Imagine hurtling through a tunnel at the speed of light and watching the walls change colour. Good, eh? it'd be like travelling through a rainbow.
And, spookily enough, that's just what The Light Corridor's about (sort of). According to those rather funky people at Infogrames the aim of the game would seem to be to "illuminate the stars again in a new born universe". Eh? I haven't got a clue what that means (maybe I'm just not metaphysically-minded enough!), but not try and shed a bit of light on the thing anyway. (Hem hem.)
I CAN SING A RAINBOW
Basically it's about hitting a ball (or 'metallic sphere' ) down a very long tunnel littered with obstacles. To do this you're equipped with a see-through raquet which you hit the ball with (or try to) every time it bounces back. As you progress the tunnel changes colour, and just when you think you're stuck inside for the rest of your days you're rewared by a tiny chink of light directly in front of you. Of course, this time it's not some poncy, rainbow 'hue' but the real potato chip, the big, bad daddy of life and love - the sun. Hurrah!
That's the basic game but it's certainly not all there is. No way. Jose! First you have to master the batting technique. You move with your bat, which means it's always at the front of the screen as you go forward. The hardest thing here is when the ball gets lodged between your bat and an obstacle, because if you try and roll it out if flies off behind you and you lose a life! (Mind you, you do get rewarded by a brilliant sound - a sort of manly high pitched 'Ow!", a bit like James Brown squealing 'I feel good". Spook!)
You start off with 4 lives/balls, but by moving your bat through the little things that look like motorway signs with a 'L' on them you can pick up an extra metal ball. There are other signs too. The one with 2 little rectangles on turns your single transluscent bat into 2. The trouble with this is you only have control over one while the other one dodges around. Sometimes this is quite useful as it's something for the ball to rebound off if you miss. At other times, like when you're trying to get under a barrier and it won't move down to the right level, it's just annoying enough in make you stamp your feet and go "Grr!" a bit. (A much better signpost to pass through is the single square one which gives your racquet a boldly-defined edge. It doesn't do anything much apart from making the bat easier to see, but I thought it was pretty groovy!) Oh, and you know when you've passed through a sign 'cos not only does your bat change (!) but it makes a daft little ping noise too.
As the colours switch (every 4 levels) the obstacles get more difficult. At first it's just stationary blocks, a bit like dividing partitions, but later on these start to move (like lift doors opening and closing). Obstacles come in all shapes and sizes and the best way get to know them is by going down to the option menu and checking out the best bit of the game...
CREATING A CORRIDOR
This is what makes The Light Corridor that wee bit different - the chance to make your own tunnel and choose all your obstacles. The best bit is simply playing around with the 2 sets of options (they sit in a control panel at the bottom of your screen). There are blocks that move and don't move, obstacles that work in unison with each other, the lot - in fact, you can use pretty well everything that you get in the normal game to set up the most impossible corridor of your dreams and then save it to tape or disk! Funky, eh? It's even more fun with the 2-player option, 'cos if you've made the corridor then you know when the difficult bits are coming up and your mate won't. (But that's a bit nasty and I know that you don't think like that!)
FAB AND GROOVY
Despite all the nonsense on the packaging about "chromatic harmony" and "sensitive universe" this is actually a good, honest, down-to-earth game. At times it's like playing squash and at others it's like a space age version of an obstacle race in The Krypton Factor. It goes on about being something to do with "the echo of light on the walls of silence" but it's not at all (unless you turn the sound down!). I thought it was pretty fab and groovy. Bits of it had me close to tears (of) frustration), but I still kept going back for more. It's that sort of a game. Another corker for Infogrames after last month's North & South, so well done, chaps!
Not at all easy squash-like affair, with really good game-maker. Well worth wasting some time on!
I seem to have 2 racquets. A good thing really seeing as that ball is coming straight at me. Eek! And there's no dodging either. (What d'you think of the colour? Spooky, eh?)
Hmm, the problem here is that if I move up to get the ball I'll get stuck in a tight corner!
Move onto the next set of options.
Clear the corridor of all obstacles.Pretty obvious this one.The shape of the obstacle to come.Do you want your obstacles to move in unison, or not?Move forwards.Move backwards.Arrows indicate direction of movement. This is the obstacle I've just chosen.