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aka: Midway presents Arcade Hits: Klax

Always seemed more challenging and exciting than Tetris to me

The Good
The concept is simple but ingenius, and having the levels of different types makes for more variety. The warp screens allow you to customize the difficulty somewhat and ensure that the game's got more longevity.

Being able to 'trap' blocks before placing them on top of blocks you get later is a superb twist, and adds a lot of strategy and skill.

The controls are responsive and the small area to deposit the bricks is ideal, as it means there are less fluky combos than in Tetris or Columns

The Bad
Not A1200 compatible, although there may've been a patched version later.

The Bottom Line
A puzzle game in a similar vein to Tetris and Columns, different coloured blocks fall from the sky in one of five columns, and must be trapped using a paddle you move form left to right before being dropped in one of five storage areas, each of which has space for five blocks, to try to create rows, columns and diagonals (diagonals score the most points)

There are 99 levels, each of which sets increasingly difficult challenges. On some you must score a set number of any type of Klaxes (the term for those sequences of 3), but on others they must be diagonal or horizontal, requiring specific strategies, and on others you must score a set number of points or survive for a certain number of tiles.

You don't have to play every level to complete the game. At the start, and after every 5th level, you can choose to move on 5 or 10 levels. The reward for taking on harder levels is two-fold - firstly, you get a points bonus if you complete the first of those levels. Secondly, you lose a level if more than a certain number of tiles drop past the paddle (or if the playing area becomes full) - that certain number is higher if you use the warp.

The paddle can store up to 5 tiles at a time, allowing you to plan ahead for where to place each tile. You can also flip tiles back up, giving you a little more time before they come back - but be careful not to have 2 tiles coming back in different lines at a time, because you won't be able to catch them both.

by Martin Smith (77) on October 29th, 2003

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