AGH Lynx Review:

by Atari

At first glance, you might just give Klax the cold shoulder, dismissing it as nothing more than a Tetris-like puzzler in 3-D. Sure, it's the same type of hybrid action/mental puzzle game as the Pazhitjov creation, but the similarities end there. In Klax, players control a Breakout-esque paddle that can move side-to-side at the bottom of a conveyer belt, down which tumble square tiles of varying colors. The object is to catch each tile and then drop them down in an area below you to make "Klaxes" so that they disappear from the screen. A Klax is accompished in various ways, with each stage indicating before the round the methods in which they can be achieved. You start off by lining up three or more tiles of the same color so that they form a horizontal, diagonal or vertical line. Later in the game, players are required to perform increasingly difficult Klaxes. The game ends when the bottom pit fills up with tiles.

As you progress to higher levels, tiles will come at you at blinding speeds. Thankfully, your paddle can hold up to five tiles in reserve, so you're not necessarily required to drop each tile before catching the next one. Although utlizing this feature is mandatory to survive, it's not always wise to do so. When it's time to drop a tile, the top tile of the stack is the one that goes first, and that might not be the color you want to drop. One way around this is to push up on the joypad and throw the top tile back onto the conveyer, giving youself a few extra seconds to drop the tile you want. As you'd expect, however, you'll most likely be tossing tiles back onto the conveyer along with other tiles already coming your way, making the task of catching them even more difficult. This higher levels in Klax are so fast that it almost becomes an exercise in "Zen," because you'll basically be playing on instinct and reflexes alone.

Complementing the addicting play-action are absolutely top notch sights and sounds. The graphics are nearly identical to the arcade version and retains all of the charm and animation found in the original. The blocks are large and colorful, and scale in nicely as they approach you. The music and sound effects are just as spectacular. All of the digitized sounds are on the Lynx version, with the highlights being the female voice that tells you what kind of wave it is and goes "ooh!" and "yeah!" when you make a big Klax, the scream of a tile as it falls off the conveyer without being caught, and the sound of the audience that applauds your successes and chants "Awww" when you blow it. And it's all done in crisp stereo sound!

Make no bones about it, Klax is a winner.

Title Klax
Publisher Atari
System Atari Lynx
Graphics 9
Sound 10
Gameplay 9
Overall 9
Reviewer Keita Iida

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