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The Island of Dr. Brain

Moby ID: 1524

Description

In the sequel to Castle of Dr. Brain, you will have to assist Dr. Brain in retrieving a battery for one of his experiments - the plans for which were stolen by Dr. Brain's archrival scientist. In order to beat the scientist, you will have to tour the Island of Dr. Brain in search of the elusive battery. On your way you will have to solve a plethora of puzzles in various difficulty levels, and even find use for a bunch of pink flamingoes!

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Credits (DOS version)

58 People (53 developers, 5 thanks) · View all

Designer
Educational Consultant
Produced and Directed by
Lead Programmer
Programmed by
Art Design by
Senior Artist
Art by
Music Composed and Produced by
Quality Assurance by
Development System by
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 78% (based on 6 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 28 ratings with 3 reviews)

A Huge Step Back

The Good
This is from the era of beautiful digitized paintings in Sierra games, so this title looks amazing as well. I'd love to see updated, HD versions of all these games, using the original physical artwork. Also, my only problem with the original Castle of Dr. Brian is that it's a little bit too short (then again, it's meant for little children, so for them, it can still be a lengthy, mind-bending puzzle game), so a follow up is quite welcome. And this is really just more of the same.

The Bad
More of the same, except pretty much worse in every way. The game's length seems to be about the same as the previous installment, but the puzzles are much more aggravating than before. Many of them are just copied from the previous game or other games in general (The same kind of Jigsaw Puzzle as before, a game of Tower of Hanoi etc.), and some of them just doesn't seem to make any sense from a design standpoint (for example, the decyphering game is almost a carbon copy of the one from the previous entry, it just kind of a mess this time and the solution seems to be the combination of blind guessing and needless busywork).

The Bottom Line
All in all, we can call this the Tablescraps of Dr. Brain. It's perfectly understandable why they changed up the formula a little for the following games - and why this game wasn't ported to any other systems.

DOS · by marci nagy (7) · 2017

THIS GAME ROCKS!!!

The Good
This is by far, the best puzzle game ever created. It's loaded with a handy GUI interface, interactive enviroments, and educationally developed puzzles. It has tons of replayability value, catchy music, funny easter eggs, and a lot more.

The Bad
What are you implying? That's there's something wrong with this game? Come over here - I want to throttle you.

The Bottom Line
You parachute onto Dr. Brain's island on a quest to retrieve his experimental super battery. Then you solve a bunch of puzzles. But it's fun. You even get to play with a Chia-Pet at one point. PLAY THE GAME!

DOS · by Macaroni Penguin (4) · 2002

Let Dr. Brain take you on a wonderful tour of his island

The Good
Sierra's first brainteaser game, was created by Corey Cole, who was also in charge of the Quest for Glory series. The game had the player navigating a huge castle, solving puzzles that tests you in every way possible, from mathematics to science. The ending might have been a disappointment (Dr. Brain just announces you as his apprentice), but at least we were provided with some entertainment. We were also promised a sequel called The Island of Dr. Brain, in which Sierra delivered the following year. This time though Cole wasn't involved with the project, but the guys who worked on the game took the things that made the original great and then expanded on it.

Story-wise, the player navigates an island in search of Dr. Brain's battery, the plans for which were stolen by his arch-rival scientist. I can tell you now that defeating this scientist is not possible in the game so you can retrieve the plans from his dead body. No, the only way you can retrieve the plans is to solve lots of puzzles.

The game starts off the same way. You look out onto the huge thing you will have to navigate your way through (in this case, an island). The title is displayed in large letters, and not one credit can be seen. Sierra made the mistake of not including any copy protection in the last game, so they weren't making the same mistake again. The copy protection in this game is quite creative. Instead of having you look up a page, line, and word in the manual, you are presented with a map and asked to enter the coordinates of the area where you should land your plane in, and you will find them in the book that came in the game. The book is also used to help you solve some puzzles in the game. The map screen itself is colorful, and the islets are well laid out and are not cluttered.

The first puzzle that you face is the Polyomino puzzle, where you have to fill up an entire area with blocks in order to unlock the first room. As usual, there are three difficulties, which you can switch between at any time; and you can leave a puzzle then come back to it later (via the save and restore feature). This also applies to all the puzzles in the game. Each puzzle focuses on a specific subject (such as Mathematics and Science). The same puzzle is different each time you restore the game or adjust the difficulty. Some of the puzzles may look familiar to you if you have played the first game already, such as the programming puzzle inside the laboratory.

When you solve each puzzle, you are awarded a gold, silver, or bronze plaque, depending on your difficulty setting. Each of the plaques boasts a certain number of points, but points are taken away if you use a hint watch to get clues or to solve a puzzle outright. You get an extra Hint Watch if you manage to solve puzzles on your own terms.

Some of the locations are breathtaking and a lot of them have good animations. You can interact with some objects. Clicking the hand cursor on one object might make it come alive and do something, while clicking another might produce a witty response or even a joke. Most of the jokes are ones that I haven't even heard of before. My favorite location is the lagoon where you see hundreds of flamingos.

The sound effects are on par with the first game, except you get to hear Dr. Brain speak for the first time. Music in the game ranges from easy listening tunes to reggae to classical tones. The music quality sounds much better if played through the Roland SC-88 sound module. That said, I miss the creative messages that appear on the MT-32's display during startup.

When you get to the end of the game, Dr. Brain looks at your overall performance and encourages you to go back and try to get a better score. There is room for replayability for some players who want to solve the majority of puzzles on the Expert setting. Like the first game, you cannot solve the same puzzle twice in the one game. When I played this game, I only used the Expert setting on those puzzles whose subjects that I was good at.

The Bad
This is similar to the problems in Castle of Dr. Brain concerning the hints. The copy protection screen is like any other puzzle in the game. That is, you get extra hint watches when you solve it correctly. Any player who is patient enough can get hint watches easily this way, begin or restore a game, quit, and repeat the same process again, in an effort to stock up on as many hint watches as they can.

The Bottom Line
In conclusion, The Island of Dr. Brain is a nice game from Sierra that shares the same mechanics as its predecessor. The locations in the game look amazing, the music has a bit of variety to it, and the sound effects are good. I don't think that some of the puzzles are that hard to solve if you are familiar with the subject, which you should Sadly, like many of its products, the game was not released as a CD-ROM talkie, and that is too bad. I would have like to hear the emphasis on the jokes the game has to offer, as well as some other extra stuff.

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43086) · 2015

Trivia

Manual

The title of the manual for this game is the "EncycloAlmanacTionaryOgraphy" and contains all sorts of diverse information on subjects such as history, chemistry, language, logic gates, music, geography and other materials as it relates to the game's puzzles.

...and of course it's also used for copy protection.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

Additional contributors: Shoddyan, Patrick Bregger.

Game added May 31, 2000. Last modified October 26, 2023.