Ian Smith gets stuck into puzzlers, and rather enjoys it!


When Shiuming asked me to review this game, describing what looked at first glance to be like Tetris, I thought, "Oh No!" Tetris and I never got on, perhaps I don't understand it, or even see the point in it. Anyway, after playing Ausbruch over a number of days, I can say I'm pleasantly surprised; and this game is not a Tetris clone.

Mad Butscher of Foundation Two is the guy that programmed the meat of this game, with music by Lotek and Style/TSCC, and help on graphics by Cerror/Mooncell. The game was completed and released at Outline 2004.

[Screen-shot: Title]

In this Jag-pad controlled game you take the metaphorical part of the Lone Rider from the North, who has to save the fragmented souls of the Foundation Two members from the Evil Emperor. On starting the game you encounter two very nice title screens, and then it's straight in to the game play.

You have an almost  square (15x14) play area on screen which is gridded, with every internal square filled by one of four different characters, which are the souls to be merged. The idea is to combine souls of the same colour by clicking on them, when they are grouped as two or more, they then disappear in to the ether. You can move the cursor in all four directions.

[Screen-shot: In-game]

Gradually as you get rid of character groups, squares drop down thus making the columns lower, and likewise these shuffle left after you've got rid of other columns.

Numbers appear on the grid (the adversaries), but only after you get rid of a row; when this happens a new row appears, but only when you have less than the aforementioned numbers on the screen.

There are two ways to get rid of an enemy number. Firstly if the number square is among a group of souls, of the same colour, and the amount of the group is equal in value or more, you click and they disappear along with it. Secondly if you have a number "extra" equal to the number, you can then zap it. The number extras are shown to the right of your main screen; you gain them as you merge six souls or more.

The game play is simple and I hope I haven't made it sound complicated. I'd say it's Tetris and Minesweeper inspired, but better than both. Logically there must be a way to clear the screen, by clearing the right groups, in the right order, as the grid adds up evenly; though you'd need the luck of a grid with the right combination of souls first.

[Screen-shot: High score]

Saying that the idea is to carry on to each level, I don't know how far you can go though. With four number squares or more, and no soul groups left to combine, the game ends. I got about 500 points below a top ten high score ranking on my first try, but this was beginner's luck, as I haven't got above two thirds of that since.

The documentation says the game needs a CENTurbo-accelerated Falcon, 16 MB with a "?" written next to it, VGA monitor and a Jag-pad. It works fine on my 16 MB Nemesis-accelerated Falcon, though cursor movement and Jag-pad response is sluggish.

The graphics in the game are functional, not advanced in any way, but serve the purpose nicely. The music is techno and jungley. I'm glad, living in a flat which is no way soundproofed, the game defaults to whatever is set in XCONTROL.ACC General, that is, speaker off! It's the sign of a very professional programmer to do this. I can't stand it with late night gaming sessions when you have the speaker off and the game loads with music blaring out.

I've enjoyed playing Ausbruch very much, and it will definitely be on my hard drive to be played until I'm proficient at it. You need a keen eye for this game, it's simple to play, but hard to master and addictive.





Mad Butscher


  • Falcon030
  • Jaguar control pad




  • Good one for puzzle freaks.
  • One you'll go back to master.
  • Great for training concentration.


  • Some animated shuffles would have been nice.



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MyAtari magazine - Review #1, January 2005

Copyright 2005 MyAtari magazine