Joushikousei Nigeru! Shinrei Puzzle Gakuen, or “Run Away From the Highschool Girl! Apparition Puzzle Academy” is a puzzle game in the SuperLite series from Success for DS. It’s interesting for a couple reasons – one is that you play the puzzle game, which consists of matching various traditional holy or ghostly items, in order to keep ghosts at bay – the better you do, the slower she approaches. Check out screens at Famitsu. It’s a pretty cool concept. What’s more interesting to me though, is that I’ve played this game! Just not this version. When I was in Korea recently, I bought almost every Korean-exclusive console game I could find (wound up getting about 10), and one of them was Touch RO Puzzle, a very rudimentary puzzle game from Skonec, maker of shooting games Psyvariar and Homura. Skonec is a Korean company that always had a good relationship with Success, which makes the SuperLite series, and also published the console versions of the last two titles I mentioned. Turns out Skonec also makes this game, and if you check a screenshot of RO, you’ll see that they look basically the same, but the mood is almost the complete opposite. The way you play is by sliding whole rows of icons, which wrap around, so that they will match up with still-static icons in the other rows.
Ultimately this is just a rather interesting instance of repackaging something (in this case almost completely re-skinning it) for another market. And just to say, the original game has an alright concept but is rather boring because there’s no goal – I think the added element of creepiness and matching tiles in order to escape a ghost is going to help the game a lot.
Update! Eric from DSFanboy wrote me to say that there’s a trailer for the game now. I also discovered that if you check the official site, there’s a silly/fun promo video – just hit the bottom right link on the page.
Update 2! Turns out the original Touch RO Puzzle did also get a proper release in Japan, as Soroeru Puzzle Douwa Oukoku (thanks Maragos!), and in the E.U. as Monster Puzzle (put out by 505 Gamestreet). So it seems this is a ‘remake’ more than a localization.