Meteos was the first game of the Meteos franchise, released for the Nintendo DS.
Meteos set the template that all the Meteos games play by: a set of columns that have Meteos fall into them, which can be moved up or down, but not sideways (except in Meteos Online and Meteos: Disney Magic). Connecting three of the same Meteos in a horizontal or vertical line would fuse them and ignite them, turning them into Burnt Meteos, and launching them upwards with varying force and speed, depending on the planet being played on.
The game is divided into six different types of gameplay modes:
- Simple, which initiates a standard match involving at least one or more planets, with two types of matches: Stock, which has each team of planets have a set number of lives, lost upon succumbing to annihilation; and Time, which focuses instead on losing the least amount of lives in the time set. Other rules can be set dependant upon the match mode selected, including the amount of stock each team gets or the amount of time a match will last in Time, the difficulty of the Meteos falling on the screen, the level of CPU planets, and which team the player or CPUs are on.
- Star Trip could be considered the "story mode" of the game, having the player set off on a journey across the stars, visiting and moving on past planets in different fashions, depending on the Star Trip mode selected.
- Time War features four different settings to beat a recorded high score in. The 2 minute Time War set on Geolyte and the 5 minute Time War set on Layazero are focused on sending the most amount of Meteos in the highest scoring fashion in the set amount of time. The 100-Meteo War set on Firim and the 1000-Meteo War set on Hevendor are instead focused on sending the set amount of Meteos in the shortest amount of time.
- Deluge is focused on simply surviving an onslaught of Meteos for as long as possible, attempting to garner the highest score in the meantime. Each planet gets a separate high score.
- Tutor is simply a tutorial for the game, set on Geolyte. It shows basic gameplay and a few tactics to use.
- There is a multiplayer mode as well, where 2 to 4 players can connect and play if everyone has a copy of Meteos, or via DS Download Play, where the other players do not have a copy, and are given a demo-like version to play with, featuring only a few planets. The rule sets in this mode are the same as those in Simple.
Meteos introduces the original 32 planets that appear in most of the later games. Besides the starting planets, they were unlocked via certain events in-game, such as playing for a certain number of hours or seeing a certain number of endings, or via Fusion.
The Fusion Menu also allowed one to fuse Meteos into Items to use during gameplay (or rather, enable them to be enabled or disabled in the options), the Rare Meteos of Time or Soul, or the different sound sets for each planet, menu, and credits, at the cost of the Meteos launched over time in gameplay.
The game also tracked your stats, keeping track of things like how many games of each mode type have been played and for how long, total play time, and how many Meteos have been launched or incinerated.
- There are several numerical caps in game.
- Readouts for Meteo counts top off at 999,999, though more Meteos can still be collected.
- The maximum amount of Meteos shown launched in a game is 9,999, though Meteos launched past this number still count.
- The ingame timer for any match rolls over at 99 minutes, 59 seconds and 99 hundredths of a second.
- The score counter rolls over at exactly 9,999,995 points. Any points gained after this will not count.
- It is possible to move the buttons in the menu by dragging them. They can also "collide" with the other buttons this way.