Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 127 / MARCH 1991 / PAGE 94

PocoMan. (game software) (evaluation)
by Harv Laser

If you're ready for a game that's completely different from the usual heavily protected, impossibly hard games that have no sense of humor, try PocoMan. It's a delightful departure from the moronic, the too easy, and the impossible. PocoMan doesn't force you to reboot, it isn't copy protected, it's both a snap to learn and incredibly challenging, and it works with accelerator cards.

The concept of PocoMan is simple:: He's a little guy who is trapped in a land of mazes. He's cute and quick, but, unfortunately, he's not very smart. You have to help him navigate these mazes, pushing objects into a corral. Only when he's saved every treasure in a maze can he escape to the next level, and there are 50 levels, each one more confounding than the one below it.

"OK, big deal, this is easy," you say to yourself as you look at the first maze. But there's more to this than you first thought. Little PocoMan has a bad back, so he can only push objects, not pull them and he can only push one at a time. If an object gets wedged into a corner or up against a wall where he can't get behind it to push on it, you're both stuck, and you have to start that level over again. Each new level looks impossible, but it really isn't - every level can be solved if you stick with it. PocoMan forces you think logically and think ahead.

If you pause for a while, PocoMan might look bored and tap his toes. Sometimes he dons a pair of shades and clenches his fist while his cape blows in the breeze, trying to play the superhero he isn't.

You don't get to see the next level until you've finished the current maze. Your highest level is saved to disk with your name, so many people can play from the same game disk (although each person's high-level save is not password protected - the ONLY flaw I found with the game).

The programmers have made PocoMan a joy. It installs easily on a hard drive and multitasks. The graphics are enchanting, as are the speech and sound effects. A press of the Help key brings up a list of keystroke alternatives. You can play PocoMan with your cursor keys (the best way), mouse, or joystick. Documentation is brief but thorough. There's no level editor, and you can't create your own mazes.

PocoMan is for those of you who spent endless hours furrowing your brow and scrunching up your face in frustration when you first got your hands on a Rubik's Cube. This game will eat up unimaginable amounts of your time.