Saturday, November 17, 2007

Block Manouveres

Title: Block Manouveres
Author: CHEESEtwoK
License: Freeware
Website: http://members.aol.com/CHEESEtwoK/blocks.htm

I cannot explain why, but I love these little old games. Block Manouveres features crappy graphics and annoying music. The website is garish and decaying. But as with such games, it contains some good puzzles, and that is what draws me in.

Block Manouveres is your basic eat all the strawberries and blueberries and get to the exit game. The puzzles contain aspects from sokoban and blocks. The strawberries stay put ready to be eaten. The blueberries bounce about randomly. You have to track them down. Once all of the berries have been eaten, the doors open and allow access to the exit.



The levels contain many of the usual puzzle elements. The blue blocks can be pushed into an empty space or into water to form a bridge. There are one way tiles, and tiles which can only passed over once. There are balls which when pushed keep rolling until they hit something. They can also be used to fill in water.

One interesting twist is the numbered blue and orange tiles. They are like particle/antiparticle pairs. If you push a blue number 1 tile into an orange number 1 tile, both are annihilated and disappear. This gives rise to some good puzzles.

The games contains 85 levels which can be played in any order. Many of the levels contain fire balls, lasers, and these pac-man like enemies which require fine timing. Those levels are annoying, but you know what, just hit the 'N' key and move on. This is way allowing people to play levels in any order is a good thing. Without this feature, I would have deleted this game after 10 minutes. Instead, I had a great time playing the no timing, thinking only levels. And there are some good levels. One complaint is that the game does not record your progress.

Another problem is getting a copy of the game. The website has not been updated in at least two years. It had used a hit counter site SDJL.biz. As a result, the links no longer work. But with a little snooping (mouse over the links), the URL to the .zip file can be found.

A final complaint, the music is annoying. You can turn it off with the '5' key, but the music comes back a few levels later.

2 Comments:

At 5:23 AM, Blogger Gavin said...

Hi there thanks for the review. I'm Gavin the author of this game. I'm glad you liked the puzzle aspect as that was the main focus of the game.

I chose to have the player able to see the whole level at a time to sit and work things out rather than having to scroll through it, hence the small graphics.

The website is hosted on AOL and I no longer have an account with them so am unable to update it, and mainly because of college I stopped work on the game a couple of years ago.

The latest version also has a text based level editor which is, also kindof crappy.

Again, glad you enjoyed working out the puzzles.

 
At 5:28 AM, Blogger Gavin said...

The game is now hosted here with other stuff:
http://www.geocities.com/shooeymooey/

 

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