September 1989 - Block Battle!, Wham Ball (BONUS: Freak Attack, Blast-Off!, Egg Beater, Egg Neverest, Rescue Pod, )

Editor's Notes talks about the revitalization the Apple II go with the IIGS, and talking about rumors Commodore might do similar. I guess to me that sounds a bit like what the C-128 was...

So, this month has the winners for February's "Great Arcade Machine" contest... they were all disk-only, I guess too verbose (or dependent on G.A.M.) to include as type-ins. So I guess I'll review them here.

Block Battle! - Jon Dearden

Sorry, Jon Dearden, adding an exclamation mark does not actually make this an exciting game. Kudos for being one or two player but... I dunno. The red blue and black squares represent three "levels"? And you slide your pieces to try to get them to the other side, but not let them fall through the hole, but every turn consists of moving a piece and sliding a row or column. Whatever. There's too many interesting things going on this issue for me to change my strategy/puzzle hating ways. Rating:2/5

Wham Ball - Rick Bauer

This game reminds me a bit of "Video Pinball", like for the Atari. The control is messed up on my keyboard, I could only get one side of flippers going. (not sure why they didn't give it keyboard control) So you clear out those little dudes in there with the pinball. (Weirdly, before I could get either flipper moving, I put it in Warp Mode and it seemed like the game was in a stable pattern of bouncing...) Wonky music. Rating:3/5 and that's probably too generous.

Freak Attack - Kevin Messerschmidt

A very attractive game, but not much meat to it. Aliens are attacking the city or something, and you fly your saucer around shooting them, and stopping the bombs from hitting the city, and picking up the little guys. Rating:3/5

Blast-Off!

Nice title screen! Simplistic invader/galaxian game, I guess with some kind of 'boss" but not a very menacing one.  Some months a while back this could have been a featured game. Rating:3/5


Egg Beater - Keith M. Groce

Clear contender for "Best Animated Whisk in an 8-bit Game". The egg creatures are cute with a nice (if not very interactive) animation too. Still I wasn't sure I had this game figured out... touching the "deviled" eggs seem to kill me, touching the normal happy eggs seemed to give me points, but the top guy (who was maybe cycling through various ingredients of french toast? No wait, scrambled eggs) seemed to be deadly as well.  Rating:2/5

Neverest - Robert J. Olsen

Definitely the best game title of the set, if not the best of the gameplays. Not the worst either though... Game play is a bit odd - you craft can fire sideways or down, and you chip away at the big mountain... your goal is to destroy the inner base but avoid the saucers and missiles fighting back. Odd how long it takes to chip away parts of the mountain. Rating:3/5

Rescue Pod - Gary M. Perdue

Gameplay is kind of like August 1984's "Descent to Kaylon" or December 1986's "Moon Rescue" though given that was 5 (or 3) years before this, I guess it's excusable. You pilot a slow clumsy saucer down the surface, where a little guy will run into your ship, and you need to bring him (or her?) back to the top of the screen. 6 or 7 planetoids at different altitudes, and moving at different speeds, hinder your safe passage. Goes against the grain here in that seems to be too easy rather than too hard. Interesting pseudo-rotation effect for the planetoids, though on the one that's spinning "fast" the trick is shown, it's just a simple side scroll. Rating:2/5

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