In a chess-playing kind of way, 7 Colors is one of those abstract concepts that means next to nothing to just about everyone except the guy who invented it, and it only means anything to him when he's at the wrong end of eight pints of Gold Label. But if we choose to ignore the abstract comment on the all-consuming nature of today's society, in a patronising Open University kind of way, we can take the game on a superficial, mechanical level and look at it from that point of view.
The concept is simple - the board is made up of randomly distributed blocks of multicoloured diamonds, each of which is one of the seven colours. Starting from a point opposite your computer or human opponent you will be in possession of one diamond of one colour. Your first move will be to change your diamond to another colour, but not that of your opponent. If you have chosen wisely a diamond of this chosen colour will be adjacent to the one you possess meaning that you now have two of one colour. There will be other diamonds of this colour but only the ones connected by a full face to your original diamond will be in your possession. And so you progress across the board by selecting colours that will add to your "territory". Confused? You will be. On top of all this any diamonds of miscellaneous colours that become trapped by your diamonds will become diamonds of your colour.
With the overall aim being to capture over 50 per cent of the play area this strategy may suggest a plan of action that involves capturing a thin string of diamonds across the board so that when they meet the far edge of the play area, all the multi-coloured diamonds trapped by this "string" will become yours.
The game is also timed in a see-saw manner - as your time drops your opponents builds up, so if you get really quick for a succession of moves then the situation may arise where your foe has little or no time to make a move. But wait! There is even more to confuse you with. The game will also include barriers on some levels which you have to work around to conquer the areas you need, making it just that little bit more complex. The scoring system is suitably confusing, in the usual communist way.
You begin with score of 300, and as you win or lose this score is adjusted and saved to disk after each game, until a league is established with various people who have come across your Amiga and decided to play 7 Colors. Unlikely yes, but a very New Age, love the neighbours kind of concept that could happen in the enlightened nineties. Despite the apparent complexities that probably have you blithering into your coffee at this very moment it is at least seven dozen times easier to play than it is to describe, and enjoyable in that bizarre Infogrames kind of way that kept me engrossed with Alpha Waves forages.
As you get more and more into it working your way up through the levels against the computer, little strategies start emerging and it slowly becomes surprisingly addictive. Not 'keep you awake at night' addictive - but then those games suffer a very early burn out - but a 'casual relationship' addictive that will always be fresh when you come back to play it. Well worth it purely to build up the collection and impress your mates.
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