Visit Atarimax Store

Free-Net Logo
The Atari SIG Historical Archive
Created and hosted by:

Article #21 (79 is last):
From: ap803@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Robert Jung)
Subject: LYNX: Ishido: The Way of Stones
Posted-By: xx004 (aa399 - Len Stys)
Reply-To: ap803@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Robert Jung)
Date: Sun Oct 27 00:47:18 1991

  How many more shopping days until Christmas?

1-? players, horizontal game
Atari Corp., for the Atari Lynx
Stereo? No

    Once again, the Lynx travels to the Orient to get inspiration for a
strategy game. This time it is ISHIDO: THE WAY OF STONES, a conversion of a
home computer title. You are given a set of 72 tiles, each marked with a
specific color and figure. The stones are presented one at a time, and you
place them on a board with 90 slots, next to other matching pieces. The more
matches made, the better your score. If you play good enough, the Oracle may
appear and impar some of its wisdom.

    ISHIDO's rules are simple, yet not immediately obvious. The basic idea of
matching tiles is enhanced with restrictions on the types of matches possible.
But in return for learning the rules, ISHIDO offers a deeply complex and
challenging experience. Tiles are matched by color and figure, with the
elusive four-match being the best play (match two by color and another two by
figure). The game is "won" by making the highest score possible, but you will
quickly find other goals to achieve, such as using all the tiles or scoring
four-matches around the starting board.

    ISHIDO also offers several variants and options. Scoring can be either the
"ancient" method, where only four-matches have value, or the "modern" way,
where all matches score. Games can be played solitare, alternating with a
computer or human opponent, or as a tournament against any number of players.
During the game, you may take back moves, ask for legal moves, and view the
stones remaining. Other options allow you to select the tile set to use, and
set a time limit for moves.

    An interesting extra is the Oracle of the Stones. Make a four-match, and
the Oracle will offer a piece of "ancient wisdom". These are excerpts of
insightful thinking, similar to the writings of the I Ching, and the player is
asked to apply them to his innermost questions. In the end, it is harmless
fun, though you can turn the Oracle off if it proves distracting.

    The graphics and sound in ISHIDO are total contrasts. Visually, the game
is stunning, with beautiful imagery everywhere from the opening fireworks to
the glimmer of a four-match. Sounds are also appealing, but are at a minimum;
the primary game sound is the click made as each tile is placed.

    ISHIDO: THE WAY OF STONES is proof that a game does not need many rules to
be sophisticated. The concept is simple, yet each new move offers a wealth of
possibilities to be explored, making this a perfect entry for the
deep-thinking strategist.

                GAMEPLAY:        8
                GRAPHICS:        10
                SOUND:           7
                OVERALL:         8

  Rating values  10 - 8   Great! This game can't get much better.
                  7 - 5   Good. Average game, could be improved.
                  4 - 2   Poor. For devotees only.
                      1   Ick. Shoot it.


  Have game, will review.


   Send whatevers to    |    If it has pixels, I'm for it.
--------------------------------------+------------------------------Lynx up!
       "If it moves, shoot it. If it doesn't move, shoot it anyway."

Visit Atarimax Store