Those who like a dose of artery-bursting pressure with their action/adventure should check out Tracer (7th Level). Once all the various digital conceits are set aside (you enter “cyberspace” and “hack” towards the “data core,” but there’s a “virus” hot on your heels, etc.), this boils down to a simple, pulse-pounding game of logic, action, and cool nerves. You control a figure standing on a grid high above a future metropolis. On your toolbelt (or whatever it is) you hold ten squares; each side of the square is a different color. Place a square onto the grid in front of you, then step onto it. Place another square – the color must match the contiguous side – and step onto that one. Keep moving, and don’t look back; the path you’ve laid out behind you burns up quickly, so if you hesitate you’ll fall. It’s also worth keeping an eye on what colors you have available, so you don’t paint yourself into a corner. A few gimmicks, like special squares that slide across empty spaces and stations that will replenish your square supply, add a few slight twists to the game. Basically, though, it’s a simple contest: keep your wits about you and it never gets too tricky. Panic, even for an instant, and it’s all over. Supercool graphics and a pounding pseudo-house soundtrack are designed to make you panic. We can’t call it the zenith of technology, but it does demonstrate the computer game industry’s skill at updating old concepts with flair – a good game of Tracer feels like nothing quite so much as super Qix.
– October 1996