I n spite of simple graphics and the unforgivable way in which it massacres the well-loved Fur Elise by Beethoven, Timebomb is likely to win an enthusiastic following among those who enjoy an entertaining and novel game.
On a screen representing a grid of blue squares you must guide the hero Cedric towards a series of six bombs in time to prevent them exploding. Each bomb is set to explode after 30 seconds and as soon as one is defused another appears at a random place on the screen. You score points as you pass over the squares and lose one of your three lives whenever a bomb explodes.
Adding to the complexity of the plot are bonus points to be gained from picking up flags or reaching the bomb quickly, and hazards to be avoided such as skulls and boots. What really makes the game interesting is the way in which the blue squares disappear once Cedric has stepped on them, making it impossible to go back over the same route. There is also a scrolling facility enabling you to line up Cedric with a bomb without losing any of his squares, as well as a wrap-round facility which allows you to go off the edge of the screen and re-appear at the opposite end rather than crossing it.
As the bombs tick away, snap decisions must be taken as to which route is the quickest, safest and most productive of points, while nimble fingers are needed to guide Cedric safely and smoothly to his target.
Timebomb appears to have found the proper balance for an amusing and addictive game.