Master of Illusion Express: Funny Face Review - Screenshot 1 of 2

While the retail version of Master of Illusion was an interesting package, it didn't exactly light up the DS sales charts, nor did it get much love from the media either. So how exactly does a stripped down version of the game fare as an inexpensive DSiWare release? Not too well, as it turns out.

Master of Illusion: Funny Face is basically the Funny Face card trick from the full version of the game, with the bonus magic trick Disappearing Card thrown in for good measure. Neither trick is terribly extravagant, but they can be a bit of fun for a few minutes... if you or your friends are easily fooled.

Funny Face is one of those "pick any card" type of tricks that allows someone to choose a randomly drawn playing card and then to show it to everyone except the trickster, who must 'guess' what the card is – in this case, DSi system does the guesswork. Not content with just picking one card? Well, you can even draw a smiley face on the touchscreen, and this face will spring to life and announce to everyone exactly which card was chosen. While this will surely surprise a few of your friends or family members the first time they see the trick, it shouldn't take too long for anyone with an IQ above 80 to figure out how it works.

The same can be said of the bonus card trick, Disappearing Card: you use the stylus to shuffle around a group of cards, select 5 random playing cards using your stylus, and then the game will tell you to choose one of these and to picture it in your mind; the computer then shuffles up the cards and attempts to remove the one that you are currently picturing in your mind. While it might fool you for a minute or two, it's also a trick that's pretty easy to figure out.

Master of Illusion Express: Funny Face Review - Screenshot 2 of 2

Visually there's not much to speak of: about the only interesting things you'll see in the game are the tiny playing cards and the smiley face you draw on the touchscreen; almost every other aspect of presentation is basically text explaining how to execute the two magic tricks. The music and sound effects are pretty much the same: they're very basic and certainly don't stand out in any way, shape, or form. The speech from the smiley face is fairly well done, but other than that, there's not much to get excited about.


It's bad enough that Master of Illusion: Funny Face is essentially a two-trick version of some fairly simplistic card gimmicks, but worst of is the fact that the developers couldn't even bother to come up with two new tricks: they pulled two existing ones out of the DS retail release from a couple years back. This pretty much eliminates this DSiWare offering from the list of anyone who owns the full title – all 4 of you! Unless you're a die-hard lover of magic, or just have absolutely nothing else to do in life, you might want to skip this rehashed DSiWare offering. Even at a mere 200 Points, it's still a raw deal.