Super Loopz logo AGA Amiga Computing Bronze Award

Being rather loopy herself, Tina Hackett takes a look at Audiogenic's latest puzzler that will drive even those with saintly patience completely round the twist.


Either you love puzzlers or you don’t. I’m afraid I was in the latter category until I played X-It a couple of months ago. It was too late to salvage my Rubik’s Cube by then though, so I waited with baited breath for another puzzler to come along that would take my fancy. And it has – sort of!

It’s Audiogenic’s latest offering whicht akes the form of building loops. It’s one of those games I shouldn’t like for all the reasons I’ll go into a minute, but for some weird reason it’s rather playable.


Basically, the idea behind Super Loopz is to join the different blocks that fall onto the grid to create continuous loops. There is a time limit to put down each piece, and if you can’t place it you lose a life.

The game can be played by using a one or two-button joystick, a CD32 controller or a mouse. The joystick seems to be the easiest, and when the piece drops onto the playfield you can rotate the shape by pressing fire and right, then when it is in the position you want, press fire and left. However, once it is in position it is permanent. The bigger the loop you can make, the more points you’ll get.

Super Loopz has a variety of different sections to play The arcade game can be played by one or two players, and you must make ten loops to progress on to the next level. Three bonus games can be accessed by completing different missions.

You can also play a challenge game which means you can pit your wits against an opponent. You each get a separate grid and the winner is the one who scores the most points.

There is a puzzle option too which involves being shown a complete loop with some of the pieces then dropping off one by one. You have to watch carefully because you have to remember where they go and replace them.



The tunes are the usual lively in-game music you’d expect to find. When you’re playing the puzzles you’ll get a range of sound effects when you make a loop, from a crowd cheering to a strange monkey sound.

However, the accompanying tunes are rather grating and be warned – supply ear plugs to anyone withina mile radius of your computer. My advice: Turn the volume down and hum.




Visually, the game is certainly nothing to get excited about. But it is a puzzler after all – I mean look at Tetris, nobody would describe that as graphically stunning, I’m sure. The screens in Super Loopz contain a grid, falling blocks that make the loops, and a variety of backgrounds. Unfortunately, the backgrounds aren’t all that stunning, and something a bit more imaginative would have made a hell of a difference.

They vary (?) from bonus backgrounds covered in fruit to a tree housing animated monkeys that pop out whenever you complete a loop. Hmm, inspired.




Okay, it’s certainly not the best puzzler in the world and granted, there are many features missing that would have made this a good title. But for some strange reason I found myself sneaking back to the computer for just one more go. I don’t know why, because it certainly didn’t have a big incentive to strive for, the graphics are pretty bland, and the sound is nothing special.

I think it could have had a lot more to it, especially with an objective or fancy graphics, but the puzzle element does seem to work quite well and is quite addictive as far as it goes.

It does worry me though that the game is A1200 and CD32 only. "Why?" is my only thought on that matter. Rumour has it an A500 version will be released which is the original Loopz, only the graphics aren’t as good – I’ll refrain from comment on that, I think!

If you like puzzlers then this could be worth checking out. Trust me, it is quite fun, for a while anyway, and it is only £15.

Super Loopz logo AGA

Can Audiogenic's new puzzler rival the classic Tetris? Or will it just drive Steve McGill loopy. Plus, why he wasn't too impressed with Base 2's offering.

There are loads of Amiga games out there that deserve to be revised, updated, repackaged and re-released. A significant improvement of old mistakes if you like. Audiogenic have attempted just that with Super Loopz, a latter-day revision of Loopz. Hailed as a cross between Pipemania and Tetris, it somehow manages a negative gestalt in that it equals less than the sum of its parts. In other words, it isn’t as good as either Tetris or Pipemania.

But it can still be fun in a limited way. The basic idea is sound. You have to form loops out of several kinds of basic shape. The bigger the loop you make, the more points you score. Aside from some vaguely intriguing asides, that’s it.

There are four game types – Standard, Arcade, Puzzle and Challenge – it’s much more fun to indulge in the two-player versions of the game. But the same criticism keeps cropping up. When the boards starts filling up, sometimes there’s nowhere to put your shape and you’ve got to wait until your time limit for each move runs out and you lose a life. There’s no guarantee that the next piece to fall is going to fit either.

Admittedly, there are pieces that can be used to clear up any incomplete loops. But because of the indiscriminate nature of their release and the fact that they have to be used, they’re often a curse rather than a blessing.

Super Loopz logo AGA

We disdain its improper use of the alphabet.

So far it’s been a pretty dismal month at AP. For my part, high among the top ten worst moments are finally finding someone in Canada only to discover they were conscientiously returning my calls about Angst (the game I’ve been trying to review) to an elderly woman in Leaminster, and being buttonholed by a seemingly inexhaustible procession of software house people complaining about our dissemination of the truth concerning the gargantually appalling (‘Michael Jackson – Ed), defending the publication tenaciously on the grounds that nobody likes it (some sort of underdog thing), there are only two people working on the magazine and if you buy (Clause struck – Legal Dept) they’ll give your game (Clause struck – Lega Dept).

Super Loops then. (We’ll keep the letter ‘z’ at the end of the alphabet where it belongs, thanks awfully). The deucedly odd thing about Super Loops is that its exactly the same as Loops except aesthetically: pieces drop randomly on to a board, and by rotating and placing them you have to make shapes that join up in loops.

Once you’ve placed a piece you can’t remove it (except by using a special shape which destroys every part of an incomplete loop it touches rather than single piees) and every tenth loop takes you to a new level.

Build a large and complex loop and some invisible people will cheer and you get to play one of three bonus games: either more of the same but without the loops disappearing, or a puzzle where you’re shown a loop, bits fall out of it and you have to return them to their correct slots, or a screen with bonus fruit you have to smother.

Other modes dispense with the tenth loop/next level ploy (you play on a single level to the death), bring in a second player to help, bring in a second player to battle, and throw those bit-missing loops at you to fill in until you mess up.

It reminded me of two games, did Super Loops: Tetris and Pipemania, but more of the Pipestar later. As with Tetris, the idea is to complete a set number of shapes, with a successfully completed shape rewarding you by disappearing so you put off fatally filling up the screen that vital moment longer. Even the pieces are similar – L-bars, rectangles and those really annoying ones you can never use and have to shove over in a corner.

The tactics are sort of similar as well (look, there is a point to this. Trust me) as you build large ‘outside’ shapes, investing pieces that don’t fit there into vaguely completing ‘inside’ ones.

Where the games diverge is that if you mess up a shape in Super Loops (say, by rotating a piece too far or just slipping up in placing it), that shape is dead. You can’t recover it by replacing the errant section, remember, as your special space-clearing piece destroys every part of an incomplete loop it touches. And, bizarrely, although random, the Super Loops pieces see to be ‘weighted’ towards the big ones late in the game.

This weighting leads to terrible situations where there is clearly no room on the board for the gigantic U you’ve been given but, because you can’t reject the piece, you have to wait for the time limit to run out (and one of your lives to be lost) before you et another bit. Which, of course, could just as easily be a similarly uselessly large piece. Audiogenic say the game ‘senses’ when you need to get rid of incomplete shapes and so will give you a destructive piece but (quite apart from the question of a game ‘cheating’ on your behalf), this feature doesn’t really work at all, delivering either too few destructive pieces or too many.

Large and complex

In one game I’d carefully worked the board so I had five loops needing a piece each, but beacause the number of pieces exceeded the game’s ‘safe’ total (or whatever), it decided to spew out destructive pieces. Seven of them, in fact, all in a row. And because you can’t reject a piece and I obviously didn’t want to remove any of my painstakingly-constructed loops-in-waiting, I had to sit there and wait for the time limit to run out for each one. O-ho.

The Pipemania comparison comes with the pipe/loop look. But unlike Pipemania there’s no sense of urgency to Super Loops. You’re just making the loops for the sake of it. (In Pipemania, you’ll recall, you ahd to connect a tap spilling toxic fluid to a sluice gate).

There’s a time limit to placing apiece, oh yes, and a bee-bee-bee sound as that time limit runs out (although, inexplicably, if you have then place the piece the bee-bee-bee continues for a few more seconds), but it doesn’t work. What you should be feeling is a desperate desire to complete that loop before some terrible disaster befalls you, but what you in fact feel is a slight irritation that there’s nowhere to put this large zig-zag.

There’s something fundamentally wrong with Super Loops, and it is the fact that nothing ever happens. No characters run across the screen and make off with pieces, nothing flows through the loops, there are no ‘special’ pieces to break it up, no cross-sections so you can salvage your work, no bombs to put out, nothing. It’s just you and some piples, for ever. The co-operative two-player mode simply doubles the misery. Only the combative game offers a bit of fun, but you’ll not want to play on after the first couple of bouts. (And the obfuscative snarly-wolf background helps not at all).

Oddly, as I played Super Loops to get screenshots, I found myself on a roll. My game came together, my tactics started working (for example, building loops in halves and not connecting the sections until the last moment so if I blew it I could still save the say) and I galumphed through the bonus levels.

But I wasn’t involved in the game. There was no incentive to keep winning. And that, folks, is the reason I can’t understand why Audiogenic have bestowed new life upon the most dependably dull of puzzlers.

SILLY The bonus games in Super Loopz are particularly silly
Super Loopz

The 'Puzzle': You're shown a loop (above) and far too many bits fall out of it (below). You're given exactly that number of pieces to rebuild it. One mistake and you've lost - but the round goes on until all tiles are 'out'.

Super Loopz
Super Loopz

The 'Fruit': Cover all the fruit to win. The bonus round that looks exactly like the game proper. The first time I got to it, I played for ten minutes before losing and realising I wasn't infact, on the next level at all.

Super Loopz

The 'Permanent': this bonus game, the loops don't disappear when you complete them. Oh, my aching sides.

Super Loopz logo AGA

█ Price: £29.99 █ Publisher: Audiogenic 0181 424 2244

Trouble with the ol' waterworks? Well help yourself sort it out with this crazy pipe-fitting puzzle game.

Who needs a plumber’s apprenticeship when you’ve got a game like Super Loops? Following similar lines to the classic Pipemania, in its simplest form Super Loops is a puzzle game which involves linking up bits of pipe to create as many complete loops as possible.

You get all sorts of bizarre shaped piping thrown at you at random and you’ve got to quickly flip, move and rotate it until you find somewhere where it can slot in.

This is OK when you only have about two or three bits of piping on screen but later on the game it’s no joke when the grid starts to fill up and you’re trying to squeeze a big zig-zag pipe into a tiny gap. However, I found the best way around this was to lay piping down for huge loops and then try and fit smaller ones inside it, that way there is less chance of overlapping and messing up your plans to create that perfect loop.

Too little time
It might not sound particularly exciting having to juggle bits of piping into interlinking shapes, and to be honest it wouldn’t be if you didn’t have to ebat the clock to do it. Eah level has a set time limit and as you progress through the levels, it gets shorter and shorter to the point of being totally impossible.

To liven things up a bit there are various other options, such as a two player challenge mode, bonus games and variations where you are shown the final shape first and then have to try to recreate it from memory.

You can use either a mouse or joystick to move and position the blocks. I tried playing Super Loops with a joystick at first and found it virtually impossible. Mouse control is much easier to use.

Sound and graphics
The graphics in Super Loops are OK. The first few levels are set in a tree and every time you form a loop, the monkeys living in said tree let out a big cheer. As you progress through the levels, the background graphics change and the monkeys are replaced with various creatures who scuttle across the screen every tie you create those valuable loops.

The music is a sort of techno-guitar type ditty, and although it’s not earth shattering, it wouldn’t deter you from playing the game.

Super Loops is not a groundbreaking idea for a game, but it’s on par with many other puzzle games. If you like a good test of mental and manual dexterity, Super Loops will keep you busy for a while.