Review: Reflect Missile (DSiWare)

Bub and Bob would be jealous

When Q-Games boast about their games, it always seems to be PS3's PixelJunk series hogging the limelight, with almost no mention of their other projects. That's a shame, because with their recent remake of Bit Generations title Art Style: Intersect, and now this, they've already got two great download games on Nintendo's newest handheld.

Reflect Missile's name basically says it all. You must fire off missiles in order to destroy certain blocks, which can be achieved by having them reflect off walls. But "Reflector" missiles are actually just one of three types of missiles you can use - the "Driller" missile is able to drill straight through up to seven blocks before disappearing, while the "Bomber" missile will explode on contact with anything, taking out all blocks within a certain radius. Obviously, neither of these two missiles will bounce off walls like the Reflector, meaning you should try to clear a path for them first if you need to.

Comparisons to Puzzle Bobble/Bust-A-Move are not misplaced - the gameplay is very similar, with a dotted line showing you part of the trajectory the missiles will take. The blocks you must destroy will also remind you of Arkanoid, another sort of similar game, as they are exactly the same shape. Unlike either of them though, almost no stages have one giant mess of blocks to clear, instead consisting of multiple smaller formations of blocks to allow for a bit more variation and, as expected, layouts which resemble certain objects, such as a clock or playing card suit.

At the start, there's a total of 30 stages to test your mettle on, each with a pre-set layout and a different line-up of missiles for you to use. It's not too complicated though, because you're restricted to using the missiles in order, therefore it's just a matter of figuring out the best places to shoot at. Adding some more spice to the mix are some other blocks - bomb blocks act just like a Bomber missile when hit, while item blocks will give your next missile a special ability, such as creating a clone, allowing you to fire two missiles at once!

If it was just these 30 stages it would already be a great game, but just before you think there's not a lot to come back to, Q-Games throws a curveball: if you manage to finish a level with missiles remaining, you'll earn a medal. Earn a certain amount of medals and you'll unlock a new difficulty level featuring not 30, but 50 more stages. This happens four times in all, making for a grand total of 200 stages!

If you don't really have any particular favourite levels and just want to reflect some missiles, there's also a "Quick Play" mode that allows you to pick any of the game's five difficulty levels, after which it will randomly select a bunch for you to play. But, as the game itself says, don't go thinking it'll be easy: stages you haven't cleared yet have a higher chance of being picked than others.

As seems to be a popular trend nowadays, Reflect Missile is presented in a very retro-esque manner; all of the graphics look blocky and the chiptune soundtrack is quite catchy. It fits the feel of the game perfectly, and just enhances the already fun gameplay even more.

Conclusion

Reflect Missile has got to be one of the simplest names for a videogame ever. To match that, the gameplay is also very easy to learn, but getting medals on all 200 stages will require a bit more thinking, especially in the higher difficulty classes. The game's delightfully retro-esque presentation only helps improve the overall package, and makes this not just one of the best 500 Point games available, but one of the best DSiWare games period.

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