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Multiplayer Game Reviews
July 31, 2010
I got really lucky this time around, I picked a really good batch of games to play and review for you all. Mole Control is another favorite of the week, it’s simple, fun, and challenging without being annoying. It’s also extremely cute and it’s made, once again, by the same people as Fluttabyes and KrissX. Now, I don’t usually speak much on Publishers, but so far, this one (one I’ve never heard of, actually, but maybe I haven’t been paying enough attention) really knows what it’s doing.
Mole Control is cute, but unlike the other two games I’m lumping in with this publisher you won’t hear me telling you stories about how my niece and I rolled up our sleeves to pitch a battle over this one. The game starts out almost like a fairytale book. It’s funny little rhyming lines and still art as if you’re turning a page. The game, however, stops being for children-children once you’re actually playing. Mole Control may look like a cartoon for children but in all actuality it’s sort of a new twist on an old game that we’ve all dabbled in at least a little: mine sweeper.
Now maybe it’s just me and my family but mine sweeper is a fairly difficult game and the frustrations of said game play are transferred over to Mole Control. In Mole Control you have this little hovercraft with a mole grabbing arm attached to it. The hovercraft can tell you when a mole is close and even how many are close and then drops convenient little numbers in the grass to remind you of what it said a little while ago. Your job is to find the moles where they hide in the ground, and this can be easier said than done.
Don’t get me wrong, as much as I stink at mine sweeper (though at least I tried, my niece played two rounds and tapped out…wuss), the game IS fun. It’s more than just finding the moles; it’s also a silly little story and neighbors who need you for particular things. I’m not even sure how I want to categorize this game because there is really a great deal to it. It’s a very well rounded, fun, beautiful game that I am putting on my list of “good buys” for you guys. I mean…because I bought it and don’t regret it. If you’re willing to exert a little time and patience Mole Control is well worth it!
Game: Mole Control | Developer: Remode
July 30, 2010
This game was published by the same company as Fluttabyes and presents the exact same problem as before: it’s cute, seemingly simple, and though I’m fairly sure that it is a game that was made with children in mind, it’s frighteningly challenging.
In KrissX (pronounced crisscross — isn’t that cute?!) you are charged with correcting a sort of jumbled crossword puzzle. You do this by switching around letters along a single line, be it horizontal or vertical, until they line up in their proper places and thus form words.
The game itself is quick paced and fun, an easy thing to do even when you’re as stressed out and worried as I was before I decided to sit down and try to play. There’s really nothing you can do to mess up along this game, even though your scores can reflect on slow performance, it doesn’t hurt to take your time and think.
This is a game that not only promotes the ability to think and problem solve but it’s also cheerful and fun while it forces you to wrack your brain for simple enough answers. If I were a teacher I would look into getting this game used in the classroom. It’s not only fun but beautifully done and…and I know that this is a silly thing to fawn over as an adult, but it’s got a cute little cartoon character as the basis for your actions. It’s all for the sake of this owl who kind of sounds like Yogi Bear.
Now, just like I did with the last game I ended up buying this one for my niece. Well, that’s kind of a lie; I bought it for myself as well. She and I played it for quite a while and I’m happy to report that unlike in Fluttabyes I totally won some of these games! Yes! Power to the adult.
All in all, I really couldn’t recommend this game any higher. It’s good for the family, challenging for everyone, and in times where I feel like I don’t work my brain out enough it lets me know that the ol’ noggin still works. Mental exercise is good for you, do not fear it.
Game: KrissX | Developer: Regolith Games
July 29, 2010
July 28, 2010
Do subs go 'pew pew pew' underwater?
‘Man up and face the dangers of Deepolis’ is the way this MMO browser game sells itself. In this game you pilot a submarine in a game of underwater adventure.
What separates this browser game from the others is the graphics. Most browser games you don’t even get to pilot your ships or armies or what have you. In this, you float around, blowing things up and fighting the other factions. The environment is in 3D, but you only get to see in 2 dimensions for the better part of the time.
You only control one submarine at a time. In this case, the action is much more PVP based than many other browser games. Yes, most are PVP, but this one you have direct battles with other players.
Technically this is a fabulous game. There is an intricate trading system and the action is much more player driven than other ones. The action is smooth and I continually find myself surprised by the quality of the graphics that are running in my browser.
The controls are brilliant, and the ability to dive on the ‘z – axis’ really gives this game a depth that is lacking in most browser MMOs.
This game is very much driven by PVP interactions. In most browser games, your opponents are places that you simply send a bunch of ships to blast into oblivion. In this case you trade with everyone. Despite the fact that there are 3 specific clans, there are multiple groups within each of these. If you are more interested in multiplayer games because of the politics, this may not be the game for you. However, if you are interested in piloting a ship around and blasting people without downloading any new programs, then this is the game for you.
A very easy game to jump into. It’s no surprise that this has been nominated for a number of awards. Unlike most browser games, you have to be actively involved with the action. So it’s a little bit harder to have it on a tab and play while you are working.
It’s free to play. But you can also purchase upgrades with real money or money you earn in game. Cool.
Game: Deepolis | Developer: BigPoint
July 27, 2010
There's a monkey in the kitchen. Isn't that a Health Code violation?
Café World allows you to become a world-class chef and run a restaurant. You decide what your café should look like, what to cook, and even what to wear. You are given a cookbook with recipes that you can make, and every item you cook grants you Café Points (Café World’s version of XP.) As you level up, you earn more stoves and buffet-style serving tables, and more of the items in your cookbook are available to you.
Your café also has a buzz rating, which is affected by how well your customers enjoy their meals. A good experience will boost your buzz rating by 0.1, but a bad experience will drop it a full point. (The maximum rating is 105.) In order to keep your guests coming back, make sure they have a clean table to sit at when they arrive and a hot meal within a fair amount of time. If guests wait too long for their food, they will storm out and lower your buzz rating. The higher your rating is, the faster customers will spill in.
It takes a little bit of foresight to keep your café running smoothly, since most of the items in your cookbook have a fairly long cook time. (Times range anywhere from 3 minutes to 4 days.) And if you let something sit too long, it will spoil. An item’s cook time will determine how long it can sit before it spoils, so items with longer cook times last longer than those with short ones.
Since it is a Facebook application, Café World rewards the highly sociable. You can add your friends as neighbors, earning medals as your neighborhood grows. There are many actions that you will need help from your friends to complete, like building a spice rack, baking a wedding cake, obtaining a super stove that allows one-click cooking, or opening a crate that contains a coffee maker. And your friends can send you free gifts every day, usually bonus servings of your favorite dishes. You can even hire your friends for extra help around the kitchen.
There are also weekly themes, such as the Stone Age and Sci-Fi, which are celebrated by adding brand new decorations for your café as well as new menu items. This provides great incentive to keep coming back.
Café World is highly addictive. You’ll have a blast decorating your restaurant and unlocking new menu items. And with that, I must be off. I think my quiche is done!
A page from the menu. Yes, there are dinosaur eggs on it.
Game: Café World | Developer: Zynga
July 26, 2010
Red Driver 2 is the perfect game for, well, anyone who may want to just drive like a complete and utter idiot.
High paced action and excitement are two guarantees with this little racer. The graphics have been kept very simple to keep the pace of the game high, as there is less for the server to load. However, the game would benefit a little more if there were some extra tracks and bendy racecourses to take on.
Try not to wreck your own car
Controls are very easy. All you do is move the car left or right with your side arrows, use the down arrow to break and the up arrow for your nitro boost. Also bare in mind that your nitro boost will get you more points if you use it correctly.
The career mode is actually very enjoyable and has the auto save function. This way you don’t have to try and be king of the road all in one sitting.It’s very addictive and you’ll want to go back and play it at a later date. It also means if you are quick enough, you can close the browser window and load the game back up without losing any points. That does kind of defeat the object a little bit though.
Dodge, dodge and dodge some more
The only real drawback though is the music. It’s not good enough for this sort of game and well worth a heavy guitar rift or two along the way.
That’s pretty much all there is to it. Just driving fast, like an idiot, and getting paid for not wrecking your own car or killing anyone else.
Game: Red Driver 2 http://www.addictinggames.com/red-driver-2-game.html | Developer: Addicting Games http://www.addictinggames.com/index.html
July 25, 2010
Fluttabyes (pronounced “butterflies” but with a “Fl”) is one of those games you unwind with. Family casual, it’s cute, brightly colored, and couples with the kind of music you expect to hear at the end of a Noggin show. It’s a pairing game which allows you to “free” butterflies by basically making families of more than four. Now, with bejeweled and the various bubble copies of bejeweled you either play with a sliding action in which you are given a block of items and forced to pair them up by switching pairs about or clicking on pairs as they appear. In fluttabyes you replace one butterfly with another (and the occasional ladybug) in order to make these sets; which, in my opinion, makes the game much, much easier but also takes out some of the challenge. The game doesn’t have a win, lose, or draw feeling to it, instead it’s more…you always win; it’s just how much you win that is the question.
Now, I’m never going to label games “kid games.” The reason being is that I frequently run across games that are marketed towards children that are actually interesting and challenging enough to hold the attention of an adult. Goddess knows how long I spent on that darn Hello Kitty Adventure game trying to find all the strawberries for my stupid shortcake. This game sort of falls into that category. I’m not entirely sure who they made the game for, but it’s found this wonderful niche that I feel is neglected: games for adult children. As it is, I did end up buying this game from my niece. She’s all of eleven and while I like to pretend that as an adult I am far superior in my gaming capabilities, saying so would be a lie. She and I paired up and each did a set and for whatever reason, be it because she’s an evil genius, or she somehow cheated (I’m going with evil genius), she kicked my butt here. So, yes, it’s a little bit dinky for adults but there’s still a certain amount of strategy and quickness that is required to beat and continue to beat your personal bests repeatedly.
All in all, I would definitely put this game on the list of things you should try if you’re just looking to relax and have a good time. It’s not very challenging but you can sit down, play a few rounds, and feel as if you accomplished something, albeit somewhat minor. It’s still time well spent. Fun for the whole family.
Game: Flutterbyes | Developer: Red Chain
July 23, 2010
The aim of this game is very simple. You control one plane and must complete the on screen instructions that come with each level without crashing or being killed by the enemy.
Get them before they get you
There are many weapons you can use to help you along the way, including a rapid fire machine gun and bombs you can cleverly drop. You can even hide in the clouds and completely surprise your enemies.
However, the controls are very tricky to get used to. You have to use the keyboard arrows to move and other key combinations to attack.
This can be very frustrating if you are playing the game for the first time. Using the mouse to control your plane and fire your weapons would be much more practical and easy for the user to control.
They will stick to you like glue
The second issue with this game is the speed at which enemy planes move. Obviously you do not want them to fly around at a snail’s pace to make the game interesting. But right from the start they will stay on your tail if you make one mistake, which can get pretty frustrating if you can’t manage to shake them.
You would expect a couple of easy levels to help you ease into the game before encountering much tougher obstacles in later levels, but that isn’t the case. Furthermore, the bombs you use will take out a random number of enemy planes, from one up to three or four.
This game is pretty good fun overall but it’s clear that there are issues that need to be resolved. If these issues can be resolved then there is nothing to hold this game back; because it is addictive, the graphics are good, the story is historic, and the speed of play is pretty fast and entertaining.
Game: Dog Fight 2 http://www.addictinggames.com/dogfight2.html | Developer: Rock Solid Arcade http://www.rocksolidarcade.com/
July 22, 2010
Now, just reading the synopsis for Beat Hazard had me psyched. I really love games that take something from the player, and incorporate it into the mechanics. It shows that the developers and the people who came up with the idea in the first place really care about the people who spend time on their game. Yes, I’m all about the personalization.
Beat Hazard is an arcade style shooter game. As the player you control the flow of the enemies and your own ship depending on which kind and style of music you decide to play while playing. So, if you want a nice, mellow atmosphere while you shoot down enemy crafts you’d plug in something with a slow wind. I’d suggest Norah Jones. If you’re pumped up and ready to roar at your screen like a banshee you’d probably like something a little faster, with drums and a screaming singer you don’t really understand. I used Avenge Sevenfold.
Which brings me to my next observation: maybe it’s not as important for the majority of gamers out there, but Beat Hazard’s makers were kind enough to put a huge strobe warning at the beginning of their game. As someone who plays with the disability of missing out on a lot of games for those exact problems I was really touched by the fact that they were so considerate as to give more warning than the tiny one on the back of the box they’re required to put on all games.
At any rate, the game is visually impressive. The graphics run smoothly and they’re aesthetically pleasing, which is always important…well, to me. The fact that the game uses your music to decide the rhythm of the game is relaxing, even when you are playing a song that is faster. It’s the anticipation. You know what’s coming; you know which parts of the game are going to be super intense and which you can relax on. So, in that aspect I have to say that as much action as there is in this game I’d also have to plug it under casual because it can be damn relaxing. This game is highly recommended.
Game: Cold Beam Games | Developer: Beat Hazard
July 21, 2010
Here we see a truck smashing through some buildings.
Do you like smashing things and driving a truck? Do you like that one type of level from that game where normally you race around the city, but in this one level you have to cause as much destruction as possible? Well then this game may be for you. Because this is basically a 2-D version of that level.
Gameplay is very, very simple. Your truck starts at the top of a ramp. You have countdown lights and it is your job to press the go button when the line hits the green lights. Then your truck zooms down the ramp. If you have a rocket, you can also fire these at this point. That, really, is the extent to which you play the game.
Your truck zooms down the ramp, gets launched into oblivion, and then starts smashing into houses, propane tanks and barns. It gets ugly. There are bugs and detritus flying everywhere. Luckily for you, though, you get money for smashing all of those things. Money which you can use to upgrade your truck so you can smash things even better.
Here we see a truck going down the ramp. Good for you truck.
I screwed up my first two launches because the game skipped right when it was time for me to press the go button at launch time. So, that kind of sucked. But other than that, the game is very well put together. I am a dude, so I may be predisposed to liking things that explode. Seriously, I knew I was going to like it even when I read the title.
One thing that kind of bugs me is that you have to wait until the end of the run to find out how much damage you have caused. Yeah, that’s something you really shouldn’t complain about, but at the very least they give you the option to just skip over it all and find out the final tally.
Fun Game. I like to launch the truck, and then do some work, only to alt-tab back to the Destructo Truck screen to find out how many buildings I smooshed. Neat graphics, they make excellent use of scale. And the physics, as far as trucks bouncing off of houses goes, was pretty straightforward.
Game: Destructo Truck | Developer: Mochi Media
July 20, 2010
Want my last gem? How about a flame jet to the face instead? Yeah, that's what I thought...
If you’ve ever played one of those games where the “good guys” sneak into the lair of the “bad guys” and steal their stuff, you may have wondered about the moral implications of this. I mean, just because they are orcs and demons, does that really give you the right to march in and take their treasure? Sure, they’ve probably burned down your villages, slaughtered your cattle, and eaten the souls of your fellow townsmen, but hey, it’s stealing for crying out loud! Don’t be such a jerk.
The control panel is simple. Just click on a structure to build it, or a spell to cast it.
Cursed Treasure: Don’t Steal My Gems! is a tower defense game that allies you with orcs, demons, and the undead. Waves of heroes will “Leroy Jenkins” towards your secret stash in order to steal your gems, undoubtedly on some selfish quest to level up and gain money to buy epic weapons which will later be used to conquer you. So you may as well stop these bastards right away, before they have a chance to get too powerful.
The game is very easy to play. Just click on the structure that you want to build, then click the spot where you’d like to build it. However, there is a catch: orcish dens can only be built on forest tiles, crypts of the undead can only be built on snow tiles, and demon temples can only be built on rocky tiles. Also, if there are trees on a tile, you’ll have to use your deforestation spell before you can build anything there.
Once you get your initial structures built, waves of heroes will start pouring in. As your buildings attack these heroes, they gain levels and can be upgraded. Oftentimes, the difference between winning and losing is knowing where to build and when to upgrade.
You also have magic at your disposal. Use it to chop down trees, give your buildings a frenzied boost, or hurl meteors from the sky. Be careful though, every spell costs mana, and you will run out of mana very quickly if you keep on button mashing.
If you manage to complete a level without a single hero so much as touching one of your gems, you will earn a “Brilliant” rating for that level. This can be pretty tough on a lot of levels though, so you may end up playing the same levels over and over in order to accomplish this.
Cursed Treasure: Don’t Touch My Gems! is addictive, and its fifteen levels are enough to keep you playing this one for quite a while.
The spaces with flags on them are high points. Build here to increase the attack range of your buildings.
Game: Cursed Treasure: Don’t Touch My Gems! | Developer: IriySoft
July 19, 2010
You'll see this a lot. It's not good.
Since the beginning of the internet, there have been stick figure games and there have been sniper games. Well, Stickshot, as the name implies, brings those two together. You are a sniper, and it is your job to kill a bunch of stick figures.
This is like many sniper games in that you aim with your mouse and you focus with the spacebar. It also takes it up a notch in that you can hide. Yes, people will be trying to kill you. That is why man is the most dangerous game. Don’t hide enough, and you will get blasted in the face. Hide too much, and your guys will run away.
Stickshot gets brought into the 21st century through the use of cell phones. You often need to call your target to identify him. Then you kill him. There is an upgrade system, where you exchange money for better guns and items. This area is a bit limited, but you know what, it’s a sniper game.
The gameplay is tense. You’ve got to be pretty quick on the trigger, and pretty lucky to be quite honest if you want to beat this game.
Should I pull the trigger? Should I pull the trigger?
What really sets this game apart, if you ask me, is the 3D graphics. Yes, you heard me. This game has 3 dimensions. After each briefing you get transported over the rooftops of the fictional city, and you get dropped at your location.
There are cars that drive through the roads. There are pedestrians (collateral damage). When you fire your first shots, the bad guys and the pedestrians all scatter behind different buildings. Then, the people that hunted you will try to shoot you by ducking from behind the buildings.
In most sniper games, you’re just trying to beat the clock. This one is bigger than that. The developers thought long and hard about the aesthetic (grey and red). It is heart pounding because you can watch an enemie’s laser sight get closer to you before they take a shot. If you are a fan of flash sniper games, this one will be a treat. If not, you should still try it out.
Game: Stickshot | Developer: Stick Games
July 18, 2010
Now, I know what you’re going to say and trust me, I thought about it too. Why would I review something with a title like this? Well, browsing through the indie games on my Xbox I noticed that this bad boy is actually one of the most frequently downloaded games there is. Surprising, isn’t it? Well, I wanted to know what all the hype was about so I went ahead and got me a download. There’s nothing like running into a real shocker, and believe me, I really was.
Try Not To Fart was actually pretty challenging. I’m not one to fall in the line of toilet humor at all. I don’t even like it in my cartoons and I never make my Sims slobs because I don’t want to deal with the stupid fart cloud they make. But this game is actually about coordination. You have to hold a number of buttons down and release them within certain amounts of times. If you fail to do so you end up letting one rip.
There is a set amount of gas tolerance and if you go over it your game is over. The goal in the whole thing is to impress a beautiful woman. Of course, she ends up turned off to you completely if you pass too much gas around her but the funniest part of this game has got to be the dialogue. From annoyed bar tenders to uninterested waiters, you and your date spend a little bit of time getting to know one another while you try desperately to hold in your bowels.
Now, I know the concept seems fairly simple but for someone like me who is not entirely sure where all the buttons were and, you know, doesn’t have three hands, the game mechanics themselves were beautiful. The game shows you exactly where you can find your buttons. Even so, that doesn’t by any means make the game easy. It’s kind of like playing Twister with your hands and fingers. Once you put your hand down on red you have to figure out how in the world you’re going to get it to blue when your entire body is facing away from it.
I would recommend this game for anyone, really. After you ignore the fact that you’re totally and completely playing a game about farting you’ll probably mange to have yourself a good time playing Try Not To Fart.
Game: Try Not To Fart | Developer: Silver Dollar Games
July 17, 2010
The simple thing about this game is that it reminds you of a time when you were hell bent on rebellion or were simply wasting time during a boring class at school.
The lay out of the game is very simple and similar to Space Invaders or Bloon’s Super Monkey. You don’t really have to do anything other than control an icon on the screen and blast your way through various obstacles in order to score points.
Move your mouse around as quickly as you can or....
The reason this game will remind you of old school days is because it is based on what looks like an old exercise book you would have used. You could be the most focused student in the world, but at some point we all scribbled something in the back of that exercise book.
This also allows for very simple graphics, ensuring speed and excitement are two things at the heart of the game.
If this game puts even the smallest smile on your face, then the developers have done what I think they intended to do as they pull together nostalgia and memories of daydreaming over bad artwork in the middle of lecture into a fun little game.
....this will happen!
The controls are really, really simple. Just about anyone could play this game. All you have to do is use the mouse. You might think this means the game is not at all technical, but you do have to be razor sharp to dodge objects at certain times.
However, this game has two things that do not work in its favour. Although the game may remind you of old days, its simplicity is its weakness. There’s only so much repetition you can go through before it gets boring.
Furthermore, the music might get on your nerves right from the start. It is probably better that you put the mute button on early.
This game is well worth a go for at least a little while though.
Game: Paint War http://www.addictinggames.com/paint-war-game.html | Developer: Addicting Games http://www.addictinggames.com/index.html
July 16, 2010
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pew pew pew
The creators of this game are obviously really into old NES games, because they just threw every one they could think of into the Mario Brothers setting, and got them to raise Hades.
First thing’s first, the physics of Super Mario world still applies. You jump the same with each character, and you can still kill by landing on a bad guy. That having been said, each character has his or her own different abilities, each of which are augmented by a mushroom.
One character starts off with a laser that only fires a bit in front. However, when you pick up a mushroom you can fire across the screen. Not only that, but the laser blasts will take out blocks and stuff, which makes certain characters much more efficient on different levels.
It’s a simple, straightforward game. The creators obviously gave a lot of thought to integrating the different styles into the game. Each character has its own ups and downs.
Callsies on Link!
Controls are really simple. If you can’t figure them out, well I can’t help you. Remember when Sega came out with that thing where you could add knuckles to practically any game? This is like that, but way more fun and successful.
The creators also added the music from the different games to Crossover. Each character has his or her own leitmotif (what up Wagner), really making this game immersive and a whole lot of fun.
If you are a huge fan of Mario, or really any old NES game, then you should play this game. I didn’t play it all to the end, but then again, I am not a huge fan of platformers. I also didn’t get my first console until I was 16. For the rest of you, this will be a blast from the past that is entertaining on many levels. If you are bored with the Mario genre, this may just be what it takes to get you back on the horse.
Game: Super Mario Bros Crossover | Developer: Exploding Rabbit