There aren’t many puzzle games with plots attached, but with We Love Katamari publishers Bandai Namco behind this new DS block shifter, a suitably wacky one was always to be expected. We’ve been playing a Japanese copy and from what we can ascertain it involves a man with a head so big that it takes up all of the box art, on a planet-hopping mission to save a princess from devil-like entity Hell Metal. Big headed man’s choice of transport? The Penko – a space shuttle shaped like a penguin.
First impression: it’s Tetris with a twist – the blocks don’t vanish when you form a line, but instead go â€˜pop’ when formed into a 3×3 square. There’s a few seconds delay until they vanish, in which the idea is to add extra blocks to form bigger complete squares. The first mission only involves two different shapes, but later missions have pieces with gaps in the middle which make it harder to form perfect squares. The bigger the chains you make, the more coins are awarded. These aren’t only used to power the Penko but also unlock new backdrops and music. Some backdrops feature classic Namco titles, such as 2D shooter Xevious. It doesn’t seem as instantly addictive as Lumines, but the fact that it’s the only DS game we’ve played this month is a good sign.
Trioncube is due out in the States in February. If you enjoyed Meteos – or really like penguins – then we reckon it’s going to be worth keeping an eye out for.