Reviews July 1, 2010

Neves

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Reviewed by: Jonny Lupsha
System: Nintendo DS
Genre: Tile Puzzle
Rated: E
Players:1-2
Cost: $29.99
Release Date: 11/6/2007
Publisher: Yukes Media Creations
Developer: Yukes Media Creations

Neves is a classic style of puzzle game you may remember from elementary school: You’re given several angular tiles or puzzle pieces and meant to fit them into a shape resembling an animal, person, or object.

So you’re a lone space warrior in the future battling aliens nah, just kidding. In Neves, you sit back and casually enjoy flipping, rotating and sliding tiles into place to make the folded crane, the man crouching, the squirrel, the stretching cat, and so on. It’s perfect for eating time on an airplane or while riding in a train or bus, if you’re a fan of puzzle games. There’s no ridiculous story to distract from the logic and puzzle-solving, no annoying characters popping up and encouraging you.

Neves controls very simply: Players move tiles by dragging them with the DS stylus, rotate tiles by tapping a corner of a piece and dragging it, or flip them over by double-tapping them. Besides navigating the menus with the stylus, that’s the entirety of the control scheme. It tends to work well, though occasionally my Neves wouldn’t realize the stylus was double-tapping and a piece would refuse to flip, or it wouldn’t rotate, etc. Even still, the controls are incredibly easy to learn and fun enough once you get the hang of them.

Neves plays pretty well for what its trying to do. There are three game modes: Silhouettes lets you play with no limitations. Time Pressure sets your time limit at three minutes and encourages players to try to solve each puzzle in less than a minute. 7 Steps gives you only 7 moves to win each puzzle, which means no mistakes whatsoever. There is also an extra menu option, The Room, which shows you puzzles you’ve solved by category (numbers, people, daily life, etc). Finally, Bragging Rights is a multiplayer option with single-cartridge download play in which you try to solve three puzzles before another player on another system.

The graphics in Neves parallel the games other aspects: They accomplish what they’re aiming to get across, but I feel unsatisfied, like there could have been just a little more. Its playable, and there’s never any confusion as to what’s going on, but I would’ve liked to have seen some more textures or motion during gameplay even a flashy little banner here or there would have been great. Essentially, there are tiles on the screen and whenever you drop a piece, weird little bubbles fly out. That’s about it.

Nevess MIDI jazz muzak soundtrack is what the government is playing at Gitmo to make terrorists confess. Turn it off for the love of God and all that you deem good on this earth.

After you’ve solved a few dozen of Nevess hundreds of puzzles, you’ll either love it or feel completely bored. If you’re not a puzzle-solving fan, Neves won’t convert you, but if you are, you could easily spend countless hours with the satisfaction of putting that last piece in its right place within the time limit, move limit, against a friend or at your own pace.

In summation, Neves is a good casual game for anyone looking to avoid complex controls, stories and something they would have to turn on and sit with for hours straight. It’s a great idea with decent execution, addicting gameplay for puzzle-solving fans and one of the worst soundtracks in video gaming history. If you need a good tile puzzle game, this is your game. If not, skip it.

Gameplay: 8
Pretty expansive and several options for such a straightforward game. An occasional bug with the control scheme brings the score down.

Graphics: 7
Simple and effective, but a little too plain and uninspiring.

Sound: 2
Sure, it exists, but why?

What’s New: 5
It’s new in terms of a touch screen type puzzle game, but not revolutionary as a video game.

Replay Value: 7
Good for puzzle fans; everyone else might not play as long.

Final Score:

5.8