Archive for the ‘Puzzle’ category

Missing in Action: Puzzle Games

February 14, 2008

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Missing in Action is an editorial mini-series we are running discussing genres that have all but disappeared in today’s arcade releases, taking a backseat to light-gun shooters or racers. We do not think that the arcade industry benefits from the lack of variety on the scene and would love to see some new titles from other genres that fit perfectly into arcade-style gaming. The previous article discussed Space Combat titles and today we are taking a look at the puzzle game.

A little History

The very first puzzle game on record of the KLOV arcade game database is Computer Othello (1978) by Nintendo and the last puzzle title was released in arcades according to the same site was Star Trigon(2002) by Nintendo. The real heyday for puzzle games hit shortly after Tetris came onto the scene in 1988, with many releases in 1990 and 1996 but new titles began to taper off after 97 until we no longer saw any new puzzle games to the scene after 2002.

The arcade has been the first home to some great puzzle classics with Tetris easily being the most popular of all of them (Tetris is considered by some to be the greatest game of all time) along with the 5 different variations of that title to appear in arcades over the years. Other great puzzle titles that have hit the scene include Qix, one of the earlier puzzle titles where the player drew lines on the screen to trap the enemy; Q*Bert could be considered a puzzle title with it’s tile-coloring gameplay; Solomon’s Key brought a solokey.pngdifficult but fun puzzle experience to arcades that also proved a bit popular on the NES; KLAX a popular tile-stacking/eliminating game that also was so popular that it was ported to about every console under the sun; Columns, a Tetris-like game but with enough of a twist to make it stand out by itself; Puzznic plays like an early variation of Hexic but with many different playfields and obstacles involved with connecting blocks within the playfields via gravity ; Dr. Mario involved lining up colored pills in a certain pattern to eliminate them; Bust-A-Move which is a sort of unique variation on Columns; Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo combined a fighter along with a puzzle game; KLOV evens lists all of the Bomberman games as puzzle titles and that has proved to be a great classic in every venue; overall there have been some awesome puzzle games on the scene and I’d like to see more. Hit the link below to read the rest of this post on why I feel puzzle games are still viable on the scene as well as discuss where developers have had some cool ideas that aren’t limited solely to connecting blocks together.

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Shaggy’s Weekly Review – Volfied by Taito

January 31, 2008

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Volfied by Taito

Players: 1-2

Released: 1989

Introduction

Qix was a fun, original arcade game by Taito released in 1982 where the player had to draw lines in a playfield, avoiding the Stix and Sparx that if touched would elimnate the player. Completing a line would result in the enclosed area filling up with a color and the point of the game was to fill up 75% of each board. Volfied is like an update/sequel to Qix, with a similar concept but with some enhancements that actually make it a better game including a throw away sci-fi storyline that can be read when the game begins.

Gameplay

As mentioned the way the game plays is quite similar to the classic game Qix but the differences improve the game to the point that it’s the preferable title to pick up and play. With a large playfield to cover, the play controls a ship that must draw lines through the playfield, completely connecting them to another line. Once this is done, the enclosed area fills in with a graphic different than the playfield background and the player can continue on doing this until 80% or more of the playfield is covered. While in this game just uses various weird sci-fi style backgrounds for effect, the same concept  in gameplay was used a year later in the soft-porn game Gals Panic (not by Taito though). Making the task of of covering the playfield difficult for the player is the presence of both large and small enemies that replace the Stix and Sparx from Qix. As Volfied follows a sci-fi storyline, the enemies are generally aliens of some kind that change in appearance and behavior with each level.  Smaller enemies can be killed off by enclosing them when you draw the lines, earning bonus points for each enemy destroyed. It takes a little bit of strategy to do this at times but that is part of the fun. If the enemies touch you ship or hit it with energy bolts while you’re out an about drawing things, it will weaken your shields. Once the shields hit 0, it’s game over man. But wait, there’s more!

Hit the link below to keep on reading

(more…)

Shaggy's Weekly Review – Volfied by Taito

January 31, 2008

volfiedmarq.jpg

Volfied by Taito

Players: 1-2

Released: 1989

Introduction

Qix was a fun, original arcade game by Taito released in 1982 where the player had to draw lines in a playfield, avoiding the Stix and Sparx that if touched would elimnate the player. Completing a line would result in the enclosed area filling up with a color and the point of the game was to fill up 75% of each board. Volfied is like an update/sequel to Qix, with a similar concept but with some enhancements that actually make it a better game including a throw away sci-fi storyline that can be read when the game begins.

Gameplay

As mentioned the way the game plays is quite similar to the classic game Qix but the differences improve the game to the point that it’s the preferable title to pick up and play. With a large playfield to cover, the play controls a ship that must draw lines through the playfield, completely connecting them to another line. Once this is done, the enclosed area fills in with a graphic different than the playfield background and the player can continue on doing this until 80% or more of the playfield is covered. While in this game just uses various weird sci-fi style backgrounds for effect, the same concept  in gameplay was used a year later in the soft-porn game Gals Panic (not by Taito though). Making the task of of covering the playfield difficult for the player is the presence of both large and small enemies that replace the Stix and Sparx from Qix. As Volfied follows a sci-fi storyline, the enemies are generally aliens of some kind that change in appearance and behavior with each level.  Smaller enemies can be killed off by enclosing them when you draw the lines, earning bonus points for each enemy destroyed. It takes a little bit of strategy to do this at times but that is part of the fun. If the enemies touch you ship or hit it with energy bolts while you’re out an about drawing things, it will weaken your shields. Once the shields hit 0, it’s game over man. But wait, there’s more!

Hit the link below to keep on reading

(more…)


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