Jumbly Review | Personal Computer News - Everygamegoing

Personal Computer News

By DK Tronics
Spectrum 48K

Published in Personal Computer News #059


Remember being frustrated by those flat, plastic puzzles where you had to unscramble a muddle by sliding lettered or numbered tiles around a tray? DK Tronics has brought this type of puzzle kicking and screaming into the electronic age.

The object is to slide the jumbled tiles around and re-assemble the original picture in a set of moves. There are at least 12 different puzzles to solve but you are only told the titles of the first three.

You select your puzzle by entering its title (Letters, Jumbly or Nursery). The chosen picture is displayed, one of the 20 tiles is removed and placed outside the tray and the rest are randomly jumbled. Your target to beat (around 100 moves for the simpler puzzles) and actual number of moves is shown.

Manipulating the puzzle is easy - each picture has one vacant square so by using joystick (or keyboard) you move a tile up, down, left or right into the empty slot. There is a wide variety of musical accompaniments and you can switch back to the puzzle solution.

If all this sounds fairly ordinary, wait until you see the puzzles themselves - they are alive. The Nursery puzzle includes a winking, leg-swinging dolly, twin cannons blazing away at each other, a twitching monkey, a drum-beating rabbit, a spinning top, a marching guardsman and a bouncing jack-in-the-box.

Some of the harder puzzles are not only animated, they also scroll, in wraparound fashion, off the edges of the tray. You can freeze the picture - that helps a bit - and if you're desperate, remove the scrolling.

An old mechanical puzzle brought sparklingly up to date. The random shuffling and mobile pictures present a tough challenge yet the game manages to remain hugely enjoyable.

Geof Wheelwright

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