Morph logo Amiga Computing Gamer Gold

The puzzle game of the year? Check out this substance-changing frolic from Millenium.

It's been quite a while since we've had a decent puzzle game in the office - the last one of note was Lemmings 2. The puzzle game has always been a firm favourite with gamers. Not all have brilliant graphics and sound, but they more than make up for it in the playability and addiction departments. Tetris, Columns and Lemmings are all classic examples of what a puzzler should be like.

What makes them so attractive? Why do people put themselves through sheer puzzle hell? Satisfaction is one of the answers. If you complete a level on Lemmings which no-one else you know can do, you get a really warm glow.

Beating your high-score on Tetris is a personal achievement - and achieving things is an important part of life. Some may conquer mountains, others save a human life. However, when you get to heaven and God asks you what you have achieved, at least you can say that you completed the Mayhem level on Lemmings.

After releasing the James Pond series of games Millennium are about to enter the puzzle games fray. I say "fray" advisedly because if you make a good puzzler it is adored by everyone. Produce a bad one and you're guaranteed to sell zilch. Morph is, thankfully, one of the good ones and I have a sneaky suspicion that it could well challenge Lemmings for that cult puzzle status.

It concerns, not Tony Hart's plasticine friend, but a fat little boy called Morris Rolph, or Morph as he is known to his friends. He unfortunately has a crackpot uncle called Professor Krackenpot. The Professor must have been meddling with drugs because he has built a teleport machine.

Morph, being slightly chubby, thought that this machine would be helpful - he could play lots of pranks and get into football matches for free, as well as escape from school early.
Being a very eager child, Morph decided that he wanted a go on it right away. Unluckily for him, it hadn't been tested on humans, and when the lever to start the machine was accidentally moved Morph disappeared leaving behind a trail of swirling stars.

A thunderstorm brewing that fateful night, and as Professor Krackenpot went to turn the machine off a bolt of lightning tore through the roof and blew it up, scattering its components around the surrounding countryside. All that remained of Morph was a cloud of twinkling atoms and electrons. Then a voice spoke up as if from nowhere. It was Morph, who calmly explained his predicament to the Prof. "I can't regain my body, but i can pull my molecules closer together and change my shape.
I'll go and find the missing parts and you can repair the machine and bring me back!" Chubby people are always optimistic, aren't they?

Morph can now transform himself into four different substances - gas, liquid, flexible and solid - all of which are explained in that little panel down there, so before you continue I suggest you read it.

The object of the game is for Morph to re-assemble the teleporter enabling him to return to the form of a small boy. To achieve this, he has to collect each of the machine's many pieces, represented in the form of cogs. He must collect the cog in each level, complete the level within the given number of transformations, and use no more of any individual transformations than allowed.

The levels (Garden, Factory, Sewers and Laboratories) are spread over four different areas, each of which has its own particularly tricky hazards and puzzles to complete.

This is one of those games which on first glance looks the worst puzzle game in existence, but if you sit down and take your time you will discover a classic.
Changing shape and substance is one heck of a concept and as far as I know nothing has been done like this before. Controlling the game is simple. The joystick is used to move Morph around, each state having its own movement characteristics.

To change into another state all you have to do is hold the fire button down and move the stick left, right, up or down depending on which state you want to be. The layout and design of the different levels is really clever. The first few levels are relatively easy and you feel as though you'll complete Morph in 15 minutes, but as you progress everything gets more complicated and you have to put more thought into the game.

It contains some brilliant graphics - chunky and colourful. The introduction sequence is especially impressive and some of the in-game anims raise a wry smile. The Professor looks as though he would fit perfectly into an episode of Mr Bean.

On the sound front there is a happy, bouncy little tune which runs throughout with plenty of good sound effects dotted around. I think Morph might take a bit of a battering from some Amiga games mags, but I liked it. The only complaint I could think of is that it could have done with a few more levels, but perhaps if it's successful, a data disk might appear.

Morph is the best puzzler I've played since Lemmings 2 and it will definitely appeal to puzzle fans in a big way. It has got the graphics, sound, playability and is addictive as hell. What more do you want from a computer game?


Morph gets into some altered states

Gas
Morph

In this state Morph may float upwards. He may also pass through small holes and grilles. However the gas is very combustible and doesn't mix well with extraction fans. Gas is lighter than air, so it cannot move downwards.

Solid
Morph

The heaviest state for Morph to be in. He is limited to moving like a cannonball. However this does make him impervious to sharp objects and due to his heavy weight he can smash through walls. He will sink in any liquid.

Flexible
Morph

Morph in this state becomes very rubbery and bouncy just like a beach ball. This enables him to bounce vertically and across gaps and float across water. However, sharp spikes, brambles, broken glass and metal corners will burst him.

Liquid
Morph

Now Morph can seep through small holes, extinguish fires and squeeze around the sides of lifts. He can be killed by drains and dissolve in any other liquid. Keep an eye open for streams and pools.


Morph logo

Can the subject of relative molecular densities provide the puzzling fun in a platform game? Er, quite possibly, yes...

Morph was an Aardman-animated Plasticine character from the Take Hart TV programme - which was very popular with the youth of its time, I seem to remember. He was eventually given his own show, complete with his young friend, Chas. Then they were forgotten about until Aardman won an Oscar.

Morphing then appeared in Terminator 2 and that groovy Michael Jackson video. And it has been seen in millions of adverts since; from hair colouring to Volvos. But all this has little to do with the game we've got here.

Morris Rolph (Morph - geddit?) is a standard, if slightly naughty, kid. He somehow befriends a weird professor of the sort most parents warn their kids to keep away from. One day he turns up at the labs to find the professor in an agitated state. Overcoming his natural reaction to run away from the gibbering goon.

What's the anti-matter?br/> It transpires that the professor, whose name, sadly, is Krakenpot, has invented a matter teleporter. This, not unreasonably, is the cause of his excitement. He demonstrates the device to Morris with the aid of a white mouse. (Animal testing in labs? Bit of a no-no in this day and age, surely). The machine works and Morris leaps up on it to try it out for himself. Something goes wrong and the poor kid is vaporised and left in tiny bits in the atmosphere - molecularly challenged, so to speak.

He's not dead though. He's merely... sort of reorganised. And he has limited control over his state. This might, just might, be useful if he's ever going to poay the violin in the guise of a normal shaped child again.

Morph has four major zones to explore. There's the garden of the house where the prof lives, the lab where all the meddlesome research is carried out, a weird factory (for some reason) and the sewers (for an even stranger reason). You can tackle these in any order, but if you do them in clockwise rotation, starting with the garden, the game seems easiest and most logical.

Shape of things to come
So far what we have is a platform game. What makes this one different (er, except from Putty) is that you, as the freeform molecular cluster, can assume one of four states. You can be a cannonball, a bouncy ball, a cloud or a big drip, (Morris was practically one of these before the while sorry episode started).

You must beat each level by collecting cogs within two minutes. During this time you can assume the various forms only once or twice> This makes the game very tricky and, coupled to the stringent time limit, this gives it darned good playability.

There are no real baddies, but you do come across extractor fans, drains, magnets, fire and other nasties. If you're quick enough, and you're aware of fairly rudimentary physics, you should be able to work out exactly what you must do. But the game is excellent when it comes to hassling you as the seconds tick away and you're running out of transformations.

The puzzle element is strong is Morph, and it's a pity that having worked out exactly how to get through the tougher levels, you are killed by lack of simple joystick control. If you don't transform at exactly the right time, you could easily be sucked, drowned, burned or popped to death. And it will be all your fault. So Morph is not only a damnably twisty and clever puzzler, but it also demands ultra-fine joystick movements if you're going to succeed. Yes it's time to dig out the old Cheetah Bug joystick.

In principle, Morph sounds easy: you just work out which form to be in for each obstacle, then change and continue on your way. Water runs through holes, cannonballs smash walls and clouds float over things. Simple enough, eh? Well, no actually. Firstly, you're got to ration your transformations very carefully.

You'll only have two or three shapes per level and some of the levels are pretty massively huge. And secondly, if you bash through a wall, you can bet that behind it is a slope leading to a liquid just waiting to drown you. Of if you float out of danger, you;ll be sucked into a fan or vaporised by a heater. Nothing in Morph is simple.

Double genre
That's the point. If you like tricky, pixel-perfect platform games with smooth graphics and nice sounds, you've got it here. If you also like migraine0forming puzzles, possibly involving physics-related shape-changing, this is here too. But to get the most out of the game, you;ll need to love both genres. Like Putty, this mixes two sorts of game. It's very nice to look at, it's playable and very clever.

It's difficult as well, but satisfying when you do it right. There are some nice elements of humour in it too, but I won;t describe these because this is the end of the review and there isn't space.


MOLECULE WORLD
Morph
  1. Switch to toggle nearby machine.
  2. Locked door.
  3. Key.
  4. You, as a cannonball.
  5. One-way passage.
  6. Cog (part of machine to be collected).
  1. Star to enable extra transformations.
  2. Chest containing extra points.
  3. Possible transformations.
  4. Inventory.
  5. Time remaining in seconds.
  6. Number of stars collected.
MORPH FOR YOUR MONEY

CANNONBALL
Morph Morph's heaviest state. He is impervious to spiky things, can smash through walls and doesn't worry about fire. But he sinks in water and drops through weak walkways. Current opinion has it that he also looks the best in this state.

BOUNCY BALL
Morph He can negotiate his way over delicate bridges and counce on to ledges. He also floats. But he can be pricked with relative ease. Also his gaseous interior expands when heated, making him prone to violent and humorous explosions whenever he goes near a fire.

WATER DRIP
Morph Perfect for dribbling through gratings and vents, the water permeates insidiously through the levels. But if it lands in another liquid, it vanishes into a gooey solution.

CLOUD
Morph Float over obstacles, through vents and gratings. But watch out - you can't go downwards and you can get sucked away by extractor fans. In this ethereal state, you'll also burn if you go a bit too near fires.
In Morph you will continually meet new obstacles, and you'll have to use brain-power and trial-and-error when you decide which state to be in.


Gib mir die Kugel!

Morph logo A1200 untauglich

Im Vorjahr hat System 3 mit "Putty" bewiesen, daß die Welt der Plattformen nicht allein schwerbewaffneten Gangsterjägern gehört - Millenniums wandlungsfähiger Held kann dem nur beipflichten!

Ursprünglich handelte es sich beim Hauptdarsteller dieser originellen Action-Knobelei um den Schüler Morris Rolph, Spitzname Morph. Doch seit er die neue Teleportmachine seines Onkels ausprobierte, schiebt er keine ruhige Kugel mehr - seither ist er selbst eine! Um das Unglück komplett zu machen, hat sich das Teufelsgerät mittlerweile in seine 24 Bestandteile zerlegt, die Morph jetzt zwecks Ruckverwandlung mühsam in den vier, aus jeweils sechs Levels bestehenden, Welten des Spiels (Garten, Fabrik, Kanalisation und Labor) zusammensuchen darf.

Freilich hat das Leben als mittelgroßer Plasmakuller auch seine Vorteile, denn wenn er Energiepillen und Verwandlungs-Icons findet, kann der kugelige Held vier verschiedene "Aggregatszustände" annehmen: Als bleischwere Eisenkugel bringt er jede Mauer zum Einsturz, als Gummikugel hat er auch die Eigenschaften eines Gummiballs, in flüßiger Form plätschert er gewandt durch Löcher oder enge Gitter, und die gasformige Seite seiner Persönlichkeit ermöglicht ihm sogar das Fliegen.

Die Gesetze der Physik machen sich aber auch im negativen Sinn bemerkbar, denn Kanonenkugeln tun sich bekanntlich schwer mit dem Schwimmen, Gummibälle haben ein gespanntes Verhältnis zu scharfen Ecken und Kanten, für einen kleinen Wassertropfen ist ein Abwasserkanal nicht anderes als ein Massengrab, und die Anziehungskraft eines Ventilationsschachts auf Gaswolken ist wortwörtlich tödlich...

Ob ein bestimmtes Objekt nun "gut" oder "böse" ist, hängt somit stark davon ab, in welcher Form man sich ihm nähert und wie man seine naturgegebenen Eigenschaften nutzt. Beispielsweise stehen glühende Grillroste mit Gummi-Helden auf Kriegsfuß, während sie den (wasser-) tropfenförmigen Morph prompt zur Gaswolke mutieren lassen, ohne daß er dafür extra ein Verwandlungs-Icon verschwenden muß.

Letztlich besteht das Gameplay also zum großteil aus dem Herausfinden solcher Feinheiten und der optimalen Vorgehensweise in den einzelnen Levels. Hat man dann einen davon innerhalb des Zeitlimits geschafft, versucht man den nächsten - wenn nicht, investiert man halt noch eins der unendlich vielen Morph-Leben oder wählt gleich eine andere Welt aus.

Die Sticksteuerung des kugeligen Ex-Schülers geriet etwas gewöhnungsbedürftig, und auch die Beschränkung der Soundkulisse auf Geräuscheffekte während des Spiels ließe sich als Minus ins Feld führen.

Aber allein die ausgefallene Idee und ihre Umsetzung in ein ausgefuchstes Leveldesign rechtfertigen hier schon den Kauf, dazu kriegt man eine nett gezeichnete und soft scrollende Grafik. Nur 1200er-Besitzer dürfen vorläufig noch nicht mitkugeln, sie müssen ihre aufgebohrte Spezialversion abwarten. (rl)



Morph logo

A new twist for platform puzzlers. Don't get into a state, now.

Originally known as Metamorphosis, this game has gone through a few changes of its own since its inception. Cast your mind back to issue 19, where on the coverdisk you'll find a demo of the game. Since then, Millennium have got hold of it and are releasing it under the new monicker of Morph - they obviously thought it was a bit more snappy, and I'm inclined to agree.

Anyway, the gameplay's the same, so if you have an old issue 19 coverdisk around, load it up now and you can indulge yourself in a sort of multi-media-type-review-experience in which you can look at, listen to, play and read about the game - all at the same time. If you haven't got that edition, you can order it from our back issues section on page 96 (I think I may have flogged a few copies here, guys).

Morphing's also a bit of a 90s buzz-word in computer graphics circles. Ever since those fantastic effects in Terminator 2 when the evil liquid metal Terminator transforms effortlessly between himself, a tiled floor, a blob with anvils as hands and a miniature penguin (one of these might be wrong), morphing has been in vogue. And now you can't turn on the TV without seeing an advert where a car turns into a horse or a tiger or something.

Well, Morph isn't really like that at all. For those of you without the benefit of the multi-media review extravaganza described above, it's a platform-type puzzler with a heavy dose of cuteness thrown in for good measure. The screenshots on this page should give you the general idea.

Although it's a bit naughty of me to start making comparisons straight away, I'm going to because it can illuminate the subject - Bill's Tomato Game springs to mind immediately, both in looks and gameplay, and there are elements of Putty in there too. Okay, so that's what it's similar to - let's see what makes it different.

The justification (i.e. the plot) behind the whole game is that some kid has got involved in an experiment with a teleport machine. This isn't a particularly smart move, since the teleport machine in question has only recently been invented by his friend Dr Krankenpot. I mean, has he never seen The Fly?

Fortunately (or not, depending on your outlook) the young man's fate doesn't involve climbing up walls and vomiting over doughnuts. No, he's condemned to a life in limbo, which he inhabits in some sort of nebulous form with only the ability to pulls his molecules together and change shape to his credit. Which is not too bad really - I mean, can you do that?

Anyway, at the same time that this kid (his name's Morph, coincidentally) went through his alarming transformation, the machine which caused the misfortune was struck by lightning (it's not really this guy's day, all in all) and its components became scattered all over the countryside.

You have to guide Morph through various levels, picking up the components of the machine and returning them to the professor so that he can re-build it and get the youngster back to normal.

The game is split into four areas - the Gardens, the Factory, the Sewers and the Laboratories. Each area has six levels, and on each level there is a cog for you to find, representing part of the machine. You have to negotiate through the level, find the cog and then head to the exit.

You can go to any of the areas at any time, but you have to complete each level before you can move into the next one. This works well in practice, because if you find you're stuck on one of the levels in the Garden, say, you can have a crack at one of the other areas instead.

It's good that this facility is provided, 'cos getting through the levels is far from simple - there are all sorts of obstacles in your path. With your newly acquired morphing skills you can change states between a Gas, a Liquid, a Flexible Ball and a Solid, and you have to choose which state to change into to get past the obstacles.


If you have an old issue 19 coverdisk, load it up

However, you only have a limited number of transformations that you can make during a level so it's important that you don't waste them. And, as if that didn't make things tough enough, there's a time limit too.

What this translates to in terms of gameplay is a procedure much like Lemmings and Bill's Tomato Game (uh oh - those comparisons again) in that you keep using a trial-and-error approach to each level and eventually work out the correct order of transformations to get you through. With the added bonus that if you're stuck you can tackle a level in a different area. Er, like Lemmings 2.

Fortunately there are further features to hep you on your way. You can pick up stars which give you extra transformations and maps to view the levels with, and there are also Heaters and Freezers dotted around the levels. These give you a free transformation - for instance, going through a Heater as a Liquid will change you into a Gas without using up any of your permitted umber of morphs.

This can work against you, of course, and in the rougher levels they are neatly integrated into the puzzle process, so you have to work out the correct state for going through a Heater/Freezer to ensure you come out the other end in the right state for moving on.

Naturally enough, there are plenty of other dangers as well. Fans will suck you up if you're in the Gas state, prickly thorns pop the Flexible Ball, water dissipates the Liquid - it's a jungle out there. This involves a fair bit of platform-type joystick proficiency, and this really enhances the gameplay.

Whereas in Lemmings the difficult mouse manoeuvres are, frankly, something of an irritation, Morph succeeds in being an enjoyable blend of arcade action and puzzle skills.

The only thing that remains to discuss is lastability. Maths fanatics (if there are such things) will have worked out that there are 24 levels in all. I finished nine of them in a day, but from there on they start getting really nasty - though, luckily, the difficulty curve seems perfectly designed to get you thinking the right way to solve the later, trickier puzzles.

I'd say it's going to last you a good while, and you could even go back to it when you've finished and get the bonus points you missed before. Yep, a general thumbs up all round.


THESE BIG AREAS I'VE FOUND

Morph
The Laboratories contain lots of bunsen burners, free-flowing chemicals and nakes flames.

Morph
The sewers - dark subterranean slime-filled pipes, mainly. This area contains the toughest levels in the game, with lots of switches and pipes to negotiate.

Morph
The factory contains more pipes and stuff, with steel doors too. A map makes it easier.

Morph
The Gardens is probably the easiest of all the areas, but it'll still have you scratching your head for a while. Hazards include water, thorns, and blowy fans.



Morph logo

FLAIR SOFTWARE OUT NOW £25.99

Since the advent of Lemmings, puzzle game designers haven't been able to come up with anything nearly as groundbreaking. Millennium's latest gives you control of a bizarre, and almost original character, Morph.

Morph, is an unfortunate boy who was caught up in a bizarre teleporter accident which turned him into a cloud of ionised gas. Undeterred by his new form, he found he had the ability to transform into four different forms: gas, solid, liquid and something stretchy which doesn't quite make it onto the periodic table.

Using this skill, Morph has to track down the missing pieces of the teleporter which was blown to bits by a fluke lightening strike just before Morph could teleport back to normal. On hand with advice is his pal, and the machine's inventor, Professor Krakenpot.

By utilizing his various configurations you have to guide him through four areas collecting cogs to rebuild the teleporter (which, presumably isn't at the cutting edge of technology) while trying not to fall foul of various household errors such as fans and broken glass. Morph only has a limited number of transformations per level, so the trick is to work out the best time to transform.

Many levels can be completed without using all the transformations, but as the game progresses you find yourself having to track down bonus ones in order to reach the end. You can find a map of the current level, but it doesn't show you many of the hazards or bonuses and so isn't much use.

Morph falls somewhere between a puzzle and platform game, and because of the exploration-based gameplay, persistence rather than skill is required to play. One of its biggest failings is that it relies on ignorance regarding new levels to provide the difficulty. Starting a stage is like walking into a dark room - you don't know where the hazards are and have to find your way through by trial and error.

The generous amounts of extra lives are some compensation for those unavoidably lost during exploration, but it doesn't make up this glaring hole in the gameplay, which makes the whole things rather seem flat.


A1200 SPECIAL

The version reviewed here is for the A500 and A600. Millennium are currently working on a special enhanced A1200 version which will be released in September. It will feature additional levels and the graphics drawn in using the A1200's utterly fabulous 256 colour mode, so it looks like being an improvement over the version reviewed here.

SHAPE SHIFTING

The various forms that Morph can adopt all endow him with particular abilities, but they also leave him open to certain pitfalls.

Gas: In his gaseous form Morph can't prevent himself floating to the top of the screen. However he can pass through grills and small holes. Keeping away from extraction fans is imperative and coming into contact with water reverts him to flexible form.

Liquid: As a liquid Morph can seep through grills and put out fires. But in this state he 's got to watch out for drains and other liquids.

Flexible: This is Morph's most useful state, allowing him to bounce over hazards and up stairs. However, he's not puncture proof, and must watch out for sharp objects such as metal corners and broken glass.

Solid: With its mean expression, the cannonball is Morph's most formidable form. He's capable of smashing through some walls and is impervious to even the pointiest hazard. However, he'll sink in any liquid he encounters and is so heavy that some flimsy surfaces can't support him.


Morph AGA logo AGA

And the subject of this week's platform game is... matter reorganisation. Eh, wait a minute - what is that all about, then? Well, the main character in Millennium's new AGA-only release is a blob, similar to the one from System 3's Putty. This blob has the excellent party trick-type ability to change (or morph, hence the name) into any one of four states: gas, liquid, rubber or solid.

Using this amazing ability, the idea is to make your way through 36 levels of puzzles and traps. Some traps will only snag you if you are in a particular state: for example, the spike will burst a rubber ball, and the extractor fan will suck any passing gas into oblivion.

Sometimes it is necessary to fall through a grid, which is only possible for a liquid, whereas you need to be a gas to climb up a pipe. These puzzles and traps seem simple to negotiate, but given that you have a fixed number of 'morphs' things get more difficult.

Morph is expertly designed and programmed. The A1200 game has an extra 12 levels and 256-colour graphics throughout. The extra levels make the game more difficult, so Millennium have responded to complaints that the original was too easy. A1200 owners will relish it.



Morph AGA logo AGA

Als Kugel führt man in Millenniums Jump & Roll wahrlich kein leichtes Leben - in eine solche wurde nämlich der vorwitzige Schüler Morris Rolph verwandelt, als er aus purem Jux einen Teleporter demolierte. Daher muß er jetzt in vier aus jeweils sechs Ebenen bestehenden und soft in alle Richtungen scrollenden Plattformwelten (Garten, Fabrik, Kanalisation, Labor) die verstreuten Teleporterteile wieder zusammensuchen.

Er kann dabei vier verschiedene "Aggregatszustände" annehmen, die ihm jeweils das Fliegen, Hüpfen, Dahinfließen oder Zerdeppern von Hindernissen ermöglichen, was die Lösung des originellen Games überhaupt erst in greifbare Nähe rückt.

Nach kurzer Eingewöhnung trägt die logisch aufgebaute Sticksteuerung genauso viel zum Spielspaß bei wie die ordentliche Musikbegleitung und die im Vergleich zur Originalausführung etwas farbkräftiger Optik.

Fortgeschrittene Spieler werden mit dem 80 Bälle teuren Geschicklichkeits- und Tüftelgame ihre helle Freude haben, folglich spendieren wir ihm großzügig kugelrunde 76 Prozent. (md)



Morph AGA logo AGA

Morph's undergone a transformation - it now has 36 levels of fairly solid entertainment.

Morph A1200 Version - it's like Morph, only with 50% more levels! (Silence from assembled audience). Um, Morph, eh? What a terrific, puzzley game. And now, thanks to Morph A1200 Version, it's got 50% more levels! (If you've got an A1200, that is.)

(Steady drumming of fingers.)

Right. If that's the way you want it. You will, of course, have read Tim's review of Morph in AP27. He gave it 86%, on the grounds that it's one of the most original, enjoyable puzzles games to have appeared in ages.

As usual, the idea's simple enough. You're a little round blob with eyes and a mouth. And your precise from and capabilities depend upon the state you're currently in - solid (in which case you're very heavy, and can roll around), liquid (you can flow through gratings), gas (when you can float upwards) and bouncy solid (when you can bounce around).

And you change from state to state by waggling the joystick in the appropriate manner. But beware! You've only got a limited number of each sort of transformation - usually just the right number to make it through the current level. Once they're all gone, it's game over. (Or, at least, back to the start of the level again).

Luckily, though, extra transformations are dotted about the place, and occasionally you'll find yourself having to pass through a transformation block that'll change you whether you like it or not.


It's got 50% more levels!

There are other obstacles, of course. Like, er, fans, pools of acid, spikes, fire, that kind of thing. You're vulnerable to each one when you're in certain states, so to make it through each level you've got to make sure you're in the right state at the right time.

And you can only move in some directions if you're in the right state, too. (Like, to move upwards for any distance you've got to be the little cloud). The levels are arranged into four worlds which you can tackle at your leisure, so if you get stuck on one puzzle you can switch your efforts to a different world.

What's so good about it? The puzzles have been extremely well designed - they start off easy, but get incredibly (almost frustratingly) difficult within minutes - much harder, in fact, than the ones in the original game. And it's all very jolly and cute. It's a pretty even blend of thinking, dexterity and going-along-a-bit-and-dying-but-remembering-not-to-make-the-same-mistake-next-time,which has got to be a good thing.

It's not something you're likely to return to once you've finished it, but that shouldn't be for ages. And it's not for everyone - you really do have to think very hard all the time.

So why am I telling you all this again? Because the A1200 version has come out. And it's got 50% more levels! (Come on. You've made it this far. - Ed)

I know, I know. It's got 50% more levels, WHICH MEANS that if you barely made it to the end of the ordinary version alive, this new extended version will put your very soul in jeopardy. A1200 owners - now there's a version of Morph especially for you.



Morph CD32 logo CD32

Millennium * £34.99 * Out now

A surprising tale and no mistake. Morris Rolph, or Morph to his mates, bobs round to see his uncle, the wonderfully named Professor Krakenpot who happens to have invented a teleporter. The prof demonstrates the machine using a mouse and somehow or other Morph ends up in bits, well atoms and electrons. And then the machine goes and explodes, so Morph must find the missing parts of the teleporter and get back into shape.

There are four major zones to explore in this platform/puzzler. The Prof's Garden, The Lab, The Factory and The Sewers. Morph, through clever metamorphosis assumes one of four states - a solid ball, flexible ball, cloud or liquid drip to enable him to avoid the variety of hazards. It is all very pretty but the puzzles can be rather tough and you need to be a joystick wizard to get through some of them. Not really a game for those who like fast platformers because you actually have to think (no, really).

Morph is bright, it is fun and there is plenty of depth but it is also a straight port from the A1200 version and there really can be absolutely no justification for the £35 price tag.



Morph CD32 logo CD32

Millenniums witzige Kugelei unterscheidet sich am CD32 keinen Deut von der schon vorgestellten A1200-Version, bloß die Steuerung hat man leider nicht ganz optimal auf die vier Buttons des Konsolenpads zugeschnitten. Zwar kostet die CD nur 69,- DM, ist wegen des schwächeren Handlings aber auch bloß noch 68 Prozent wert. (rl)



Morph CD32 logo CD32

Millennium, £29.99

This is in every meaningful way exactly the same game as the A1200 version we reviewed in AP30 (87% from an unusually excitable Jonathan Davies), even to the extent of not using the extra joypad buttons for anything sensible.

There is nothing more irritating than knackering your left thumb on one of those knobbly lumps on the edges of the CD32 joypad to make Morph bounce up and down, while having three perfectly good fire buttons going completely unused under your right thumb.

Otherwise it is a pleasantly cerebral puzzler, spoiled a bit for me by zooming in so close to the action that you cannot get a very good overall picture of what is going on.

The graphics can be a bit unclear in places, leading to some nasty shocks when apparently harmless scenery turns out to be a deadly broken bottle or some such, and I am not sure how long it will last (my first go saw me completing half of the 36 stages without really trying), but despite these niggles it is a cheery and enjoyable effort with a lot of character.