Rather bizarrely I always remember that my Nan had a Commodore 16 tucked away in her bedroom drawer which she used to love playing Vegas Jackpot on, but she'd never allow me to dig the machine out and have a go at the likes of Spectipede and other various titles she had for it. At the time I had recently acquired my VIC 20, and there was this lovely black machine with grey keys that I wasn't allowed to play. It wasn't until many years later I discovered this rather underrated little machine (and its more powerful cousin the Plus/4). The delights of C16 Big Mac and Tutti Frutti are still yet to be enjoyed by C64 users...
Trans Logic 2 is a brand new release for the machine and developed by a fairly prolific developer on the platform - Skoro of The Assassins. The original Translogic was first released on the C64 just over fifteen years ago, and was later ported across to the 264 series and this sequel is unique to the machine, no C64 version has been created as of yet and indeed may not be. The game has been written specifically so that it can run on an unexpanded 16K machine, which opens up the title to more users who prefer playing on the real thing and don't have a Plus/4 or RAM expansion.
The aim of the game is quite straight forward really. You have two panels; on the right is a pattern of coloured tiles and on the left screen you have second group of tiles which you must reorganise to replicate the view on the right. To do so, you move your cursor onto a particular square and then either move the entire column up or down, or move the entire row left or right - you cannot move individual tiles, which is where the challenge of the game comes into great effect and later the frustration! Quite simply it is like a rather large flat Rubik's Cube that you have to shuffle around.
SLIDE TO THE RIGHT, SLIDE TO THE LEFT - TAKE IT BACK NOW YA'LL
Things start off quite smoothly, and is the case of just moving one or two rows or columns to complete the level... but rather soon you'll start getting some quite daunting patterns that you have to match, and its then when the panic begins to set in and the mind really needs to get working (what with the added time limit!). The only slight problem is that some casual gamers might find it a little too taxing too quickly, but my suggestion is to keep plugging away and the hardest situation is actually quite obvious to complete when you come back to it after a breather.
Graphically, the game improves vastly on the original title and features a lot more colour and shading too - because of the similarities with the C64, the graphics are similar to what it can achieve, though with more variation in the colours. There's no flashy animation or effects, but overall it's all shiny and functional. Presentation is simple for what is a tiny game, featuring high score table and some details about the game itself. If running the game on a standard machine, things might seem a little too on the quiet side - and the reason for this is that you need a SID card to be able to enjoy the game's good music - it's a bit of a shame that there isn't a TED fall-back, or some sound effects to compensate, but at least when using any of the popular 264 emulators you can turn on SID sound.
Overall with Trans Logic 2 you are getting a good solid, simple and addictive puzzler which will tease and frustrate you. You're not getting bags of variety or a game which might keep you hooked for weeks and weeks, but if like me you like your puzzlers and challenging ones at that, Trans Logic 2 will provide hours of taxing entertainment for the princely sum of zero pence - bargain!