Michael Beresford
1986
Arcade: Action
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

128
Chris Bourne

Americana's first Spectrum budget game presents nine little puzzles to test and train your reactions and visual abilities on the path to complete mind-over-matter control. After each test you are shown a screen with a Sidha in his meditative position. The higher your score in each individual game, the higher the holy one rises on the reward screen and the closer you get to mastery of Levitation. So the inlay says, at any rate...

The first test evaluates your reactions. The screen shows four numbered Sidhas. Pressing Z' causes one of them to disappear at random. As soon a Sidha leaves, press the corresponding number key ... Two clocks at the top of the screen show how fast you reacted. The aim, as in all the tests, is to score 1000 points.

Vibrant Vision is test Number Two. The screen shows a square with a doorway in the middle. Two lines appear fora fraction of a second behind the door, one line slightly longer than the other you have to decide which one is Igngest.

For successful levitation the eyes must move in perfect harmony with the body. Using the joystick for the next test you must keep the Sidha as close as possible to a moving target. The routine lasts two minutes, and points are lost for straying too far from the mobile target.

The fourth test involves matching shapes to numbered examples in a race against the clock. Only times of forty seconds or less lead to respectable scores here.

Mind-body Mastery is the fifth game. Eight mazes have to be traversed in less than 1 minute 40 seconds. Contact with the maze walls adds a penalty to the clock.

Eight numbered shapes appear at the top of the screen in the sixth test of Agile Alertness. As the Sidha moves along under each shape on the main screen, its identifying number has to be keyed in. Complete the game in less that 45 seconds to get closer to spiritual perfection.

Inner Integration requires the Player to spot angular shapes hidden in abstract patterns, tracing the outlines with a cursor.

All ten patterns must be found in under 1 minute 40 seconds.

The final test, Fluent Function involves counting rows of l ittle Sidhas and entering the tally into the computer. Second time around, the symbols change and become digits just to add to the confusion.

The eight games are accessed from a menu, and can be practised over and over until perfection is reached. At any stage, calling up the Levigram produces a graphic display of your achievements so far on the path to perfection.

CRITICISM

'The Secret of Levitation is one of the strangest games I've ever played and reminds me of the first games that you typed in from magazines. The bask idea is very simple and the graphics are very bask. The game does have a certain something, how - ever, that keeps you at it for ages. I played The Secret of Levitation for about an hour before I got bored with it, and I still hadn't taken off. I'm sure this game would have been better priced at £1.99, but not a bad effort at the budget market.'

'I haven't seen a game like this for ages, I was beginning to believe that software houses had learnt their lesson that games like this don't sell, even if they am dressed up with an original name. I didn't really have any joy playing this game. The graphics are a little poor- a few floating Gurus here and there - but they do their job. The sound is also sub-average. Not much here to keep me interested for any length of time.'

'I might have liked this game if there was a bit more to it. As it is, it's just a series of simple puzzles. Maybe some would argue that nine totally different games represent good value for money at £2.99, but I'm afraid I just don't agree. The graphics are below par, and much more could have been done to bring this product up to the sort of standard I expect. Overall, a very BASIC game that I don't think is worth much of anyone's time or money.

COMMENTS
Control keys: different for each sub-game
Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: no problems
Use of colour: simple
Graphics: simplistic
Sound: beepy tunelets and so on
Skill levels: one
Screens: 9 little games plus score screen and levitating monk
General Rating: Not a stunning start to a new range of software.

42%
39%
49%
55%
44%
48%
45%

Screenshot Text

Sidha takes to the air, performing mystical magic after a score of 1,000 points has been clocked up.

Amaze-ing. Testing Mind-Body Mastery on the path to perfection.