A Really Bad Afterschool Special: Mind Games Is Not Even Worth Giving To Your Worst Enemy
By Gwendolyn L. Spelvin
Mind Games is a level advancement brain teaser that delivers more hard hitting annoyance than serious mental challenges of critical thinking. The theory of the game challenging how your mind reacts to situations is admirable, but comes off more like a canned Three Stooges episode for being too serious, disingenuous, and a turn off.
I would not wish this game on my worst enemy locked in solitary confinement doing life in prison.
The player experience is designed to take too many liberties in assuming players will instinctively dive into action and enjoy the puzzles; lack of an introductory tutorial per level, lack of detailed instructions on gameplay objectives, and lack of adequate controls for simpler screen navigation deters even the most astute brainiac with an advanced IQ from being bothered with such intrusive aggravation. Despite the game giving you trophies for level achievement and pushing forward in the game as a head pat reward, the risk versus reward factor alienates the player from taking the achievements seriously or gaining followers.
From the very beginning we a thrusted into the first level world of Atari Lynx type graphics abruptly without rhyme or reason. There are no credits, there is no start screen, or an options screen to adjust anything to the player’s taste. The game lacks the option to play in windowed mode, making the aged graphics worse than they could appear. Theme music replicates sounds from the worst license free Muzak library in the world; ironically, once you are so far into level one the music is cut abruptly, no music is heard again.
Well, at least that is one positive attribute the game has going for itself.
Should the player continue to give it a fair go, the player will be stuck for a good hour completely lost at the game mechanics of solving the puzzle, with no help to figure out how to do so. Mindlessly clicking squares until something happens is the best you will come up with. As a picture puzzle, the solve should be pretty simple; however, since there are three plausible outcomes without a clear picture of what to do sans the vague instructions given, the player can quit or click the back button 100 times to move on and get awarded a skip level trophy.
I guess that could be a great thing if you are practicing to be a contestant on Press Your Luck.
The second level is a game about outsmarting the computer on a coin for coin snatch. Your goal is to ensure you have one coin left to snatch when the computer has none. This game is the death knell for proceeding onward in any types of hopes of finishing the game and sets the tone of aggravation you will encounter proceeding. Again, no tutorial, no detailed instructions, just point, click, trial, error. Should you fall back on YouTube to see you through the level, the only videos to be had are exclusively in Portuguese, and for mobile devices. They will do little to help you in your quest to get on.
At the end of the day, two hours of game time will get you with luck to three levels, maybe less. Consider this title the one game that can provoke the rage to destroy the device you’re playing it on. If I had any government secrets and were being tortured with this game’s mechanisms, I would tell them anything they wanted to know to stop the madness.
On a scale of 100, this game gets a 5/100.