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Level-5 unveils new casual brand, Atamania

First two titles hit DS in 2009.


Level-5 announced today a new casual games brand. Known as Atamania (short for Atama and Mania, with "atama" being Japanese for "head"), the series promises to deliver the enjoyment of classic puzzle books with the convenience of a video game.

The first two products to emerge from the series are Akira Tago's Brain Exercises and Sloane and McHale's Mysterious Story. Both were introduced today at the Level-5 Vision 2008 press conference in Tokyo.

Akira Tago's Brain Exercises (in Japanese, "Tago Akira no Atama no Taiso") is a series of games based off Atama no Taisou, a popular puzzle books series from Akira Tago. The puzzles from the books have been reformulated into stories which players read through and solve problems in their order of preference.

The Matsushita artwork, shown to the left.

Level-5 has partnered with Susumu Matsushita for the creation of the title's package art. Matsushita is known in the game world primarily for his covers of the Weekly Famitsu magazine, but he's also done illustration for a few games, including Capcom's Maximo and Hudson's New Adventure Island series.

You hold the DS in book form for this first Atamania game.

Four volumes of Akira Tago's Brain Exercises series will be released, covering a total of 1,500 problems. The first, Nazotoki Sekai Isshuu Ryokou (unofficially, Puzzle Solving Journey Around the World), will release in Spring 2009 at 2,940 yen.

Sloane and McHale's Mysterious Story (in Japanese, Sloane to McHale no Nazo no Monogatari) is based off a series of books called Lateral Thinking Puzzles by Paul Sloane and Des MacHales. Players solve mysteries by reading through conversation sequences and selecting key terms, which brings up questions that can be answered "yes," "no", or "unrelated."

Sloane and McHale promises a different type of puzzle experience.

This second Atamania series will see release in 2009.

Speaking at the press conference today, Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino said that Level-5 has a number of other Atamania games under consideration.

Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino announces the new puzzle games at Level-5 Vision. To the right, an image of what the game shelf at the Shibuya Tsutaya outlet might look like packed with Atamania games.

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