Perfect Portable Puzzlers
We break down the greatest portable puzzle games of all time. Of course Tetris, but what other games? The rest are inside.
While Sony is attempting to convince us that grinding rails on a skateboard, dunking a basketball, and shooting enemy soldiers is a lot of fun on its PSP, puzzle games will forever be the greatest genre to appear on portable systems. Highly addictive, these classics defined portable gaming and gave it its legs, so I present to you five of the greatest puzzle games of all time, though keep in mind that these are five of the greatest, not the five greatest. However, I love hate mail, so send away!
Platform: Lynx, Turbo Express, Game Boy Color, Game Gear
The Atari Lynx doesn't have a lot of games for it that are worth owning, but in case you're a collector rest assured that Klax is one of its best. As the operator of a conveyor belt, the object is to group similarly-colored tiles in different combinations to make them disappear. Unlike other titles such as Tetris and Lumines, where the challenges are set and never change, Klax throws numerous obstacles into your path that you'll need to complete in order to clear that particular level/board.
While Klax is available for several portable systems, it was the most popular on the Lynx, where it was one of the system's flagship games.
Mr. Driller Drill Spirits
Platform: Nintendo DS
Mr. Driller rocks no matter what platform he's on, but I'm partial to the DS version because you can play using the touch screen, and while the controls aren't as precise as the d-pad's, once you put some practice into it you'll be navigating past tons of falling blocks in no time.
The object of the game is to drill through scores of multicolored blocks without getting squashed by falling debris and running out of oxygen. There are several different depths you can drill to including 500 and 1000 meters, and there are also a lot of characters you can play as, though you need to unlock them. What I also love is how the game makes use of the system's dual screens. Unlike other portable Mr. Drillers, the stretched vertical set up allows you to get a much better view of the playfield, which lets you know exactly what sort of chain reactions you're causing.
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
Platform: Nintendo Game Boy Advance
While this port of the beloved Saturn and PSOne classic didn't turn out that great it's still a quality puzzler/beat-em-up that features some of our most favorite Capcom characters such as Chun Li, Akuma, and Ryu. Clear more jewels than your opponent to send waves of blocks coming his or her way that'll suffocate them, all the while launching your pint-sized pocket fighter into a frenzy that'll leave their little guy or gal reeling from the body blows. While the AI puts up a great fight, there's nothing like facing off against a human opponent. Without a doubt, this puzzle game inspires trash talking like no other.
Platform: Nintendo Game Boy
From Russia with love! Alexy Pajitnov's timeless classic helped Nintendo sell through millions of Game Boys as well as inspire other developers to craft their own falling block games. Enjoyed by children and adults alike, Tetris will forever be enshrined as one of if not the greatest of all time, but after over a decade of dominance it finally succumbed to the competition, and that leads me to the last game.
Platform: Sony PSP
I'm not going to get all artsy fartsy on you, so don't expect me to call Tetsuya Mizuguchi's PSP game an epiphany or even a revelation. Bottom line is Lumines is a hypnotizing and highly-addictive falling block game that features a great soundtrack and has simple to learn but difficult to master gameplay mechanics. Match up four of the same color to make blocks disappear. After a minute or two you'll discover that it's easier than it sounds, but no matter how bad you screw up you'll always come back to it but at times not for the same reasons. Do you intend to best your high score, kick back and relax as the music dazzles your senses, or work to unlock just one more skin? If you said yes to all three, then you'll truly get the most out of this instant classic.