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Art Style: Intersect (DigiDrive) (DSiWare) Review

Review for Art Style: Intersect (DigiDrive) on DSiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

As many will now be aware, Nintendo sadly never had the chance to release its limited run of bite-sized GBA puzzle games outside of Japan, meaning it looked as if the stylish bit Generations range would never grace Western shores. Thankfully, though, someone in Nintendo had enough faith in the project to resurrect the games under the mantel of 'Art Style', with a whole host of new titles being created, whilst a bunch of the originals have been spruced up for WiiWare and DSiWare. Whilst the majority of the original bit Generations games were handled by Skip Ltd, there was one devised by the sharp mind of Dylan Cuthbert and his team at Q Games - DigiDrive. Now, said game is back, this time on DSiWare and under the new moniker of Intersect. Hailed as one of the best in the GBA series, does it still have what it takes to be worthy of any DSi owners' attention?

Art Style: Intersect is one of those simplistic ideas that look so basic you wonder why nobody else thought of it first. The key here is that developer Q Games has hit upon a concept that is by no means a throw-away design; it is one that has you try a few times, cockily thinking it will be a walk in the park, then grabs you, keeping the gamer coming back for more as they realise the limitations of human hand-eye co-ordination when the stakes are high and pressure is mounting. The basic premise is lining up five of the same coloured cars in one particular area on a continued basis. However, despite the seemingly one-dimensional nature of Intersect, actually attempting to smoothly direct the flow of traffic when cars are zooming in from all sides is much harder than first thought, just as is the case with Firemint's air traffic control puzzler, Flight Control, which is also coming to DSiWare in the near future.

Upon starting a new game, you are faced with a standard cross-roads, where different coloured cars (black, white or red) travel along from any of the four directions. When a car arrives at the crossroads juncture, it is up to the player to decide which direction it should be sent down. This can either be done by pressing the appropriate direction on the D-Pad in 'Button Mode' or pressing the stylus against the chosen route in 'Touch Mode'. Both input methods work perfectly well, so it merely comes down to user preference when making the decision before jumping into the action, and they can be switched between during play in any case.

Driving the right coloured car down the same path five times in a row creates some fuel. Keep this process up for as long as possible and the fuel stock eventually changes shape from a triangle, through to a square that gradually fills up until it finally turns into a circle. Once fuel has been stored up, it is not a case of sitting back and relaxing, since some of it will start to trickle away if none of the same coloured cars are sent down that particular route for a while (indicated by the colour slowly fading along that path). If there are no more red cars coming, for instance, though, all is not lost. Normally, if you sent a white car down a red road, you would end up losing the fuel already built up altogether. However, if there is fuel present on another road at the same time, then a combo is pulled off, joining the two supply chains. Should there be fuel stored on more than one other road, though, the bonus is even greater, with one fuel supply being doubled and then combined with the two others.

Screenshot for Art Style: Intersect (DigiDrive) on DSiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The reason for having to collect so much fuel is to prevent a Spike from piercing the circular Core on the opposite screen to where the action takes place (it switches depending on if in Button or Touch Mode). Once a sufficient amount of fuel has been accrued, it can be ignited to launch the Core upwards and out of harm's way. Rather than make this a long and drawn out process, though, Q Games has included a nifty 'Overdrive' function, which kicks into action when fuel stock is collected on all four roads. Upon this happening, the speed at which the cars appear will vastly increase and it only takes one car of the right colour to fill up the fuel supply, rather than the usual five. Should you let something slip up the wrong passage (so to speak...) then the Overdrive mode ceases and normal play is resumed. Rinse and repeat the whole process and what you have is a game that will keep you hooked to your DSi for a good hour or so at a time.

As with the rest of the Art Style range, Intersect comes complete with simple-yet-effectively-stylish visuals. It also has futuristic, electronic synth beats that provide a laid back atmosphere that definitely proves to be an overall pleasantly funky soundtrack that relaxes the mind, preparing the player for the gruelling brain-aching shenanigans that are about to ensue. In terms of its value for the 500 Points tag it has been given, to add more incentive for coming back to Intersect in the long-term, more music and background visuals are available for unlocking as play goes on. If a player manages to beat the set scores, achieving specific medals along the way, not only will audio and visuals treats be offered up, but also a few more difficulty levels, encouraging gamers to keep playing and challenging themselves for months to come. However, if the Endless mode alone is not enough to satiate folk, there is an additional VS mode, where the aim is to fire the Core upwards towards the top of the screen, with various items and tactics available for two players (or you versus the computer) to try out in an effort to emerge victorious. There is certainly a lot to sink your teeth into for what is a nominal purchase fee!

Screenshot for Art Style: Intersect (DigiDrive) on DSiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Taking such a simple premise and developing it into something amazingly addictive is not the easiest task, but Q-Games has done just that with great aplomb.

Graphics

Basic visuals, but they certainly do their job well enough and add charm to proceedings.

Sound

Great futuristic, funky beats that create the perfect atmosphere throughout.

Value

Not only are there Endless and two-player modes on offer, but a whole host of extras to unlock, providing great incentive to keep coming back time and time again.

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

Q-Games only did the one title for the bit Generations line-up on GBA and it still proves to be as addictive nearly four years down the line on DSiWare. Whilst the company may be focused on its PixelJunk series nowadays, considering how impressive DigiDrive/Intersect is, hopefully the team will go back to making some more products for the Art Style range. This thoroughly deserves your Nintendo Points...

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07.11.2009

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Developer

Q-

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Puzzle

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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

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Senior ModeratorStaff Member

This just got released in the US today under the original name of DigiDrive. Have any US C3 readers downloaded it on DSiWare today? If not, you should definitely give it a go - 500 Points well spent Smilie

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

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