I'm probably one of the few people who played and enjoyed ThruSpace, a downloadable title on Wii. The game is a unique puzzle game where you're given Tetris-like shapes that zoom down corridors and you're tasked with spinning them to fit through holes in walls in your path. Sounds wacky and very Japanese, but the mechanics were fun and the sleek post-Lumines aesthetic worked well. Although it's pretty easy to get through levels just by fitting the piece through the holes, the real fun comes from moving and rotating the piece multiple times to cover the entire hole, earning a "trick" that nets you many more points and a multiplier, if you can manage to sustain it.
I've been looking forward to playing its sequel, Ketzal’s Corridors (aka SpeedThru: Potzol’s Puzzle) on 3DS ever since I finished ThruSpace, but have only gotten around to it now. At its core Ketzal’s Corridors is pretty much the same game as ThruSpace, but with many notable enhancements. The most obvious one is that the game trades in the sleek and minimalistic design of the original for a cool Aztec-inspired design instead. There's a minimal story involving a good and a bad deity yadda yadda, but the trappings actually help improve the gameplay because rather than each game piece being made up of simple blocks, instead they've shaped them to look like animals. This should help newbies more quickly get a handle on how the three game pieces in the main game rotate, although this is most apparent for the three unlockable larger game pieces which go a step further and are made up of three colors rather than just one.
The stereoscopic 3D of the 3DS is ideal for this game, and enhances the gameplay. There are new modes, including multiplayer modes, one of which you can play with two people on the same 3DS (one person using the left side of the controls and the other person using the right side). The scoring system is much improved in that tricks are scored in a more logical way. The game is structured so that each of the three main pieces is featured on three maps. The maps have the same layout, and there are a variety of regular stages where you have to get through a set number of walls (some of which have moving hazards you'll have to avoid that will slow you down if you bump into them), as well as endless modes, modes where you're just required to rotate the shapes without steering, and stages that feature larger, more unusually shaped pieces. Each stage has requirements for earning bronze, silver, and gold medals, and on top of that in the regular stages you can also earn extra recognition for obtaining every heart and not missing any tricks (i.e. getting a full combo).
I'm happy to be able to report that Ketzal’s Corridors really fulfills the promise of its predecessor and provides almost everything you'd want from a sequel. The game has a new coat of paint, new modes, new challenges, and tons of replayability in the form of medals to earn. The game does have one downside compared to the original, though, which is that since the 3DS has less buttons than the Wii controller you can only rotate right and not left. Even aside from this, the game just misses making it to my favorite games of all time list. Much as I enjoyed it, it's not quite as epic a puzzler as the best of them, but I'll definitely be trying for more gold medals and I'm definitely hoping that there are more sequels to further explore the fun core gameplay.