Review by kriswolfe

"Totally Great For Certain Times In Life"

Fantavision is a puzzle game where the goal is to blow up fireworks. Sounds fun, yes? It is fun. It's easy, too (once you understand the controls). A bunch of flares of varying colors will pop up on screen. Use the analogue and X button to select 3 or more flares of the same color and detonate for points (or make into a longer chain with another color by using "wild" flares, which I trust any puzzle gamer can guess the function of).

So what else does the gameplay comprise? Well. Nothing really. That's it. But to be fair, games like Columns, Tetris, Puzzle Fighter, Bejeweled, and Bust-A-Move (aka Puzzle Bobble) don't exactly bring new gameplay to the table every round either. (Okay, Columns is not really as good as those other things but whatever.) Puzzle games are meant to be played for fun now and then, not as a serious campaign of complex strategy that will take months. (Except for Puzzle Quest Warlords, which totally is.) So the simple gameplay and short duration of the game (you'll probably beat it in an hour or so if you have any puzzle gaming skills at all) are not the huge issues for me that they seem to be with many other reviewers.

Other reviewers also mentioned the excessively long, overly simplistic, hand-holding tutorial, but I'm kind of guessing from the opening video and such that it was created as a "family" game, possibly when someone thought the PS2 would have great appeal to families or small children (probably before the Gamecube came out, although I'm too lazy to check on this idea). I appreciated it though, since my game came without a manual.

The thing is that I really don't think this game was created to bring excitement and hardcore puzzling skills to your life. What I like about this game is playing it while mildly intoxicated (haha, well, it's true), sleepy, or in some other mentally unstimulated state. This game is really pretty and soothing to watch, much like real fireworks. It's nice just to watch it being played, either by yourself or someone else. Turn out all the lights, put on some calming music (I wish you could kill the pleasant but repetitive in-game music track, but I don't think you can), snuggle up with someone just as mentally drained as yourself, and set off a few fireworks.

In summary: I picked it up for 99 cents and I don't regret it at all! But seriously: I think if you want a serious puzzle game experience, this is not the place to get it, but if you sometimes just enjoy zoning out watching pretty lights and want something simple to to do with your hands, then this may be something you should look into.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 07/14/11

Game Release: Fantavision (US, 10/25/00)

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