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DVD of the Week
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Levers - October 10, '99 by Dorsola
Game:LeversCompany:Rock-Ola
Type:PuzzlePlayers:1/2

Here's an old game that I ran across when it was first announced as being emulated in MAME. I had never heard of Levers before, but looking at the screenshots, I figured it'd be a fun game to try out. And for the most part, it is, if for no other reason than for the novel concept behind it. But it isn't the type of game that would keep me coming back for more. Why am I reviewing it? Well... if you were in my shoes, you might ask yourself: Why the heck not? =)
You control a little man that jumps around on these really big lever-type platforms. He must be an incredibly light guy, because regardless of where you're standing on a lever, it doesn't move at all. Only the large balls (and/or spiked-balls) that fall from a moving hole in the top of the screen can do that. Your objective is to collect all of the little plants on the screen, jumping among the levers and avoiding the hazards you find along the way. If you run into a ball, it will simply knock you down one lever, or off the bottom of the screen if there's nothing underneath you. Spiked balls will kill you on impact. And in later levels, there's an annoying little fly thingy that comes and eats your plants, making them temporarily unavailable for pickup.
That's really about it in terms of gameplay. While the placement of the levers is varied in each level, there's really very little allure to this game. The graphics are really basic - can't be more than 16 or 32 colors - and it sounds kinda like some of the games on my old Apple II did. Not much to say about it. And while it does offer two-player simultaneous play, the control system (just a single joystick) leaves a lot to be desired. If you move to the edge of a lever, you just jump off, often times when you didn't mean to. This ranges from being inconvenient to causing you to lose a life - and while you're walking along a lever, you move pretty slowly in comparison to your jumping speed.
The only truly good thing I can say about this game is that, to the best of my knowledge, it is emulated PERFECTLY in MAME. Not only that, but it's blazingly fast if you turn off the speed limiter. You could probably be on a 486 and still play it at full speed. But then again, this is how it is with most simple (and/or simple-minded) games. I say try it once and see what you think of it. If you're like me, it'll provide a good novelty game for a few minutes, but then it may end up as a lost item in your ROMS folder.
Graphics
3
4
Sound
Play Control
4
6
Challenge
Replay Value
3
8
Performance

Screen Shots

Screen Shot 1
1999 EmuViews