REVIEW: Siesta Fiesta (3DS)

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  • Nintendo 3DS / Rated E / $5.99 / released July 2014
  • PURCHASE LINK: Nintendo eShop
  • FINAL: You WANT this game. 4 out of 5 stars

We’ve had plenty of block-breaking, bouncing ball games over the years, from “Breakout” to “Arkanoid” to “Ricochet.” The structure is so simple that any new game in the genre needs to seriously consider theming and polish in order to grab attention. “Siesta Fiesta,” new to download for Nintendo 3DS, clearly accomplishes just that.

Siesta Fiesta” has a cute hook: the ball you use to smash bricks is a sleepy fellow named Siesta and the paddle that bounces him around is his springy bed. If you miss a rebound and Siesta hits the floor, he is tossed back into the fray by one of the Fiestas, which are the happy little critters that populate the game’s world. Siesta’s unconscious journeys through Fiestaville take him through beaches and factories and caves, while grinning Fiestas cavort in the background.

Whether Siesta is dreaming, or if Fiestaville just has exceptionally questionable hotels, is not specifically addressed, but at least the theme presents a fun visual take on Pong’s boring old ball and paddle.

The biggest change to the classic formula is that each level scrolls from right to left. You must constantly account for the sideways movement as you bang through each level, which makes “Siesta Fiesta” less about destroying all the bricks and more about surviving until the end of the journey. The secret to ball control lies in how the game handles bounce height. When Siesta hits the bed, he will bounce only about halfway up the screen. If you press the A button at just the right moment, however, he shoots up twice as high. Mastering “Siesta Fiesta” requires you to carefully consider these options on every bounce.

Siesta Fiesta” never hesitates to toss in unexpected elements. There are blocks you have to hit in sequence; there are blocks filled with water. There are fans and bombs and pinball bumpers. “Siesta” is determined to avoid any dawning realization that you’re just bouncing a ball through static brick walls. In many cases, the game throws intricate puzzles in your path that must be solved if you expect to hit a high score.

A few of the level types can’t stick the landing. There are timed levels where you absolutely have to clear out every brick before a clock runs out, which fall under the frustrating “pinball physics did me dirty” rule. Additionally, a couple boards swap out Siesta’s fluffy mattress for a little cannon that seems to miss more rebounds than it catches. Then there’s the giant pinata boss fights, which are uneven in difficulty. Thankfully, these less-than-fun levels only crop up every now and then and do not entirely sour the game’s overall flavor.

Siesta Fiesta” comes packed with over 55 levels, each with its own unique set of blocks and patterns, so there is plenty of opportunity to master specific boards. There is no “infinite” mode, a la “Tetris,” so the game’s replay value lies in memorizing and defeating each level’s specific challenges.

At only $6, “Siesta Fiesta” measures up as a great 3DS download. The varied gameplay and polished presentation classify it as not just another block-breaker.

This review is based on product supplied by the developer. Image courtesy Mojo Bones.