Ocean Software Ltd
1990
Puzzle
£9.99
£3.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

50
Nick Roberts, Mark Caswell
Chris Bourne

If the puzzling Plotting had you ripping your hair out, Puzznic will make you go bald! It's another trip into the nightmare world of puzzle games and this time you work your way through eight levels of mind mangling puzzles, played against the clock.

As in Plotting the idea is to clear a screen of patterned tiles. Tiles are made to vanish by knocking identical tiles together. The staus panel shows how many of each type of tile there are to be destroyed. It's OK if there are an even number of tiles, but when you have an odd number to eliminate it gets tricky because you have to bring three together at once (dodgy because you can only move one tile at a time).

You can start on the first, second or third level. Each level has several sub-levels: level two has two sub-levels, level three has three, and so on up to level eight with eight sub-levels! Though played against the clock, the programmers have been generous with the amount of time for each level. Most screens can be easily completed without running out of time. Strangely enough, the higher the level the more time you have - but the puzzles do get increasingly difficult.

The puzzle you must solve is contained within a walled area. In earlier levels the shape of this container is simple so you can get tiles easily from A to B. But, as the game progresses, a lot of thought has to go into moving the tiles around the confined and often tortuous spaces to solve the puzzle correctly.

Puzznic struck me as being very easy to begin with, but after a couple of levels it gets hellish! A great game that will no doubt keep me playing into the wee hours in my little padded cell for quite a while yet.

MARK ... 88%

CRITICISM

'Puzznic is much better than Plotting. I could never understand what you had to do with your blocks in that! Things here are made so simple you can't go wrong (well almost), you just bring the blocks of the same type together to clear each stage. You need brains to play it - it's a real teaser and with its simplistic look, infuriating puzzles and tricky screen layouts, you're guaranteed to be coming back for another go!' NICK ... 72%

Straight jackets ahoy with another hair-tearing puzzle from Ocean.

80%
75%
70%
82%
85%
80%