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Review – Amnesia for Amstrad CPC

“THE MOST AMAZING GAME EVER WRITTEN IN BASIC” says the opening screen.  Ha-ha this game should be interesting I thought.  A coder who isn’t shy, boasting about his own game.  How original and probably the first time I have seen that when I have loaded up a game, generally speaking, Amstrad CPC coders are a humble lot.  Normally, I have a bad feeling towards games with such high personal gloating, especially those coded in basic, but the main title had me intrigued.  It is different, with some really nice clear catchy tunes play while a message introduces you to the game called  Amnesia.
Starting off more like a demo, than a game, I really needed to see how Amnesia washed up.  You are required to press space bar to continue, then the window changes and gives you the instructions in French, to bypass this and get to the game just press the ESC key.  Amnesia’s presentation is rather impressive when you take into account it is coded in basic, so hats off to the coder, David Amonou alias Rudiger (also coded Lights Out and Logical Head for the Amstrad CPC a year earlier, in 1997), who coded Amnesia in 1998 almost a massive 20 years ago, it really does look pretty cool for an Amstrad CPC basic game.amnesia_001
Starting the game is easy but being able to develop an understanding for it may take a little time.  It reminds me of minesweeper style games on the PC but not quite exactly the same game.  Amnesia is a mix of a few styles.  The playing areas consists of an 8 square by 8 square playing board and on the outside are numbers which represent rows and columns.  You have to match the numbers on the outside of the playing board by filling it with dots which can be done by using keys – the space bar and arrow keys to move around the board.  It starts off simple but as you get the hang of it then it becomes much harder.

To understand the gameplay this maybe of some help.  The numbers in the columns and rows are the sequences of the filled dots.

If a column has 2 2 at the start and its 5 squares wide, then it will be ooxoo
If a Column has3 1, it would be oooxo.

If it had 1 1 1, it would be oxoxo.

But if it just has 2, it could be ooxxx, xooxx, xxoox or xxxoo.

The same applies for the rows.

So to proceed further then you need to match the number sequences on the outside of the board by placing o’s and x’s on the board.  The o’s and x’s are made by using the spacebar or small enter key on the number pad.  The graphics aren’t spectacular but there is a nice colour scheme and they don’t clash.  I like the freelance drawing of fonts and use of different lengths and heights.  They do suit the game and the board is clear and isn’t difficult to see so doesn’t detract from playing.

The game uses lovely CPC Mode 0 for its graphics, with a 128kb minimum requirement to play the game.  Tune wise the music on the title screen really good but in game just some beeps but when you complete a level it makes a nice bang crash, a different way of letting you know you completed the level.  It’s a mind tester so not everyone will like it but it’s an easy game to pick up, eventually.

There are 20 levels to solve so it loses some staying power and the instructions would have been great if they were in English as well but that’s the breaks sometimes.

There is an option to skip levels with the money you earn by beating earlier levels and from what the coder wrote in his messages at the title screen it appears there are some files somewhere that u can gain access to play more than 20 levels but not sure where they are or what the coder meant by this.

GFX 55%
SFX 55%
GRF 50%
STP 30%
Overall rating 55%

GFX = Graphics
SFX = sounds
GRF = grab factor
STP = staying power

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