07
Feb
20

Bloxinies and Bloxinies II for DOS

One afternoon I had a bit of spare time, whilst looking around the doshaven website for something to play I ran into two simple puzzle games. Bloxinies and it’s sequel Bloxinies II. These were both made by Sebastiaan Jansen (also known as Thandor) in 2013 and 2016 respectively.

The first game is much like Paganitzu in many ways. Your character, Bloxinies has gone through a gate into a puzzle realm. It has to collect all the diamonds in each level before it can move onto the next, eventually to be able to return home. The levels contain hazards similar to those found in Paganitzu.

Technically the game uses CGA graphics and some basic PC speaker sound. The graphics are fairly well drawn for CGA, although there is basically no animation. Whilst it’s basic, the simplicity works with a puzzle game like this.

I found the levels a bit simpler than those in Paganitzu, but still quite challenging. The only thing that was annoying is running out of lives and being sent back to the start of the game. To make progress it’s important to conserve your lives as best you can, so when you return to a point of difficulty you have the best chance of success.

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The second game is a much improved version of the first. Some new features have been added such as a few new enemies, gates and levers, the ability to use bombs, and extra lives. Notably there is multiplayer with a special set of levels. Each person has their own controls on the same keyboard.

There have been some technical improvements as well, mostly in the graphics which now supports VGA. Appropriately there is a significant improvement in the art, there’s more variety in the blocks that make up the walls in addition to the new features, making it more pleasing to look at. The sound system appears to have remained the same, retaining PC speaker sound.

The levels are more complex due to the new features, but at the same time have a shallower learning curve in the sequence. I feel like this is because the designer had more features to explore before increasing the difficulty. This gave me a bit more time playing before I hit any major road blocks, which were more punishing because of the lives system being carried over from the last game. Levels from the first game are included if you wish to play them with the improved graphics.

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The only real complaint I have for both games is the lives system, which I feel doesn’t really belong in a puzzle game. Otherwise I quite enjoyed playing both of them. I didn’t get a chance to dive deeper into the multiplayer aspect of the second game, what with lacking a second player, but it does certainly look interesting. If you’re looking for a download you can find it here on the authors website. He’s included the source code for each game and a means for editing levels if you so desire. I was pleased to see it’s implemented in pascal, mostly because I use it myself for my own DOS projects.


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