Super Game House Collection, by MacPlay
Posted: 13-May-2003

4 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: MacPlay Type: COMMERCIAL

Reviewer: Jim Melton Class: GAMES

The Super Game House Collection CD is a collection of three games:

  1. Super Collapse!
  2. Supper Glinx
  3. Super Nisqually


Author: Game House
Publisher:
MacPlay
Retail: $29.99
Rating: E (Everyone)

Super Collapse! is a full application version of the popular web-based game, Collapse!. In this game you click on sequences of 3 or more colored blocks to remove them from the board, while new blocks are added at the bottom of the screen. At higher levels, the blocks appear increasingly faster. By the time you lose (and it is inevitable) your adrenaline will certainly be flowing.

Super Glinx is a game where you remove colored gems from a playing field by linking similar ones in chains. The longer the chains, the higher your score. This game has a puzzle mode, where you can take your time to figure out your moves, and a tournament mode, where the clock is your enemy.

Super Nisqually is another variation on the 3-in-a-row game, where patterned stones must be moved around (by switching with a neighbor) to create sequences. When a sequence of three (or more -- it is possible to link up to five with some forethought) stones is formed, the matching stones disappear. However, in this game when the last stone in a column is removed, it is no longer possible to move stones across the gap, so careful planning is required. Each level has a minimum number of stones to remove. Failure to remove that many when you have no more moves left ends the game.

All three games evidently share a common framework that has been well polished. The graphics are simple, as befits the arcade style of the games, but with sufficient detail (texturing, 3-D effects) to make it clear that these are current generation. The background music is appropriate, increasing in intensity with the game. For the best experience, enable full-screen mode.

Whether you enjoy these games depends on what kind of games you prefer. I dislike tetris-like games, like Super Collapse!, yet I find myself strangely addicted to them. After each loss I grumble, then immediately try again to see if I can do better. The first levels are quite easy, but the levels get uncomfortably hard very quickly.

I didn't find Super Glinx enjoyable at all. There was not enough information (perhaps some demo levels would help) to develop a strategy, and not enough feedback to let me know if my chosen strategy was working. I could not always discern between legal and illegal moves (except I couldn't make illegal ones!), so the timed mode was too frustrating, and the puzzle mode (exact same layout, only without the clock) was not challenging. I could always figure out a way to clear the board, I just never knew if it was a good one or not.

Super Nisqually reminded me of Tessarae (one of my all time favorite games), but the game play was too similar to Super Collapse! to hold my attention. It is a game where you can take time to plan out your strategy (although a bonus clock does count down) without the frantic rush to make a play of Super Collapse!.

The minimum requirements for these games are a G3 running OS X 10.1.5 with 128MB of RAM and an 8MB video card. I tested them on an 800MHz eMac and they performed flawlessly.

On a lark, I put the CD in my 400MHz G3 8500 running OS 9. Surprisingly, Super Collapse! included an OS 9 version of the game (although none of the other games would run). When it ran, it behaved just like on the eMac, but it did lock up several times requiring a force quit. All the games are advertised as being OS X only, so use the OS 9 version at your own risk.

Summary
This CD includes three games suitable for family entertainment. The three games appeal to three different types of gamers, so at least one of them is likely to be a pleaser to each family member. The graphics are crisp, and the overal visual experience is excellent.
This is a great family entertainment package, and although your mileage may vary, I highly recommend it.

Pros:

  • Straightforward arcade-style play
  • Full-screen mode
  • OS X native

Cons:

  • OS X only
  • Simplistic strategies may get boring too soon


Overall Rating:

4 out of 5 Mice