• Publisher: Namco
  • Release Date: Nov 30, 2004

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. Absolutely essential twitch gaming, and the perfect way to wear in your new DS.
  2. I think the game may pose a greater challenge for adults than the young, but both will find the game frantic. Oddly, I never found the game frustrating, even after losing countless times.
  3. Somewhere between the halfway psychotic 2D graphics and the incredibly innovative, if slightly dated, gameplay, Mr. Driller comes extremely close to “classic” status.
  4. Drill Spirits may not use the DS's new features to conduct a symphony orchestra whilst penning sonnets and bringing democracy to Cuba, but when the underlying game is this gripping we refuse to sit around using its relative lack of invention as a stick to beat it with.
  5. Niggles aside, Mr Driller: Drill Spirits is excellent fun. It's addictive as hell and if you've got friends with the game - or at least people willing to challenge your high scores - there's almost limitless fun to be had.
  6. It's really a shame that the best mode (Pressure Driller), and the one that should be the justification for buying the DS edition of this game, is also the shortest.
  7. Totally fun and totally addicting. It’s easy to pick-up and impossible to put down. I literally played until my battery died and then I plugged in my DS and played some more.
  8. 75
    Drill Spirits is classic Namco through and through: like "Katamari Damacy" and "Taiko Drum Master," it's a straightforward idea that succeeds on the strength of its addictive gameplay and hyperactive personality.
  9. Pressure Driller adds a nice twist to the standard formula. [Jan 2005, p.85]
  10. The two screens work together to create one large, two-story game screen. Wireless play is available for up to five players, also using one game card.
  11. Dual screens don't do much for the original game, but Pressure mode makes you constantly switch focus between screens, ratcheting up the intensity and confusion. [Jan 2005, p.141]
  12. The game is simple fun. Ironically, though, it's not incredibly deep. [Feb 2005, p.114]
  13. While Mr. Driller: Drill Spirits feels very different from your average block puzzle game, it doesn't offer much depth. However, its fast-paced action and tension will keep most entertained.
  14. 70
    There are no major improvements over any of the previous iterations and very little reason to pick this up for those who already own the superior "Mr Driller G" or "Mr Driller: Drill Land." Having said that, this is easily the best handheld version of the young classic. [JPN Import]
  15. It's hard to ask for more from a portable puzzler, which makes Drill Spirits a tasty (if not completely filling) morsel of gaming goodness. [Feb 2005, p.111]
  16. It's nothing spectacular, but all systems need good puzzle games and this seems to fit the bill nicely. [Jan 2005, p.149]
  17. 70
    Even with the minimal use of DS technology and the glaring gameplay omissions, Drill Spirits is a very fun game. It's definitely not the deepest game out there (and no, that wasn't meant to be a pun), but the simplicity is what makes it great.
  18. If you like skin-of-your-teeth puzzle games, Mr. Driller is an excellent choice. However, this version's stinted multiplayer, minimal single player modes, and high difficulty will leave the game lacking in the eyes of all but the most dedicated puzzle-heads.
  19. 70
    An addictive game, but nothing we haven't seen before.
  20. 70
    If you like to think just a bit more and still have a good time, then dig yourself a hole with Mr. Driller.
  21. I just wish the stylus control had been tweaked a bit more, because while controlling characters with it is a lot of fun, when I die I know that I would've lived had I been using the d-pad.
  22. Driller is a simple and really fun arcade game, which is very addictive even if it really doesn’t take advantage of the DS’s capabilities. [May 2005, p.83]
  23. It doesn’t break any new ground but it is a challenge.
  24. Fans of puzzle games will find a passable but somewhat shallow game in Drill Spirits, but fans of this specific series will find that it really hasn't changed much over the years.
  25. 65
    While making some use of the dual-screen, touch-screen format of the DS, Drill Spirits feels neither revolutionary nor new.
  26. While this game has more single player potential than some other DS puzzlers, it lacks the multiplayer fun of titles like Bomberman DS and Puyo Pop Fever.
  27. 65
    Overall we gave it a 6.5 because it does have a fair bit of life in it, but there’s a few things about the game that are just too annoying to put up with for very long.
  28. Drill Spirits is a well-rounded introduction to the series, but falls far short of its greatest successes. [Feb 2005, p.82]
  29. It's good stuff, even if tactics tend to be beyond all but the most talented of players at the kind of speed the game reaches. And because it's so fast, the touch screen in pointless. [NGC Pocket]
  30. Overall Drill Spirits comes across as fun, if a bit samey.
  31. 60
    It may not have the same depth as other puzzle games, and it’s certainly not a showpiece for DS technology, but it will keep your heart racing and mouth smiling for short doses, which is often all you are looking for in a portable game.
  32. Most puzzle games are slow-paced but Driller is lightning fast, requiring quick thinking and sharp reflexes. It can be stressful and addictive, and is more complex than it seems.
  33. The concept is simple, but the gameplay can easily be very deep. However, a noticeable flaw in the game is perhaps its overemphasis on simplicity, which can turn off a lot of people at first glance.
  34. Words can’t describe the boredom I feel just thinking about Mr. Driller: Drill Spirits, let-alone playing it.
  35. Everything here is too frantic, too rushed. You’re given a split second to make a decision that should take a multiple of three or four more time therefore you rush, you make mistakes unnecessarily and then you get mad. Avoid.

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