Published by: Ignition Entertainment
Developed by: Yukes Co.
Release Date: Out Now
Writing game reviews is a rather odd task at times. There are games which seemingly need thousands of words to explain what they are all about and there are games that can be succinctly summed up in about 500 words or so. Neves is definitely one of the latter games. Essentially, Neves is a monster collection of Tangram puzzles for the Nintendo DS. What the game does, it does really well and those of you who like Tangram puzzles can simply regard this as a must purchase and skip reading the rest of the review.
Let's assume you don't know what a Tangram puzzle is for a moment and go into a little more detail. Tangram puzzles originate from China and are what is known as a dissection puzzle. Each puzzle consists of seven pieces which you have to fit together to form a shape. The pieces must fit exactly and cannot overlap. The pieces range from triangles to parallelograms and can be flipped and rotated. You'll see a silhouette of the shape you need to create and you'll have to flip, rotate and move your pieces onto the silhouette. All of this seems like it should be a cinch but at times it can be fiendishly difficult as you struggle to visualize how the shapes you have available fit into the pattern formed by the silhouette.
Neves offers a whopping 542 different Tangram puzzles and four game modes. Silhouettes allows you to solve each of the puzzles with no time restrictions or penalties for incorrect piece placements. It's a single-player mode that's an ideal way to occupy anything from five minutes to a couple of hours. Time Pressure is also a single-player mode but it's far more demanding in that you only get three minutes to solve a puzzle. Solving a puzzle within the three minutes will earn you a silver medal whilst completing it in one minute will earn a gold medal. When you've really got to grips with the puzzles you'll probably want to tackle 7 Steps. In 7 steps there is no time limit but you must complete the puzzles within seven moves meaning you'll either need to be a genius or know the puzzle like the back of your hand. Bragging Rights is a head-to-head battle mode. Two players can compete against each other with the first player to complete the three puzzles being the winner. The game supports download play so you'll only need one copy of the game for two players to compete, which is excellent.
Whilst the nuts and bolts of this game are without fault (moving, flipping and rotating the pieces are all done with the stylus and works perfectly), some might consider the presentation to be a little bland. In fairness to the developers however, there's only so much you can jazz up a seven piece puzzle game. The backgrounds are rather plain looking. You can change the piece colour if you want to. The game contains no speech and all information, including the tutorial, is text only which means deaf gamers will have absolutely nothing to worry about. Move counts in the 7 Steps mode are shown and the time countdown is displayed when playing in the Time Pressure mode.
If puzzle games are your thing and you're not overly fussed about your puzzle games having a glossy presentation, then Neves is a must own game. With well over 500 puzzles it's sure to keep you busy for months on end and the ability to play against a friend with just a single copy of the game is a nice touch. Priced at just £19.99 Neves is an absolute bargain for puzzle enthusiasts.