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Puzzle Columns: KLAX

Klax_GEN_ScreenShot1.jpgToday on Puzzle Columns, we’ll be looking at the oft-overlooked KLAX for SEGA Genesis and Game Gear.

Originally released in 1989, Klax is a game in which tiles come out of the background toward you. Your job is to catch and subsequently line up three or more tiles vertically, horizontally or diagonally in your bin (thus creating a “Klax”), with bonuses being awarded for special configurations such as an X shape.

There are also special warps activated by creating these shapes on certain levels, with huge point bonuses to go with them. Beware, however, as if you fail to catch three tiles in a row or fill up the bin, it’s a game over (unless you still have some credits).
Klax has a unique look to it, and it drew me in when I saw the arcade cabinet back in the day. “It is the 90’s, and there is time for KLAX!’ the cabinet exclaimed. I was taken in by the 3D-styled graphics and the addictive gameplay. I only got to play it a few times, but it made a pretty large impression upon me.

There are loads of stages, with variety given by the stage missions. Some stages will require you to make a certain number of diagonal Klaxes, or perhaps have a certain score before it will allow you to move on. This adds a lot of variety to the stages and keeps the gameplay from getting stale.

klax-sega-genesisThe presentation is very well done as well, with each tile having its own sounds, and lots of unique sound effects. The graphics are well done, with special mention going to the backgrounds, which all have great personality, which reminds me of the unique feel of Arkanoid: Doh It Again!

Does it hold up? I certainly think so. It may be rose tinted glasses or nostalgia speaking, but I still have quite a bit of fun with this game.

It was released on tons of platforms, including the Genesis, Game Gear, NES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Atari Lynx, TurboGrafx-16, Amiga, ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro, DOS, MSX, Atari ST, PlayStation and PSP.

It’s quite inexpensive on just about everything, so pick up a copy on the cheap and give it a go.

We hope you enjoyed this entry in our Puzzle Columns series. Please go back and read our past articles and let us know if there are any other great SEGA puzzle games you’d like featured.

JP Swartzlander

JP Swartzlander is a lifelong SEGA Nerd who would love nothing more than to have a hardcover collection of SEGA Visions Magazine. Realizing the unlikeliness of that, he would also settle for a new Phantasy Star, or perhaps a new Jet Set Radio...
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