When Tetris, invented by Alexej Pajitnov, came on the market a few years ago, most western software producers thought he was just another crazy Russian. How wrong can you get? Spectrum Holobyte saw a future, and released it as the "Soviet Challenge", which was a world wide success.
The same firm now bring you Super Tetris: for the thinking man or woman among you. To begin playing Super Tetris, you have to pass the really fancy protection screen. Throughout the thick booklet, there are questions and answers concerning the Moscow Circus School, which is featured in the background of the game. Anyway, a question is asked, and you must find the answer and type in the first four letters. There are a lot of interesting little facts here. Next, set all the appropriate functions (sound on/off, music on/off, joystick/mouse/keyboard etc.). then decide what type of game you want to play. Perhaps a quick five minutes, 10, or even quarter of an hour. Try playing with your friends and family instead of against them. But, for the fighters out there, there's still the competitive games in two modes: a duel or a competition. Right, now click on new game, and prepare to build!
As you may or may not know, the aim of Tetris was to build walls with different shaped bricks, and receive points for every line you build, and more points if you finish off several lines at one time. More points could be earned the higher the level, or if you had a random mess to clear up. Well, here it's slightly different. I'll now explain the screen structure to you. In the background there's a digitised picture from the Moscow State Circus, each one is different depending on the level. Another different feature on each level are the "balalaika" melodies, which will have you humming along in no time at all. To the left is the actual field of action, where you move your bricks into the best positions. Even further left are the scores, levels, and the "next brick" display. Now, I hear you ask, what's so new about all that? That's like calling a cat a dog after changing the fur colour! Well, you're just not patient enough. As I said before, there's a mess to sort out at the bottom. There's two types of gap: a black one and a grey one. The grey ones are sort of homemade (made by you), and the black ones are already there. When you fill up either of the gaps, the line goes down, and if it was a black one, then the whole screen scrolls as many lines as you built, so to say. If you do a line, you get bombs, which can eradicate mistakes, and blow up treasures (which aren't always good: some speed up the drop rate). Then, it comes to an end (pretty soon on level one: years on 10, the highest level), and free spaces are rewarded with bonus points. You can save at this stage, as well as during the game, which is a brilliant idea (well done Spectrum Holobyte). No more late nights! The game goes on like this, until you do level 10. After doing this, you can retire with a wrecked brain (too much thinking), and cramped fingers (too much action). Whatever happens, it's some achievement to reach the final level! The graphics are quite good for a strategy game of this type, and the background pictures really liven up the screen, but after losing you'll just want to kill that stupid grinning clown. The sound effects are nice (if you like Balalaika music!) and they've done a good job with the graphics, without overdoing it. On the whole, it really is a great game, compulsory software for everybody! For once in a while, it's an action packed game without at the same time being something for the psychoblaster's and maniac killer's of this world. Spectrum Holobyte have produced another classic.
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