Status: Finished single player story mode Achievements: 7 of 15 Gamerscore: 130/250 DLC Purchased: None
Every once in a while a game comes out of nowhere and steals your heart. In 2011, that game for me was ilomilo. A three dimensional puzzler featuring two friends who just wanted to see each other every day, ilomilo was a challenging game that featured a subplot so endearing it caused tears. Usually when I cry during a game it’s because of frustrating controls or camera angles, so it was refreshing to know it was another emotion that made my eyes water. (more…)
Poor Nanda! The island our shaman panda friend lives on has dried up and he is all alone. Nanda possesses the power to call forth the rain, but his clouds never seem to be able to get the rain to fall where he needs it most. With our help and some special seeds, we can help Nanda turn his island home back into a tropical paradise wildlife will flock to. All you need to do is put your puzzle cap on, make sure your DS is fully charged and channel your video game prowess in this latest release from MumboJumbo. (more…)
My growing love for puzzle games took a major leap forward when MumboJumbo sent 7 Wonders 2 my way. A DS port of a popular PC game, gamers manipulate the various icons in the columns to create blocks of three or more, Bejeweled-style, creating building stones for the loyal workers around the world who will transform them into works of architectural wonders. (more…)
When a mysterious letter arrives in the post claiming to be written by Hershel Layton’s apprentice, Luke, from 10 years in the future only a short period after the two witness a failed time traveling experiment, the two set off on another amazing adventure.
The third installment in the best-selling puzzle adventure series for the Nintendo DS, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future reveals more of the Professor’s past as well as his relationship with his energetic young apprentice. Events from years past and years future collide with Layton and Luke right in the thick of it, eager to uncover the hidden truths behind the letter. Layton and Luke are transported through time by means of a giant clock into what appears to be a much darker and grittier version of London, and must unravel the mysteries which appear to have close ties with the Professor. Where Curious Village and Diabolical Box took us on journeys that introduced us to our crime solving duo, it is here that we discover more about the events in Hershel’s life that have made him into the man he is today.
The streets of Future London are filled with new and familiar faces, all of them with a few puzzles up their sleeves just waiting for you to take on. Unwound Future boasts 165 puzzles on the game cartridge – by far the most of all the games in the series, and will see additional puzzles made available on a weekly basis as Nintendo has offered with the previous entries. There is a wonderful assortment of logic, math, and skill based puzzles to be tackled and defeated. The game also features three new mini-games: Toy Car, in which you must get your wind up car from Point A to Point B while avoiding obstacles and picking up special objects; making special deliveries by guiding your Parrot along a course; and collecting stickers for your story-driven Sticker Books.
Professor Layton games have always included assistance should a puzzle stump you. The first comes in the form of Hint Coins, wherein tapping certain spots on the DS screen such as a window or a railpost will give you shiny gold tokens you can trade in for a little bit of helpful advice. In the first two titles you could only spend up to 3 Hint Coins per puzzle. With Unwound Future, Level-5 has added one more hint level: the Super Hint. When three hints just aren’t enough, you can spend 2 coins and purchase the Super Hint, which practically gives you the answer you need to advance. And as always, if you miss any puzzles during the course of your investigations, they will be sent to a special location for you to access and cared for until you are able to devote some time to them.
Not only does Level-5 bring us amazing cut-scenes and incredible voice over work, but the amount of it seems to have nearly doubled with Unwound Future. I have always been amazed and astonished at just how much they’ve been able to fit onto the DS cartridge, as they always seem to be pushing the limitations of the format. The quality remains unchanged, with rich voice work and stunning graphics showcasing the heart and souls of the world without sacrificing game play to achieve its goal.
It’s no secret that Level-5′s Professor Layton series is a worldwide hit with gamers from all backgrounds. Their tried and true format is easily picked up and challenges the player to exercise brain muscles that we might have neglected spending too much time with our shooters and fighters. The wonderful storytelling, brilliant locations and challenging puzzles are what keep me going back time and time again, yet to be left disappointed when my time with it comes to an end. Once more, Nintendo and Level-5 have brought DS gamers an experience that will not soon be forgotten. No previous experience is required, although it is recommended in order to truly grasp some of the events and humour contained within.
Repost of review: (Note – This was the old format for reviews which changed in Summer 2009)
Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir, is a search & find, puzzle solving game for the DS from the popular series Big Fish Games has released for the PC. You are on the case to find missing millionaire Phil T. Rich, questioning known and unknown associates, trying to find his whereabouts and where he hid his will.
Nothing is very stunning about the graphics for MillionHeir. Since all the scenes are just pictures you move around the screen and search for hidden items in, most of the pictures themselves are very bright, with some darker and more shadowy areas in some places.
MillionHeir is not a very complicated game to pick up & play. You use your stylus to move around the screen and tap the hidden items. By using the Hand icon, you can draw or move certain hidden items to change them slightly before the clues are collected. You also collect a Flashlight, for dark areas, X-Ray flashlight to see through things, and special goggles that allow you to search for objects that might be hidden in water or other liquids.
The game is very basic. You search different areas for clues on suspects. You can always move to another area if you get stumped. There are about 3 characters to investigate before you unlock more suspects from the dossier. I’m not quite sure how the clues actually lead to anything, but then again, I don’t think the series would have been as successful as it is if people questioned that. You are also alotted a certain amount of hints per section should you really be stumped. Hints are not available for the pictures where you need to find the differences in the photographs though.
While there are no voiceovers in the game, the background music for the puzzles is catchy. The only other sound to the game is the familar typewriter noise that plays as text is displayed on the screen.
The game is pretty addictive. I spent an hour and a half at the airport playing this game and I was not bored. A lot of the lines the suspects use are just as cheesey as their names, like Jim Ferno, the firefighter, or Manny Cotti, the chef.
You play as a generic non-characterized detective. You can name yourself as you like, as there is no clear distinction at all as to your gender. There are some very interesting female suspects that you will investigate during the course of the game.
There are various modes available for you to choose from. Single player mode starts you with choices of Rookie or Detective. Playing through the game will unlock more difficulties and options. Multiplayer mini-games such Scavenger Hunt, where you can challenge up to 3 friends to see who can find the most hidden object before the timer runs out, and Hot-Seat Multiplayer, a mode where you pass the DS around and see who can find each object the fastest.
If you are looking for a really good pick up and play style game that doesn’t require a huge time investment all at once, then MillionHeir is a game for you. Play for 15 minutes or over an hour, dragging your magnifying glass and finding the hidden items. It’s a great time killer, and you won’t even notice the time flying by.
Prepare yourself a spot of tea, and get ready to partake in a smashingly great adventure on the Nintendo DS.
One day while doing his normal adventuring, Henry Hatsworth finds a golden bowler hat, which unlocks access to the Puzzle Realm. It turns out the bowler is only one piece of many, which when worn complete the Gentleman’s Suit, giving the wearer the ability to traverse and control the Puzzle Realm. But when Hatsworth found the bowler, the Puzzle Realm began to leak into the real world, and now Hatsworth fights to collect all the pieces of the suit, collect scads of treasure, and become the next Gentleman.
Every great adventurer needs a nemesis, and Hatsworth definitely has one in Leopold Weasleby the Third. Weasleby is number 2 to Hatsworth in the Pompous Adventurers Club, and seeks to claim the number 1 spot by also entering the Puzzle Realm in search of the Gentleman’s Suit. He sends henchmen such as the womanizer Lance Banson (among others) to impede Hatsworth’s progress.
Henry Hatsworth is essentially two games in one – a platform adventure experience on the top screen and a puzzle game on the bottom. Together they combine to make the Puzzling Adventure.
Using the top screen, you will guide Henry throughout the various worlds that pieces of the suit are rumored to be hidden in. Defeating enemies in the top screen will uncover jewels and gold used for upgrading your weapons, and finding items sends them down to the puzzle screen. Just like other platformer games, you will find crumbling walkways and moving platforms. Suit pieces like the Pantaloons will allow you to jump between and slide along walls.
When you have defeated an enemy on the top screen, it moves down to the Puzzle Screen. By lining up three blocks of the same colour either vertically or horizontally, you will permanently remove the enemies (face blocks), regain health (heart blocks) and use other items you may have picked up. Example: the lightning bolt blasts away all the blocks of that colour on the bottom screen, and when you return to the top screen it will zap away any enemies that are on the screen.
The Puzzle Screen contains two meters. The first meter controls how much time you can spend on the Puzzle screen itself. Once the timer runs out you are sent back into the main world. The second is your Super Meter, which increases when you make the blocks of three combinations. A full meter will rejuvenate Hasworth, while a double full meter will active Tea Time, bringing out Henry’s Robot Suit, a powerful suit I like to activate during boss battles as much as possible.
Switching between the two screens does take a little time to get used to in the beginning, but once you are, it is a lot of fun to keep flipping between the screens. My only issue with Hatsworth’s gameplay was that you didn’t get to really use the stylus too much. The one time I use it is when I am in the Puzzle screen, but even then you don’t have to use it. Most of the game is controlled by the digital pad and your action buttons.
My second, and last, issue with Hatsworth was the lack of true voice audio. There is “voice” to the characters during certain scenes, however it is all just random noises, almost like broken Simolean. The music in the game is good but there is no way it takes up so much space that real voice over work could not have been provided. Especially when we’ve seen that the DS can handle it, as was proven with Professor Layton.
EA does provide some great bonuses though. You can download the complete game soundtrack for free from the official Henry Hatsworth website. They also have delightful video promos for the game, one of which you can see here:
This is definitely a must buy game, and is perfect for people of all ages. Even younger children will be able to pick up and play with little assistance required.