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November 14, 2010



- Some really good puzzles

- Awesome level creator (levels can be shared)

- Great for a gaming hit



- Around level 6 things can get downright frustrating



Review: Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (DS)

Review: Dragon Quest IX (DS)

Review: Brain Age 2 (DS)



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Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem

Score: 8.5 / 10


mini-land mayhem          mini-land mayhem


Puzzle games and the Nintendo DS go together like Mario and Donkey Kong, which is apt here because both Mario and Donkey Kong appear in this puzzle game, Mini-Land Mayhem.

Mini-Land Mayhem is one of those games I like to call "indirect puzzle solving" because the environment is manipulated to complete the puzzle rather than having




- DS Game Reviews

- Puzzle Game Reviews

- Games Published by Nintendo

direct control over the object being used to reach the goal. In this case, mini-Marios march forward the moment they're touched or pushed. And they march with the single-mindedness that would make a Lemming proud. Pit of spikes? Barrel about to crush a mini-Mario? Keep marching!

Outside of the boss fights, the goal of each level is to get the mini-Marios to the exit


(sometimes mini-Toads, Peaches and Kongs as well), more or less at the same time. Using a combination of pipes, ladders, platforms, and switches to lay out a safe path for the mini-Marios, each level is structured in a way that really made me think, especially from about the 6th stage of puzzles onward. Some quick (and accurate) swipes and taps on the touchscreen becomes essential but it's the long-range planning that can really make for a challenge, especially when it involves repeatedly grabbing items and dropping them in different spots because supply is limited.


mini-land mayhem           mini-land mayhem

Playing a puzzle or two then snapping the DS shut -- "Hey! It's dark in here!" says Mario -- makes for a great "grab and go" gaming experience. Play for a little, get a hit of Mario nostalgia, challenge your brain, and continue with the rest of your day. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem makes for a great gaming fix.

- Aaron Simmer

(December 3, 2010)


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