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Push-Over logo

Dominoes abound in Ocean's latest platform puzzler. But does it live up to the hype? Follow GI Ant on the trail of Colin Curly's fave cheesy snacks.

Once there was a little old ant, Thought he'd move a rubber tree plant, Anyone knows an ant can't, Move a rubber tree plant, But he had high hopes, Yes he had high hopes, High in the sky, apple pie hopes...

H Push-Over igh hopes and a lot of determination are what you're going to need, especially if you want to crack Ocean's latest, Push-Over. Colin Curly of Quavers fame and GI Ant team up to bring you cheesy flavour crisps, high-profile television adverts and now a cutesy platform game for your Amiga. Now that you've been taken in by the hype and have parted with your hard-earned cash, was it worth it? You will be pleasantly surprised to find out that this particular combination of marketing strategies does work as a game. It's nice to know that big sponsorship deals don't have to mean duff games.

Colin has done his usual trick and totally freaked out over the total cheesiness of his favourite crisp. In the mayhem that ensued he lost his quavers down the one and only anthill that's around (hands up who out there hasn't done exactly the same with their car keys down a gutter). Help is at hand in the form of Colin's little soldier ant friend, who has volunteered to brave the depths of the hill to find his mate's crisps (smacks a bit of product placement, doesn't it?).

GI Ant, without even a tiny glimmer of fear, dives straight into the opening, ready to risk life and limb for his pal. Little did either of them know of the parallel universe that existed right beneath their feet, Domino Domain. And what does he find down there? Dominoes, that's what, hundreds upon hundreds of the little yellow bricks.

So any time you're getting low
As anyone who's seen the Guiness Records will remember, the Japanese have a fetish for setting up dominoes in wild and wacky ways. Teams spend months designing and setting up their thousands of coloured dominoes, so that when one gets pushed over, all the others fall and make pretty patterns on the floor. Well worth it... not! However this sparked off a passion for such things that culminated in the creation of the most obscure toy in history, Domino Rally (ask your dad if you can't remember it).

Push-Over needs 1 Meg to run The basic aim in Push-Over is to set up your blocks in a certain way, so that when you make your one-and-only push, all the dominoes will topple. The trigger block, distinctively patterned with three red stripes, should fall last. If all dominoes were alike, it would be a dull world to live in and, guess what, they're not. The yellow blocks are differentiated by red stripes and diagonals, each pattern representing different attributes, including tumblers, which seem to have mastered the art of perpetual motion, ascenders, which appear to have never heard of the law of gravity, and exploders that, well... explode.

Instead of letting go
Those who like their games to do more than make pretty noises when you kill big blue aliens will love Push-Over. It introduces you gradually to the ideas behind the gameplay, then slowly builds up to levels that could push the self-destruct button in your brain. The whole aim is to collect the ten packets of cheesy-flavoured snacks that Colin lost, which you get every 10 screens or so. But, to tell the truth, when you get further into the game, merely completing a level (Quavers or no Quavers) is reward enough.

Push-Over comes on two disks, not that the game is so complex it needs the space, but because an amusing intro sequence takes up most of the space on the first floppy. Admittedly, the animation and bluesy sound track would take pride of place in the demo section of Amiga Format, but when you've seen it, you've seen it, and it's pretty unlikely that you'll want to sit through it again. Unfortunately, you can't skip the intro. That's understandable when you consider the sponsorship deal but it's still a little frustrating when all you want to do is solve the puzzles.

Just remember that ant
It is tempting to put Push-Over in the same bracket as the classic Lemmings. Both need careful planning ahead and split-second timing to master. One of the most noticeable differences is, of course, that dominoes don't move along with cute bouncing blue hair. Push-Over is a puzzle game unlike any we've ever seen before, original ideas and a lot of elbow grease have gone into making an addictive product.

We thoroughly enjoyed putting Push-Over through its paces and won't be shoving it to the back burners until we've eaten our way through thousands of packets of those very curly Quavers. Although we may turn the sound down after a while.
Whoops there goes another rubber tree plant...
Clare Hodgson With a little help from Sammy Cahn and Jimmy van Heusen

Amiga Format, Issue 38, September 1992, p.p.84-85

Push-Over explained
You've only got one push per screen, so make sure you use it well. But if you cock up a screen you can try, try and try again, from the beginning, as many times as you like.
LEFT: A splitter domino splits into two when hit by a falling block – bloomin' useful when there's a block on either side of it.
RIGHT: A Tumbler will defy the laws of momentum and keep on tumbling until it is stopped by a fallen block or turned around by a red stopper.
YOUR GUIDE TO 'BREAKING THE WORLD DOMINOES RECORD, WHILE DRINKING A PINT OF GUINESS'
Still not got the picture? Well here's a run through of one of the levels with bridgers, tumblers and ascenders to boot.
Push-Over step-by-step: Step 1
So let's start from the very beginning. It's a very good place to start. But which blocks to move where?
Push-Over step-by-step: Step 2
The first thing is to move the normal plain yellow block out of harm's way. We'll come back to it later.
Push-Over step-by-step: Step 3
Next place the ascender (with one red vertical stripe) right next to the three-striped trigger domino.
Push-Over step-by-step: Step 4
Put the normal domino in position behind the Vanisher (two horizontal stripes) and push.
Push-Over step-by-step: Step 5
Stand watching while the ascender starts the thumbler rolling off the platform to hit the stopper below.
Push-Over step-by-step: Step 6
The tumbler turns and knocks the bridger (one horizontal stripe), then finally we're home.

Push-Over
Ocean * £25.99
  • Despite the hype, this is still a damn good puzzle game.
  • 100 levels of lemmingsly conundrums for your entertainment.
  • Cute graphics and a user-friendly level code input system.
  • The gameplay may get a little bit repetitive after a while.
verdict: 86%



Push-Over logo

Ocean, normalerweise auf Filmversoftungen und knallharte Actionspiele abonniert, ist plötzlich und unerwartet ins Müsli-Lager übergewechselt: Das aktuelle Knobelgame wurde doch tatsächlich von einem namhaften englischen Frühstücksflocken-Hersteller gesponsert!

Push-Over Die putzige Tüftelei umweht ein Hauch von „ Lemmings“ was sich bereits beim kurzen, aber sehr hübsch gemachten Trickfilm-Intro zeigt, aus dem auch die Hintergrundstory zu erfahren ist: Dem Cartoon-Köter Colin Curly ist der gesamt Vorrat an Cornflakes Marke „Quavers“ abhanden gekommen, all die feinen Flöckchen sind durch ein Loch zur Dominowelt hinunter gefallen. Glücklicherweise ist sein Ameisenfreund „G.I. Ant“ schon zur Stelle, um das Zeug zurückzuholen – heldenhaft stürzt er sich in die hundert, mitunter recht kniffligen Level...

Die kleine Ameise ist netterweise mit unendlich vielen Bildschirmleben ausgestattet und muss im Prinzip einfach in jedem Abschnitt alle herumstehenden Dominosteine umwerfen. Aber natürlich hat die Sache ein bis zwei Haken: Sie sollte das mit einem einzigen, herzhaften Stoß schaffen, außerdem muß ein ganz bestimmter Stein als letzter fallen. Das klappt freilich nur mit dem bekannten Domino-Effekt, der wiederum voraussetzt, daß sämtliche Steinchen richtig plaziert sind. In der Praxis ist man daher hauptsächlich mit dem Ausknobeln der korrekten Fall-Ordnung beschäftigt, schließlich müssen die Klötze auch noch entsprechend umgestellt werden.

Push-Over Gleichzeitig erleichtert und erschwert wird das Unterfangen durch neun verschiedene Sondersteine, die beispielsweise explodieren, sich teilen, Abgründe überbrücken, eisern stehen bleiben oder nach oben fallen. Diese tollen Teile sind farblich besonders markiert, ein jederzeit einblendbarer Infoscreen klärt Vergeßliche über ihre Funktionsweise auf. Am Levelende erhält man dann den Paßcode für einen späteren Direkeinstieg (sogar ein Merkblatt zum Eintrafen der Codes liegt in der Packung) und ein „Token“, mit dem sich einzelne Abschnitte überspringen lassen, die man gar nicht, oder zumindest nicht innerhalb des recht großzügig dimensionierten Zeitlimits schafft.

Die putzige Grafik ist nett anzusehen, vor allem der ungemein süß animierte Ameisen-Held zieht die Blicke auf sich, obwohl er nur wenige Millimeter größer als ein Lemming ist. Sound und FX sind dafür bloß durchschnittlich, ganz im Gegensatz zur ausgezeichneten Steuerung, die per Stick oder Tastatur gleichermaßen überzeugt. Bliebe nur noch die allesentscheidende Frage nach dem Suchteffekt von Push – Over. Nun, einerseits ist das Teil originell und eingenständig, andererseits vermag es ähnlich stark zu fesseln wie der leicht artverwandte Psygnosis-Knüller. Wenn es dennoch nicht ganz für einen absoluten Spitzenplatz reicht, dann einzig und alleine deshalb, weil der Schwierigkeitsgrad durch die vielfältigen Hilfestellungen und die Unsterblichkeit des Hauptdarstellers auf Anfängerniveau absackt – aber die werden begeistert sein! (rf)

Amiga Joker, September 1992, p.?

PUSH-OVER
(OCEAN)
DOMINO-KNOBELEI

75%

"FAST GENIAL"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPASS
73%
75%
58%
55%
82%
76%
FÜR ANFÄNGER
PREIS DM 89,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
1 MB
2/NEIN
NEIN
SPIELST. (CODES)
KOMPLETT