When we first heard about Meteos: Disney Magic, frankly we were sceptical. The first version of Meteos – a block-based puzzle game with a space travelling theme – was solid but didn't quite catch fire. The addition of some extra Disney characters looked unlikely to make much difference.
However, the huge media corporation has demonstrated it knows more about entertainment than we do: it's now looking possible that Meteos: Disney Magic will be a big improvement on the original game.
The first thing to note is that you'll have to hold your DS like a book, as with the Brain Training games (we've cropped the screens here for clarity, so you can just see the touchscreen playing area).
This new orientation makes complete sense. The blocks are much bigger and hence it's easier to see what you're doing.
The other main switch is that this time (at least if you're playing in the easy or medium modes), you'll be able to move the blocks left and right with your stylus, as well as up and down.
This is important, as the gameplay in Meteos is based around creating lines that consist of three or more blocks of the same colour.
In the original game, those lines could be horizontal or vertical but you could only move the blocks up or down their columns. In Meteos: Disney Magic you'll have much more flexibility in how you create lines, unless you're playing the hard mode. That will restrict your block movement to up and down a column.
Once you've create those meteos lines, you'll notice another, subtler change. Instead of the blocks turning into rockets and blasting into space as you build up combos, they'll just disappear, as with Tetris. That should reduce the pace of the game, which we thought got a little out of hand in the original, and make it a more welcoming experience for the younger players who'll be attracted by the Disney folk.
As for that overt Disney-fication, instead of matching coloured blocks, you'll be matching blocks with icons of characters and items from the likes of Lilo & Stitch, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Pirates of the Caribbean, Toy Story, Snow White and Winnie the Pooh. Think pumpkins for The Nightmare Before Christmas, honey pots for Pooh and skulls for Pirates of the Caribbean.
All-in-all, it's looking a neat package. Click on the 'Track It!' button to get notification of our review. But you'll have to be patient. Meteos: Disney Magic isn't due for UK release until June.