Genre: Puzzle Developer: Jack Nolddor Publisher: 1985 Alternative Players: 1 Released: 2014
Spanish publisher 1985 Alternativo have been really productive since the release of the port/remake of Oh Mummy! in 2012. Since then, they have also re-released the Taiwanese shoot -’em-up Magic Girl and a port of the ZX Spectrum homebrew Uwol: Quest for Money for the Mega Drive. However, with the release of SupraKillMinds by Jack Nolddor this summer, we get the first completely new game from them.
Since this is a new release, I find it appropriate to talk a bit about the packaging and the design. The game comes in a “borrowed” official Sega box and the cartridge shell is that of a Russian pirate as far as I know. It looks a bit like a 32X cartridge. Compared to the Oh Mummy! Genesis cart, the build quality seems fine. The printed insert and manual uses the early black grid design and looks quite authentic. All in all, I think the physical material is of good but not great quality.
And now onto the game itself. SupraKillMinds is a puzzle game but not quite like Columns, Puyo Puyo, and the like. Here, you have a box in the center, and one above, under, to the left and to the right of it. In the centered box you’ll get a ¼ piece of a gem, which you have around two seconds to place into one of the other boxes, using the corresponding part of the D-pad. Then, another piece of a gem appears, and you’re job is to make complete gems in the four outer boxes. Here is the catch: the gem pieces appear in four different colours and combining colours detracts points when the gems are completed. A gem with four different colours only give 10 points, while a gem with one colour gives 300. If your time runs out or if you place a top-right piece where there already is one, you’ll lose a life. You have five lives at the beginning, but you can get more by clearing all the four outer boxes. For every 1000 points, the timer is shortened a bit, though I never noticed that to be honest.
SupraKillMinds is advertised as a game which will make your brain melt. If they by that meant that it’s addicting, they are spot on, as when you turn it on ”to play for just five minutes,” you’ll soon realize those minutes pass too quickly and you’ll play it again and again. The game is simple, but fun. It doesn’t irritate you like Zoop does, and I think I’ve had more fun with this one actually.
There isn’t much to say about the graphics. They have a nice blue checkered background and everything looks clean, well presented for your viewing pleasure. There are two music tracks in the game, and they sound great. They sound like typical chiptunes, backed by a strong sound engine which reminds me of Socket/Time Dominator. The tune played during actual gameplay is long and varied, which is good as you’ll listen to it quite a lot.
Reviewing this game and giving it a fair score wasn’t quite a cakewalk. It’s easy to have “homebrew/new release glasses” on while writing about a game like this, which in other words would mean a kiss-ass score based on the fact that it’s a new game alone, to help the sales increase and with that encourage the developer to make more new games… you get it. But the game is good, no doubt about it. As said, it’s addictive and fun. The presentation and the audiovisuals get the job done. Still, it is quite on the minimalistic side to say so, with only one game mode and a single gameplay screen. Some developers prefer to have it this way, but for a higher score I’d expect a bit more meat on the bones: more game modes (perhaps two players?), difficulty settings and additional music tracks and backgrounds. Hopefully Jack Nolddor will have this in mind for his next project (if there is one. I hope so!). To say the least, it’s quite promising to start off with something rivaling the famous Zoop!
SCORE: 6 out of 10