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Alternate Logic Puzzles
(Alternate Reality Entertainment)
"A cavalcade of classic puzzle gaming!"
Over the years, computer
retailers have added puzzle games to their software and hardware packages
to attract consumers and challenge our minds. The Commodore 64 days brought
home Overload, while Windows introduced us to Dominate. Throw in Lights
Out and Connect Four... wouldn't it to be great to play all those classics
In Alternate Logic
Puzzles, you get to play Lights Out, Connect Four, Dominate, and Overload
all over again! Play alone, with friends, or against an intelligent computer
AI. In which game will you overpower your opponent's minds? No matter which
game you try, it's guaranteed to be ingenious fun!
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
|Alternate Reality Entertainment is quite
frugal with their tiles; I noticed the same graphics being used for all
four of their puzzle mini-games. The only differences I noticed are that
you get a number floating on top of the colored tiles in Overload, and
that the Overload and Dominate games benefit from the extra color needed
to symbolize multiple players.
In background choices, Alternate Reality
Entertainment is again a little frugal. A black backdrop makes up all of
the mini-games, except for Lights Out (which consists of blue and red tiles).
Speaking of which, there's a lot of blue and red to be seen here since
Blue symbolizes Player 1 and Red symbolizes player two. So if you're red
and blue aren't your two favorite colors in the whole wide world, you're
going to have to learn to love them.
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
|Alternate Logic Puzzles doesn't come with
sound effects, but they did get a little help from the folks who made the
RPG Wandering Hamster for some pretty solid music support. While playing
each of the four different puzzle games, you'll be treated to a calm, relaxing
song to help ease the pain when you're being thwarted by the computer AI
or a sneaky friend. Particularly nice was Alternate Reality Entertainment's
song choice for Dominate, U2's With or Without You. Heck, it may not be
original, but every tune used gives the game a sort of "thinking" effect.
|Gameplay (n.)The precision of control
and involvement of character within its universe
|Average. If each mini-game here was submitted
by itself, the gameplay score wouldn't be so strong since they aren't original.
But as a whole, Alternate Reality Entertainment gives a four-in-one puzzle
game set with games that blend together pretty well. It's a little hard
to explain all four of the games thoroughly, but the game does come with
a Readme file to help you out.
Here's the gist of each puzzle mini-game.
For Lights Out, you have to turn off all the red lights on the screen before
the time runs out. In Connect Four, you have to stack four pieces in a
row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Overload requires you to consume
all your opponents by causing tiles to explode, while Dominate is a game
where you win by surrounding your opponent with your colored tiles. Confused
yet? That's because Alternate Logic Puzzles combine so many different gameplay
elements by putting all these games in a tight little package.
In terms of control, the keyboard interface
is fine. But the pace of Alternate Logic Puzzles is a little fast, and
after a while the mind can begin to drift. This is when some mouse support
would have come in handy with this particular game.
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
||Trying to pull a story out of Alternate
Logic Puzzles would be like pulling a rabbit out of thin air; it just isn't
|Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience
can be repeated again and again
|While the game can certainly be a challenge
on your own, Alternate Logic Puzzles is really best played as a multi-player
game. Regardless of how well the computer AI is programmed, many of these
puzzle games are classics that have been played and emulated many times
before. Also, you're bound to be better at one of the puzzle mini-games
moreso than the other three, making that one your automatic favorite to
run to if things get too difficult. In other words, don't battle too many
computer opponents until you're good and ready.
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought
|With four very different challenges to
choose from, there's bound to be one puzzle mini-game among the bunch that
takes some practice to master. It all depends on which of generation of
puzzle games you've grown up with, since each of these games were popular
at different times. For example, I'm pretty good with Connect Four and
Lights Out, but it took quite a bit of practice until I was comfortable
with both Dominate and Overload.
Alternate Reality also stated that the
game is near impossible when playing against the full seven possible computer
opponents in the multi-player games like Dominate and Overload. I certainly
agree with them; I had a hard time handling three computer opponents, let
alone seven! Sometimes it feels like the computer players are working with
each other to topple you, especially when you're vastly outnumbered. Still,
the challenge is adjustable, so you can let off a couple of CPU players
when things get frustrating.
As for the Lights Out and Connect Four
games, the challenge gradually increases for Lights Out as you clear the
levels. Connect Four was a little easy though, and once you know how to
beat the computer you won't have a tough time doing it again.
|Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
|Some games need a little love to be truly
enjoyed. Because the puzzle mini-games span across four generations of
videogames, you have to learn how to play all four games before you can
start having fun. There isn't a demo tutorial to teach you how to play
any of these games either, so you have to settle on reading the text file
that accompanies Alternate Logic Puzzles to play the game properly. This
extra reading can certainly be a chore, but once you finish reading and
you get into the game, you'll realize the full genius with which Alternate
Reality Entertainment programmed the computer AI in Alternate Logic Puzzles.
There are a few faults in the design though.
In the many times I played Overload (which turned out being my favorite
of the bunch), the game froze once because I tried an unorthodox move and
the green player couldn't find a logical countermove for my turn. Then
there's the non-randomness of the computer's technique in Connect Four.
But comparatively these faults are somewhat remedied by the game's multi-player
support. If you can find some friends, then that's when Alternate Logic
Puzzles can really be the tour de force that it's supposed to be.
Alternate Logic Puzzles Reviewed by
|Genre: Puzzle Game
||To solve: N/A Final Rating: 12/35
To download this game, click here.
you're unzipping this program in DOS, you may have to use the -d option.
play Alternate Logic Puzzles, unzip the file and run "PUZZLE.EXE".
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