“Ye cannae change the laws of physics, Jim!” Well that may be so, but in this game, it’s all about the electrons. Push ones of the same colour together and they disappear; different colours clashing creates new electrons of another shade. There’s a bit more to it than this, but that’s the basic idea. And with you controlling a ship on the microscopic scale using Asteroids / Thrust style controls to push the electrons around, the end result is a fun and incredibly challenging action puzzle game.
Fortunately, there are different game modes, some of them more forgiving. And you may well need to hone your skills there before going on to even the Normal mode, which has a pretty unforgiving time limit even on the earliest levels! This was in an age that didn’t necessarily believe in easing you into a game gently… The graphics are okay and feature some nice animations and effects. There’s a fairly funky piece of music playing on the menu screen, but to be honest, the in-game sound effects are pretty awful; it’s much better played with the sound off.
E-Motion was, as you can see from the title screen above, created by The Assembly Line and published by good old US Gold. The Assembly Line was also responsible for one of the best known 16-bit puzzle games, Pipe Mania. E-Motion has a slightly strange mix of arcade and puzzle, but well worth checking out if you like a good challenge.
As a stand-alone single player puzzler, it would be pretty good anyway, but the addition of a co-operative two-player mode gives it an extra lease of life. Like most puzzle games, it can get a little repetitive after a while, but overall the level design does a pretty good job of introducing new challenges and keeping things interesting. If you can grab a friend, it’s double the fun, and I’d definitely recommend that if you get the chance.