Brain Drain Review
Posted by James Newton
A version of Brain Drain has already released on WiiWare in North America, and now it's Europe's turn to sample its item-moving action on DSiWare. They both share the same basic principle: rearrange objects into a specific pattern displayed on the top screen as quickly as possible. The best reference is a sliding block puzzle, only you can move any piece you like, making it far easier to get into.
The handheld format suits Brain Drain better than WiiWare did, its pick-up-and-play style ideal snack gaming fodder. Your progress is saved after each level, making that 200-level Challenge mode rather more palatable, and you can compete against yourself for the best time on each stage, displayed on the top screen.
There's a decent amount of content here for your money, with the aforementioned Challenge mode and Race mode seeing how quickly you can complete set puzzles, but the game quickly becomes repetitive, even with additions such as icons becoming invisible or controls getting reversed.
The problem with many of these elements – slow-motion and teaser in particular – is that they feel irritatingly unfair, requiring patience rather than skill to overcome. Granted there isn't too much that could be done to increase the difficulty other than imposing a limit on the number of moves, but here the opposition elements are poorly done.
Brain Drain is a simplistic puzzler that does nothing particularly wrong but that just isn't engaging enough to divert your attention away from the other excellent games available for DSi.