Fear The Dronx is a XBLIG made by Vultrix. In this unique puzzle game, your objective is to destroy the Dronx before they can leave the screen. It has a play style all its own for better or worse. This puzzle game plays fast and difficult.
The game is divided into three modes; Chapter 1 Easy which has 7 stages including the tutorial, Chapter 2 Hard which has 6 stages and Chapter 3 Insane which also has 6 stages. So in all you have 18 stages and one incredibly tedious tutorial stage. The tutorial stage was horrendous as it takes you slowly step by step through the stage to destroy one dronx. Even after the tutorial I still felt like I barely knew what I was doing and Although the first stages are listed as easy, they aren’t.
One thing about the stages being divided into an Easy, Hard, and Insane that bothered me was you couldn’t play the hard or insane stages until you beat the other stages before it. It should have just been lumped together as 18 stages and a tutorial versus being split up for no reason. If you lose you can play any stage you’ve beaten or unlocked again anyway so it isn’t a matter of being forced to start over.
As far as the gameplay goes it is actually a good concept. Two block types will stream out of emitters bombs and solid blocks, you will use this to trap and blow up the dronx that are on the stage. To direct the blocks you will place directional markers on the playfield that can change the block or bombs direction. You also have a stopper that can be placed to prevent losing blocks, which can easily happen since the moment the stage starts the emitters start spitting out the blocks and bombs. It gives you absolutely no time to plan how to beat the stage. This pretty much assures you’ll be playing the stage more than once.
The big challenge is that you receive a limited number of blocks and bombs, so if you run out you lose the stage. With the emitters releasing them so quickly it doesn’t give you much time to do anything at the start of the stage. The game does support 2 players and that is a nice bonus. This doesn’t really make it easier though. Your best time for completing each stage is also kept so you have goals for future gameplay if you wanted to play the stage again.
Now I’ll tell you my problems with the game, the tutorial teaches you how to beat the stage like your an invalid. It step by step tells you where to place each marker and pauses the game to give you the time to do it. It doesn’t explain why you are doing it this way or what would happen if you tried to do it another way. So after you complete the patronizing tutorial, you still don’t know exactly what you’re doing nor are you prepared for the speed at which the game actually plays. Now after you get passed that it’s on to the frustration. After having sat through the tutorial, I was still screwing up until what I needed to do finally hit me. By the point that I knew what to do I was already sick of playing this game. I continued on for a few more stages just trying to get into it and all it did was make me long for both my time back and another game to be staring back at me.
If you are a diehard puzzle player and really want a challenging game, give this a try. I wouldn’t recommend this game to any one else. The game isn’t broken, just really annoying.
1 out of 5