It's fun being the boss. That way you get to pick and choose which games you review. If you can't there's not much point in being the Ed, is there?
Solomon's Key is one of my favourite arcade games - and this is a very good conversion - right down to the tinkling little tune. OK, so the graphics can't hope to match up to the arcade original, but the boys from Probe have managed to capture the feel and the addictiveness of the original.
The idea is pretty simple. You play the part of an explorer searching a lost temple for the key to Solomon's treasure. You play the part of an explorer searching a lost temple for the key to Solomon's treasure. You explore a network of rooms - screens to you - jam-packed with puzzles and goodies to collect.
Each room is a network of stone blocks which can be destroyed and recreated by your explorer at will. Some blocks hide goodies which can be collected. Some blocks are indestructible.
Most screens are inhabited by nasties who are out to get you at every turn.
More complex and dangerous hazards and combinations of blocks appear as you progress through the game.
The aim on each screen is to collect a key which opens the door to the next level - while at the same time scooping up goodies for bonus points and extra lives.
The game is really pure arcade strategy. Find the best route to the key and the door within the time limit.
Watch out for useful objects - like fireballs which add to your limited defensive capabilities.
If you don't have them, you have to dodge the nasties and create barriers.
Talking of blocks - which we'll do a lot of in this review - you can sometimes swap around hidden objects by destroying and replacing blocks.
Watch out for the messages which appear on some screens - solve the puzzles they pose and you'll gain entrance to the bonus mystery screens - just like the arcade version.
Solve the riddles - like "Cast a spell on the key at III III" What this means is that you must wave your wand at the key in level III-III to get to the bonus level.
You may think fairies are weedy little creatures - but when they appear in this game you better grab them quick - they grant you an extra life.
Don't sneer at the Speccy version's weak graphics, look behind him and play the game. It's just as playable as the other versions.
Loads of screens, tons of fun and hours of totally absorbing gameplay make Solomon's Key a must for your summer holiday entertainment. It's an ideal mixture of Bombjack and that all time C&VG fave Pengo.