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Ballistic comes from Mitchell Corporation, but this relatively unknown group of coders have not only developed a fun game, but one that's just as addictive as Tetris. Gameplay, like Tetris, is pretty basic. Balls enter the playfield on a spiral path; your goal is to keep the balls from reaching the center of the spiral by matching similar balls. There are three modes of play: Panic, which is the main game; Checkmate mode, where you have to clear the screen with a limited number of plays; and finally, Time Attack, where you clear the screen within a time limit. You can also link two Game Boys together for competitive play. It's a perfect game for the Game Boy, and even backward compatible for the original Game Boy. Any GB puzzle fan will find countless hours of enjoyment here.
If you're looking for a puzzle game on the go that's simple to get into, but takes a while to master, I suggest taking a good gamble with this game. It's an excellent variation on Bust A Move and it hasn't left my Gameboy's cartridge slot since I got it.
Finally, the music is actually fun and catchy (it reverberated in my head after I played), and the graphics are adequate. Instruction screens are helpful, especially for those who don't read the instruction manual first. So, while you'll probably enjoy this game a few times, don't expect a classic.
While the PSX version had “Panic” (continuous) and staged modes (which allowed players to rest between waves of incoming orbs), the Game Boy Color version adds a nice little twist called Checkmate, which is a static, puzzle-oriented mode: the balls aren’t moving, thank God, but you’ve got a limited number of shots and must carefully preplan your attack to remove all the targets. Two-player gameplay via GameLink cable means that---as if the game weren’t stressful and vicious enough---you can go head to head with a person you will not be calling your “friend” for long.
Control is simple and tight: Aim the cannon where you want to shoot a ball and hit a button to shoot it. This lack of complexity keeps the strategy purely at the surface of puzzle-game thinking and makes this more a puzzle game for casual players than anything else. Unfortunately, the game mechanic appeals to the lowest common denominator and as such can get a little boring at times. Still, Ballistic is a simple and fun game with a fairly innovative puzzle mechanic that's at least good for a while.