by: Robin Nobles, send
by: Expert Software
95 or 98; 486DX/100MHz or higher PC; 8 MB of RAM; 2X CD-ROM;
16-bit sound card; 15MB hard drive space; mouse
(Ed Note: reviewed in January 2000. As of
December 2002 Expert Software appears to be out of
business, but you can still find this game CD in delete
bins and software racks)
a screen full of ancient Oriental tiles artfully
stacked on top of each other in various formations.
Your job is to match pairs of tiles and empty the
screen. However, you can only remove matching tiles
whose sides are exposed and are not covered by any
other tiles. And, you're working against the clock.
Challenge is an Oriental tile game that's impossible
to put down, even for someone like me who's not game
oriented. If you've ever played mahjongg, you'll
love this game! It's very similar, but you have so
many more options and difficulty levels with Dragon's
was simple, like all of Expert Software's installations.
you aren't stuck with having to read a 3" user's
manual that no one can understand.
To play, you simply choose the level of difficulty by picking
the layout of your tiles. You have 12 layouts to choose from.
Some of the layouts are much more challenging, in that there
are fewer edges, so you have a more difficult time moving
tiles. Example layouts include the Heart, Matrix, Bridge,
on "start," and
you're playing. Can't get much easier than that.
You simply look for matching tiles and click on them both.
Those tiles are removed, and you can now see and utilize
the tiles beneath them. And the game goes on.
However, a lot of strategy is involved. You can't simply
choose matching tiles at random. You need to concentrate
on the top level of stacks first, or you'll find yourself
beaten at the end. Plus, as I mentioned before, some of the
layouts are much more difficult than others.
get stuck, you can choose "hint" to find
out if there are any plays left. Or, you can shuffle the
tiles, or even undo your last move.
Once you've used up your number of moves, you can choose
between shuffling the tiles or ending the game. It's similar
to a last ditch effort to let you win. But the catch is,
you're basically starting a new game, because those tiles
have to be shuffled.
You can play the game by yourself in the solitaire mode,
or play in the tournament mode where you're competing against
top- scoring opponents.
If you don't like the screen background or want something
new, you can choose between 18 different backgrounds. You
can turn the music and sound effects on or off as well. If
you want to use different tile sets, you can pick from between
6 tile sets in motifs such as space, ocean scenes, wildlife,
Challenge is so easy to use that even a child can play,
yet challenging enough for any adult. It's relaxing
and extremely addictive and a lot of fun to boot. I highly
to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public.
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