Buena Vista Games backs handheld formats with puzzle games and Disney brands

Pocket puzzlers Lumines II and Every Extend Extra back up a vast portable Disney line-up

Buena Vista Games backs handheld formats with puzzle games and Disney brands
| Buena Vista

Handheld games accounted for the majority of Buena Vista's E3 line-up, with PSP, DS and Game Boy Advance all well catered for. And whilst there was naturally plenty of Disney-Branded Nonsense(TM) to wade through, it was the company's original concepts that caught our eye in the form of Spectrobes, Lumines II and Every Extend Extra.

Best described as a 'dig-em-up', the DS title Spectrobes has a decidedly archaeological feel, requiring that you (as a junior interplanetary patrol officer) excavate, awake and train the eponymous prehistoric creatures so they can battle and defeat the latest force threatening the gallery. Whilst the collection and training of monsters is nothing new (so far, so Pokemon), it's the digging element that we, err, dig most. Spectrobes is out in June.

There wasn't a great deal on the eagerly awaited PSP puzzle sequel Lumines II, other than some familiar looking screen shots above and the promise it'll be bigger and better than the original. However Every Extend Extra, the other PSP puzzler from Q entertainment, the chaps behind Lumines, is an entirely different kettle of kippers.

Described as a 'puzzle shooter', Every Extend Extra's frantic explosive action looks like a firework display inside a phone box, albeit with a better soundtrack. With an autumn release pencilled in, we'll be popping on our sunglasses and ear-plugs for a playtest soon.

To round out the puzzling theme there's also a Disney version of Meteos on the way to DS called, wait for it, Meteos: Disney Edition. We expect it'll be a bit like Meteos, only with Disney stuff in it. Trust us, we know these things!

Talking of Disney, you'll be less than amazed to discover a sizeable number of movie and TV tie-ins straight from the magic kingdom are headed to DS and PSP, as well as Game Boy Advance.

And amidst this battle of the brands, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest caught our eye (not the one under the patch obviously), as a third-person action/adventure promising plenty of swashbuckling swordplay and treasure hunting. Let's hope it lives up to its promise to capture the disloyalty, revenge and humour of the movie this summer.

Disney's Meet the Robinson's also stands out, mainly due to its crazy time-travelling plot featuring a diabolical robotic bowler hat called Doris (there simply isn't enough hell-bent headwear around these days if you ask us). Based on the upcoming animated movie of the same name, the DS and GBA game promises adventure and plenty of gadgets to play with when it arrives later in the year.

Meanwhile Disney's Chicken Little: Ace in Action, a DS-based action adventure, is due to test exactly how chicken we are this autumn.

Other new brand-based games on the way include the unfeasibly long named Disney's American Dragon: Jake Long, Attack of the Dark Dragon (DS), That's So Raven: Psychic on the Scene (DS), The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: Tipton Trouble (DS), The Cheetah Girls (GBA), Phil of the Future and W.I.T.C.H..

There's also a shed load more Disney-prefixed games coming for Game Boy Advance, which we've already rounded up. Suffice to say we'll take closer looks at the ones that deserve your attention in the weeks ahead.

Meanwhile, we're off to pop into our de-Disneyfying chamber to purge our souls of animated happiness.

Chris James
Chris James
A footy game fanatic and experienced editor of numerous computing and game titles, bossman Chris is up for anything – including running Steel Media (the madman).