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Article #62 (79 is last):
From: aa399@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Len Stys)
Subject: LYNX: Power Factor
Reply-To: aa399@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Len Stys)
Posted-By: xx004 (aa399 - Len Stys)
Date: Tue Jun 15 11:47:21 1993

Review by: (Robert A. Jung)

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

    POWER FACTOR for the Atari Lynx puts a new plot on the traditional
side-scrolling action game. In a virtual reality chamber on a leisure moon
arcade, you play the heroic Redd Ace and try to duplicate his historic
victory over the Sinledo Techmods' invasion. You run, jump, and shoot through
11 side-scrolling levels of the enemy base, looking for six parts of a bomb
to destroy it all.

    You start with three lives, a flight pack, and a Very Large Gun. Items
scattered through the game enhance your weapon, give extra lives, and add fuel
to your pack. A statistics screen summarizes your mission progress, and
computer terminals in the base provide maps, object locations, clues and
information. There are no continues, so losing means a long wait in line
before you can try the simulator again.

    Take away the slightly novel storyline, and POWER FACTOR comes off as a
fairly simple, fast-paced action game. Basic strategy is to grab all the items
on a level, find the exit, and shoot everything you can. The game is very
linear, consisting of surviving a level, defeating the end boss, and going to
the next. However, there are some subtle touches of sophistication. You can't
win without finding all six parts of the bomb, and some of the weapons you
find are better suited for specific obstacles. There are three difficulty
levels, though even the easiest level is a decent challenge.

    At its core, this is a fun, if not particular original, action contest.
The only real hitch comes in the controls. In an attempt to give the player a
lot of options, the control pad is overloaded with functions. For example,
pressing left and right moves Redd, while tapping left and right selects
weapons. This makes weapon selection difficult in tight situations, small
movements tricky, and detracts from otherwise seamless controls.

    The graphics on POWER FACTOR are highly detailed, with a touch of whimsy.
Redd Ace and the Sinledo aliens are drawn with a cartoonish look, making the
station's deathtraps, backgrounds, and other items appear soberly realistic
by comparison. Scrolling and animation is particularly fast and smooth. Sound
effects are also nice, but not as diverse as the graphics; sounds consist
mostly of explosions and firearms of all sorts, mixed with other minor
effects. There's also a very nice piece of rock music, but for some reason it
only plays after the game ends.

    POWER FACTOR tries to become a slick, action-packed run-jump-shoot game,
and almost succeeds. The controls are a minor irritant, though the action,
sights, and sounds almost make up for it. For the player looking for cheap
thrills who can handle one flaw in an otherwise fine package, this is a decent

                GAMEPLAY:        6.5
                GRAPHICS:        9
                SOUND:           7.5
                OVERALL:         7

  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.


  This makes an official release of 60 games in the Lynx library. There's
still half a year left, and BATTLEWHEELS is on the way. Who knows what the
future will bring?


  Send whatevers to  |      If it has pixels, I'm for it.
--------------------------------------+------------------------------Lynx up!
"You weren't chosen because you are the best pilot in the Air Force. You were
    chosen because you are the class clown and frankly, you're expendable."


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