Well, bless our collective soul! The Nintendo DS bursts onto the scene in Europe and it’s accompanied by some fantastic looking puzzle games. Nintendo’s own Polarium and Namco classic Mr. Driller are both surefire brainteasing beauties, and here’s another one - Zoo Keeper - an all-new offering published by Ignition and developed by Success Corp.
Though the game is new, the gameplay is centred around the legendary time-honoured puzzle game mechanic – the 'get-three-things-the-same-together-and–they-disappear' one. The background is as follows: tired of the angry boss at the zoo, the animals have rioted. You, as Zoo Keeper, are ordered by your boss to recapture the animals, so you’d better jump to it. The DS stylus adds a new twist to a familiar puzzle. Using it, you must drag an animal tile, be it monkey, panda, giraffe, hippo, elephant, alligator or lion, into contact with two or more matching tiles. However, you can only drag the tile a maximum of one space, which calls for economy of movement. As you advance in main single player mode, more animals will be added to the mix, which’ll mean you have to think even more carefully.
There are other game modes too: Tokoton mode requires you to collect one hundred animals as fast as you can. In Quest Mode, your angry boss sets you missions, such as precise numbers of which animal you need to catch. There’s also a Time Attack mode, and it’s good to see that the game makes full use of the DS’s range of abilities, offering a two player wireless link-up mode. And you don’t even need two copies of the game to play two player. Zoo Keeper looks to be another strong puzzle title for the DS launch line-up.