Gunpey DS DS Review

If you don't know already, Gunpey means "with fart" in Chinese. Fortunately for us, Gunpey DS is devoid of any flatus. Rather, Gunpey is a puzzle game from creator Yokoi Gunpei who also created our beloved Game Boy. Ironically, his puzzle creation never had a chance to debut on the Game Boy. It comes to the US, from the devs who brought us Meteos, in two forms: PSP and DS. The game plays something like this: tiles which have different lines on them must be moved around a grid to make one continuous line from the left to right. After the line is formed, the corresponding tiles are eliminated.

Gunpey DS, like Meteos is best played with a stylus to move tiles up and down. In story mode, the player faces off against different characters with some sort of plot tying them together, but let's face it: we didn't get this game for its thought provoking analysis of 21st century plot devices -- we're here for the puzzles. The game does a good job introducing the player to basic mechanics. I played this game first as an import with zero knowledge of the language and beat the first three characters in story mode on a first try. While the gameplay is incredibly easy to pick up, it takes effort to master, and the difficulty picks up in the later levels of Stage Attack mode.

Imagine eating a big bowl of Trix cereal (you know, the colorful crunchy round ones), going to a disco with a backdrop of a laser light show, drinking, dancing your heart out, and then throwing up on the checker tiled floor of the public bathroom. That's how colorful and vibrant the visuals of Gunpey are. The only complaint I have about that is in some stages the background is too distracting and makes it difficult to see what's on the grid.

While it's no Lumines, the music is still one of the game's beat features. It's not catchy per se, but the sound effects from moving the stylus on the grid or getting rid of lines match the music so well that several times I lost because I was trying to make something that sounded good instead of getting rid of tiles. Story mode gives a good sampling of the different "themes" when it comes to music and sound effects, which can then be played during the other modes.

Q Entertainment decided not to skimp with extra features in the DS version of the game. Single-cart sharing is available, which means you don't have to ostracize your non Gunpey-owning friends. There is also a sound sequencer in the game called a Sound Box, which is a nice bonus, since it lets players compose their own music. It's more robust than Electroplankton, with the ability to adjust tempo.

Overall, Gunpey DS is something worth picking up for the puzzle enthusiast or if you just want to mess with the sound sequencer. While it may lack the "zone out" factor of Lumines, it has the amusement of Meteos.


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