Amstrad Action


Brainstorm

Author: GBH
Publisher: Firebird
Machine: Amstrad CPC464/664/6128

 
Published in Amstrad Action #32

Brainstorm

Take a very simple concept, add simple graphics and create a game that will drive you insane. There's no scenario to get to grips with, it's just a matter of having your mind warped.

The screen layout is very simple: a playing area with various coloured areas is to the right and on the left is a status panel. The panel has three coloured bars: a bonus bar, a timer that counts down and your score.

There are five colours that are used to make up the playing area. Each of the colours has different properties, when the ball that travels around the screen passes over them. Blue and black have no effect, red increases your score, magenta decreases your score and green makes the ball teleport to a random screen location. Your objective is to make sure that your score isn't less when you finish a screen than it was when you started it.

Brainstorm

You move a little pointer around the screen and if you press fire while it's in the playing area, a line is drawn in the currently selected colour to the cursor position. Switching between the colours is done by clicking on the appropriate bar in the status panel. Using the three coloured lines you have to get the ball trapped in a position so that it's passing over the red coloured areas. When you've got the ball trapped in a suitable safe area it's a good idea to click on the bonus symbol, because that doubles the rate at which you score.

Sound effects are limited to that of the ball bouncing off something, but there are a couple of reasonable tunes. The graphics are very simple, but colour is used well and is an integral part of the game.

Simplicity, frustration and addictivity are all rolled into one with this. There are 26 screens to complete at three different skill levels. Unfortunately it's a little too easy to complete and the skill levels make little difference. For £2 it's well worth getting though.

Second Opinion

Brainstorm

A wacky game concept that will quickly get you hooked. Unfortunately I think you'll quickly exhaust its potential, but for £2 it's still good value. With a bit more depth of challenge, this wouldn't have gone amiss as a full price title.

Green Screen View

Distinguishing colours is trickier in green.

First Day Target Score

Complete ten levels.

The Verdict

Brainstorm

Graphics 43%
P. Colour is used well and very important.
N. Small and simple ball and lines.

Sonics 49%
P. Nice tunes.
N. Boing, boing.

Grab Factor 75%
P. Intriguing puzzles will have you hooked.
N. Initially a little confusing.

Staying Power 58%
P. 26 levels to complete.
N. Too easy to give much in the long term.

Overall 70%
For the budget price it's well worth buying.

GBH

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