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Retro Fire

Written: 12.20.06
Acquired: 10.3.06
Status: Cart only
Price: $15

Publisher: Nichibutsu (Nihon Bussan)Released: 4.14.95
Developer: Nichibutsu (Nihon Bussan)Scarcity: 4.5

Hell of a mind-teaser, this one. You move the little guy on the left around a giant square arena, trying to match all the like-colors. You can only push 1 block at a time, and it'll travel until it's stopped by a wall or block

If you think this game's a cheap Soukoban clone, think again

3 like-colors, minimum, are required to make a successful match. Sometimes there are four instead of three, so you must connect all four. Match only 3 in this instance and fail -- as there'd be one block remaining

Here's the 1st stage:

Stage 2:

The rest is easy to work out

The 3rd stage is where things begin to get a bit trickier

There you go, now this pink formation's ripe for the pickings. Can you solve the rest?


An ace 4-player battle mode is included!  Much more than a mere afterthought, this can rival Bomberman believe it or not!  The goal is simple. Squish your opponent(s) via block pushing. The winner is the sole survivor. And for good measure, you get 10 different stage designs, whose block placement is randomly generated, enabling countless variants! (similar to the
map system of the beloved WORMS franchise)

B = push

A = moves a block around you

Note the "A" command is only valid in the battle mode, for obvious reasons. Also, EVEN in this mode blocks will disappear when accidentally or purposely matched. Awesome

Here are the 10 battle zones:

Basic plain 1st stage

                     Blue blocks with the %
                     marks are immovable

The ice blocks dissipate when
pushed against a wall or block

                      The arrows determine
                      the path of destruction

These arrows affect block
AND player movement

                    The arrow blocks here
                    can only be pushed in
                    the direction they're
                    pointing. The numbered
                    blocks travel their
                    respective number (i.e.
                    3 spaces)

Teleporters!  Bomberman
is rollin' in his grave ;)

                        Great gimmick here.
                        Arrows guide block
                        movement. Easy to
                        kill yourself if you
                        don't watch it. When
                        walking on arrows,
                        they act like butter,
                        sliding you in their
                        set direction

The blocks here can be
pushed despite touching
each other. They fly across
and through the screen
disappearing whether they've
crushed someone or not.
Arguably the most chaotic
stage, with the potential of
numerous blocks zooming
by at break-neck speed in
all directions

                   A veritable smorgasbord
                   of the others. Nice


Unfortunately, this mode is restricted to human players. Why they didn't allow CPU opponents is a mystery. But it's better than nothing. Like Bomberman, 2 to 4 can play, with the win total required for a stage adjustable from 1 through 10

To cap things off, a create-your-own-stage option is available


These games possess a purity I can't help but love. They're simply brilliant and brilliantly simple (yet complex). If you love pitting your logic skills to the test, and especially if you have gaming buds, hunt this gem down. From what I understand though, it's very scarce

"Bomberman meets Soukoban" is one way to describe PUZZLE'N DESU! Another way would be.... "bloody ace"