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5.0 Perfect
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4.0 Very Good
3.5 Good
3.0 Fair
2.5 Weak
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1.5 Bad
1.0 Terrible
0.5 Atrocious
0.0 Your Mom


Funkmaster V Reviews


7800 Rank: Not Ranked

Genre: Puzzle (Stuff is Falling)

Awards: Dumbest Tag Line: "It's the 90's... and there is time for KLAX"
Doing That With Your Hand Hurts Pros: Smooth Gameplay/ Varied Challenges
Cons: The Game is Disturbingly Void of Audio/ Not as Approachable as Tetris
Conveyor Belts of Love


Overview: It would not be fair to review Klax without mentioning the number one puzzle game of all time, Tetris. After all, if it wasn't for Tetris, it would be safe to say that Klax would have never been thought of... Tetris invented the "stuff is falling" genre,
so here comes the cash grab. Funny thing though, is Klax is very different than any "stuff is falling" game before or after it. It's more cerebral. And yes, that means less fun. But if you prefer Sudoko over Word Searches, Chess over Checkers, and Funk over Disco, Klax may be your secret jam. But I wasn't always impressed with Klax. I remember it hitting the arcades, oh, so long ago...and I laughed at it. This game had absolutely no flash to it, and it looked confusing and trite. Honestly, puzzle games aren't that impressive in an arcade to begin with, so it wasn't Klax's fault it was marketed there. Though maybe not as approachable as Tetris, Klax has a lot more going for it in the way of strategy and longevity and feels more at home on a classic video game system than in the dingy, lust-filled arcade parlors of our youth. Also remember, this was a completed game that was never green-lit. It ended up being "rescued" by ResQsoft and released to the public 12 years after it was supossed to be released. Party!

Graphics: The 7800's presentation of the game is pretty impressive. There's a lot that could have gone wrong, but did not. The Conveyor belt and most backgrounds are well detailed and colorful, although some of the backgrounds look kinda flat (like Level 11's spaceship scene). The tiles themselves look weird but the sense of movement is portrayed nicely. And since the board-clearing requirements change each level, the instruction screen is attractive and easy to read. This screen even comes complete with a new hint each round to help us learn the game's nuances. The biggest problem in the visual department happens around level 5 or so. The light blue and blue tiles are initially hard to differentiate, and it takes some getting used to.

Sound: This is the most disappointing area of the game. I am a strong believer in that all puzzle games should come equipped with some seriously awesome music. Great music can make a mundane game addictive just because of the atmosphere it creates (see Sega's Columns). Here, the reverse almost happens. But let's not kick the crap out of Klax just yet, because the arcade version didn't have music either. Instead, it had a bunch of fun sound effects and (what sounds like) a hot chick cooing at us. But that of course is not here. Without the sexy female voice, the crowd responses, and the crazy pinball sound effects, the vibe of Klax on the Atari 7800 shifts from zany-funny to weird.

Gameplay: Tiles flip-flop down a conveyor belt and must be captured on a paddle and flipped into one of five chutes. When three tiles of the same color are stacked vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, they form a "Klax" (derp) and will disappear. Each board has different requirements needed to be met for the level to be beaten. For example, you might have to endure 55 tiles, score 10,000 points, make 10 diagonal Klaxes, or any other number of objectives. Every 5 levels the backgrounds change and every once in awhile you will be given a choice to "warp ahead" several levels. The higher the level, the more mistakes you can make, but you will have to endure tougher objectives while an increased number of colored tiles will roll down the conveyor belt at a faster pace. There are also "Wild Tiles" that can be used to finish any color of Klax. This will be helpful later in the game when trying to form the "Big X" or the "Big Sandwich" formations which clear massive points and sometimes warps us places.

Interpretation: To me, the best part of the arcade version is the girl's voice... sounds like the flirtatious chick from the pinball game Taxi. She's of course too cool to be hanging out here today. The arcade version also has some pinball style sound effects, too... now that we are thinking about pinball. There's crowd ooohs, ahhhs, applause and moaning when you stink it up in the arcade version that is also not here. The instruction screens look much less sexy in the 7800 version, but the gameplay is roughly the same and the background graphics are pretty darn respectable. A little less Klax flava is here in the 7800 version.


Value: Though Tetris may be a better game all around, I think Klax is more exciting. Each board gives you a different challenge to conquer, and there are quite a few things to discover. I really like the changing backgrounds, and there are quite a few tricks you can pull off that will amaze your friends and small pets. Certain patterns or conditions met in this version of the game can jettison you off into amazingly high levels and far off places... in the world of Klax, that is. For a puzzle game, there is a sense of adventure that exists. This version includes includes three difficulty levels which the arcade does not. Oddly enough, the tiles moving down the conveyor belt on "EASY" look like they are moving faster than the arcade tiles initially. It may be "EASY", babies... but it ain't that "EASY". You'll have to buy her dinner first.

Overall: Klax, made available to the peons through ResQsoft, is worth every dime of the 30 Smackers I laid down for it back in the day. With ResQsoft gone, picking up a cartridge in the wild is a tall order these days. When I'm tired, I would rather zone out with Tetris. But if I want to get serious and sink my teeth into a thinking man's battle of wits, Klax is a good port to get wrapped up in. Like any good puzzle game, nothing happening on screen makes sense... flip flopping tiles are racing down this conveyor belt... and we are in the forest. But sometimes we are in space. And sometimes, the parking lot... or... we are being held by a giant. But we get it, don't we gamers? These falling bricks/tiles/ gems/ dragon poo/ beans NEED TO BE SORTED PROPERLY! WHO IS GOING TO DO IT IF NOT FOR US??? Get Klax if you can. Because... the tiles of today grow up to be the tiles of our future. And God... and the Bible.



Additional Info: I would like to take this time to thank ResQsoft for allowing the use of his screenshots for this review.