Dip your toe into DSiWare with Art Style: Aquite

An elegant take on the classic “match three blocks of the same colour to make them disappear,” puzzler, Aquite is one of those DSiWare games that would almost work as a full fledged purchase.

The game consists of a tube, three squares across and filled with blocks. You are given a couple of blocks, which you squash into the tube to push some blocks out of the other side, and hopefully line up three blocks of the same colour in the process. Once lined up, they will disappear – much like the Tetris and Bejeweled games that we’re all so familiar with these days.

A cloud of darkness, which begins at the top of the screen, descends slowly, making blocks under it impossible to see. When it reaches the bottom, it’s game over. The higher the score, the quicker the descent, though the game also throws the occasional lifeline – match three glowing blocks up and the cloud will reset to the top of the screen.

There’s only a couple of modes of play – an endless mode, a timed “complete the level as quickly as possible” mode and an aquarium, which features some pointless, but pretty aquarium scenarios that you unlock through various achievements in the other modes.

Graphically the game is crisp and clean, minimalist but stylish – something we’ve come to expect from the Art Style games. The aquarium mode is a highlight, featuring some amazing detail and rendering, but considering there’s nothing to do but watch nicely animated fish float about, it will hold your attention for all of two minutes.

The real highlight for Aquite is the music. There’s quite a variety of tracks, and there’s a real heartbeat to them – matching the on screen action perfectly to create a vibrant and immersive experience. Pulling off combos feels good, not so much for the massive score increase, but more for the cacophony of sound effects that accompanies the feat.

For 500 points, Aquite is going to be one of the better valued downloads for a while to come. It’s a challenging game, but at the same time it’s a peaceful and relaxing game to play – at no stage will frustration take over while playing this. It really could have done with some additional gameplay modes – a VS mode or online score rankings would have extended the longevity of the game, but still, it’s well worth the download.

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