Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Review: Every Extend
"One day suddenly, you receive 12 UCHU- guided bombs. What do you do? 'Suicidal explodion' game with new feelings. Blow up self to involve enemies!"
Everyone has, I hope, their own personal favourite “simple yet addictive game”. For many it’s the tried and tested lure of Solitaire but for us gamers it’s likely to be something not bundled with Windows, though no less simple and addictive. For me that game is the infinitely enjoyable Every Extend – how I could I not love a game that tells me to “Destory them all!” (it’s by a Japanese person(s), so occasional bouts of amusing ‘Engrish’ are part of the charm).
Explosions are the key point of Every Extend. Your goal is to create large chains of explosions amongst the moving spinning blocks arranged into triangles of various sizes. The more blocks you can get into one chain of explosions, the more points you get. In the basic mode, green blocks drop transparent points cubes, and the more of these you collect in a row before you next decided to blow yourself up (or smash into something), the more points each transparent cube gives. These green blocks form the point of a triangle, attached to a number of white blocks either side. Lone pink blocks also whiz across the screen occasionally, and blowing up these will drop a spinning transparent pink cube, collecting which will up your speed modifier. Now, only a stupid person (ahem… what can I say) would think that was the speed of your pointer – no no no, it’s the speed of the triangles of blocks whizzing across your screen. The faster they come, the greater the potential for huge chains as the screen gets busier.
As I’ve already indicated, points are your goal in Every Extend. It’s more than just points though as you have a time limit and also a maximum number of times you can blow yourself up. In the basic game this second feature is irrelevant – there’s a counter and an indicator of how many points are required to add another self detonation to your otherwise decreasing counter, but you never run out – the “Extends” that add to the counter are too easily obtained. The time thing is your real nemesis.
Every time you lose a craft by accident (smashing into blocks rather than deliberately blowing yourself up) you lose 5 seconds from the ever decreasing timer. The only way to increase this timer is by collecting the transparent brown cubes dropped by the bullet firing bosses that appear every so often (and must be dispatched by exploding yourself or, ideally, hitting them at the end of a chain of explosions). Finally, at a certain point towards the end of the timer you get to dispatch a final boss object that splits into a new stage after each “death” before finally dropping.
Phew. So that’s Every Extend explained, at least. The heavy mode is basically the same but with added delayed explosion bomb-blocks and a much harsher position on the Extends and number of detonations.
It’s hard to really convey the joy to be had when you’re chaining explosions together. The extra smile when you manage to con the game into upping the speed of the blocks seven times instead of the usual limit six. Firing off a well timed blast that ignites dozens of blocks only to return to the fray in time to chain another set of explosions onto the total at the opposite end of the screen. Skirting in-between the blocks hurtling this way and that to collect green transparent cube after green transparent cube for an ever mounting bonus. Wiping out a stage of the final “boss” by placing him on the end of a 30 or 40 block explosion chain. Watching the entire play area and beyond erupt in explosion after explosion as you smash all previous chain records.
I’ve spent many a half hour in the evening carving a new entry into my scoreboard in Every Extend. Unlike many enjoyable freeware games I’ve played, I came back again and again after the initial burst of enthusiasm had worn off. In fact I’ve played it almost every weekend of these past few months as I rekindled my love, a thirty minute session here and a quick ten minutes before something on TV there. It’s free and it’s likely you won’t love it quite as much as me, but give it try.
Posted by Alex Hopkinson @ 10:00 AM