So, actually, I don’t honestly like Meteos all that much. It was stylish and kind of fun, but it never really grabbed me. It’s a matching puzzle game with this really weird blast-off mechanic, which makes for a lively and energetic puzzler but not one, I’m afraid, that I find particularly engaging.


I do have fond feelings for Meteos, though. Or rather, surrounding Meteos, if not for the game itself. For one thing, weirdly enough, it was one of the first games (perhaps the first) to convince the cynics I knew to maybe give DS a fair chance. Why? Because it had Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s name attached to it: He of Space Channel 5 and (more to the point) Rez fame. And with those colors and grids and spacey effects, you can kind of see where people might draw a line between Rez and Meteos and think, “Yes! Mizuguchi is here to save the day and bring legitimacy to this benighted platform!”

Of course, in the end it was just a hyperactive puzzle game. But it caused DS critics to think more positively about the system, which was a hell of a task at the time… not that the opinion of any of us creeps in the games press mattered in the end, given the nature of the games that ultimately caused the system to rise to the heights of the sales charts.

On an extremely personal note, though, Meteos has a fuzzy little warm spot in my heart simply because it gave me my first chance to rub elbows with a “superstar” game designer. Mizuguchi came by the Ziff-Davis offices to promote the game and do some interviews, and the higher-ups took him to lunch at the restaurant downstairs. For some reason, I was invited to tag along… I suppose as a “hey, that dude at our website likes DS games and games from Japan, we should bring him.” I was still pretty fresh from being some jackass nobody with a blog (as opposed to what I am today, a jackass slightly-less-nobody with a blog and a podcast), so it was all very exciting.

Mizuguchi was, not surprisingly, super chill, and very friendly. Even to a jackass nobody like me. Despite that, I’m still not in love with this game — despite what dark conspiracy theories about ethics in games journalism might have you believe — but it’s a nice memory.

4 thoughts on “Meteos

  1. I am loving these short DS write-ups… maybe even more than the Game Boy stuff. I grew up with GB, but the DS library is so much more interesting – special, even – to me.

  2. Meteos was the first DS that really made me take notice of the system (and I got it at launch). I don’t know how much time I logged into it, but I know that I unlocked everything, then erased the data so I could unlock it all again. Something I can’t imagine doing with any similar game anymore.

    That said, I get that it’s not for everyone. In my house my youngest brother and I loved it, but my middle brother could never get into it. Which only disappointed me in that I never got to play Meteos multiplayer as much as I liked. I even almost got the Disney branded sequel just for wifi play.

  3. Now I know why EGM so wrongly named Lumines its puzzle game of the year instead of Meteos.

    I bought Meteos and Kirby’s Canvas Curse on the same day, and together they really sold me on what touch controls could do for gaming. All I had before that was Super Mario 64 DS, which only really used them for minigames (and analog movement, but come on, that was dumb), and they were fun, but nothing I could sink dozens of hours into like I did with these two games.

  4. Meteos and Kirby Canvas Curse were revelations when they hit after that awful dry spell. I absolutely love both games, and Sakurai’s influence can really be felt in Meteos.

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