Mon Nov 12 2007 20:39 Better Know A Game Roundup:
What better way to spend a holiday than by cleaning up my games-to-be-rounded-up directory?
- Duckmaze is too much
maze and not enough duck. There's a pretty servicable duck on the
title screen, but the duck in the game looks like
Pac-Man. Wall-pushing mechanism is isomorphic to Sokoban.
- Scum of the
Universe: Galaga with a trading component. Great idea, but the
Galaga component is really aggravating. There's a quest, moral
ambiguity, etc. but getting to phase 2 of the quest requires playing
about 100 not-terribly-difficult levels of Galaga. I don't have the
- Cultivation is a
lovely "social simulation" where you try to grow and harvest plants
while getting along with your neighbors and occasionally mating with
them to produce the next generation. Unfortunately it's kind of
depressing, because your neighbors inevitably manufacture some spat
over someone sleeping with someone else, and start poisoning the soil
making agriculture impossible. Then there's a race-against-time aspect
reminiscent of a bad SF novel, where you've got to get off the planet
before the world is destroyed by society's insoluble problems. I don't
know if this was the intention.
- The Goonies: 20th Anniversary
Edition is a decent-looking remake of the first Konami Goonies
game in the style of the second, much more popular game. As Sloth, of
"love Chunk" fame, you run around gathering keys and freeing the
Goonies while evading terrible enemies such as drops of water and the
stalactites those drops of water eventually form. Actually I've never
seen a game in which stalactite formation was a mechanic. Prove me
- Can't get Polybius to work in
WINE, but I wanted to mention it just because of the
Scummer is a satirical Roguelike from the author of Powder and
Letter Hunt. Uh, it looks like I never reviewed Letter Hunt.
- So! Letter
Hunt is a Roguelike where you get power-ups by killing monsters in
an order that spells out words. Recommended.
- While I'm at it, Jeff Lait's other roguelike, You Only Live Once
has the great character name of Farmer Amy and appears to have some
relationship to the Powder universe. It also has the sort of plot more
usually associated with interactive fiction than with roguelike games.
- Remember Blob Wars: Metal Blob Solid?
Now there's Blob
Wars: Blob And Conquer, the 3D game with the same graphics and
sense of blob blood 'n' guts. I was doing pretty well for a 3D game
until I encountered the bane of my existence: 3D platforms I had to
jump on. Oversensitive controls sent many a blob plummeting into the
acid lake. Your mileage may vary in the direction opposite mine.
- From blobs to slimes. I found Slime
Forest in my Game Roundup directory and thought it was that
pseudo-RPG game that teaches you katakana. Then I played it for a
while and it was just a regular pseudo-RPG. Then I was ambushed by
some slimes and it turned out to be a katakana tutor after all. So,
kind of slow playing. Not sure why that surprised me.
- I hate Manic Miner! There, I said it. The Marmite of video games
still exerts a nostalgic hold on Britons, but it's a terrible
game. It's extremely crude run-and-jump that rewards only after school
repetition and endless pixel-scale memorization. Plus, for a long time
before I played Jet Set Willy I read "Jet Pack Willy" and assumed
there was a jetpack in the game. The truth could not be further from
However, I do enjoy the totally random enemies, so I won't feel
terribly bad about pointing you to the MM-like Chaos Caverns
over at Dan's
Remakes. The gameplay is smoother, which makes the game a bit
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