Review by genofreek

Reviewed: 10/15/03

Interesting concept, weak game

RANDOM PRE-REVIEW FACT: The NES game Palamedes was named after an ancient Greek inventor by the same name. Palamedes of Argos created the world's first pair of dice and more than ten letters of the alphabet we use today. Now you can impress your friends and parents with useless information about ancient Greece and how it relates to video games.

Moving on...

Story: Nonexistent/10
Don't worry about this section. There's no story involved, except for the competition in the tournament round which doesn't really count. A bunch of cute characters, including a dog and an old man, enjoy their roles as dice shooters. In the game, there's no difference between them other than the way they look.

Gameplay: 6/10
You play as a character sitting on the very bottom of the screen, with a die over his head and a large space above him. Colored dice start falling toward him, line by line, and it's up to you to change the dice the character's holding so it matches the one right above (the dice are 1/blue, 2/green, 3/pink, 4/purple, 5/yellow, and 6/red). As you shoot dice off the lines, they appear in a little holding area under your character. The area holds the last six dice you shot. Press down, and if you've made a good sequence, you can get rid of anywhere from one to five lines at a time.
Luck, speed, and a knowledge of the most useful sequences (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 is the best one) are the keys to getting high scores and beating the tournament. I'm not sure if there IS an ending to the regular game...

Graphics: 4/10
Standard 8-bit graphics. The dice are huge, the characters look odd (the main boy kind of resembles Popeye when he wins), and there's no background. The patterns on the side change from level to level, but otherwise, nothing interesting.

Sound: 2/10
Arrgh, the music is irritating. Apparently there are only two or three different tracks for the game, and the one you hear the most is high-pitched, repetitive, boring. The sound effects are fine, but nothing noteworthy, other than the fact that there are only about six of them. I play with the sound down.

Replay: 4/10
I still play this game sometimes, but I always shut it off again twenty minutes later. It's fun, but once you've beaten it, the only reason to bother is the two-player game.

Overall: 5/10
Palamedes is not a bad game, but it shows its age and doesn't have much to it. You'll play it, you might like it, you shut off the sound and play a little more. Ten minutes later, you're bored. You shut it off and go do something else. It's fun, but not exactly a classic for the ages. You want classic 8-bit puzzling? Play Dr. Mario or Tengen Tetris. The main reason I play this game today and even bothered reviewing it was nostalgia.

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

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