Review: Forma 2.0.7
Developer: Mitchell Haile
Requirements: Mac OS 8.1 with CarbonLib 1.1 or Mac OS X 10.1, 12 MB application RAM.
Recommended: Thousands or millions of colors
Trial: Feature limited (only 3 of 17 levels)
Mitchell Haile’s Forma 2.0.7 looks a bit like that classic falling blocks game Tetris. So on initial play, you may (as I did) fall into Tetris mode, trying to eliminate a horizontal line of blocks across the playing board. However, it’s far from Tetris!
If you’re smart, you’ll read the instructions before you play. Although most games are generally intuitive, this one’s a bit tricky in that you need to know what the different blocks mean. Once you’ve got the blocks figured out (or memorized), game play is pretty much smooth sailing.
The object of Forma is to eliminate the slider blocks (the black and blue blocks that slide horizontally or vertically) from the playing board. Once the sliders are eliminated, you move on to the next level. The difficulty increases as you progress to the next level.
There are two ways to eliminate the sliders. One way is to “squish them by setting the current active piece down on top of them.” However, as the instructions note, this is tricky because sliders can move out from under the piece. The second and best way to eliminate the sliders is to use the fire blocks (they are orange and look just like little orange flames) to break through the “rocks.” The rocks are the dark grey blocks that surround the sliders.
While you attempt to squash the sliders, a threesome of blocks falls from the top of the screen to the bottom. These regular blocks come in various colors: blue, red, yellow, green, grey, and violet. They always fall in a threesome in either a vertical or a horizontal orientation. You can change the position of the blocks from left to right. For example, change yellow, red, blue to blue, yellow, red, but you can’t make a vertical block rotate until it’s horizontal or vice versa.
To gain points, line up three blocks of the same color either horizontally or vertically to make the group disappear from the screen. (Fire blocks match with the regular red blocks.)
The Forma Web site contains some tips on how to master this challenging game.
On this Level Two screen, I have dropped the vertical threesome down so it will block the bottom slider (that is, it will only keep to the right of the playing board instead of all the way across).
New and Improved
This new version of Forma includes the classic game mode (click on Classic Mode under the Settings menu) which is the simple matching of the original Forma game. There are two high scores lists: one for Classic game and one for the Ultra game that was introduced in Forma 2.0. And levels 13 and up are a little slower.
This is a sharp-looking game and it’s very clean and neat. The graphics are very good and sharp. And there are 17 levels to master. Of course, with shareware, you’re only able to play three levels until you register.
Overall, I liked Forma. The game converts to the full screen and you can turn on and off the music and sound effects. It certainly was fun and challenging but not nearly as addictive as some other games I’ve played. This had something to do with the fact that I simply have no patience to figure out what all the blocks mean. However, it was still good and worth trying. Just be patient!
Note: As of August 24, Forma 2.0.8 was released. However, there is only a change in the registration dialog box. Mitchell Haile says he has “made this box easier to use when entering your registration code to try to make it a bit friendlier.” Other than that, the game itself has stayed the same.