The whole world has gone puzzle mad. Humans, Lemmings, Krusty's, Bill Tomatoes; up ladders, down mountains, across piles of bricks and into traps. I thought that just about every avenue of the wildly popular pastime of manoeuvring things around a monitor screen had not only been driven down, but also reversed back up, had a three-point turn performed upon it, been re-macadamised, taken up and had a vegetarian hypermarket built on it.
But apparently not, because up pop Eclipse, who evidently, not content with merely busying themselves with the kind of intergalactic warfare to be found elsewhere in this issue (Lethal Xcess), have noticed that somewhere back in a hidden vortex of time there is a little dragon, which for some reason or other needs rescuing from a cave.
It is not any old cave. Oh sure, it is made of rock and looks quite damp, but it is at the exit to this subterranean hollow where the strangeness begins. No sooner has the dragon made his way through it when another cave appears - and another, and another. A hundred of them, in fact.
I realise you know what is coming next, but I will explain it anyway because I am the grandmaster of tedium. Yes - each cave constitutes a level, 100 in all - a 100 level game (you are not joking about the tedium - Ed).
The levels consist of various formations of square blocks, on one - the cave entrance - the dragon appears. Sorry to keep referring to the mythical fire-breathing beast as "the dragon", but it was not me who neglected to give it a name.
Where was I? Square blocks - yes, the cave is full of them and most are put there just to hamper your progress. Others are movable though, some I four directions, others in two, and some in just one, and the idea is to transport the nameless dragon to the cave's exit by way of these movable blocks. Not an easy task. The most important piece of kit is a logical mind. On first inspection some of the levels seem impossible. It is a race against time like most puzzlers, with a password for each level.
A different tune accompanies each level, and we are given the option to change the background. But apart from this, Stone Age relies on gameplay alone, which is addictive in an "oh god this is just ridiculous" - type fashion.
As puzzle games go this is a very competent effort, with lastability in the difficult later stages. It does look very bland though, and could have done with a cute/larget main sprite.
Several people in our office were hooked, but it may struggle to assert itself in a market already crowed with quality products.