In the 90’s it was time for a new puzzle game, it was time for Klax.

At least that’s what the tag-line told me. I couldn’t really fathom how this game was different from most puzzle games, since it involved sorting things, but that’s what the game told me, so it must have been true.

Klax prominently features a large conveyor belt with a mobile sorting apparatus over a 5 x 5 bin. Multi-colored tiles march down the conveyor belt, and it’s your job to catch the tiles and drop them in the bin in such a way that at least three of the same color tile match up and disappear. This maneuver is called a Klax. Your goal is to complete a specific number of these Klaxs, or to fulfill some other ridiculous requirement, like making a ‘Big X’.

There are a couple of things that are striking about the audio in this game. The tiles scream when they fall over the edge of the conveyor belt, presumably to their doom. Each color of tile makes a distinctive sound as it is coming down the conveyor belt, providing the only ambient sound in the game, there is no ‘puzzle music’. And when you finally lose the game a crowd exclaims, “Awww!”

Klax is also unusual among puzzle games in that it does have an end, level 100. What happens if you complete level 100? No idea. I’m not that good of a Klax player.

The NES version of Klax comes with a ‘game’ called Blob Ball. It’s less of a game, and more of a ‘thingus’. You have a blob, some spikes, a moving platform that looks like it came straight out of Pong, and a blob-like ball-thing. You can control the platform and try to deflect the ball away from the spikes, you can control the blob and bounce around and try to hit the spikes, or the platform, or the walls. The ball screams when it hits the spikes. The whole ‘game’ is very odd, and I didn’t spend very much time on it. I get the impression that it was thrown in to take up room on the cartridge.

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