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              "AUSBRUCH" - a preview of "STEINBRUCH" by Foundation Two

system .... Falcon o3o, 14 MB RAM (other configs not tested), VGA, Jagpad

genre ..... puzzler

state ..... playable preview ?

release ... 12/2oo4


Here we go again with  a game review for our beloved Falcon, who didn't got that
much items over the past months to play with.

Quite unsuspected  Mad Butscher released  the playable preview of  his game that
was already shown at  the Outline 2k4. Interesting enough, the project was named
"STEINBRUCH" before but it seems that  this "preview" is more or  less the final
game, renamed into "AUSBRUCH", somehow. But who cares about the title really?

The  game was  developped with  Mad Butschers own  game development  tool called
Nonconform  and maybe because of this, it is awfully resource  hungry, but later
for this.

So what is "AUSBRUCH" all about? Just read the following excerpt from the readme


The story so far
Once when the earth was young, the evil emporer from over the mountain
surfed over the Foundation Two page and thought be himself.

I remember the old legend:

Once the 8 Bits were made to rulez da World, but the Carry bit was made
to rule them. So these crazy guys are 9!! They must be stopped.

So the evil emporer from behind the mountain kidnapped the souls of all 9
Members of Foundatin Two and took them to his own world somewhere at the
end of the SIO bus. There he split the souls to thousands of pieces.

This could have been the end of Foundatin Two, but then the lone rider
appears from the north and he weared the great Hammer of Antic.

You are the lone rider and your task is to save all the souls of the
Foundation Two Members. So power on your Falcon and fight the evil
emporer from behind the mountain.


...sorry, I wasn't really able to understand the meaning of this ;)

In fact it is a kind of a puzzle game where your aim is to delete  as much items
on the  playfield as  possible. For this  you find a lot  of different  coloured
items there and if  at least two with the same colour are laying there together,
you can merge/delete  them while  selecting one of them. At next the items above
fall down into the empty places. And so it goes on. If you delete more than just
two or three, you get  extras in form  of numbers. If you have deleted the lower
row completely, another row  appears on top of the screen and with the time some
blocks with numbers apear, too. Those  blocks can be deleted with your extras or
while deleting as much  blocks of the same  colour around them, as the number on
those blocks is. Tricky one, no? You have to play a round to check out the whole
thing and it gets quite mindmelting with the time.

After a while, the playfield looks like this...

Ok, lets take a closer look onto the tech specs. The game wants at least a Fo3o,
but the faster the better. Even though it is just a simple puzzle game, it needs
hardly  an  acceleration card, as  the used  development tool  seems to be quite
un-optimized. On a not accelerated machine it stays playable but is awfully slow
and you can't speak really  of a game flow. You  always wonder if the machine is
hanged  up or if  the  game is  still running, this  goes esp. for the intro and
highscore sequence.

The grafix  are, as always on Foundation Two games, a  matter of taste. They are
that colourful that your eyes  hurt and quite simple at the same. If you ask me,
there  could be a lot done  better on here. They surely do their job, but in the
end they belong  to the worst pixels done in Falcon games so far... sorry to say

The music/fx is just  a module with  chippy touch by LotekStyle. It is played in
heavy rotation and if you  think, that the  game is thought to be played as long
as  possible, I wonder  why there aren't more  tracks to choose as it goes quite
fast onto your  nerves, esp. since  it sounds some  kind of distorted to me. The
tune isn't bad, but listening it longer than 1o or 2o minutes at once bites your
nerves quite hard.

The control is quite  easy solved with the  Jaguar Pad but I wish there would be
more possibilities, just  as keys and  joystick, as also  in 2oo5 not all Falcon
owners have a JagPad too, while -every- Falcon owner has a keyboard unit ;)

And the  rest? There is  a highscore table  implemented, but I didn't reached it
so far, dunno if it is saveable, if yes, it would raise the motivation a bit...

So what  to say... The game concept  is quite easy  to understand  after playing
around  with the game  some minutes, and games  that are easy to play are always
fine. Unfortunately the  surroundings aren't real killers, so the grafix are far
away from being masterpieces, they are colourful, but... The only one-mod-sound-
track isn't  easy to digestible after a  while. Furthermore  the slowdown of the
whole game  on a not accelerated  machine break  down the  motivation to load it
again, too. It would be cool to get some kind of reworking, but as it seems, the
game stays as finished in this way, unfortunately.

Sure, Falcon  owners don't  have much  things  to choice  from nowadays, if they
don't want  to play always the  same stuff, but  this still  makes not all stuff
digestible from the start...


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