Magnetica / Nintendo DS : 4 of 5
I'm a sucker for puzzle games of almost any kind, especially if they look really cool, so I was ready to try Magnetica the moment I saw a few screen shots. I've read that this is a just a variation of a similar puzzle game, but it's definitely new to me! Basically, colored balls snake their way down a pathway, and the object is to fling other balls at the chain to keep them from reaching the end of the path, since groups of the same color go away. The "magnetic" idea comes into play because balls of the same color attract each other, so you can force portions of the chain to retreat if you plan things correctly. This all happens really fast, of course, but it's fun and addictive - at first it seemed nearly impossible, but soon I got the hang of it and started really enjoying myself. There's a basic Challenge Mode, where you have to complete 99 levels in a row, and also a Quest Mode, where you complete successive games, each with different pathway patterns and so on. Finally, there's a Puzzle Mode with specific mental challenges that really take some thinking. I really like the look of the game - it may be simple to animate colored balls, but the playfields have a cool metallic look. The music is nice, too, and doesn't get annoying (even when you are attempting to finish the same level over and over and over). Any game that makes me want to keep on playing it "one more time" is great, and that's a nice description of Magnetica.