In Craft, your aim is to connect all the sections of wire from the grid presented to you. You can rotate each individual block in units of 90 degrees, or shift the whole row horizontally.
In Snakemania, you must collect each of the dots in the maze, being careful not to trap yourself by your tail which grows longer with the more you eat.
Puzzle games!! Arrghh!! But don't fear, SAM owner. Don't throw out your SAM out of the window to the disbelieving crowds below. For this duel compilation is in fact (dare I say it!) original! Well, one of them is and the other is QUITE original, never the less. This compilation has been out and about for absolutely ages and ages, but is back again in the public eye - and how! The first thing to strike you is the "slow loading" system, which I was guarenteed by David Ledbury to be reliable (but ending up putting a HUGE bug in Craft). Craft is the first of the two game pack, and simply presents you with 80 levels of twisted circuit tiles, which you must rearrange into a complete circuit, and speed you off to the next level. This is all done in a time limit, though. The game is written by ESI (yeah!!). From what I have seen so far (until that reeeaallllyyy nasty bug came up in Craft) the game is certainly presentable! The graphics are more than functional (though what else can you do with tiles?) and the music is quite nice, too. The difficulty curve is that so you can learn from your mistakes, and keep this "vital" information all ready for the next level.
The other game on this compilation is the completely original one of the pack, entitled Snakemania. Basically, the game is based on the golden oldie, Snake. Snake, if you can remember that far back, was set on a green field. You were controlling a snake, eating mushrooms and consequently, getting more and more longer. Meaning that your body was becoming a hazard, not just the four walls which surrounded the field.
Snakemania, on the other hand, crosses this oldie with another oldie - Pacman, making the game original (unheard of in the Coupe puzzle fraternity.) and immensely playable. There are 40 odd mazes which you have to negotiate, with your snake growing bigger with every pill you consume. The levels can become quite infuriating at times, but not as much that you take out the disk and bite holes in it! The difficulty curve is incredibly reasonable, but should be more suited to the older puzzler than the younger - this is a forward thinking job!
Graphics are, again, more than functional, and complement the rather stylish music that happens in the background. Unfortunately, the duffer with this one is that there is no password system (compared to Craft's rather adequate password system) so you'll have to play through all those levels to reach the ending. Arrgggh! So, as a whole, this is a worthwhile purchase for you to treat your Coupe with. Two nicely pleasent and relaxing puzzlers to get your teeth into (you can also buy them separately, folks!). Hang on! Dave has just had a word with me on the phone! If you have a bugged game, try typing in on Craft's password system... 360995. Ta!
Your Sinclair review, (Recovered) courtesy of the YS Rock 'n' Roll Years YS87
Dyadic (SAM) Phoenix £13.99 Mar 1993
Dyadic. Hmm. Phoenix assure us that the name means 'two units treated as one' but those medical connotations just won't go away. Anyway, what we have here are two games, Snake Mania and Craft, effecting a happy coexistence on a single disk. And do you know what? (What? Jonathan) I'm not going to review them separately.
But why on Earth not?
Well, it's not because they were both written by a Mr Maciej Kasatkin of the ESI coding group, who shows off his demo writing talents as usual with bouncing scrollies and flying logos with built-in inertia all over the shop. It's not because they both have a variety of rather good tunes (written by Anorzej Mielcarek), but are lacking in good juicy sound effects for when you get killed or something. Neither is it because they both have high score tables with a rather slow left/right control for entering your name rather than just quickly and easily typing it in (although Snake does have, as an added bonus, a rather novel scrolly saying words to the effect of "well done, you got x points, and you rank nth". That sort of thing).
No, the reason why I won't be reviewing them separately is because they're both puzzle games and as such, deserve to be treated with at least a heaped tablespoonful of contempt. For heaven's sake, don't you think we've got enough darned puzzle games? Do we really need another two to add to the thousands already available, as opposed to the two or three mediocre shoot-'em-ups, arcade adventures and beat-'em-ups? Now there's an idea - how about a Target: Renegade thumper or something? There is not a single SAM beat-'em-up game available. Is is really that impossible to program something other than a puzzle game? I'm sorry, but I've really had it up to here with puzzle games!
There there, calm down. Drink this cup of Ovaltine
(Slurp). Ah, that's better. Right, I'm fully relaxed, and my mind is perfectly composed. The fact is, here we have two puzzle games, and no amount of screaming and kicking and pulling one's hair out is going to alter that. What I shall now attempt to do is to briefly run through the context of each game, weigh up the pros and cons, and then give them a ridiculously low mark solely because they're both puzzle games! (Snarl, dribble).
Sorry. Right, Snake Mania first. This game sees you in control of a snake which you have to manoeuvre around a maze eating the obligatory dots. As you eat them, the length of your snake increases proportionally, and you have to plan your route a considerable time ahead so as to avoid running into your own tail, which presumably kind of gridlocks you so that you eventually die of starvation or something (you lose a life, in any case). The idea, very simply, is to eat all the dots before the counter runs down to zero.
Craft is another incredibly simple concept which is fun to play, but it's hardly new ground. Here you have to shuffle and rotate tiles to form closed pipes before, again, the timer runs out. Pretty novel - not.
One from the heart
I know what you're expecting. You're thinking, he's not really going to give Dyadic a bad mark just because it's only a couple of puzzle games. I mean, they're probably quite playable and quite original compared to other puzzle games, right? Wrong. In a flooded market like this, Dyadic would have to be pretty spectacular to worth buying over any other game, and I'm afraid that it isn't. Just another couple of average puzzle games. So, for the sake of my sanity and the continued wellbeing of Coupe owners everywhere. Here's a plea from the heart to all SAM programmers. For heaven's sake, write something else!
Whilst loading the game hold down the DELETE key.
From Niko Kaiser, Spectrum und Sam Profi Club
In title screen type in KASATKIN (Authors's name), you have now infinite lives and every screen can be solved by pressing the F7 key.
There are also some passwords: