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Review: Detectron
Author: David Newton (DavidN)
Added: 15/02/2003

I can't deny how well put together this game is. It's like one of those old Win 3.1 applications that you used to waste your time with when you were supposed to be working. The most obvious similarity is to Minesweeper, but - and here's the problem - with absolutely no skill involved whatsoever.

More on that later, but for now some good points (and there are many). The graphics are well done and clear, though the large robot icon seems a little pixelly because it's resized up to double size. There are even nice little touches like an indicator appearing where you place the cursor. The game mechanics are also programmed well, and there are no bugs in the engine that I came across - you can click on a tile more than once, I'm not sure if this was intentional or not.

The objective of the game is to uncover tiles by clicking on them, trying to amass as many points as possible and advancing to the next level. Tiles can contain points (positive or negative), duds which also lower your score, the ever-popular "nothing", flags which advance you to the next level, or bombs, which are pretty common and cause you to lose a life.

Now, you might think that there's a clever way to detect what tiles contain bombs and therefore avoid them. However, this is not the case - the appearance of them is completely random and you can't avoid them. Because you can click on a tile any number of times, this means the game consists of selecting a square at random and hammering the left mouse button until you die - there's no way to improve your skill at the game whatsoever, and you might as well have been given a screen that gives you a random score and be done with it.

The game looks and feels good, but a very, very large flaw in the idea of the gameplay itself means that unfortunately it doesn't score higher.

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Worth A Click