December 11, 2007

Neves is a simple DS title that serves its purpose admirably. Essentially a digital version of the classic tangrams silhouette puzzles, Neves (which is “seven” backwards) gives you seven tiles and hundreds of shapes to form with them by using the DS’s touch screen to move, rotate, and flip them into formation.

There are three different ways to play single-player Neves. The simplest mode is “Silhouette”, which lets you screw around at your own pace until you figure out the solution. A step up from that is “Time Pressure”, which puts you on a three-minute clock; you get a silver award for completing the puzzle in the alloted time, and a gold for a minute or less. The hardest difficulty is “7 Steps”, which limits you to seven moves to complete the puzzle. A “move” for this mode’s purposes is defined as any manipulations you need to put one piece in its final location; as soon as you touch another piece, that’s another move, hence “7 Steps” for seven total pieces. These modes essentially correlate to difficulty levels, as the puzzles are the same throughout, and you get credit for completing a given puzzle no matter in which mode you do so. At first there is only one “room” of forty-nine puzzles available; completing it unlocks three more (with a varying number of puzzles per room), and there are twelve rooms in total.

Neves also features a two-player “Bragging Rights” mode that can be played off a single DS card. This is essentially a race to see who can complete three puzzles first. Finally, there is also “The Room”, which contains your stats and options.

As mentioned, Neves is inherently simple, with graphics that are literally polygonal — two identical triangles, one large trapezoid, one medium trapezoid, two idenitcal small trapezoid, and one pentagon are pretty much all you get. There’s also some jazzy music, but the game plays just as well without it (either muted or turned off via the Options menu). The touch controls work well, but occasionally get confused when the tiles overlap; this is really only a problem for “7 Steps” mode, and even then it’s a minor one.

The only gripe I have with Neves is that someone decided to charge full price for it. A game this simple doesn’t demand a thirty dollar price tag; there is literally only one programmer listed in the credits. This should be a “Touch Generations” equivalent bargain title, but for some reason it is not, which is a crime.

Score: 3/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.