"If youíre one of those odd people who think these things are great, then here youíll find a game simply not having enough options to place it above the hordes of other games that insist number crunching is a super way to pass your time."
At this point, Iím too burnt out on brain trainers to even try and pretend Iím going to give Challenge Me: Maths Workout much of a fair shot. I wrote this intro before I even took the game out of its box to lament on the drudgery of the numerous titles of its ilk that have steadily drowned the DS ever since Nintendo decided to make a TV advert showing Captain Picard showing off his DS brain trainer to his bored wife. It strikes me as dishonest to pretend Iím looking forward to basically doing little more than math homework -- something I used to procrastinate and vividly avoid when it was a necessity. Why I or anyone else would want to do this for fun is completely beyond me.
When people tell me that reviewing video games must be one of the jolliest jobs imaginable in future, I think Iíll point them here.
Then Gary Actually Plays The Game
Sometimes, crushing pessimism bears fruit. Letís get this over with.
Challenge Me: Maths Workout has two main modes. Hidden Logic present you with the chance to play against either human opponents or computer controlled ones, and asks you to work out the values of hidden cards. But itís more guesswork than logic and, even in the easiest tier of difficulty, the computer always manages to reveal your card values a lot quicker than you can ever hope to uncover theirs. Some versions of this game are better than others; thereís a solo version that asks you to try and uncover hidden sequences by using displayed cards as guidelines and, without the seemingly-cheating computer opponents, it fares much better, but itís still not something I can honestly see myself willingly investing my time in.
Formulate works better and even sidesteps my indifference to provide a spark of interest. The formula will be recognisable by anyone familiar with an old British T.V quiz show known as Countdown where you are given a random slew of numbers and asked to make a fully-functional sum out of the parts you have. Each number has its own mathematical symbol affixed to it, such as times, divide or minus, and these can be negated by where you place them in the sumís queue. The computer opposition here is more reserved, granting you a decent chance at recording a win, and though the game does still rely on some measure of luck with which numbers are drawn, itís a lot more skill based than the other offering.
AndÖ thatís it.
Then Gary Struggles With A Conclusion
Challenge Me: Maths Workout is a game that offers little and what it does offer straddles between pointless and aggravatingly enjoyable when trying to make a play for the titleĎs pointlessness. Hereís the big wrap-up, though: if youíre already cynical about Nintendo seemingly tying everyone down to make at least one educational title in fear of goombas, then this is not a title thatís going to change anything. And, if youíre one of those odd people who think these things are great, then here youíll find a game simply not having enough options to place it above the hordes of other games that insist number crunching is a super way to pass your time.
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