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Multiplayer Game Reviews

March 31, 2010

Straw Hat Samurai

Filed under: Action & Shooter, Adventure & RPG, Arcade & Retro, Free, Windows — Tags: Josh @ 06:23
Attack by drawing your sword's trajectory with the mouse.

Attack by drawing your sword's trajectory with the mouse.

That's just how it's done. End of story.

In Straw Hat Samurai, you take on the role of an ancient warrior protecting your home from hoards of enemy invaders. The Aka-Ryu warlord is expanding his empire southwards, and that means his army is coming straight through your land. If he takes over your forts in the mountain pass, your kingdom is sushi. Your army is on its way, but isn’t going to make it in time. You’re going to have to hold these guys off until reinforcements arrive.

The controls are simple. Just draw a line on the screen with your mouse, and the samurai will slash his sword across it. (The official game instructions state: “Use mouse to slash!”) Aiming for the head will earn you bonus points and a nifty decapitation animation, complete with gushing fountains of blood. To make it even more worth your while, Kongregate offers an achievement for scoring 100 headshots. You’ll eventually get to use a bow and arrow, but the sword is so easy to use you will most likely only use the arrows for taking down hard-to-reach guards in siege towers. Kill all the enemies on each stage to move on. If you make it to the end, you will have to direct troops in a Risk-like game of domination before finally taking on the enemy commander. Gameplay this basic might sound like it could get boring very quickly, but it actually works quite well. You’ll completely lose track of time when you’re beheading Aka-Ryu warriors.

Decapitation FTW!

The look of the game is as simple as the gameplay, and in Straw Hat Samurai it’s a perfect fit. The Cartoon Network style visuals are fun to look at, especially when you are slicing off heads and limbs. The colorful backgrounds are just begging to be painted with the blood of the Aka-Ryu army. At the end of every stage, there is a really cool silhouetted fade-to-red effect that lets you know you’ve completely cleared it of enemy warriors.

Unlike many of the Flash games out there, Straw Hat Samurai lasts a decent amount of time. The game should probably take about an hour or so to clear completely. And if that’s not quite enough, there is a sequel to keep you slashing for even longer.

Straw Hat Samurai is simple, fun, and bloody – a perfect combination for a samurai game. If the sequels continue to be this entertaining, this will definitely be a series worth coming back to.

Straw Hat Samurai

 ★★★½☆ 

Gameplay:★★★☆☆ 
Technical:★★★★☆ 
A colorful (and bloody) little samurai adventure.

Game: Straw Hat Samurai | Developer: Lut!

March 30, 2010

Super Mario Bros. Star Scramble

Filed under: Arcade & Retro, Free, Linux, Macintosh, WindowsHeath @ 06:23

This is the home screen. Yes, I am almost out of lives.

Super Mario Star Scramble

Super Mario was never really accessible to the casual player. Yeah, you could pick it up and play a couple levels and then go back to your Cheetos and Mountain Dew, but you couldn’t complete the game in, say, an hour or so. That is, until flash games came along. Super Mario Star Scramble is not the Mario that you are used to. For starters, you complete levels differently. In Scramble, you start a level, then you have to seek out a certain number of Stars, then you have to make your way back to the door that you came from.

Levels are short, only allowing you 90 seconds to work with them. Don’t let that fool you, these are tricky puzzles. You still have to contend with koopas and not falling into ravines. And you still can go through tubes. But it stops there. This is the thinking man’s Mario. Playing through it a number of times, I died because I ran out of time, as I simply had not solved the puzzle.

Aesthetics

This is a pretty game. It is not large in its scope, as the levels are short and all the material is re-used. I was not a fan of the music either. It was a shoddy 8-bit remix of previous themes. For a flash game, it doesn’t look that bad, and the characters integrate with the background.

Gotta get that star!

Scramble only has 3 buttons, backwards, forwards and jump. Yes, when you go to the home world, you go through a door by pressing up, but that’s about it. There are really not that many things to interact with in the game either. Technically speaking, this is not a very interesting or well formed game. One time I saw a koopa walk on air. Stupid, cheating game.

Final Verdict

This game is worth your time if you are a casual player who is looking for a puzzle game to pass the time. Although it tests your reflexes to a certain degree, if you are looking for a huge challenge this is not it.

Super Mario Bros Star Scramble

 ★★★★☆ 

Gameplay: ★★★★☆ 

Technical: ★★★☆☆ 

Fun flash Mario knockoff with a twist.

Game: Super Mario Bros Super Scramble | Developer: Super Mario

March 29, 2010

Warfare 1944

Filed under: Otherlewiscsdoe @ 06:25
Warfare 1944 allows you to live out all the buzz, anxiety and strategic cleverness which was deployed in many fields during the Second World War.

Do not worry, you don’t have to jump out of a plane or fight your way through the muddy beaches of France. You simply have to battle along completing various tasks from the comfort of your own armchair.

The game offers a more advanced version of web based fighting action with quick game play and simple to use controls. All you need is a bit of keyboard and hand eye coordination and you are off and running.

Superb title menus

The game provides a very good release from something more serious in life you may be doing. This includes a distraction from school or business work. However, be warned the game is very addictive so you should proceed with caution in this area if you choose to play.

The biggest plus to this game is the great title pages and menus, which help to add to the drama and suspense of what is going on. It sucks you into the world of the game and makes you feel more involved before you launch yourself into each level.

The other big factor to the game is that you can choose to see the war from two opposite points of view. You can battle on the side of the allied forces trying to liberate France or the wehrmacht forces trying to defend it.

There are some superb action sequences, which come equipped with realistic sound effects. Get into it and play just one level and you will lose track of time completely.

Choose sides before battle.

The obvious disadvantage to the game is that it is based around one of the world’s biggest historical problems. The act of war. There are all of the obvious arguments against using war as a form of entertainment but if you understand it is just entertainment, it could be a great game for you to try out.

The game will also save your campaign as you go along, which means you do not have to spend hours in front of the computer screen in order to complete the game.

You can always take a rain check back to reality in between levels as you remember your coursework deadline is looming or maybe the boss is walking around the office.

Sit back and have some fun.

Warfare 1944

 ★★★★☆ 

Gameplay: ★★★★☆ 

Technical: ★★★★☆ 

A fantastic example of a good WWII game.

Game: Warfare 1944 http://www.thegamescenter.com/games/Warfare-1944_620.htm | Developer: Armor Games http://armorgames.com/

March 28, 2010

The Wonderful End of the World

Filed under: Other, Paid, Puzzle & Casual, WindowsNina S. @ 05:37

Motion-Sickness.

I feel the absolute need to type this a dozen times so you, dear reader, get the point. I know, I was already kind of a crappy “gamer” but I hadn’t found a game thus far that needed reviewing and hit me with this particular problem. Welcome to The Wonderful End of the World.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I was actually really enjoying this game. It’s innovative, fun, and easy to understand. You start out as a tiny ball of energy…specks of light, really, and you run around a set space, absorbing anything that is smaller than you. Like a true blob you grow larger with every victim of your sucky powers, and before long you’ve added every bit of furniture and even some walls to your devious mass. Like I said, it’s a great game. At one point you even suck up two people and a dog. I loved that.

The music for The Wonderful End of the World is also fantastic. It’s upbeat and you know instantly that it was made just for the game itself. It adds spice to an already well seasoned game and amuses without distracting.

Now, I wasn’t sure if it was just me or if the game itself was a little loopy, so I had my husband test it out too. He felt fine after finishing the same couple of rounds that I played so more than likely it was just me. If you tend to suffer from dizziness after games (for me it’s games like Mario 64 and Lego Star Wars, I have no idea why those affect me the way they do when others don’t, but hopefully you can get a feel of where I stand and gauge yourself accordingly) you should be wary and take it slow.

I think it’s worth mentioning that he also said there was a game on the PS2 a lot like this one. He enjoyed that game and he feels that anyone who did (he said you guys would know what he was talking about because I sure don’t) should definitely take a look at this one.

Even with this annoying extra I would still say that I liked The Wonderful End of the World. It was fun and fresh, even if it had me curled up in a ball sobbing afterwards. I think the pain was definitely worth the pleasure in this instance and I think that you should give it a try too.

The Wonderful End of the World

 ★★★★¼ 

 
Gameplay:★★★½☆ 
Technical:★★★★☆ 
Stunning work that’smore than worth a try. Give it a shot, you’ll be thrilled.

Game:  The Wonderful End of the World– http://www.dejobaan.com/wonderful/index.htm | Developer: Dejobaan Games, LLC  – http://www.dejobaan.com/

March 27, 2010

The Path — Prologue

Filed under: Adventure & RPG, Macintosh, Other, Paid, WindowsNina S. @ 05:37

So. What can I say about The Path? I only played a few minutes of it, it’s a short game and I was barely able to complete the demo without breaking out into a cold sweat. I’ll say it straight: I am a big chicken. I couldn’t even watch Scary Movie without my boyfriend around because it still had creepy music and people jumping out of places. Yes, I am that bad.

So, why, then, did I decide that a horror game would be a good idea for me to review? It’s simple: if I can enjoy a game in a genre I hate then obviously it’s a good game. Now that that is out of the way, I actually enjoyed The Path. My husband did not because he had to sit in the same room with me while I played, but we don’t worry about him. He can suck it up. No, that’s mean, but I was really scared! Protection comes in the husband packet, doesn’t it? Yes, it does.

If you like games that can creep you the heck out, The Path is definitely one for you. It’s sort of like….what if Pandora’s Box and Little Red Riding Hood had a baby? Oh, and then you dipped that baby in liquid terror. Yeah, that’s a good analogy.

The Path is all about choices. You make a good one and you’re safe, you make a bad one and you’re petrified hiding on top of your bed in the middle of the night, desperately having to go to the bathroom, and unwilling to brave that trek in the dark. Trust me, I know.

The music in The Path perfectly sets the scene, even before you get a good look at the characters personality. Let me tell you guys, I started up the game and went to microwave some popcorn. It started before I got back to my seat and I was freaked out before I even got to look at my screen. Maybe I’m just easy, but The Path really did the trick for me. It’s just such a punch in the face! The story takes things that are cute: teddy bears, little girls, pretty birds, and twists them into the things of nightmares. That’s the kind of horror story I like. Something that takes purity and tarnishes it beyond recognition.

The Path is not for children. Heck, it’s not for weak hearted me, either, but don’t subject your kids to this kind of horror unless that’s they’re thing. Either way, it’s a good game. Short, worth the price, and best played in brightly lit rooms. Yeah.

The Path — Prologue

 ★★★☆☆ 

 
Gameplay:★★★☆☆ 
Technical:★★★☆☆ 
Creepy is this games middle name. Really, I checked.

Game: The Path – Prologue, http://tale-of-tales.com/ThePath/ | Developer: http://tale-of-tales.com/Tale of Tales

March 26, 2010

Duck Life

Filed under: Free, Linux, Macintosh, Sport & Racing, WindowsHeath @ 05:37

He's so full of hope, that little duck.

You are a farmer and you own a duckling. Because this is America, and you want to be the best of the best, you are training this duck for some races. There are 3 different skills that are tested – running, swimming and flying. You have 2 ways of upgrading these skills. You can train them, by doing repetitive tasks where you have to dodge obstacles like rocks and icebergs. Or, you can buy blue seed which train all the skills at the same time.

Once you think your little guy is ready for it, you can race him. If you win, you get money, which you can spend on more seed. If you’re stupid, you can spend your money customizing your duck.  It all culminates in the World Championships, where you race against another duck in the ultimate test of your skills.

Tell me about it.

This is a very poorly designed game. It is repetitive and there is no way to “lose” the game. Winning means being able to face your own limits of time and boredom. The upgrade system is flawed, and it would be nice if you could have some control over the races, but they are all on auto drive.

The keys are pretty boring, and the training sessions for running and swimming get very hard after a certain level. There is no sense of “balance to the game”.

Aesthetics

Even the look of the game does not help it. The one thing it has going for it is the moving background in the main screen. Other than that, the graphics are flat and the physics are often flawed.

One thing that would have been cool is to have the duck’s physical appearance change when he upgraded. In addition, the duck doesn’t even look like a duck, it looks like a chick.

Final Verdict

If you are interested in watching a yellow blob move across the screen for 45 minutes so you can beat another white blob so you can get a crown, then this is the game for you. Otherwise, go play outside.

Duck Life

 ★★☆☆☆ 

Gameplay: ★★☆☆☆ 

Technical: ★☆☆☆☆ 

Train your duck. Save the farm.

Game: Duck Life | Developer: Arcade Town

March 25, 2010

Toss the Turtle

Filed under: Action & Shooter, Arcade & Retro, Free, Other, WindowsJosh @ 05:41

Have you ever wondered how far you could shoot a turtle from a cannon? Probably not? Well, Toss the Turtle attempts to answer that question anyway. Why? Because it’s a heck of a lot of fun.

Be careful. Some idiot decided to attach spike balls to those balloons.

This unique flash game pits players against gravity and friction, armed with only a turtle, a cannon, and a slingshot (that can later be upgraded to a gun). The object is to see how far your turtle can fly, bounce, and slide before he comes to rest. There are many obstacles littered about the sky and ground. Turtle can be impaled by spikes or abducted by UFOs, ending his trajectory. Chainsaw massacring hoodlums, speeding jeeps, machine-gun turrets, or any of a number of other things will launch him farther. To aid Turtle even more, players can shoot him with a slingshot or gun, bumping him higher into the air. Each launch awards cash that can be spent on upgrading your cannon and gun, or purchasing flight-enhancing items like nuclear bombs.

The gameplay is amazingly simple; just point and shoot. It’s so simple, in fact, that when I first started playing, I thought I would get bored after two or three runs. Two hours later, I was still trying to set new distance records and earn money to buy more upgrades. This game is seriously addictive. And just to be a bunch of bastards, the folks at Kongregate.com offer an achievement to those who manage to hit a distance of 3 million feet in a single run.

Even though five-year-olds could easily play Toss the Turtle, it doesn’t mean they should. The game is bloody. Ridiculously bloody. Every time Turtle hits the ground, he leaves behind a red splotch. Many of the obstacles are covered in spikes, and hitting one of them rewards players with an animation of a twitching, oozing, impaled turtle.

The hand-drawn artwork is phenomenal. The intentionally sloppy visuals fit the mood of the game perfectly. You’ll even laugh when you see pain inflicted on Turtle, though you might feel bad about it later.

The music is loud, intense, and even a bit over-the-top, yet it somehow meshes with the overall feel of the game. It encourages you to keep pressing on toward new distances and new high scores. Maybe even toward that coveted 3 million mark.

The disturbing-yet-fun gameplay, crazy artwork, and buckets of blood work together so fabulously well that I could easily see Toss the Turtle becoming a cult classic.

What's the best weapon for firing turtles? Why, a tank of course.

Toss the Turtle

 ★★★★½ 

Gameplay:★★★★★ 
Technical:★★★★☆ 
Gore, hand-drawn artwork, and highly addictive gameplay.

Game: Toss the Turtle | Developer: Newgrounds

March 24, 2010

Trine

Filed under: Adventure & RPG, Other, Paid, Playstation, WindowsNina S. @ 04:52

If I had to describe this game in one word it would be: im-freakin-pressive. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of Trine before. This is the kind of indie game I thrive on. It’s a real testament to the fact that you don’t have to be a big company to put out interesting, enthralling, entertaining games.

To begin with, Trine has a soothing kind of fairytale telling feel to it. The art is brilliant but stand still, as if you’re looking down at a printed book. The story that is weaved before you sucks you in, and before you realize it you’re staring at a character, waiting for more to happen, and suddenly realizing it’s your turn to play. It doesn’t drag on but you can easily become engrossed in the plotline of the tale.

In Train you play as one of three characters. No, let me clarify. You play as all three characters, one at a time. You toggle based on your needs and are expected to know which character you need for the particular obstacle in your way. For the most part this is obvious. If you’re being attacked by a band of sword carrying skeletal monsters you’re pretty much guaranteed to whip out your brute (and I mean that in every sense of the word) strength warrior and get to the hacking and slashing.

The music in Trine is relaxing, which is odd because the game itself is anything but. I know all you experienced players out there are fully capable of using the W, A, S, D method for gaming but for us slow people the switch in gears can be darn frustrating. I can’t tell you how long I had to take in order to figure out how to jump properly and even so it was still a toss up on whether I would actually make it to my goal or not.

Still, with that little minor complaint I would largely recommend Trine to players of all different types and genre preference. It mixes action with puzzle, adds a little humor, and steals my breath away with stunning visuals and care. You can really tell that these people loved this game while they were putting it together and how could we, as players, do anything other than that?

Trine

 ★★★★★ 

Gameplay:★★★★★ 
Technical:★★★★★ 
An enthralling adventure that leaves you hungry for more.

Game: Trine – http://trine-thegame.com/site/ | Developer: Frozenbytehttp://frozenbyte.com/

March 23, 2010

Kart On

Filed under: Otherlewiscsdoe @ 04:51

Kart On is one of the most addictive Go Kart racing games that you will currently be able to find online.

The graphics are pretty limited, as is the game play, but the pace and excitement makes up for all of that in a big way.

The format of the game is very simple. You have to work your way through the field and get to first place, completing quick lap times as you go. You will then work your way up the starting rank until you get to the top spot.

Race against eleven AI controlled drivers

Unlike many other go kart-racing games there is also a lot of artificial intelligence in this game. You are always racing against a high number of computer drivers, which gives you something to compete against.

This is a brilliant contrast to many pathetic attempts at competition from game developers who throw in two or three other racers or sometimes just don’t even bother.

It’s not an easy game either, which adds to the pace and user excitement. The computer-controlled drivers actually drive pretty quickly, although you will certainly get ahead of them and certainly stay there.

Game controls are very simple. You just need to know how to use the arrows on a keyboard, which a toddler could work out how to use. Use forward to bomb to the front of the field, down arrow to apply late brakes before going into a corner and the side arrows to turn left and right.

Break into each corner and accelerate away!

It really is that simple, and that’s the whole beauty of the game. Finish your task at work quickly or your work at school and hop online for a few quick laps.

The thing that would make this game much better is if races were more than three laps at a time and included a small pit lane where you could drive down to re-fuel and get some brand new tires.

However, it obviously isn’t trying to be formula one, and if there was a multiplayer game that would allow a couple of mates to race each other then business up and down the country would come to a stand still.

All in all this is a cracking little racing game, which does a lot more than other similar games of this type. The game will even let you choose the helmet colour of your choice!

Kart On

 ★★★★☆ 

Gameplay: ★★★★☆ 

Technical: ★★★★☆ 

Fast paced, exciting and innocent fun!

Game: Kart On http://www.bubblebox.com/play/sport/1701.htm | Developer: Bubble Box http://www.bubblebox.com/

March 22, 2010

Loondon

Filed under: Adventure & RPG, Free, Other, Puzzle & Casual, Strategy, WindowsJosh @ 04:51

Loondon is a point-and-click Flash game fairytale. Not a happy elves and kittens kind of fairytale, but a dark, twisty one that could have easily come from the mind of someone like Tim Burton. This tale sends Jonah the Hunch on a quest to find true happiness. The game begins with Jonah leaving his old life at the circus and beginning this tragic journey. Players must send him through the unfamiliar streets of Loondon, solving puzzles, thanklessly helping various villagers, and most importantly, soul-searching.

Foggy Loondon Town.

The artwork is probably the greatest thing about Loondon. It brings to mind the visual style of Where the Wild Things Are (the book that the Spike Jonze film was based off) with its eerie jagged lines and excruciating level of detail. To add to the story-book visuals, the game is narrated in nursery rhyme style poetry. The creepy carnival background music emphasizes the strangeness of the game–the strangeness Jonah must feel in this unfamiliar environment. On top of the extraordinary weirdness of it all, there are clever little details hidden throughout the game that are easily missed the first time through. Look carefully for recurring characters, loads of Biblical symbolism, and signs bearing witty puns. All of these things make this a game to experience multiple times, and even one that could probably stand up to philosophical analysis (if you want to think that deeply, that is.)

Someone's watching.

Like so many of the Flash games these days, Loondon suffers from brevity. There is a video walkthrough on YouTube for the entire game, and it clocks in under nine minutes. But all of the hidden little gems in this puzzler give it some redeeming replay value. If you want to fully appreciate the story, you’ll most likely have to play through it multiple times, each time discovering some new “holy crap, did I just see that?” moments.

An old lady with a knife in her chest--you just KNOW Jonah's getting blamed for this one.

If you just like to blaze through games at breakneck speed, go ahead. But I’ll offer some advice: Loondon is a piece of art. Take your time with it. Immerse yourself in its creepy world. Study every drawing very carefully, looking for little Where’s Waldo-esque hidden gags. And then, of course, repeat. I think you’ll be surprised what you find on your third and fourth times through.

Loondon

 ★★★★½ 

Gameplay:★★★☆☆ 
Technical:★★★★½ 
A flash puzzler that’s bizarre, pretty, and even a little bit thought-provoking.

Game: Loondon | Developer: Flip-N-Tail

March 21, 2010

Riding with Music!

Filed under: Arcade & Retro, Category, Paid, Sport & Racing, WindowsNina S. @ 04:51

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this in my reviews but I have epilepsy. I know, an epileptic gamer doesn’t exactly sound ideal and let me tell you, it’s not exactly a comfortable situation. There are often games that my husband will shy me away from if they’re too brightly colored or too flashy, and I long ago accepted that as part of my gaming existence. It can sometimes be a bit of a drag but I don’t allow it to get me down often. That is… unless it’s worth the distraction.

That being said, Audio Surf was definitely worth the little bit of sadness I get when I find a game that I would love to play but can’t. I played a few short hours of Audio Surf and loved every moment of it. This is a game that is interactive in one of the best ways. It incorporates the musical tastes of the player while allowing one to play with it. It’s one of the best games I’ve not been allowed to play. It’s wonderful!

Audio Surf is a game in which you play a spaceship that is pushed down a road that beats with music. You steer this spaceship in the direction of colored pegs, trying to group them together in triple block clusters. The speed and location of the blocks themselves are scattered down a traitorous road covered with blocks. There are quite a few things holding you back on your quest to gather these blocks together. There are gray blocks that block your advances, not to mention the fact that if you try too hard you will doubtlessly find yourself with too many non-matching blocks and thus blocked on all accounts.

I don’t think I can say it enough but Audio Surf is absolutely worth the price of buying it. I’m pretty sure that given the oppertunity it would doubtlessly have been one of my most favorite games ever. It allows you to play at your own pace, whether you want to play quickly or take your time. It’s a game that you basically bend to your own will and enjoy as if you are creating it yourself. You change the overall feel of the game to match your moods and thus are given absolute control while you play. This is doubtlessly one of the most engaging games I’ve ever played. Highly recommended.

Audio Surf

 ★★★★★ 

 
Gameplay:★★★★★ 
Technical:★★★★★ 
Surf on the waves of your own creation!

Game: Audio Surf: http://www.audio-surf.com/ | Developer: Dylan Fitterer

March 20, 2010

Be a Kid Again

Filed under: Free, Other, Strategylewiscsdoe @ 04:51

Bubble Tanks 3 is a simple but fun online based shooter game which exchanges bullets for the much tougher bubbles.

The series has proven popular enough to warrant the release of three different versions, which only seem to improve time upon time.

The big thing the makers have gone for all the way through the series is addictiveness. It is very difficult to stop playing once you have started.

Maybe it’s because the game brings out the inner child inside all of us. Reminding us of the days we would all run around the garden like maniacs with a bottle of bubble mixture, while satisfying our craving for dominance.

Use your bubbles wisely

The aim of the game is very simple. All you have to do is travel through different sized bubbles, destroying enemy tanks and increasing your own platform of power as you go.

The graphics are very simple, which make for a very quick online game. The game does not try to be more than it is and the graphics are a good example of this. The light blues and whites allow you to be a kid for a little while, something we all crave every now and then.

Unfortunately there is no multiplayer version of this game. However, the makers have promised to look at developing one in the very near future. The reason for this is that it would overload servers and cause the game to crash regularly.

In terms of controlling the game, all of the right boxes have been ticked. You simply need to use a little bit of keyboard and visual logic to move your tanks around and become king of the hill.

This game will kill a few hours while you are away at work or trying to avoid a more important task you have to do. A fourth version is on the horizon, which promises better graphics, more weaponry options and higher levels of difficulty.

Fight off others to become the strongest

Bubble Tanks has been a regular hit in online top ten lists since the first version was released. It plays to all of the things that online game players ask for with their game play and user interaction.

The other plus point of this little powerhouse is that it takes no time at all to load and is completely free. Many other web-based games have decided to cash in on their popularity and release elaborate larger versions, charging the customer for the privilege of something that was once free.

But don’t expect the world of this game because you will become disappointed very quickly. It is what it is and nothing more.

Bubble Tanks 3

 ★★★☆☆ 

Gameplay: ★★★☆☆ 

Technical: ★★★☆☆ 

Gameplay is very simple but pace and simplicity creates addictiveness.

Game: Bubble Tanks 3 http://tonlinegames.com/bubble-tanks-3/ | Developer: Armor Games http://armorgames.com/

March 19, 2010

webDiplomacy

Filed under: Free, Linux, Macintosh, Simulation, Strategy, WindowsHeath @ 04:53

webDiplomacy

The Game of International Intrigue

I suppose you could describe the game Diplomacy as Risk without the dice, but that would be doing the game a huge disservice. Set in 1901 Europe, in essence you are going to replay WWI. Chance does not play a factor in this game. You rely on your own strategic thinking, your alliances with other players and knowing when to break these alliances.

You can find the rules on the website, but the theory is that each army or navy has a power of one. To take over a country, you have to have a power greater than the occupying force. So say there is an uncontested country, you can just move your guys into it to conquer it. However, if there is someone in the country, you have to have the support of another one of your armies.

That doesn’t make sense? Well that’s okay because there is a very dedicated group of forum readers that will help you learn the ropes. In fact, if you announce that it is your first game, most people won’t screw you over. However, they will on your second game. Boy howdy will they!

Technical

Learn from Napoleon; Never Invade Russia in the Winter.

There are a bunch of Diplomacy websites out there, but this one is hands down the best. The interface is easy to learn. You use drop-down menus which tell you all of the possible moves, which is very handy when you have a complicated retreat.

The GUI is hands down the prettiest of any of the websites. This, in addition to the fact that they can host any number of variants, makes this the most robust Diplomacy host on the internet. On top of this, the forums are lively and you will find very detailed discussion of strategy.

Final Verdict

This is a fun game, but takes up a lot of mental space. The learning curve takes a lifetime. If you are a fan of sleeping easily, then this is not the game for you. If you get off on out-thinking and out-weaseling your opponents, then drop whatever you are doing and start a game.

webDiplomacy

 ★★★★★ 

Gameplay:★★★★★ 
Technical:★★★★☆ 
Multiplayer:★★★★☆ 
The Game of Internation Intrigue.

Game: webDiplomacy | Developer: Open Source

March 18, 2010

A Sticky, Loveable Mess!

Filed under: Paid, Puzzle & Casual, WindowsNina S. @ 06:30

The World of Goo is a true delight. Honestly, when I read the title I was kind of expecting something a little more boring. I mean The World of Goo doesn’t sound like a place where I’d want to live, so why would I want to play there? Still, it was a beautifully mastered and made game. In it you play the master of puzzles, an invisible hand that uses goo (yes, I mean goo. Little black globs of slippery, slimy drops of oil-like substance), in order to complete puzzles that make your globby pals happy. You form all kinds of things with the help of your goo friends including bridges and towers that connect your goo pals to pipes that seem to feed them or at the least makes them happy.

The art style in the game is sweet and…well, bubbly, is the only way I can explain it. It fits perfectly in with the overall beat of the story. The music is light and playful, which matches the atmosphere set by the game itself. It’s a humor that sort of lends itself without being too obvious. I think it’s kind of painted by the fact that you’re a grown up playing with little bits of goo. Either way, it’s amusing and fun, even in the most ridiculous cases.

The World of Goo isn’t all fun and games like you would expect. There is a certain amount of common sense required in order to play it smartly. You would think that goo itself is something easy to manipulate but it’s actually a very heavy and slippery thing. You’re required to think our your movements as you work with the little goo balls.

After taking a good look at The World of Goo I couldn’t really find anything that I didn’t like about it. It left me with that wonderfully warm feeling that burns in my gut when I finish playing a good game. I even took a few brakes while playing in order to stretch it out. The World of Goo is probably one of the best puzzle/adventure games I’ve played in a long time. It was beautiful and engaging, and I feel as if it was a perfect fit for my interest level at that point.

The World of Goo

 ★★★★¼ 

 
Gameplay:★★★★½ 
Technical:★★★★☆ 
Like playing with balls of living Play-doh.

Game: The World of Goo http://2dboy.com/games.php | Developer: 2D Boy http://2dboy.com/games.php

March 17, 2010

Bloons Tower Defense 4

Filed under: Free, Linux, Macintosh, Puzzle & Casual, WindowsHeath @ 06:30

This one looks easy doesn't it? Doesn't it?

Bloons Tower Defense 4

If there is one thing we can be certain of, it’s that monkeys hate balloons in the Bloons universe. In this case, it is imperative that you protect an unnamed off-screen entity from a never ending onslaught of balloons! Some of which originate mere pixels away! Good thing you have monkeys armed with darts, banana plantations and guys who squirt glue.

But this is just the beginning. As with any tower defence game, you have myriad types of towers to upgrade. One thing this game brings to the table is an interesting unlock system. You have to pop a certain number of balloons to unlock certain towers. On top of this, there are 6 maps, and you can play each one on 4 different levels: Easy, Medium, Hard and Apocalypse. If you try to beat this game, you’re going to be in it for the long haul.

The graphics and music can be misleading, making this seem like a simple time-waster. It’s not. In my opinion it’s the best tower defence out there.

Trust me it gets far, far worse than this.

Technical

The interface is very straightforward, which is great. The only thing I would have liked is a better explanation as to how to upgrade your towers after you have placed them. They mention it in passing during the first round, but that must have slipped past me, because I only learned about it during round five when I accidentally clicked on a tower.

In addition, the save system is not very intuitive. Enjoying this game on anything but a basic level means having to save your progress, which means creating a profile, something I don’t care to do. You know what though, I did it anyway.

One thing that this had going for it is that there is a pause between rounds. This is huge. Not only does this mean you can take your time and plan your builds, but it makes integrating the game into your work life a little easier.

There’s a system of keyboard shortcuts for all the towers too, which really is just the icing on the cake.

Final Verdict

I was pleasantly surprised by this game. I am not a fan of tower defence games, but this one had me hooked for 3 days straight. It is a surprisingly deep game, and with its easy and fun interface, it is a great game for just about anybody, from the hardcore gamer to the casual internet denizen.

Bloons Tower Defense 4

 ★★★★★ 

Gameplay:★★★★★ 
Technical:★★★★☆ 
A fun and easy but deep tower defense game.

Game: Bloons Tower Defense 4 | Developer: Ninja Kiwi

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