Planet Puzzle League

JP: Panel de Pon DS
Developed in Japan by Intelligent Systems
Published by Nintendo
Released in 2007 for the Nintendo DS

Planet Puzzle League targets the venerable series to the Brain Age audience, positioning the series as a training tool (complete with daily challenges and stat-tracking) that can be played with the Nintendo DS stylus.  The use of the stylus for input is a gigantic disappointment.  The ease of use drastically redefines game strategy (mandating multiple concurrent chains over one well-executed chain) and makes most of the clever options for clearing panels pointless.  And even if one sticks with the traditional controller input, they’ll find that the game speed and difficulty are balanced towards the new players this version is designed to attract.  Most infuriating is that faster game speeds are programmed into the Clear mode and only the Clear mode.  For general use, the fastest game mode is slower than what has been traditionally known as “Normal” speed.  Along with some unappealing graphics and sound, it’s impossible to recommend Planet Puzzle League over its predecessors.

★★★