Magnetica (Nintendo DS) Preview

By Adam Riley 16.05.2006 5

Mitchell Corporation should be a name that is on the tip of your tongues, if you are a puzzle fan that is. Working closely with Capcom during the 1990s it created many arcade classics that had gamers pumping money into the stand-up units faster than they could really afford to do. One particular game to launch in 1998 was Puzz Loop, and now it has been transposed onto the innovative Nintendo DS. Read on for more details...

Released in Japan as Shunkan Puzz Loop on the same day at the launch of the Nintendo DS Lite Crystal version back in March, unfortunately the game did not set the charts alight in the same way both the DS and GBA versions of Polarium did. However, now it has been re-branded as Magnetica, hopes are high for the game to perform considerably better in Western markets. Puzzle fans have already been treated to the likes of Tetris and Pok

Screenshot for Magnetica on Nintendo DS

Fully completed already, the game is due for a release across North America on 5th June and us European fans certainly will not have to wait very long either. The question is, however, will the game receive the attention it deserves. Nintendo did not exactly look after Polarium Advance very well, to be honest. The game launched well in Japan because of it coming out just a month after the Game Boy micro and the hype machine for it was still going strong. However, after the debacle of the micro's European release, Polarium micro (as it was to be called) never materialised and got pushed to an indeterminate 2006 date, which turned out to be 14th April, under the guise of Polarium Advance and came with no publicity campaign at all (at least none in the UK...). So hopes are not too high for Magnetica's support, unfortunately. But hey, you never know...

Screenshot for Magnetica on Nintendo DS

Anyway, the game has already had extremely positive reviews from Japan, with gaming Bible Famitsu magazine scoring it with a very impressive 31/40! The game originates from the 1998 arcade machine classic Puzz Loop, which was actually developed by Mitchell themselves, and is classed more of an 'action puzzle' game than a straight up, run-of-the-mill puzzle title. Players take control of the Nintendo DS stylus and must wipe out any balls that are on the screen moving in an inwards spiral. The balls quickly move in this directional style towards the centre of the screen, round the twisted track and if they reach their destination it is Game Over for you, leaving gamers with no choice but to try again.

In order to get rid of all the troublesome marble-esque balls as quickly as you can, the stylus must be used to fire similar balls from the very central part of the screen in an attempt to match up three or more of the same coloured balls, thus making them disappear into thin (virtual) air. The graphics are nice and colourful, but being a puzzle game the emphasis is more on crafting a fun title with an addictive quality that makes us want to come back for more. The game really is a fast and furious test of your skills and definitely should be one to keep an eye on.

The beauty is in the fact that there are stacks of power-ups available, many different tracks to play on and even a multiplayer mode to extend your playing time. Whilst in single-player mode gamers can collect items that will boost your score, slow down or even stop time, and there is one that actually reverses the course of the marbles. As for in multiplayer, some of the weapons that can be used include Ion Clouds that cause smoke to appear on the opponent's screen that must be blown away via the microphone; Recoils, which block marbles; Black Holes that quickly suck up any marbles that are launched; Gravitons that change the desired path of the balls; and Viruses, that deflect balls.

But this is no mere arcade experience, as real physics are included to make the same coloured balls actually feel like they are properly magnetised to each other. There is also the fact that you will not be able to put Magnetica down due to its wealth of in-depth modes

Final Thoughts

So far the formula has been proven to be a success due to Zuma, but will this translate to the Nintendo DS market? With around sixty intense levels, boss stages to play through after every tenth level is completed and so much more, there appears to be an amazing amount on offer for your money.

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C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


This has really risen in my interest over the past month. I wasn't too sure at first, but the more I read, the more I can't wait to give it a whirl. With any luck it'll launch near the DS Lite across Europe...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Hmm... I'll definitely give this one some serious thought...liking the simple gameplay but I usually only buy puzzle games if they really are special..of course games such as Tetris DS..:Smilie

IANC said:
Dude yuor totally awesome. And i won't be killing you anytime soon.

It'll be interesting to see what Nintendo does with this...unfortunately Polarium Advance was released at full price, which is crazy as the DS game was only

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

It looks like quite a lot of fun, I'll definitely be considering it if I have the spare cash. Nice one Adam.

It definitely has to be cheap or people just won't look at it...That's why Tetris has struggled in the US and Europe, because of its

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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