The premise of Atum reminded me quite a bit of a children's toy where
you have these wooden spheres. From these spheres, you can attach
connectors and attach those spheres to even more spheres to create some
sort of sculpture. Atum is probably a witty name for atoms, the
indivisible bases that make up the world as we know it. Like the
children's toy I just mentioned, you have to play with connectors to
match up certain pieces together. Atum lets you put pieces, some with
multiple connectors, some with one connector, on a two dimensional board.
From here, you must connect pieces together and once you close the loop,
the chain of 'atums' disappears from the board.
It's a passive game without any timers or external pressure to bother
you. There's also no end to the game, which was a bit disconcerting to
me at first. The only way you can finish is when you fill the board
completely with unconnected or disparate pieces. Long before that
happens, you'll hopefully have committed suicide by ending the game.
There are no aids to help you except the presence of a bomb piece. You
get to see the next three pieces and this gives a fair bit of knowledge
for you to predict how you'll play the next three turns.
Graphically speaking, Atum is full of visual style. Wherever it can be
added, a myriad of colors and decorative illustrations are included.
The game also features some interesting personae you can assume. You
get to choose between four different cartoon characters and an anonymous
guest one. The point is to let you choose a character so you can
develop high scores and record progress made by it. For example, the
game will notify you if you just broke your personal best. It's a cute
way of adding some personality to an otherwise fairly sterile genre.
Atum was obviously created to cater to multi-user gameplay, in the sense
that multiple people will be using your PDA. Although you can elect to
beam a copy of Atum to your friends, multiplayer is a hotseat affair
where both players will try their hands at either thwarting one
another's molecules or constructing atom combinations together. Points
are accrued separately for each individual player. It would have been
nice to substitute this with infrared play or even a computer AI to
compete with you. These enhancements would have made for a stronger
The whole package takes up little over two hundred kilobytes on your
PDA. Moreover, Atum supports a wide variety of Palm OS handhelds since
it works on anything that is above Palm OS 3.0. Finally, at a five-
dollar price range, you really cannot go wrong with this charming and
professional-looking puzzle game.
[09/10] Program Size
[12/15] Learning Curve
[ N/A ] Multiplayer