by CVRS -

Kevtris (Pic 1)

  • 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 (Pic 2)

  • 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.
  • Kevtris (Pic 3)

  • 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
       System:      ColecoVision
       Publisher:   CVRS
       Reviewer:    Keita Iida
       Review Date: 2/16/97
       Graphics:    7
       Sound:       7
       Gameplay:    8
       Overall:     8
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