Fun With A Coworker, Zelda-style
Tetris DS Has Retro Flair

Meet Your New Addiction (Please!)

Puzzle League's many facesFirst there was Tetris, and we all know that massive success story.  Then came Dr. Mario which did very well for itself.  Puzzle League is the third jewel in Nintendo's puzzle crown, selling well enough in its many iterations over the years.  Casual gamers love puzzle games, right?  And Nintendo pitches to casual gamers these days, right?  So we need more puzzle games, stat!

Game developers love to release a best-selling puzzle game.  The development costs are lower compared to a RPG or platformer game.  The only sprites or 3D objects that need to be created are the actual puzzle pieces and game board, right?  So it only makes sense that Nintendo (who hasn't had a major puzzle game hit in a while) is foaming at the mouth to snag that sweet profitable portable puzzle market. 

Last year the company came up with Polarium, a game that really didn't sell all that well or spark a lot of buzz (even after a temporary price cut).  The game's tagline was "Meet your new addiction."  I don't think anyone had to enroll in a twelve-step program to kick a Polarium habit.  Next month the company is dusting off Tetris and adding an online multiplayer mode in addition to some Nintendo DS-specific options.  It'll probably do well enough, but we've already seen Tetris.  Nintendo hungers for a fresh popular puzzler.

So here comes the next puzzle game that Nintendo hopes will stick to the wall: Magnetica.  This one has something to do with marbles:

[M]arbles roll down a twisted path toward the goal and it's up to players to stop them by launching new marbles into the oncoming ones. The marbles will disappear if players match three or more in this massive marble elimination. All actions are controlled with the stylus in this title that satisfies even the strongest puzzle addiction.

Sounds interesting.  Let's see if this one takes the world by storm.  If not then I'm sure another Nintendo puzzler will be in development within the year.  I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but at this point the desperation for a puzzle hit is starting to smell a little strong.