Extase logo

Virgin £19.99 * Mouse, Keyboard and Joystick

French games have a reputation for weirdness, but now they have upped the strangeness to ridiculous heights. Never in the field of Amiga gaming have so many been so whacked out by so few. Extase is king of the odd people, but as with most eccentrics it exudes an undefinable charm.

Extase is a deactivated android that has been discovered in an alien system. To reactivate the droid various mental conditios must be repaired individually, starting with her Dream State. Each is revived by rebuilding a circuit before the other player.

Floating above the circuit as a bubble you dive in and hit the wire when the mouse button is clicked. To bring the circuits to life, a number of tasks must be performed simultaneously. The wires must be recharged so energy pulses can travel to the brain and switches must be turned to ensure they go the right way. Transistors have to be created (by diverting energy pulses through a generator) to bridge gaps in the wires and then lifted into position.

If you have picked up a newly created transistor and flown down to plug a gap, the second you touch a cable a spark appears. No ordinary spark, this one hunts down transistor and burns them out. Sparks, unfortunately, can also be caused by touching down on a spark generator. It is pretty daft to set these little geeks loose on your own wires but if the other guy is ahead then, well, that is another story.

Extase forces players to behave with complete selfishness. Opponents who are getting too far ahead can be stopped in four ways. Transistors can be blagged from the enemy's wires, switches can be set the wrong way, sparks can be sent out to wreak havoc and best of all the other bubble can be muscled out of the way.

Timing is the essence of Extase, using the game-winning pulses to create components at the right rate, fending off the sparks, activating switches at vital moments and sabotaging circuits, all of which come together in one frenzied game. Extase is viciously competitive, mind-numbingly hectic and therefore it is a sheer joy to play.


Play Extase and your ears wil love you for ever. Starting with an ethereal Arabic yodel, you are lured into a false serenity. When the game begins there is a strange silence with only your actions causing an ccasional violin riff. The music slowly builds into a crescendo that matches hectic moves you are forced to make for victory. Each level has a totally different tune that echoes the theme of that stage and even the spot effects blend brilliantly.

The huge head that dominates each level is striking and immediate. As each reactivation nears fruition the face animates, again in keeping with the level's theme. Madness sees the lady roll her eyes and loll her green tongue. Vision control sees her brows crease with her eyes rolling uncontrollably. The wires and the circuits themselves are standard fare, just so many lines, but they off set the stark head perfectly. The graphical simplicity of the game counterpoints the music to create a feeling of alien, yet non-hostile, worlds.


Extase is at its best against the computer. You can be as evil as you wish, and, depending on the level, all it tries to do is mirror your steps. Playing against a friend invokes too much malice. The three levels of difficulty do not alter the circuits - they could be no harder - but the opponent's more aggressive and the number of the destructive sparks increases, causing even more brainache.

Each level gets more complex, requiring greater trickery to complete. There is massive scope for skill development and the increasing lunacy of circuit design makes each level a personal affront. Extase's addictiveness is staggering, but its simple concept calls staying power into question. It is not exactly the sort of thing you dig out after a hard day at the office - unless it is to soak up the soundtrack.


Extase is a musical masterpiece and a graphic extravaganza. There are too many massively wild elements for it to be ignored, and many will fall for its charms. It will leave some gamers cold, though: it is just to outrageously strange. Diametrically opposed to the big licences, Extase will be enjoyed by those who relish original puzzles, mental multitasking and tests of mouse dexterity. Extase is a game only for the brave, but to them will give the curious spoils of the most original product this year.

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Die meisten von uns haben nur eine Freundin mit elektronischen Innenleben, und die heißt Amiga. Cryo, ein neues Softwarehaus aus Frankreich, will uns nun zum Seitensprun verführen - lohnt es, fremdzugehen?

Hier dreht sich alles um einen weiblichen Androiden, dem ein paar Viren die Birne verstopft haben. Um der Robo-Braut Leben einzuhauchen, müssen mehrere Stromimpulse gleichzeitig über ein Netz aus Leiterbahnen (mit Weichen, Sicherungen, etc.) das Zentrum des Blechköpfchens erreichen.

Damit der Saft fließt, macht man sich daran, acht Level lang im Stil von "Pipemania" die Leterbahnen zu reinigen, Weichen zu stellen, defekte Sicherungen zu ersetzen und Viren zu killen. Und zwar möglichst flott, denn der gleichzeitig spielende Gegner (Mensch oder Amiga) verfolgt dasselbe Ziel. Damit es ein bißchen spannender wird, darf man auch beim Kontrahenten mitmischen und ihm seine Weichen verstellen, Sicherungen klauen, usw.

Das ausgeklügelte Prinzip hätte zwar durchaus Suchtqualitäten, nur leider nicht mit einer derart unpräzisen Steuerung. Dabei wäre die Grafik für ein Game dieser Art ja noch ganz nett, der Sound ist gar richtig gelungen - durch ein interaktives Musiksystem werden die Aktionen der Spieler in die Hintergrundmusik mit eingebaut. Aber so oder so: Acht Level sind einfach viel zu wenig, besonders, wenn sie einem praktisch alle im Demo-Modus vorgemacht werden! Bei mir jedenfalls konnte Extase leider keine Extase hervorrufen - aber immerhin haben die Jungs von Cryo in ihrem Erstlingswerk ganz gute Ansätze gezeigt. (Werner Ponikwar)

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A beautiful female android lies sleeping. Wires trace outward in a complicated spaghetti-like mess, linked by computer components, ending in a small power supply that occasionally fires out sparks of electric current. You aim is to connect up the various parts of the brain to the power unit, thereby waking the android.

Each level has you waking a different area of the brain (such as sight, imagination, sanity etc.) and works as a race between you and either a human or computer controlled opponent. In the centre of the screen is the android face, complete with relevant changes of expression, dependent of the level you are on. One side of the screen shows your maze of connections, and mirrored on the other side is your opponent's. The pulses come from the bottom of the screen, travel along the primed pathways, passing through fuses and switches until they reach the top of the screen, at which point they enter the brain.

At the start of each level, the pathways are all blue, signifying that the electricity cannot pass along them. By moving a small clear blob around, you wipe the paths clean, turning them red. As you travel around, setting direction switches to guide the sparks towards the brain, electric spikes appear and roam aimlessly, destroying fuses and stopping the current from passing through. All this is going on while your opponent is stealing your working fuses as well as sending his own currents.

The one thing that really knocked me out playing Extase was the presentation. Graphically and sonically amazing, the final product is both disturning and moving. The face of the android is a picture of innocence, and watching her face awaken and move between various expressions of wonder and fear through the game is, at times, simply breathtaking.

The soundtrack is the best I have ever heard on a game. Glorious and moody pieces of music play throughout, matching the mood of each level perfectly. Believe me, calling them 'in-game tunes' just does not do them justice. They have to be heard to be believed. Add a variety of inspired sampled sound effects and you come up with the computer equivalent of Clannad.

The real shame is that as a game, it does not really hand together. It is a very difficult game, and one that takes a while to get to grips with. I did have a lot of fun playing it, but the fun was just a little too short lived.

Extase is a product I would recommend experiencing, but it is not a game I would buy.

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Oh dear, yet another game review requiring a brain. Paul's too busy designing flag. David's stuck undrneath his Triumph Herald. Macca's 'on the inside'. Duncan is, erm... That leaves Tim. Oh well, it'll just have to be a crap review.

SHe is a bit of a 'stunna', this android. According to the manual, 'Extase is the answer to your dreams'. Wow! Top shelf stuff! Erm, well perhaps we're getting a bit over-excited there. The whole idea is to activate a 'droid by awakening her vital mental processes - represented by the eight levels of Extase. Unfortunately, if your opponent (either human or computer) manages to do it first, you're out of the running - and mechanical naughties are out the window.

The main game screen consists of two identical circuits leading to the android's brain - one of them yours, the other that of your opponent. Your eventual task on each level is to guide the electric charges which exit regularly from the chips at the bottom of the screen through the maze and clean the circuit lines so current can flow through them. Clean lines shown up as red. This task is hindered by missing fuses (which have to be replaced) and virus sparks which cruise round the system generally causing trouble.

If you divert an electric charge into the fuse factory using a 'shunt', this allows you to create new fuses. Handy when they keep disappearing. Oh, and I forgot. Your opponent can steal fuses off you and generally fiddle with your circuit - and you can do the same back.

Amiga reviewTim: By now you should be completely baffled. If not, you're probably the programmer's brother-in-law - who can't read this anyway 'cos he's probably French. It might help if we talk through the first level.

The game starts. My circuit's blank. Need to make the pathways red (i.e. 'clean'). Click the cursor over the inlet and guide the 'doofer' round the circuit using the mouse, turning the lines red as I go. Oh dear, a virus spark got me. Try again. This time I run into a dead end - a fuse is missing. Click on the bottom shunt to redirect an electric charge to the fuse factory. Boom, pick up the fuse, deposit it in its socket. Click on the inlet again to enter the circuit, guide the doofer through to the brain. Hoorah! All red!

Unfortunately, my opponent has nicked some of my fuses while I was guiding the doofer about. The electric charge is blocked. Time to make some more fuses, steal some of his, etc, etc...

Clearer? No? (Sigh.) Look, it's impossible to explain, but Extase is easy to get into, you'll just have to take our word for it. It's full of neat ideas - for example, the android's face is fully animated during play, coming up with some weird expressions as the action hots up. But best of all is the in-game sound - which responds 'intelligently' to what's happening in the android's brain. In glorious stereo, it adds a whole new dimension to the game.

Extase is a promising first release from French label Cryo, with a distinctly Gallic flavour... Stop

1 CURSOR. You use this to grab and deposit fuses, knobble sparks and send your 'doofer' into the circuit.
2 THE ANDROID. You have to direct your electric charges to the terminals in her head to win the level. Her expression changes depending on what's happening.
3 BASE CHIP. This is where your electric charges enter the circuit at regular intervals.
4 INLET. When the gate is open (red) your doofer can enter the circuit through one of these if you click on it with the cursort.
5 VIRUS SPARK. Whenever you enter the circuit or do something to it, a nasty spark arrives and starts cruising around, eating fuses and knobbling your doofer.
6 VIRUS NEST. Home to the above.
7 FUSE. If this is missing neither you nor an electric charge can pass through.
8 FUSE FACTORY. Makes fuses for you or your opponent (depending who gets there first!)
9 SHUNT. Click on this to change the direction an electric charge, your doofer or a virus spark can take.