Meteos is a fantastic little puzzler for the DS. Released in the summer of 2005, it was an early DS title and one of the first to truly grasp the benefits of a touch-screen interface, especially for the Puzzle genre. Much more than just another Match-3 falling-shape clone, the game tasks you with launching blocks into the cosmos above. You do this by sliding blocks up and down along their vertical columns in order to match three to five of the same color.
Okay, so it's basically a Match-3 falling-shape clone. But the shimmering presentation and epic storyline send it above and beyond the standard jewel-arranging fare.
Hmm? Epic storyline, you say?
Planets crumble. Alien races prosper. Creatures evolve into new, more powerful (or at least different colored) forms. Meteos tells a story of intergalactic armageddon, all wrapped around simple mechanics more akin to Tetris than Tolstoy.
I played through a full mission mode recently and was greeted with not a perfunctory Congratulations screen, but the stirring conclusion of my own miniature space war. I share this with you now.
"Once planet Meteo blew up, the Meteos rampage ended.
Having lost their master, the wandering Meteos were drawn to the Metamo Ark,
making a multicolored glow of utter brilliance.
The Metamo Ark embarked on an endless journey…"
Having played the game for nearly six hours, I can't tell you what this "Metamo Ark" is. I don't know why the meteos were drawn to it. Nor can I explain their luminescent reaction. All I know is that more puzzle games should have outlandish tales stuck upon their abstract shapes, if only for the hilarity of a dramatic ending where none is needed. Long may you embark, Meteos….