The Time Warp of Dr. Brain

Developer/Publisher:  Sierra
Year Released:  1996

Review by Rosemary Young (May, 1997)
braintw.jpgThis newest title in this series from Sierra follows on in the same format as previous Dr. Brain titles. The hapless doctor gets up to some mischief and lands himself in trouble, and in order to get him back on track there is a whole collection of puzzles to be completed.

The game is targeted at players from twelve to adult, though I can't see any reason why all the family couldn't join in. It's another bundle of fun for puzzle lovers with the spoken commentary, aimed specifically at children, outlining the object of each game. Pity there is no text here because, as with the previous title, it's not all that easy to follow and would have been much clearer stated in written form or, maybe, accompanied by a demonstration to help younger players along. But here is where parents can step in and wave their magic wands. A word of warning, though, don't be too anxious to do this because some of the puzzles are addictive and the kids will want the computer back sometime.

The time machine
The Time Warp of Dr. Brain has a time-travel theme hence the puzzles are loosely linked to space and time (specifically the past). Some of the puzzles will be familiar to those of you who have seen other games in the series, such as the Caveman Rock which involves identifying bars of music in the correct order, or variations on a word game incorporating the use of sign language, and building up a space station on a grid. There are also a few early puzzle groups requiring good mouse control, as well as some quick thinking, and an entertaining Alchemy group where it is necessary to 'mix' various concoctions to imitate the 'blueprint' on screen. This one entails putting various mixtures through processes that alter the colour, temperature, tone and volume by varying degrees.

I had lots of fun with the last group of puzzles but my favourite was Brainwaves, the deductive reasoning group. These puzzles will also be familiar to many of you, designed along the lines of -- Mary is older than Jack and hates chocolate and his favourite treat is jelly, quite the opposite to his older sister Jane, etc. etc. .... so who's what age and who likes eating what? Pity any young kids in my household, they'd have had trouble moving me aside to take their turn.

Ease of play
Once again, like the previous Dr. Brain titles, The Time Warp of Dr. Brain is all point and click and has three difficulty levels. The last, Genius level, is quite complex, to say the least. Any number of players can save their games individually and progress is automatically saved on exiting the game. Also it is simple to chop and change between difficulty levels and between the different puzzle groups.

All in all an entertaining package for dedicated puzzlers with heaps of puzzles, 10 different groups each consisting of 20 levels, although the game packaging indicates that some puzzle groups are randomly generated suggesting that there is even more fun in store. A great one for all the kids to join in and for parents to come to the rescue occasionally. rating:  

Copyright © Rosemary Young 1997. All rights reserved.

System requirements: (minimum)
486/DX66+, 8MB RAM, SVGA 6540x480 256 colours, mouse, 2x CD ROM, Win 3.1 or Win 95, Windows compatible soundcard with DAC.
Also available for the Mac.