01 Jun, 2004 reviewed by Murraymint

Acno's Energizer
by Uselab

(visit the game site)

This is one in a series of games by Uselab which all have exactly the same concept just different graphics. The other two are aqua energizer and cryptraider.

The aim :

The aim of the game is to get the little red flashy things into the energizer, shortly follwed by yourself. Simple!

So..it begins

The first few levels of the game are well designed, gradually introducing the player to the various objects within the game and how to use them.

This in my opinion is better than detailed instructions as it provides a more practical experience and lets you get used to the controls.

What, just put that into there? Easy!

Once the lessons are over, things get a little more difficult. Acno (the little blob you control) has to deal with increasingly awkward obstacles including boulders, bees and explosives.

The difficulty is increased by making each puzzle solvable only by perfoming certain tasks in a specific order. In many cases you only realise your mistakes the moment you try and make the final move. For the less impatient of players this can cause keyboard rage, swearing competitions and god help any pets that may be in the vacinity!!

Of course the worse part of this, is the fact that you have to blow yourself up in order to restart the level. Your hand shakes as you reach for the button which ends little acnos life in what can only be described as internal combustion.

Sorry little buddy, you must pay for my mistakes!

Once you have recovered from the distress of purposely killing little acno, for no more reason than your own stupidity, you proceed to put your mistakes right and complete the level.

it's impossible!!

30 levels later, things are getting really tough. With the building risk of having to admit that you are completely stupid, you cry "It's impossible!!!". You sit back wondering why you should bother trying to complete a level that clearly has no solution. 10 minutes later you console yourself by concluding the level is not complicated at all, infact it's just a trick level which will have an undoubtebly silly solution. As this is now not a measure of your intelligence, it is fine to proceed at your leisure hopefully stumbling on the solution.


After three hours I had completed all 35 leves.

The graphics are simple and do the job, but there is plenty of room for improvement. After the first 5 levels, the graphics do start to look samey and dull. It certainly would have been nice to see different zones or themes within the game. Just a change in the colours would be enough to keep the interest up. This is magnified by the lack of new/different objects. After the first few levels you are not introduced to any new props to help/hinder your progress.  The thought of more of the same can at times be a motivation killer.

The spot sounds work well, especially the coundown timer which sends you into a frenzy of illogical moves usually ending in acno's explosive demise!

If you are repeatingly attempting the same level, the music and sounds can be irritating.  With the levels taking up to 1 minute to complete there is certainly time to download new music and sounds. Again, new objects/themes could help avoid the monotony.

Overall, the puzzles are well thought out and the game proves moderately addictive. There is a way to build your own levels, but with no obvious link to a website, this seemed to much of a hassle to persue. With that in mind the lastability is pretty poor. Once you have completed the game, there is no reason to go back.

For a puzzle fan this is certainly worth a look. The difficulty is well staggered for the most part, although I did find some of the very last levels a touch easier than I would have expected.

If you can be bothered to note down the codes every time you leave this game, then I certainly recommend going back to give that unforgiving level one more try. Unfortunately there are no goodies or surprises on completion, so I'm afraid you are only playing for pride!



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