Publisher: Ocean
Machine: Amiga 500

Published in Zzap #66


Why the strange title I've no idea - it has no plot! But as it's a puzzle game it doesn't really matter...

The screen's split vertically to allow simultaneous two-player action; they can work through the levels independently or compete against each other. If you're using the left half, an array of square tiles lies in the bottom right of your area. You steer a potato-like creature that can spit a tile at the array, either directly from the side or by rebounding off the steps above. If it hits another tile (or row of tiles) of the same design it erases it, throwing out the next different design. The aim is to reduce the number of tiles to a set number to progress to the next level. If it's not possible to hit a tile of the same design, one of three missed shots is used up.

Later levels are complicated by awkward arrangements of steps and pipes. A construction kit allows tiles, steps and pipes to be arranged as desired.



Like Warren, I initially found Plotting confusing. Even now it's still just as hard to master and ultimately very repetitive.

Still, I found it fairly addictive for a while, and the two-player challenge option adds a bit of extra excitement. I'm not sure about the minimalistic graphics and ear-twisting music though.

And although it's a nice little puzzle game, Plotting can't justify a price tag of £25.



My first reaction to Plotting was "Huh?" but when I'd got the gist I realised what a simple and readily playable puzzle game it is. Unfortunately, unless you tread very carefully and push your luck with the time limit, you often can't see why it's game over until it's too late; tile, step and pipe arrangements can be highly deceptive.

It's for this reason that the construction kit isn't very useful. Unless you try to work it out it's easy to create levels that are impossible to complete.


Presentation 86%
Two-player independent and competition game modes, help screen and construction kit.


Graphics 62%
Simplistic tiles and passable sprite.

Sound 44%
Irritating music but pleasant, functional effects.

Hookability 68%
Confusing at first, but easily grasped with a little perseverance.

Lastability 74%
Plentiful pre-set levels but the construction kit won't appeal to some.

Overall 69%
An intriguing puzzle concept of dubious lasting interest.