Perplexity (Superior/Acornsoft) Review | The Micro User - Everygamegoing

The Micro User

By Superior/Acornsoft

Published in The Micro User 8.03

Confused? You will be...


Now could the ever-popular Repton, with its combined puzzle and arcade action elements, be improved? The answer lies in Perplexity, which could be described as a 3D version of Repton.

The inlay is reminiscent of Pacmania on the Archimedes - and that's just a 3D version of Snapper. While that's fast and colourful, Perplexity shows that the 32 bits are only an advantage, not a necessity.

You wander around sixteen screens collecting diamonds, some of which are visible while others are formed by pushing two green boulders together. Each time you collect all the jewels on one screen you move on to the next.

It sounds easy, but accidentally push one rock against a wall and it could mean going back to the start. On several occasions I wished I'd had a pull option as well as the push one. To add to your problems, a few monsters are lurking around, so beware. Most of the boulders form diamonds when pushed against another but some - identified with a question mark - are mystery ones and form one of four other objects. They are positioned at different places in each game, so even if you know a particular screen well, you could still run into trouble.

While you must collect all the diamonds to complete a level, it's up to you whether or not your collect the mystery objects created. Three of the four are useful, but the other should be avoided.

One certainly worth collecting, is an hourglass which provides extra time. With only 500 seconds to complete each screen, this is a welcome bonus. Extra lives can be obtained by collecting four bottles of the magic potion sometimes formed when the mystery boulders touch.

Don't collect the control key swap object unless it's blocking your way and you have no option. Sometimes they swap the actions of all four keys; at other times they only swap two. If you are forced to collect one you can look for another and, if you're lucky, it may reverse the original swap.

However, once one of these is collected, you may be doomed to pressing the right key for left and the left key for right. In this situation it's very easy to accidentally push a key against a wall.

The final mystery object is a 500 point bonus. As well as the boulders, mystery boulders and monsters you'll find a few other items. Some of the passages are locked and you'll find keys scattered in the maze. Only ones facing the correct way will open a lock, so find it and push it round.

Once it touches the lock the way will be cleared and you can proceed. There are only enough keys for the number of locks, so careful thinking about how to get the locks to the keys is essential. If you block a key you might as well give up on a screen or use the remaining time just to examplore the maze and work out your strategy for next time.

Black boulders are just obstacles and can be pushed out of the way, but be careful not to push one into a position that will block you later.

A lot of useful information is provided, probably the most important being the scanner map which is constantly updating. This shows your position in the maze together with all the diamonds and boulders. Unfortunately, it doesn't show things like the black boulders, lock, keys or monsters. Once you have collected four bottle of magic potion you gain an extra life.

Perplexity is very compulsive and will keep you trying to improve on your last performance.

Louise Collinson