Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Bermuda Triangle (Nintendo DS) Review

Review for Bermuda Triangle on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Since the falling shapes and the shuttle lift-off of a monochrome Game Boy screen, puzzle games have had a happy co-existence with handheld gaming machines. Whilst the undisputed daddy of them all is still Tetris, both in the impact on gaming it had as a whole and popularity through sales and recognition, there have been many contenders; Bejeweled, Bust-A-Move, Zuma, the Puzzle League games, Puyo Puyo; the list is virtually endless. Thus, it would it take a valiant effort for a new puzzle title to really stand out. Can Bermuda Triangle’s environmental angle separate it from the hordes, or does it sink into the corals?

Bermuda Triangle, like any decent puzzler, wastes little time in getting down to business. After an initial Comic Book Panel-style cut-scene giving a quick insight into the plight of the Coral Reefs, we are brought to the main menu. From here, you can get a look at high scores that are sadly not online leader-board-equipped, the options menu that configures sound volume, or the Play Game menu that brings up three more choices.

One of three custom profiles is required for these modes, but is simple as pie to set up and the design of ship you choose to sit on the top screen during gameplay has little-to-no bearing on the game itself. Time Mode is just that, the basic game with a timer that can be added to on succession, and Endless Mode follows the ‘impossible to really win’ aspect of Tetris; just play till you drop. Story Mode is the real meat of the game, set over four islands of multiple stages to play through.

Screenshot for Bermuda Triangle on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The core gameplay of Bermuda Triangle itself is fairly simple to get the hang of, but does not use the dual or touch screen aspects to a boundary-pushing degree, just a functional one. Like Bust-A-Move in reverse, blocks of multi-coloured coral gather at the top of the bottom screen, and you have to shoot more individually onto the top to gather three or more of the same colour to make them vanish, else a few more gather at each turn. Erasing these pieces in this manner creates pure sea coral at the bottom of the screen, and edges up the percentage completion meter. The level ends either positively when you reach 100% on that meter, or negatively when the unrefined coral at the top of the touch screen reaches the pure coral at the bottom. The game just oozes colour throughout, and here in particular makes certain you will not mistake one type for another, at least until the environmental hazards come into play.

Not wanting to keep things too simple, Northpole Studio has injected items and obstacles into the core mechanics. The squid that show up at random intervals black out one of the coral pieces so you cannot erase them for a number of turns, the Sharks attack your aim and send it where you do not want it to go, and the snails eat away at the pure coral you have created, thus reducing your completion meter.

Screenshot for Bermuda Triangle on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The latter can be dealt with by one of the useable items you will gain, from a choice of four; the Anchor that you can drop onto pesky Sea Snails, the Bomb that wipes out a group of Coral bunched together, a Rainbow Coral that erases all coral the same colour as the one you hit with it, and the Wave that washes away the top row of blocks. These items are lifesavers in the later difficulty levels, and easy to obtain either from busting coral blocks that contain them, or by buying them from the main shop with the points you have accumulated thus far.

The top screen is more of a status holder than an integral part of the game, containing point stats, the colour of your next coral piece to fire, and a basic animation of your chosen ship on the waves. The touch aspect can be used equally as well as D-Pad and buttons, it is a matter of preference, and adds to a versatile gameplay mechanic that challenges the player to a sufficient degree, yet does not become engaging enough to make up for the lack of content elsewhere.

Screenshot for Bermuda Triangle on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Outside of those three modes, there is, quite literally, no other way to play. No multiplayer support of any kind, be it local or online, no minigames or minor games with notable variations on the main game, just a basic High Score board that cannot take advantage of a worldwide community. Story Mode gives even a seasoned player a tough time of it in the later levels, but offers only another moral cut-scene and credits as a completion reward, and no incentive to return, and the core mechanics just are not engaging enough to make Time and Endless last to a sufficient degree. Bermuda Triangle would not be the first choice for puzzle enthusiasts looking at a shelf of DS software, but providing you are looking for a brief experience, it is by no means an unworthy one.

Screenshot for Bermuda Triangle on Nintendo DS- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Functional, with tight control and clear visual cues ensuring any mess-ups are never a fault of the game itself. Items and hazards add much-needed spice, though not making the mechanic as engaging as it ultimately needed to be.

Graphics

Bright and solid use of colour throughout, and a clever usage of comic strips to convey the environment message, but ultimately far from a graphical showcase even on the humble DS.

Sound

Basic but soothing sea melodies accompany the game, with the odd plock! and boink! sound effects here and there; ultimately nothing memorable, but unobtrusive, which is ideal for a puzzle game.

Value

Story Mode is the one that justifies your hard-earned money going into this game, and provided you have sufficient skill it can be beaten in a number of hours. The other two modes are mere padding unless you are captivated by the main gameplay mechanic, and there is nothing else apart from a basic High Score table.

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Average

About this score

Bermuda Triangle’s ecological message distances it from other puzzle games, and the gameplay itself stands strong initially, but ultimately with a glaring lack of content and features that would have been justifiable had it been a downloadable DSiWare or eShop title, the game is hard to recommend to anyone except beginners at a discount price.

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24.07.2011

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Developer

Northpole

Publisher

Funbox

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date TBA   North America release date TBA   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date TBA   

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Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I agree, though I still have to track down a cartridge of KDL1 (played a copy borrowed to a friend), I got KDL2 not so long ago and was really surprised by that one, because it was so good Smilie (and actually not so short considering you need to look for hidden stuff in the stages). But like I said, the Game Boy original of KDL1 is still sure to appeal to a lot of gamers, despite the price on 3DS.

Never played KDL3, so I can't judge that one Smilie, but I bet it's good Smilie.

EDIT : For some reason, Adam's comment jumped below mine o_O ... This post was obviously a reply to his Smilie.

( Edited 26.07.2011 23:45 by Kafei2006 )

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer
Squidboy (guest) 26.07.2011 19:22#2

I'll wait on Snow Bros.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Still one of my favourite GB games from days gone by, but obviously it was far surpassed by Kirby's Dream Land 2, and the excellent Kirby's Dream Land 3 on SNES.

£3.60 for such a short GB game...hmm...don't think I could stretch to that, but people seem to be as it's riding high on the UK download chart after just a short time on sale.

I wonder if 'Return to Dream Land' is basically going to be KDL4, or more of a re-imagining of KDL1?

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

giving out for free on e shop on 3dsSmilie

friend code for 3ds 2964-8614-6354

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