Nintendo

Number Battle Review

Number Battle LogoNumber Battle is a number and shape-based puzzle game in which you “fight” opponents for high scores. The game has an oriental flair and is loosely based on the principle of feng shui.

Players receive a queue of five pieces, with numbers from 1-5 and varying arm patterns. The arms are used to join the pieces together and make links. The goal of the game is to earn a given amount of points, before your opponent does. Read More…

To earn points, you must create one of four link types. Either connect pieces with the same number in a chain, build number sequences, create square and rectangle loops with the arms, or lockout chains—meaning that there are no loose arms unused. The game is controlled entirely with the stylus and offers both right and left-handed settings.

Your pieces will either be of one solid colour (blue in single player mode; blue, red, yellow or green in multiplayer mode) or rainbow. Solid-coloured pieces can only be used by their respective player, while multicoloured pieces can be used by anyone to earn points.

Screen from the Japanese Version of Number BattleYou and your opponents are represented by oriental warriors on clouds. Each type of link will deliver a unique elemental attack. Linking numbers cause lightning to strike, number sequences bring rain, loops ignite fire and lockouts create earthquakes. While these moves depict attacks, they do not impact your opponent’s score at all.

In addition to this basic principle, the game will add lucky directions to the board, which will earn you additional points when making a link within this area. The lucky direction will vary every few turns, as the Winds of Change sweep across the board. In later stages, the Winds of Change will also add items, penalty squares and score multipliers to the board as well as increase its size.

The real challenge of Number Battle lies in the unexpected actions of your opponent. In Challenge mode, the game’s AI—or a live opponent via online multiplayer —could be working to build matches of his or her own, or instead sabotage yours. Sabotage might include using items against you or placing one of their pieces in the middle of a section you are working to create a link with.

Items include those which change the colour of a piece on the board; add or remove an arm from a piece; change the orientation of a piece’s arms; or switch two pieces with each other. However, using any item will cost some of the points you have already earned, so it is important to choose your items wisely.

Depending on how well you complete a level, you will receive a gold, silver or bronze ranking. Number Battle keeps track of a variety of statistics, including your play time and how many of each type of link you have completed.

In the game’s secondary Puzzle mode, you will get a defined number of moves to solve a puzzle and reach the required score. This mode offers beginner and advanced puzzles and is very helpful to learn some of the tricks to earning big scores.

Number Battle offers an excellent tutorial which is presented as you progress through Challenge mode. The game will ask you whether you wish to view these new instructions or not, which makes it convenient if you are playing through the game for a second time.

As for the multiplayer mode, three weeks after its release, the online population was very sparse and I could not find one open multiplayer match. Regardless, Number Battle offers great value with hours of offline game play at a relatively low price point.

Positives:

+ Original Gameplay
+ Hours of Entertainment at a Great Price
+ Stylish presentation


Negatives:

- Sparse Online Community


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Game Forward Score: 4/5

Nathalie Caron > Game Forward

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Number Battle (DSiWare) Quick Facts:

Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Mitchell Corporation
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: January 25, 2010
Price: 500 Nintendo Points
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)