Arex

Arex is the most flossily-packaged of the programs under review, with a molded plastic folder and an expensively-printed manual (far too full of capital letters and exclamation marks, though) with clear and explicit instructions. It offers extreme difficulty in a variation on the Worm-type games which were popular a year or so back. All sorts of things are bounding about the screen about to get you, and you are trying to secure as much of the screen as you can by extruding a wall behind you. It is quite ingeniously written, but its graphics are not very pleasant (on my set-up, the display kept flickering between color and black and white, but this may not be the program's fault).

 The user has a choice of joysticks or keyboard (the joystick offers a slightly swifter response, it may be). If you halt for more than five seconds, a Rippler, or "lit-fuse" effect, eats up your back trail. When it reaches your ship, the Rippler destroys it. Higher-level screens contain various obstacle patterns distinguished from your wall by their color, and these make it more difficult to safely fill the screen.

On first loading I thought the main side of the cassette was blank, and found the back-up on the flip side impossible to load. It turns out that the copy on side one is at least five minutes into the tape. Since the program employs no protection schemes, it is quite easy to put a new copy nearer the beginning of the tape.

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