Review: Master of Illusion Express: Mind Probe (DSiWare)

Prepare your mind for a mind explosion!

Hey kids! Do you like magic? Do you like pressing buttons?! Golly, do I have a great game for you! That'll be 200 DSiWare Points, and when we're done here I've got a couple bridges I want you to look at!

Master of Illusion Express: Mind Probe continues Nintendo's sinister scheme to sell bits and pieces of old software to unsuspecting DSiWare patrons. If they're going to continue this practice, at the very least put something out that is actually entertaining.

Mind Probe is supposed to be a way to determine the "true" answer from a pool of six. You start by tearing a half sheet of paper into six pieces, making sure only one piece doesn't have a smooth edge (there's a diagram). Con someone into writing down the answer to a question (simple ones, like "what's your favorite _________?") on the piece with no smooth edge. No peeking! Then you ask the same person to write down five fake answers on the other pieces. Let your partner-in-tears shuffle the pieces before handing them off to you. Rig the deck so you know the position of the real answer piece (say, third), hand the pieces back and hit Verdict on the touchscreen to fire up the Magic Detector (not nearly as exciting as it sounds) before passing the handheld back. The victim then reads the answers out loud one at a time while holding down the giant blue button on the bottom screen. If done correctly, the Magic Detector will act all blase about the answers until the correct one — it will then burst into pandemonium, overwhelmed by the magic as if it had just apparated into Hogwarts. Feel free to scream abracadabra into your now-ex-friend's face at this point for maximum magic.

So far so magical, right? Right? Allow me to reveal its secrets at risk of being kicked out of the Magicians Alliance. The key is the Verdict button: where you tap it tells the Magic Detector in which position in the pile the real answer is. So in our walkthrough, we had the answer third from the top and would then tap the top right corner of the button to slip the Detector the answer. If it's fourth from the top, hit the bottom left corner. Second is top center and so on.

One trick is not worth 200 points. Use the Internet to find out how to do other parlor tricks with cards and whatnot for free, or use the money to buy an actual magic book. If you're thinking about getting it to entertain a child or as a present, do them a favor and buy the full retail cartridge.


The real trick here is getting someone to fork over money for what really is a glorified demo. Don't bother.

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