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Gomola Speed

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Released: 1990

Genre: Puzzle

Format reviewed: PC Eng/Turbografx-16

Publisher: UPL

Developer: UPL

Submitted by: Alley Kat

Along with games such as Splash Lake, Zipang and Gekisha Boy, Gomola Speed is a perfect example of a quirky PCE title that stands apart from much of the machines shooter dominated software catalogue.

The easiest way to describe it would be as an  update of Snake, with a nod to Gauntlet in its level layouts.

 You begin each level with just the head of the snake, your body getting longer as you find additional sections on each level, your ultimate aim being to reach the exit by collecting all the food that is spread over the level.

 Food and other items are collected by being encircled by your segmented body. Once your snake is long enough, you loop your body around the item to collect it.

 Enemies are tackled in the same fashion, but first need to be stunned with a bomb, which attracts and freezes them in place temporarily. However,  your body will fragment if you are caught in the blast radius, or if you make contact with an unstunned enemy. You will then need to recollect the sections as they scatter in all directions.

An explosion or enemy hitting your head directly will cause a life to be lost.

 The score multiplier increases with the number of objects you catch in a loop, but the longer your body, the lower the points awarded.

 Levels start off simply, but soon become more complex, with some planning and skill required to get the most points possible and get out in one piece.

 Although visually functional, the game is still attractive, fast and smooth, with the snakes body winding around the screen in a pleasingly fluid manner.

 Finer detail, such as the inertia on the objects/enemies you encircle adds to the games slick, solid feel. Some excellent music rounds off a game that is in a sub-genre all of its own.

Gomola Speed is an excellent and inspired game. Highly recommended.