GAME REVIEWS

Monday, May 16, 2011

Volfied

~ VOLFIED ~
Taito
HuCard
1989

Well, the first part of this review is going to be difficult for me. I feel like I should explain how this strange little game works, but that's no simple task, so bear with me. You control a tiny spacecraft that leaves red lines in its wake as it flies about the playfield. Create a box with said lines to mark off territory as your own; the enclosed area takes on a new appearance as you continue with your veritable conquest-by-doodling. Claim 75% of the round's land and you'll get to move on to a new rectangular realm. Three kinds of enemies take issue with your "three-fourths of this country are mine" declarations: yard bosses who possess missile-attack capabilities, smaller creatures who can be obliterated if you obtain and make good use of a laser cannon, and odd electrically charged orbs that blaze mindlessly along until they ram into your ship. While the electrocution corps settle for nothing but head-on assaults, their prancing cohorts merely need to come in contact with a box-in-progress to deplete your life stock by one.



I'm sure that made very little sense. But the second part of this review is going to be even more difficult for me, as this is where I try to explain why all of that nonsense actually constitutes a pretty enjoyable experience. Most of the fun to be had in Volfied comes from taking chances, from extending a line as far as you can, from attempting to create as large a box as possible when you know a collision can take place at any moment. Stumbling upon time-stop or speed-up icons adds to the fun, as you suddenly gain a significant advantage over the adversaries who'd been making such meddling nuisances of themselves. And extra incentive to push yourself comes in the form of bonus points for going beyond the 75% requirement.


Now it's time for the last part of the review, which will be enjoyable for me, as here's where I get to bash the poor little game for a bit. It consists of forty levels but features far too few enemy types to remain interesting for such a long stretch. Later board layouts seem all too familiar (with the less-enjoyable, icon-devoid ones making for annoying speed bumps), and the gameplay itself feels overly repetitive before even half the quest has been completed. And with droning sound effects proving poor substitutes for quality musical tracks, late-round Volfied only agitates when it isn't wallowing in dullness. Still, the game is enjoyable and intriguing off the bat and comes cheaply enough for its few-rounds-of-fun degree of success to be deemed acceptable.

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