Free Tycoon Game

November 30, 2006

I love tycoon games.  Something about the simulated setting makes me glued to my computer screen.  2k Games is offering Railroad Tycoon for free on their webpage.  It’s meant to advertise the Sid Meier’s Railroads.  But hey, I’ll take anything for free. (Story from Joystiq)

And to anyone who’s wondering, I haven’t abandoned reviews.  I have just realized that the feverish pace I had been putting them out at is not, to say the least, manageable.


Free not-usually-free game

November 24, 2006

I’m beginning to love Giveaway of the Day, a blog that releases free licenses of a single software every 24 hours.   Not demo versions, or anything else.  Full software.  Everyday.

Not necessarily games, mind you, but today’s offering is a game called “Delivery King.”  From the website:

Delivery King comes with outrageous bonus games, hours of addictive fun and a heartwarming story about dreams coming true!

You could snag the game now (as I will).  I plan to post a review by tomorrow.  Of course, then it will be $20 for the full version.

Interrupting reviews to examine the next-gen systems

November 20, 2006

Here’s my PS3-Wii article for everyone.  I haven’t touched a console since I left home.  How sad.  Anyhow, here are my two cents.  Or two half cents.  Which equals a cent.  So I guess that means here are my cent.  Here is my cent.  Yes.  There it is.  Okay, will stop babbling now.

Anyhow, the PS3 (and Xbox 360, if we’re going to compare all of the so-called next-gen systems) is like the brawny cousin.  It can run so many gigs in a second and can do lightning-fast backflips to boot.  The Wii is the picked-on little brother that can do pretty neat tricks, but people don’t think it can do much more than that.

Oh, wait.  What was important about them again?

What makes a system worth buying?  Games.

And quality games can come from large or small developers.  That’s something I’m trying to prove here.  You don’t have to be Ubisoft or Nintendo or Sony to release a good game.  You need imagination.  Drive.

And Guybrush.  Or maybe not Guybrush, but characters that can carry a game.  Or maybe I’m just old-fashioned in that sense.

For example, the Wii has Link, the stalwart, unspeaking hero that captured hearts from day one.  And by day one, I mean the very first Legend of Zelda game ever made.  We love him (except for that little hiccup that was Zelda CD).  Guys want to be that cool.  Girls wish their boyfriends were that cool (or, they want to be that cool, too.  Who doesn’t want to master the great Link stare?).

And then there’s gameplay.  Yes, Wii gameplay is original.  But when will it stop being a novelty and start being an essential part of a developer’s ideas? Or is the controller better?

In any case, I guess all that I’m saying is that the only thing that will be important in gaming for this generation is the games themselves.  That’s it. Not processing speed or a fancy new way to play.  Just the way the developers utilize it.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

(You’ll be returned to your regularly scheduled blog now…)

Falling Diversion

November 18, 2006

falldown.jpgFallDown 2 is a game specifically designed for those people who need to sit in a cubicle all day and need a diversion from endless monotony. The basic gist is that you guide the ball with your left and right arrow keys and keep it from running into the ceiling. In essence, you need to fall to live.

Which is not something you should try in real life, just to warn any of you who have some problems determining between fantasy and reality. (Although, if you think you’re a black ball whose only goal in life is to see how far you can fall, you need some help. Now.)

happy.jpgIn any case, FallDown 2 is good at what it’s supposed to be good at: being a diversion. Yes, it’s not the most spectacularly interesting game ever made, but it’s addicting, fun, and short. Very, very short. Unless you’re an uber-Falling Down master.

WADP is a not-to-be missed jaunt (er… bounce)

November 14, 2006

wadf.jpgWithin a Deep Forest” laughs in the face of platformers that take themselves too seriously, while offering an adventure that’s both frustrating and gratifying at the same time. Actually, the frustration comes when you know that you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be–except you can’t manipulate your character to bounce correctly.

Yes. You bounce. Why? Because you maneuver various ball types around (one at a time, of course) rather extensive levels to prevent Dr. Cliche from setting off his bomb that will inevitably destroy the world. By freezing it. Which I suppose is better than having the world blow up into pieces of oblivion and disperse into the universe. But who would know?

The actually controls are manageable. Unlike many of the other games I’ve reviewed, all gameplay is controlled by all of six keys: the four arrow keys and the A and S keys. That’s it. But don’t let the simplistic gameplay make you complacent.

The game boasts an array of different ball types to get you through the levels. Some levels require a certain ball type; the glass ball, for example, shatters easily but won’t be affected by laser beams. Some balls go fast, bounce high, but are barely controllable.

And this game will screw with you. Your mind, at least. Imagine the most infuriating experiences you’ve had with goodwadf2.jpg games. Levels that you’re absolutely sure you’re doing the right thing. And then you find that you’ve been approaching it in exactly the wrong way. That’s what Within a Deep Forest is like during many of the levels. Or you know what you’re supposed to be doing, you’re doing it correctly, but the ball won’t do what you want it to.

However, you won’t want to abandon the game because the levels are wonderfully large and the pixel graphics are beautiful. Some of the in-game jokes are funny. They’re mostly graphical and involve various different strange animals eating your character. Even the music is interesting to listen to, if a little creepy at times.

happy.jpgIn all, Within a Deep forest is a great experience that will probably have you bashing your head against the keyboard during certain levels. Other than that, it’s wonderfully immersive and every aspect has been done to a high standard.

The .exe file download is 17.8 MB. There is also a .zip file you can download.

Eating squares == diversion

November 7, 2006

squares.jpgSo, Squares 2.  Apparently, there was a Squares 1, but who’s counting?  Playing games like this offered for free on the Internet makes you wonder what the big deal of the multi-multi-million polygon count on the PS3 is.

Basically, you play as the one square that is definitely not like the others: it’s rotated 45 degrees.  See?  That one.  Right under the score.

This game involves your rotated-45-degrees square and the other black and white squares.  And some circles.  You need to guide your square into the other black squares (apparently, it’s cannibalistic)  and eat them.  Well, there is no animation that actually shows you eating the other black squares, but Snake didn’t have an animation, either.   Also, the red squares are diseased and they kill you.  Actually, I’m not sure what they are, but they aren’t good.

You can also eat the black circles.  They’re power-ups that make gameplay easier (an extra thousand points, smaller square, etc).  You can eat the red circles, which aren’t quite as deadly as their square counterparts, but they do mess you up.

happy.jpgOverall, the gameplay is simple but fun.  It will keep you busy for a little while, and it’s one of those quick diversions to an otherwise unfun day.

All you need is four seconds

November 2, 2006


Anyone up for a WarioWare-like game that is simple to learn but uber-frustrating at the same time? Enter Four Second Fury, a game that comes with only one set of rules: use your arrow keys and space bar.

That’s it. No other explanation for gameplay is given, so you basically have to figure out how to play the mini (erm… micro) games in the four seconds that are supplied for each one. Each game gives you a command like “Run!” or “Shoot!” and nothing more. They’re not necessarily hard to learn but may upset the more stress-prone among us.

The games are interesting to a point. They get repetitive as the object of many of the games are similar. For example, more than one game makes you go from point A to point B with only the use of your arrow keys. Of course, it’s probably hard to conjure many four second games for a varied gaming experience.

The graphics change with each game. Sometimes, the pictures look like something someone would draw with a tablet and artpad. Other drawings are stylized to look like old video games. It depends on the game. I think the overall style keeps the game from being cohesive enough, even though the idea is to have a frenzied, detached pace.

The best thing about the game is its replay value. I found myself coming back to it simply because I wanted to see if I could get further into the game than I had done before.

neutral.jpgI would have liked to have seen a little more variety, but Four Second Fury is a great game to play if you only have a few minutes of free time.