Those Spielberg-Miyamoto comparisons are more accurate than any of us ever knew.
During Electronic Arts' E3 press conference, EA LA's Louis Castle demonstrated a very early version of a game code-named PQRS, designed specifically with Wii in mind by famed film director Steven Spielberg. Early in the demonstration, the game looked like nothing more than a Jenga-style block game in which you can knock down a town structure by either yanking out a block with the Wii remote, or aiming and firing a ball at a block, causing the others to fall via a realistic physics model.
The demo then introduced special blocks that behave differently when fired upon. Ghost blocks disappear when startled. Bomb blocks explode and send nearby pieces flying. Chemical blocks explode only when contacted with another chemical block, which can happen when one falls or is pushed onto another. These different blocks immediately made it apparent that Spielberg wasn't working on a simple block building game. He was creating an open-ended puzzle experience.
The goal of a level, or at least one of the goals, is to obliterate the structure presented in front of you using as few moves as possible. A one-shot kill is the main objective to clearing a level, which will work via a combination of block-tumbling physics and placement of the special blocks. The combinations are seemingly infinite, as evidenced by the next part of the demonstration. Soon after displaying the initial examples, Castle began flipping through a wide variety of levels ranging from the very tall to the very wide to the very simple to the extremely complex. The final level demoed in the presentation was something with the complexity of a Rube Goldberg machine, with catapults, sliding blocks, and a physics-induced explosion that rained down a giant stack of small cubes and then a giant chemical explosion leveled a herd of cows for the grand finale.
All of the designs were made inside the game's level editor, which appears as if it will be just as big a part of the final game as the block-busting. The game will rely heavily on user-created puzzles which EA announced can be shared with other people. It didn't say specifically if this means the sharing can be taken online, but knowing EA's track record and the high profile of the game, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to assume that's it's going to happen.
The game will have 20 different characters and will be set in four different worlds, each with a different theme. The cows came from a western theme set, which you can use to spruce up the scenery and give levels a little more character. It's not known what purpose the characters serve, or if the scenery will affect the block physics. Being a Spielberg creation though, we've got to assume he's cooking up some story to tie everything together.
We'll try to have more information on the still-codenamed PQRS soon.