Game Over Online ~ Atum

GameOver Game Reviews - Atum (c) The Games Kitchen, Reviewed by - Fwiffo

Game & Publisher Atum (c) The Games Kitchen
System Requirements Palm OS 3.0, 232Kb of RAM
Overall Rating 80%
Date Published Thursday, March 7th, 2002 at 06:21 PM

Divider Left By: Fwiffo Divider Right

The premise of Atum reminded me quite a bit of a children's toy where you have these wooden spheres. From these spheres, you can attach connectors and attach those spheres to even more spheres to create some sort of sculpture. Atum is probably a witty name for atoms, the indivisible bases that make up the world as we know it. Like the children's toy I just mentioned, you have to play with connectors to match up certain pieces together. Atum lets you put pieces, some with multiple connectors, some with one connector, on a two dimensional board. From here, you must connect pieces together and once you close the loop, the chain of 'atums' disappears from the board.

It's a passive game without any timers or external pressure to bother you. There's also no end to the game, which was a bit disconcerting to me at first. The only way you can finish is when you fill the board completely with unconnected or disparate pieces. Long before that happens, you'll hopefully have committed suicide by ending the game. There are no aids to help you except the presence of a bomb piece. You get to see the next three pieces and this gives a fair bit of knowledge for you to predict how you'll play the next three turns.

Graphically speaking, Atum is full of visual style. Wherever it can be added, a myriad of colors and decorative illustrations are included. The game also features some interesting personae you can assume. You get to choose between four different cartoon characters and an anonymous guest one. The point is to let you choose a character so you can develop high scores and record progress made by it. For example, the game will notify you if you just broke your personal best. It's a cute way of adding some personality to an otherwise fairly sterile genre.

Atum was obviously created to cater to multi-user gameplay, in the sense that multiple people will be using your PDA. Although you can elect to beam a copy of Atum to your friends, multiplayer is a hotseat affair where both players will try their hands at either thwarting one another's molecules or constructing atom combinations together. Points are accrued separately for each individual player. It would have been nice to substitute this with infrared play or even a computer AI to compete with you. These enhancements would have made for a stronger title.

The whole package takes up little over two hundred kilobytes on your PDA. Moreover, Atum supports a wide variety of Palm OS handhelds since it works on anything that is above Palm OS 3.0. Finally, at a five- dollar price range, you really cannot go wrong with this charming and professional-looking puzzle game.

[08/10] Addictiveness
[15/20] Gameplay
[13/15] Graphics
[09/10] Interface/controls
[09/10] Program Size
[02/05] Sound
[04/05] Discreetness
[12/15] Learning Curve
[ N/A ] Multiplayer


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