19
Mar
13

Taking Care of Business for DOS

Moonlite Software logo

Moonlite Software logo

Taking Care of Business (or TCB for short) is a single screen puzzle platform game made by Moonlite software back in 1994. Moonlite software made many platform games in the DOS era, most notably the Clyde’s Revenge games and my favourite Hocus Pocus. TCB is unlike the others in many ways, but has a similar art style to Clyde’s Revenge.

Menu Screen

Menu Screen

TCB is very much like the Block man game by Soleau Software in that you solve puzzles by moving tiles around in a simple platform environment. TCB is some-what more complex as there are many more tools, tiles and hazards to account for when trying to solve a puzzle. You are able to destroy bricks with your head or dynamite, create ladders, flip switches, and push some tiles. You will have to avoid lightning traps and blocks that disappear after you walk on them in one direction.

Solving the first puzzle.

Solving the first puzzle.

TCB is very unusual for a DOS game in that it is one of the few that uses high resolution VESA mode graphics. The graphics as I said have a very similar style to the Clyde games. The main character Demolisher Dirk looks very much like a muscular construction worker version of Clyde with a hard hat. Because the developers had used this style before the graphics appear quite polished despite being fairly simple. The graphics animate very smoothly even on a slow machine, so if you happened to put a VESA compatible card in a 386 (what a waste) it would work quite well. I love the animation of Dirk head butting a wall to destroy it!

Sound is available in the form of either PC Speaker or Sound Blaster sound. The digitised sound on the sound blaster is quite good, but not essential to your play experience. I didn’t try the PC speaker sound, if it were to be annoying it is a simple matter to just turn the sound off.

Stuffed up!

Stuffed up!

The puzzles are quite challenging, but the game is quite forgiving. There are no limits on the number of attempts of a puzzle and you can attempt the puzzles in any order you like. The game has a nice demo mode which shows all the game elements and how they work and it can show you a solution to a puzzle if you get stuck. The controls behave the way you expect, and are easy to use. The game has some nice online help so if you have trouble you won’t be lost for long.

and again!

and again!

I found the game quite fun, and I didn’t mind having to replay some puzzles to eventually solve them. There are 60 puzzles to solve so it will keep you busy for quite some time. There were some additional ones available but I’m not sure where you’d get them now. However the time you will spend will be limited as you will eventually solve all the levels, or get sick of trying on the harder ones. If you’re like me you’ll eventually forget how to solve the puzzles and be able to come back to play them again.

Taking Care of Business is charming and worth a download especially if you like the puzzle platformer genre. It reflects the quality of the other Moonlite software games which I’d also recommend.

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