Art of Balance Touch!
| Art of Balance Touch!

Have you ever tried balancing on top of a plank laid on top of a barrel? It's rather difficult, and usually ends with you on the floor and the end of a plank pressed against your face.

There are no such potential face-ache worries in Art of Balance Touch!, a 3DS eShop version of the popular 2010 WiiWare shape balancing game Art of Balance (if that is, indeed, the proper way to describe the genre).

The game has been ported across brilliantly and is perfectly suited to the 3DS's touchscreen, making this release even better than the original. Tight controls, oodles of variety, and a truckload of levels mean addiction levels are at an all-time high while playing Shin'en's physics-based puzzler.

But is it art?

Art of Balance Touch! contains 200 levels, each set in a small container filled with water. A platform protrudes out of the water, and on this you must carefully pile a selection of awkwardly shaped objects.

It starts off pretty easy, with simple square and rectangle blocks fitting together snuggly. Once every block is placed, a 3-second countdown timer begins. If all the blocks are still above water level when the time runs out, you're safe.

Rather quickly, however, your balancing skills are sorely tested, as crosses, long pieces, round pieces, and weird squares with round(ish) bits coming out of them are thrown into the mix. Working out how to fit all these complex shapes together is head-scratching, highly engrossing stuff.

It helps that the touchscreen controls are absolutely spot-on, allowing you to place pieces exactly where you want them. Even after all these years, developers are still showing us just how precise the controls on a DS / 3DS can be.


There are many, many hours of puzzles to work your way through in Art of Balance Touch! - and because new concepts are regularly introduced into proceedings, the action rarely becomes repetitive.

In later worlds, you have to place glass blocks that can smash if overloaded with weight, and blocks that fade away if anything else touches them. You're also only provided with three blocks at a time, and once you've placed one, subsequent blocks in the queue can be used, making for some satisfyingly tactical placements.

If you consider the bonus levels here and there that change the rules of the game slightly, and the Endurance mode that asks you to keep beating levels until you run out of lives, then it's fair to say that Shin'en has produced a title you'll continue to boot up many times over before you complete every puzzle.

There really isn't much that brings the game down. The level select screen is presented in an odd fashion, but it's not a deal breaker by any means. The stereoscopic 3D effect isn't amazing, but it does the job.

Essentially, what we're saying is this - if you have a 3DS and you have even a fleeting interesting in puzzle games, Art of Balance Touch! is a title you should grab. It's one of the best eShop games to date.

Art of Balance Touch!

The 3DS eShop scores another whopper, as Art of Balance Touch! is essential puzzle gaming
Mike Rose
Mike Rose
An expert in the indie games scene, Mike comes to Pocket Gamer as our handheld gaming correspondent. He is the author of 250 Indie Games You Must Play.