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1985
Puzzle
£6.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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34
Chris Bourne

A year and a half ago Incentive brought out one of the most original of maze games called Sp/at!. This new one is also pretty original in concept, although there are one or two near relations as precedents, like the arcade game with trains, Microsphere's Train Game and, less in style but more in concept, Activision's Zenji.

The story behind the game is that having located the Confuzion bomb factory, your mission is to destroy every bomb in the place. These bombs lie along the edge of the 'assembly room ', and in the centre there are moveable pallets lying around covered in bits of fuze wire. The bombs are destroyed by guiding a spark along the fuze wire until it reaches a bomb. Like those old fashioned plastic hand games where you slid the squares about by using the one free space, in Confuzion you must move the pallets by sliding them into the one or two free spaces available. In doing this the route of the fuze wire is drastically altered. The trick is to move them in such a way that eventually the spark can reach all the bombs one after another.

To make life more difficult on each screen you have a time limit imposed by the length of time the spark will burn. On top of that there is the fact that if you let the spark run into a dead end or to the edge of the assembly room floor, it will lose some of its energy, thus shortening the burn time. But this isn't all - the sprinkler system also releases droplets of water which will run along the bits of fuze wire and should spark and drop meet, you will just get a damp squib. The game has 64 levels - 8 sections on 8 floors, and the player is allowed access to any of the first six sections. After every eighth level there is a bonus screen and after every four levels completed you are given a bonus spark.

CRITICISM

'I love puzzling games, in fact I'd go as far as to say that I thrive on them. But this one is, shall I say it, confusing. Presumably this is what its meant to be anyway. On the early levels everything seems pretty straightforward, but as you progress it rapidly becomes extremely difficult and frustrating, confusing to play. By the time you reach the stupid figures level of play, like level 4, everything comes seemingly against you and impossible, but then again, most people like something to go for - I do. Whatever happens on level 64, I just dare not think about! A game for the arcade/intellectual - a thoughtful and playable game'

'Confuzion is the sort of game which gives frustration a good name. There's something very compelling about it- it looks so simple, yet turns out to be so difficult that it just gets to you after a short while - you get very mad with yourself. Graphically it looks attractive, although there isn't anything exceptionally exciting about them, but they are brightly coloured and move extremely fast - the revolving bombs are very neat. I suspect that people are either going to love or hate Confuzion, but you certainly won't be indifferent to it, and if you do like this sort of game then l think you'll find it exceptionally addictive.'

'This has something in common with Activision's Zenji in as much as you have to 'feel' your way to the solution. The spark moves about fast enough to keep you constantly on the hop and stop you from thinking. I could understand some people not liking it, or finding it too difficult and not exciting enough to keep their interest, but for me this isn't the case. I think Confuzion will become a classic of its type - the puzzle/arcade game, and as such it is playable, though very hard, a certainly addictive.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: user definable, four directions needed
Joystick:
Keyboard play: responsive, directions may be reversed to suit player's orientation preference
Use of colour: very good
Graphics: although essentially simple, chunky, fast and smooth
Sound: above average
Skill levels: progressive difficulty
Lives: 6
Screens: 64
General Rating: An unusual and original arcade/puzzle with plenty of difficulty levels and features suitable to multiplayer use.

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