Do you sudoku?

October 28, 2006


If you’re like millions of other people around the world, you probably do it. Sudoku, I mean. You know? The game where you have to write the numbers 1-9 in boxes and they can’t repeat within a box or a row or a column? Yes, that sudoku.Well, now it’s online and you can play for free! Okay, so Web Sudoku has been in existence for who knows how long. But I’m talking yummy multi-player action. Sudoku puzzles done before you blink!

Online World Sudoku Championship 2006 (yes, the name is long; bare with me here) allows you to play against other sudoku addicts around the world (presumably). You can play by yourself, too, but the fun is in the multiplayer. You can play anywhere from one to three other people who are currently online. The game has a point system based on how many squares you correctly fill in. Those points are translated to another point system that gets carried over to other games and determines your ranking.

I only found one bug where someone else’s points were being assigned to me in game, but during the point of assignments out of that particular sudoku game, the system seemed to straighten itself out.

You do need to register to play, but registration is free.

veryhappy.jpgThe sudoku-phile in my absolutely adores this online version. But for those of you who have a problem with it, my advice is this: steer clear!

I learned of Online World Sudoku Champion from Kao-Ani. OWSC is a free sudoku game that pits you against other players.


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.

Distracting diversion will eat your time

October 13, 2006


Distractions” is probably one of the cutest games short games you will play that will eat away at your time. The gameplay is simple. You use your mouse to guide the chick through a course — something that you probably think you’ve seen a billion of times.

Well, not exactly. The game is called “Distractions” for a reason. I can’t say much more than that, except that you will be swearing at the cutest Korean-drawn flowers this side of the Internet. And then when you die (which you will, probably around 1,000 points your first try), you will click replay again. And again. And again.

veryhappy.jpg Sometimes, the games that look the cutest can have the largest addiction factor. If you’re a big, strong man that abhors anything cute, I have one thing to say: just try it. It’ll kick your butt.

Distractions is not even a download! Just go to MoFunZone and play it in your browser.

SMI still crazy (good) after all these years

October 10, 2006

monkey1.jpgAh, Monkey Island. Some call it overrated. Some call it sublime. Others don’t call it anything at all, since they haven’t heard of the four game adventure series released by LucasArts. For this review, I will examine the very first in the Monkey Island series. It ran on DOS, so, to play it, you need to download ScummVM.

Moving right along. Secret of Monkey Island (from here on out, it will be referred to as SMI) has you, dear reader, playing as Guybrush Threepwood, a young man trying his darndest to become a pirate. A mighty pirate, at that.

This game is comparable to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney for the DS. SMI is a point-and-click adventure game that requires you to read. Yes, read. It’s not so foreign a concept is it? Especially for all of you who have to crack open a book once in a while for that thing adults like to refer to as “school.” I guarantee you, you will find this far more interesting than your Mankiw Economics textbook.

monkey2.jpgThe whole adventure is off-the-wall and silly. The dialogue is smart and funny despite its relative zaniness. You even get to swordfight (and what person who hasn’t seen Pirates of the Caribbean doesn’t want to do that?), but not in the traditional sense. You use insults to gain the upperhand against your opponent rather than button-mashing skills.

Actually, there’s not a whole lot of button mashing at all in this game. Gameplay focuses on your ability to solve puzzles logically (or, ahem, look up a FAQ off the internet). You can basically use anything available to Guybrush to solve the puzzles, but nothing is too over-the-top or funky that you’ll find yourself going “what the hell?” after a puzzle.

There’s something in SMI for nearly everyone with a sense of humor. Some people who are used to 40+ hours of gameplay might be slightly appalled at the relative short nature of the game. However, you can always spring for the next chapter in this game.

veryhappy.jpgAll in all, SMI is smart, funny, and it has certainly made an addict out of me. This game gets an extremely happy smiley face, meaning: “Go out and buy it! It’s worth the time and money you will spend!”

This game is not free. I’d just buy it off eBay or from one of the Amazon storefronts. My home computer has a 3 1/2 floppy drive, so I bought the LucasArts classic collection which includes some of their other games like Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken (all for the low price of $50!).