The British are coming! The British are coming! And they're packing a ton of absolutely fascinating computer game programs. Thorn EMI may still be an unfamiliar name to computerists on this side of the Atlantic, but the UK-based publisher has already established a fine reputation for producing outstanding games that are just a wee bit different than the usual target-shooting festival.
A good case in point is the company's British Heritage Jigsaw Puzzle, Volume 1. As the sensibly written instruction booklet acknowledges, this tape will not completely substitute for your favorite 1000-piece puzzle, but it does provide an hour or two of pleasant recreation for those who never tire of putting the pieces together.
The two main variables in this program are the number of pieces which must be assembled to reveal the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge. The smallest size is five by five pieces, while the largest is an eight by eight arrangement. The player also has the chance to decide how the game should handle the positioning of an incorrect piece. The program only inserts correct pieces in the easier version, but will wedge a wrong one into place if you're competing at the tougher level.
After booting the cassette, the completed picture appears on screen. Study you push they "option" key, that's the last you'll see of it until you finish the puzzle. At that point, the finished piece is displayed.
The player pushes "T" to start with the top portion of the puzzle or "B" to begin at the bottom. Three pieces then move onto the screen on an invisible belt, with a flashing black and white dot to indicate which one of the trio is ready for you to place. The puzzler then utilizes the joystick to move an on-screen cursor to the portion of the screen where the piece (hopefully) belongs. If you have made an incorrect choice, the computer will beep and either go on to the next piece or put the one you just made the mistake on into the desired position, depending on the difficulty level. In the latter event, you can remove the wrong piece later in the game by simply inserting the right one when it comes up on the belt.
British Heritage Jigsaw Puzzle, Volume One is, quite obviously, not for everyone. But if you're looking for a pleasant change-of-pace and a few hours of classy entertainment, you can't go wrong with this one.