Overall Score 80%
I don't normally like puzzle games very much but arcade lines from lobstersoft is something anyone should like.
A chess like board greets the player with some coloured balls randomly placed on the squares. Each turn you must move the balls with that aim of lining up five like colours, orthogonally or diagonally. You can move an unlimited amount of distance, and round corners too but you can't jump over other balls so it's possible for pieces to get blocked in if you're not careful.
Make a line of five and it will vanish from the board. New balls are dropped on the board each turn, and like Tetris you can see the colours that are going to appear next. There are special pieces too, a joker for example fits all colours and some pieces are dual-colour.
The game takes some thought but at the same time anyone can play it. The scoring system rewards longer lines and several lines scored one after another, so some element of planning helps but at the same time beginners will find themselves scoring points with no problem. As with most good games, the random ball placement adds a dash of luck too.
As well as a good concept the game has lots of features and looks and sounds very good indeed. Arcade Lines plays in a maximized window and the Windows menu is well used to configure the many options. You can change the graphics size and style, including a shape based monochrome tile set, and set up games of custom difficulty where you can set things like the length of a winning row or even ball probabilities. You can play against the clock in a timed game too.
The obligatory options for sound levels are there as well as hints and tips, a tutorial and a well written set of rules. Finish a game and a comprehensive page of statistics greet you, and you get a high score table for different game types. You can go online to compare your score with a global table too, and if you leave a game half way through it will start up again next time you play.
Arcade Lines is packed with features, nice graphics and nice sound. I haven't played a puzzle game this absorbing since Tetris and the author Adrian Grigore added all of the options and presentation you could ever want. The very nice screamtracker music is worth downloading the demo for alone.
Keywords: arcade lines review, lobstersoft reviews, lobstersoft games, arcade lines scores, pc game reviews, indie game reviews, independent gaming.