Archive for the ‘D’ Category

Fizzball Review

October 14, 2008

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This game is much harder to review than Prof. Fizzwizzle. It maintains all of the stellar presentation aspects and has exceptional production qualities, but is even more focused towards younger and more casual gamers. Fizzball is a Break-out / Arkanoid clone with an element of Katarmi Damacy thrown in. Like Prof. Fizzwizzle there is an exceptional Kids mode and a multitude of levels, the problem lies in the stale rehashed gameplay. On the one hand, it’s the most advanced breakout game I’ve ever played, but on the other hand, it’s a breakout game. This game almost needs two different reviews: One for very casual gamers and kids under 10 and another for more avid and mature gamers. For the casual gamers, the young, or anybody who is not tired of another bat & ball game, Fizzball offers a fantastic game with excellent graphics, presentation, and a plethora of features and other bells and whistles. For the more avid gamer, this game warrants a demo download to check out the unique interface, power-ups, and graphics, but after a couple levels of the demo, most gamers won’t think twice about playing this game again….simply because they’ve played dozens like it already. In my book, the best Arkanoid game of all time is still tired, dull, and just not enough to hold my interest.

Gameplay: 4/10
Pros: Tons of power-ups, levels, and features. The Katarmi Damacy aspect of growing the fizzball by swallowing up small objects and moving up towards larger ones is neat and novel.
Cons: The Grubby Games’ artistic design and sleek interface cannot overcome a stale and overused bat and ball gameplay mechanic. This is a case of exceptional programmers just brainstorming a game from the outset that would not have compelling gameplay. Game is in the WAY TOO casual department.


Graphics: 9/10
Pros: Exceptional presentation, animations, and consistent feel and look from Prof. Fizzwizzle. All the graphics have real depth and give the game a cartoony 3D feel. Just looking at the title screen impresses.
Cons: Stages and Level graphics get repetitive.

Sound/Music: 8/10
Pros: Catchy and fun music returns from Professor Fizzwizzle
Cons: Animal sounds are blasé

Lasting Appeal: 2/10
Pros: There are a ton of levels to play and the game is fully featured
Cons: After playing the first 5-10 levels, the unique features of this breakout clone wear off.

Average: 57.50%
Tilt: -7.50%
I really wanted Fizzball to be better. It oozes quality, has a sleek presentation, and is very endearing. But underneath all the features, beautiful, colorful animations, and catchy music is a game I have played for years. I remember Atari Pong, owned the big lumbering 1989 gameboy, grew up on the NES, SNES, and Genesis and have played breakout games for over a decade. Grubby Games is an exceptional duo, but for me, this type of gameplay is the bottom of the barrel. So for Avid and Long-Time Gamers:

Verdict: 50%

On the upside, if you have a child under the age of 10 or if you are a casual gamer and have no idea what Arkanoid or an Atari is then you will probably love this game. It is very endearing and is one of the best Breakout games I have ever played. It is an excellent game for the more casual / younger market. Maybe that was Grubby Games intention all along, to focus on the casual gamer.

Verdict for kids/casual gamers: 75%

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Toribash Review

October 7, 2008
Toribash by Nabistudio Download Website

Toribash is sort of a game sort of a simulation…I’m not really sure what it is..but it is definitely unique, an acquired test, and quite entertaining…though not really a game. It is described to me in an email as a unique turn-based fighter. That is actually a very concise and fitting description. You take turns affecting the physics of your fighter (or fighters). This is done by simply clicking a body part. You press space and the simulation iterates until the battle is over. YOu are then left with a battle simulation and replay that you can save. Very Unique Graphics, great physics, quirky idea…and ultimately hard to review…

Gameplay: 5/10
Pros: Very unique. I don’t think I’ve ever played a “turn-based fighter.” And the physics engine is excellent. The replays online are amazing and I loved watching them.
Cons: The gameplay is click this click that…and I get really impatient before the round is over. The commitment involved to alter each muscle is too much. I really wanted to be able to click a body part and drag and rotate it where I wanted to. It’s an acquired taste, but managing each muscle every move isn’t really for everyone.

Graphics: 8/10
Pros: Again Unique (you’ll see that come up a lot) and minimalistic. I think the style actually works really well for the game. The blood and movements can be quirky and hokey and the graphics complement that. Again, physics shine through and the ragdoll “dummy” characters animate incredibly well.
Cons: Graphics feel like placeholder graphics. Something a studio puts in to be functional and then after the gameplay is in there…they make it look sleeker. Looks like a tech demo. No background at all.

Sound/Music: 6/10
Pros: all the smack, whoosh, crunch, bash, etc. sounds found in the typical fighters make it into the game…very satisfying
Cons: Music is a very repetitive (if faint) drumming.

Lasting Appeal: 7/10
Pros: If you download the demo and like the game you can have a blast making your own fighting videos and playing people online multiplayer.
Cons: As stated earlier, I get bored clicking body parts mid-round and would prefer to watch the replays rather than make them. Not a plethora of options/features: single player, multiplayer…that’s it.

Average: 65.00%
Tilt: =/- 0.00%

This game is like nothing you’ve ever played! and that’s both good and bad. Download the demo…if you like that….buy it. If you try the demo and get bored of it…don’t buy it. The purchase of this game depends entirely on your patience level and enjoyment of “turn-based fighting.” I think this idea is great, but felt the controls were clunky- it’s hard to get your guy to punch and kick and do what you want….though other people have obviously figured it out (see replays). I just don’t have the patience to do it. Yes, I managed to kick someone’s head off, do a jump kick, punch, etc., but did about one move and then just tapped space repeatedly to end the match. I do see the potential in this game for some though and that’s why I urge everyone to try the demo. It’s not for me and may not be for you, but some will love it!

Verdict: 65%