Releasing games has always been the domain of the Reservoir
Gods, unfortunately they seem to hibernate since last outline.
But since our platfarm is far from death, there are also other
crews working on games for the Atari ST range of computers. The
name Paradize should ring a bell here. Paradize brought us some
mediocre games in the past, probably mostly with the aim to
learn and improve. Then the blockbuster Pooz hit the streets and
Cooper scored a lot for Paradize, lifting the bar for quality
puzzlers for all follow up's. Now Simon Sunnyboy takes his turn
to release the long awaited action puzzler "Nuclear Waste Dump".
Let's see how dumping nuclear barrels in your backyard works as
a game principle...
The concept of the game is a bit the opposite of most other
puzzlers, where you have to try to combine objects of the same
colour or shape to win the game. If you try that in Nuclear
Waste Dump you will immediately cause a nuclear explosion and
face sudden death.
Nuclear Waste Dump confronts you with the unique challenge to
pile up barrels of nuclear waste without ever putting two
barrels with the same tag next to each other. As simple as it
sounds, as addicting is the game principle.
You basically have four different types of nuclear waste and on
top of this Simon Sunnyboy has added some bonus barrels. For
example there are the explosive TNT barrels which blow up if hit
by another barrel.
Another extra is the freezer barrel, which deactivates it's
direct neighbours and allow you to dump any other barrel on top
Last not least we shouldn't forget the weight barrel which
simply falls down straight and squishes all barrels in its way.
This comes in handy if you have already used most of the empty
space in your dump.
In the beginning you have lots of time to arrange your dump
location. However as the game commences your options start to
fade. The same happens to the remaining time to make your move.
This way the game gets harder and harder each time. Nuclear
Waste Dump is a no win game, you can only try to achieve a
higher score but the game will beat you when the remaining dump
time decreases more and more and you will be forced to release
your barrels faster and faster.
If you have to mention the dark sides of Nuclear Waste Dump, the
first thing that comes to mind is the fact that the program was
initially released in a somewhat buggy state, which means that
several unfixed bugs were included. Some of them were really
annoying like the medrez bug or the jagpad-problem on MSTE.
Since these two have been fixed in the meantime, there is no
real reason to complain about it anymore and besides the only
other option would have been to wait much, much longer.
However, there is one thing left which could have been handled
better. Of course I am talking about the random function.
Sometimes Nuclear Waste Dump keeps throwing out lots of barrels
of the same colour directly after each other. If you have
already dumped a lot of barrels it can get really hard to get
rid of them without triggering an explosion.
What could be
A bit more surrounding code and effects for high-scores etc.
would have been nice and would surely have lifted the game just
above the commercially published titles from the old days.
With some additional game modes and proper game options Nuclear
Waste Dump would have been able to compete with today's puzzlers
and even outrank them.
Nuclear Waste Dump is a really fun and addictive game, besides
it contains some ace tracks by Marcer and Crazy Q, also the
graphics by Minz are awesome, so Nuclear Waste Dump has all the
features of a good game. I wholeheartedly recommend playing NWD
to anyone who is slightly interested in gaming and perhaps it
should be considered to port the game to other platforms as
- Nuclear Waste Dump is a great game
- Put a small "public beta" behind an intial release to avoid
people complaining about bugs ;)
- Marcer's and Crazy Q's tunes rock
- Add a few more game modes to get in line with today's standards
- Using Minz to improve your game's graphics works pretty well
- Paradize is becoming the number one game-factory for the ST(E)
Cyclone for Alive, 2007-01-04