By Chris Smith and Colin Fisher-McAllum
Sky-Fall is a Falcon specific game requiring 4Mb of ram and just about any monitor - RGB, VGA or TV. Control is via the keyboard, joystick or Jag joypad. Up to 4 people can play individually or in a head to head competitive game.
It's a rather small program, only 400k, that includes a 30k text file which explains most of the game. Run the program and you see a short, but sweet introduction, 3 screens telling you what the game is and who wrote it. With the introduction the music starts, at first the music sounds a bit weird, but as the drums and other instruments are added, it gets better. That is until you've been listening to it for about 20 minutes, it then becomes irritating while trying to concentrate on a game, but a press of F2 and all is quiet again.
The tiles drop in groups of three and in time honoured manner, your job is to try to arrange them in lines of three or more matching tiles. These are removed from the gameplay area and the remaining tiles drop to fill the gaps. The normal side to side movement and vertical exchange of the falling tiles is supplemented with 45% rotation. There is more than a touch of Tetris as well as Columns to Sky-Fall. As you would expect the play gets faster and harder as the game progresses. When the tiles reach the sky it's... Game Over... or is it? Well for the normal game it is, but there is more than one game!
How about playing the opposite of the normal game? In Build-Up you must try not to make matches and fill up the board. Points are deducted for all unfilled spaces in the board. I personally liked this twist of the conventional.
The third game is, Removal. It's similar to normal except part of the board is already filled before the game starts. Some matches may already be waiting in the pre-prepared board but they will not be triggered until you have made your own first match.
Each of the three games can be played in one of 4 board sizes. You can even choose how you want the tiles to fall. Normal, the speed never increases - Incremental, the speed increases with each level - Off, easy-peasy wimps version... the tiles pause in the sky and only move when you pull them! Level end can be set to a time limit, a given number of tiles, reaching a given score or none - you stay in the same level for ever. Another level end setting can be selected but requires a little explanation. Race- This is a race against the clock! A given number of tiles have to be placed in a given time limit. You are working against the clock. If all the tiles are placed within the time limit you move on to the next level, otherwise you die!
Add to this the selection of Easy, Medium or Hard play levels and you can see this is a very configurable game. In the multiplayer mode you can even select to have all players having the same tiles, this gives no single player the advantage of luck.
Finally, there are Ghosts. These are special tiles that effect the gameplay. When triggered in single player mode the ghosts will have detrimental effect on your game, so you have to work to avoid matching them. However, in multiplayer mode the disaster is cast upon your opponent. There are a number of Ghost tiles and they all have different effects. For example the controls can be reversed, the tiles drop faster or you lose control all together for a while.
A Tetris/Columns clone maybe, but there is so much game play here that
it is a must for all Falcon owners who enjoy an occasionally game. How
much is Sky-Fall, œ20? œ15? œ10? No, it's sharware and registration is
only œ5. Sky-Fall+, a new version especially for registered users is
expected soon. It will include 8 extra ghost effects and some sound
samples. I cannot stress enough that you'd be daft not to register
this game. œ5 is a small portion of it's worth and each registration
encourages The Reservoir Gods to continue their Falcon support.