I Heart Geeks
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2012-01-18 Nintendo DS Puzzle E (Everyone) CDV Software / SevenOne Intermedia

I didn't pay enough attention to the press release of I Heart Geeks, so I was way off in what type of game I was into. Maybe it was the artwork, maybe it was the title... quite frankly, maybe it was the combination of both, but I somehow thought this was a geek's love story, something in between a bunch of puzzle mini-games and a dating sim. As it turns out, I ended up playing Crazy Machines instead.

I Heart Geeks presents you with a cartoon and a brief story of the old bully versus geek conflict. Geek runs from bully, hot cheerleader points him into the direction of a mysterious school locker... and here I am going "wtf?"already because we should know that a hot cheerleader will never, ever help a geek. And this is how I find myself, in the shoes of The Geek , in a world of contraptions composed by of all kinds of items.

Inside the magical locker, which, by the way, must be like the Tardis (bigger on the inside, otherwise how could you keep four geeks and all this stuff in there?), there are several puzzles waiting to put you to the test. You will meet four geeky characters (I'll call them the Four Horseman of the Geekalocalypse), each offering you 25 challenges to complete. Each of the geeks specializes in a certain type of "science": Milton is the mechanics genius, Theodore teaches you all about liquids and gases, electricity and magnets are Gilbert's responsibility, and optics is Eugene's specialty.

Each set of puzzles becomes increasingly difficult and will include elements that you have already learned about in previous activities. You will experiment with catapults, magnets, balloons, lasers, springboards, light bulbs, pipes, candles, and a whole bunch of other seemingly useless items, while dealing with the in-game physics to make things work.

Initially, you go through a little tutorial that teaches you the basics. However, I found that the tutorial was lacking. I was told how to select the items I wanted to use from the inventory, and how to place them in the puzzle area. But I wasn't told how to switch from inventory to puzzle field, and I felt pretty stupid tapping the "start" button and seeing nothing happening. Eventually, after tapping everything available, I discovered that tapping these two white arrows on a red circle would make the top and bottom screens switch places. Eureka! Why wasn't this mentioned on the tutorial or in the manual? Note to self: any self-respecting geek does not require tutorials. Nor manuals.

Initial complications to actually start my game aside, I have enjoyed the challenges offered. Ok, so I may not solve things on the first try, and sometimes it takes me a dozen of tries of placing a single item, a few times of powering off the game in rage, and a dash of awkward swearing in two different languages, but I still make progress! I Heart Geeks made me feel pretty stupid at times for not realizing something that in the end seems oh, so obvious, but most of the time it was fun to feel like a female MacGyver, only with less paper clips and chewing gum.

Now, if I can figure out how to make a contraption that will make my tea and scoop the cat litter while I have a shower, by using some gears, conveyor belts and a bucket... I'm set!