Mon May 26 2003 16:33 Game Roundup Is A Powerful Deceiver:
- Wolf Pacman is the Pacman clone that makes you realize that Pacman is just a Rocks 'n' Diamonds-like game. It does this by removing features that distinguish Pacman from Rocks 'n' Diamonds, like compact boards and enemies that chase you. One new feature in this game is that you can't stop. I can't stop! You bounce off walls like a Breakout ball. I'm pretty sure this is intentional. In the default theme, you are Tux the penguin, and the ghosts are little bitmaps of Bill Gates from xbill. (Incidentally, did you know there is a new xbill? Me neither. It still uses the Athena widget set, which was always my favorite thing about it.)
- Molecule Man is a maze game in which your character moves way too slow, but the graphics are great, quirky and cartoonish. Plus, the documentation is hilarious. "The multi-perspective 3d maze is hiding the very life pills that can bring you salvation... In this cruel world extra time can be bought - with cash!" You need to download some weird Borland developer libraries to run it, which control the frame of the game but not much about the actual game, such that the toolbar be all walkin' down the street like "La di da, I'm Windows XP", whereas the game window itself be all walkin' down the street like "I be kickin' it with the EGA old school," and what's up with that? Tip your waitresses!
- Speaking of isometric views, Pyplace is an isometrics library for use with pygame. It makes me want to write a game in which overbearingly superior beings of pure light visit old Roman ruins and dispense hokey cosmic wisdom despite there being no one there. I'm not sure how the gameplay would go.
- Speaking of pygame, pygsear has some very simple pygame games and demos to use as starting points.
- Stop me before I segue again! Stone's Throw is an Arkanoid clone in Java. "Why write yet another Arkanoid clone?", asks the author. This one has a physics engine that models the universe in which you and I live. But where's the escapism if the game is just like reality? Already as it is I throw a ball at disappearing bricks all day!
- Any Door Is Closed simulates the game you always wanted to play as a kid, where you divided people into two teams and you tried to lock each other into the rooms of an enormous house. This never worked in real life because there weren't enough kids, there weren't enough rooms in the house, the rooms weren't interconnected enough, the doors were openable from the inside, or there were present pesky grownups or safety inspectors who prohibited you from playing. ADIC gets rid of all of these problems.
- Onyx Ring has a good general-purpose Inform library (a supplement to the standard library) and an Inform guide. From Onyx Ring I also found Platypus, a replacement for the Inform standard library.
- SCAM is a sprite collision library. It's been discontinued, but the webpage is worth a visit due to the author's great design sensibilities; check out the logo, and the "happy face insanity" benchmark screenshot.
- In the misty shadowlands on the edge of the space of all games, lives the space of all puzzles. Now, Raymond Hettinger Productions brings you a puzzle-solving framework so generic they said it could not accurately represent puzzle state! But it can! Get it now! Includes representations of "boring jug filling puzzle" and "boring rowboat puzzle". A great example of my philosophy that computers should automate tasks humans (ie. me) find boring.
- Feuerkraft could be the top-view drive-around-in-a-tank-and-blow-things-up game you've been waiting for. "You can only drive
around in this demo and destroy a few buildings," says the README, but what else would you want to do? Perhaps if there were some way of destroying vehicles as well, such as other tanks, or airplanes on an airstrip. Or if it used XML somehow. Yes, yes, XML.
- Kalyp is a Roguelike written in Java. In this game, "[G]enerated items can be cursed" (be still, my heart!), but the great thing is that it's the first Roguelike I know about that has unit tests!
- Vertigo is a great Java applet game where you, a blob, inhabit a void full of blue tiles which you must paint purple as stars whiz past you like in Star Trek: The Motion Screensaver. The slightest false move, and you plummet into the void. Includes two-player deathmatch mode. Includes single-player deathmatch mode, in fact. Great gameplay, great mix of puzzle solving and reflex action, greatest bottomless pits in the history of gaming. I can't say enough good about this game, and it wins the coveted Palm d'Rassemblement De Jeu for this episode of Game Roundup. It also gets a poem (I honestly don't know if I'm going to keep doing this, but it's a good gimmick.):
An reddish and amorphous blob
Had the world's most dangerous job
"Meet our tile-painting needs
At superluminous speeds?
You're hired, reddish amorphous blob!"
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