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Publisher: Pangea Software    Genre: Arcade
Min OS X: Any Version    CPU: G3 @ 400 MHz    RAM: 128 MB

April 23, 2003 | Zack Lipowski

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They say water is the single most important resource on earth. Apparently, the guys over at Pangea Software concur, as their latest game is based around it and its unique properties. That's not to say Enigmo is all about water, in fact, they threw oil and lava in there just for good measure.

There?s a moment in Enigmo, which might differ from person to person, that you come to the realization that Pangea Software has created some true magic. They nailed the gameplay, and thus, all who try it will too become solidified in Enigmo's pleasant grasp. What does this mean to potential buyers? Lets just say you can't tell me I didn't warn you about Enigmo?s insane addictiveness, and its innate ability to suck up all your free time.

Gameplay: H2O on Steroids
Upon first booting up Enigmo, a small window pops up with an assortment of graphical options and resolutions, including the quality of rendering and either 16 bit or 32 bit colors. I have to say; I was a little flabbergasted by this. I mean, a puzzle game that suggests a Radeon for best render quality? Let alone a Shareware game? Trust me though; once you eye the real-time water effects spray everywhere on the screen, you'll take back all predispositions of how a puzzle game is supposed to look.

If I had to liken Enigmo to another game, it would be Lemmings. Both are quite similar, except instead of Lemming screams and body shrapnel flying, there is just water and its far-fetched cousins, oil and lava.

One of the best things I can say about Enigmo's gameplay is how easy it is to pick up. Like many others, I'm guilty of not reading game instructions and instead just madly clicking on the screen trying to find a button that does something interesting. I'm happy to report that it didn't take me long with Enigmo. The HUD itself is a simple panel to the left side of the screen that holds the objects given to you for the stage. On the bottom is a pot(s) that has the number zero in it, and above is the bonus ticker. This simplicity allows the player to focus in on the elaborate contraptions before them, as they will no doubt need to do once they reach higher-level stages.

The basic premise of the game is to fill a pot with at least 50 drops of water, oil, or lava depending on the stage. Pangea, no doubt with a huge grin on their face, also added a bonus ticker that rapidly counts down just to make you sweat as you hurriedly try to finish the stage. Once you start a stage, one pot drips water, oil, or lava straight down that you have to eventually direct into the other pot to fill it with 50 drops. Stop laughing, it's harder than it sounds. To entice migraines, Pangea Software threw in such devices as color-coded force fields that must be activated in order by hitting their partner color with liquid drops. For the vision-impaired, you can zoon in or out, often times enabling you to look at the contraption before you in a new way, thus helping you solve the problem.

To help your liquid friends reach their safe haven, there are an assortment of objects to bounce, shoot, absorb and basically abuse your liquid droplets. The complete list of objects includes a variety of slides, bumpers, sponges and accelerators. While some might say there is a lack of variety in the objects you can use, I never found it to be a glaring flaw.


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