Keep the Balance (2000)
||JoWooD Productions Software AG
||Item Multimedia, Ltd.
Keep the Balance! is a fast-paced puzzle game requiring basic math skills. An evil joker has invaded our world and tries to disturb The Magic Scales that balance our world, in order to unleash the forces of Chaos. Each level has a monkey standing on top of the scales. You have to keep the equilibrium by launching objects, passing below on a conveyor, onto the scales. All locations have unique sets of objects to which weight, shown as a number, has been assigned. As the objects appear from both sides of the screen at the same time, you move the cursor below an object and press a key to launch it. At the top of each scale, the current weight is shown. If there is a big gap in weight, the monkey will slowly slide to the heaviest side. When it falls down, the game is over.
Each level has been divided into 10 consecutive skill levels. By finding the correct balance, you improve your score, raise the skill level, and open up new locations. Higher levels introduce a faster conveyor belt, new objects and intrusions by the joker. He can suddenly appear and jump on the scales to unbalance them, or unexpectedly throw or remove objects. Each scale has six sections to contain items. Once launched however, they can be replaced by new ones.
For advanced strategies, you can combine or manipulate certain items. Guillotines can cut objects and trampolines bounce them back. Extra bonus points can be acquired by throwing food towards animals, or by making animals do tricks (e.g. throwing a squirrel through a hoop of fire, or caging it). Almost all objects are animated and you have to take into account that certain animals do not get along when positioned next to each other. The game's options allow you to disable the weight preview for extra difficulty or to play a run at a fixed skill level. Multiplayer games are available for two players simultaneously on a single PC. In this mode, you have to make the monkey fall off on your side by throwing heavy items on your scale and removing them on your opponent's.
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