Intriguing but disappointing puzzler
If you remember the obscure alien sports game Purple Saturn Day
from Epyx, creators of Summer Games 2
and Winter Games
, then this little puzzler might seem familiar. The core gameplay of Extase is based largely on one of the mini-games from Purple Saturn Day and while not without its flaws, this should appeal to fans of The Game of Harmony and other such abstract experiences. The basic aim of the game is to restore the emotions of a sleeping android by guiding electrical pulses through a set of wires, controlling switches, placing fuses and avoiding random electrical sparks which will bring all your best intentions crashing down. The game is played against another player, human or computer controlled, who controls the other half of the screen and is trying to do the same as you, so there is a strong competitive element to Ektase which does give it an interesting edge. One of the ways this manifests itself in the way that you can steal your opponent's fuses, while you can also send sparks onto their half of the board to mess up their plan. Extase is undoubtedly intriguing and makes for a compelling puzzling experience, at least for a brief period. The two player mode brings a neat element to it, especially if the other player is human, while the graphics and sound are appropriately exotic and unusual. However, the biggest problem is that it is simply too short, with too few levels to make this a rewarding game that you will want to return to very often. This is a shame, as it has all the hallmarks of a classic puzzler, and unfortunately falls short.