Mr. Driller: Drill Spirits (Nintendo DS)


Mr. Driller Drill Spirits is a classic arcade puzzle game that will birng you hours of fun!

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Mr. Driller Drill Spirits is a classic arcade puzzle game that will birng you hours of fun! Use the innovative new dual-screen interface to see the falling blocks without getting crushed. Drill your way through the blocks and collect air capsules as you go. Rescue the other trapped Drillers and get the power-ups you need to stop the Destroyer Drill!

For the cognoscenti of the gaming world Mr Driller is one of the most eagerly awaited launch titles for the Nintendo DS. Although not particularly well known in the West, the Mr Driller series is regarded as the best new arcade puzzle game since the genre’s Tetris-inspired heyday in the early 90s. It’s also a game which seems particularly suited to the DS since it’s all about drilling vertically into the ground and thus the two screens stacked together offer a particularly useful set-up.

As such the gameplay doesn’t different markedly from previous outings–it just looks and plays better. As with all the best puzzle games, it sounds simple as all you have to do is drill down through differently coloured groups of blocks. Blocks of the same colour will disappear together if they touch each other and the only other thing you have to worry about is collecting oxygen pills to keep going and see how deep you can drill. With your excavations constantly causing cave-ins and undrillable rocks creating unforeseen obstacles everything quickly becomes much more complicated than the simply rules first imply.

You can use the stylus to control the game but it’s much simpler to stick to the D-pad–but then the twin screens are the real reason for this appearing on the DS. The new set-up is taken particular advantage of with the new Pressure game mode, as you’re chased from the top screen by a giant drill. It may not be a technical marvel but this is still one of the best launch games for the DS. —David Jenkins