There's a pub in Manchester called McNally's Sports Bar which my mates and I go to at the start of a night out on the town. It's brilliant: nice cheap beer, a pool table and hot nuts. Unfortunately, it also has an annoying arcade game called 'double bubble' or some other cheese.
The trouble with double-
Minskies Furballs is just this sort of colourful and simple game, the sort that turns normal people into antisocial joystick wagglers in pubs (if you get my meaning).
The idea behind Minskies Furballs is pretty simple. Different coloured cats drop in paris from the top of the screen. It's your job to steer and rotate the mangy pair so that four or more cats of the same colour are positioned next to each other. Do this and they explode leaving the screen free for more cats. The greater the catocide the higher the score. Once the screen is packed out with multi-coloured felines, the game is up.
Minskies Furballs, it has to be said, is stupidly addictive. It's one of those games that looks simple but is in fact pretty difficult. You continuously have that 'Just one more go and I'll win' sort of feeling. One word of advice though, play against the computer or a mate because the gameplay is at least doubled.
Playing against an opponent means you have to hinder their efforts at emptying their screen whilst trying to clear your own screen of the little critters. The computer opponents are pretty tough cookies - watch out for Boocakes, the blue octopus and Harvey the slightly nouty looking bear thing.
There are a variety of ways to gain the upper hand. Whenever a connection of four or more cats is triggered either a fish or a concrete block is dropped into the opponents screen, mucking up their own connections. The only way to get rid of an obstruction is to build a connection around it - the obstruction will be blown up along with the cats. By building connections next to the blocks, weapons are revealed which you can use to clear cats or obstructions from your screen.
Minskies Furballs is, without doubt, great fun to play but there is one basic flaw in the game - it just isn't that original. The basic premise of the game is very Tetris-like and there isn't a great deal about the game that makes it stand out. Despite the fact that it's playable and very addictive, chances are you have played dozens of games like it.
It's well put together, well designed and fun. The idea behind it couldn't really be much simpler and the graphics look colourful and cute. Minskies is basically quite an engaging and addictive game and although it doesn't really have the originality or depth of some it's pretty likeable anyway. As games go, it's a bimbo-simple, good fun, bright and gaudy. Worms it ain't, but you could do a lot worse than getting hold of a copy.