Comments & Sound & Graphics
Atari didn't publish many games for the ST themselves, 18 by my count, and except for Super Sprint, most were regarded to be around the bit-below-average mark possibly owing to the fact that four of them were what came from the Paradox factory. I expect that most people would say XOR fell into this bit-below-average category too, because the graphics are basic yet functional, and the sound is simple yet pleasant. But these spartan qualities are of no consequence to me - Fanciful sound and graphics only serve to evoke an emotional reaction, which would be incompatible with this being a game of pure logic. Striking graphics and sound would not make this a better game. So by my unique ratings method, graphics and sound both get a score of 6, representing a balance between the basicity and this lack of improvability of the game through the audio-visual aspect.
And as all good logicians should know, XOR is a binary operator...
So what are we looking at here? XOR is a tile puzzle, built within a labyrinthine area. The player must take control of two shield shaped tiles, and by sliding them around he must successfully cross all of the blue mask tiles in the labyrinth before proceeding to the exit door. To hinder movement, there are a variety of other tiles which can have the effect of blocking off passages or masks, or can sometimes help to create new passages in the case of explosives. The graphics for these tiles depict artefacts bearing a similar quality, for example: In level one there are wavy lines and spotted tiles which can only be traversed horizontally or vertically, like moving (across) land and submerging (down) in water. In later levels, you can find birds which fly horizontally, bombs which fall vertically, and magnets, dolls and teleports are all introduced, and many other things besides.
XOR provides an good level of entertainment, and the 15 levels steadily become more challenging, and they are very hard beyond level 6. The furthest I have ever gone is to complete upto and including level 11 so I have never completed the whole!
One good thing about this game is that you don't have lives/credits. You can try a level as often as you like, and if you fail it there's no penalty. You can play the levels in any order - choose from 1 to 15, they get ticked off as you complete them.
All things considered, I feel that this is a very pleasant program - it is a work of art in my opinion.
Graphics : 7
Sound : 6
Gameplay : 8
Overall : 7