C64 Review of Oops! from Issue 40

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How can you refuse? You've been given the chance to control a lone space time control quadroid in a 32 screen arcade puzzle game. The ultimate aim is to collect eight glowing gravity pods scattered around the grid of pathways in the space time continuum, whilst avoiding evil meanies and treacherous footing within the imposed time limit.

Three lives are initially provided, although extra lives, time extensions and bonus points are all available by running over question marks etched on certain tiles. As with most games, this one has its fair share of mean 'n' nasty villians: here an orange electron ball and Rimlords ceaselessly follow the player's every move. Hesitate too long, and blammo!

The pathway itself is also dangerous, since some tiles crumble as the quadroid passes over them (any subsequent movement over such tiles causes them to collapse and hurl the player into the atomic gravitational void). Others disappear and reappear at regular intervals, thus requiring careful timing to cross - missing these condemns you to a similarly terminal fate.

In your defence is the ability to drop and remotely detonate a small explosive device, useful when being harassed by the nasties. Equally helpful are the matter transporter devices scattered around the screen: landing on one of these transports the quadroid onto a predetermined tile elsewhere.

Once the eight pods have been collected, it's onto the next fun-filled level. After every two have been completed, a bonus round appears: this hasn't got any meanies but has a low time limit which gives you the chance to collect a much needed bonus - but only if you're quick!

This review was typed in/OCRed by Luke

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In the spirit of ZzapBack, you can have your say about how the game reviewed above, stands up in the cold light of today. Has it aged badly or is it still worth a few plays? Read other peoples thoughts and post your own.

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Paul Sumner
I can assure you that Oops! wasn't the first word that sprang to mind in my early attempts at the game; suffice to say that it's unrepeatable in a family magazine, (Is this a family magazine? -Ed) although it did consist of four letters. However, after much patient play I found it to be a challenging and (on the whole) pleasantly frustrating game. Graphically it's good, the only real pain in the bot being the eye-boggling backdrop, which scrolls around whilst the foreground remains stationary. This causes severe eye strain, and does nothing to aid concentration. Despite that small moan, Oops! is a competent arcade strategy game, and I hope to see more of The Big Apple's software in the near future.
Paul Glancey
Big Apple have certainly started their label on the right foot with Oops!. Like all the best puzzle games, this one doesn't look that special, but so many fast-moving hostile elements makes collecting Gravo-pods horribly frenetic and so play is very addictive. At first, the ruthlessness of the computer may be so frustrating as to be demoralising, but Oops! is very much a pattern game so after a few goes the player quickly learns where the next Gravo-pod is going to appear, allowing fast and easy progress. The only irritating part of the game for me was the distracting background which constantly scrolls behind the grid - I'm sure that the gaudy colours and perpetual motion could induce eyestrain during concentrated sessions. Otherwise graphics and sound are competent enough not to detract from the overall aura of quality and if I were you I would definitely have a hunt on the software shelves for this.
Gordon Houghton
Though this doesn't rank alongside the great Commodore puzzle games, it's still very compelling. The action is simply a matter of learning patterns - there's no random element to make things any more difficult - but even so it's very morish because of the points-for-time-remaining scoring system. Graphically and sonically it's nothing special: the colours are an odd mixture of garish shades and the effects are pretty nondescript. However, when it comes to gameplay you can't put your joystick down: you make just enough progress each game to get you tearing your hair out and wanting more. The only major question mark is against lastability - the levels are hard but they don't last forever; even so, take a look.
Adequate instructions, but it lacks a demo mode or two player facility.

Large, brightly coloured sprites charge around a mind-boggling backdrop.

Pleasant title tune coupled with functional sound effects.

Initial frustration almost causes joystick destruction

Persistence reaps rich rewards, and many hours of puzzling action can be enjoyed.

A challenging arcade strategy game that should appeal to many fans of the genre.