If you told me a year ago my favorite modern game would be published on a platform over 30 years old I would of laughed my arse off.
I mean really, how can a machine with 1mhz processing power and 64k memory provide a gaming experience that blows modern titles out the water?
Well it f***ing does.
Assembloids is a fast paced arcade style puzzle game that has you match quadrants of 4 different faces into 4 boxes, should they make a complete matching face you get more points, and the more points you get the faster the game gets. THATS IT.
This game is the work of Dr Martin Wendt, graphics by Ilija Melenijevic, and the music provided by the insanely talented Owen Crowley. The game is based on the game Quartet by Photon Storm. The concept may not be new but the game still stands by its own merits.
Firstly the game play is perfect, not near perfect... actually perfect. You will never suffer at the hands of unfair mechanics or controls - you have 4 directions, if you pick the wrong one its your own stupid fault. The pacing while initially slow, rapidly picks up speed the more combos you pull off... so the better you are, the harder your going to have to work. Once you have got a few combos under your belt you will start sweating as the game pushes you faster and faster... soon you are relying on your peripheral vision as focusing on anything other than dead center is going to kill you. That's right, the game gets so fast you don't have time to look at the the 4 boxes you are sorting into. It sounds awful right? Its not, its goddamn exhilarating! This game will beat you like the filthy submissive you are, then have you licking boot for more.
Secondly the visuals are great. Graphics are stylish without being pompous, well defined and suitably bright. There isn't much more to say here... its 4 faces! Like Pacman or Tetris, game play is priority here and it has it in spades.
Finally we come to the music. while the titles roll we are treated to some upbeat, Toe Jam n' Earl style 'glitch-hop'... this is the game fooling you. It says play me, 'I wont bite'. By the time your in game you will realize this game wants to shatter ever last nerve you have. During game play you will here a low, sinister ambiance similar to a game-show's countdown. Its there to remind you that your doomed.
This game is crystal meth addictive, cool as ice and hard as nails. It will beat you repeatedly and have you coming back for more.
Verdict: THUMBS UP
Available from RGCD on cartridge, or from the Binary Zone on tape.
RGCD have also generously offered the game as a FREE download via their site.