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.

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.

Satisfy your inner artist with guns and colors

October 21, 2006

mono.jpgThis is mono (the game, not the sickness). It’s a shooter game that has a simple objective: change the black screen to white or vice versa. That’s it. It’s somewhat of the virtual equivalent of filling water balloons with paint, pinning them to a really large canvas, and throwing darts at the balloons.

Except you’re not throwing darts. You’re shooting white (or black) pixels at colored circles that splatter on your virtual canvas when you destroy them. There are some interesting effects that come from this game, and there’s even a cool feature that lets you see the final screen of your last game. You may take a while to stare at all of the pretty colors to get in touch with your inner hippie. (And artist. Don’t forget artist).

Gameplay is easy. If you have auto fire on, then you use your mouse to move around the circle shooter. You use the right arrow key to change the direction, but it will become increasingly worthless to do so. After you make more than 30% of the screen into black/white, the number of your colored circle enemies will exponentially grow and you will probably have a pretty good power up.

Power-ups come in the form of pulsing stars. Once you manage to pick up a power-up, you have a better weapon. Other items include a circle which increases your energy. Your game is over when you have no energy left (meaning, you probably hit too many colored circles). The only indication of how much energy you have left is the funky movements of the background and a change in the music.

Everything combined makes a pretty neat game that will effectively nibble away at hours of your time. Hours. I mean it. No matter how simple the game seems, you probably won’t make 100% of the screen black/white during your first try. Oh yeah, and the music is good, too.

veryhappy.jpg This absolutely wonderful shooter will even be embraced by those who don’t like shooters. Although Binary Zoo created it as a test of their scripting system, I’m glad they released it.

You can download mono for free from Binary Zoo’s website. You will need to unzip the file.

Ore no Ryomi 2: Serving food at a frenzied pace

October 14, 2006

ore1.jpgOre no Ryomi 2 has many things that detract from it: the graphics look like scribbles, it takes at least a half-hour to pick up the snail’s pace of the beginning, and there is a slight lack of female customers.

And yet, I found myself glued to my computer screen, attempting to increase my profit margin like a greedy capitalist. I found myself weighing the disadvantages and advantages of buying a new item for the menu or four days of television advertisement. I also found myself cursing at the screen when five people were ordering at the same time while my oven was on fire.

Yes, you do not just serve your customers. You also have to wash dishes, run the disposal, catch crooks, make sure yourore2.jpg oven doesn’t spontaneously combust, and many, many other restaurant-running essentials. After awhile, the graphics don’t even bother you anymore: you’re too busy trying to make ice cream while hoping the time window for washing dishes doesn’t close before you’re done.

ore3.jpgAh, yes. The frenzied atmosphere of Ore no Ryomi is deliciously difficult — if you have the patience to build your restaurant to that state. The first few “days” are slow: depending on what you buy, you may only be serving beer for many a day. Your customers will be sparse, and you will fancy you can hear a virtual pin drop during the minutes between customers. But stick with it. The game picks up, and you will soon be fully immersed in the game’s schedule.

Another upside of Ore no Ryomi 2 is the off-kilter sense of humor Mr. Chubbigans possesses. How strange is it? It features a parody of “Iron Chef,” if you’re good enough to be inviting onto the show for eight different unlockable challenges. Also, take some time to read the news flashes in the beginning of each day. They’ll definitely give you a chuckle or two.

happy.jpg It takes awhile for this game to pick up speed, but, once it does, you’ll be having such an enjoyable experience, you’ll be saying, “I can’t believe I didn’t pay for this.”

Ore no Ryomi 2 is a free download from Vertigo Games. You will need a file extractor like WinZip to play the game.

Apprenticeship was never so much fun

October 12, 2006

apprentice.jpgThe Apprentice does what all great superheroes do in their time: mop floors and get sent on pointless errands by their wizard bosses. Yes. That sounds like a way I’d like to spend my precious college hours. Of course, you get to step in Pib’s place just when he is given the opportunity to do his first spell! Yay!

Those of you savvy with adventure game speak will realize this means “go find such-and-such and bring it back to point A.” The gameplay is very intuitive. The point-and-click interface is used, and there’s only a few things you can do with any given object (look, use, walk to).

The best thing about the Apprentice is its rather quirky use of objects. That also makes the game slightly more difficult because the last puzzle relies on outside knowledge that you don’t think about everyday. Well, if you do, then you probably make saddlebags for a living.

happy.jpg This game is definitely a must-download for anyone who enjoys a good laugh. The only downside is how short the game actually is.

The Apprentice is a FREE download from Herculean Effort Productions. You will need to unzip the file before you can play it on your computer. There’s 26 MB version and a 6 MB version. I reviewed the 6 MB verison without the full voice and soundtrack.

Abducting Ten Minutes of Your Time

October 10, 2006

abducted1.jpgIn “Abducted: 10 Minutes!!”, you play a policeman whose daughter has been kidnapped by the very terrorists he capture in 1994. If you take any longer than 10 minutes to rescue your daughter, she gets shot. Of course, there’s plenty of opportunity in the game for you to get shot yourself. Don’t worry. There’s a save function so you don’t have to start from the beginning every time you die.

The premise of the game is interesting due to the 10-minute time limit. Most everything takes place in a single apartment building, although you do have to use your car and talk to a bum outside. This is a simple point and click adventure, but you need to use your right-click more than usual to change between actions.

The graphics of the game are rudimentary at best. The hardest part of the game is interacting with the environment. You may have to click around a certain item to even use it due to the very particular pointer. This can be remedied when you realize a single white pixel at the edge of your “hand” command (and all the others), is actually what you need to align with objects. Even then, it’s a little hard to know where things are meant to be clicked.neutral.jpg

Verdict: It’s worthwhile to play since it’s a free download. The story is somewhat interesting, but the game is short.

You can download Abucted from this website. It’s a 900kb download. You will also need to unzip the file, so you need a program like Winzip. This program is absolutely free to download.