Brace your brain for a trip through time!
Dr. Brain is trapped in the space time discontinuum. Now he needs your brain power to bring him home. Travel through the ages, solve a myriad of mind-warping puzzles and save Dr. Brain... just in time!
Play over 400... no... 500... no... 600 mind-building puzzles!
- With novice, expert, and genius skill levels, you can think, think, think your brain fit!
- Pump-up verbal, logical, visual, kinesthetic, musical, inter- and intrapersonal intelligences.
- Some puzzles rebuild themselves for unlimited game play and you choose English, German or French to play in.
~ from the back of the box
Dr Brain returns in The Time Warp of Dr. Brain, his final Sierra On-Line instalment from 1996. This time Dr. Brain finds himself trapped in the space-time discontinuum. He does get in some scrapes, doesn't he?
Unfortunately, you can tell why this is the last in the series as this game feels very phoned in. It is basically a bunch of mini-games with the Dr. Brain name on it and very little of the charm. If you're after a good story to go with your brain teasers, expect to be disappointed. There is next to no narrative to speak of or any nicely animated cartoons to savour like the far superior previous entry in the series.
Strangely though the opening presentation lulled me into a false sense of security, as after the initial cutscene explaining the premise, you reach the main menu. In a rather bizarre fashion, this screen is navigated entirely as if you're playing Space Invader. I thought this was a creative idea that I've not seen anywhere before and made me look forward to jumping into the game proper.
Beyond the main menu, there are ten fully fleshed out games or puzzles to choose from. These can all be played in any order and are selectable from the bar at top of the screen. Like previous titles in the series, there are three difficulty settings; novice, expert and genius. All are selectable from the same top bar at all times. The games are a varied enough bunch, however, I personally found none of them stood out. It did not help that the first game titled Primordial Soup is not as intuitive to figure out as you might expect. What you're supposed to do isn't mentioned from the off and Dr. Brain's clickable guide isn't well signposted. Even worse, it graphically looks like you are prodding around in someone’s faecal matter. It may be in keeping with Earth's slushy first life but it's not exactly a great way to open the show as it were.
The other games improve slightly in the visual department, but not by much. For a series that in my opinion always had a nice art style, this new pre-rendered look is quite ugly. Mechanically it is weak too. With all challenges far too simple and all games feeling like browser games. One game titled Lizard and Eggs was so simple it felt like it wouldn’t even make it on to a cognitive test. Others such as Spaceshop and Brainwaves increase dramatically in difficulty, but they're essentially modifications of what the series has had before.
Overall, The Time Warp of Dr. Brain ticks the minimum requirements of what a slightly educational puzzle game needs to do; it has puzzles. It's just a shame that for a series that was previously on an upward trajectory, it flat-lined with a finale of seemingly little effort. If like me, you enjoyed the charm of the previous Dr. Brain entries then there's nothing worthy of note here unless you've played the others to death. In my view, it may be better entitled The Time Waster of Dr Brain.
To download the game, follow the link below. This exclusive installer uses the DOSBox Daum build of DOSBox 0.74 running Windows '95. Tested on Windows 10.
IMPORTANT - Remember to shut down the emulated version of Windows before exiting DOSBox. This could potentially result in errors, lost saves and corrupt data. Press Ctrl-F9 when it is safe to do so.
File Size: 571 Mb. Install Size: 950 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
The Time Warp of Dr. Brain is © Sierra On-Line
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me