Board games falter in DS translation
Four of Hasbro’s popular board games are in handheld electronic form for the Nintendo DS. “Clue,” “Mouse Trap,” “Perfection” and “Aggravation” are all bundled onto one budget cartridge.
“Clue,” the whodunit classic of board games, suffers in this translation. The graphics are so pixilated, it’s hard to tell Miss Scarlet from Col. Mustard, and unless one has memorized the game board from playing at home, the rooms are virtually unlabeled. How to move the pawns is as big of a mystery as who killed Mr. Body. The game will keep track of each of your suggestions and which clues have been revealed to you, but it offers no way to allow you to keep your own custom notes on other players’ guesses.
The main appeal of “Mouse Trap” was building the complex, and often-flawed contraption that came in the box. That physical option is gone in the electronic format. Instead, moving mice around a blurry game board is as exciting as this one gets.
“Perfection” seems an odd choice for a video game, but it works the best in this format. In the original, gamers must fit all the geometric shapes into the puzzle before the timer goes off and the pieces leap off the board. In the electronic version, gamers simply drag the pieces onto the board and rotate them to fit. There are several time-limit options to change the level of difficulty. Although nostalgic and entertaining, this game is limited in its replay value.
Race your marbles around a star-shaped board in “Aggravation.” The game is a variation on Parcheesi that incorporates shortcuts and “super shortcuts” along the way. The electronic version is not forgiving to players who may not be familiar with the game’s dice-rolling rules, and the small DS screen can get uncomfortably cluttered when a lot of marbles are in play.
Budget is the key word when describing this bundle. It’s evident very little was spent in developing these games for the DS, and the video versions are a poor substitute for the playing the original board games. Even as a budget title, gamers could easily afford two of these board games for the same price as the DS bundle.
The Hasbro companion bundle of “Battleship,” “Sorry,” “Connect Four” and “Trouble” is also available for the DS.
– Matt Price
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