January 4, 2010 4:00 PM | Eric Caoili
DSiWare is fast becoming the go-to platform for developers to release great downloadable games that receive little-to-no recognition. Call me a Skip Ltd. fanboy if you want, but it's criminal (criminal!) that Art Style: PiCTOBiTS and Art Style: Boxlife didn't end up on more "game of the year" lists for 2009.
Q-Games's Trajectile (or Reflect Missile, as it's known in Europe) released on the handheld's U.S. download service this morning with little to no promotion from the studio or publisher Nintendo of America, which is surprising considering the positive press the developer's PixelJunk series has received. Starship Patrol, another upcoming DSiWare release from Q-Games will likely suffer the same fate.
Anyway, the great DSiWare title I hoped to talk about actually came out last week, when everyone was still too busy playing with their new Christmas games and preparing for their New Years Eve celebrations to notice Glow Artisan, a small puzzler from New York City-based Powerhead Games.
This is not only the studio's first self-published game but also its first title not based on some other company's license. Powerhead's catalog is filled with casual Ubisoft and Konami titles that most "core" gamers would turn their noses at -- Imagine: Movie Star, Petz Catz 2, Winx: Mission Enchantix, etc. -- making it even more depressing that most people are ignoring their first original IP.
In Glow Artisan, you try to re-create puzzle "blueprints" on the touchscreen by drawing with and mixing three primary colors -- red, yellow, and blue. It's more challenging than it sounds, as you need to draw entire lines instead of laying each tile out individually, and you need to take into account obstacles on the grid.
The downloadable game offers more than 100 pre-built levels, over 300 medals, a Randomizer puzzle mode, a Time Trial mode, an auto-complete feature for skipping up to three difficult levels a day, multiplayer modes using either multiple DSi systems or a single DSi, and even a Colorblind Mode that differentiates the blocks with symbols for players who difficulty telling certain colors apart.
Glow Artisan also allows you to create up to 40 of your own blueprints using the touchscreen, the DSi's outer camera, or photos from your handheld's internal memory. You can then swap those user-created levels with friends (local wireless only). You can read more about the game's puzzle creation capabilities and other details in Nintendo Life's enthusiastic review for Glow Artisan.
Unfortunately, there aren't many other reviews or even discussions about the title. Why not grab a copy from Nintendo's DSiWare Shop (priced at 500 Nintendo Points, or $5) and help spread the word about Glow Artisan?