Sunday, April 28, 2013

no-one has to die, kinda

みちゆき — time travel
(Photo credit: nodoca)
The last two weeks have been a bit busy and as a result I have had little time to play, mostly nothing but tiny flash games now and then. Of those the one that stood out the most was no-one has to die. The game is quite easy as far as actual gameplay is concerned, what sticks about it is the choice-based story and the mystery that comes with it.

Being a very short game makes it kinda hard to say much more without spoiling it, so I'll just say try it out! Right away the dramatic music will fill you with the sense of urgency and you'll see it through to the end.

Friday, April 5, 2013

A slap in the brain - Antichamber

I have finally got my hands on Antichamber and I gotta say it is pretty amazing. In principle the game looks like your average first-person puzzle-platform game, maybe sort of like Portal, only with weird graphics. Once you start playing though you realize you are in for a crazy trip.

The game basically consists of a series of puzzles which you must solve to reach the exit. What makes the whole experience interesting is that it will often kick you into a state of surprise, most of the time because you (sensibly) expect the mechanics of the game to follow some real world logic and they usually don't.

If you have always wanted to know what it feels like to mess with psychedelic drugs but are too much of a wuss to actually do it, I'd wager Antichamber is about as close you can get to it.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Retro pretend - Super Smash Land

Having spent countless hours playing the original Super Smash Bros for the Nintendo 64 I was slack-jawed when I found out about Super Smash Land. The idea is brilliant. It's an independently developed PC game designed fully as if it were an actual Super Smash Bros title for the old Game Boy.

Super Smash Bros.
(Not Quite) Super Smash Bros. (Photo credit: Elliot Trinidad)
The controls might be a bit confusing at first (again, it's designed around the limited Game Boy button scheme) but soon enough you get used to it and the enemies start flying. The game is lightweight and free to download at it's website, it's a mandatory download for every Super Smash Bros fan.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Minecraft VS Terraria (spoiler: Minecraft wins)

Minecraft or Terraria? Quite often these two games get compared, it's not hard to understand why: both involve exploring worlds made up of blocks which you can destroy and pick up, and in both of them you use the blocks and items found to craft other items.

When I first tried out Terraria a few months back, having already known Minecraft for a lot longer, I was quickly convinced Terraria was a superior game. And how could I not be? In Terraria there are many many more items to be crafted and acquired by the player, it also has a large variety of enemies (tough ones too) and bosses even. Overall you can feel the RPG component of the game is just much stronger than in Minecraft, in which you can get the top tier equipment during your first session and count all the different monsters with your hands.

Minecraft Creeper
Minecraft Creeper (Photo credit: San Diego Shooter)
So why do I think Minecraft is the best game then? Because it's the magic lasts longer (for ever, arguably). It is a better sandbox. In Terraria progressing through the game and killing the big bad bosses is all amazingly good fun, but once you reach the end you find out there's not much else to do and interest vanishes. You can still build and explore, sure, but the worlds of Terraria are small and in 2D: there's nothing new to surprise you when exploring and building in 2 dimensions gets old very fast. In contrast, Minecraft's worlds are practically infinite (you won't reach the edges without cheating) and 3-dimensional too, this means there's a lot of more variety in the geographic formations you can find, and in the stuff you can build too. Not matter for how long I have known and played Minecraft, there is always fun and wonder to be had, even from just jumping into a newly generated world and wandering about.

So I say Minecraft wins. But then again some may argue I have no business comparing the two.

(Also creepers. Terraria has no creepers, and creepers are the bomb.)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Still playing Super Meat Boy

One of the most challenging (and addicting) indie games you will ever try is Super Meat Boy. There you take the role of Meat Boy, the hero on a quest through hundreds of hazardous levels to save his girlfriend Bangage Girl from the mentally unstable Dr. Fetus. It's one of those platform games where perfect control and timing is crucial to win, it starts off easy but the difficulty scales up fast and soon enough you find yourself often dying (and if you're like me, cursing the world and smashing your keyboard) a million times before finally managing to get through some levels.

Bandage Girl loves Meat Boy
Bandage Girl loves Meat Boy (Photo credit: PaRaP)
It's sort of reminiscent of I Wanna Be The Guy, albeit with the borderline-masochistic difficulty slightly tuned down. The game becomes specially hard if you're a completionist nut that just has to collect every single item, pass every single level with the A-grade time and unlock all the extra characters. But it's all in good fun.

I for one can't get enough of it, you probably won't be able to either.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Relaxing Coma

Coma is an amazing little flash game that is really as much of a game as it is a piece of art. It's vague plot will have you running around dream-like landscapes and meeting some very strange characters along the way. There is not much to be said about the gameplay: you can run, jump, interact with stuff you touch and that's about it - but an adventure platformer as beautiful as this one doesn't really need more. What really shines about this game is the art and music, which together compose a surreal and relaxing experience.

As with most dreams, the only fault with it, I think, is that it is rather short and will be over before you know it.

let's play hide and seek
(Photo credit: mutsmuts)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Portal hopping with Mari0

You take the original Super Mario Bros, give Mario a portal gun and what you get is Mari0. And as you may guess, it is awesome.

Mario Stencil
Mario Stencil (Photo credit: Dr Case)
The geniuses at made a good job of recreating the level design and gameplay of Nintendo's Super Mario Bros, only they made Mario carry a portal gun which the player can aim and shoot using the mouse. Add to that a multiplayer mode supporting up to 4 players (each with his own portal gun), a level editor, the ability to play using different map packs and also a bunch of personalization tweaks and fun cheats you can mess around with. It's a great retake on a classic, and once you unlock the unlimited time cheat you basically have endless hours of sandbox fun ahead of you.