Mr Driller: Drill Spirits - DS/DSi

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Viewed: 2D Static screen Genre:
Puzzle: Falling Blocks
Media: Cartridge Arcade origin:No
Developer: Namco Soft. Co.: Namco
Publishers: Namco (GB/JP)
Released: 11 Mar 2005 (GB)
2004 (JP)
Ratings: PEGI 3+


2000 saw the release of Mr. Driller across several platforms: Dreamcast, PlayStation, PC, Wonderswan Colour and Game Boy Colour. The game, an arcade conversion, was widely hailed as a puzzle classic, something of a coup for publishers Namco, who were known at the time for more effects-driven titles like Ridge Racer, Tekken and Time Crisis.

In gameplay generally described as Boulderdash meets Tetris, Mr. Driller must protect the city of Downtown, which is threatened with submersion by a mysterious upsurge of colourful bricks. His very name recommending him for the task, citizen Driller is appointed to drill down and uncover the secret of the sightly but deadly phenomenon. As he drills, he must be mindful that his actions could lead to a devastating rockfall from above. When four or more blocks of the same colour are brought together, they disappear, and a further dynamic is added to the gameplay in that there is no oxygen amongst the blocks, and Driller must keep a close eye on his air supply. This can be replenished by capsules, if he can reach them.

Now Mr. Driller is back in Drill Spirits on Nintendo’s DS handheld. By and large, the object of the game remains the same but control of the tunnelling hero is now even simpler than before. Back in the days of joypads you needed four directional buttons and a ‘drill’ button to play; now Mr. Driller responds to simple taps of the stylus. The upper screen displays an overall map showing your position.

And as this is the DS, wireless multiplayer gaming is supported for up to four people. In Mission Mode, you can unlock different playable Drillers to use. Another exclusive to DS is Pressure Mode, where you must tunnel down as fast as you can to escape an enormous drill that bears down on you from above. This already fine game with all these great fine features makes purchase well worth considering.