I’m going to start this review with a confession.
Confession number 1: During the week I broke the sacred tenet of the memory review and actually played the game in question.
Confession number 2: This review was much more rushed than the previous ones. My excuse this week is that I was moving and had a lot of unpacking to do. In addition when I finally sat down to start the review I ended up wasting a lot of time on “research” (see confession number 1) and planning some completely unnecessary Meteos meat based breakfast cereal gag. As I write this I have Kevin MacLeod music blasting on a constant loop because for some reason that’s all I have on my laptop and the internet’s on the fritz and I need to keep myself awake. Prepare for a raw review, no filter, intense Thompson-esque games journalism. Or at least that would be the case if I didn’t have only positive thing to say about Meteos.
My reason for forever violating the trust of the reader was that much like Pullblox, I remember Meteos as a very well put together game with an interesting concept but I couldn’t recall any particular points (good or bad) to actually write about. And so I disgraced my honour and jumped in and almost immediately the good times came flooding back. I felt a rush of familiar feelings such as: “Wasn’t Smash Bros supremo Sakurai involved in this? Those moveable menu tiles, enthusiastic menu music and credits mini game are classic Sakurai”, “I wish more games played a lovely fan fare whenever you did something right”, “Am I supposed to be blowing up rival planets or trying to save them” and “I got the whole screen going, I am the best at this” followed immediately by “Argh, damn my hubris”. What all this in mind, you may be wondering, what is Meteos? Or more accurately, what are Meteos? *is electrocuted*
Meteos are cheery brightly coloured harbingers of doom. Meteos the game is a tile swapping puzzle game with Tetris elements and gravity as its key distinguishing feature. It’s the end of all worlds as these blocks rain from the sky, the result of the evil sentient planet Meteo (the plot is quite barmy). These blocks are polite enough to form columns and can be moved up and down these columns. When any of the columns reach a certain height you lose. If a line of three or more blocks of the same colour is made they will fuse together and form a line of rockets. As they travel up the screen they’ll carry any blocks above them upwards as well. Once the blocks pass a certain threshold they then fire off (seemingly towards another planet, again very odd) on their own, you get points and they’re no longer your problem. A vertical column will form a powerful rocket stack that will likely launch all the blocks above it into space, delaying the doom of civilisation for another precious few moments. A horizontal line of rockets is trickier. The additional weight means that a single line is unlikely to clear many blocks, and so the initial thrust must be supported by making additional lines above to lighten the load and below to increase the power. Additional lines increase your multiplier. By overlapping lines you can eventually have the entire well linked by a series of rockets and net a huge amount of points. Holding the L or R buttons hastens the end times by increasing the rate at which Meteos fall. This helps keep the game’s pace up for experienced players but also lets you take your foot of the gas and make corrections when things go awry.
That’s vanilla Meteos, but as you play you unlock new iterations on this formula. Each new planet you unlock has different conditions and in many cases the ratios of blocks are different. For instance on Forte horizontal lines generate very little lift, but vertical lines can carry a stack (or the entire well if you have it set up right) into the sky instantly. This changes how you play because of the possibility of enormous score multipliers. On other planets blocks will fall very slowly, on some they’ll fall very fast. Each planet also has its own music, sound effects, background and block style which adds some variety to repeat play.
If memory serves new planets are either purchased using Meteos earned in gameplay or through Star Trip, the game’s story mode. In Star Trip mode you travel the galaxy, saving (or destroying, like I said very unclear) the worlds you encounter until you’re ready for the planet Meteo. Star trip encourages you to play on the different planets and on harder difficulties gives you additional objectives to keep things interesting both of which are nice ideas. In Star Trip you face off against AI controlled planets, but exactly what this means or how it affects what’s going on is unclear. similarly some blocks are items which when activated destroy blocks, personally I found them either a distraction or a menace to combos I was building.
A consequence of Meteos’ fast paced exciting action is that mistakes can be made. Whilst these are often no one’s fault but your own there are times, especially on planets with large wells and small blocks, when it seems that the game demands too much precision from the stylus and touch screen. Speaking of failures, once you’ve figured out the mechanics of a new planet and come up with a basic strategy, there’s very little that can be done to improve your score except just do better. I realise this is hardly a complaint but it’s nice sometimes when a game gives you scope to try new things and experiment to get a higher mark. That being said any changes to accommodate that would like water down the experience so in conclusion it’s very late and I don’t know where I’m going with this.
Meteos is a fine game with addictive engaging gameplay and a lovely sense of style. When it came out Tetris comparisons seemed popular and that’s understandable given the similarities and shared quality level of both games.
I think I’m still doing scores so: 9
Also there’s is apparently a version for the XBox 360. I only found this out while I was looking for the banner image so I can’t comment on it’s quality.
And now the quotes from
site mascot the guy we put on the front of the website, Miister X.
“From: MiisterXPersonal@gmail.com /To: Eyemoustaches@gmail.com / Re: I’ll call the f*ckin cops / I don’t know where you got this address, get it through your thick, mountain dew addled Kawashima trained brains that apart from royalties, we are done, professionally. Get lost”
Illuminating as always.