Is Ketzal's Corridors the right game to fit that hole in your 3DS' metaphorical wall?
Despite having a naming convention that doesn’t make it clear, Ketzal’s Corridors is a sequel to ThruSpace, a 2009 WiiWare title that had you moving Tetris-like pieces into walls. What Ketzal’s Corridors does, though, is make this simple concept into a full-fledged game, complete with a story and everything. It’s packed with content, and while the concept might not hold up for everyone, it’s still a solid addition to the eShop library.
The main event is the game’s single-player mode, which spans three worlds and 96 levels. Each world is dedicated to one block shape. The first one a simple L shape, the second is a T shape, and the last is a confusing amalgamation of various familiar Tetris pieces. There are also a few bonus levels with an even more challenging shape to wrap your head around. The game’s thoughtful tutorial introduces concepts at a rapid clip, and gives you quick but sound advice when you start using a new block.
The gameplay is similar to the idea of Hole in the Wall, as you have to rotate the block to fit into different holes as you continuously move forward. Levels consist of a series of walls you have to fit your block into. Wrinkles are quickly added, as you can grab hearts from the holes for more points. You can also perform “tricks,” which are done by moving a block around to fill every hole before going through it.
The graphical presentation is much improved from ThruSpace, as this game has a colorful Mesoamerican vibe. The barely present story has you reviving the power of a fallen god (Ketzal) to defeat a malevolent god (Koruptal). The stereoscopic 3D works supremely well in this game, especially since the game plays with dimension to begin with.
The linear story mode, which is roughly two hours long, only spans about half the levels. To complete it, you only need to get through each hole, regardless of your score. If you want to unlock the bonus levels, which range from endless modes to fast-paced challenges, you need to gain enough hearts in that world’s stages. This requirement gives you an incentive to improve your score in each level, and the bonus stages are challenging and/or unique enough to warrant the effort.
The main issue I have with Ketzal’s Corridors is that it can get very frustrating. While levels aren’t much longer than two minutes, it’s still unfortunate to fail by making one mistake near the end. Some devious levels line up several vastly different walls in a row, making it difficult to adjust in time. With others, in order to get the needed high scores, you just need to memorize the order. That isn’t compelling or fun; it’s just tedious. While there is a lot of content, completing it requires you to memorize levels in the game, the concept of which is about two or three steps away from taking out graph paper and drawing a map for each level like the original Metroid.
There are also several local multiplayer modes limited to local play only. These modes consist of two players racing to complete a series of 10 walls as quickly as possible. The best part of the game’s multiplayer package is a single-system two-player mode, which, while a little cramped, is a good time.
Even with its issues, Ketzal’s Corridors is still a good eShop title. If you loved ThruSpace, this is more of that same gameplay. It’s not quite on the same level as the top-tier eShop titles, but if you’re looking for a good high-score game, Ketzal’s Corridors is definitely worth your time and money.