LAURENT KERMEL - Video Game Den : Super Famicom : KEEPER )
KEEPER
game Cover
game cartridge
キーパー
©1994 Datam Polystar
©1993 Success
©1992 Ascii
Release: 1994-07-15 (¥7200)
Cartridge SHVC-K9
Puzzle/Action game


Keeper is the conversion of a cute puzzle game published by Datam Polystar and originally released for the Sharp X68000 computer. Strange fossil stones have surfaced after the terrible eruption of Mt Cod and two weird looking fluffy animals with pointy ears and big eyes seem to be the nearby village's only hope - our unlikely guardian heroes must now protect the water springs and collect the buried marine fossils to save the day. Interestingly, two other characters can also be played as - the cute Makendō and he weird looking black Maririn. Keeper's game mode features a five by five grid where colored fossil stones randomly appear at a constant rate. Our heroes can freely move around the grid and can either pull or push the colored stones - if three or more of the same color or the same symbol happen to be aligned, they automatically disappear. And to help our fluffy heroes in their journey, special blocks also randomly appear and can freeze time for a short moment or have the power to replace any block and consequently help the player overcome increasingly desperate situations. A Puzzle mode borrows the same concept but gives the player a set number of blocks that need to be cleared up within a limited number of moves. This mode features a simple password system and each one of the sixty levels can be revisited at will. The two play modes also feature a two simultaneous player option that can be enjoyed in cooperative or a more intense versus form.
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screen shot Keeper was first released in 1993 for the Sharp X68000 computer by Success and ASCII Entertainment (picture on the left). It was converted for the Super Famicom the following year (version tested here). Keeper was also released in 2002 for Sony's Playstation as part of the SuperLite 1500 series.

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Keeper is an interesting mix of the good old Tetris and top-down action - align three blocks to make space to the countless waves of fossil stones that soon will fill up the whole grid and bring the unavoidable 'Game Over' screen. That sorts of resume the Game mode pretty well, it is fun overall but the lack of variation and the monotonous gameplay give you no much reason to shoot for a higher score... The Puzzle Mode is probably my favorite part of the game and it quickly becomes really challenging. Some of the later puzzles are downright hardcore and intricate - they'll definitively bend your mind in ways you never thought possible. All in all, Keeper is a nice and challenging puzzle game - but I only wished Success had done a better job with its level design, perhaps more diverse levels would have been a welcome addition.




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