Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Famimaga Disk Vol. 1 - Hong Kong (Famicom Disk System)

This is only going to be a shortish review, because there are Playstation games about which I intend to write, but I like to ensure a bit of variety by making sure that each new review is a different genre and system than the previous one. So the first update in months, and it's essentially filler. Woo.
So! I recently started exploring the romset of the Famicom Disk System for the first time, and found out about a few cool games I hadn't played before (plus versions of Metroid and Kid Icarus that allow for saving). Anyway, this is the one about which I have chosen to write, because it took me by surprise, I hadn't heard of it before, and since it was apparently a coverdisk for a Japanese magazine twenty years ago, I'm sure it fulfills the obscurity quota.
So, looking at the screenshot, you might make the same mistake that I did on first sight of this game and think it's a Shanghai clone. It's not. It's actually slightly more complicated than Shanghai. Although you are removing tiles in the right order, so it is a bit like Shanghai.
What happens is, you are given this arrangement of tiles (there are a few shapes from which to choose, plus an option to create your own, and before you start, you enter a 3-letter code, which decides how the tiles will be arranged, which I guess means there are... 17576 different tile arrangements for each shape), and you can take away one tile at a time. The game randomly (I think) decides what character of tile you can take, and you recieve between 20 and 320 points for removing a tile, depending on how many other tiles are touching it, more tiles touching equalling more points. The catch being that if a tile doesn't have any others touching it from below, it falls and your game ends, which makes going for the big-money tiles inside the pile a lot riskier than the 20-80 point ones on the outside. Clever!
But is it actually fun to play? It's alright. A nice enough diversion to emulate on a handheld or laptop while watching TV, but not interesting enough to devote a decent amount of time or concentration to. And you probably won't play more than one game in a row without getting bored of it.

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