Setup & Timing
The interface is simple and easily negotiable. Download time is under a minute. The opening credits are short. For some odd reason, through, despite all of the good interface options that make perfect sense, the multiplayer access is under "Bragging Rights" in the menu (somewhere new and casual gamers might not instinctually look) and there isn't a Nintendo DS connection icon attached.
Menus & Navigation
The menu options are large and the tap response is excellent. Control is exclusively via the touch screen.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
The play control in NEVES is quite simple. The controls exclusively use the touch screen and emply tapping, dragging, and drawing partial circles, all of which work fine. The one thing that doesn't work as well as it could is the piece placing system. Get a piece close to another piece's border or the silhouette's border, and it's supposed to automatically sync up. A lot of the time, though, it syncs up with the wrong thing or doesn't sync at all. It's only a minor problem (seeing as how you can go and move the piece again). Other than that, the game's detection of whether you're trying to Move a piece vs whether you're trying to Rotate a piece could use a bit better distinction.
Category Score: 12.5 / 15
NEVES's look is intentionally simple. The sound ranges from tolerable to bad, depending on how sensitive your ears are, and does not affect gameplay at all; best to have your own music on and the game muted. There aren't many selectable options (number of puzzles, time limit, color/display options, etc.), but the setup is more than enough for gameplay to interest puzzle-loving guests. The puzzles are selected at random and don't reappear too often in the same download session. Control is excellent for both the host and guest.
NEVES is based on the nearly 200-year history of the tangram puzzles whereby puzzlers rearrange seven pieces to form specific shapes. While a proper tangram contains five right triangles (two small, one medium, two large), a square and a parallelogram, NEVES contains two triangles, one irregular pentagon, and four irregular trapezoids (two small, one medium, one long). Other than that, the principal is exactly the same. It's simple, it works, and it's been around for nearly two hundred years (or longer). NEVES is an excellent example of the principle, and is vastly different that the multitude of other puzzle games available on the Nintendo DS. What's there works -- and works well -- with few exceptions (see above). The vast majority of the Next Game Requests I have listed below are things I want to see added, not problems with the game. Truth be told, I spent way more time playing the game than I needed to in order to review it. I suspect it won't be sitting idle for long, either.
Permit multiplayer Vs Play with more than just two simultaneous players.
Include a single player downloadable demo.
Offer settings so that players can select the number of puzzles, the time limit, and color/display options.
Provide an offer for Co-op Play (i.e. players have to solve a total of ## independent puzzles before time runs out).
Design a puzzle editor and allow the custom puzzles to be shared via Single-Card Download.
Rename "Bragging Rights" to "Multiplayer" in the menu system.
Repair the piece placing system (see above).
Increase distinction detection for determining a player's attempt to Rotate vs their attmpt to Move (see above).
Category Score: 13.5 / 15
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 84 / 100 (a.k.a. 42/50)
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