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Klax

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Released: 1990

Genre: Puzzle

Format reviewed: Atari Lynx

Publisher: Atari

Developer: Greg Omi

Submitted by: Darran Jones

Any good handheld worth its salt needs a brilliant puzzler to while away the hours. The Game Boy had Tetris (amongst many others) the Game Gear was partial to a bit of Baku Baku Animal (aren't we all?) while the Lynx had Klax.

Alright, so virtually every console and computer, handheld or otherwise, had a conversion of the popular Nineties puzzler, but I don't think I'd be going out on too far a limb if I was to say that the Lynx offering was easily the best version of the lot.

From the moment you're required to hold the Lynx in the – too little used in my opinion – vertical position, you know that Klax is going to be a little different from the norm. And d'you know what? You'd be absolutely right.

It's still just a case of creating Klaxes (diagonal, vertical or horizontal lines consisting of three or more tiles of the same colour) but it's the sheer amount of polish that impresses on the Lynx.

For starters it sounds absolutely fantastic, with a bunch of superb digitised effects and, quite possibly, the sexiest videogame voice to be heard this side of Nancy in Chase HQ. Completed Klaxes are met with a delighted 'Ooh' or 'Yeah' while the completion of a wave is greeted by cheers and a round of applause.

This same care and attention is also bestowed on the graphics, which are exceptionally good for what is usually a fairly basic looking genre, while the front end presentation is top-notch and easily matches the stark beauty of its arcade parent.

Ultimately though it's the deep and rewarding gameplay that makes Klax so much fun to play. Yes it's not really doing anything new, but what it does it does exceptionally well. If you haven't got this in your Lynx collection then you don't really love it. It's that simple.