by Pete Cooke
Firebird Software Ltd
Crash Issue 51, Apr 1988   page(s) 23

Producer: Firebird
Retail Price: £1.99
Author: Peter Cooke

The objective of Zolyx is to fill in an empty screen by enclosing areas with straight lines, which then automatically fill with colour. Lines are drawn by a cursor which is directed around the screen, and constantly moving balls are avoided since contact with the cursor, or any part of an incomplete line, signals the loss of a life.

Continuous line length is limited by a glowing ball which chases the cursor after a set time. Again, a life is lost should the ball and cursor touch.

At least 75% of the area must be filled in within the time limit to allow progress to the next level. For every percentage above 75 bonus points are awarded. Each level successfully completed sees an extra ball is added to the screen.


Joysticks: Cursor. Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: serve their purpose
Sound: simpler than simple
Options: definable keys

When Zolyx was first released on the Commodore it was met by almost universal acclaim. Surprisingly, this conversion is an unmitigated disaster. No satisfaction is to be gained from transforming the screen; the blocks have different textures, are divided by thick black lines and combine to form an ugly patchwork of motley patterns and hues. The killer ball, introduced specifically for the Spectrum, makes long sweeping strokes across the screen impossible, and effectively cripples play. Definitely not recommended.

This game is just so unattractive and unaddictive that is isn't even worth £1.99! The graphics... well, are a couple of blobs and dots worth mentioning? Colour is restricted to just one per screen, occasionally being garish and limited to unsatisfactory dot shading. The idea is too simple; attempting to fill in 75% of a screen with shading isn't my idea of fun. Perhaps if there were a few more enemies it might have perked up a bit, but otherwise it just looks like a failed first attempt at programming on a ZX81!

Zolyx is very similar to an Atari game I owned about five years ago called Oix. The idea is simple enough, so what do Firebird think they are doing? They have taken a simple, but pleasantly frustrating game idea, and turned it into this totally unplayable pile of you know what. Graphically Zolyx is totally dire, although gameplay - if possible - is even worse. Firebird have messed the game up something rotten. Whatever you do, DON'T buy this.

Presentation: 30%
Graphics: 18%
Playability: 13%
Addictive Qualities: 10%
Overall: 14%

Summary: General Rating: Zolyx started off as a simple and effective game on the Commodore 64, the programmer has tried to make it what it isn't, complex.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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