- KEVTRIS REVIEW (COLECOVISION) -
The 1990s has been a period of revival for classic games -- and we're
not just talking about commercial releases for next generation
systems. Several talented programmers have tried their hand at coding
for the classic SYSTEMS that we loved in our youth. Ed Federmeyer
jump started this trend by bringing us "Edtris", a Tetris variant for
the 2600, followed by John Donzilla, who released a trio of titles
for the Vectrex game system. Now it's time for Coleco aficionados to
rejoice as Kevin Horton brings us "Kevtris," the first ColecoVision
game in over ten years.
In Kevtris, Horton chose to take the safe route by translating a game
that is relatively simple to port and a perfect match for the Coleco
console -- Tetris. Not merely a straight port, however, Kevtris
offers some unique play elements that give it a personality all its
own. Kevtris provides several options such as ten difficulty levels
and a two-player split-screen contest (something that is sorely
missing from Nintendo's version). Another refreshing addition is the
ability to handicap a player in the two-player mode, adding to the
enjoyment for gamers with differing levels of skill.
Kevtris adds to this with several play modes. In "Zero Out", a
player tries to get the highest possible score while clearing a
predetermined number of lines. Another variation challenges you to
clear as many lines as possible within a specified period of time.
The feature that deviates the most from Tetris, however, is the
ability to stop blocks from falling. That's right, players are given
the chance to freeze the blocks in mid-air, thus allowing for some
breathing room while you figure out where to place the piece. Of
course, relying on this tactic will often get a player in trouble,
particularly in the head-to-head mode, where clearing lines rapidly
is of the essence.
The graphics are on par with most other versions of Tetris. Each
piece has its own color and style, which is particularly helpful in
the higher levels where you're basically playing on reflexes alone.
Sound effects are minimal, but you are given a choice between two
catchy music pieces.
All in all, Kevtris gives away nothing to its big brothers on the
more powerful game machines. The controls are precise, the graphics
are clear and crisp with each block immediately recognizable, and
the pace of the game speeds up gradually, allowing for players of all
skill levels to enjoy the game and improve at it. Kevin has hinted
that his next game will be a 256K monster of an RPG called "Prince
Albert's Quest for the Rings", followed by a game for the 5200
SuperSystem which is being co-developed by Maurice Molyneaux.
Considering that Kevtris was nothing more than a "practice" game for
Kevin, can you imagine what he has in store for us in his subsequent
offerings? Stay Tuned!
Game Title: KEVTRIS
Reviewer: Keita Iida
Review Date: 2/16/97