Friday, September 29, 2006

Back 2 The Roots - Uprooted?

While meandering through my Favourites menu, I recently tried to visit "Back 2 The Roots", a site dedicated to Amiga games and utilities with many disk images and a wealth of information - - only to hit a "not found" error.

Whatever happened to this site? Does anyone know? Have they moved, or simply gone under due to lack of funds?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Counter Clockwise

Dizzying turns, Tron-like trails and high-speed action. Another freeware offering has reached us here at Bytten and it's... compulsive, addictive, frantic. The name of the game is Counter Clockwise and the aim is to survive.

Older players may remember a curious game on the Spectrum (!) called "Knot in 3D". A strange game that many who saw it probably didn't "get", it basically was a 3D version of Tron's lightcycle race. The Spectrum's limited graphics capabilities didn't exactly make the game clear!

You are in a wraparound 3D cube, constantly moving forward. You can turn (using the arrow keys) in right angles, in order to avoid the trails you and other occupants ("Chasers") in the cube are leaving behind. One quickly loses track of which way is "down" but given the absence of any landmarks or gravity the concept of a universal "down" is pretty meaningless! Score points for surviving, and bonuses for tricks.

It may sound simple, and it is - but it is far from easy. At first you're confronted with an empty cube, but soon it becomes snaked with so many trails that you're flying about an ever changing 3D maze! To this end you have three things to help you - shields that protect you from bumps into trails (but only so many times), a gun that blasts both trails and other chasers and best of all, an EMP that demolishes the entire surrounding area!

Of course, ammo, shields and EMPs are all limited. You can gain more by performing combos of tricks (the bigger the combo, the greater the reward) and destroying chasers will drop pickups that can offer points, ammo, shields etc. If you feel fast enough, you can activate the boosters - this means more points, but avoiding obstacles is harder.

With numerous options, a trick training mode and some subtle but effective backing music, Counter Clockwise is something that's weird enough to attract your attention and then rather difficult to stop playing. And it's free!