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ZX Spectrum 48K

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Roger Keane
Chris Bourne

Magnets is part of the Science Horizons Series of software, and is educationally aimed to give an understanding of the polarity of magnets. This might sound like a rather dry subject, but the model has been simplified so that the attraction force operates only in two dimensions, and the scenario has been provided as a draughts board game.

The result is an entertaining game of strategy. It is played on a 12 by 12 square grid between two players or one against the computer. Each player has five supermagnets, one on the board at a time and 10 pawn magnets with a force value of one. The supermagnets are lettered A to E and each has an increasing power.

Each player's pawn magnets may be used to attract or repel the opponent's. A player may also combine his own magnets by lining them up so that their values are added together, and sucking up an opponent's pawn magnets will result in their value being added to the winner's pawn magnet. A further 25 pawns are stored in a bank and may be brought out on to the board at will.

To win you must either conquer all you opponent's supermagnets, or remove all your opponent's pawn magnets from the board.


Magnets is a game of very simple graphics and with a rather simplistic attitude towards the way they work. It's rather doubtful that anyone will really come away knowing much more about them beyond the fact that like poles repel and unalike poles attract and that a stronger magnet is, capable of exerting a greater force over a weaker one. However, what does have to be said is that the resulting game is curiously satisfying, involving quite a lot of skill in the manoeuvering of pieces to gain the upper hand. The game comes complete with detailed playing and objective instructions.

Control keys: Y/N up down, G/J left/right, C to rotate, SPACE to move cursor
Use of colour: very simple, red, green, white and black
Graphics: just grid and colour blocks
General Rating: Of probably dubious educational value but certainly a game worth playing.

Not Rated

Screenshot Text

A red pawn magnet has just blown away one of Green's few remaining super magnets.