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Raccoonus avatar 10:35 AM on 02.03.2009  (server time)
Playing my mother's DS collection: Zenses Ocean

Another weekend home visiting my folks is allowing me to continue with this little series of posts which I first started here. My mother had two new games in her collection: Left Brain/Right Brain 2 and Zenses Ocean. Of the two puzzlers, I found the former to be of standard DS puzzle-shtick and the latter to be...oddly enjoyable.

So, Zenses Ocean is all about relaxation. Players are presented with a number of minigames inspired by such aquatic themes like beach vegetation, rippling water, the rising and falling of the tide, sea life, and so on. The challenges presented within are not about intense gameplay, about getting the best score ever, about tapping the touchscreen with the ferocity of a six-year-old trying to capture its first Pokemon. Instead, the makers of Zenses Ocean want the player to experience a surreal, soothing session of gaming, where even if you don't get the highest score on the block, it's all going to be okay. Listen to that music, hear the gentle breaking of waves, take a deep breath: let it go.

Simplicity is the name of the game, and the names of some of the games brought on by simplicity are as follows: Hot Spot, Shell Twirl, Turtle Turn, Pearl Diver, and Wave Breaker. They are fairly easy and do come with the option to increase their difficulty, but even then it's hard to get frustrated over colored shells and glowing, eviscerated crustaceans. Some are merely a memorization test, others a match like shells.

I'm not exactly sure how much my mother spent on Zenses Ocean. I hope it wasn't more than...$20. For that, it's not too shabby, especially on a rainy morning when you can toss your feet up on the couch, crank up the volume, and feel like you're at the beach. Plus, no seagulls crapping overhead.

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