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Master of Illusion Review - DS

5.5
Gameplay: 5 stars 5
Graphics: 3 stars 3
Audio: 2 stars 2
Innovation: 8 stars 8
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Introduction


Master of Illusion is a decent piece of software. Note that I didn't use the word game, because it isn't. It is a tool, a training manual, and unless you want to train and learn some simple magic tricks or test the water in the magic world's kiddy pool, then this product will leave you feeling flat.

In the hands of a curious youngster, however, the ability to wow the grown ups with some fancy misdirection and some mathematical know-how is promising indeed.

There is no story and the writing is utilitarian. It explains what needs to happen and, with the usual touch of Nintendo charm, sometimes makes you smile. Other than that, the game is a tool. Nothing more. The buxom wench on the cover, and your assistant along the journey to Mastering Illusions is the bat girl from the (still Japan only) music game Jam with the Band.

She's superfluous really, but as the only character in the game, she had to be mentioned or else this review would be pretty damn short. Why a game aimed at kids needed a busty lass with ample visible cleavage is beyond me, but then again, Bratz dolls aren't exactly nuns either.

Gameplay


Gameplay is a tricky word to use to describe Master of Illusion, as there is very little actual game playing.

One thing you will master while playing Master of Illusion is how to set the DS' internal clock forward. As you play a mini game or partake in a trick, you get points. A certain number of points can be earned each day to unlock new games and tricks.

Punishing the player by not giving them any more points if they keep playing seems a little silly, but I guess the whole point was to make kids learn one or two new things, let it sink in, and then it's a new day. This instead of bombarding them with one light and easy magic trick after another which are soon forgotten in the rush to learn how to make x-ray glasses and disappear homework.

At least that is the only reason I can think of for such a move. Maybe they just did it because Nintendo feels the need to police the game playing world and protect the children, despite their core audience now including plenty of grown ups. Who knows?

The entire experience is divided into three categories. The first, Solo Magic, is where the game shows you some tricks and gets you to play along. Some of them are fun, some of them not, some are completely clueless and others are so ridiculously obvious in their method that it makes you wonder how it could be considered a trick.

The second category, Performance, is where you learn to perform some tricks yourself. Performing the trick for an audience, with DS by your side in some cases as both assistant and guide book in case ... (continued next page)