Puchi Puchi Virus Review

There is absolutely no shortage of puzzle games on the DS. In fact, puzzle games seem to dominate the majority of DS releases. So when a company puts out a brand new puzzle IP, you better bet they need to do some things to stand out. Jaleco attempts just that with their latest release, Puchi Puchi Virus. But is it enough?

Unlike most puzzle games, Puchi Puchi doesn’t feature blocks, falling objects, or even rotating shapes. Being one of the few puzzle games designed specifically for the DS (rather than simply tossing in stylus support), the game forces players to connect three identical colored viruses together, creating a triangle; tapping one of the triangled viruses destroys it. When you connect three viruses, any viruses inside the triangle become activated, and if you don’t deal with them quick enough they’ll turn to frozen pieces, unable to be destroyed or used until you form another triangle around them.

It sounds hectic and difficult on paper, but in all honesty it rarely is. As the game gets faster and faster, you’ll find it much more effective to just let the viruses fill up the screen, then make triangles as big as you can, getting rid of a lot of viruses in one go. It works throughout the entire game, and completely eliminates the need to actually plan, turning Puchi Puchi Virus more into an exercise of waiting patiently than frantically tapping as the screen fills up.

You’d think that with repetitive gameplay and almost no real threat of failure that Puchi Puchi would struggle as a puzzle game, but you’d be wrong. With their other unique move, Jaleco crafted an entire game of patients (the premise of the game is that some virus has turned townfolk into monsters and you need to cure them) which poke fun at the real world, pop culture, and gaming in general. Characters like Uwe G.T. Bull (hobbies include gorging herself and making horrid film adaptations) make up the list of people you’ll encounter in the single player portion, making the reward for completing each patient seeing who’s next.

The multiplayer portion adds some longevity to the game, but in the end the gameplay mechanics of Puchi Puchi Virus just don’t stand up to the better puzzlers on the DS. Is it fun? For short intense bursts, yes. Unfortunately the gameplay requires almost no actual thought, just speed and reflexes. The puns and humor are present and saves the game to a degree, but not enough to make this a recommendable game for any but the most diehard puzzle fans, children, or casual gamers looking for a quick laugh.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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