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Retro Fire

Written: 12.8.06
Acquired: 9.2.06
Status: Cart only
Price: $8.11

Publisher: VictorReleased: 11.25.94
Developer: Tao Human Systems Scarcity: 3.5

In this abnormal puzzler you only need to match TWO like pieces. Two!  The quirks don't end there -- you can't rotate the pieces... you can only flip

Most show off their arse when flipped, but the fish has a skeleton backside

Regular pieces:

  • Apple
  • Owl
  • Frog
  • Fish


  • Bee (more on this later)
  • Cat (see below)

The cat can only be uncovered when you flip the regular pieces around. It doesn't appear straight up, so just flip constantly. Once in a while, instead of a frog or owl's ass, you'll find the feline instead

Make the match

Any regular piece in the same
row as the cats will be converted
to cat pieces themselves

Transformation just about complete

Once that happens, they all dissipate

Note that a horizontal cat connection is only 1 row's worth. A vertical hookup on the other hand is double the trouble, so try to go for the vertical match (obviously)


1 Player:

  • A: Play til your top is stacked
  • B: Well has two rows already filled, with a bee at the bottom

2 Player mode is
played in mode B

1 Player mode B in action

                   The goal is to eliminate the bee
                   at the bottom (with another bee).
                   Like the cat the bee isn't presented
                   directly. A little detective work is
                   required, then

Even when later levels have multiple bee's, it's a piece of cake. You Game Over when the screen is filled, but that's hard to do


There's no VS. CPU mode. I was also disappointed by the 2 player mode -- part of the fun is sending garbage blocks over to the opponent. Not found here


With only 2 like-pieces needed
to match, it's simple to set up
huge chains. Look at this 3-hitter

Bye fishies

Notice above how I've set up the owl pieces (both front and back sides) one spot higher, one column over. Once the fish are removed, everything drops accordingly


If there were a plaque for "MY FIRST PUZZLER" this would win hands down. It's perfect for children. But, no pun intended, for us older cats the gameplay is too unsophisticated. Still, it's
no shame to own Nontan if you love the genre as much as I do... you just won't be playing it over TETRIS or PUYO PUYO