Tag Archives: puzzle game

Ego

Ever wanted to play a puzzle game that featured the smiling face of John Major? I thought not, but we’re going to anyway.

Ego is an interesting puzzle game based on a game that claims to be related to the classic Repton series, but which isn’t really. You control an elephant-like thing as he attempts to reassemble digitised photos of minor celebrities and public figures from the mid-’90s. And it’s surprisingly fun!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

XOR

The unusually named XOR from Atari promises a game with no random elements, and a focus on logical thinking rather than twitch reflexes.

One could also describe it, as someone did to me the other day, as a curious blend of Boulder Dash and heraldry, in which the main obstacles to your success will be fish and chickens. Yes, it’s a rather odd game — but if you enjoy some tricky puzzles it’s worth a look!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Save Mary

Back in the early ’90s, people were just getting to grips with falling block puzzlers such as Tetris and its numerous imitators.

Which makes it quite a shame that Save Mary, an interesting and original twist on the formula, never made it to release back in the day — because it’s a really fun puzzler. Still, at least we can enjoy it today as part of Atari Flashback Classics!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

One Step Beyond

Whenever someone mentions the Atari ST to you, doubtless the first thing you think of is the delicious, relatively low-calorie cheesy potato snack known as Quavers.

What do you mean, no? Well, that might all change after today’s game, in which the erstwhile mascot of this longstanding British junk food favourite is tasked with clearing a series of puzzle-tastic levels while attempting not to fall into the abyss inside his computer. It makes about as much sense as it sounds, but it’s a surprisingly fun time — and the product placement isn’t as obnoxious as you might expect.

Check out the game in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Lemmings

“Let’s go!” That’s a phrase you won’t be hearing in the Atari ST port of Lemmings, sadly, since the iconic digitised speech the series was so well known for in its early days was completely absent from this version.

Despite lacking one of its most well-known features, however, Lemmings for Atari ST remains just as enjoyable and interesting as it was back in the day, gradually building in intensity until it reaches absolutely brain-melting frustration.

You’ve never played a puzzle game quite like this… and there haven’t been many since, for that matter. Unless you count the million and one ports there have been over the years, of course…!

Welltris

Tetris is a timeless classic that remains relevant today. Its various sequels and spinoffs, on the other hand, have varied somewhat in how well they’ve persisted over the years.

One such title that has been largely forgotten today is Alexey Pajitnov’s official follow-up to the original Tetris, known as Welltris. Developed in Soviet Russia, ported to a variety of platforms and published by Spectrum Holobyte and Infogrames around the world, Welltris takes Tetris into the third dimension.

It’s a solid game… but you have to approach it very differently to Pajitnov’s more enduring classic!

Uncle Henry’s Nuclear Waste Dump

It’s kind of strange to think that puzzle games — at least how we know them today — were a relatively late evolution compared to other genres.

Today’s Atari 8-bit title is a type-in BASIC listing from popular Atari magazine Antic, and was developed by someone who had never seen or heard of Tetris at the time. It’s a fun little puzzler, and an interesting example of the very early days of a genre we take for granted today.

It’s also surprisingly bloody hard, despite the simple concept! After a while all that nuclear waste just melts your brain, I think…

Castle Master

The “Freescape” games released by Incentive Software were all rather interesting for a variety of reasons.

Most notably, they represented some of the earliest examples of a multi-purpose, cross-platform 3D engine at work — Freescape was so flexible that it would run on everything from the ZX Spectrum up to Atari ST, Amiga and MS-DOS PC, though obviously with some limitations on the less powerful platforms!

Castle Master was one of the last Freescape games to be released on 16-bit platforms, and it’s also one of the most mysterious and intriguing. Let’s go for a little explore, shall we?

Diamonds

I do enjoy a good “dirt and boulders” game. And Simon Hunt’s Diamonds, published by English Software in 1983, is certainly a good “dirt and boulders” game.

Casting players in the role of Digger Dan, part-time member of Blue Man group and long-time precious stones enthusiast, it’s up to you to gather the titular diamonds while avoiding the unwanted attentions of Brian the Blob, Philip the Filler, The Fireflies, The Eyes, Simon the Snake and The Demon. Brian also wants diamonds; the others just want you dead. Which isn’t very nice.

This is a longstanding personal favourite of mine from the Atari 8-bit era, and a game I still like returning to today quite often! Check it out when you get the opportunity.

Yoomp

Although the Atari 8-bit range of computers mostly lost what little “mainstream” relevance they had with the onset of the 16-bit era — which, in turn, was killed off by the widespread adoption of standardised MS-DOS and Windows PCs — there are a few dedicated developers out there still plugging away at this old hardware.

The results these modern maestros can get out of ancient computers can be, at times, absolutely astonishing. Some form part of what is known as the “demoscene”, producing audible and graphical showcases that push the hardware to its absolute limits. Others take that extra step and add true interactivity, making actual games with impressive visuals and sounds to show what they’re really capable of.

Yoomp from 2007 is an example of the latter. It makes use of some clever graphical techniques, fully optimised for both PAL and NTSC displays, and some delightfully catchy, toe-tapping music courtesy of the Atari’s trusty POKEY chip. If you’d like to find out more about this game — and download it for free to try for yourself — check out the official website here.