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Flash Reviews: Acno's Energizer

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Hello everybody, flash33 here and welcome to my review of Acno's Energizer, a puzzle game made by Uselab in 2002 for the PC.

Premise



The goal in Acno's Energizer is to guide Acno through 35 levels of mazes and puzzles within the time limit by pushing balls into the energizer to charge it, which let's Acno go inside of it and clear the level.

Gameplay



To clear each level, you must first charge the energizer via balls scattered throughout the level. Once you push the balls into the energizer, it will start to glow blue; from there just direct acno into the energizer and you complete the level. When you clear a level, you get points based on how much time you had left (i.e. how fast/quickly you finished/completed the level) and how many enemies you destroyed in the level as well. Each level features it's own unique challenge along with obstacles like boulders that can be used to fill in certain gaps for Acno to cross, some feature enemies which can only be destroyed via boulders or exploding barrels, doors that require a key to unlock and more.

The game features 2 different enemies, the spider and the bee. The bee enemy follows a pre-set path around the maze, acting like moving obstacles if you will, only changing direction if it's intended path is blocked off somehow. The spider enemy will automatically home in on Acno in an attempt to kill him, only stopping if there's something in the way of it that's blocking it somehow.

If you get stuck on a level feel free to restart it, though just note that it costs you a life in doing so, and you start the game with 3 lives, no more, no less. Bonus lives are also not awarded in this game. You lose a life if you:

-Fail to complete a level within the time limit.
-Get destroyed by enemies, boulders, balls, exploding barrels or explosions.
-Restart the level.

Once all your lives are gone, it's game over. The gameplay is very similar to the Adventure's of Lolo series on the NES in that Acno can only push things and not pull, meaning that if you mess up by pushing something too far over for example, then you're gonna have to restart the level over from the beginning. Luckilly, the game comes with level codes that you can use to go to any level that you wish to go to (the codes are displayed at the start of every level, though note that this feature is sadly not available in the pirate101 central or the wizard101 central arcades, so keep that in mind when playing through this game).

Controls

To move Acno you use the arrow keys on your keyboard. To get rid of grass without actually having to move Acno, press the spacebar and then the direction of the grass that you want removed, and that's it.

Bad

Well for starters the fact that you start with 3 lives and 3 lives only and can't get anymore extra lives throughout the game is very disappointing and can really turn off younger players & players that aren't as skilled at these kinds of puzzle games as others are. There's also some levels that can really catch players off-guard if they're not too careful. Level 10 for example is one such level, as it requires you to clear the patch of grass underneath the energizer and then move out of the way before the enemy explosions cause the ball to drop, otherwise you'll have to start the level over (you only have about 2-3 seconds to do this just fyi).

Another thing I didn't like is that you can't pull objects away from their current locations. Since you can sometimes go an extra space farther than you intended to go, this can cause you to mess up and start the level over again. There's also the issue with the exploding barrels exploding even if you just pushed them down one space lower than their original location. Since explosions cover 9 squares, this can catch you off guard and cause you to explode along with the barrel, effectively killing you and forcing you to restart the level or get a game over.

This is probably just a pet peeve of mind, but I didn't like the fact that no music plays during the levels and only during the level start menu, the main menu & it's options and the score count screens. While I do and will admit that the music in this game isn't the best that I've ever heard, it still is a bit of a letdown to see this feature absent from this game & it's very unique levels.

One thing that I found to be pretty disappointing is that as far as I can tell there's no real story as to why Acno is doing this. I think that the developers could have really developed a fun & unique story for Acno and the different things featured in this game as well, but they just chose not to do it, which is a very disappointing/sad mistake if you ask me.

One last thing I didn't like (and this is more of an issue with the sites that host this game and not really with the game itselfl) is that there's no option to put codes in, nor do codes show up in the wizard101 central and pirate101 central versions.

Good

I like how each level features a unique puzzle different from the last, and that each require you to think on your toes and plan your moves carefully so-to-speak so that you don't accidentally make a mistake and have to restart the entire level all over again. Even though each level uses the same basic background and size, the levels are designed in a way that makes it seem like it's a brand new challenge/adventure, a feature that's not seen very much today (at least, not my me that is). Though it costs you a life, I'm glad that you have the ability to start the level over from the beginning if you screw up, though I do wish that there was an option to go at least 1, 2 or 3 steps/moves backwards & not always have to resort to that when you make a mistake, but I digress.

Conclusion

Overall though I think that this is a pretty fun and challenging game to play. Though there are some parts that I don't like and others that I wish were added or changed, the game itself. If you're a fan of puzzle games, then you'll definitely want to give this game a shot and see how well you do in it. I give Acno's Energizer for the PC a 7/10.

Stay tuned for my next review & until we meet again gamers, God bless & happy gaming.

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Updated 04-21-2013 at 08:33 PM by flash33

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Comments

  1. Crushcut's Avatar
    I actually played that game before when I was a younger on the computer, thanks for bringing back old memories
  2. flash33's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Crushcut
    I actually played that game before when I was a younger on the computer, thanks for bringing back old memories
    No problem, I'm glad you liked it. If you liked this review then please feel free to check out some of the other reviews I've done on my blog as well. Thank you for your time.