Anyone familiar with the Bible and the book of Genesis will recognize the title of this game. According to the book, the descendants of Noah, wishing to be closer to God, built a huge tower intended to reach up to heaven. This actually struck God as being a bit cheeky, so he cursed the workers with many different languages just to confuse them and foil their plans - up until then everyone had spoken the same language.
Here is where the game comes in. During the construction of the tower - this is The Word according to the manual writers - a passing spaceship from the planet Zantor decided to give the masses a hand and lend them three spider-like robots. Unfortunately, things turned sour and the humans ended up hating the robots and doing their damnedest to destroy them. After killing all the rebel humans the robots now just wish to get to the top of tower and return to their homeland. If they do not manage it, the Zantorians will wreak havoc upon Earth.
You are going to help the robots. Unfortunately, the evil humans have devised many traps and pitfalls to hinder the robots.
This is a solid 3D strategy and puzzle game. The tower is broken down into 125 minitowers each of which has its own specific objective - for example to destroy two objects and collect three Klondikes, which are power packs for the robots.
The towers are grouped into blocks of nine and once you have completed seven in a group you can progress to the next block. The objective for each tower is outlined in at the beginning and you are then told which of the three robots are available. The three robots are Zapper: so called because it is the robot that can destroy certain objects; Pusher, because it can push things; and Grabber, well, you can probably guess!
There are two main methods of controlling the robots. The first involves jumping straight into one and controlling it by clicking on movement arrows with the mouse pointer. The other way - which comes in especially handy for the towers in which you have got a time limit to beat - involves programming the robot with up to eight instructions - such as turn, right, fire move forward four squares - and then letting the robot get on with it. All three robots can be programmed to this way so they can accomplish tasks simultaneously.
You know what you have to do, and what you have to do it with - all you need to know is what sort of things you are going to come up against.
For starters, the tower is made up of (usually) more than one chequered level. Moving from one level to another requires a robot to move onto a lift square and activate it. Then there are the baddies, robots that can zap your robots, and proximity mines and the like that just get in the way.
Every tower can (honest!) be completed but it often involves moving blocks and other objects around. Many of the towers have only one solution.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
The sound effects and music are fine, but they are nowhere near as good as the graphics. Tower of Babel does not really cry out for good graphics, because the puzzling nature of the game does not rely on them, so it is even nicer to see they have been very well done.
The number of towers is going to keep you playing for ages (fortunately you can save your position), and once you have completed the whole game you can set about designing your own levels - yup, it has got its own tower designer. Bags and bags of lasting interest.
A superb game. Everyone who has been lamenting the lack of superior software on their state-of-the-art machine can take heart - this is the sort of stuff that makes owning such a machine a joy. Cerebral stuff that is not completely lacking in the action department either. If you liked The Sentinel, this is a must.
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