Sophistry is a game that leaked out from CRL in about 1986. It didn't have much hype, and it had bland, if pleasant, graphics and wobbly sound. The game-play revolved around your character (a bouncing spinning top sort of thing. Odd) opening up a giant structure, consisting of platforms floating in space.
It started 20% open, and by collecting keys, and buying keys you could finally get a 100% open structure. Sounds easy? Well, no, it ain't. Each board is one of many types. Such as FREEWAY, where you can bouncer till your hearts content. Others have time limits, or point limits, or many other features.
Each screen also has 3 other variables. DEC, TRACK and LOCK. If DEC is set then each time you bounce over a square it's value is decreased, until finally it dissapears (this can be counter acted by the UPPERS, which increase every square on the board's value by 1. You'll need to save these for dire straights later). If TRACK is on, then jumping over a square makes it drop down flat, and you may not jump on it again until it has risen to a normal level. And the only way you get them back up is by jumping onto a target square. Which then re-appear on another part of the screen. Now, there are 3 different states for the LOCK variable, no LOCK means you may exit from the screen at any time. SCORELOCKED means you have to score a set number of points before the exits start opening up, and TIMELOCKED means you'll have to wait around until the exits open up of there own accord.
Also there are '?' blocks that bestow random gifts or hindrences upon you. The game is played on a very big, multi-levelled map. Luckily a save game option has been included to make it a tad easier. Another good feature is the ability to buy lives with the points you collect during the game, so even when your last life has ticked over, you may be able to keep on going by visiting the shop menu. And a nice feature is that the music changes each time you lose a life, rotating through about 6 or so tunes, each very nice.
It's all viewed on a forced perspective 3D, which is made up from plain but pleasant and well animated graphics. Plus that fact that it has a LOT of tunes and clever and addictive gameplay, and you've got a bit of a stonking game on your hands.
Graphics : 78% - Simplistic, effective, unobtrusive. Nice. Addictivity : 91% - The massive challenge ensures that you'll keep coming back for one more go. Instant Appeal : 77% - The slightly odd gameplay makes it a game you really have to give a chance before you can get into it. But it's rewarding when you do. Sound : 90% - Lot's of excellent music by Craig Turberfield. Overall : 89% - A novel addictive blend of puzzle, action and strategy.