|The Academy Award's new design was not popular|
#9 Pipe Mania - Simple but ingenious, this hit the 8-bit home systems with a storm, acquiring many awards in the process. Since then it has been ported and re-made several times on many platforms, sometimes going by the alias Pipe Dream. In the game, you are tasked to connect a pipeline together with a series of sliding tiles, all within a time limit. When the time expires, fluid that is due to flow down the pipe gets released. Becoming frenetic and happily maddening, it's a great one for the reflex's and eye-responses. Cheaper than a real plumber too.
#8 Plotting - Odd little game this, but quite clever and often forgotten about. You control a yellow blob who has the talent of shooting blocks with symbols on. You have to destroy the game board by matching the symbols up together. The twist comes in your skill to bounce the blocks of the walls/roof of the game area, so that they hit the right target. One of the best games on the GX4000 and for my mind, a neat looking puzzler overlooked unfairly thanks to it's big brother Puznic. (Which is not in this list. So there.)
#7 Minesweeper - We all know this one, or at least we should do. Either having chanced upon it whilst bored at work, it may have even been the first game you played on your spanking new Windows 95 PC; Minesweeper continues on with each release of the Microsoft OS, part of the furniture if you will. Mentally challenging, it's a bit of a clandestine morsel that manages to grab your attention almost by accident. If you haven't played it and you have MS Windows - Start/All Programs/Games = Bingo! Don't say I don't do nothing for you.
|Mr Top was confident he would win the Chelsea Flower Show|
#5 Columns - SEGA's answer to Nintendo's runaway Gamboy hit (See #1), this colourful gem-dropper was to start and inspire series of similar games, but never quite having the quality this did. Played on any of the SEGA systems of the early nineties, matching those gems in lines seemed so effortless, but my word was it addictive. Many Game Gear batteries died a premature death due to Columns. Oh, and the silly TV receiver thingy. I thank you SEGA fans..
#4 Bejeweled - Clearly influenced by the above title; the graphical likenesses can be seen but the concept is slightly changed. I say slightly, because you are still matching gems in lines, but this time on a game board, swapping the gems around methodically and carefully to achieve the score required by each level. Several variations of this exist including Blitz and Twist, the latter being my personal favourite. Popcap, the creator of Bejeweled had made a top class puzzle game, with potential to dominate. It's now available on most formats, online and of course as a mobile app. I still have never worked out why the creepy, rasping voice-over is included. A hallmark of the game though if a little unusual.
#3 Klax - Another puzzler from the nineties that doesn't get the full glory or accolades it should, it has been ported to almost every home console and home computers. It looks stunning, and the concept is wonderful. A sloping runway feeds you tumbling tiles which you have to order in the game board to achieve pre-set goals. It provokes many aspects of puzzling; including reflex's, forward planning, assumption, luck and co-ordination. It's utterly fearsome in it's difficultly in later stages but still drags you back in with it's colourful, brash look and cheerful tunes. Klax-amaze!
#2 Lemmings - Guide those little green haired blighters to safety is your draft, saving as many as possible and progress onto the next fantastic environment. A silly game and notion on the outside, but on the inside.. Wow! Lemmings was yet another remarkable game made by DMA, who had a talent for showcasing somewhat dubious themes but making them amusing and absorbing. With different ways to beat each of the many levels, this is one for the ages that calls on all of your puzzling adroitness, but the real reason why it's such a great game is because it's so enjoyable and satisfying to play. Best of all, if you fail miserable you can blow all the buggers up for a cheap thrill. Nuke 'em!
|An awesome sight. Tetris of course, not the Geyser!|
This may be my first list that everybody will agree on the number 1 choice, but feel free to make a suggestion if you think otherwise. Puzzle titles are a great leveler in video game genre's, there is always at least one that any given gamer will like, play and loose their hair too. The next post in this April challenge is more factual, as I look at some of the eye-raising and interesting stats over the course of video games over the years. R is for Record Role-Call!