(DSiWare)

Art Style: AQUITE (DSiWare)

Game Review

Art Style: AQUITE Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Stuart Reddick

Addictive, entertaining, and a bargain.

The Art Style series has never ceased to impress us; when the first three titles hit the WiiWare service late last year, they blew us away with their overall quality. Featuring elegant design, polished graphics, and pick-up-and-play controls, the Art Style series was a perfect-fit for WiiWare. Now that the DSi has launched, it is time to see if the game has managed the transition to Nintendo's hot new handheld – time to see if it lives up to the standards set by the WiiWare versions.

Art Style: AQUITE is your typical “line up three colors” puzzle game, but with a bit of an unusual twist: you have to push shapes horizontally into a column of blocks, displacing that row's blocks. Though the concept sounds a little basic, once you start playing, you’ll quickly discover that it’s very engaging, intuitive, and above all, entertaining. What gamers have come to love in past Art Style games can be found here; this version stays true to the Art Style legacy.

One of the best things about Art Style: AQUITE is that it blends a very traditional puzzle design with this refreshingly new concept: players control two – or up to four on the hardest difficulty – blocks; these blocks must be slid from side to side of the screen, where a tower of blocks is present in the middle; manoeuvring the blocks through the tower will displace others and leave the original ones behind; while doing this, the player has to try and match up three blocks in a row, which will remove them, and help the player progress.

When pushing blocks into the tower, more will come out on the opposite side, and this creates an extra layer of strategy to the game. As well as this, players have the ability to rotate the set of blocks that they’re controlling – adding yet more elements to that feeling of strategic depth. The satisfaction of matching up the colors, and coming one step closer to finishing the puzzle, is simply immense; after just a few minutes of play, you’ll easily become addicted to this and will likely have some major conflicts when it comes to putting your Nintendo DSi down.

In terms of controls, there is no touchscreen interaction; everything is down to using the buttons. To slide blocks up and down the massive stack in the middle you use the d-pad and to send them into the stack, you press A. This setup works very well for the most, although the absence of touch controls is disappointing.

From a graphical standpoint, Art Style: AQUITE isn’t that hot: the graphics are simple, yet well-crafted; and the little animation included in the game is slick, fluent, and easy on the eyes. In comparison to the visuals, the sound is where the presentation really stacks up well: starting off a little basic at first, the music slowly adopts more of a captivating beat the further you progress, to a point where it becomes a truly compelling tune. The addictiveness and overall quality of this soundtrack is absolutely through-the-roof when you compare it to the mere 500 points the game costs – you're getting a real bargain here.

Conclusion

Out of all the titles available at launch, Art Style: AQUITE is undoubtedly one of the best. Featuring elegant design, polished graphics, and pick-up-and-play addictiveness; the Art Style series is a perfect-fit for DSiWare. The game's rather traditional concept, mixed in with a unique twist, creates one of the most fresh and enjoyable puzzles on any handheld. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed with Art Style: AQUITE.

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User Comments (60)

worrybomb

#3

worrybomb said:

While the DSi launch games are pretty much a mixex bag, it looks like Art Style: Aquia is probably the most essential download of the bunch. I'm definitely going to purchase this game as soon as get my DSi in the mail. The sound effects will probably be in your head for days (good thing or bad thing, you decide) but it definitely looks like another fun Skip puzzler. =)

Nanaki

#5

Nanaki said:

Reading this review is further convincing me to purchase a DSi...

geek-master

#6

geek-master said:

i pesonily cant wait for that game where you make as many cubes as you can with the ds stylis. :)

ILoveWii

#7

ILoveWii said:

Aquite seems to a very innovative title. Since I love these Art Style games, I'll definitely be getting it.

Adam

#8

Adam said:

I really want to play this game. I wish there were more reason to get a DSi. This would be the first game I download.

Bahamut_ZERO

#9

Bahamut_ZERO said:

I am so buying this right now. Ill give you guys impressions of my first DSiWare game soon :)

Oh, and great review, but in your titleyou misspelled Aquia. You wrote Aquite.

Mopsical

#10

Mopsical said:

A 9 already? Well, I'm definitely getting a DSi then. Tomorrow can't come soon enough... Also, you said Aquia instead of Aquite, is it called that in different regions?

Bahamut_ZERO

#12

Bahamut_ZERO said:

Oh, and to Wiiloveit when he shows up:

I told ya there would be a 9/10 at launch! Victory is mine :)

Anyway, impression/mini-review time:

I've never been a huge puzzle game fan. At first, this gameplay really confused me. After a while though, about 8 minutes, I got the hang of it. Its quite addicting actually. The music starts out "Meh" but the more blocks you clear, the better the music gets. This game also records high scores, so thats good replay value. Overall, this game isnt nearly as good as other 9s from this NintendoLife, and I would give it an 8, however for only 500 points, the fact that you get 1000 free with a DSi, and that puzzle games are always better on a portable, in terms of value, this gets an 9/10.

animagnum

#13

animagnum said:

This game is a lot of fun. For 500 points, I was really impressed with the depth of strategy involved.

ebm62980

#14

ebm62980 said:

It's a decent puzzle game but I found that I did better when I held up/down and just kept pressing A really quick...as opposed to actually looking for matches....seems kind of cheap...but it works...kinda ruins the game for me a little.

bboy2970

#16

bboy2970 said:

@ebm62980:
That strategy works for mabey level 1 and 2 but in the higher levels, that will just make the darkness creep up faster. The more times you switch sides without deleting any blocks the faster the darkness approaches.

Kenji510

#18

Kenji510 said:

This game is cool and fun... worth to download and its called Aquia for the US version as well... still waiting on DeCode game!

CorbsAdmin

#19

Corbs said:

Best DSiWare launch game hands down! I finally had to give it a try earlier and I love it.

Kid_A

#20

Kid_A said:

I suck at these types of games. But this and Pyoro are really the only two decent games on DSiWare right now, so I probably don't have much of a choice.

siavm

#21

siavm said:

Good review. I am getting this hopefully tomorrow when my dsi comes in the mail.

Nero

#23

Nero said:

Sound great. Will be getting it whenever I get a DSi. I hope they bring Dotstream out in some form, loved that gba title.

ReZon

#25

ReZon said:

Downloaded this a little while ago... very intriguing. The sound effects are somewhat reminiscent of Electroplankton.. that and it's a water game. Heh.

Well worth the 500 points though. Now.. what to do with the other 500...

Hardy83

#26

Hardy83 said:

"what to do with the other 500..."

Wait...Unless you like paying for cheap tech demos and demos of bigger games that cost a little over twice as much as the demo. lol

Kenji510

#27

Kenji510 said:

To me, i think its a really cool and fun game... worth to download for 500 points... been playin for awhile now... hopefully next week on the 13th for the next update, hopefully we get the Artstyle DECODE game, been wanted to play that game. :)

LinktotheFuture

#33

LinktotheFuture said:

Just got this, my first ArtStyle game, and I really like it. I am going to get the others for my Wii as soon as I can.

catcher82611

#34

catcher82611 said:

This was the first game I downloaded off the DSi shop. It is the best DSiware on the store in the US. This game is addictive, easy to learn, fun, and just flat out AWESOME!

Gogata

#35

Gogata said:

I downloaded this and I really like the aquarium feature and the yet simple, but good graphics. Another good title.

BleachFan

#39

BleachFan said:

I hardly ever play puzzle games...EVER! But I got this game and I couldn't be more satisfied. Definately the best DSiWare right now. Good Job, Art Style! I'm considering getting Cubello as well...

terry908

#40

terry908 said:

the game is insanely difficult, especially on level 10.
i only manged to clear this game by kept on pausing the game.

Clayfrd

#42

Clayfrd said:

This is a fun game, but I can't get into it as much as some of you. I personally like Pictobits better. Anyone agree?

Henric

#44

Henric said:

This is a pretty lame review - and game - in my opinion. There is literally no depth (harhar) to the gameplay, as randomly mashing A actually makes it easier to score higher.

Initially I thought the concept of diving deeper whilst busting blocks sounded cool, but here it's the other way around. Why are you being pursued by darkness? It just doesn't make much sense. I should also add that since the game engulfs your screen in darkness, part of the playing field is often pitch black - meaning that randomly pressing A is actually a viable tactic for success since you can't see.

It's not an awful game by any means, just very very dull and I have no idea how a 9 out of 10 (a nine out of ten!?) can be justified for a game with such a nonsensical core mechanic. Sure, it's cheap, but WTF. There are much better ArtStyle games on DSiWare, like PictoPict or Kubos.

Trust me, if you get this on the basis of this review, prepare to be disappointed. It's pretty dull, and like I said, randomly mashing A is actually a higher scoring tactic than playing the game properly. Broken.

Clayfrd

#45

Clayfrd said:

@Henric - My thoughts exactly. I like the game, but I could probably beat any given level without looking (until the last part, of course). Speaking of that, it also seems that the last bit of every timed dive can occasionally be impossible to solve. I'd give an example, but I can't think of one at the moment.

Henric

#48

Henric said:

@SirNova - That's the thing, I actually have more success randomly mashing blocks in level 5 than I do trying to play the game properly, as I end up not being able to see anything.

My point is that immersing your playing field in darkness is frustrating/rubbish game design as all it prompts is panic and haphazard block shifting. Some posters here have said that the only way they could beat it was by pausing the game and observing the playing field - that, to me, proves my point that this game is a failed experiment and in no way worthy of a 9 (an almost perfect score.) Compare this with the great PictoPict or Kubos etc.

djor

#49

djor said:

@Henric

You DO understand that you're supposed to line up the three blinking blocks in order to clear the darkness, right? Which is why they are visible while it's dark.

warioswoods

#50

warioswoods said:

@Henric, Clayfrd

You can't possibly get very far by just shifting tiles randomly; how far in have you two actually played?

Yes, your playing field darkens, but that's what you're constantly fighting against, so that any good player will have to stop being random and instead start chaining matches, which is the only way to stave off the darkness until those glowing blocks appear and let you clear the whole screen again.

@Clayfrd

" I like the game, but I could probably beat any given level without looking (until the last part, of course). Speaking of that, it also seems that the last bit of every timed dive can occasionally be impossible to solve."

I'll believe it when I see it. There's no way anyone can get through more than the opening levels without looking. Also, I've played this game a whole lot, and I've never lost to the puzzle at the end of a level, it just seems to be unsolvable if you don't think it through. Sometimes the only solution is very unintuitive--depending on the shape you're building and the game mode--so that you might have to put the pieces in sort of backwards in order to line them up, but it's always solvable if you're clever enough.

Kyloctopus

#52

Kyloctopus said:

@ Zane and Henrick

i do beleve that this is over rated, sure it's fun and has great music and graphics, but it's not the first time you've seen these types of games.

I think it should be a 7/10

paperskyx

#53

paperskyx said:

I think this game is pretty fun. The perfect extra puzzle game to store on your DSi for the times that you're bored. I think a 9 might be pushing it, I'd give it a 8 at the most.

grumblegrumble

#55

grumblegrumble said:

I don't get why this game is so popular. I mean, I think it's one of those "you'll either hate it or love it" titles, and as for me, I just don't dig it (which is weird considering I love all the other Art Style games!)

Joygame51

#57

Joygame51 said:

I have to disagree with Rocketship and other detractors of this game.
If you like puzzle games like this (Tetris and the like ) then this game can be fun TRUE less colorful and not quite as exciting. but very very addictive... and fun too!

SLiM

#59

SLiM said:

This is a Club Nintendo Reward for the month of May. Going to snag this tonight for 100 coins. Sounds like a great deal!

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