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Quicksilva Ltd
1983
Arcade: Action
£6.95
Multiple languages (see individual downloads)
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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101,102
Chris Bourne

Jeff Minter's second offering via the Game Lords was generally thought to be somewhat better than Gridrunner. One of our reviewers disliked it, but the other two considered it to be a reasonably playable game.

The title could be misleading in that it sounds like another grid or light cycle type game, but in fact it is a painter type.

THIS IS WHAT YOU DO
Traxx presents you with 30 boxes, five high by six wide, with wide tracks between each. At the base of the bottom centre box the track is painted purple with a little green cursor, which is you.

As you move the cursor from the purple colouring and onto 'unpainted' track, the cursor drags the colour behind it. As in most painter games there are a number of pursuers darting about at random. It all seems quite straightforward until, with an imaginatively elastic snapping sound, the painted bit shoots back to where you picked it up like a rubber band.

After a few abortive efforts you realise that you are only able to paint as far as three sides of a box at a time. Surrounding a box correctly rewards you with a little bleep and you are free to drag the paint out around another box.

There are nine skill levels and nine speeds in a flexible combination; you can have between one and nine pursuers on any of the speed levels. Starting with one and one, If you clear the screen the next level will give you two and two. These can all be selected by a neat key press type menu. Alternatively a t wo player game option is offered.

GENERAL
There are no instructions in the inlay card, but all the necessary detail are well presented in the program. The keyboard positions are sensibly placed; O/A = up/down andl/P = left/right.

In the two-player game the cursor colour changes between players and the scores shown.

COMMENT
Keyboard positions: easy to use and sensibly placed
Joystick options: AGF, Protek, but it was felt by all three reviewers that the keyboard was actually easier to use for control
Keyboard play: difficult to control well
Use of colour: average
Graphics: good
Sound: reasonable
Skill levels: nine
Lives: three

CRITICISM

'The graphics are good quality, with smooth move- ment. but the game is very difficult to control. It's too easy to overshoot a junction instead of turning off. If you over run the end of a block you cannot turn back and paint it in. This makes the game difficult in a silly sort of way.'

'I liked the selection of speed factors etc, by holding down the Z, X, C keys and releasing them when the desired number is displayed.'

'Simple in outline, Traxx is nevertheless a game of some skill and nerves, especially when there are four or five pursuers darting about.'

'There's a touch of the pacman in it. If you join up the four corner boxes. you're given 10 seconds to eat the chasers.'

'I thought it was well designed, using a well-tried format, but with no real innovation of its own.'

General Rating: After getting used to its idiosyncracies it begins to grow on you, but if you are looking for a painter game, there are better types on the market at a lower cost

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