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ZX Spectrum 48K

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Mark Caswell, Nick Roberts
Chris Bourne

Strange games that involve selecting shapes and placing them in cooed positions seem to be all the rage lately. We've had Pipemania, Pick 'N' Pile, Puzznic and now along comes Loopz.

The thing about most of these games is that they're all based around a similar idea so if you've played one you've played them all really. Loopy is very similar to Pipemania without the rush to get a pipe finished before the water flows.

It contains three different game types. Game A is the most basic. All you have to do is create loopz with the assorted playing pieces provided. The higher the level you play, the more points scored; make more than 25 loopz and an extra life is yours. In Game B you still have to make loopz from the pieces but now you have a target score to aim at. Creating a loop that is equal or above the target gives you access to the bonus game.

Game C is the best of the lot. You're shown a shape on-screen and then pieces are removed from it. You have a limited time to place back all the pieces where they should go. If you get it wrong you lose a life and start again (this gets more like The Krypton Factor all the time!). Thankfully a password system is used so you don't have to play the simple ones over and over.

All the games in Loopy play very slickly with lots of shading on the graphics and music running continuously. Three tunes that can be selected on the main menu screen, or you can turn the music off altogether which is a thankful option as it can grate after a while. Playing is a frustrating affair at first, but when you suss out the menu system and select better options than the default selection you start to have some real fun. Loopz is simple but highly addictive and is enjoyable to play. How long your interest will be sustained is another mater - I don't think I'll be playing this in a month's time.

NICK ... 70%


'Some people may get their kicks from shoving blocks around the computer screen… but sadly my interest in this style of game is wearing thin. Not that this is awful, indeed if you like block puzzle type programs this may be just up your street. The timer adds a certain amount of angst to the proceedings and the graphics, although rather simplistic, do their duty. It's in the playability department that Loopz stumbles, and while it's fun for a while my interest wasn't held for very long.' MARK ... 72%

An enjoyable puzzle game that lacks lastability.