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Master of Illusion Express: Funny Face Review1
by Jeff Gerstmann on
Master of Illusion Express: Funny Face is only two dollars, but it's so incredibly thin that it feels more like a demo than something you should actually have to pay for.
Master of Illusion Express: Funny Face is like a little demo of the 2007 DS release, Master of Illusion. It's not really a game, though. Master of Illusion is a series of magic tricks that are done in conjunction with the DS. It's sort of a neat idea, like an electronic version of the old book or video, Penn & Teller's Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends. Express: Funny Face takes two tricks from the cart-based version of the game and breaks them out as a two-dollar DSiWare purchase. This isn't a terrific deal--the tricks themselves are pretty dopey, and even if they were good, you can currently buy the full Master of Illusion game--which comes with over 20 tricks--for around $13.
The Funny Face trick works best when you have a deck of cards. The idea is that your mark will pick a card, you'll ask to see it, and then you'll draw a face on the DS screen that "magically" recites the chosen card. It doesn't take too much to figure out that how you draw the face determines what the DS says. Sorry for, you know, ruining the trick. To its credit, the application does a good job of teaching you how to keep talking during the trick and distract your victim. You also get a "bonus trick" called Vanishing Card, where you select five cards. The DS asks you to focus on one card, and then it makes the card disappear. Magic!
It's hard to complain too much about something that's only selling for two bucks, but Master of Illusion Express: Funny Face feels like the sort of thing that would normally be a free demo designed to entice people into picking up the full package. Even if you're looking to spend the initial 1,000 shop points you get for buying a DSi, you're better off without it.