Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Puchi Puchi Virus Nintendo DS Impression

Puzzle games, causal games, are a dime a dozen on the Nintendo DS. Some are good, original titles while others are posts of games that have been out on the web for years. Puchi Puchi Virus from NIS America is the former and offers up an enjoyable gaming experience built for one-the-go action. I will say this first. I played over three hours of the single-player game and cannot speak to the multiplayer options, so take what I say about the game, imagine it head-to-head with a buddy and there you go.

The world has been stricken with a sickness, one that turns humans into animals with human clothes and traits. With your trusty nurse, and chicken it’s up to you, doctor, to cure each victim of their virus by connecting groups of three similar viruses to eliminate them. Going backwards a bit, there is a collection aspect to Puchi Puchi Virus as you get a card for each person you cure, with details of their sickness and extra achievements you can accomplish for each character. Go back and try to beat your best time for each characters and time is a big factor as each level, each character, has a timeframe, usually 3 minutes, in which you must cure the patient. The bottom screen on the DS fills with circular virus of various colors, they appear slowly speeding up as time counts down. If you don’t touch them fast enough, connect three in a triangle to eliminate the, they will solidify and fill your screen. Connecting like colored virus is the name of the game, and mindlessly touched the screen as quickly as possible will serve gamers for part of the game, but strategy becomes a major factor about 1-1/2 hrs into the game. You need to think out how to chain virus together to reach cure goals, and it’s in these exercise that Puchi Puchi Virus excels. There is a true feeling of accomplishment when you knock out five seven chain combos in three minutes.

The single player campaign is good puzzling fun, and collecting cards and stats for your games leaves gamers with a feeling of accomplishment, one that goes beyond your typical high score. Props to NIS for a unique puzzler on the DS. If you like puzzle games, Puchi Puchi Virus is worth the purchase and if you want me to rank it, I’d say 8-10.

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