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NetWalk (Palm) March 31, 2000

Bieks Electronics & Trade is quite a mouthful but they seems to know Palm and I kind of suspect, the Palm User as well. This company has recently made a name for themeselves in Palm dictionaries, offering BDicty, Lexicons (over 10 languages) as well as Travel dictionaries.

Recently, I surfed over to their website and discovered that among the Palm products they produced are such diverse programs as business applications - Wall Street Financial Assistant, Palm Type - Bulgarian input for the Palm and Woman - better sex the preferred Catholic way. They are also working on Pilot Catapult Installation kit - a desktop replacement for the Palm Desktop.

The thing that impresses me about this company are the kind of super playable games that they put out, a number of them in colour. These games were listed on their Web when I logged on on March 20th, but check back often as these people do not let grass grow under their feet: Pilot Lines, Karateka, NetWalk, Clickomania, Tron, Tetris and Sticks. I will review NetWalk in this first review and then in another review, other games from Beiks that I really liked.

NetWalk is great value for money. Try out the easy levels from a downloadable demo version. It is not crippled in any way. Then shell out US$10 for the real McCoy where you will get 33 honest to goodness levels starting at ther Master's (1-19) level working your way up to the expert level(20-29) and finally, 30-33.

The game takes just a minute to learn - just tap on the network or computer wires. When they connect, you get a smiling monitor (nice touch!). However, like all those games of enduring interest, it takes forever to master it. It took me the better part of the morning even to get close to finishing the first level - and even if you got every monitor turned on but one, you may still be as far from the solution as when you first started!

The trick is to think out of a box. Or working backwards towards the server. Where a monitor has the least number of network wires, the options are much more obvious. One wrong connection, and it's major rewiring again.

This is one of the games that you will return to every spare minute you get. In fact, if you can interest a friend to register for a copy, there is great fun and comradeship to be had by exchanging tips and doing a oneupmanship on each other.

While the game allows you to jump levels (some are really ingenious), according to the producer, there is a surprise ending for the guy who completes all of them. Good thinking! It would be better to get fireworks for every level completed because it is really quite a challenge (unless you break the code - then it is not as fun).

Tip: If you are stuck on one level, don't despair. Go to another. Then come back to those that stumped you. Your puzzles will be left exactly as they are!

One word of warning though - play this game at your own peril. Your productivity will shrunk, sleep time minimized and blood temperature will boil!

by Henry Kong


Title: NetWalk
Publisher: Bieks Electronics & Trade
Summary: A challenging puzzle game
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