November 11th 2011Rebuild 2 and its prequel are incredibly similar games, to the point where I don’t really need to go over the first one. Play the second one instead – the refinements are small but make it an overall better game.
This is another addition to the zombie survival genre so you should know the story by now – you control a group of survivors who are trying to make sure they live to see another day.
However, it plays unlike any other zombie game I can think of. It’s like a slimmed-down version of Sim City mixed with Risk.
This is the town you live in. Anywhere outside the perimeter fence is zombie central.
You start with a small number of survivors who have various levels of skill in essential tasks such as building, leadership and killing zombies. If you’re going to get out of this alive, you have to expand your group to fight off the growing horde of undead massing outside your hideout.
But you’re also going to have to make sure you have somewhere for these people to live and that you have enough food to
October 29th 2011Diamond Hollow was basically a survival platformer. You started at the bottom of an endless pit (it has a bottom, so I suppose it should be called a topless pit) and had to climb as high as possible before your inevitable death.
Once you began climbing the screen would start scrolling upwards – if you couldn’t climb quickly enough, doom.
The one weapon at your disposal was a gun, aimed with the mouse, to destroy slimes and energy-shooting plants. There were diamonds to collect (hence the title) that you could use to upgrade your weapon and your platforming abilities.
It was a fun little survival game but a bit fluffy – there was no story but there were trophies to aim for, if that was your thing.
The sequel took things to a whole new level.
Look at all those game modes!
The biggest addition is a story mode – you are some guy in a cave who has found a talking gun and an evil scientist wants to kill you.
OK, so the story isn’t an Oscar winner but anyone who enjoyed the first game is going to love the fact
October 15th 2011The first two games in the Last Stand series are defence-based: you have to kill the attacking zombies before they kill you. All you have to stop them is a range of guns and a wall, which you have to keep in a good state of repair.
Survive all the waves and you win.
The two games were well received and the second of them built on the first by forcing you to progress to different areas on your quest to make it to an extraction point.
This game, the third in the series, ups the ante by completely abandoning the defence genre and becoming a side-scrolling zombie-em-up.
No walls to protect you this time.
Despite the shift in genre, some of the elements from before remain – the zombies behave in the same way, running at different speeds, there are still a range of weapons to find and the overall feel of the game is much as it was. The controls behave the same way and the shooting is as it was before.
One major change is the new RPG elements – there are a number of stats that you can improve to make your trip
September 24th 2011The first thing I have to do with this game is take issue with its name. The little blobs you play with aren’t sticky in the least, they slip and slide all over the place. Sure, blobs of the same colour will stick together but they’ll fall apart just as easily. I guess the name Gooey must have been taken already.
Well, I’ve just digressed before even beginning. On to the game!
I’ll start with the first game in the series, Gluey, because although both games are incredibly similar they have a fundamental difference.
In Gluey, your aim is to eliminate the blobs filling up the screen by clicking groups of more than two.
You see those blobs with eyes?
They’ll be dead soon.
The game indicates which blobs can be destroyed by making them grow eyes when two or more blobs combine. It’s kind of horrible when you think about it: the second they gain sentience, they get murdered. Good job the game is so much fun (and hey, the blobs on the title screen are happy and smiling so they probably enjoy it).
September 2nd 2011Back when I first started playing flash games, I came across a little series called GROW.
I don’t know how popular they were, but they were pretty cool games. You were basically given a landscape (such as a field or a little planet) and between eight and ten items. All you had to do was decide which order you were going to use those items in.
You would then watch as things grew and changed and the final results could vary wildly.
Say, for example, you have two items – a seed and some water. Use the water first and you get a puddle that the seed floats in. Use the seed first and you plant it, then the water helps it grow.
Now imagine you have to decide what order you’re going to use ten items in – needless to say there was a lot of trial and error involved in getting the best ending, but the whole process felt organic and the landscape evolved naturally.
Why am I bringing this up in a review of a golf game? Because the landscape changes in much the same way as GROW.
This is what you start off with. Pretty,
August 27th 2011When you can spend ten minutes on the main menu and still be entertained, you know you’re playing a good game.
Cyclomaniacs 2 is the long-awaited sequel to the popular original and as far as content goes, it certainly delivers.
There’s a story this time round – most of the characters from the first game have gone evil (I didn’t pay attention to what their plans were, sorry) and you have to stop them by winning loads of cycle races.
The game works in much the same way as those old BMX balancing games that you used to see everywhere in the early days of flash gaming. Controls are on the arrow keys – up to go, down to stop, left and right to align your bike.
Pressing left or right will make you do wheelies, or rolls if you’re in mid-air. These build up your trick meter and if you fill this up you gain a boost bar, which triggers automatically and increases your speed. Keep performing tricks to fill your trick meter again and you can get a combo boost, all the way up to eleven (insert obligatory Spinal
August 5th 2011A while ago a game came out called Dead Frontier – it played in the same way as the old choose-your-own adventure books and was pretty decent.
It was set in a zombie apocalypse and you had to find the best way to get your character to safety, hopefully saving your wife on the way. All the text was voice acted (and there was a lot of text – I can appreciate the effort put into that, even if I preferred to just read it) and each scene had a photograph depicting the scene.
Shameless plug alert – the game helped inspire GP Studios to create Mutant Uprising, a choose-your-own-adventure game that also happened to be the most childish thing I’ve ever written. It’s fun (and the sequel is coming in a few months, after Wasted Youth Part 2).
It also inspired Hyptosis to create The Sagittarian.
And this one has pretty graphics. Well, graphics at least.
The Sagittarian series has proved incredibly popular on the sites it’s appeared on and on the surface of it I can understand why. The music sets a nice atmosphere,
July 15th 2011You know, despite the fact I’m involved in making flash games I never really wonder much about other developers. When I’m playing a game, it never really crosses my mind to think about what sort of person made it.
The only reason I bring this up is because I was surprised to find out this game was made by a woman. That’s quite a sexist reaction, I’ll admit, but it’s one inspired by the image of a stereotypical gamer that’s promoted by the media – a male, white, English-speaking basement dweller in their twenties.
Of course, deep down I know that stereotype isn’t true (I’m in my thirties now) but it’s an interesting thing to keep in mind. There are people of all nationalities, ages and genders creating flash games and the best games are often the ones where people have imprinted their sense of humour and sensibilities into it (by the way, have you played Wasted Youth yet?).
This game is a good example. There’s a nice sense of humour running through it, with several snail friends to speak to
July 4th 2011This game is dangerously addictive. I don’t want to know how many hours I’ve spent on it.
It’s a sequel to Moonberry Studio’s game Picma, which was a videogame take on a traditional type of logic puzzle.
Picma’s puzzles come in grid form – there is a series of numbers alongside and above each line. These are used to help you decide what boxes need to be filled in.
Say you get a row with the numbers 2, 5. This means somewhere along the line you’ll need to fill in two boxes in a row, then there’ll be a gap of an unknown number of boxes, then five boxes in a row will need to be filled. Each puzzle has a definite answer and it’s up to you to work out how the numbers intersect.
I’d seen this sort of puzzle before and it wasn’t my sort of thing, although it is pretty complex and it can feel rewarding to finally solve a grid.
The sequel is much more to my liking because the grids are solved in a completely different way. It also helps that I’ve always been a sucker for Minesweeper.
June 26th 2011This game is weird - in the best possible way, of course.
The best way to describe it is as a physics platformer. You can’t actually jump – the only way to get higher is to extend your character and grab onto a ledge so you can pull yourself up.
And who is the character you play as? The letter I out of the word “it”. Prepare for adventure!
The world of letters is much more dangerous than you would have imagined.
The first thing you’ll notice about the game is the narration, which is what gives the game its unusual style. This is not a game you play on mute if you want to get the full experience from it. The music is quirky too.
The basic story of the game is that I and t are hanging out one day when t suddenly says “bah” and buggers off, quite rudely. I wonders where his buddy has gone and goes on a quest to find him.
Controls are basic – arrows or wasd to move left and right or extend your character up and down. To help you traverse through the levels, use the hooks on top of I (or limbs, or
June 17th 2011Elements Of Arkandia is an essentially flawed puzzle/RPG hybrid that still manages to be great fun despite its faults.
It’s the latest game from Undefined, who created the Protector and My Pet Protector series.
The Protector series has proved popular but has never held much appeal to me. Admittedly I’ve never played it enough to get anything more than a general first impression of it, but it just seems like a basic tower defence game to me.
I have played both the My Pet Protector games and completed them, and enjoyed them – although they’re both missing a certain something. Both games have a lot of stats to level up but this can quickly turn into grinding. Not a bad thing in itself, but there needs to be a pay-off – the games lack a satisfying ending. There’s no sense of accomplishment.
Undefined’s game Arkandian Crusade (there’s only been one so far so I can’t call it a series) was his best so far. It was incredibly similar to My Pet Protector but had a few important changes.
There was a story
June 10th 2011Warp. Not exactly the most imaginative title in the world for what’s actually a nice little game.
To me, the title summons visions of some sort of Portal knock-off. That description is a bit of a stretch but there is one similarity.
The edges of each stage are linked to one another. Walk off the left side and you’ll reappear on the right. Fall off the bottom of the screen and you’ll appear at the top.
This key gameplay mechanic is used to make some fun – if simple – puzzles.
It’s the only way to travel.
Each of the levels has the simple goal of guiding your little guy to the exit. The first three levels act as basic training before things gets slightly more complex. You’ll soon be timing your jumps off the edge of the screen to land on platforms on the other side of the level.
There are other obstacles to overcome, of course. The platform gaming staple of spikes makes an appearance – some players have complained that they can be difficult to see because both the platforms and the background scenery