Wild, though not quite wonderful, Loriciel continue their policy of weirdness
Oh you French, you are so amusing. Your countryside is beautiful. Your wine, women and song are quite nice too. But your names and your software... Your names and your software are oh, so silly (but often entertaining with it).
This one's a case in point - stupid storyline (it's so rubbish I'm not going to recount it) masking a rather silly game. At first the idea seems like nothing special (rather reminiscent of S.T.U.N. Runner in fact) - speed down increasingly twisty, turny and lengthy polygon tunnels in space as quickly as possible in an effort to earn points. And win.
The tunnels actually form bridges between planets - well, planets and their moons - to create a level structure. You basically race from one moon to the next (there are usually three or four), collecting a password from each one so you don't have to replay from the very beginning, until the planet itself is reached and subsequently 'cleansed' (don't ask). You then move on to the next 'system'.
En route there are coloured shapes to pick up for special features. There are 'Winking Red' 'T' Shapes for Extra Time, 'Winking Yellow' Diamond Shapes for Bonus Points, Green Triangles for Extra Lives, Green Diamonds for Speed Up, Red Diamonds for Slow Down, 'Winking Red' Triangles for Teleportation, Red Squares for Spring-Board... you get the idea. The Bonus Points collected are traded in shops for lives, time and temporary invulnerability.
So that's Psybord pretty much in a nutshell. The reasons for it being as ploppy as it actually is are as follows: For a start, the 'courses' are poorly designed and don't allow the player to settle in (the player's penalised heavily for his mistakes, too). The colour scheme could be better for the course too, as the special features aren't always as obvious as they could be.
Secondly, the password business is pointless. If the product was sensibly designed in the first place, passwords wouldn't be necessary. Skillful play should be enough to see you through.
Thirdly, you get killed often and find you have to sit through a dull intro sequence before you can get back into the game - a true will-sapper if ever there was one.
It's true that once you overcome the initial frustration, begin to learn the layouts and get your speed up, the adrenalin flows and it all feels remarkably satisfying, but it's still gameplay on a very simple level. Even if Psyborg had been done properly it really should be budget-priced - at this cost it'll only gather the smallest audience of surreal-sensation seekers, and that's really all it deserves.
The Bottom Line
Erm... interesting. It's a flawed but shallowly playable variation on the racing theme. Worth a look.