Archive for the ‘mac game’ Category
Enter the strange and wonderful worlds of Somersault and bounce your little companion “Bally” through hazard and hard times.
Somersault by Enter-Brain-Ment, is something I’d call “a diamond in the rough”. It’s one of those games that stands out just that bit more. It offers something most games in this day and age fail to deliver, originality. The objective of the game is to navigate your little companion “Bally” through each level by clicking and dragging a paddle by left clicking and literally bouncing your colourful little character through each environment.
The size of the paddle determines the amount of bounce and the projected rainbow which shows the path Bally will take. Each level is full of its different sort of hazards, may it be a blender, a persistent UFO or even a friendly bird pecking the inside of the tree as you navigate into its depths. Although entertaining, the game is not without fault. Playing Somersault with a track pad is almost impossible and the occasional slopes in frame rates really do beg the occasional cringe.
Although simple at most times Somersault gives way to some impressively beautiful scenery. Bally is simply, a ball with legs, bright and orange with a little cheerful hat. (Just think of an orange version of Mr. Potato head and you’ll have the gist of it.) The GUI/HUD are however, ugly at best. Despite the badly created 2D aspects of the game, the overall feel of Somersault isn’t lowered… much.
Sadly in the sound department the game doesn’t live up to much, with random little sound effects here, there and everywhere overall doesn’t help the game in anyway. The music is more ‘cutesy’ and has a nice calm feel to it as you traverse the game.
Lasting appeal 5/10
Somersault will take up a good proportion of your time if you can bare the first outing. With 21 levels to spend your time on and in most cases “force” your way through each level, you have to wonder “Do I really want to play this game again?” A decidedly average game overall and rough around the edges, its easy to see that Enter-Brain-Ment still have a fair bit to go, however props to the guys for pushing out this innovative little jewel.
Rough around the edges.
Frame-rate lets it down at points.
Kudos 2 is the sequel to Positech Games life simulator game, Kudos (read the Kudos 1 review). The game puts you in control of making your character’s everyday decisions from their 20th birthday to their 30th. If you are familiar with Kudos, then you definitely know what to expect in the sequel. You start out as a waiter and make day to day decisions with the click of your mouse: pick your mode of transportation to work, decide to take night classes or go out drinking during the week, etc. Not much has changed since the first one except a significantly enhanced style and presentation.
Pros: The same strategy gameplay from Kudos returns to Kudos 2. The game is very simple to play (but definitely hard to master) and surprisingly addictive. The new ability to customize your avatar really adds a lot to the experience.
Cons: Gameplay consists of clicking and navigating menus. The tutorial/instruction of the game is a little scant. Your friends are way too needy! and your never seem to have enough cash (OK maybe this simulator is hitting close to home).
Pros: I actually didn’t notice how much better the graphics were till I looked at screens between the two games. Kudos 1 had freaky blank-faced character models and a washed out and colorless presentation (I guess it took place in Seattle or London) whereas Kudos 2 has slick customizable characters, and vibrant menus and a colorful presentation.
Cons: An utter lack of animation permeates the sequel, but then again, animation isn’t really needed for this type of game.
Pros: Congratulations to Jesse Hopkins who does a great job with the music for this game. The music is very calming, laid back and subtle. The music does a fantastic job capturing the mood of the day and the atmosphere of the game. Sound is kept to simple clicks and what I would call “alert sounds” (i.e. dog barking, rain falling, character coughing) that help notify the player of their situation.
Cons: Nothing really to complain about…
Lasting Appeal: 9/10
Pros: The bright and upbeat music and improved graphics of this sequel make a huge difference in the amount of time that you can spend playing the game. It takes a decent amount of time to live your life from 20-30 in the game, but the character customization and sheer amount of choices, skills and statistics add a lot of replay value.
Cons: I’m really not sure if this is a game or a simulator/strategy game. In many ways it’s more similar to a board game with stat tracking character sheets than a video game. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but also makes this game not suitable to everyone.
Tilt: +/- 0.00%
Kudos 2 is a life simulator and that’s exactly what you get (and a vastly improved one at that) but if that explanation of the game alone makes you cringe than this game is absolutely not for you. It’s a very relaxing and enjoyable diversion where you can live a virtual life. The sheer amount of choice in this game is ridiculous. I do have a suggestion for Kudos 3. I think it would be fantastic if the game placed you in your senior year of high school rather than your 20s as a poor waiter. As an 18 year old, you would have high school friends, finish out your senior year of high school, apply and select a college (or start in the workforce), and continue to try and maintain long time friends as you move away from school into your 20s & 30s. This would break up the game and vary the virtual life experience a little more. All in all, I look forward to Kudos 3 and thoroughly enjoyed Kudos 2. The gameplay is only subtly changed, but the overall package is vastly improved.
World of Goo is the first game from Indie Game Studio, 2D Boy. Founded by Kyle Gabler and Ron Carmel, 2D Boy’s goal (according to their website) is to “make games that everyone can play, with gameplay nobody has seen before.” Well, they have certainly met this goal with World of Goo. World of Goo is hard to pigeon hole into one game genre. I guess if I had to label it I would describe it as a goo-construction physics puzzle action game. Basically, you drag and drop goo balls to build towers, bridges etc. towards a vacuum pipe that sucks up all the remaining goos. The game is definitely out there and utterly unique, but it’s also incredibly sublime.
Pros: The gameplay is unlike any other game out there. It’s sort of like building with K’nex…except their goo balls with little personalities. Each level poses a brand new challenge and the game controls are pretty basic (drag & click). The game introduces new goos at a great pace which helps keep the puzzles and goo building fresh. There’s sort of a story and its interestingly told.
Cons: The game is over too fast, but great games always are. Large goo structures can be tricky to build and frustrating tip over…but the limited level skips are always enough to keep you moving along the campaign.
Pros: The art style is probably the best thing about the game. It is very odd…especially the cutscenes and some of the level pieces (Girl Goo Heads, Wacky Hands, Creepy Robot Heads, etc) but utterly charming. The game’s first chapter is very clean and colorful…but as the game progresses the art style starts permeating through and gets weirder and weirder along with the wacky story. All this oddity is a good thing though. The visuals never get boring and the presentation and execution is excellent.
Pros: The music perfectly fits the art style and mood, but what really makes the games auditory experience so excellent are the sound effects. Goo giggles, mumbles gibberish, inflates, etc. and the People of World of Goo speak emphatic gibberish as well…but all along the way convey emotion. That coupled with the sheer humor of the it all makes it incredibly enjoyable.
Lasting Appeal: 8/10
Pros: There are 5 Chapters and an Epilogue, with each world having a decent number of levels (~10) but when a game is this enjoyable and completely lacks tedium you always want more. The Global Ranking score system add replayability and the meta game of using extra goo to build the tallest tower also adds longevity to the title.
Cons: Ultimately the game can be beaten over a weekend and every level played.
What it comes down to is that World of Goo is one of the finest and most original games I have played in recent years. It may not be the longest experience, but much like XBLA’s Braid, Goo maintains an interest and high quality throughout every level of the game. The game is a fantastic experience that will be thoroughly enjoyed, but then you can move on. This approach to indie games is excellent because ultimately and indie studio cannot compete with the longevity of a commercial studio game. This is what they do best – Wow you with originality, art style and uniqueness and offer you a fantastic experience for the fraction of the price of a full scale commercial title. World of Goo is an exceptional game at an exceptional price. There’s really no excuse not to experience the creativity, art, and fun that permeates this game.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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%
Pros: All the typical RTS shortcut keys and functions are there (only streamlined) and the controls are instantly accessible. The best thing about Tribal Trouble though is the simple units mean that players don’t sit around and build massive bases and units and then just mass strike. There’s a lot more back and forth and time management is a bigger issue than in other Real Time Strategy games.
Cons: The simplicity of the units is nice, but I would have liked to see a couple more buildings and maybe an exclusive unit or a little more difference between the Native and Vikings.
Pros: I really can’t express how impressed I was with the graphics of this game. The game features a fully 3D world and camera which can rotate, pan, zoom, etc. You can zoom in right on the littlest Peon and see the very fluid animations up close. There’s a distinct look between the two factions and the menus and presentation are all top-notch
Cons: I guess the character models look a bit blocky up close and make you aware of the lack of polygons, but you can’t fault the game for that when there are hundreds of units waddling and running about.
Pros: The sound is perfectly adequate and solid and the musical scores are quite good.
Cons: I could’ve used more music (there are only about 4 musical scores).
Lasting Appeal: 9.5/10
Pros: Randomly generated island levels, online multiplayer, and 2 very fun campaign modes…there are plenty of modes and features to keep you playing.
Cons: The lack of units/buildings can wear thin and although it contributes to Tribal Trouble’s initial appeal, it also detracts from its depth.
Tilt: + 0.25%
Tribal Trouble is great fun. I guess I haven’t mentioned the humor yet, which this game has in spades. The premise itself is humorous: Drunk Vikings get lost on an island and start fighting the natives. Tribal Trouble is $30 which is higher than the typical Indie title, but it is also of a much higher caliber. If you download the demo, you will immediately be impressed with Tribal Trouble’s graphics, presentation, and gameplay. Anyone who likes RTS games should buy it and anyone who has avoided them because of their vast learning curve should step up to the plate and play this more casual take on a hardcore genre that dominates the PC market. A must buy for everyone who enjoys PC games.
Let me start off by saying that Grubby Games has some of the absolute best kid’s games on the market. That’s not to say the appeal of Professor Fizzwizzle is only for kids, just that it has an excellent pace, graphics, sounds for kids, not to mention the problem-solving puzzles that make up the levels of the game. I must admit to using the “Solve Puzzle” feature on quite a few occasions myself. This feature is brilliant because at the moment a level gets frustrating and you feel it is impossible, you can simply pause and click for the solution. This definitely decreases the frustration factor and keeps you playing into the later levels. Prof. Fizzwizzle also keeps things interesting by adding new puzzle elements at a good pace from level to level. This keeps things from getting repetitive. In fact, my only major complaint with Prof. Fizzwizzle is that the gameplay is not for gamers. To the game’s defense, it was not designed to appeal to the hardcore 2D gamers of yesteryear, the graphics whores of today’s consoles, or the FPS/RTS pc crowd. This is a casual game, and if you take it as such, it is hard to find fault.
Pros: Puzzles can be very challenging and continually add new elements or twists on old elements to keep things fresh. A plethora of modes and types of puzzles.
Cons: Actual Gameplay is simplistic. You use the arrow keys to move the professor around and that’s really it, besides the occasional power-up. Perfect for casual gamers, but not for me.
Pros: Graphics are clean, simple, and perfectly themed for the game. Animations are REALLY good.
Cons: Lack of WOW factor. More game objects animated as well as the Professor!
Pros: Music is perfect, catchy and subdued. The last thing you want is some crazy rock music while you are trying to solve a puzzle. Sound is unintrusive as well.
Cons: Sound/Music are not show stealers, but they are not meant to be, especially in a game like this.
Lasting Appeal: 10/10
Pros: Tons of different levels, modes, and sets of puzzles. If you get tired with the included puzzles there is a level editor and a ton of downloadable levels on Grubby Games’ website.
Cons: What more could you ask for?
Grubby Games knows the casual market. Professor Fizzwizzle has won tons of critical acclaim, awards, etc. and I’m sure has sold tons of copies as well. It understands exactly the type of people that enjoy and buy these types of games and offers a huge repetoire of levels and features for them. Console gamers, PC gamers, and old school gamers alike could enjoy this game…will they shell out the cash to buy it…I doubt it….but the casual gamer will and will love that they did. Rarely have I seen a casual game that is 1: an Original Idea 2: not some sort of match 3 or bejeweled clone 4: more than a simple click here/there game…ahem…cake mania and diner dash and 5: actually worth $20. What does Professor Fizzwizzle really do best? It offers you a tremendous value at $20, because of the number of levels, downloadable levels, and ability to make your own levels. If you enjoy this game, you will not stop playing it due to a lack of features…that’s for sure.
If you are interested in Professor Fizzwizzle and would like to support us and Grubby Games you can:
Strategy/sim games are not usually my thing, but I just enjoyed Kudos. I’m not a stat-tracking convert, but KUDOS does a real good job making it fun and I can see how people would become completely and utterly addicted. Kudos has its flaws, but ultimately delivers what it promises: a life simulation.
Pros: Very easy to use interface and crisp presentation makes taking night classes, going jogging, or out with friends a breeze. Very diverse ways to precede in the game- do you reject a friend’s invitation to apply for a better job, or enjoy a game of bowling with your last 11 pounds?
Cons: I’m not really sure if KUDOS is a “game” since you really are just weighing decisions and deciding what to do and clicking around. It’s very much a simulation and a stat-tracker’s dream…not so much a game you boot up to relax and blast away some locust or space invaders or the like.
Pros: Very slick and clean presentation…the menus and styles in the game all blend together well. I am especially fond of the flies that accumulate and move on your screen (very post-modern) after your KUDOS persona has forgotten to clean his place for a few weeks.
Cons: There is a complete and utter lack of animation and the character models freak me out and look pretty creepy. Graphics are not a necessity for a game like this, but animation between the character’s poses or really anything could’ve brought these people more to life.
Pros: Sounds pretty much consist of clicks/alerts/dog barks/weather and other background sounds which are all fine. I was particularly fond of the music which was subtle, enjoyable, without being intrusive – a very good blend of for lack of a better word, “elevator” music.
Cons: The sound/Music is really one of the stronger aspects of the title, but the music/sound is not dynamic enough to induce a range of moods in the player. This is partly due to the gameplay and detached “playing god” life simulation gameplay.
Lasting Appeal: 9.5/10
Pros: Different character models, sexes, and ways to approach this game results in near limitless replay value. The game does a good job of throwing you a bone: whether it be a new job or new friend, right when you are getting frustrated or bored. This amounts to the game sucking you in for way more hours that you initially planned on playing it for.
Cons: The game is a very solitary experience and there is the threat of having no friends in real life while having a vast social network in KUDOS. Strategists, please tear yourself away from this life game enough to live your own life.
Tilt: + 0.25%
This game is a very good strategy/simulation game. It doesn’t offer the interactivity, animation, etc. of say “The Sims,” but does offer more in the strategy and planning aspects. It is a niche game with very specific appeal. Most people have no interest in managing everyday life tasks and stat tracking, but those who do like those kind of games will love this title. Look at me, I don’t really like strategy games myself, but found myself immersed in KUDOS on several occasions. Cliffski and Positech games are very well-known in the Indie community and Kudos is a good example of why this is the case.
Dodge that Anvil borrows a lot from classic Looney Tunes: the main character is a rabbit and falling anvils are one of the most deadly and threatening objects to said rabbit. Unlike many of the shoddy Looney Tunes games out there, Dodge that Anvil does a great job instantly pulling you into a cartoon world. You’ll smile from the gameplay, world, characters, and antics in this title. This is an excellent little title, with a simple premise: grab/harvest carrots while dodging anvils, but ultimately a deep gaming experience thanks to armor vests, hardhats, jumbo veggies, flippers, etc. I should also mention that the game won the AdultSwim Award at the 2006 IGF, and was a finalist for the best web browser game so Congrats to RabidLab on that. Onto the scoring breakdown:
Pros: Very easy to pick up and play controls and game mechanics. There is lots of depth with purchasable gadgets, exploding beach balls, veggie bombs, etc.
Cons: Not a fan of the auto-jump feature and thought the mouse movement could be touchy.
Pros: Instantly appealing with a very clean and perfectly themed 3-D engine and landscape. The 2-D rabbit character works really well in keeping the Cartoon feel alive in a sleek 3D landscape. The menus, presentation, and tutorial screens are absolutely phenomenal…Presentation pushes this score up a notch
Cons: More animations for our lovable rabbit hero would’ve brought him to life more. Game as a whole lacks graphic variety after awhile (I’m reaching for critiques I know).
Pros: Cartoony to the max sounds enhance the Looney Tunes Feel. The game features music…
Cons: but the music isn’t very good, memorable, or even very loud. The Sound/Music department is probably the weakest part of the package, but for me it’s also the least important department, so no worries.
Lasting Appeal: 8.5/10
Pros: The story is delightful and engaging and as you progress more and more things become available- this spurs you to keep playing. As season’s pass on, you have the ability to play levels again for high scores, perfect harvests, etc.
Cons: Like most platformers, there is an end to the story and when that’s over, you have to really want to play the game on a new difficulty in order to get much replay value out of the title. That’s really just a fact of most platformers rather than a bash on this one.
This game is instantly appealing and offers approachable gameplay to almost every game skill level. Everyone should click HERE to play the browser game and check out RabidLab’s website. You can also download the DEMO here and of course BUY the game if you enjoy it as much as I do.
MiniGolf Mania is a gem. It’s just tremendous fun. It is the only game I have played in the last 24 hours (which says a lot trust me) and I only took breaks to take notes, sleep, eat and the like. During one of my breaks, I headed over to Gametunnel.com and realized that MiniGolf Mania is #2 best sports game of the year…so I’m not the only one. This game is very deserving of not only a demo download, but a purchase.
Pros: Tons of zany power-ups, outlandish holes, obstacles, etc. My favorite feature has to be the special ability balls, which add a touch of twitch gameplay. Basically, after hitting one of these balls you can click to activate it’s ability…my favorite is the nudge backwards…this basically reverses the ball in real time. Once I got this ball, my scores drastically improved along with the fun I was having.
Cons: I wish there was a camera more like Hot Shots Golf, where you could see the contours and easily rotate the camera and look around. The Fly-by is sufficient, but I wanted more control with the arrow keys or something. I also would have preferred that the putting interface was a hold (to draw the putter back) and release (to hit) interface rather than a double click. It is hard to measure power and distance at first and the cup can be unforgiving.
Pros: Love the cartoon / handdrawn looking backgrounds. The 3-D engine is very attractive despite its simplicity…Torque consistently pops up in games that impress me visually (see Marble Blast). The crazy boost blasters and bounce pads look great and add to the zany feel. Playing the game sort of feels like you are in some crazy, zany world with wacky & fun physics.
Cons: Some of the polygons and backgrounds outside the hole (monochrome sand) detract from the feel. Safari animals do not fit the visual feel of the game and seem out of place…I was expecting more cartoonish and free-roaming animals.
Pros: Music is good, subdued, and well-suited to golf. Noises of the clinking ball are spot on.
Cons: Nothing really stands out as bad, there’s just nothing exceptional to warrant above the solid-good range.
Lasting Appeal: 8.5/10
Pros: Game is FUN to play. 3 Courses and a 9-hole tutorial can entertain you for awhile with their multiple modes, wacky design, and ability balls definitely warrant the price of admission. The worldwide rankings and ability to enter a name/password and then collect points really motivates you to keep playing.
Cons: Could definitely have used another course especially since the gameplay is rather quick and you can breeze through one fairly quickly. I would have also liked to see some online matchmaking or head to head.
The game is instantly accessible and very enjoyable and when a game is really fun, you always want more of it and really can’t hold it against the game. The game delivers in the fun department and that’s what’s important. TopMeadow definitely deserved the #2 spot for best Sports game of ’06. You can learn more about MiniGolf Mania over on their website. Definitely check it out.