Revolution (Vortex/US Gold) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action

By Vortex
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #14



No, it's not a film-licensing deal of that mega-flop starring Al Pacino, but a highly original arcade game that will provide many more hours of enjoyment than any silver-screen epic. It's in a grand tradition of Vortex games renowned for their originality, graphics and gameplay.

The game concept and task are extremely simple. You control a bouncing ball; its sole mission is to hit little red cubes.

It has to bounce through eight levels of play. In isometric 3D you see each level rather like a floor of thick floating tiles - a grid of blue blocks suspended in black space. Don't bounce down the cracks!


Somewhere on each grid are four puzzles. You solve them simply by touching one red cube with the ball and then, within a time limit, touching the second.

To start with you'll need to get the hang of controlling the ball crucial to solving the puzzles. Pushing in any direction bounces the ball that way. But be careful about hitting diagonals on a joystick, and remember that the ball won't change direction suddenly or in mid-flight.

Controlling the ball's height of bounce is the most important thing, and this is very cleverly done. You control the energy put into the bounce: you can set it at five different levels using the fire button. Increase or decrease its energy (it shows on a little meter bottom-left) and the ball gradually bounces higher or lower correspondingly. Put in no energy and the ball will eventually just roll around the floor; with maximum power it can leap.


You have to be patient and accurate at times in order to get just the right bounce. Once you've got the hang of the bouncing it's great fun to use and watch.

The ball can fall down the gaps between the tiles and be lost forever; the same fate awaits if you bounce off the grid entirely.

There are other dangers lurking amid the puzzles. A nasty breed of spiky ball disintegrates yours if you touch it. Unidentified spinning objects (USOs?) fly randomly about the grid; if they bump you in mid-jump they can throw you off into thin air.

Most of the puzzles look straightforward, but you soon find that controlling the ball accurately and avoiding dangers isn't easy when you're trying to do it quickly - particularly because most puzzles have complications. These are two types of square on the floor, behaving like trampoline or glue: one immediately sets your jumping energy and height to maximum, and the other to zero. Furthermore they have a repelling effect: they slide or launch you off in a direction that might put you in big trouble. These squares are vital for solving some puzzles but you really have to take care around them.

The four puzzles on each level all have to be completed within an overall time limit, before you return to your starting point and go to the next level. You land on levels in a random order so you get to see all of them even without completing the game. This doesn't make the game any easier - as you move to the next level, the time between touching a puzzle's two red cubes is reduced. To succeed, you have to find the most efficient route of getting between them.

Despite its simple concept and graphics, the game plays superbly and looks good. To start with you can complete some puzzles just by quick reactions and a bit of luck, but as you progress you have to work out the best routes and get more proficient at control and accuracy. The bouncing action of the ball is superb and the degree of difficulty just right to get you hooked - as well as to provide a long-lasting challenge.

Second Opinion

Those terribly clever Vortex people have done it again. This one's even simpler than Highway Encounter, even more fiendishly addictive and a whole lot more colourful. The game task is huge, but you'll be hooked so completely you '11 hardly notice. Pushes your brains and your skills as far as they'll go.

Third Opinion

It takes some time to get used to controlling the bouncing ball - hitting the diagonal is particularly difficult and needs a good joystick - but the puzzles are fiendish and the graphics something else. Revolution has been compared to Spindizzy, but it is a completely different game really and a vital part of your collection!

Green Screen View

Less interesting to look at maybe, but every bit as playable. The loading screen is the only thing that really suffers.

Good News

P. Wonderfully original concept. Excellent bouncing action in 3D. Puzzles need thought and good control.
P. Simple but effective graphics. Increasing difficulty puts stress on skill.
P. Good variety of puzzles.

Bad News

N. Diagonal controls can be tough.

First Day Target Score


Bob Wade

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