Domark Ltd
1986
Puzzle
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

40
Clare Edgeley
Chris Bourne

Have you ever wanted to rearrange someone's face? Well, here's your chance.

For starters, you can put Reagan's mouth where it ought to be. As for the Iron lady, she's got metal fatigue and gone to pieces.

In Domark's Splitting images (nothing to do with the hit TV series). You've got to piece together parts of famous faces - like one of those sliding block puzzles. The idea sounded awful to us, but then, we wuz wrong. Its fast, addictive and very, very fast.

You start off with a blank screen and waiting behind the scenes are a number of picture squares which make up the portrait. Bring them on to the screen and arrange them in the right order before your time runs out. Sounds easy? Wait till you try it. Apart from being fast there are additional bogus and bonus squares. Some have to be got rid of instantly, like the bombs. Otherwise, someone's carefully constructed head is liable to go up with a bang. Brains all over the place YUK!

In fact the bombs can be doused with the water tap to earn bonus points. Likewise, match the pistol and bullet for a higher score. Don't light the fuel with the match though, or you'll get singed. Push the American flag into the Russian one for extra points. Other objects include a hammer, ice cream and diamonds. Some good, some bad, throw them into other objects and see what happens.

To get rid of the bogus squares, line them up with the sliding hatches in the wall, and chuck them out when the doors open. The squares will then rush round and join the end of the queue to reappear later.

The problems start when the screen is almost full, then it becomes almost impossible to shunt round the squares before the time runs out. Try to complete the bottom of the picture first and move upwards and try not to block off the sliding hatches. Watch out for the cracks in the wall, these act as springs and repel all squares if they are placed head on. Approach from the side and slide the squares into position.

There's a time limit on each screen and they can be fiendishly tight, especially with characters that come later on in the game. Ronnie and Maggie come first - which must be some sort of political statement.

For Ron you have to knock out the Russian flags with the American flags. Then for Maggie you hammer the Labour symbol with the Tory symbol. Dodgy stuff. For each character the objects change, though the bomb is constant throughout.

On hearing the title, Splitting images, I wondered what was in store for me when I loaded up. After the disappointments of Domark's Friday 13th and Friday 13th and View to a Kill I was fully prepared not to like it.

The game however, is very fast, very difficult and very playable.

Label: Domark
Author: Ernieware
Price: £7.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: Various
Reviewer: Clare Edgeley

****

Let's not split hairs: this is pretty fast. Much better than expected, in fact. Domark back on form

4/5