June 28, 2006

To say that I am really into puzzle and strategy games right now would be a huge understatement. I spend half my available gaming time working out my brain playing Sudoko. It seemed only fitting that I would give [i]Magnetica[/i] a try. Magentica began life as the arcade game [i]Puzz Loop[/i]. Not a very dynamic name and looking at the game, it was in dire need of a facelift. Nintendo grabbed the concept and released it for the DS under the Touch Generations brand. Touch Generations represents games that anyone, from hardcore gamers to the completely inexperienced, can pick up and enjoy.

In [i]Magnetica[/i], there is a chain of colored marbles. Your goal is to make the marbles explode before they reach the end of the line. It seems like a relatively easy concept, but easy concepts often lead to games that are impossible to master.

[i]Magnetica[/i] sports 3 single player modes: Challenge mode, Quest mode, and Puzzle mode. Each of the game modes has a different goal and number of levels to clear. Challenge mode simply has you clearing marbles to advance levels. Clear all 99 levels and you win. Quest mode mixes things up and has you playing through 50 unique missions which are cleared by destroying all the marbles that appear. Every 10th Quest mode level is a special boss or bonus mission. Puzzle mode changes things up considerably by making you use all the provided marbles to destroy all the marbles on the track. This takes careful planning and thought to achieve. [i]Magnetica[/i] also supports a WiFi Versus mode via DS Wireless Play or DS Download Play. In Versus mode you get to battle head to head with a friend and make use of attack items to wreak havoc on your opponent.

In the end, [i]Magnetica[/i] is a quick and fun puzzle game that will keep you busy for hours, depending on your attention span. The graphics are solid and playing on that bright DS Lite screen sure was a treat. [i]Magnetica[/i] is a definite must have, but only if you can find it on the cheap. $35 for this little gem is a bit steep and most of you hardcore folks will tire of this one after a few sessions.

Score: 2/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.