Feelings, nothing more than feelings...

E-Motion logo

SOME people spend all day making huge amounts of money. Other people spend all day trying to work out how the first lot of people managed to make all that money. Still more people, I suspect, will shortly spend all day trying to knock a couple of brightly coloured balls together.
I make this astonishing claim because, you see, I have played E-Motion. The object of the game, though perhaps the term experience is more apt, is to knock together similarly coloured balls while keeping them away from any different coloured balls - a sort of spherical apartheid.
Simple, you might think. But the balls do not like each other - there are repulsive forces at work. And even more complicated, some of them are joined together by elastic ropes.

Your player, denoted by a sphere with things on top which make it resemble an aerial view of a Clanger, must bounce off things and do stuff to bring them together. After a period they will go critical and atomise, leaving a nasty mess, so watch out when they start vibrating horribly.
Every collision plays a note, so when the game gets busy it reminds me of my sister's early piano lessons. Excellent effects, like being trapped inside a Mellotron. If the backgrounds are not in HAM then they are a fairly good imitation. Ray-traced graphics lend the game a weird and futuristic appearance.

Fifty levels of puzzles, each more cunning than the last. E-Motion is brought to you by Assembly Line, the development team which produced Pipe Mania, so it is used to these highly addictive thinking games. Mind you, the same team was also responsible for Xenon II...

Krieg der Molekule

E-Motion logo Amiga Joker Hit

Assembly Line, die Jungs die schon für "Interphase" und das geniale "Pipe Mania" verantwortlich zeichneten, haben sich eine neu Tüftelei ausgedacht: Ein Game, von dem Papa Einstein sicher begeistert gewesen wäre...

Jeder der insgesamt 50 Level bringt verschiedenfarbige Kugeln in den unterschiedlichsten Anordnungen auf den Screen, sobald zwei gleichfarbige zusammenprallen, verschwinden sie. "Abgeräumt" wird mit einer Stoßkugel, deren Bewegungsrichtung mit dem Joystick bestimmt wird. Sollten sich jedoch zwei verschiedenfarbige Kugeln berühren, so entstehen daraus kleine Bälle einer dritten Farbe. Sammelt man diese rechtzeitig ein, so erhält man Extra-Energie (Zeit); läßt man sie in Ruhe, entsteht eine zusätzliche neue Kugel! Außerdem sorgen das recht knappe zeitlimit und zusätzliche Gemeinheiten wie z.B. Gummibänder, mit denen die Kugeln verbunden sind, für Gehirn- und Stickakrobatik unter erschwerten Bedingungen.

E-Motion überzeugt nicht alleine durch die neue Spielidee, auch die Präsentation ist sehr chic geraten: Simple, aber durchstylte Ray-Tracing Grafik in herrlichen Farben und ein toller (Titel-) Soundtrack in feinstem 4-Kanal Stereo erfreuen Auge und Ohr. Auch ansonsten wurde alles für gehobenen Spielspaß getan: Es gibt drei verschiedene Bonuslevel, zwei Spieler dürfen gleichzeitig zur Sache gehen, und Erfolge bleiben der Nachwelt in einer hübschen Highscore-Liste erhalten. Anders gesagt: Ein Muß für den geschickten Knobel-Freak! (ml)

E-Motion logo

US Gold
Price: £24.99

The 'New Age' arrives in software. At last the Amiga can boast a game you will be proud to boot up when your crystal analyst comes round to listen to your collection of Brian Eno LPs. E-Motion is one of those games in which gameplay is everything - E-Motion is very much back to basics.

Asteroids type manner, you have to knock pairs of matching balls together to make them disappear. If, however, you send different coloured spheres careering into each other, you have to get rid of. As game-plays go, it requires dexterity, subtlety and restraint, so if your idea of a good time is a few rounds of Rambo III, it is quite likely that this is not the game for you. Frankly, E-Motion can be bloody irritating, you can be just about to complete a difficult manoeuvre and a little misjudgement or slip of the joystick can give you twice as much work as you started with. Then again, it is also highly addictive. E-Motion is that rarest of games - an original.

With credit to the programmers, E-Motion has real character. Every time you collide with anything, there is a symphonic chiming that adds to the 'ambient' atmosphere. The brightly coloured screens are as easy on the eye as possible. The complexity of the levels is nicely graduated. There are bonus levels and plenty of variation of the theme, so its appeal should last a lot longer than the average piece of software. After a few hours of dabbing with the game, I got the feeling that although E-Motion is original, stylish and highly playable, there is something about it that makes it fall short of being a true classic. It could be that it is a little fussy for my tastes, dare I say a little poncy. I am just not sure that the aggro involved in getting through the game is worth it. All I can be sure of is that after reviewing it, I have an irresistible urge to reach for a Napalm Death tape and give the volume control a severe yank.

E-Motion logo

US Gold/ST/ £19.99/Amiga & PC £24.99/Out now

Amiga review E-Motion is all about population control. The idea is to bang away like an armed policeman without creating babies. Or something like that. You control an, erm... thingy with an arrow on top showing the direction in which you're facing. Knocking balls of the same colour together causes them to disappear. If, by some careless accident, two orbs of different colours collide, baby balls are produced. Being a good cannibal you eat them, because if you don't they grow into big balls themselves of yet another colour.

Darwinism has never been so annoying. The idea is to get rid of all the balls before they explode and it ain't easy, mainly because your thingy is awfully difficult to control.

E-Motion is a game you'll either love or hate. It requires a good deal more joystick juggling than most puzzle games, which will almost certainly make it or break it depending on your point of view. But no matter how fast your reflexes, a dumb move can spell disaster as the population on screen takes off like rabbits on an 18-30 holiday. A complete loads of balls. In the best possible taste.

E-Motion logo

US Gold, C64 £9.99 cassette, £14.99 disk; Amiga £19.99

Apparently, E-Motion is US Gold's first 'New Age' game for the unstressful, relaxed lifestyle of the 1990s. However, this extremely devious puzzle game is more likely to double your stress level!

In a microscopic world of atoms, molecules and particles, you control a sphere by rotating left/right and thrusting. In each of fifty levels the aim is simple: knock like-coloured spheres (which represent atoms) together to make them disappear. If you're not quick enough they explode, reducing your energy level. If two differently coloured spheres collide, a smaller pod ball is produced - this can either be collected for extra energy or left to 'grow' into a big sphere.

To make things infinitely more difficult, some of the spheres are connected by elastic (these represent molecules) which can easily get wrapped around obstacles which appear on most levels.

When your energy level reaches zero you lose one of four lives. Invaluable extra lives are earned for every 25,000 points scored. Extra points can be gained on the bonus screens, which appear after every few levels - these involve collecting pods in the right order within the time limit. If you manage to get halfway through the game's 50 levels and die, you can continue play from level 25. There are also options to save the game and practise any level.

As well as playing solo, you can play simultaneously with a friend, with a communal score and lives - so you must cooperate instead of competing. On some levels the two players are connected by elastic, and sometimes even to some of the spheres, making life very difficult!

Phil King Simple ideas are often the best, and knocking balls together has to be one of the simplest game concepts since billiards. Graphically, it's also very simple (if slow and Spectrum-esque on the 64) but functional with balls and elastic moving realistically with inertia and momentum. Solo games are fun, but it's in simultaneous two-player mode that the game really comes into its own. Without extensive cooperation you invariably end up hysterically knocking the spheres all over the place, the numerous resulting pods making the play area resemble a Smarties ad. It's all great fun, but at times so frustrating you'll want to do something more violent than bash balls together!
Robin Hogg E-Motion is one of the weirdest games I've ever seen, but that was no deterrent to instant addiction on my part. The idea is utterly simple, but with just a few strands of elastic and the odd obstacle it becomes completely aggravating - and incredibly addictive. Phil and I were completely hooked by this one and played it for ages, getting surprisingly far. The Amiga game is obviously the best presented; the HAM backgrounds are attractive while all objects are well drawn and move very smoothly. The C64 version is initially rather disappointing, looking distinctly Spectrum-esque. However to have any more colours would make things far too slow, so I'm thankful US Gold have done it this way, preserving most of the excellent gameplay. A tiny bit sluggish perhaps, but great fun all the same.