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Puzznic logo  Zzap! Sizzler

Ocean, C64 9.99 cassette; 14.99 disk, Amiga 24.99
Puzznic After Plotting comes another blocky puzzle game from Taito/Ocean. Once again the aim is getting rid of tiles by bringing identical ones together.

On each level there's an assortment of tiles which can be moved about by placing a cursor on them, pushing in the direction you want them to move, and pressing fire. Unlike Atomix, there's gravity, so tiles can't be moved upwards unless there's a lift to take them up.

On the first few levels the tiles come in even numbers, so it's fairly easy to progress by bringing pairs of tiles together. But things soon get complicated when you have odd numbers of tiles: bringing three tiles together simultaneously can take a lot of ingenuity!

There are no less than 144 levels in Puzznic, split into 36 stages laid out like a tree completing a stage allows you to attempt either of the two branching out from it. In the coin-op you can choose to start on any of the stages on the first two rows, but now you can start on any of the first five rows!

Once you begin playing you have two resets, which restore everything on the level except time to its start position useful if you have messed things up completely. Once the resets are used up you can only wait for time to run out. Then you can use one of five continue-plays.

Zzap! Christmas Special, Issue 68, December 1990, p.20

Robin Hogg Puzznic's early levels are misleading in their simplicity and only when you get to the second row do the fiendish possibilities become obvious. Cleverly the game pulls you slowly into its grasp until escape is impossible! You have to keep playing this is as compulsive a game as I've played all year. While 144 screens and several different ways of playing provide a big challenge.
The main requirement of the graphics is that they're fast and clear, and both version succeed in this. Unlike Plotting there's no background graphics to provide visual variety, but the tiles have an attractive animated sheen which is particularly nice on the C64. In fact the C64 comes off best, the more restrained greyish palette working better than the slightly garish 16-bit graphics. But gameplay is the thing with Puzznic, and both versions excel in that.

Stuart Wynne This Taito coin-op seems almost designed for home play it's easy to while away the hours pondering what can be truly brain-bending problems. The graphics are functional and cleanly laid out with well used colours and a neat sheen effect on the C64. The Amiga game is graphically disappointing but at least there are some great sonics. Mind you, the graphics don't matter much, as Puzznic has some very addictive gameplay. It's nice the way you're introduced to new elements and new objects to manipulate with each new screen; the select-your-path feature is another well thought-out idea. Overall superb!

AMIGA

PRESENTATION 79%
Same as C64.
GRAPHICS 58%
Effective and fast, but the colours are a touch garish.
SOUND 84%
Some very good tunes.
HOOKABILITY 88%
Easy first levels, gradually draws you into utter addiction.
LASTABILITY 93%
144 screens and various routes provide a huge challenge, while option to play any of the early levels, prevents repetition.

OVERALL
89%
A superb puzzle game.

64

PRESENTATION 84%
Two resets per screen, five continue-plays and the ability to start on any of the first five rows. Good demo.
GRAPHICS 70%
Fast, simplistic and perfectly functional with an attractive animated sheen.
SOUND 82%
Software Creations provide another batch of tuneful pieces.
HOOKABILITY 90%
Early levels provide a nicely graduated introduction to an utterly compulsive game.
LASTABILITY 94%
144 levels and several different routes through the game provide a superb long-term challenge.

OVERALL
90%
Easily one of 1990's best puzzle games.