Meteos: Disney Magic Review
If you’ve never played Meteos before, then you’ve been missing out on a fun and fast-paced puzzle game for your DS. In Meteos, colored blocks fall from the top of the screen and begin to pile up on the bottom. Using the stylus you must move the blocks up and down the columns to match three or more of the same color. When you make a match, the blocks turn into booster rockets that push the blocks above them up the screen. What makes things really interesting is that blocks falling from the top of the screen can land on your rising blocks and weight them down enough to send them back to the bottom. Add to this the ability to move blocks up and down in the rising groups to launch them as a new group and you’ve got some frantic gameplay that will have you seriously heating up your stylus. So that’s Meteos, but this is a review for Meteos: Disney Magic and the question is really one of whether or not Disney Magic captures that ol’ Meteos magic…
Disney Magic is more than Meteos with Disney-themed blocks; it makes a few changes to the gameplay as well. The first of these turns the game on its side – to play the game you turn your DS on its side and hold it like a book. This has the advantage of giving you more vertical space to work with, but in the process it takes away the cool exploding block graphics that Meteos has on the top screen and replaces it with animations of Disney characters that are completely impossible to watch while playing the game. The next big change is the addition of the ability to move blocks horizontally along a row while the original Meteos only allows you to move them up and down a row. At first it may sound like this would make the game easier, but in reality it has just the opposite effect. The original Meteos keeps your eyes scanning for matches up and down the columns, but in Disney Magic you’re eyes will need to dart back and forth across the screen as well. It doesn’t sound that much harder, but at the game’s higher difficulty levels things move very fast and this extra brain-processing time can put you well behind the curve.
Disney Magic adds a story mode to the game in which Jiminy Cricket and Tinkerbelle discover that someone has jumbled up the classic Disney books in the library. In order to restore the stories they ask you to beat a series of puzzles each based on a Disney franchise such as The Lion King, Winnie the Pooh, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. The story doesn’t really make much sense and there’s little real tie-in between it and the gameplay, though. However, playing through the differently themed game boards does add some nice variety to the game – although it is odd that the music for each board is not the original theme songs for the movies they’re based upon. Couldn’t Disney Interactive license their own music? Anyway, the story seems to have been put in place primarily for the benefit of younger gamers, but it’s questionable if this game is really appropriate for younger gamers. The levels get pretty difficult pretty quickly, and it’s hard for me to imagine younger gamers not getting frustrated with the game because of this.
In spite of the “cutesy” appearance of a Disney game that’s too hard to play for the wee set, Disney Magic is a lot of fun to play. If you enjoyed Meteos, then you’ll like this variant on the game. If you haven’t but you like your puzzle games to be fast and furious, then you should definitely “go Disney” and give the game a try.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 82%. Perhaps a bit too difficult for younger gamers, Meteos: Disney Magic is a lot of fun for puzzle gamers who don’t mind hanging with Winnie the Pooh.