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Neves (DS) artwork

Neves (DS) review

"Nevesí simplicity might make it seem dull or uninviting, but in reality itís an extremely entertaining and seriously addictive puzzle game."

If you know what tangram is, then you know exactly what Neves is like. It is a puzzle game in which you have to use seven two-dimensional pieces to form a specific figure. You always have the same seven pieces for the entirety of the game, but there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of shapes that you can form with them.

The interface is extremely intuitive: apart from a menu containing three marginally different play modes, all the game takes place in the touch screen of the DS, where you get the aforementioned seven pieces and the outline of a figure. The challenge is to arrange all pieces, using the stylus to move them around, so that they fill the outline perfectly, without overlapping. The difficulty goes from effortless to impossible rather randomly, without any actual progression. Some outlines very clearly showcase where each piece should go, but if all you get is simply a big square, for example, itís difficult to find out how to cram all seven shapes in there.

Aaaaand Iím done. Thanks a lot for reading! Come back tomorrow! Tip your waitresses!

What? Iím not paid by the word.

Really, thatís all there is to Neves. The other two modes (time attack and 7-move-limit) are virtually indistinguishable, and thereís nothing to do in the entire game except shuffling the same old seven pieces in different ways. And Iím still giving it a very positive score, because you have no idea how addictive it is. Most of the puzzles are usually solved in any time between thirty seconds and a minute, which makes for one of the gravest cases of ďJust one moreĒ addiction Iíve ever seen. Iíve done up to thirty in one go, and what starts out as ďa short play, just for these five minutes before dinnerĒ never, ever run for less than twenty minutes.

Precisely because youíre handling the same items all the time, running into a difficult puzzle is infuriating. After having solved 150 of them, after becoming familiar with the exact dimensions and proportions of each piece, one simply does not accept losing. When the structure finally clicks into place, the feeling of accomplishment is remarkable.

On paper, Nevesí simplicity might make it seem dull or uninviting, but in reality itís an extremely entertaining and seriously addictive puzzle game that is bound to hook gamers and non-gamers, young and old alike.

MartinG's avatar
Freelance review by Martin G (March 30, 2008)

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