SPB Software isn't a stranger to Windows Phones. Offering a wide range of applications for Windows Mobile operating system, they have finally made the transition to Windows Phone 7. The software developers first venture with the new Windows Phone is to bring their bestselling game, SPB Brain Evolution 2 to WP7.
The popular puzzle, math, logic game offers 12 mini games that will test your concentration, speed and mental processing skills. It doesn't stray too far from the original SPB Brain Evolution we saw on Windows Mobile. If anything, the game seems to have become more challenging.
To read more on SPB's Brain Evolution, ease on past the break.
Not much has changed
Brain Evolution 2 is a intellectual game that tests your memory, arithmetic, puzzle-solving, and concentration abilities through twelve mini-games. The application will chart your progress as you move through the levels of each game and the further you progress, the more games become unlocked.
SPB Brain Evolution also includes a Marketing Test, which determines your brain evolutionary status. The Marketing Test is a collaboration of the mini-games which you begin slowly with just three tests. As you progress through the levels of difficulty, more mini games are made available and the overall challenge increases.
The twelve mini-games break down in this manner:
Arithmetics: This game challenges your ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide by tossing problems at you to solve. The faster you go through this exercise the better. Of course getting the right answers is a must as well. Hint: Make sure you read the arithmetic symbol correctly. It's easy to confuse the signs when your trying to calculate quickly.
Quadronica: With this timed game, your ability to identify patterns is being tested. Find four tiles of the same color that form the corners of a square or rectangle. The larger the shape, the more points. You may go cross-eyed trying to find the correct tiles but it's an entertaining challenge. Hint: If you tap the corner tiles of your square/rectangle it will mark the entire area. This will help speed things up.
Memorics: This game tests your visual memory by giving you a brief period to memorize the patterns on a grid, hides them, and then asks you where certain objects are. Hint: Use all the allotted time to memorize what and where everything is.
Sudoku: Brain Evolution incorporates the famous puzzle game into the fold with thousands of levels to keep things interesting. You have a 9x9 grid that is segmented into individual 3x3 squares. The goal is to have each column and row of the grid and each segmented square contain the numbers 1-9 with no repeat numbers. At first this game will drive you nuts but once you get the hang of it, it does help with your concentration and evaluative skills. Hint: Work on solving the columns/rows that only have one empty field to complete.
Numbers: This is an arithmetic game that will make you dizzy. You have to combine the numbered blocks that fall into a movable square to make a sum combination listed at the bottom of the screen. Match the combination and the blocks disappear. You complete this mini-game by eliminating all the blocks. Hint: You're on your own with this one. This one gave me fits.
Guess Who: Brain Evolution gives you two portions of similar patterns and you have to find which whole pattern they belong to. Some portions are only distinguishable by the littlest of details. Hint: look at the pattern first, then the symbol.
Note: In the spirit of full disclosure, this is as far as I've progressed in the few days I've tinkered with Brain Evolution. The remaining games that will be unlocked once you move to more advance levels (Matches unlocks after you achieve level 18) are:
Geometry: In this memory game, Brain Evolution presents you with a geometric shape and you have to redraw it from memory.
Minesweeper: Brain Evolution brings this popular Windows Mobile game that tests your logic skills to deduct where hidden mines are.
Balltracker: Another memory game that is designed to improve your path-finding and backtracking abilities.
Pairs: A series of paired tiles with various symbols appear and your job is to remember and find the match for each.
Encyclopedia: Another memory game that brings interesting facts into play. The game will show you two questions with answers that will test your recall abilities. It looks like a nice twist on a trivia game.
Matches: A series of challenging match stick puzzles that you have to solve that tests your recall and memory skills.
One nice aspect of Brain Evolution is that prior to the start of each game, you'll be reminded of how to play each game. At any point during the game you need to refresh your memory, you can pause things (tapping the back button) to access the help section.
Performance wise, Brain Evolution ran smoothly with no bugs, glitches or crashes experienced. Game transition was prompt and the game was graphically well presented. One odd aspect of Brain Evolution is that it doesn't use Windows Phone 7's metro styling. Instead of hubs, Brain Evolution relies on the traditional layered style. This isn't a bad thing but a little surprising that SPB didn't incorporate a single hub within the app.
The games are challenging and while I understand the need to work towards unlocking additional games, it would have been nice to be able to get a sneak peak at them. Encyclopedia looks like a really cool game. Brain Evolution also has the ability to create gaming profiles where you can upload your performance and scores to an SPB server. This gives you the ability to brag a little on how marketable your brain is as well as your high scores.
Brain Evolution does have a training regiment that you can follow. Each training session calls for you to practice two mini-games and as you practice, you work your way towards advancing to the next level and unlocking new games. The goal is to complete the Brain Marketing exercise daily and improve your performance. SPB also includes a series of interesting facts after the completion of each playing day. A "Fact of the Day" sort of feature to help expand your knowledge.
We liked SPB Brain Evolution for Windows Mobile and the Windows Phone 7 version definitely lives up to expectations. The new version has the same twelve mini-games as the WinMo version that will challenge your brain rather nicely. Brain Evolution 2 can also has an addictive quality to it just to prove that you can do better at the mini-games.
The application ran smoothly and Brain Evolution was well presented. Personally, I would have liked to have seen SPB incorporate the metro style into the game. Maybe have the mini-games laid out on a hub? Nonetheless, the traditional (dare I say old fashion) lay-out works.
Overall, no serious complaints could be found with Brain Evolution. If you were a fan of the Windows Mobile version or just like puzzle games, Evolution 2 is a must for your Windows Phone 7 device.
There is a trial version available to let you try before you buy and the full version will run you $4.99. You can find SPB's Brain Evolution here (opens your Zune desktop) at the Marketplace.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.