According to Domark, a Klax is a collection of three same-coloured tiles stacked either vertically, horizontally or diagonally. The aim of this game is simple: create the set number of Max: on each level to move onto the next.
Before the fun begins the player is given the choice to start on either the level one with throe drops and no bonus, level six with lour drops and 100000 points bonus or level eleven with five drops and 200000 point bonus. You're then whisked to the play screen, a long vertical stretch of play area and five 'bins'. You control a flipper and must catch the differently coloured tiles as they roll towards you.
Up to five tiles can be held on the flipper at one time, though the idea is to sling them into the bins as fast as possible. But watch it: unless you create Klaxs the bins fill very quickly and the game ends; drop more than your allowed number of tiles, and it's over too. If you think the first couple of screens are easy, just wait until the tiles increase in speed and number and the amount of Klaxs needed to continue rockets up. Panic situations are all too common, and a cool head is needed: 'throw' the tiles back up the screen for a few seconds if a breathing space is needed.
It takes a lot of practive to avoid quick termination, but this doesn't detract from the sheer playability - indeed it adds to long term addictivity. If you're into puzzle/arcade games (and even if you're not) you'll kick yourself if you don't take a look at this latest Domark release.
MARK ... 94%
'Connect Four taken into the 90s! Klax is simply addictive with lightning reflexes a must as play gets faster and faster, and wrong decisions become disastrous. An amazing amount of colour is used, with three different borders and only a tiny bit of clash when the really well animated tiles roll towards you. What makes Klax so addictive is the sheer simplicity of it. You get so frustrated when the computer decides to send down every colour but the one you want to complete your super cross which will get you millions of points, you just have to have another go!'
NICK ... 90%
Right, let's see if I can stagger through this whole review without mentioning Tetris once. Oops, that's blown it. Oh well, while we're at it, Klex does indeed bear a remarkable resemblance to Tetris, that Russian game with coloured blocks sliding about all over the place. But that's enough of that.
So what does Klax actually involve? It's a bit odd, really. You control a Batty-style bat, which sits at the bottom of a conveyor belt. Its sole function in life is to move left and right and catch little coloured blocks as they come whizzing down the conveyor belt towards it. Once it's caught them it can either hang onto them for a bit, drop them into the container at the bottom of the screen or chuck them back again. For those tempted by the latter option, it should be stressed that these blocks tend to find their way back again.
But there's more to it than that. To score loads of points and get onto the next level you need to drop the blocks so that they make patterns in the container (lines, diagonals, crosses, that kind of thing). The more complicated the pattern, the more points you get. Once you've made one, the blocks that made it up disappear, making room for you to chuck some more in.
And one other thing - if you're lucky you'll come across weird flashing blocks which alternate between all the different colours. Did I mention colours? Right, well blocks do in fact come in different colours, and the patterns (they're actually called 'Klaxes', but that sounds ridiculous) have to contain blocks that are all the same colour. So these flashing ones are a kind of universal block which can be used as anything.
There are piles of levels, and each one has a different background (some of which are decidedly strange) and a different target to meet before you go onto the next level. This is generally to get a certain number of a particular pattern without letting too many blocks go zooming off the conveyor belt into oblivion.
And it's quite good fun, actually. It takes a while to work out what's going on, but when it suddenly clicks then you're rolling, as it were. There's all sorts of strategy involved, such as whether you want to go for lots of little patterns and get the points that way, or go for a massive big one (like the 'X', which takes nerves of steel).
The graphics are a bit patchy, but they do their stuff, and the sound's fairly good too, with little tunes and bits of sampled speech. Not that it would matter if they were a load of crap, of course, as having fun is what it's all about.
These coloured block strategy things will always be hits, I reckon. You just can't go wrong with them. And as coloured block strategy things go, Klax is a winner. I think Tetris probably has the edge, but perhaps I shouldn't be making comparisons anyway.
"Clicketty-klax, clicketty-klax, that's the sound of the train on the tracks..." Whistling Tim Nabob Nabob Scrimshaw Boing Pheee! Waggling Trousers O'Rourke wrote those words back in 1932, and I like to thank that they still have a certain relevance today. The relevance to which I refer should become startlingly obvious when I mention that the name of the game, so lovingly reviewed in this very block of text, is Klax. There. Now, at last, it all slots together. Curiously enough, 'slotting together' is the main theme behind Klax and it is with this dubious link that we come to the main bit of the review.
Take Tetris, flip it into 3D, add a few more rules and bingo! You've got Klax. You control a paddle - let's called it Eric - and you have to catch falling tiles, slotting them into place on the game board, or else flipping them back up the channel to gain a breathing space. The various tiles slot together by colour, and the minimum needed to clear a line is three in a row. If you're tremendously ambitious you could go for four, or even five for fabulous rewards, but it's tough.
Brilliantly playable, though, and with an addiction factor measured in triple figures with lots of zeroes added on. I love it, and I think you will too. Trust me. Y'see, having to keep all those extra ways of scoring in your head makes this a much more demanding game than the big T. As in Connect 4, you can bung tiles down diagonally, horizontally or vertically. Trickily, you can also make shapes, such as giant X's, or, um, more giant X's. And you can become astoundingly unpopular with your friends by dropping a tile so it causes a chain reaction and clears the board. Stupendous! Basically.
If watching coloured blocks slide down a track, collecting them in this catcher thingy and dropping them into a container to make lots of pretty patterns is your bag, then Klax could be for you! Because, you see, that's exactly what happens here. (Spooky, eh?) Well, it's a bit more complicated than that to be honest, but that's the basic idea of things and that's what makes Klax an incredibly simple (but at the same time incredibly addictive) puzzler of the first degree!
Even though the basic idea is rather obviously based on Tetrs, there're enough nice touches added here to give it a life of its own. Take the way the blocks (sort of) walk down the stairs for instance or the whopping great hand thingy which appears under the track every so often, for absolutely no reason at all (that I could work out anyway) except to look pretty. A corker.
|Lack Of Sleep Factor||86%|
|Pull Your Hair Out Factor||16%|
It happens everywhere... films, books, clothes, music, and even computer games. When someone comes up with a successful idea, everyone else rips it off. Never mind! So long as the punters enjoy the results, does it really matter that Klax is a thinly-disguised imitation of Tetris? I don't think so, M. Poirot.
The concept, as marketing people like to call it, is simple. Different coloured tiles approach you, not tumbling through the air, but along a rolling conveyor belt. Your task is to move your catcher left and right, catch the tiles and flip them into one of five bins, in order to create Klaxes. A Klax is a row of three tiles of the same colour, either vertically, horizontally or diagonally. Once a Klax is made, the tiles disappear, and those above them tumble down. If you're very clever (or lucky) this will create further Klaxes, and the chain reaction will score you many tens of points, as Patrick Moore would say. But if the drop meter shows that you have missed more tiles than you are allowed, or if your bins fill up - each one can hold up to five tiles - you're finished, laddie.
But it can't be that simple, you cry! No. It ain't. For a start there are Wild Tiles which change colour as they move, and can become part of more than one Klax of different colours, so they're worth a bundle. Then there's the Speed-up option which allows you to make the conveyor belt run faster, and the Throw Option which lets you fling a tile back onto the belt.
The game is divided into Waves, and each Wave has its own rules; for instance, insisting that you survive a certain number of tiles, or getting a particular number of diagonal Klaxes - diagonal ones, by the way, score more than horizontal or vertical ones because they're harder to get.
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins
Tile Arranging. Doesn't sound too amazing does it? Mixing and matching different coloured tiles, trying to get them to match the carpet and then rushing to get the whole job all finished before your wife/husband boy or girlfriend/mother and father get home. Don't like the sound of it? Good, that's not quite what Klax is all about.
Remember Tic Tac Toe and Tetris? Well Klax owes a lot to both of these games. The multi couloured tiles a shapes of all three is the basically the though, simplicity personified. In Klax you must catch different coloured tiles on a flipper and then drop them into the bins in either vertical, horizontal, or diagonal order, lining up tiles of the same colour in order to gain tons of points. Sounds easy? You must joking!
Things start off simple but by level six it all gets very hectic, what with vertical klaxes, horizontal klaxes, diagonal klaxes and even X shaped klaxes as well as the ever increasing speed of each approaching tile. To complicate things you can't hold more than five tiles on the flipper at once and every now and then one of the tiles you've just dropped will decide to spring back up again!
Graphically Klax is very nice, the backgrounds are as nice as they are any other format and the sound effects and digitised speech are great. The saying goes that the simplest ideas are always the best and indeed they are. This is one of the most playable puzzle titles yet seen. It's very enjoyable and hugely addictive. Trust me it'll be a long time before you leave this game alone.
Label: Hit Squad
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Paul Anglin
ST Version Reviewed Issue 32; ACE rating 895
Practically everybody in the world must have played Tetris, and now a new game in the same genre has arrived for the Spectrum. In this game you have to arrange the blocks that you catch on your "paddle" and then build them up in groups of three of the same colour. These groups of three blocks (Klaxes) can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal.
When you are asked to collect 3 horizontal Klaxes in the third round you will find this a very difficult challenge. But once you pass this level you will be able to cope with most of the other challenges you are faced with in the game. The colours of the Klaxes can however become almost indistinguishable when the blocks are coming at you at speed, which is infuriating at times. As in Tetris, simplicity rules OK.
Spectrum Cassette: £9.99, Diskette: £14.99
Originally reviewed: TGM030.
As fast and furious as the ST version, the Speccy game is also as colourful, noisy and addictive (within its limits of course). The gameplay is so easy you end up feeling there is more to Klax than the programmer is letting on. But it really is as simple as slinging the tiles into the bins and scoring klaxes. Purchase is recommended.
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