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Platform: Nintendo DS
Developer: Top3Line, Ltd.
Style(s): Adventure Puzzle
Synopsis: The "casual" experts at MumboJumbo offer gamers 100 levels of brain-straining adventure puzzles in Puzzle Expedition. Players join Ben and Anna as they search for Anna's father by moving stones and blocks, and activating switches and teleports to create pathways through each level. Gamers can become stuck in any level, but there are no time limits, so Puzzle Expedition rewards patient strategy. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
Package Contents: Health and Safety Precautions Booklet
There's not much to the game, but the tutorial doesn't properly explain the play mechanics. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
The characters and objects are tiny, and there's little animation. The hand-drawn backgrounds are appealing, however. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
The protagonists in Puzzle Expedition are quite possibly the worst explorers in history. They aren't nimble or particularly athletic, they aren't resourceful, and they are poorly equipped. In short, Lara Croft and Indiana Jones have nothing to worry about. MumboJumbo's Puzzle Expedition has you switching between a young girl and her father while attempting to escape from a series of rooms in four themed environments. If you're expecting thrills and spills, however, you've come to the wrong game. Each level in Puzzle Expedition involves studying the level's fixed-screen layout and carefully plotting your moves so that both characters reach an exit door leading to the next level. Characters can climb up short items (after first facing them), climb down items (if there's enough space), and push boulders (only one way). The trick is making sure you aren't stranding one of the explorers, which is actually quite challenging. Expect to restart levels frequently, as there's usually only one way to solve a puzzle. Once you've pushed a stone, walked over a crumbling tile, or climbed up a one-way block, you can't undo your actions. If you find you've blocked yourself in, you'll have to restart the level. While the game introduces slightly new challenges, such as fires that must be extinguished by sliding blocks over them, magnetic blocks that can be lifted with switch-powered magnets, and teleports, the gameplay isn't very exciting since your characters have such dreadfully limited moves. The game is also extremely stingy on the placement of certain items, so you'll have to play with the optional grid overlay on the screen just to make sure each block is in the correct spot. On the flip side, there's no time limit, so those who simply want to take their time on the brainteasers won't feel pressured to rush through the game. Completing levels earns you tokens to skip subsequent stages, but that's all the "help" you'll get. You can't even use the stylus to sketch out a plan of action, allowing you to more effectively devise (and revise) a strategy without having to restart the stage and remember what went wrong. This is easily the most annoying aspect of Puzzle Expedition -- the constant need to play levels from the beginning because of one silly mistake. With 90+ stages to bumble and stumble through, there's a respectable amount of content here if the premise sounds interesting. Yet it's hard to recommend this title when there are better alternatives on the system, such as games in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series. After a few hours of Puzzle Expedition's trial-and-error gameplay, the protagonists won't be the only ones wishing to escape. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
There's no treasure to collect or side-objectives to complete in each level, so it's "one and done." ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
No voice clips from the characters, muted sound effects, and the music can be extremely repetitive. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
There's no time limit, but the game can still be quite frustrating without it. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
the game requires Joystick/Gamepad.