Ocean's foray into the scene appears in the form of Plotting. You play a small, brown, blobby creature called an Amsha. The game is played in a series of ornately-patterned rooms with blocks stacked in the corner.
The idea is to eliminate the blocks until there is only a specific number left. This is done by throwing a block into the pile, but only blocks displaying the same design and colour as the one you are throwing can ben destroyed. Once the block you have thrown has clattered through the pile killing blocks it matches, it is replaced by the block behind the last one destroyed. This new block is thrown back to the Amsha ready for the next attack.
The pile can be tackled directly from the side or by bouncing off pipes and pieces of masonry so that the blocks fall into the top of the stack, thus giving you a number of attack options. If there is no way that you can hit the required target block, then a miss is chalked up and you are given a 'magic' block which acts as a wild-card, allowing you to destroy blocks of any tupe. If you run out of the precious magic blocks, which acts as lives, the game comes to an end.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
Puzzle games generally tend to go for one of two themes - either as a surreal experience with psychedelic graphics and ambient sound or with a cute appearance and a jolly soundtrack. Plotting goes for the latter, with the player controlling a blobby little blokey strutting his stuff across some well-drawn, colourful backgrounds to a cutesy, jangling backing track. Fortunately, the music can be turned off, as even the most jolly game player can only stand a certain amount of plinkity-plinity-plonk tunes.
Despite the compulsive action, the levels do not change too significantly from one t the next. The gameplay remains pretty simple and repetitive throughout and after playing for about half an hour will probably seem a tad boring. But leave the game alone for an hour or two and you soon find yourself booting it up again for a quick block-flinging session! Even if you do manage to steam around the levels, there is a construction kit for you to build your own screens - and designing devilishly difficult puzzles is almost as complicated as actually solving them!
Despite the rather daft title and overly cute appearance, Plotting is actually an intriguing and compulsive little puzzle game. The concept is simple enough to get into, but you still have to keep your eyes open and your mind on every move to complete the levels successfully. Getting complacent on even the easier levels is a sure way to quick defeat! These days it is difficult to come up with new computer puzzle ideas, but Plotting is certainly original and highly playable to boot!