Puzzler World 2012 3D |
Puzzler World 2012 3D, like the name implies is a puzzle game for the Nintendo 3DS, or rather, a series of puzzle games. It promises to deliver over 1,200 puzzles, but for a budget price of $20, it seems like a safe enough bet, but if a game is going to focus on puzzles and puzzles alone, it had better excel, and it does a solid job at that.
I fully admit that I had my reservations about what a puzzle game could do going in, since the DS and the 3DS, while both solid systems, are unfortunately also home to a large amount of shovelware, but in spite of my apprehensions, the game shows a surprising amount of thought put into it, and many features I didnít expect to find seemed specifically directed at making more hardcore gamers feel at home.
The first of these features is an achievement system. I know it may not seem like much, but for a game genre where stages, missions, quests, or what have you donít exist, achievements help to give that sense of progression that people crave. As the name implies, the game also has a wide variety of puzzles to choose from, instead of being focused on only say, crosswords or Sudoku puzzles.
The game encourages you to swap between puzzle types, so you donít get tired or burned out on a single kind. This isnít a game where you just grind against one puzzle type until you get bored of it. Youíre always changing things up a bit, and this makes the game way more playable in a single sit-down session instead of just doing the odd puzzle when youíre waiting for a friend.
The puzzle variety is excellent. There are way too many to go into all of them in detail, but they all challenge you in different ways. Crossword puzzles and Sudoku puzzles are classic favorites, testing you on your vocabulary and logic, respectively. Missing Link shows you a set of three words, and your job is to figure out what word is the missing link that brings the three words together, conceptually. Takegaki is a game where you have to connect dots on a grid, but some spaces on that grid have numbers indicating how many lines are drawn on each side of them. Itís a bit trickier than it sounds, but itís good fun.
Of course, the one downside to having unique types of puzzles is that you have to learn how they work, and this is one area where the game could have been a little more accommodating. I learn primarily by example, and so do a ton of other people. Each game explanation is done with basic instructions instead of walking you through them. A couple times, I misunderstood the puzzleís actual rules before I worked out how it was supposed to work. Thatís kind of a puzzle in itself, but not exactly the type that the developers had in mind.to actually solve.
Thereís also the fact that it does feel a little weird using a handheld console to play puzzle games, instead of just using an Android, iPhone, or other mobile device, but the 3DS is well-suited for the job, and the game generally uses both screens well; for example, using one screen for crossword hints, and the other screen for the actual crossword puzzle itself. The choice of putting this on the 3DS instead of the regular DS is more than a little curious, considering the regular DS is still going strong, but since itís still priced at $20 instead of hiking up the price because itís on a newer system, I donít mind so much. The gameís use of 3D is practically a non-factor, but that seems to go without saying.
At its heart, Puzzler World 2012 3D is a budget puzzle title for a handheld system, but itís one with a surprising amount of heart and careful thought given to it, and for $20, itís hard to go wrong. Iím rarely in the mood to buy puzzle games, but if you ever are, this is the one to go for.