Welcome to Clayside 

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Returning to the puzzle-solving genre, Enkord’s latest game has our reviewer improving his living conditions.

Making an improvement to your living environment would rate high on most people's wish list.  When that living environment is a virtual one then the improvements can be brought about by a combination of puzzle solving skills and mouse manipulation.  Plus, of course, you will need a copy of Enkord's latest game entitled Clayside.


As regular visitors to Gadgetspeak will know, Enkord has developed a number of games based on the concept of identifying and targeting blocks of three or more tiles that are of the same type.  Clayside follows a similar pattern as the user is set the task of manipulating tiles so that side-by-side arrangements of similar tiles are created.  Rather than move single tiles, Clayside requires rows or columns to be moved in either direction to create the necessary grouping.  When a group of three is created then the tiles involved will disappear, taking with them any adjacent removable obstructions that might be in place.


While this may sound a simple enough task, the Enkord team has come up with a number of devious methods to make it more challenging for the puzzle-solving game player.  Some blocks are permanent and can not be removed or by-passed.  Often tiles will be locked and cannot be removed until the appropriate key tile (easily recognisable because it bears a key icon) is removed while tiles surrounded by barbed wire add their own method of blocking your progress towards a completed solution.


Rewards are offered for those who progress through the numerous screens of challenges that make up this game.  Power-ups are available to remove additional tiles with points being awarded for success as you try to improve your position in the high score table.  The ultimate reward, however, is that of new facilities to improve your basic home, with which you start off with, in this game.  Paved paths, a car, trees and flowers, playthings for the children and lights are just some of the new items that come your way.  They seem to appear in a set order with no chance to make your personal choice from a shopping list.  This omission is the game's only weakness.


Three levels of game play are available and these affect the amount of time you are allocated to complete each screen.  An on-screen warning is given to indicate when your time is almost over.  Your score and progress will automatically be saved after each completed screen allowing you to exit the game and restart, without any penalty, at a later date.


As with all Enkord games, you can try Clayside, free-of-charge, for sixty minutes of play time before you need to make the decision whether to part with the $19.95 being asked for uninterrupted access to this challenging game that consists of over 150 levels and contains 35 different power-ups.  Clayside requires a 600MHz processor with 128MB of RAM running any version of Windows from 95 onwards.  However do be warned that by downloading the 10.8MB of code you could find that this is a highly addictive game that will keep you glued to your computer screen.

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