E-Motion (U. S. Gold) Review | Computer & Video Games - Everygamegoing

C&VG


E-Motion
By U. S. Gold
Spectrum 48K/128K

 
Published in Computer & Video Games #101

E-Motion

If someone told you that the first New Age computer game was something akin to "bowls on pieces of elastic", you'd probably think "Gawd, worra complete pleb". But that's exactly what E-Motion is!

The game consists of fifty screens, each containing a number of coloured spheres and, sometimes, a solid structure. The idea is to obliterate all the spheres on screen by using a spaceship (or two if you're in dual-player mode) to bump like-coloured ones together. When different-coloured balls collide, another smaller ball appears which can be picked up and used to replenish the ship's energy. But be quick - energy balls soon grow to full size and of course destroying them requires the creation of another ball of the same colour. If the screen isn't cleared within a time limit the balls explode, sapping the ships' energy.

There - easy. Or at least that's what the programmers, Assembly Line (they did the smashing Interphase) thought, so they added the structures which need to be worked around, making things even trickier. They've also linked you to some of the balls via elastic bands, which calls for pixel-perfect manoeuvring if you don't want to create more spheres.

After a predetermined number of levels, one of three bonus stages can be tackled, allowing you to bump up those points before attempting the next screen.

Amiga

Puzzle games are all the rage at the moment and E-Motion is, quite simply, one of the best I've yet seen. First impressions are, as with most games of the genre, very misleading - the screen looks bare and things seem somewhat boring.

However, that first burst of movement and the eventual collision with the wrong sphere causes you to sit up, panic a bit, re-evaluate your entire thoughts on the product, and from that moment you're hooked. Like all the true greats, graphics are above average as opposed to spectacular, although the use of ray-tracing on the balls and structures is pretty impressive in itself.

Similarly, sound is "nice" but the plinkety-plink tunes and spot effects will soon have you twiddling your volume knob. Pretty soon someone is going to create a game which overtakes the addictiveness of Tetris; E-Motion doesn't quite manage it, but it comes very, very close.

Amstrad

E-Motion on the Amstrad obviously looks more basic than on the 16-bits, but it's colourful enough, and that same addictive urge exists as much as in the other versions.

Spectrum

Due to the machine's limitations, the coloured balls have been discarded and instead the object is to link spheres with the same shape imprinted on them.

Although initially confusing, a few games is all it takes to get the hang of this method and you'll not want to leave it alone.

PC

The PC game can be played in any of CGA, EGA or VGA modes but, no matter ho much colour you have on-screen, there's no getting away from the fact that E-Motion is an unmissable experience.

Atari ST

Apart from ever-so-slight colour alterations, there is absolutely no difference between this and the Amiga version.

An astonishing game which no self-respecting gamer should be without.

Paul Rand