Malcolm E. Evans
1983
Arcade: Maze
£5.95
Multiple languages (see individual downloads)
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

28
Chris Bourne

This is a rather clever form of maze game in which you hear your chaser more than you see him or it. The hero of the piece is yourself, of course, and your adversary is a madly cloning Bogul. You find yourself in the corridors of Genon, a complex of concentric circles with the evil computer of Genon at its centre. Each circular corridor has many doors which open or shut by sliding down from the roof, and the corridors themselves are linked at intervals by similar sliding doors.

The object of the game is to thread your way through the complex, find the computer and then break a secret code which will destroy it. Each of the doors is given a three figure code which, if punched in, will either open or shut the door. As you start some of the doors are open and some shut. Your adversary, Bogul, is strong in ESP and can close the doors ahead of you and open them behind in an effort to catch up with you. He also clones himself as time goes by.

The screen display is in 3D, showing the corridors radiating away from you, a clear green floor, white ceiling and alternating red and yellow corridors gives a very solid impression of a real building. New Generation provide a numeric overlay for the keyboard which is used in the game for code breaking. Above the display and to either side it says 'Next Door Code 217 ' or, as your ESP level drops, more likely, 'Next Door Code ???'. When Bogul catches up with you the screen flashes and some of your ESP level fades. When it's right out, you've had it.

CRITICISM

'The most imaginative touch in this game is the sound of Bogul's footsteps echoing through the corridors as he chases after you. After a while of playing it screws the tension up unbearably, making you slip on the keyboard and fumble the code numbers something terrible! If you happen to be facing in the right direction you actually see the horrid little black thing come stumping up the corridor to get you. The graphics are quite good and it's a simple idea for a game, but one which works very well. I haven't got to the computer yet, but there is a practice mode for code breaking.'

'Very good and effective sound on this game, the footsteps tracking you, doors opening and slamming shut. The practice mode for code breaking is useful, although if you select it and then fail to understand how the system operates, you're trapped in the mode for ever! I was bit contused even though it works on the Mastermind idea of giving you black dots for right numbers and more black dots for numbers in the right sequence etc. Getting through the corridor doors is more difficult in the end since doors ahead and to the sides all run in numeric sequences. It's okay when you're being told what the code is, but as your ESP slips away you have to be pretty good at following complex sequences or very good at code breaking. An unusual game and more exciting than I thought it was going to be when I started playing it.'

'If you like 3D maze games, then you'll probably like Genon - it certainly isn't in the normal run of such games. I found it rather confusing - you do have to have some sort of head for numbers to play it well. The graphics are simply designed and very good and the sound is terrific. I would think it addictive, even though it didn't really grab me over much.'

COMMENTS
Keyboard positions: Cursor keys for movement and 9 keys used in conjunction with an overlay provided.
Joystick option: Kempston, AGF or Protek
Keyboard play: reasonable
Use of colour very good
Graphics: effective 3D
Sound: excellent
Skill levels: 3
Lives: depends on falling ESP rate

General Rating: An unusually addictive game for those who don't mind doing a bit of figuring.

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72%

Screenshot Text

A solid 3D effect in the Corridors of Genon. Look over you shoulder and what's that. You're about to be Bogulised again.