by Pete Cooke
Firebird Software Ltd
Crash Issue 51, April 1988   (1988-03-31)   page(s) 23

The objective of Zolyx is to fill in an empty screen by enclosing areas with straight lines, which then automatically fill with colour. Lines are drawn by a cursor which is directed around the screen, and constantly moving balls are avoided since contact with the cursor, or any part of an incomplete line, signals the loss of a life.

Continuous line length is limited by a glowing ball which chases the cursor after a set time. Again, a life is lost should the ball and cursor touch.

At least 75% of the area must be filled in within the time limit to allow progress to the next level. For every percentage above 75 bonus points are awarded. Each level successfully completed sees an extra ball is added to the screen.

Joysticks: Cursor. Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: serve their purpose
Sound: simpler than simple Options: definable keys

'When Zolyx was first released on the Commodore it was met by almost universal acclaim. Surprisingly, this conversion is an unmitigated disaster. No satisfaction is to be gained from transforming the screen; the blocks have different textures, are divided by thick black lines and combine to form an ugly patchwork of motley patterns and hues. The killer ball, introduced specifically for the Spectrum, makes long sweeping strokes across the screen impossible, and effectively cripples play. Definitely not recommended.'

'This game is just so unattractive and unaddictive that is isn't even worth £1.99! The graphics... well, are a couple of blobs and dots worth mentioning? Colour is restricted to just one per screen, occasionally being garish and limited to unsatisfactory dot shading. The idea is too simple; attempting to fill in 75% of a screen with shading isn't my idea of fun. Perhaps if there were a few more enemies it might have perked up a bit, but otherwise it just looks like a failed first attempt at programming on a ZX81!'

'Zolyx is very similar to an Atari game I owned about five years ago called Oix. The idea is simple enough, so what do Firebird think they are doing? They have taken a simple, but pleasantly frustrating game idea, and turned it into this totally unplayable pile of you know what. Graphically Zolyx is totally dire, although gameplay - if possible - is even worse. Firebird have messed the game up something rotten. Whatever you do, DON'T buy this.'

Summary: General Rating: Zolyx started off as a simple and effective game on the Commodore 64, the programmer has tried to make it what it isn't, complex.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 30, June 1988   page(s) 66

What does Pete Cooke do in between coding classics such as Academy and Micronaught One? Well, for one thing he releases programs like Zolyx. As would be expected, Zolyx is perfectly presented and programmed. It even comes with a freebie 'cell generator' program contained in the game itself. But what is the game actually like?

Well, it's something of a let down. Zolyx is basically a simple Qix clone, simple with a Capital 'S'. The object of the game is to fill at least 75 percent of the screen by creating sectioned off areas. You do this by moving your character along the edge of the screen, connecting the side walls of the play area as you go. Simple eh? Avoiding killer balls along the way. It's mildly addictive for a while, but oh, so boring to look at, so I would say playability is sadly limited. Still, not a disgrace for the dosh.

Value For Money6/10
Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 74, May 1988   page(s) 75

Zolyx is a new version of an ancient game whose name I forget. On the screen is a rectangular grid. You control a ball, with which you must traverse the grid making shapes and filling up as much of the screen as possible. You'll be hampered by an increasing number of smaller balls which bounce inside the rectangle and kill you and your connecting lines if they hit an incomplete crossing; and a larger blob which chases you round the perimeter. In addition, if you try to make your connecting lines too long, a third ball comes up behind you to zap you. Claim over 75 per cent of the screen as 'yours' by boxing it in and you go to the next level exactly the same, but with an extra small ball boinging inside the grid.

It's dead simple to get the hang of, not easy to become consistently good at, and is presented with utterly basic screen displays and a few buzzy sound effects. The astonishing thing is it's astoundingly addictive strange... but true.

Label: Firebird
Author: Pete Cooke
Price: £1.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Christina Erskine

Summary: Nothing spectacular in the graphics or sound department, but good gameplay. An old, old favourite.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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