[This article originally published in September 2015] It’s most fitting that on the 25th anniversary of CF1, we reach the end of our Best Budget series with a game linked to the magazine in so many ways. Tilt even got its review in the first issue, when the magazine was still finding its feet and the full-price games were still so plentiful that Roger Frames Buys Budget Games was a couple of black and white pages hidden somewhere near the back.
Tilt doesn’t really fit into any genre. It was coded by Stephen Walters, who has two other games in our Best Budget list (more than anybody else) – 3D Pool and 3D Snooker. Clearly, 3D was his thing ‘cos Tilt is too. You control a, er, slab. Inside is a ball and maze, and by tilting (aha!) the slab you can roll the ball towards the exit. Touching the sides causes your energy to drop, but just as troublesome are the barriers at set points in each maze. Pressing fire causes them to open – but only for a short time. Getting your ball through before the barrier drops can be tough. Later on, just to add to the challenge, the ball gets bigger so you have less room to move.
The movement of the maze, as you’ll see from our video, is great. An especially nice touch is how each maze is dragged into view by a set of rollers. The sound is chunky and mechanical and really fits the game, too. But above all it is so so so addictive. As Roger Frames said 25 years ago today, the longevity here would have made it good at full price. For three quid, it felt like stealing. Wonderful stuff that would make an excellent mobile phone game today. Imagine actually tilting your phone to guide the ball. Somebody should tell Codemasters. CF
THE SLIGHTLY ANNOYING CONFUSION BETWEEN TILT AND TILT
As every keyboard warrior on every C64 forum is keen to point out, another game called Tilt came out a year after this one. It was by Genias (they of Dragon’s Kingdom).You can read CF’s review from Christmas 1991 here. The confusion often causes one or the other to be omitted from C64 game databases. But the mixups actually go back as far as the days of Commodore Format itself. When the rights for the 93% Codemasters version were secured for Power Pack 48, CF actually printed instructions for the other version of Tilt. Cringe!
CF SAID: “It’s always a pleasure to see somebody prove that simple ideas are the best.”
WE SAY: This is one of those games on the cusp of the C64 “changover”; the point at which a lot of people handed down their C64s to little brothers or whatever. If it’d been released a few years before everybody would know it. A shame. But now’s your chance to play…
- Read Roger Frames’ full review
- Go back to the CF’s Best Of Budget homepage
- Play Tilt (requires C64 emulator)