Regular readers to my blog may know that I’m rather partial to puzzles and DS games, with DS puzzle games the ideal combination. It’s some time since I wrote a review on any games, so I thought it was time that I reviewed and compared a couple of my favourites.
Many of you may be familiar with the Professor Layton series, where the animated Prof and his trusty assistant (or assistants depending on the story) set off to solve a mystery and encounter many puzzles along the way. I’ve played most of the Professor Layton games, with the exception of the most recent, as I tend to wait for the price to come down – I’m always after a bargain!
I really love the puzzles in Professor Layton games, but I have to admit to finding the stories a little long-winded and tedious, not to mention a tad bizarre. I play for the puzzles themselves, not for all the weird chitchat. I also find it a pain tapping on all the scenes to find hint coins, although I do to try to avoid using these if possible. There are some great puzzles in the games, and I like the fact that they are of different levels of difficulty, worth different numbers of points. Of course, once you have played a game all the way through, you can replay the puzzles without the story, and there are bonus puzzles too.
I also really like some of the fun minigames in Professor Layton, such as creating cunning rail tracks and assault courses for a pet hamster. Despite the dodgy storylines, I am a fan of Professor Layton games.
I was interested, therefore, when browsing on Amazon, to discover another game called May’s Mysteries, which was billed to be another Professor Layton. I promptly ordered ‘The Secret of Dragonville’ at the bargain price of around £3, and was not disappointed.
The game very much has the feel of a Professor Layton, but I found the storyline didn’t drag on so much – there were fewer tedious conversations with characters. There was none of the silly tapping for hint coins either; you earn hints by completing the bonus puzzles that you collect along the way. Many of the puzzles were of a similar type to those in Professor Layton, but there were some interesting additions, such as ‘Hidden Picture’ puzzles, which are somewhat like Hanje puzzles (where you logically work out which squares to shade in to form a picture) and hidden object scenes.
There were a few downsides to May’s Mysteries, however. All puzzles are worth the same number of points although some are so much easier to solve than others. One of the so-called puzzle-types irritated me terribly – the rhythmic game, where you have to tap along in time with a tune. It was the ones where you also had to slide your stylus that got me and I ended up skipping most of these.
But over all I loved May’s Mysteries and will be looking out for more stories.
Can you recommend any good DS puzzle games?