Version tested Retro
Deflektor was never one of those games that had people jumping up and down in excitement upon its unheralded release in early 1988. But that's hardly surprising is it? If you were a keen gamer back then, you'd probably struggle to remember too many puzzle games flying off the shelves, and stood next to more graphically impressive action games of the time (and no handheld outlet for it), it got rather pushed to one side and forgotten about. But not by me. Oh ho no.
Despite the unjust snubbing of Deflektor, the fact that Jason Perkins went for a simple, elegant graphical design has done it a huge favour in the long run, because it's precisely the sort of title which - in gameplay terms - hasn't aged in the slightest, and could easily be reworked to warm acclaim on Xbox Live Arcade today.
So what's it about? Well, it is, as with most puzzle games, very simple at heart (and, no, it's not a block puzzler). The basic aim is to direct, nay, deflect a laser beam from its start point to somewhere else on the level. Viewed from a neat, efficient top-down perspective, you had control over a cursor, and against the clock had to twiddle mirrors and set things up so the beam would be reflected from one mirror to the next, snaking a path that eventually ended up at the end point.
Sometimes you'd have to destroy obstacles in your path, again, using the beam or utilising other helpful items that, for example, shot the laser out in various directions.
But the real hazard facing you was the ticking clock, and frantically trying to rearrange the mirrors without feeding back and blowing up the system was usually much tougher than it appeared.
With simple, effective visuals and a great, timeless concept, Deflektor is a largely forgotten C64 game worthy of celebration. Join us in unison: Woo!
8 / 10