Life is an enigma if you're a wolf-fox thing and your name is Fitznik.
Fitzik is a puzzle game that is a bit like the classic Boulderdash if you removed the gravity. On each screen you must collect the keys and the jewels to get to the next level. The puzzle element stems from the boulders you can push (but not pull) and the enemies who are deadly unless confined.
It's amazing how useful a boulder can be. Step level with a snake and a mouthful of acid flies your way so you've got to ensure there is something between you and it. You've got to push a boulder in the water before you can step over it. The claustrophobic spiders explode when you trap them in a corner too. There aren't many game play elements but this game can be surpisingly complex.
The animation isn't quite as good as the well drawn artwork, a few more frames here and there would have made a bit of difference. The animated water doesn't look much like water either but these are exceptions to an otherwise very high standard of graphics. I thought the display was a little dark at first but, wait a minute, there is a brightness control. A nice touch. The game has a lot of nice touches, like helpful hints that pop up and a decent set of instructions built in to the game for a change. The menus have a great looking white hot effect and you get all of the options you would expect in a game from quality rich Dexterity Software, including a useful game speed option if you have a grannys reactions.
Fitznik isn't about reaction speed though, it's all about thinking the levels though. You can play any level and you can retry levels as many times as you want, whenever you want. None of the levels are too easy and there are enough levels to give days of gameplay so there is plenty of value there. The game will show you the solutions upon request too, a brilliant idea.
Failing a level is a learning experience, not an exercise in frustration.
Playing Fitznik is a fun, but not an addictive experience. The puzzles aren't the sort of thing that will keep you awake at night because actually completing a level doesn't mean much. The same freedom that allows the player to pick any levels can mute the will to want to come back. You know the next level will look pretty much the same and you know you can skip to the last level with a click of the mouse. Every few levels, the very good in-game music changes, but a few new features every now and again would have rewarded those players willing to complete every level in order.
The presentation is excellent. The download is small and the install quick and painless. The game is obviously well tested and the advanced graphics and sound options suggest it can cope with a wide variety of computer configurations.
I found Fitznik fun not consuming, but that is just my opinion. Give the demo a try, you might just love it.
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