Beam in some imagination

Deflektor logo

MOST of the better games contain at least an element of real life, something you can relate to as you weave your way through an intricate web of death rays or make a last ditch stand against the ravaging hordes of Zod the Unwashed. It's what helps you to pretend that you're there in the thick of the action rather than tucked up in bed at 19 Mandela Terrace, Penge.

Some games, however, make no attempt at realism. Take the idea of using a powerful aser beam steered by a series of remote mirrors to destroy a large number of well protected targets screened by a jumble of intervening objects.

Totally unbelievable, right? Nobody but a real cowboy would think of trying to do it in real life. And yet that's just what Deflektor is about. The only way this scenario would have been more unbelievable was if the targets had been moving at high speed. But that would have been incredible.

The aim is to destroy all the targets on each level before your laser beam runs out of energy. It can be steered by a series of mirrors which can be rotated to redirect the beam. When all the targets have been destroyed, the level is finished by steering the beam into a special receptor to complete the circuit.

It moves through paths of increasing complexity. Some of the targets can't be reached directly and require the beam to be diverted through repeaters, which absorb it all at one point and discharge it somewhere else on the layout.

Care must be taken not to feed the beam back on itself otherwise an overload can result - if not corrected quickly this will lose you a life. You start each level with three lives; lose them all and it's back to the beginning.
This game needs good coordination, speed and thought and lots of imagination to thread a route to targets that remain frustratingly out of reach.

The graphics are detailed and colourful, but are too static to be considered exceptional. The music is excellent, just right for setting your pulse racing as your laser eats up the last dregs of energy with two or three targets remaining.
And that's all there is to it. Fun to play in short bursts at intervals, but not one to keep you going all night.

Deflektor logo


Here it is at last, yonks after every other version has died. In Deflektor, you basically have to bounce a laser around the screen with the aim of getting it to hit a specific block by moving an angled mirror or two.

Graphics are fairly basic, but then again there is not a whole lot you can do with a bent line and a few other lines to represent mirrors. Sound is adequate and as a game it is still as frustrating as it always was. A straight conversion if ever I saw one.

Deflektor logo

Gremlin, Amiga £19.99

This is a game without a story. There are no aliens to conquer and no riches to be made. Deflektor is an out and out puzzle game.

It takes place on a grid containing a laser emitter and collector. The collector is blocked by some kind of obstacle, which is only removed once all the round 'cells' in the grid have been destroyed using the beam. It's deflected by a series of rotating mirrors and sent through a series of objects (converters, refractors, etc).

Whatever you do, don't let it overload by reflecting into itself and watch out for the gremlins!

Gordon Houghton I'm the first to enjoy a good puzzle game (well, that is if Kati and Maff don't get there first) and Deflektor gives the impression that it's going to be a cracker. The graphics are very tidy indeed filling the screen with colourful sprites, but the sound could be better - it seems to go on and on. The game itself is easy to pick up thanks to the obvious objectives and well implemented control method, but the thing is that it stays easy. I managed to plough through too many levels too quickly. Hard luck, Gremlin, but in my view Deflektor is just that bit too boring.
Maff Evans Here we are with another of my weaknesses - puzzle games. We've had our fair share of decent puzzles recently, what with Oops and Bombuzal. Now, after a long wait Gremlin have converted Deflektor to the Amiga. The action is fairly straightforward and easy to get into, with nicely defined and coloured graphics. The sound is OK, if a little repetitive (you can't turn it off) but the real problem is that it's just a bit too easy - I managed to get to level 43 on my first go. It is still a great puzzle game, though, and definitely deserves the attention of puzzle fans.