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==  Review: Conundrum                                 By: Jason Compton  ==
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From the cellar of Pete Storonskij comes Conundrum, his latest offering to
the shareware game market.  You remember Pete "Mangled Fenders", don't
you?

He's a great guy.  Hell of a programmer, and quite creative.  Well,
actually, I don't know if he's a great guy, I'm only basing that on his
penchant to send me his games for free.

Anyway, Pete was inspired by hexagonal bathroom floor tile enough to write
Conundrum, which I suppose must be described as a puzzle game.  I've always
had mixed feelings about puzzle games.  I guess I just feel stupid when I'm
unable to do well at them.  Conundrum seems to be designed for people like
me...it has a VERY gentle learning curve.  The flip side of that is that
experienced players have to start at very high levels, but I'll get to
that.

The game is laid out on a flat hexagonal grid.  Levels start with a pattern
of tiles on the grid, with numbers ranging from 1-9.  You have to use your
tiles, which can be numbered from 1-9, to change all numbered tiles to
blank tiles.  When you put two tiles next to each other, they "negate"
based on who has what number.  If the numbers match, they're both negated.

Sounds easy?  Yeah, it is, when you get the hang of it.  Your only two
enemies are the clock (10 seconds to make each move-blow it, and the game's
over) and the possibility that you can "trap" numbered tiles entirely
inside of negated tiles.  Your only hope then is to blow them up, which is
something you can do when you start getting blow-up tiles in your arsenal.

This is fun.  I like it a lot.  After a while, the first 50 levels or so
are nearly no challenge, so it's a good thing he lets you start at 1 up to
100 in intervals of 10.

The most striking thing about the game is the way it plays...it's sharp,
snappy, and again, fun.  The least striking thing is the sound.  Bad, bad,
bad.  Please, audio artists, help Pete out in the future...

Incidentally, Pete is now selling his entire collection of games for a mere
US$10.  If he hadn't given them to me already, I'd buy them.  :) It's
really a good deal, breaking down to $2.00 per game, and the mileage on
them (especially Conundrum and Mangled Fenders) is considerable.

Conundrum is, in short, an enjoyable and reasonably laid-back puzzle game.
You won't get a head rush, but you won't get ulcers, either.

Pete W. Storonskij
200 'A' St.
Lincoln, Nebraska  68502
USA