the writings of a mind

Title: Archipelagos 2000
Genre: Not sure
Strap: Didn’t you just love the Eighties? No? Oh.

Ahhhhh, the Eighties. What a decade. Cast your mind back to those neon-lit days of big hair and Duncan Dares, to the sounds of The Bangles and the clicking of Rubik’s Cubes, and of course to the glorious Atari ST.

The ST - what a machine. In those days, upgrading meant getting a B Drive so that you wouldn’t have to change discs during Leisure Suit Larry. In those days, 3D graphics meant pencil-thin frameworks and hideous refresh rates. In those days, games were bloody weird.

And one such game was Archipelagos. Your aim was to clear levels by destroying stones that provide power for an Obelisk, whilst avoiding plant life and the ever-increasing volume of blood on the ground. So the usual run-of-the-mill stuff then. But in the days of Sentinel, Impossible Mission 2 and Buggy Boy, such gameplay would not raise an eyebrow. Our palettes had yet to taste the sweet flavours of blood-stained frag-fests or intricately planned real time strategy.

Now, like an ice-man frozen for millions of years, thawing to wake in a futuristic world, Archipelagos has emerged, crusty-eyed, and donned the coat of the new millennium. Re-written in your new-fangled three dee graphics, using the magic beans hidden on your video cards, is this a case of a dinosaur in a cyber-sheep’s clothing?

Not an easy question to answer… This is not a good game. The graphics are average, and the controls are very annoying. But yet it does have something of the ‘just-one-more-go’ syndrome that all the best puzzle games possess. From Tetris to Snood, most of us at one time have found ourselves stuck playing something over and over, when we should be doing anything else but. Archipelagos however does not quite contain this hypnotic addiction. There is the temptation to play the next level, and then the next, but the temptation is not strong enough to compete with the niggles of the controls, and the quickly increasing repetitiveness.

Perhaps at the friendly price of the Sold Out label Arch 2000 will prove a distraction for a while., but it does not have the strength to pull you back again and again. Right, now for a game of Snood.

 An ancient relic from the passed, that just can’t cut it in today’s shiny world


Tech Specs:

Publisher: Sold Out
Developer: Anthill Studios