Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The SGM Super 30: Video Game #26


I don't have even a remote knowledge of this game, so I hand this one over to gamer & pal Ron Beauregard:

Klax was released by Atari games as an arcade stand-up in 1990. Attempting to capitalize on the Tetris craze, Klax flipped the script and turned the soon-to-be-traditional puzzle stacker into a semi-3d product.

You start with a blank playfield that is five bricks wide by five bricks high. Different colored bricks come toward you on a conveyor belt and you must catch them with a sliding platform, and then deposit them in the playfield. When five bricks of the same color are lined up either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, they disapper. You must complete a certain number of these "Klaxes" to clear the level. You may hold five bricks at a time (giving an added strategy dimension) and you must keep bricks from falling off the belt. Players are allocated a certain number of drops which varies by level. Once those drops are used up, the game ends.

Klax was one of the first puzzle games that I can remember in the arcade. It had a great tagline ("It is the nineties and there is time for Klax") that was second only to Revolution X's "Remember, music is the weapon." The game lured you in with a few easy levels at the beginning but was frantic by level six. It arrived at a time when the cookie-cutter side-scroller (a la Bad Dudes and Double Dragon) was falling out of favor, and fighters (such as Street Fighter and the MK series) had yet to make a huge impact. The game is infintely replayable and downright fun.

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