I love a good 'Tetris'-style puzzler; and thankfully, we have a great little mini-game to enjoy right here (as an online play or ROM download). Yes, it's 'Clicks!' It's got the colored squares. It's got the 'ding!' sound effects. And it's got that taxing quality which inhabits 'Tetris' and 'Columns': which is a good thing! Are you looking for a nice little puzzle game to fill that vacant spot on your Lynx SD cartridge? Well, 'Clicks!' may be the game for you.
'Clicks!' is a game that involves a bright and colorful set of squares on a screen. As the player, all you have to do is identify the colored squares that are in "groups". There may be two red squares next to each other, or perhaps six blue squares on top of each other. Click on them, and they're gone! The squares on top of the disappearing squares will tumble down, and then you must do it all again. The key to winning is to try and make sure that falling squares are making new "groups" of squares, thus resulting in new groups to clear. Clear them all, and you beat the game!
Besides the nice little 3D graphic on the title screen, the visuals are kept very basic on 'Clicks!' And that's kind of the point. It's not really designed to be graphically incredible, with knock-your-socks-off effects. The menu screen even looks a bit like something you would see on a Microsoft Office application, but the ensuing in-game graphics are very Lynx-like. The best thing is the color of the squares, which are vivid. It's always nice to see bright colors on the Lynx. There is no doubt that more care on the graphics would have really enhanced this game, but the visuals are certainly functional enough.
Sound-wise, there's a nice little ditty at the beginning of the game, but from that point forward, every square that gets cleared produces a 'ding!' effect. If this game were ever to be updated, an atmospheric soundscape and some digital effects certainly would not go astray. They would really elevate the sounds and music of the game to higher plains. Still, this is the kind of game that involves contemplation, so a lack of sound is less a problem in this kind of game than it would be in another kind of game.
The controls are very easy to get used to. There's no need at all for complex instructions. All you need to do is select the groups of squares, which create a kind of "highlight" effect each time they are selected. Then, click them to send them on their way. It's always easy to see what has been selected, and easy to eliminate the squares. You actually can set the game so that you can eliminate single tiles also (on the menu screen). This makes the game very easy to complete! Also, you can choose to have four tile colors rather than five (to make the game less complex). The only other thing you get to control is putting in your initials at the end of the game; for high score purposes. If it wasn't for some of these control changes, I must admit the game would not be getting the final score it has received; these additions add much needed variety to the game!
As far as longevity goes, there are some good things and some not so good things. The good thing is that there is a bit of a replay value in trying to get the best score (which is saved onscreen at the end of your game). It's certainly a challenge to beat the game without the ability to dissolve single squares, and I found myself coming back to it. The not so good thing is that it's the same visuals and same sound each time you play; there's no change of board design, no different music… these things could have really made the game more exhilarating to play. I should add that there is a little "Copy Game" function, and I have no idea what it is for (and it seems to "send" data somewhere). I haven't found out what that does, but it looks like it once had (or has) a purpose for being there.
Overall, there's a lot to like about this little game. It definitely lacks some polish, like crafted graphics and stellar sound. That would have sent the final score upwards, easily. In the end though, you can't fault the game's premise. It's a great little puzzler mini-game, and has plenty of challenge. It is certainly a "just one more go" game, and one that would be fun to share around with the crew. And there are a couple of in-game options to enhance things too. As it stands, if you are into these kinds of puzzlers, it's definitely worth having a go and seeing what 'Clicks!' is all about. Simple, fun and a bit of a brain-teaser. Good show!Score Card
This review was submitted by Jon Mc from JMac Productions