Let me be very blunt about this game. Junction is a very difficult and mind-melting puzzle game! I could really wrap up my review with that statement, but that wouldn't get us anywhere. The game is obviously inspired by marble tracks often used in Rube Goldberg devices and tile puzzles, and is as painful to play as a Rube Goldberg device is to set up. The very first level will have you frustrated and yelling to the point where you want to scream at the pieces to tell them what to do.
When you look at this game it appears to be not much of a challenge! You may think it looks easy and a quick way to kill time on a game you may have never heard of. As soon as you try the first level, you'll feel thrown into chaos. Either your brain or your fingers won't be able to operate quick enough to make it through any more than 5 levels, if you can even manage to make it to level 5.
The goal is simple...Make the red marble pass through all the exterior (silver) tracks to clear them. What isn't simple is getting your brain to work around the frustrating controls of moving tiles one by one in different patterns to get the specific piece you need across the board.
The game's music is done very well, enough to keep you focused and it doesn't feel like an inane repetitive loop. Really it is the only sound you will hear, which is good for such a difficult puzzler. The screen is different than the Genesis version (thankfully, no longer at a tilt) which leads to a slight advantage over the console version, which in itself is incredibly difficult. However, the bland colors don't keep your attention for long and you really grow tired of seeing the same thing the entire time!
The developers of this game could have done a much better job at handling the tiles and the speed of the ball, as well as an easier beginning stage for novices to get the hang of a new control scheme and different kind of puzzle game. This game, with all of it's frustrations, is pretty smart, though. You won't find very many games like this, and for that reason this game is pretty entertaining if you manage to do well. I myself could only reach level 6 without slamming the controller down and walking away.
Junction rolls its way to a 7 out of 10!
The goal in Junction is to have your red marble roll across each of the silver extending platforms in any way you see fit, as long as the ball stays on the track and within the platform. This task is very daunting and will require you to think quickly and react even quicker. The ball will roll along at a slow pace as you race against the clock.
If you happen to have a track that you know how to win (or you know you have lost), you can speed along the marble by pressing A, this will help save on lost time or end frustration. B will slow the marble down, but being pressed for time, it's only good in extreme cases! Also, in some cases you will come across power-ups. I was able to find five, but use only three, thanks to the sheer difficulty in reaching them. The three I reached were Slowdown, which slowed the marble at no cost, Added Time, and Extra Life (much needed!). Beware that there are also power-downs, one of which will destroy your ball, another quickens the pace, making it even more frustratingly difficult! On some tracks, there will be a pyramid. This sucker will launch your ball into the air, allowing extra time and a little breathing room, so you might want to try using it often.
As you advance through the levels, the more platforms you clear and faster times, your score will increase. Each level, of course, will grow in difficulty. Your marble will roll faster, you'll have less room to work with, less time to work with, and some tiles cannot be moved. If you thought it was difficult before, try dealing with all these curve balls the game throws at you. Try and stay focused on where the marble is and exactly what piece you need next, rather than the whole track, and you might just clear a level!
|A Button||Move Marble Faster|
|B Button||Slow Marble|