Sunday, April 24, 2011

Videogame Review: Jumble Madness (DS)

I recently purchased Jumble Madness, because of Brain Age 2.  You know how one of the brain-testing games is basically an anagram challenge?  I really liked that game, for about five minutes, until I realized that every time I wrote an "e", the game thought I wrote a "y".  Or a "o".  Or possibly a "ë".  The game never thought I wrote an "e", and that's why Brain Age is horrible.

Brain Age has the same problem with the microphone challenges. Here's a live transcript of me playing the game.

Brain Age: Speak the color of the word into the microphone.
Michael: Red.
Brain Age: Good. Now the next color.
Michael: Blue.
Brain Age: Incorrect. Try again.
Michael: Blue.
Brain Age: Incorrect. Try again.
Michael: BLUE!
Brain Age: Incorrect. Try again.
Michael: Blue blue blue blue blue!
Brain Age: Incorrect. Try again.
Michael: This is the worst game ever!  Whoever made this game, forget YOU!
Brain Age: Correct!  The answer is "Blue".

For some reason, the game picked up on the "oo" sound of "you", but not the "oo" sound of "blue".


Wait a minute, which game am I reviewing again?  Right, Jumble Madness.  Thanks to my experiences with Brain Age 2, I knew that Jumble Madness had the potential to be a great game, only if it didn't have a horrible interface.

Have no fear, everyone!  The interface when solving puzzles is great.  Just click and drag letters to the answer box, and you can easily change letters around.  The only possible downside is that it's way too easy to abuse the hint button, but other than that, it's the interface I was dreaming of when I played Brain Age 2.

Here's the problem with the game, though.  Solving puzzles is great, and the interface works perfectly.  But the puzzle selection screen?  ...Not so much.  It is, without a doubt, the stupidest puzzle selection interface I've ever seen.

It's...a giant calendar.

Instead of playing Puzzle #1, then Puzzle #2, and so on until Puzzle #500, you play Puzzle January 1, 2008, then Puzzle January 2, 2008 and so on until Puzzle December 31, 2010, where I'm guessing the whole cycle repeats.  It's a really clunky interface, and it takes forever to find a specific puzzle.

Is it wrong of me to hate this game because of the calendar interface?  It's not that bad, but it ruined the game for me, and now I never want to play the game again.  If only it had a normal puzzle selection interface, I would give it a high rating as a decent casual game.  But the interface is a real game-breaker for me, and it stops my casual gaming fun.


The game has two other modes.  There's Jumble Crosswords, which is a crossword puzzle made up of eight Jumbled words.  It's an interesting concept, and it'd be a lot of fun, but it has the same "write your answer on the touch screen" interface as Brain Age 2.  The writing interface which never recognizes it when you write the letter "e", so it's pretty much useless.  Combine that with the calendar interface, and you get a mode I never play.

The other mode is Jumble Jong.  Jumble Jong is Scrabble meets Mahjong.  Basically, you pick letter tiles off the board to spell words, but the tiles are arranged like Mahjong tiles, so you can only get a few at a time.  It's kind of weird, and it doesn't really have anything at all to do with Jumbles. I'm not sure why they put it in the game.


Kira said...

Happy Easter, Michael!!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hope you have a great Easter, Michael!

Alex said...

Dear Michael Gray,
This isn't really a comment, more of a complaint, whenever I watch your videos I get almost halfway through then it just suddenly stops, and I have to refresh the page over and over until I finish the video, and it's REALLY annoying!

3D###Boy said...

Happy Easter to You Guys and girls!

Anonymous said...

I had the same problem with brain age, it actually turned out to be a whole family event with everyone shouting down the mic trying to get it to register. It seems male voices seem to register more, but ofcourse that is an inconclusive theory.

Then again it wasn't as hard as what happened with brain age 2. I had to teach my late Grandmother, unsuccessfully, how rock, paper, sissors works. I must have explained it maybe 10 times with no luck. We got alot of laughs out of though.

Oh and Happy Easter, I love your videos they have cheered me up and made me laugh many a time. You are such an inspirational person. :D

Emily said...

hahaha i don't like the brain age game... you are so funny!