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Logotron Ltd
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

Other Links

Andy Wilton
Chris Bourne

Supplier: Logotron
Version Tested: Spectrum

IF you just like high-speed mindless blasting games, you won't enjoy this one too much. Not that XORs dull mind you - it's infuriatingly addictive and can get very tough in places - but you'll really need your thinking cap on to get anywhere.

You control two shields, Magus and Questor, on their journey through a series of 15 fiendish mazes. You can move your current shield up, down or sideways, or switch control from one shield to the other. The shields have identical properties but often start a maze a long way apart - so they're both needed.

In each maze there is a set number of masks: collect them all, and that unlocks the maze exit. Get either shield to the exit and you're onto the next maze Of course, the masks aren't always easily accessible. As you work your way through to the later mazes you'll find various kinds of object in your way. At first these are just the maze walls themselves and the games two kinds of forcefield, but you'll soon come up against a tougher pair of obstacles - fish and chickens.

Given the chance, fish fall downwards and chicken run to the left. Often you'll find them resting on masks or forcefields, poised to fall/run as soon as these are removed. They may well block your way to a mask if they do this, or trap your shield. They can even kill you if you get in the way, so great care is needed: you don't get any extra lives, so a death usually means restarting the maze you were on.

Once you've got the hang of chickens and fish separately, you're then faced with the two used together. The resulting chicken-fish formations can be very dangerous indeed: one wrong move and animals fly in all directions.

With care you can 'disarm' these formations, nudging fish or chickens aside to safely remove masks from within. The thinking involved here would tax the mightiest of brains, with interlinked formations two or three screens high. One false move can drop a fish on your head, wall you in or bury a vital mask.

It's horrendously tricky stuff, and there's plenty more where that came from with bombs, transporters and cute little dolls adding to your problems on later levels. XOR is infuriatingly difficult at times, but always maddeningly addictive. An action replay feature lets you review a failed attempt on a maze and (you hope) see where you went wrong.

The graphics may look a little simple but they scroll nicely and serve their purpose perfectly well. The point of course is the puzzling, and that grips like a vice.

Reviewer: Andy Wilton

Spectrum, £7.95 cs, Imminent
Amstrad, £9.95 cs, £14.95 dk, Imminent
C64/128, £9.95 cs, £14.95 dk, Imminent
Atari ST, N/A, Oct 87

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 5.5/10
1 hour: 8/10
1 day: 9/10
1 week: 8/10
1 month: 7/10
1 year: 5/10

Plain graphics but they do their job.
Pretty signature tune.
A real brain-bender.
Surprisingly playable for such a puzzler.

Screenshot Text

Map Section


Your shield

Take the top two masks, push the chicken down and it'll run to the left, straight into the V-Bomb. This sets the bomb off, blasting a hole in the brickwork above and below. You can then get down far enough to pick up the map section, but you'll need to set the lower bomb off as we4ll to get any further - and that means finding another chicken from somewhere!

Take the top mask and stand well clear - it'll start a chicken stampede and fish avalanche rolled into one!