Gorgeous Time Consumer

December 27, 2006

bells.jpgWinterbells is an absolutely gorgeous flash diversion. It falls into the same category as the other flash games that are unbelievably simple, but, at the same time, will devour your time as you find you are addicted to bouncing around on gorgeously rendered bells.

This mouse-driven game has you guiding a bunny as he hops from bell to bell. Each acts as a sort of trampoline to get you to the next one. You don’t technically need to bounce on the bells, you can bounce through them, too. Oh, and using birds as springboards earns you double points.

The game also records your high score, so you can, in effect, try to beat your own best score. Unless, of course, other people are also playing on your machine. Then you’d be competing against them.

happy.jpgThe graphics make this flash game stand out, so much so that the first time you play you’ll be drooling. And the gameplay makes it stick.

Winterbells is from a website by Ferry Halim called Orisinal.  Her other games are equally beautiful and playable. Thanks to Carina for the tip!


Nintendo’s version of an advent calendar

December 16, 2006

snowland.jpg

Fun for everyone as you play as a snowman in Nintendo’s version of an advent calendar. So, yes, it is month-long advertisement for various Nintendo games. But the levels are entertaining and there’s a new one everyday.

(Sorry that I posted this so late in the month) Also, I forgot the link. [Thanks, Travis!]


Take this ticket to ride

December 11, 2006

ticketfuzzy.jpgMost times, board games translated into ones and zeroes don’t turn out so hot. Case in point: any console Monopoly game and The Game of Life for PC. But Days of Wonder, a prominent card and board game maker, managed to do with their javascript games that companies like Parker Brothers have not: made them engaging. Currently, I tend to play “Ticket to Ride.”

ticketcardsfuzzy.jpgBasically, you try to claim as much of the available train track as you can. Okay, no. That’s pointless. You have to make very long continuous tracks while connecting destinations on ticket cards. Ticket cards ask you to go from city to city. In the USA version, it could be anything from a ticket pointing you on a route from Los Angeles to New York or one that requires a quick jaunt from New York to Miami. While the more ambitious ticket choices have higher point values, if you fail to connect the dots, the points are deducted from your score.

You can only set down trains if you have card colors that match the track colors and if you have the right number of cards to claim the track. Locomotives are like wildcards (I guess not all trains need them?), so they can be any color.

Of course, while you’re trying to hoard enough purple cards and locomotives in order to claim that long stretch of railway between two cities, someone might take it before you. Yes, I’ve cringed a few times at the computer screen when a fellow player (probably sitting pretty behind his computer console in some place interesting like New York or Paris) took my much needed route from Point A to Point B.

The game challenges its players to plan multiple routes for their trains so they don’t get trapped without a railway to their destination point. Or, and this has happened to me more often, I ran out of train cars. That’s right–you only get a limited number of cars to work with, and once someone has only one or two left, the game cycles into its last turn. Because of this, creative thinking is a must-have quality in the game.

By itself, the game is a great javascript version and will only take about 45 minutes to an hour of your time. An account on the Days of Wonder site is free. However, the folks at Days of Wonder hope it will entice you enough to buy the board game.

happy.jpgWhether or not you wish to invest in the actual, real-live board game (do they still make those these days?) you should definitely check out Ticket to Ride. It’s enjoyable, and, dare I say it? Fun.


The Free MMO Game

December 6, 2006

After an excruciatingly long download of “Maple Story,” I excitedly booted it up, made my cute character, and happily slicedmaplestory.jpg away at snails.  But five minutes in, I got bored.  Perhaps it’s my lack of game savviness.  Perhaps it’s my complte lack of an attention span.  It’s probably because I didn’t have the patience to get to the community aspect of the game. Whatever it is, I did not have a great time playing it.

I can’t imagine leveling up my character for no reason.  If anyone has any good things to say about Maple Story (or any other free MMO game), please leave a comment.  I feel like I’m missing the point of these games.


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.


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.