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Refrax is a game for 1 to 4 players. The goal is simple: clear each level of the orbs scattered about hither and thither by the evil Dr. Nasty, or live with the destruction of the known universe on your conscience, with the evil Dr's cackle ringing in your ears. To defuse an orb, simply guide one of the four light beams into it. Achieve this by strategically deflecting a light beam in the right direction. Each light beam is controlled separately, meaning that four players can guide one each, one dextrous player can guide all four, or any other possible combination of human beings and light beams that you can imagine.

Each light beam is deflected by placing a mirror in front of it. There are two kinds of mirror: \ and /. Place these down by hitting the corresponding key. The red beam is controlled with the Q and W keys, the green beam with the X and C keys, the blue beam with N and M and the grey beam with O and P.

The more orbs defused by a beam, the faster it will travel.

The players must co-operate to clear each level before the ticking orbs doom the entire universe, but they must also compete against each other to achieve the highest score. The scores are shown at the bottom of the arena as a kind of race track: a coloured line represents the score of each beam, while the white safety zone shows the score needed to finish the level. Players increase their score by defusing the orbs of doom. Additionally, the player responsible that defuses the last orb on a level receives a bonus score.

There are a few more keys to know about. F1 pauses the game. F2 mutes the sound. F3 toggles between a full-screen and a windowed display. Escape exits the current screen, which will exit the game from the title screen.

Have fun, and don't forget to email to let us know what you think of our creation. Viva la refraxion!


Refrax was written by Jason Hutchens, with Philip Dunstan. It was inspired by the mini-game to be found in the pause mode of Jeff Minter's Iridis Alpha, an excellent game on the Commodore 64. Refrax uses a bitmap of the original Commodore 64 font without permission.

The four sensational Amiga modules to be heard on the Refrax soundtrack were created by Moby, of the old Amiga demo scene. These modules are in the public domain, and are downloadable from Aminet under the following names:

Livin' Insanity (title)
More Than Music (in-game)
Mobyle          (game over)
Arkham Asylum   (high score)

All but one of the sound effects were sourced from various web sites. All of them are license free. The remaining sound effect was recorded by us.


  • brew install sdl
  • make
  • ./bin/refrax


A game inspired by the pause mode of Jeff Minter's Iridis Alpha.




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