Frankly, it comes as a nice change to play a game in which you do not have to save the world from aliens, run about kicking seven shades out of baddies, or race round a maze collecting keys or pieces of puzzles. In Klax the only objective is to survive as long as possible and score points.
The game is very easy to play. A horizontal platform five lanes wide sits pointing towards you. Coloured tiles start at the end furthest away from you and roll towards you. There are five bins at the near end of the platform that the tiles fall into. Each bin holds five tiles, but should all the bins fill up then you lose a life.
How do you stop them filling up? You cannot really, but you can buy yourself time by using a small tile catcher at the end of the platform, which you can move left and right to catch tiles as they fall off. Then you can decide which tiles to drop in which bin by hitting a key and flipping them off the catcher into the bin. And here is the key to winning the game - any line of three or more tiles of the same colour, either vertically, horizontally or diagonally, makes a Klax. The Klaxed tiles then disappear, leaving more room for more tiles in the bin.
The game is played in waves, with a specific objective given for each wave. For example, you may just have to get three Klaxes, or score 10,000 points. The points system is based on difficulty. Anyone can get a vertical Klax, so you only get 50 points for each one. Horizontal Klaxes are harder, so score 1,000, while diagonal ones are harder still and score even more points. Once a wave is completed, points are awarded and you move onto the next wave.
That is basically it. Oh yes, the catcher at the end can hold up to five tiles at any one time, so you can organise Klaxes slightly more easily and you can also flip a tile half-way back up the platform to gain yourself a couple of seconds while you go for another tile. Any tile that falls off the end uncollected by the catcher scores one on the drop meter - once you have filled that up you lose a life. Plus, of course, the tiles speed up and more colours appear as you progress through the levels, making it even harder to get the particular Klax you are after.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
The sound effects are nothing to shout about, but at least you know when your catcher is full and when you have made a Klax. The graphics are nothing special either, though the diminishing perspective is quite pleasing. The viewing angle does make it a little difficult to tell when a bin is full, for example but the thudding sound effect lets you know if you try to put more tiles in it.
A game to last for years. It is a 'quick 10 minutes' when you feel like it and it is also a 'good three hour session' when you have got time. A timeless game that you will come back to again and again.
Look at that! Right the way through the review and not a mention of Tetris! Comparisons have to be made simply because they are both very simple space-filling games that play remarkably well. Tetris is a slightly better game, but Klax gives it a damn good run for its money and it really should be in your library.