Game offers more satire than playtime

October 24, 2006

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Oil God” is one of those games that you feel slightly uncomfortable when you play it. You don’t know whether the developers wallow in some kind of sadistic pleasure in trivializing world problems or if they’re very brilliant satirists. I go with the latter, but you’ll have to decide for yourself.

You play a god whose main joy in his eternal life is manipulating the oil prices. You have a slew of tools at your uhm, disembodied hand’s fingertips. Wars, natural disasters, and the ability to change the politicial and economical atmosphere of oil-producing (and consuming) countries. You have “God Hand Credits” that you expend when you make any changes in the world. The credits replenish themselves during the game.

Although interesting, the game is short. It counts down by “days” (seconds) how long it takes for you to double the world price of oil. There are simple things you can do to completely obliterate oil fields that will make your game last for little more than a minute. Sometimes less. And even though there are three levels of difficulty, they seem to become easier despite the fact the credits replenish themselves at a slower speed.

neutral.jpgAll in all, “Oil God” makes more of a statement than present solid gameplay. The game is witty, but it offers little to keep the gamer occupied.

“Oil God” was produced by Persuasive Games and is free to play on the Internet.


Prelim Review: Gorgeous graphics, stifling gameplay

October 19, 2006

muffin.jpgMuffin: The Star Hunter has one glorious attribute: it’s absolutely stunning. The environments are colorful and the pixel character you control is fittingly cute (not to mention small — her slimy enemies look as if they could squash her just by sitting on her).

But, as we know, stunning graphics alone do not a pleasant experience make. (Remember the movie version of Final Fantasy?) I call this a prelim review because I’ve only played through a small portion of the game.muffin2.jpg However, I don’t know if I’ll be returning to this game anytime soon.

The rules follow the basics of platform games: collect 10 stars in each level while bouncing on listless enemies that could hurt you if you touch them. Her only weapon is the fact that she can jump very, very high and bounce on the head of jello-like snail… things. It’s engaging for a while, and then you realize that there’s no way to recover what you’ve done. No password system. Period. Meaning, once you die, Muffin has to start from the bright and cheery depths of level one.

Another annoying part of the game is the sound. I’d advise anyone who enjoys his eardrums to turn the speakers off when playing this game. Muffin makes a high-pitched squeak every time she jumps. And she jumps often. The music itself is actually nice to listen to. But paired with that squeak, it’s just not worth it.

neutral.jpg I’d advise people to play this game just to look at the pretty graphics. But it’s not extremely enjoyable, and the lack of a password mechanism makes the game all the more frustrating.

You can play Muffin: The Star Hunter at MoFunZone and Best Web Games. The game is a free flash game, so no downloads are required.


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.


HK cafe: frustratingly cute diversion

October 10, 2006

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H.K. Cafe is one of those games that will make fans of all things kawaii melt. And then it will proceed to frustrate you for the amount of time you decide to play this game. The basic premise is simple: serve customers the food they want before they become angry with you. You might actually get angry with this game first, as the simple premise takes awhile to master. It’s a point and click game that you will either love or hate. I’m still trying to get the hang of it.

neutral.jpg Smiley system says: “Meh. Could be better but the graphics are too cute to pass up! It’s only a diversion and will take about, say… fiften minutes of your time.”