Game Over Online ~ Lock'em Up

GameOver Game Reviews - Lock'em Up (c) Ludigames, Reviewed by - Fwiffo

Game & Publisher Lock'em Up (c) Ludigames
System Requirements Palm OS
Overall Rating 77%
Date Published Friday, November 23rd, 2001 at 05:24 PM

Divider Left By: Fwiffo Divider Right

Lock'em Up is one of those titles where the screenshots simply do not realistically portray the nature of the title. A cursory glance at the screenshots will suggest this title may be a static puzzle teaser. In actuality, the characters in the game are mobile and move so fast that your Palm's PDA screen will have trouble keeping up. Lock'em Up is a cute and attractive puzzle game where the goal of the game is to direct certain constantly moving pieces into one of several appropriate exits. For example, the moving triangle piece will want to be directed to the triangular exit point. Each piece will travel at different speeds but will travel in constant motion until it hits a barrier, whether that be an inert block or one of the arrows you can manipulate. Say you want your piece to move upwards, you will put your stylus on the arrow and drag slightly upwards. Thus, the arrows are rather like railway or traffic lights for the individual pieces.

Ludigames has provided a rather humorous backdrop to the game. The various pieces, square, circle, triangle and cross are actually characters. They are, according to the literature, friends, but for some reason cannot touch each other (what strange friends, the literature then exclaims). They are lost in a labyrinth of exactly 35 basements and of course, begin in the last basement so they have 34 more to go. Obviously, one does not pick this game up for its involving plot but I thought it was a nice comical touch. Unfortunately, the accompanying documentation isn't too clear, like the screenshots, on what the actual gameplay is like. The number of basements reflects the number of levels as a whole. The first five levels are actually devoted to teaching you how to play the game. It has a gentle learning curve and I'm sure most people will be able to pick it up easily. The first set, aptly named training levels, help you identify certain patterns or tricks you might need to know. From then on, the developers provide thirty fun-filled levels but none of them are too frustrating to complete. Many puzzle teasers require you to pay attention to inhumane detail. The concept behind Lock'em Up manages to avoid that tedium.

Lock'em Up is presented in a rather bland grid-style format. Indeed, it loses some of its lustre in the monochrome version. With colour, things get vibrant and attractive. Colour, it seems, is becoming increasingly pragmatic on the Palm platform. It is now used for more than merely dressing up the visuals. Like most Palm titles though, Lock'em Up features pretty bland audio effects.

Lock'em Up won't weigh you down too much either financially or space-wise on your PDA. Those with dated black and white PDAs will be happy to know that the monochrome version is slightly smaller than the colour one. Both titles are a little less than half a megabyte, a bit hefty considering the graphical content is not overly sophisticated. Another gripe I had with the game was replay value. Obviously, those who are keen on these types of games might get through the 35 levels pretty quick. In fact, Lock'em Up will help you facilitate that because it is quite an addictive game. If there were a way to add more levels, that would have enhanced the longevity of this title. Instead, you are given the chance to replay past stages and try to break previous time records. A level editor might have been nice too, whether on the PC or in-game itself. Finally, the best feature would have been an automatic level generator. As it stands now, Lock'em Up might clamp up a little prematurely for the more rabid players out there.

[09/10] Addictiveness
[15/20] Gameplay
[12/15] Graphics
[08/10] Interface/controls
[08/10] Program Size
[02/05] Sound
[03/05] Discreetness
[12/15] Learning Curve
[ N/A ] Multiplayer


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