Bring me to the Main Page   Bring me to the Reviews Index

Minskies furballs logo

Price: £19.99   Publisher: Binary Emotions   01722 716074

I taut I saw puddy cat. I did, I did. Too right you did mate. You saw lots of different coloured ones in this excellent Tetris clone.

Minskies furballs T etris fans – all your birthdays have come at once. And even if you are not a Tetris fan you will be one after a few bouts on this game. Minskies Furballs is one excellent Tetris clone. Even the NMS boys )who we share an office with) seemed a little bit impressed by it and kept muttering something about Kirby’s Avalanche on the SNES.

Minskies furballs Choose your weapons
It is bright, it is colourful and it is easy to play. All you have got to do is manipulate the oncoming coloured blocks (little puddy cats called gerbils) into matching groups of four or more. Each time you do this you send a fish symbol or little grey blocks down on your opponent’s side mucking up their arrangements so they have got to get rid of them.

As well as grouping your blocks together you have got a variety of weapons at your disposal. There are three offensive weapons and three defensive ones. A red bar at the bottom increases as you progress through the game and so does your weapon status. Weapons begin with the bomb and then go on to items such as phaser, avalanche and shield. To select one just push up and fire. Getting rid of the grey blocks is the main way to get any weapon and it will flash up on screen which one you have currently got. Bombs are handy for getting yourself out of trouble and freeing up some space. I am disappointed though, that there is not a way to send a bomb over to your opponent so you could mess up their game.

That gripe aside, control is easy enough, press down on the joystick to speed up the blocks, up to select weapons and left and right to move the blocks around. Likewise on the keyboard use left and cursor keys to move either way, right Amiga and right Alt to rotate the blocks.

Some of the weapon selection is also a bit hit and miss though. When you select a bomb it is quite straightforward – target appears and you get a countdown of five to select the part you want to obliterate. The phaser weapon which blitzes in straight lines, is harder to find. It seems to be slightly off screen so a bit of guesswork is needed here.

Minskies furballs A bit of a character
There are eleven tables in all to complete and each table has its own figurehead. This does not really affect the game much but adds a bit of variety to the levels. The one with the three bears is a bit strange and offputting as the little picture of the bears keeps zooming in and out for some unexplained reason. This is a bit hard on the eyes.

Minskies furballs The avalanche weapons that your opponent sends your way every now and then does not help your eyesight either as it shakes the screen around vigorously for a few minutes. In addition, on some levels, the background graphics blurs in a bit too much with the blocks. I found myself missing connections because it could not make out some of the coloured blocks.

In two-player mode, confusingly called multiplayer, however you only have one table to play on. There is a choice of three, five and nine bouts and you can also alter each player’s skill level. The two-player game is a bit tricky as the skill level for player two seems stuck at ultra fast mode. However, Andrew Jollie from Binary Emotions said that this problem will be corrected by the time of press.

Totally addictive
Minskies furballs Minskies is totally addictive and great fun to play. The ingame tune and the little shouts of "here we go" and "you’re in trouble now" add to the overall enjoyment. The only problem I have with it was that, at times, there did not seem to be much difference between easy, medium and hard mode. Your computer opponent’s logic also seems a bit warped occasionally and behaves strangely by either not making any connections at all or by sending down mountain loads of little grey blocks all at once totally wrecking any chance you had of getting any further in that level.

Despite this you can get through Minskies quite easily if you set your mind to it. But there is enough of a decent game in there to make you want to go back to it time and time again. I love it. At £19.99 it is a bargain especially when there is an ECS version included. This is almost identical to the AGA version and only suffers a slight loss of quality in the graphics department. Once the two-player mode is sorted it will be a worthy purchase indeed.
Lisa Collins

CU Amiga, February 1997, p.p.36-37

A BIT FRUITY
Minskies furballs: fruitmachine As a bonus, at the end of every level or so you get the chance to have a go on a mini fruit machine. As well as being a bit of a novelty you can also rack up some handy extra points here. If Lady Luck is with you, you can accrue some welcome goodies: three lemons gets you two continues, three grapes 4,000 points and three bananas 20 coins. Press fire on the joystick or right Amiga on the keyboard to play. You can skip it altogether if you wish by pressing Right alt. But why miss out on these lovely extra fruity points? Other ways to score extra points are the number of connections you have made in any one go and how many blocks you used up in each game.

MINSKIES FURBALLS
A500

A500+

A600

A1200

A1500

A2000

A3000

A4000

workbench version: 1.3

number of disks: 4

RAM: 1 Mb

hard disk installable: yes
 

graphics

sound

lastability

playability
 

90%

85%

88%

90%
 

OVERALL
Excellent Tetris clone. Superb value.
 
88%