Sunday, March 16, 2008


The package says Hamekomi Lucky Puzzle. It is a puzzle game, alright. The menu says "Neves". Possibly they couldn't be bothered to decide on a final title before the release. For playing through the levels, you basically tap on the screen, move, flip or turn around little pieces to fit in a shadow which represents a form or figure of some kind. There are two main emotions you get when playing the game: "Yatta!", or "Yessss!", when you managed to complete a puzzle very quickly, or grumbling and utter frustration, where you might call out (or whisper) words that should not be repeated here.

Once you start the game for the first time, you are greeted with a tutorial, which explains how to play the game. So basically you learn how to tap the screen a little. The irony in this compulsory - but thankfully short - tutorial is that the controls are very intuitive. So you don't actually need to go through them in order to grasp what you have to do. But, as said before, the tutorial is very short.
You control the entire game with just the stylus, so even when you try to navigate through the menu with the d-pad it won't work. You will catch yourself a few times trying to choose an option with the "A" or "B" button, which will do nothing. This is a bit of a minus, but you get used to that eventually.
As for the difficulty... well. The whole thing is based on the ancient Chinese tangram games. So there imagine a rectangle which is cut into pieces and with these you have to "build" a number of different forms. There is no exact difficulty level. You might find the first puzzle itself quite challenging, but then you will see many many that are exceedingly easy to solve. Then there are more toughies again. The bad thing about this is that there is no constant rise in difficulty. The good side is that they give you a break from always difficult puzzles and allow some happy moments with easier ones.
You can freely choose from the puzzles inside each room and level, so as soon as you unlock the set, you can solve whatever you want in there. And also there are different playmodes, such as the main one, in which there is no time limit and no "step" limit, the mode in which you have to solve the puzzle within 7 steps and the one where you have to complete it within a certain time.


It is a puzzle game based on little bits of paper, what do you expect? It's 2D, but has nice colours.... it doesn't look crap or pixelated and it is ideal for its purpose.


See above, the music doesn't really matter. It accompanies you while playing the game. It doesn't get overly annoying though, so you can decide yourself if you want to listen to it or turn it off. The latter doesn't hurt the gameplay.


All in all it is a fun game. And it captivates you very fast. Not only you, but also everyone who you might ask for help when you get stuck somewhere. There were times in which I even didn't see my DS for ages because of that game. The fact that you HAVE to control it with just the stylus is a bit of a downside, as well as that they always provide the same set of pieces. There are many different kinds of tangram out there, so they could have at least included the classic one if not more.


+ loads of different puzzles
+ various difficulty levels
+ ...which are mixed

- lack of d-pad control can be annoying
- always the same tangram pieces
- which aren't even the "standard" ones.

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