Meteos Wars heading to XBLA

Out in October for 800 MS Points.

Q Entertainment has unveiled Meteos Wars for Xbox Live Arcade, due out this October for 800 Microsoft Points (GBP 6.80 / EUR 9.60).

Meteos Wars is a puzzle game and a descendant of Meteos for the DS, where columns of alien symbols descend from the ceiling and you have to move individual blocks to create vertical or horizontal lines of three or more.

The twist is that once lines are formed, the blocks don't disappear but act as a rocket, which fires them and the blocks above them upwards. Making additional lines nearby or within the same column accelerates the column's flight, and once it's gone from the top of the screen, it's gone.

If its ascent is arrested, however, it slowly tumbles back to the ground and forces you to try and prop it back up. As the player moves between planets, he or she encounters new alien symbol sets and different gravitational conditions, which changes the gameplay dynamic considerably.

The DS version used the stylus for control, but judging by the first Meteos Wars screenshots, players will use a d-pad or analogue stick-controlled cursor to manoeuvre blocks on Xbox Live Arcade.

The game's also had a facelift, according to Q, and picked up some new special moves and game modes. The moves are called Planet Impact attacks (Armageddon, Gambit, Sentinel and Tempest - sounds more like the Waitrose version of the Four Horsemen to us but never mind), while modes are Mission, Attack Mode (with one-minute, 100-Meteo and Challenge sub-modes) and Versus. The latter allows you to play two-player games locally or over Xbox Live.

Throughout it all, you'll find your way to more than 20 planets, and there will be all sorts of accessories to collect.

Back on the DS, we gave the original 9/10 in our Meteos review, despite some concerns about "scrubbing" - mashing the DS stylus across the screen to randomly line up blocks - which presumably won't be a problem on Xbox Live.

What might be, however, is speed of navigating a cursor across blocky, moving puzzle terrain, and it will be interesting to see whether Meteos' brilliant gameplay shines past the new interface layer.

Q Entertainment must think it does though, or else we wouldn't be here. Look out for Meteos Wars in October, when it will hopefully continue XBLA's fine run of recent releases - Braid, Bionic Commando Rearmed, Galaga Legions and Castle Crashers.

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