Puzznic on the PC Engine was converted by Taito themselves and released in 1990. Was it a Japanese release only? Seems like it might have been…
Puzznic might not look like much but it is actually a truly brilliant game. It first came out as an arcade game in 1989.
It’s a one or two-player game (take it in turns two-player, not simultaneous) where the aim is to clear blocks on various different-shaped boards.
Blocks of the same kind will disappear if two or more of them are touching. Gravity plays a part too, and blocks will fall downwards if nothing prevents them.
The shape of the board determines strategies for clearing blocks, and there are also moving platforms that can be used to move blocks to where they need to be.
No blocks must be left on the board, so any stray singles will mean that you went wrong somewhere and must try again. Thankfully, retrying is quick and painless.
Normal mode is an increasingly difficult series of eight stages, each with four different puzzles. You can choose between any of the eight opening stages to begin with, and after every fourth puzzle the game then gives you a choice of which direction to go in. There are 64 levels in total and 256 puzzles in Normal mode. Any one game will take you through 32 different puzzles, though.
The PC Engine version of Puzznic also has an Arrange mode, A, B, C or D, where you must get a certain number of specific shapes within a time limit. It’s a tough additional challenge not seen in other versions and is most welcome.
Puzznic on the PC Engine is a challenging and absorbing game. Some of the puzzles are devilishly difficult, requiring guile and cunning to beat. The underlying concept of the game, though, is simplicity in itself, and anyone can pick it up and play it without worrying too much about rules.
More: Puzznic on Wikipedia