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Dossiers > Articles and Reviews in English > Games > [ENG] Don’t Cock It Up ‘Open Your Mind’ (Matra, 2001)

[ENG] Don’t Cock It Up ‘Open Your Mind’ (Matra, 2001)

Reviewed in January 2004

The story:
You're trapped in an inner fight between your natural born stardom and the yearn for a normal and boring life. During a journey to Russia you commit yourself to end the dilemna by merging both ideas so they cancel each other.
Sooner or later you shall realize that this concept is utopic and always ends with your head messed up.


Left: Game Cover in plastic case; Right: The Floppy Disk

The Review:
Nothing in the title would give you a hint that this Matra game is in fact a Tetris clone for MSX. Released about two years ago, in 2001, this is one of the most addictive and entertaining arcade games published on MSX - totally crazy and fun - like many other Matra games.

From the website, to ordering the game, to the game sleeve and floppy disk and to the actual game running on your MSX (yes, this one won't work on any emulator!), nothing fails to the humour (sometimes a bit rude but alright in the whole context) of the people behind it...

 

On Don't Cock It Up's website you can read ...
A TIC-TAC-TOE PLAYFIELD ZONE WAS INTO THE FIRST ONES INTERNAL DEVELOPMENT CODES BY SCORING THE DOUBLE-PROZAC VERSUS MODE
In a communication with S.T.A.R. ...
IN MY HONEST OPINION, SBB IS THE GAME. COCK IS THE GALIGULA. ARK IS A GREAT GAME. MOSKOW_IS NOT IS_THE GAME BECAUSE I'M SURE THAT IT COULD BE MUCH BETTER AS IS. BUT AT THE SAME TIME SBB IS THE FIRST EPISODE FOR SBB2, SO SBB2 COULD BE MUCH BETTER THAN THE FIRST ONE; COCK AND ARK ARE TWO GALIGULA TITLES FOR OUR MERCENARY ARMY TRAINER AND NOW THEY ARE MUCH BETTER PROGRAMMERS. COCK IS NO EASY FOR A NEW AND ENHANCED VERSION_BUT_ARK COULD BE BETTER ALMOST FOR MSX1. MOSKOW WAS PROGRAMMED WITH BLOOD AND FURY BUT I THINK MOSKOW2024: SECOND IMPACT COULD BE MUCH BETTER. THE BEST WAY IS TO ASK THE COMMUNITY, TRY A POLL FOR THE USERS BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW WHICH IS OUR BEST GAME, SINCERELLY.
On the floppy disk itself ...
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, NO PORTION OF THE CONTENTS MAY BE REPRODUCED, TRANSMITED, DISTRIBUTED, RENTED OR RESOLD IN ANY FORM. UNAUTHORIZED REPRODUCTION IS A VIOLATION OF APPLICABLE LAWS AND IS SUBJECT TO CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. COCH IF YOU DARE!
During the game itself, many fun texts...
WE KILLED BAMBI, BOTTOM SHAKER, OUT OF MIND!!!, BUY MATRA, EAT MY SHORTS, BILLION BUCKS, COCKA COLA MOLA, CARMEN WATER, PADZIKOVANOVA, GAME UNDER...

 


Left: Intro screen; Right: One-Player mode (Level 2)

So let's get back to more serious things. Don't Cock It Up is a Tetris game - no less but a lot more... especially when you see how smooth the game runs on your MSX, you really can say S.T.A.R. (Cocktail Burpman Square Neurrodancer), Darth 007 (Game Guts, Stab FX Surpervisor), Madonna Mark II (Audiotherapist & Rocket Miss CCCP) and Miss z-0 (Surgey Heavy Metal Gear) did a great job. The bricks fall dawn smoothly, rotation is very good and even fast right-left motion (when you hold the right or left keys pressed) is extremely powerful like in the original game. There is no lag at all, and compared to many other Tetris clones I've played, Don't Cock It Up is one of the few that also authorizes to slide a brick right or left once it touches the bottom layer (useful when you need to fill in an empty hole). Apart that it runs on MSX2 and above, the game is entirely made in Screen 4 and utilizes 224 raster lines instead of the conventional 192 meaning the action fills entirely your TV screen! Besides all 8 single-mode player levels come with different backgrounds and different PSG music. Really nice.
I was about to forget what Tetris is ... sure you don't know, so do I really need to explain? No, I don't think so.


Two-player mode: Double Prozac

Let's then go straight into game play. Upon loading the disk you have three game modes: Single player, Dual-Player 'Double Prozac' and Dual Player 'Freud vs. Hung'.
In single player mode it just the straightforward Tetris we all know except that each time you advance to the next level you not only get a preset number of bricks laid out on the screen but the games goes also faster and faster - thus incrementing slowly but surely your adrenaline levels the more you advance. To help you out, there is a nice set of statistics in the middle of the screen to let you know how many bricks of each form have already appeared - but from my expert advice, I just tell you - don't look at it too much as it just might disturb you and whenever you look desperately for that 4 bricks long line (black) - it will simply not come!
Double Prozac is the simple two-player mode with split screen action against another human player. Also here, like in single mode, the aim is to make as many lines as possible - the winner being the one who scores highest.
Freud vs. Hung is terrific and will guarantee a lot of fun against your friends. Not only it is important to make as many lines as possible, but you will also need to make them faster than your opponent! Each time you score a line more than your opponent your raise on the balance - and you will reach the hall of fame only when you have managed to created a half dozen lines more than your friend in the same timeframe. No time to relax, for sure - plus, high brain usage guaranteed to place the bricks in the best place!


Left: Two-player mode (Freud vs Hung); Right: Bengara won the game!

What's more to say? not very much except you can also choose between four different players: Boobie, Bengara, Musketeer and Pandonium. Each one has its own special caracter!
Even if we always find some little things we don not like (e.g. no possibility to start at a higher level, no artificial intelligent opponents, no possibility to configure keyboard ...) we believe this is from far the best tetris game on MSX that has really very little to envy to recent versions on today's PCs. Quite an achievement for a game using 1986 technology!
We finally come to an end of this review and can only encourage you to get it from Matra for only 9 Euros + shipping. And if you haven't had enough with 'Open your Mind' there are two more episodes to try out: Never Mind' and 'Read Your Mind'.

Pros:

  • Very addictive game!
  • Endless fun, especially in two-player mode
  • Great music
  • Cheap
  • Simple but nice floppy disk, case and instructions leaflet.

Cons:

  • No possibility to start at a higher level in single player!
  • Not many options, missing the possibility to listen to music separately.
  • Does not work on emulators

Game Specifications:
MSX2, PSG music, 1 single DD floppy Disk

Where to get it from:
Matranet 


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