06
May
12

Squarez for DOS

Squarez was made and released by Adam Pederson originally back in 1992. It is a puzzle game much like Tetris and other block games, but different in that the blocks do not fall from the top of the screen. The field of game play is divided into two sections by a bar, which can be moved backwards and forwards to change the amount of space available. Two players can play against each other using the bar to restrict the playing space of the other player. Like Tetris you get a number of blocks in puzzle like shapes, the difference is that to make the tiles disappear you need to shape them into squares of a minimum size of 3×3.  Depending on the difficulty level you can get tiles that perform special actions when activated by placing them in squares. Each player has a entryway that you must keep clear, for if you get a piece stuck in it your game is over.

The graphics are very good and quite pleasing to the eye. The quality of the sound is also very good whether it is from the PC speaker, or from a Sound Blaster or Adlib sound card. You can control the game using either the keyboard or mouse, and it may be possible to use a joystick although I never have tried to connect one. Controlling the game itself is responsive, and accurate. The blocks go where you want them to and you are able to do it quickly, which is definitely a good thing as this allows you to score quickly, and hopefully also move the bar quickly to squash your opponents space. The mouse is definitely the best control device to use as it is the fastest way to place blocks. The keyboard is more precise, but not as fast, so it is possible to beat an opponent with the keyboard, but it takes significant skill and a bit of luck.

We originally got this game on our 386 on a shareware magazine cover disk. We played the game competitively between ourselves quite a bit, and occasionally still play it this way today. There are a couple of bugs that you should be aware of, the shareware version would crash if you push the bar too far to either the left or right. The latest registered version seems to stop both players controls if one player loses leaving the other immobilised. These problems however don’t detract from the game being very fun and addicting.

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