Ever since Tetris swept the video game industry, a number of puzzle games have aimed at addicting their players, but not until Devil Dice has it been done so well. Some puzzle games like I.Q. are just better played alone and there are some like Puzzle Fighter that demand a competitor but Devil Dice provides a puzzle system that excels in both.
Devil Dice has a "simple to learn, hard to master" format. On a grid sits a number of dice and it is the devil's job to run around on top of the dice rotating them to try and get numbers to match. You have to match up three threes, four fours and so on. Ones match up with any combination that is already made. After this they will sink and you will have to move the devil to make another combination. With this simple format there comes a number of very diverse forms of gameplay.
The first of these forms is the trial mode where two people challenge each other in a game trying to see who can get 4 different number combinations first. This lends itself to very fast cut throat competition since you can steal your opponent's combination by matching up another number to it. Imagine spending time setting up six sixes only to have it stripped by the opponent who only has to add one. Strategy, aggravation, depth, and smacking the guy sitting next to you are all here in this game. Of course if you are playing the computer who steals constantly, your only options are strategy and throwing the controller. Similar to this is the war mode which pits up to 4 players in a heated fast-moving war. Party game anyone?
The other two modes are much less hectic but stressful nonetheless. There is a practice mode where players are by themselves which is just as challenging as the competitive mode since the new pieces come faster and there is only one devil to get rid of them. The most addictive mode of them all is a puzzle mode where you only have a limited number of moves to complete the puzzle given. Most of the puzzles have only one solution which forces the use of a Rubik's cube type of mentality. Both of these modes are really helpful in the competitive modes since they allow for gaining experience without worrying about another player.
Pretty much anything you understand about addiction does not compare to this game. It is like heroin on the Playstation; especially the puzzle mode. I do not quite understand how people, including myself, can sit at a game such as this or Tetris and just play it over and over again. There are 150 puzzles ranging from easy to Einstein and the competitive mode never gets old. You can only get better at it and the better you get the more fun and more challenging the game becomes.
As far as the other features, they are all very simplistic, keeping the emphasis on gameplay. The graphics are fine. Everything is very clear and colorful. The little devils are cute and they are very easy to move and control. The only complaint that I have is the lack of backrounds and options for camera angles. There is none of either. This does not take away from the gameplay at all, but more useless extras would be nice.
Anyone that remotely likes puzzle games will really get a kick out of the challenges in this game. Also, the multi-player modes are some of the fastest and most complex on the market. This is the first puzzle game where you play on the same screen as your opponents and have the option to screw them up directly. For a genre that seems like it is hitting a wall with just a bunch of Tetris rip-offs, Devil Dice provides originality, diversity, and a great deal of fun. But if you plan on picking it up, get some sleep beforehand because you can forget about it afterwards.
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