Author: NAGI-P SOFT
Mike: Happy New Year to everybody out there in Mac-land! If you’re like a lot of people out there, you’re making New Year’s resolutions. Those resolutions are often difficult, sometimes even seemingly impossible to accomplish, but we all try our best to keep them as long as possible anyway. Well, these two games are a lot like that – they’re seemingly impossible to beat, but I’ve found myself going back time and time again, trying my best to accomplish the goal anyway.
Adam: It really seems that LCs can run good games after all! NS-SHAFT and NS-TOWER are very high quality, original games. They have great graphics, and sound effects. They are incredibly fast-paced, yet they require a little bit of strategy and guessing as you advance, and they are incredibly simple and nearly impossible to put down. Now, Mike, is there a plot/storyline to this game?
Adam: Good, carry on…
Mike: The games are exact opposites of each other, but they complement each other extremely well. In NS-SHAFT, you are trying to make it to the bottom of a never-ending chasm without getting yourself killed, while in NS-TOWER you’re running and jumping upwards, trying to reach the top of an extraordinarily tall tower.
Mike: I’ve found NS-SHAFT to be my favorite of the two.
Adam: Me too. The controls make much more sense in NS-SHAFT, and it is overall a much easier game to play. (Must be why I like it!)
Mike: In NS-SHAFT, you control the player on screen with the left and right arrow keys – the only controls you need. You begin the game standing on a platform, with deadly spikes above your head and a lot of air space below. I’m not sure whether the spikes are moving downwards, or if you’re moving upwards, but either way, your head is getting closer and closer to the spikes! Your only choice is to run off of the platform you’re standing on and fall to one of the platforms below you, and continue to do so again and again and again… otherwise you face certain death from the deadly spikes.
Adam: In NS-TOWER the player on screen is controlled with either the space bar or the mouse. You begin at the bottom of a tower, and you need to jump your way to the top. Your player is continually running, only turning around when he hits a wall. The character will run right off a platform and fall down to his death if you aren’t careful. The only way you can control him is by making him jump to the next highest platform using the space bar or the mouse.
Mike: A power meter shows you how high and how far he will jump at any given moment, and the trick is to jump at the right time so that he will reach the next highest platform. Some of the platforms are in constant motion, and that makes landing on them even tougher. Controlling the player takes some getting used to; I originally found the tactic quirky and strange. Once I got the hang of it, though, I found NS-TOWER almost as addicting as NS-SHAFT.
Adam: It sounds easy enough, but both games have different types of platforms, and each platform presents a challenge. Some platforms are “springboards,” which will make you jump. In NS-TOWER, this is an advantage, as you can jump higher to the next platform. In NS-SHAFT, however, you have to be careful. If you’re not, you’ll jump right into the spikes at the top of the shaft, and then you’re dead! Some platforms give way as soon as you touch them, and you continue to fall. Yet another type of platform is covered with spikes, which should definitely be avoided!
Mike: You die when you touch the spikes often enough that you deplete your heath meter to zero, and you plummet to your doom if you fall off the screen without landing on another platform. Whether you can beat the game or not, I’m not sure… I’ve never reached the bottom/top!
Adam: Reaching the bottom/top (and beating the game, if you can) depends on your ability level, so it’s a good thing that both NS-SHAFT and NS-TOWER give you 3 levels of difficulty – easy, normal, and hard. You can also select whether or not you want the challenging platforms, such as spring boards and conveyer belts.
Both NS-SHAFT and NS-TOWER require any Mac with Mac OS 7.0 or later, a resolution of 640×480 or greater, 256 colors and 1.5MB of RAM.
You can download NS-SHAFT and NS-TOWER at the NAGI-P SOFT home page, at http://www.hc.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~nagi/nps.
Mike: Both games are wonderful, with gorgeous graphics, simple controls, great music and sound effects, and adjustable difficulty levels. A high score tracker keeps track of the best finishes and the all-time record, so you have a goal to shoot for even if you never make it to the bottom of the shaft or the top of the tower. If you’re itching for some simple, fast-paced arcade gaming, I encourage you to try either game. They’re like a good potato chip; I bet you can’t play just once.
Adam: NS-SHAFT and NS-TOWER are both worthwhile games that will keep you playing for hours. Their low memory requirements make them ideal games for any platform. Remember, if it runs on Mike’s LC, it will run on anything!