Game Review

Sujin Taisen Number Battles Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Adam

Swap your Shuriken for a stylus and get ready to play!

Sujin Taisen: Number Battles is a digital rerelease of the Japanese title, Suujin Taisen, which was released on Nintendo DS over two years ago in Japan. The game combines elements of classic games such as Mah-jong and Dominoes and mixes them with strategy elements to create a deeply rewarding puzzle experience with an albeit minimalistic story to add some flavour to the game.

There are three modes of gameplay available to the player: Story, Puzzle and Nintendo WFC, and each mode is pretty self-explanatory. Story mode has a simple map screen with various different boards waiting to be unlocked and with 30 different matches in total, each of increasing difficulty. Upon starting Story mode the player is offered a tutorial which explains the basics of Sujin Taisen – as this is the game’s first outing in the West, taking the tutorial is recommended as at first the game can be quite challenging. Story mode is placed in a classic “Ninja” setting with appropriate music to accompany gameplay, and the the player and CPU avatars match the scene perfectly.

At the start of each match each player is given five tiles and takes turns placing one tile down per turn. Each tile has a number between one and five and up to four “connectors” which are used to connect to other tiles to score points. There are four possible ways to score points in Sujin Taisen: sequential scoring is achieved by connecting numbers in a line of numerical order and is perhaps the easiest and most obvious way to score points. Matched scoring is achieved by matching numbers of the same value with higher scores for more matches. Looped scoring is achieved by forming loops of tiles using the connectors and finally forming a complete group of tiles with no loose connectors makes big points. Players can only connect to tiles of their own colour or “rainbow tiles” which any player can connect to. The first few levels in the game are quite gentle but after this brief honeymoon period the game gets difficult quickly.

As the game progresses special rules are added to boards and various items and other advantages such as score-increasing areas are introduced, all of which add to the strategic gameplay needed to progress in this game. Items have various effects such as changing the colour of a tile and adding extra connectors to a tile.

Puzzle mode offers a different spin on the game and has two different difficulty modes with 40 puzzles to solve. Each puzzle requires that player reach a certain score with a limited amount of tiles. Like story mode the initial stages are pretty easy but things soon become quite challenging.

Wi-fi connection mode is a very welcome feature in the game and allows the player to battle online in two, three and four person battles. There are also friendly matches and team battles to be played, all in all a very thorough online mode if not somewhat sparsely populated right now – get playing people!

Sujin Taisen is a strong game based on its strategic gameplay alone and the visuals only enhance the overall package further. While not breathtaking by any means the simple graphics and animations are stylishly presented in a way that makes the game feel like a pretty high quality title. The music too serves to enhance the gaming experience by offering pleasantly “Asian-sounding” music to fit the theme of the game in the over-world map and subdued tones during puzzles as not to distract from the game itself. If anything some more variety in music would have been nice but this really is only a minuscule critique for an otherwise great game.

As an added bonus the game also has a History function that allows players to relive previous battles and pick up on good strategies used by opponents – the game can store a total of eight puzzle battles. There is also a records option that stores statistics such as total playing time and stages cleared as well as more detailed information such as the player’s online rating and the amount of medals earned in story mode.


Overall Sujin Taisen: Number Battles is perhaps one of the strongest titles on the DSiWare service yet. It’s truly a mark of sound reasoning on Nintendo’s part to allow Western gamers to enjoy this solid puzzling experience and for 500 points this really does seem like quite a bargain – this game could easily be found on store shelves for full price!

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User Comments (36)



Jazzem said:

Good review! I downloaded this the other day and have to concur on recommending it, superb game I could see it being unfairly overlooked, let's hope that's not the case as we need more players on WiFi!



zane said:

Is there a way to play with a specific friend? Great review btw.



fudgenuts said:

This game was published by Nintendo. I'm assuming that as long as the game is Nintendo published, it can have Wi-Fi, as Dragon Quest Wars was also published by Nintendo.



blackknight77 said:

I was pretty skeptical about this game, but I noticed it was developed by Mitchell Corp. who did Polarium for the DS. Now I may interested when this game arrives in the US



Hive said:

I need to know if this is the FULL version, with no cuts in content.
I already have the Japan release from two years ago..

thanks to anyone who can answer! o



Jazzem said:

I can't say for certain Hive (though I'd be interested to know myself if anything was cut), but you get a 30 stage story mode, an 80 stage puzzle mode and an online multiplayer option (though no local, weirdly). Anything missing?



Metang said:

Would this be any good if the person playing it has no wifi, and uses a relative's wifi to download it?



Starwolf_UK said:

@Jazzem. It has been a while since I played my retail copy of Sujin (Suujin?) Taisen but it did feature local multiplayer (both single and multi-card). I would imagine retail copies to be incompatible with DSiWare versions on Wi-Fi.




I'll need to save space for Mario v DK and Pop Plus Solo. Looks like Aquite is going to my SD card.




Roopa132 said:

Today I'll buy Nintendo Points because Mario vs Donkeykong and Pop+ Solo come out on friday...I'll have 500 spare points then. I'm strongly thinking about getting this game. But I'm not sure yet because there are many great (Artstyle) 500 Points games...




I have downloaded this game and played it and I am glad I made that choice. Wonderful board-puzzle game. Thoroughly recommended. Compulisve and enjoyable. I'd give it a 9 personally.



sfcitygirl said:

After reading the description and all the comments, it sounded real good and I decided to get this one and bought some points. When I got on my DSi to buy it, the title was there! What happened???



grumblegrumble said:

The graphics don't look all that special, but I am a huge puzzle fan... can anyone tell me why I should get this?



Kyomaru said:

i got this game. its really fun, but i need people to play against online. my friend code for this is 056090991556. and if it needs my name, its Drew.



cheapogamer4life said:

1. Its a awesome and very addictive game (if your into strategy games).
2. Has a lengthy story mode.
3. Up to 4 player Wi-fi matches with the option to save match replays.
4. Includes a puzzle mode with around 30 or so puzzles to master
5. Doesnt take up much space on your DSI(only 37 blocks).
6. While Visually not impressive, at 500 NP's its worth taking a chance on.



Gogata said:

This is awesome, I will start playing it again in a new save file, gotta learn again . The only problem I am having with this, though, is that on some bigger boards you can barely see what you place and it looks really small(On DSi).



slidecage said:

Game is way too short less then 5 hours to beat the story mode... was hopin it would last longer



DemonnPrincess said:

On the DSiWare Shop, I somehow "misread" the tiny screenshots they have and I thought the entire game was in full 3D XDDD



Kitsune_Rei said:

Is this one of the game that soon will no longer have Wi-fi service? Its a shame there's no local multiplayer. I would be more likely to pick this up to play with a friend.



MC808 said:

I've watched videos and read reviews repeatedly, yet I still have no clear idea what sort of gameplay I should expect, or even exactly how to play. I've never played Dominoes or Mahjong, so the comparison doesn't really tell me much. I'm hesitant to use my Club Nintendo points to get this game.....but who knows what next month's game selection will be on CN...it might be even weaker than it's been the past few months.

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