Japanese developer qb's pair of next-gen handheld puzzlers are in the spotlight this week as rumour spreads that Ubisoft will publish PSP title Lumines in North America while qb has decided to hold off the release of DS title Meteos in order to apply some last minute polish.
Producer Tetsuya Mizuguchi is the sort of person who we can imagine playing Tetris and saving a gap for the tallest rectangle to slot down one side and clear four lines at once. A perfectionist in other words. So it's not too surprising to learn that Meteos, designed by Kirby creator Masahiro Sakurai and produced by Mizuguchi, has been delayed for last-minute refinement. Rez designer Mizuguchi last week spoke of how "reluctant" qb had been to change the date and apologised to fans on the developer's website.
Meteos, a traditional blocks-from-the-sky puzzler, involves moving blocks up and down to align groups of three which then fly off the screen carrying the blocks above away with them. It will now be released in Japan on 10th March, and you can read a slightly fuller account of it in the second part of our recent DS Games To Watch feature here.
Meanwhile, US online retailer GameStop.com has begun listing Mizuguchi's other puzzler, Lumines, for release in March as an Ubisoft title. The game, which is published in Japan by Bandai, hadn't previously been confirmed for US release.
When contacted by the US press, reps were unable to confirm that Ubi would be publishing Lumines, but indicated that the company would "likely make an announcement next week," - something that, going on past experience, a publisher would be unlikely to admit to if there wasn't some degree of truth behind it.
Another falling blocks puzzler, this time with a distinct musical edge, Lumines was reviewed on EG last week.