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Joystiq presents

Gaming to Go: Super Collapse! 3 (page 2)

The premise, much like every other puzzle game available, is simple: a fresh line of blocks emerges from the bottom of the screen every few seconds, prompting a game over if said squares ever reach the top of the screen. Players are tasked with tapping groups of three or more same-colored blocks to make them disappear, drawing the remaining blocks towards the center of the playing field. Clear enough lines of blocks and you'll advance to the next level or, in some cases, win the challenge.

That's pretty much it. The process goes pretty quickly, especially when a new line emerges quicker than you had anticipated, making for some pretty frantic minutes as you try and collapse enough blocks to keep them from stacking too high. The premise does get a little more complicated with the inclusion of items -- bombs, unsurprisingly -- but doesn't expand much beyond that. The real variation in gameplay comes with the seven different game styles included in the game, all but one of which must be unlocked by journeying through the colorful and quirky lands of the aptly-named Quest mode. Yeah, it isn't the most exciting thing you'll ever do with your DS, but it does offer an excellent chance to get your feet wet with the different gameplay modes. Later parts of the quest can be surprisingly difficult, so you'll curse appreciate the opportunity to work through them and develop your skill.

And just a quick word of warning: Quest mode does not auto-save, meaning shutting the DS off without backing out of all of the Quest mode menus to save your progress will make you a very sad person indeed.

But I'm not kidding about the difficulty, my friends. When you only have three colors of blocks to concern yourself with, things are fairly peachy, making the beginning of the quest a pleasant excursion for the new player. Once additional colors are added, however, the challenge ramps up considerably, as you'll have to get much better at spotting sets of matching blocks in order to keep up with the constant addition of new rows. If speed isn't really your thing, you could always forgo the classic mode described above in favor of one of the six other styles, all of which are satisfyingly different from each other to be worth playing.

Puzzle mode gives you a screen full of many colors of blocks and challenges you with tapping them in the right order to clear the entire screen. Strategy mode drops the few seconds delay between each new line and simply adds a new row every time you collapse something, meaning you'll have to choose your moves much more wisely than before. Relapse mode is identical to class mode, albeit with a new set of blocks emerging from the top of the screen, forcing you to switch back and forth to prevent the top and bottom sets from growing and hitting each other.

Slider mode is also similar to classic mode, though it throws a fun twist in by moving each row of blocks to the left or right as you play, making the game more exciting overall. Continuous mode is pretty self-explanatory: it's classic mode with no set amount of lines you need to clear, starting off fairly simple but introducing new colors the longer you play. Finally, Countdown mode is a race against the clock to rack up the highest score you can get in two minutes.

Once you've unlocked all of the gameplay variants, you'll be able to enjoy them in Quick Play mode, a convenient alternative to questing that focuses purely on letting you jump into a game and jump just as easily out. I dumped Quest mode pretty quickly once I unlocked all of the games, as the occasional unique mini-game you'll encounter throughout the adventure isn't nearly as interesting as the core gameplay variants. Honestly, the two I keep coming back to are Relapse and Slider modes. Both bring in an interesting enough twist on the basic gameplay to keep things entertaining, and both can be plenty challenging in their own way. Classic mode is mostly fun too, though the sheer number of lines you'll have to clear in some of the later levels can be disheartening.

Gaming to Go!We debate the hot topics!

This Month's New Games

Name Date
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Oct 6
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Away: Shuffle Dungeon
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Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
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What's Cooking? With Jamie Oliver Oct 21
MySims Kingdom
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Ninjatown Oct 28

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