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Monday, July 4, 2011

Review: Delbo (DSiWare)

It’s hard to get too excited over Delbo. It looks like a bog-standard puzzle game on a service that is very easy to ignore. On top of that, the only genre that DSiWare ever actually excelled at, the puzzler, already features some very stiff competition for this game.

orb will be thrown


But for value for money, this is a game that I can easily recommend. While it is bog-standard in premise, Delbo succeeds because it is constructed so very well.

Neko Entertainment should be complimented; this game, which can be played with just the D-pad and by turning the 3DS around so that it is a ‘book,’ controls beautifully. The aim of the game is simple – to shoot bubbles up the screen to create chains and keep them from dropping down to the bottom. We’ve all seen this already – it’s the very same premise as Puzzle Bobble.




It does a couple of things differently, though. The bubbles are only able to shoot vertically, so you don’t need to worry about trajectories. On the other hand, a strategic layer is added to the game by the ability to draw a row of bubbles closer to the bottom of the screen. This comes with obvious risk, but then there’s the benefit of being able to line up some seriously impressive combos.

And that’s the extent of the game (aside from a power up shot that occurs if you chain enough good combos together). There’s just the one gameplay mode, and it’s a score attack.

Boom


But while the content might be thin, the execution is brilliant. The game speeds up at a rapid pace, and becomes very challenging, very quickly. Because the controls are so responsive, though, it’s not a frustrating challenge, and the reward for moving up the (sadly, local only) leader board is substantial.

The presentation is also very enjoyable, with clean bubbles that make a nice shattering noise as the combos build up. The background music, a harpsichord, is also something we’ve not seen before in DSiWare, and adds a rustic charm to the whole game.

It’s not an epic, and it’s a game that will linger in obscurity on the DSiWare service, but Delbo is good value, and a must have for anyone that enjoyed challenging and fast-paced puzzle games.




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Review: Delbo (DSiWare)
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