(released Feb. 2000)

Looking for another Tetris clone? Well, look elsewhere. This game is anything but a clone of the granddaddy of all puzzlers. The Lost Golem (Golem No Maigo) is an obscure (the last count I saw was under 500 sold) Japanese-only game for the Dreamcast.

There are 2 main characters in this game: A Golem (a huge stone creature) and a King. The object of the game, like all good puzzle games, is very simple. Playing as the Golem, you must guide the king to safety.

The game is broken down into dozens of stages. In each stage, you are in the room of a castle. The object is to get the king to walk out of the door in each room. Sounds simple doesn’t it?

But the king isn’t the brightest torch in the castle. He can only walk in a straight path. When he hits a wall he turns left. If he can’t go left he will turn right. If both left and right paths are blocked, he will turn around and go back in the direction he just came.

As the Golem, your only way to guide the king to safety is to move walls in front of the King to change his path. Walls are connected to 1 of 2 different types of pillars. The type of pillar determines how the walls will turn/move when it is pushed. When you push a wall on a turning pillar, the wall will swivel 90 degrees. If the pillar is an ordinary pillar, the wall will just move forward in the direction it was pushed.

Besides getting the king out the door, there is one other requirement per stage. On each stage you must connect the required number of walls before the king can go out the door. This adds an extra element of fun to each puzzle. Not only do you have to figure out the correct path for the king, but at the same time you are trying to move and connect as many walls as needed.

Besides the 1-player mode, there is an exciting 2-player mode. The game play is the same as the 1-player mode except now it’s a race to see who can rescue the king first.

The last mode of play is the design-a-stage mode. It has an extensive list of commands. Everything you could possibly want to do is here.

The Lost Golem is a highly-recommended puzzler.

And even though it is an extremely rare game, this gem can be had on ebay for under $30. So, there is no reason not to pick this baby up.

– Jeff McGraw

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