“ Manufacturer: 505 Game / Genre: Puzzle / ESRB Rating: E - (Everyone) / PEGI Age Rating: Age 3+ / Max. Number Of Players: 1 „
Now quite an old game (released in mid-2007), Brain Buster Pack/Pak is available for under £10. It is a very simple game, a collection of puzzles including the now very well-known Sudoku puzzles.
--- The Puzzles ---
As well as Sudoku where you have a 9x9 grid, made of 9 3x3 grids where you have to fit the numbers 1-9 so that each smaller grid, horizontal line and vertical line have one of each number and no duplicates, you have 4 other types of puzzle along similar lines.
Kakuro puzzles have a grid with total numbers around it, you have to fill in the blanks with the numbers 1-9 to total the numbers for each line or part of a line. As with sudoku, you can't have duplicate numbers in a continuous row or column, but as the grids may have blocked out squares anywhere, you never have a line where you have to put every number from 1-9.
I found the Light On puzzles to be the easiest of the lot. With a map of blank squares, filled in squares, and squares with numbers you have to light every non-filled square in the grid, but you can only put a matching number of lights next to the numbered squares, and you can't have more than one light in a continuous row or column. You can however, add extra lights on blank squares to make up any deficit from completing placing them around the numbers.
Nurikabe has a grid of numbers and blank squares, where each number tells you how many blank squares need to be left in that "island". You have to fill in the rest of the squares to create only "islands" of the same number of blank squares as the number that is contained within it. You cannot have a block of 2x2 filled in squares however, so you have to be careful about how you place them.
Finally you have the Slitherlink puzzles which I found the most challenging. Here you again have a grid of numbers and blank squares, but each square has 4 path handles, one at each corner. You have to make lines between the squares to form one continuous loop. The numbers tell you how many of the sides of that square have a line.
--- Game size and Gameplay ---
Initially you have 50 of each type of puzzle to play through. During each puzzle you have a timer counting down and through three levels - Master, Expert and Novice. You also have a number of sprites floating around, tapping on three of those will give you a hint, allowing you to get one answer.
The levels and the points you get at the end of each puzzle don't really mean anything, unless you have other profiles and you want to see how well you fare against others. After every few puzzles however, you do get a little extra. This can be a square to make up wallpapers, or part of a sudoku or kakuro puzzle. Making the wallpapers only gives you them to use as a background to the puzzles and I think is pretty useless, but putting together the sudoku and kakuro gives you 50 more of both of those types of puzzle.
Therefore, if you complete this game fully you will collect 4 wallpapers, complete the 2 bonus puzzles, and 350 of the standard puzzles, making this a decently-sized game. It does, however, get pretty repetitive if you're playing this game non-stop (like I did, to complete it in about a week).
--- The Verdict ---
Playing this game continuously would (did!) get quite boring and repetitive, however it's quite fun to pick up and solve a puzzle or two over a cup of tea, or in an advert break of a tv show. If you like doing number puzzles, or logic puzzles, especially if you enjoy a sudoku or two you will enjoy these games. The game itself is very simple, which means that there's not much that gets in the way of the puzzles, thereby being very easy to pick up, play for a few minutes, and then leave it.
The graphics are average, I haven't even played this with the sound on so I can't comment on that, but the puzzles are good and challenging, even if there isn't a huge variety of them.