Puch Puchi Virus
Release Date: 07/05/07
I bought my Nintendo DS two years ago due to disappointment with the GBA. What I want from a portable game system is a library of pick up and play puzzle and action games. While the GBA had plenty of great games, it never really gave me the 15 minute at a time bursts of gaming that I need to make it through a night at work. I was overjoyed to find Meteos, Tetris DS, and Mr. Driller for my DS Lite, but lately the puzzle category has been stagnant.
As with any other time I find myself tired of domestic games, I looked overseas and found a little gem of a puzzle game for the DS waiting for me in Japan, Puchi Puchi Virus. Luckily for you, the good people of NIS America have also noticed how keen this offbeat puzzle game is and are bringing it to our shores soon. So, is Puchi Puchi Virus worth the purchase? Read on.
Sadly, the puzzle genre has become synonymous with falling piece games, like Tetris, or is confused with the nauseating brain training genre. P2V escapes the falling piece ghetto quite cunningly. The board is made up of hexagons. Inside some of the hexagons are little dancing viruses one primary color. The more difficult the stage, the more colors of viruses there are to contend with. Tapping on a virus activates it. Once active, you have a short window of time to tap two more of the same color. The resulting triangle activates all of the viruses contained within it, so, for any three like viruses within, a new triangle is formed and new triangles can be formed by tapping on viruses outside of the triangle. Each time a new triangle is formed, the time you have to detonate the first triangle is lengthened. With a small amount of practice, chains of 3,4, and even 5 can be made, racking up serious points.
What makes all of this interesting is that each stage, or patient, has different goals. Sometimes, you need a certain score or to get fifty triangles in order to earn a Pill. Activated viruses that are not detonated turn into calcium deposits which can only be removed by being inside a detonated triangle. Pills turn calcified viruses back into viable ones. Simple, but elegant and a whole lot of fun.
Two side notes:
First, the surrounding storyline is hilarious, with it’s transformed townsfolk and giant chicken nurse, and is a rarity among puzzle games.
Secondly, while very import friendly, wait for the American localization from NIS. Some goals can be difficult without basic Japanese.
Graphics: VERY GOOD
Balance: VERY GOOD
Originality: VERY GOOD
Appeal Factor: GOOD
The Final Rating: VERY GOOD
Puchi Puchi Virus is a great little game and one well worth checking out. If you love puzzle games and want something new, you can’t go wrong with Puchi Puchi Virus.