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Now here is an interesting little teaser. One hundred quite literally block-bustingly mazemunvous levels, ranging from dead-easy to downright difficult. You control a string of rotating balls which you navigate by clicking either the left or right mouse button to anchor one or reverse the direction of the balls, respectively.

In each level the exit is obstructed by blocks which crumble as your balls hit them revealing different things according to their attributes. Some hold bonuses, extra lives and other goodies, while others contain nasty spiky things that break your balls (No sniggering in the back there, Jenkins!).

It is a good game for the price (£10). Mega Motion won't go down in the history books as one of the greatest games ever made, but it will occupy you while you are waiting for Ren and Stimpy to come on. However, this game is a good one for kids because it encourages skills in simple problem-solving techniques essential to any young budding entrepreneur.

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In unserem Spartheater gibt es heute eine ganz spezielle Ausführung: fünf Games von Kompart (Hyperion, Mega Motion, Summer Camp, Winter Camp, & a rerelease of Creatures), vier davon sind trotz des allgemeinen Preises von nur 29 Märkern echte Neuerscheinungen! Da mußten wir natürlich ausnahmsweise auch hier zur Bewertung schreiten...

Bei dieser Knobelei müssen in 100 screenfüllenden Levels die untereinander verbundenen, ständig um das gerade angeklickte bällchen rotierenden Kugeln per Maus zum Ausgang dirigiert werden. Zusätzliche Würze bringen Spezialsteine, die den Weg zum Ziel versperren, ins Spiel, und der fetzige Soundtrack läßt den Tüftler gnädig über die spartanische Grafik hinwegsehen.

Alles in allem ein recht ordentliches Knobelspielchen, das sich seine 62 Prozent ehrlich verdient hat. (mic)

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Hang on a minute - what is all this about? Eh? I do not understand. Where is the gun? Where is the platforms? What sort of game is this?

Mega Motion is one of those games written to deliberately annoy irritable staff writers on deadline. For a start, even categorising it is pretty difficult. Is it a puzzler? Yes. Does it involve an element of strategy? Yes. Do you need to be relatively dextrous to play it? The answer is again yes.

So what is the problem, you may be thinking. Well, it is like this. How often doe you hear the phrase 'dextrous puzzley strategy game' being bandied about? Not very often I will tell you. I even went to the trouble of checking through every single magazine published by Future ever and still only managed to find the phrase once. And that was in a beta copy of Amstrad Action's personal subscription advertising pages. The phrase was eventually dropped because they decided it was not going anywhere.

Now, bearing in mind that I have not yet come up with a definition of Mega Motion, I will tell you what we (we being the collective mind of AMIGA POWER) cam up with. We decided that it was a chain reaction set-'em-up. That, as someone somewhere would say, if they saw this game, is not even the whole story. But I reckon I have wasted enough space in introduction already, so I will start by telling you about the game and why we decided that chain reaction set-'em-up was the best we could do.

There are 100 levels, broken up into four categories: easy, average, difficult and very difficult. Each level is a screen in size. See the grabs on this page to get a better idea of what the game looks like. You control a 'thing'. That is right, I know I get paid loads and loads of money to write these reviews, but 'thing' is the best word I can think of to describe what you control; a thing (unless of course I called it a frenetic kinetic mimetic, and get fired again).

Now this 'thing' usually consists of two spheres connected by a rod. It is not always two spheres and rods (and there is always one red less than the total number of spheres - so there you go). Again, if you are having difficulty following me, look at the pictures again.

You have to guide this 'thing' toward the exit on the level. This is not as easy as it may sound. For a start, there are fiendishly placed obstacles of varying degrees of difficulty to traverse and negotiate. To complicate things, there is a time limit which you can overstep. If you do, however, you do not earn as high a bonus on level completion. Does not sound like too much of a problem so far, does it? Well, added to all this 'reach the end' trickery is the motion of the 'thing' itself. It constantly rotates around a fixed axis. The fixed axis being one of the spheres that constitute the 'thing'. Follow me so far? I do hope so.

Using the mouse, you can change which sphere constitutes the fixed axis. Ergo, you can move your 'thing' in any direction, by constantly fixing the free rotating sphere. If you do not follow me so far, let us try again (Yes please - Ed). We will start with the simplest 'thing'; one made up of two spheres. One of the two spheres is always fixed and the other sphere rotates in a 360 degree around the fixed sphere. Incidentally, you can change the direction of this rotation by clicking the right mouse button, clockwise or anti-clockwise; very handy when bashing bashable obstacles.

To move, you wait for the free sphere to rotate round to the direction required and fix it with your left mouse button. Repeat these actions and you will move, no problem. Get the hang of this, and you are well on the way to complete control (I'm well on the way to a headache - Ed).

Develop your sense of eidetic imagery.

Get to grips with the motion on the easy levels. The concentrate on the obstacles. Some are just plain blocks that have to be bashed with your free sphere a set number of times. Others are bombs which set up chain reactions by blowing up neighbouring blocks (hence our chain reaction set-'em-up categorisation).

There are skulls which create solid diamond-type walls. If you hit these walls, the colliding sphere dies. Obviously, if your 'thing' only consists of two spheres, you lose a life. More spheres than that means you may still live.

Sometimes there are plain walls that cannot be bashed out. Hope is at hand with the switcher blocks. These reveal secret doors and remove some unnecessary walls. Sometimes though, it is not always good, they can also reveal the nasty type of secret walls. Other little goodies include keys and the locks that they open, mover blocks and extra lives, score bonuses and rocks and stones.

Right, I have reached here and have not actually told you what I think of the game. I like it. it is one of those games that baits you, hooks you and pulls you in. At first, you play it with a detached indifference, thinking "well it IS pretty novel". The next thing you know, you are sweating pints trying to work out the best approach. For example, on level 30, it is a matter of experimenting and finding out where the killing walls are going to appear when the skull icons explode. Then you have to plot an appropriate route home.

So there you go. Mega Motion will be a turn off to shoot-em-up and platform fans. It should hook anyone else. It is different, original and a bit strange. It will also help develop your sense of eidetic imagery (I fell asleep with a mental picture of another method to use to complete level 30). Luckily there is a password system to let you return to particularly difficult levels.

There is just time for me to give a quick mention to the sound. It is nice. The 'thing' sounds like a third octave D sharp being played on a piano keyboard when you move it. All in all, the sound adds to the fun whereas the music soundtracks drive you to distraction. Go it? Good.

I am not going to say rush out to the shops and buy Mega Motion now. It is an acquired taste. But me for one, I am going to have lots of fun until I finally complete the whole game and that will take a while. It is a challenge, that is for sure.


Megamotion Blocks like this are the basic obstacle you will come across.

Megamotion They're nice and pretty, but also deadly.

Megamotion Just in case you have trouble reading, this is the exit.

Megamotion These blocks can be pushed out of the way, but watch out where you do so.

Megamotion You'll want to be able to go on and on. Hit this and you get an extra life.

Megamotion You need bonuses and here they are.

Megamotion Part of the chain reaction set-em-up.

Megamotion Something's happened to the rod between these spheres. Which is a pity.

Megamotion One's a lock, the other's a key. Keys open locks. So guess what's next.

Megamotion This is a slightly larger 'thing'. You can get bigger ones.

As you'll see from some of the screenshots accompanying these pages, the constituent components of the game all reside in this very boxout. Fiendishly, when you put them in different combinations, they add up to one heck of a game.

Megamotion logo CU Amiga Screen Star

Are Black Legend showing the console market that the Amiga is still good for a few more original puzzle games? Tony Dillon looks at Synergy - a brilliant double pack of two very different games (Mega Motion & Statix).

This is another unusual game, as far away from Statix as you can get. If you can remember US Gold's E-Motion, then you'll have a fairly good idea as to what this game is about. You start off with a group of two or more balls at the start of a small maze and you have to get them to the other end.

To do this, you fix one of the balls in their current position, while the other orbit is in a geometrically satisfying way. To move around, you need to change between balls by clicking on them when they are in the position you want.

It might sound complicated, but in practice it is quite simple. One way to explain it would be to imagine a line, with three points (A, B and C). You have two balls, and ball 1 is fixed to point A. As ball 2 swings around, it passes over point B. If you change balls while ball 2 is over B, then ball A will swing around passing over points A and C. Get it? Well, I would draw you a diagram, if I could.

The end result of this mind bending maths is a fairly addictive and extremely tough puzzler. There are all sorts of traps and spikes dotted about the levels that will destroy your balls on contact, and if you have less than two, you lose a life. It's that simple.

What else can I say, except that it's great fun, and you could do a hell of a lot worse with your money than buy these two games!