Quedex (Thalamus) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By Thalamus
Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #49


It will be the worst disaster ever to befall the games business if Delta and now Quedex programmer - Stavros Fasoulus - makes this his last game.

The word is that he is shortly to be drafted by the Norwegian army for a year and it is not certain if he will resume his game design career afterwards.

Delta proved that he knew how to make the C64 sing now Quedex proves that he also knows what makes a great game. So Stavros - on behalf of C64 gamers everywhere, please come back.

Quedex is probably the most original game of the year - though still highly playable arcade fare.

You control a metallic ball - like a pinball bearing - that has to be successfully steered through ten planes - completing various tasks as you go.

Plane 1 is a training level for the following nine levels - teaching you many of the basic control techniques you will need to master the game. It does this by a series of sub planes. Short little bouts against the clock to teach you the ropes.

Plane 2 is for real. Pick up the keys to open the doors. Its background graphics and the fact that it has teleports automatically makes you think of Gauntlet. But there isn't much of a comparison - other than the visuals. Quedex is much more of a cerebral challenge. Certain invisible keys only appear when you are close to them - so you need to keep your eyes fixed on the screen intently. Your aim is to find the 'Goal' and end the level.

Plane 3 is similar to the above but this time you have to find four hidden amulets - and when I say hidden I mean very well hidden. Phew.

Plane 4 not my favourite this one. You can only move the bearing left and right to avoid obstacles - as the chequered backdrop scrolls speedily up screen.

Plane 5. The best of them and I have to say if this neat little game was launched as a cheapo all by itself I would be raving about it. It's a bit difficult to explain though, so listen carefully. You have to make the whole background area turn into patterned floor tiles. You do this by making contact with them. Easy? No, nt quite, because there are also flashing squares that have the effect of toggling whole vertical columns in between on and off, and safe black squares. You can hop from square to square by pressing fire and pushing the joystick in the direction you want to jump. I played this game for hours. The other eight or nine planes are a bonus to me.

Plane 6. The goal is very difficult to find on this strange and difficult level. Question marks are to be collected as you pursue your search for it. Weird things happen on this plane - like being sucked into a pipe and forced through its twisting turning route.

Plane 7. A nasty one - once you enter it you have to complete it - hardly fair.

Plane 8 - is more of a race against time than the other levels. There are four keys to be collected before the ground literally disappears from beneath your feet. Speed is of the essence.

Plane 9 - is the nearest thing to slam dancing I have ever seen on a computer game and my next favourite after number five. Your objective is to destroy blocks by bumping into them to the accompanying sound of loud crashes and bangs. Extra speed will increase your destructive power.

Plane 10 - people are going to say that this level is like Bounder, Ball Blazer and the like but the similarity is purely visual. Again, you are trying to reach goal - but ny negotiating different heights of obstacles - recognisable from the varying shades of grey. Another tough one.

Each of the planes in Quedex is a challenge in its own right and different games players are going to choose different ones as their favourites. The important thing to bear in mind is that they are all connected - in that the master screen totals all your bonuses as you progress through the levels.

Graphics and sound are both superb in Quedex - offering a great variety of each and best of all without the use of multi-load. All levels are selected quickly and efficiently by three quick clicks of the fire button.

A strange game but a great game. It's going to be 'cult' to play it so if you want to stay crucial, bitchin', and bad, I'd seriously start thinking about swapping some cash for this one.

Eugene Lacey

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