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Super Collapse! 3

The last rendition of Super Collapse was released for the Gameboy Advance, so itís been a while since the colored puzzler has seen a Nintendo handheld. Super Collapse 3 also shares a joint release with a version for the PSP. Similar to titles like Jewel Quest and Bejeweled, Super Collapse uses a formula for matching colored objects together.

If you have never played a version of Super Collapse, the game board is built like Tetris and the pieces emerge from the bottom rather than the top. Rather than switching blocks on the screen, you select sections of 3 or more blocks to eliminate. While the upper rows of blocks moving down vertically when cleared, blocks also move horizontally to snap sections together. When a bit of strategy is implemented, you can clear the entire board as long as you think ahead a few moves.


The meaty portion of the game is found in the Quest mode which is a mixture of the various modes found in quick play. As you traverse the light quest mode, you will find everything from the classic game mode to full-board puzzles to clear. You can also into any of these modes using the quick play option in the opening menu, assuming they have been unlocked in quest mode. Continuous mode is tons of fun for those seeking a tougher challenge. Much of the game feels far too easy in the early levels, but continuous mode will test your strategic skills with speedy play.

Within quest mode, you have the option of taking cards to play during a particular match. These cards can be purchased along the way at little houses off the beaten path. Cards such as color bombs or row/column removers can be implemented if you have painted yourself into a corner on the puzzle. These items also pop up during matches on occasion. The most useful item is a powerful bomb that levels large numbers of blocks surrounding it. It can also demolish the stubborn black blocks that cannot be chosen for board banishment.

The touch screen control makes for some speedy play, much more so that any version Iíve played. Many times I found myself incessantly waiting for a new row to pop up because I had been tapping those blocks away too quickly. The stylus is needed for complete accuracy and the game seems to respond well to the tap function. You may want to try out the finger for larger sections of blocks, but it becomes troublesome when several 3-piece sets are nearby.

The included multiplayer modes require separate carts for each Nintendo DS. Oddly, there is no download play option included to share the cart with a friend as puzzle games seem perfect for this option. If you do happen to have a friend with the cart, you can play versus matches or co-op. Also, there is no wi-fi support for play over an online network.


The visuals in Super Collapse 3 are very middle of the road for a puzzler. The color scheme is attractive and certainly pops off the screen brightly, but block movement animations and clearing effects are very humdrum. Also, moving through the levels makes for a static experience as each section is fairly boring. The entire presentation feels barebones and it doesnít seem like the developer invest much time into the graphics engine.


The music is light, bouncy and annoyingly repetitive. Also, the presentation leaves it out where it should have been utilized the most, the opening menu. The sound effects are somewhat useful, but really arenít needed to be successful in the game. On the plus side, you can easily play this title on the subway or street without bothering anyone.


The price point ($29.99) on Super Collapse 3 is on par with regular NDS titles, but it feels like you are getting cheated on the feature set. There are much better puzzle titles out there, many of which have more entertaining stories attached to them. Still, if itís straight puzzles that you are after, Super Collapse 3 has a lot of gameplay to offer. Unfortunately, the lack of shared-cart multiplayer options destroys the replay value between local friends. Super Collapse 3 is worth a rental on a rainy day, but nothing more.