Brain Drain Review
Posted by Spencer McIlvaine
A drain on your brain... or on your lifespan?
Brain Drain asks you to look at a pattern of objects, then scrambles those objects and tasks you with the job of unscrambling them. It's rather like having your Mom throw all of your stuff on the floor and then tell you to pick it up.
Some people enjoy this sort of treatment, masochists and puzzle fans mostly, but one has to wonder why anyone would want to play a game like this on their Wii instead of a cell phone.
So Brain Drain begins its life with an identity crisis, but there is no doubt someone out there who has been eagerly awaiting the game's release. For that poor guy, the operations manual is no help as the game's description is literally one sentence long, so a brief explanation is in order.
The object of the game is to arrange puzzle pieces into a specific pattern: this pattern is shown continuously while you play, and you must move your pieces around to duplicate this pattern. Pieces are moved by selecting them in square-shaped blocks of four at a time and then rotating the pieces clockwise or counterclockwise. It's essentially like a jumbled picture puzzle, only without the satisfaction of putting an actual picture together. Indeed, the pieces themselves have no real relationship to each other, and the finished project is almost completely arbitrary.
As for the challenge, the game starts off easy and predictably adds more challenge as you go. The simple formula gets more complex with the addition of new challenges such as pieces becoming briefly hidden or moving on their own. Things get especially out of control when you have hidden pieces moving as well.
There are some hiccups, though, where ridiculously easy puzzles will follow hard ones, and some of the hard ones are so difficult that passing them takes as much luck as skill.
There are three game modes: regular (challenge), regular in timed groups of puzzles (race), and a random ridiculously hard puzzle (random). The regular mode won't take more than a few hours to play through as it features only 200 puzzles, but the experience should be a little different each time. The random puzzle keeps things interesting for a while longer by providing a greater challenge on demand, one puzzle at a time. Even so, this game is short and is only intended for playing in short doses.
With a short main game and no multiplayer, Brain Drain is nothing more than a passing, casual experience to be enjoyed on one's lunch break or while waiting for the bus. At home on your Wii the game can still provide some brief amusement for fans of puzzle games, but we suspect you'll find better things to do.