Publisher: Firebird
Machine: Commodore 64/128

Published in Zzap #26

Zolyx | GP | SJ | PS | Verdict

Zzap Sizzler


Zolyx is a spot who lives in a black rectangular arena bordered by a thin blue line. His life is a dangerous one as he is constantly troubled by two sorts of renegade spots - the type which bounce around inside the walls of the arena, and another sort which run around the arena border. The only way to survive their deadly touch is to keep on the move - and this is where the problems arise.

Zolyx can move around the arena perimeter quite happily, but is eventually bound to crash into one of the border-occupying spots. It seems obvious then, for Zolyx to travel into the empty arena - but unfortunately it's not that simple. The trouble starts when Zolyx enters the arena - he leaves a yellow line behind him wherever he goes, which isn't very nice because if a spot crashes into the line Zolyx loses one of his five lives. Further still, once Zolyx starts to create a line he can't stop - doing so means death...

There is some good news however. When Zolyx gets back to the arena perimeter the area enclosed is filled in blue - allowing Zolyx to move anywhere within. Further intrusions into the renegade spot space, and successful retreats to safety, result in enemy territory slowly being filled in, and more coming under control of Zolyx.


Sometimes a pair of spots may be split. In this case neither area is filled because each one is occupied by a spot - consequently Zolyx has to eat away at both areas to reduce the spot's superiority.

Our spotty hero has one trick up his sleeve. When an enemy threatens either himself or his yellow line, a quick press of the Fire button reverses the paths of the belligerent pixels. This facility is available once on the first level, twice on the second, and so on ad nauseum...

A constantly updating numerical display at the top of the screen shows the percentage of the playing area that Zolyx has claimed. When the heroic spot has reclaimed over 75% of the arena the screen clears to show an empty arena, filled with even more renegade spots, and Zolyx is forced to start to build up his territory again...



There's one thing that's really bugging me. Why is it that a game that looks like a complete and utter pile of rubbish can be so hellishly addictive?

The graphics are bland and repetitive beyond belief, the sound is simply an afterthought and there is nothing in the way of options or a title screen.

But it's Qix and I love it. Each copy should come with a Government Health Warning: Playing Zolyx could lead to terminal brain fag.



Full price games are certainly coming under severe attach from the budget sector these days, and Zolyx merely continues the trend. It is without doubt the most addictive game I've played for months, and I personally had to confiscate everyone else's joystick to give myself long enough to review the damn thing. Apart from a limited variety between screens, I have no real reservations in recommending that you go straight out and buy this game - it's tremendous.


I can't sleep at night - those little spots flying through my brain, rebounding off my skull and attempting to blow me up... it's hell! My shrink can't understand it, no amount of drugs or therapy can prevent this raging addiction.

I... I'm a Zolyxaholic. When I'm not actually seated at the screen, I'm locked away in a world of my own, inventing sub-games and working out ways of reaching level five or attaining the magical 99%. I'd really like to tell you more, but I'm off for another attempt...



Presentation 47%
Pleasantly laid out, but a very poor title screen and no options.

Graphics 35%
Plain and simple, but still effective.

Sound 29%
A bubbly sort of noise plays throughout.


Hookability 97%
Unnervingly simple to pick up. Horribly difficult to put down.

Lastability 74%
May pall initially, but it's the sort of game you can come back to and enjoy months later.

Value For Money 97%
Well worth pawning your Granny for...

Overall 90%
One of the simplest and most addictive programs around. Try it if you think you can stand the pace.

Zolyx | GP | SJ | PS | Verdict