Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Greens Survive

Green. Red. What makes one better than the other? Why should one live while the other dies? You'd think this question might be addressed in a game like Greens Survive.

It isn't. And, in the end, that might be the best way to go - if you start to question the value of red too much, you may never actually beat this game.


Greens Survive (the name is actually 'Greens Survive Only When Reds Die', but that's kinda long) is a story of planetary marooning. The greens and the reds have been stranded on a foreign planet, and they need to get home utilizing interplanetary portals of some kind. We'll call them 'doors'.

There is, however, one major problem: the doors will ONLY open when all of the reds are dead. Destroyed. Gone. Even worse, the reds will instantly kill the greens upon touch. Your job, then, is to mangle every red astronaut on a given level, and then safely guide the greens to the exit door.

Why this is so is, unfortunately, never addressed in the game. Beyond a rather scant introduction no reason for this red hating is ever given, which is a shame because this game could be made much deeper if it included at least a brief glimpse into this odd mixture of puzzling and chromatic worth. But, hey, at least we got a nifty play mechanic out of the idea.


Greens Survive is a platforming game. Using the arrow or WASD keys you must guide your little spacemen through a variety of dangerous locales, usually filled with monsters who will gladly eat your little dudes. Running and jumping is, in and of itself, a piece of cake.

Like so many browser games, of course, Greens Survive has one major caveat: all of the guys on one screen move according to your controls, albeit in different places. Consequently, while you may be leading one guy safely over a pit, another might be leaping right into the MIDDLE of another pit. This is okay if the guy is red, but all too often they're green. You'll have to split your attention an awful lot.

Overall, this control scheme works. There are no major hitches with the running and jumping, and though I did occasionally run into the problem of one or more guys on the screen not jumping when given a command these incidents were very few and far between.


Greens Survive is fairly basic. The greens and the reds are only really demarcated through the colours of their visors, and otherwise blend into a black-dominated game with some pretty gradient backgrounds. The environments were somewhat bland as a consequence, and could have used more detail to really spice up the game.


This game is composed entirely of one tune, and it's... okay. Kinda generic. I'd describe it as a somewhat-harrowing, somewhat-hopeful sci fi ballad, and though you've never heard it before playing the game you've also probably heard it a thousand times. Suitable enough, I suppose.

Challenge Rating

Though it's confusing as hell at first, Greens Survive is NOT a terribly difficult game. So long as you can split your attention even moderately well, you can play this puzzler. Its difficulty slopes upward at an even pace, and the learning curve is never too steep to prevent progression. I'd say it's an excellent choice for beginner puzzle players who want to work on their timing and challenge solving skills.

For expert puzzlers, however, Greens Survive probably won't be enough of a trial to prove truly satisfying. The puzzles are good, yes, but they're also easy to figure out after a couple tries. If you want an extreme challenge, look elsewhere.


Greens Survive is a slightly above average game. It boasts a great concept, one I'd love to see fully developed and reused, but this execution isn't quite inspired enough to make the most of the idea. Give Greens Survive a deeper, more thought-provoking sequel and I'll be all over it. Right now, though? Eh. S'okay.


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