October 1990 - Section Pi, Line-Up, Codebusters

So, the new era; COMPUTE loses its exclamation point, and Gazette is moved into it. (I like how the covers get all techno-hippy, like Omni magazine, made by the same publishers who acquired the property.)

One thing has certainly taken a turn for the worse: while there's still art in other parts of the Gazette section, the program listings have become super-utilitarian, no screenshots or additional artist interpretations...

Section Pi - Mariusz Jakubowski

Super pretty game, almost a bit biological, like "Salamander"/"Lifeforce". Enemies come in waves, and take a few hits each, but your gun is on a satisfying automatic mode. The faux-Nintendo-crosspads I'm using might be the wrong controller for this, because I couldn't get past the first level. Rating:3/5

Line-Up - R.B. Cook

Great-looking Solitaire-style game. Press return to swap the blank card where the cursor is with "the numeric card that's the same color as and one number higher than the card just to the left of the blank". If that makes it sounds like an appealing game to you, than you might be the kind of person who would like this game. Rating:2/5

Code-Busters - Michael Sedlezky

"Here's a challenging memory game for the 64 that youngsters will really enjoy". Youngsters that enjoy kind of horrible UI! I kid, I kid... well, sort of. You control a robot trying to hack into 4 security panels, each protected by a 5-digit code. But this game is less about memory and more about playing Higher/Lower, because you have an anlyzer with lights that show yellow if the correct number is lower, red if higher, or green if correct. But it's the "menu" based system that makes this game really odd... once you've selected "Robot Movement Control" (and it will say 'Motor Controls Engaged') you maneuver your 'bot to a panel... then you want to select "Analyzer Hook Up" so you can "Enter Code Selection" (to fiddle with the number) and then "Transmit Data to Panel" to see how your current guess rates. I guess the weird thing is there's not much of an indication that your analyzer is hooked up, but the other menu items still show up, they just don't do anything. Anyway, there's a time limit, and periodically a guard bot sweeps by, and there's a guess/time penalty if your analyzer is hooked up then. I could see a kid getting into this, with all its nooks and crannies, and sense of time pressure it makes. Rating:3/5

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