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Reviewed: Flux
Author: Scott Hetherington       Date: December 9th 1999
Page: 2

The Game

Flux is much like Tetris, in that you must align similar shapes and colors in order to advance in the game. That's about where any similarity to most puzzle games ends. In Flux, you can choose from several different sets of "tiles"; marbles, flux, bricks, cards, random, and two jumbles (which are various tiles from differing sets). The object of Flux, depending on which game mode you choose, is to get rid of all the tiles; as many as you can at once using "chains" - a chain being a number of tiles in direct contact with one another.

Vegas, baby.

There are two modes of play: Classic mode, and Challenge mode. In Classic mode, you attempt to get the highest score possible by clearing a map of tiles. In Challenge mode, you work your way through levels, requiring that you clear the map each time to progress. If you don't, you get to redo the map. However, within each of these game types are various game options. You can choose the size of the map you play on (how many tiles are on the map in toal), the type of tiles you use, whether or not there are bombs on the map, the background of the map, the list goes on.

Title Screen
Classic Mode

Sound is a huge feature of Flux; the sound track features fourteen outstanding MODs (you all remember that format, right?) from various amateur artists who are by no means amateur in terms of skill. The sound effects are pretty slick as well, there's nothing quite as satisfying in this game as hearing "outstanding" or "excellent" from the announcer, Quake 3 style. One thing I noticed however: there is a text file in the Flux directory containing a playlist for all the songs Flux uses during gameplay. My guess is that you would be able to add in your own MODs, with a little knowhow. It's too bad the game doesn't support MP3s.

And now onto the meat: the graphics. All of the tiles are ray-traced models, and look very very slick. Some of the backgrounds you can choose from will scroll behind the tiles, which admittedly didn't appeal to me too much. The special effects are what you might expect from a non-accelerated game of this genre: not overly done, but not easily missed. A little eye candy to keep you motivated to blow em up, if you will.


The one feature that truly sets this game apart from the others in the genre is the Uplink. After kicking rear in Classic Mode, you can upload your highest and lowest scores for the various grid sizes, etc to a master server, where you can see how you stack up to people from around the world.

Uplink Main Screen
I suck.

The game itself is fairly straightforward as far as getting used to the interface. To select a string of tiles, simply left click once on one, this will select it, and as many similar tiles touching it as possible. Another click will blow them all up. Simple. One thing I noticed however, is that there is no in-game help option of any kind. Not that the game is really that difficult to figure out anyways; it doesn't take rocket science to figure out that one click selects, and if you click twice, you get to hear real pretty noise and blow stuff up.

It's not like I
played it that much...
(check out the top left

Scoring is straightforward: the more you blow up at once, the more points you get. As far as I could tell, elapsed time is not factored into the final score at the end of a round. So take your time, plan all your moves out, try and find a way to blow it all up at once. I caught myself feeling like a ten year old with dynamite while playing this game.

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Added:  Thursday, December 09, 1999
Reviewer:  Scott Hetherington
Page: 2/4

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