Players may have the penguins climb on top of one another's shoulders to reach high places, or control each penguin individually, to position the team for complex puzzle-solving actions.
The game plays out through 12 levels in three episodes, set in, around, and under the zoo. King Julien, Marlene, and other series regulars appear along the way, to help (or hinder) Team Penguin's progress. A number of character-driven mini-games are available, away from the main adventure, including "Julien's Dance Party" and "Mort Bowling." The game features voice acting by the TV cast, with Tom McGrath, Danny Jacobs, and Neil Patrick Harris as Dr. Blowhole. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide
Kids and Family, Action & Adventure, Arcade and Puzzle
The TouchMaster series of casual-oriented games continues with Connect, which earns its moniker from the option to post high scores and achievements to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Twenty new games are included in this fourth installment, each based on titles from the "Megatouch" series of touch-screen platforms typically found in bars and restaurants. Complete milestones to win more than 200 badges and then upload your results to a worldwide leaderboard via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. You'll also be able to challenge a friend by alternating turns on the same system or connecting online. DSi owners can snap a picture of themselves for their profile or take a screenshot of their high score to share with (or taunt) others. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
Kids and Family, Strategy & Sim, Arcade and Puzzle
The Silly Bandz line of rubber bracelets and rings are featured in this surprising tie-in from Zoo Games. Gameplay involves freeing captured Silly Bandz by aiming and flinging other Bandz toward cages and the enemies guarding them, similar to the concept behind the iPhone's Angry Birds. Each Silly Bandz type features distinct properties, so part of the strategy involves choosing the right Bandz for the task. Some multiply themselves in the air, for instance, while others explode on contact. Over 40 levels set in four themed environments are available, as is a multiplayer versus mode. Included with each game is an exclusive pack of 12 Silly Bandz in the shapes of video game controllers and platforms. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
Mario and his ape adversary, Donkey Kong, square off once again in this continuation of Nintendo's Lemmings-inspired puzzle series. Once again you must guide various wind-up toys (miniature versions of Nintendo characters) by carefully placing items like springs, conveyor belts, pipes, girders, and ladders on the touch screen. The goal is to have all playthings safely reach the door leading the next level before time expires.
Included is a built-in editor that lets aspiring game designers create their own levels to share with nearby friends or the online community. Online owners can browse and download user-submitted maps, each rated by the public, and enter special challenges. Pauline toys are the newest addition to a series that includes miniature versions of Mario, Toad, Princess Peach, and Donkey Kong. A help button, revamped map, and an onscreen reference guide are also included to ease new players into the game. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
The original Scribblenauts was roundly lauded for its creativity and the sheer ambition of providing visual representation of nearly any noun players could think to write, but the game nevertheless faced persistent criticism because intricately planned puzzle solutions were often destroyed by wonky stylus-only controls. In Super Scribblenauts, developer 5th Cell hopes to squelch those concerns by including optional D-pad controls. And for good measure, they've added more color to the gameplay, both literally and figuratively, by letting players modify any noun with multiple adjectives.
A mere platypus in Scribblenauts can now be a purple, angry, flaming platypus in Super Scribblenauts, and gamers are encouraged to let their imagination run wild thanks to nine different "Playgrounds" designed to spur experimentation. The rest of the gameplay remains relatively unmolested, with players once again using nothing but their imagination to guide Maxwell through 120 different levels in order to collect Starites and earn Ollars. The Advanced mode returns, tasking gamers with concocting three different solutions to each puzzle, and creative gamers can use the enhanced level editor to design and share their own puzzles via Nintendo's Wi-Fi connection. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
Cartoonish army tank characters go to war above a battlefield full of colorful blocks in Squishy Tank. Presented with a tongue-in-cheek military theme and played in a touch-screen grid of rows and columns, the game revolves around block-busting action puzzles. Players tap blocks of a certain color, and if at least two other blocks of the same color are adjacent, all touching blocks of that same color are blasted from the screen, allowing new blocks to fall in from above. It is seldom difficult to find a stylus tap that will remove at least some of the blocks from the screen, so the challenge comes in removing the most blocks as possible with each tap before a timer runs out. Players are often presented with more specific challenges, such as having to removing a certain number of blocks of several different colors in succession, without removing others along the way. As they succeed in blasting blocks from the screen, meeting challenges, and clearing levels, players earn new tanks and special powers to help them solve the game's later, more difficult puzzles. Meanwhile, between "Story Mode" levels, an amusingly convoluted tale unfolds in the upper screen, featuring the cute little tank characters and plenty of self-referential video game humor. Playing through all four of the game's main modes unlocks three additional Squishy Tank mini-games. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide
Puzzle Chronicles combines action-puzzle gameplay with the character development and swords-and-sorcery plotline of a classic role-playing game. Following the trail blazed by D3Publisher's surprise hit Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, Chronicles gamers take the role of a great hero, exploring a harsh fantasy realm and fighting against monsters and villains, in battles that are won and lost by playing a competitive action-puzzle game. The basic play mechanic of the puzzle game is similar to that of Sega's classic Columns, except that pieces move horizontally instead of falling vertically. A line of multicolored square tiles moves through the playfield to rest at one side. As the line moves across the screen, players can shift the sequence of tiles, adjusting their position so that squares of the same colors are grouped together when the line hits the edge of the field and stops. Once the movement stops, touching tiles of the same color are removed from the board, causing damage to the opponent. In combat, each opponent plays on one side of a spilt playfield, and certain high-scoring combo moves can adjust the split, making one side bigger and the other smaller, to the advantage of the scoring player. Variations on the play style are presented at times throughout the adventure, and in a selection of mini-games available outside of the main campaign. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide
As the title implies, this version of PopCap's popular match-three puzzle game gets a bit of twist. Instead of swapping two jewels in an attempt to create matches of three or more, gamers must now rotate a cube of four jewels. Other than the altered matching mechanic, Bejeweled Twist remains largely the same as its forebears, eventually introducing obstacles and jewels with special attributes, and featuring "Classic," "Blitz," "Challenge," and "Zen" game modes. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
Action & Adventure, Arcade and Puzzle, Kids and Family
The third entry in the TouchMaster series of stylus-based mini-games once again finds players flicking their way through a variety of touch-screen activities. There are 20 different mini-games spread across five categories, and players earn trophies, badges, and medals for completing the five achievements associated with each mini-game. New goal-oriented gameplay means there are no more time constraints, and gamers looking for multiplayer fun can wirelessly share Touchmaster 3 with a friend using the single-cart Download Play option. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide