Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bullet Audyssey

You may or may not have figured this out from my previous reviews, but I'm not a huge fan of techno music. It's too repetitive for me, and I prefer lyrics - something most techno songs I've heard don't include in any great amount. (Or, if they do, it's the same voice clip repeated way too many times. Bleh.)

On a game like Bullet Audyssey, though? Where catching musical beats is of great importance? Yeah, I think I can appreciate techno.


This is you.

This is your enemy.

(Among others. There's something new on each stage.)

The story is simple: your galaxy is under attack by invaders from a distant galaxy who, for whatever reason, have a keen appreciation for hawt beats. You need to bring them down, one at a time, before they annoy everybody with their incessant music... or blow the shit out of those same people with their insane firepower. Either or, I'm not sure.

And, yes, all you have with which to do this is your ship... and your stunning ability to slow down time. Okay, that evens the score a bit, but do you have the stuff needed to survive? We'll see.


Bullet Audyssey is nice and simple in the control department, which is PERFECT because you shouldn't be worrying about fiddly controls. Arrow keys move the ship, Z fires your ship's button, and holding down X will slow time by about half and give you a chance to avoid enemy fire more easily. Steering your ship closer to incoming fire absorbs energy and allows you to both fire and slow time.

Overall, I found the controls good enough to survive most battles. The controls lagged a teensy bit while playing, but I chalked up most deaths to poor decisions on my part, or a lack of power.


Considering the simplicity of the elements that make up the game, Bullet Audyssey is pretty damn neat to watch in action. Most everything is cast in cool, pulsating neon, and the movement of the bullets to the beat is damn near hypnotic. You'll be too busy dodging to appreciate your surroundings, granted, but when the enemy ship is blowing up, sit back and enjoy.

My big problem with the graphics comes in slowdown. A lot happens in Bullet Audyssey, and the sheer amount of movement can slow down your machine. Make sure you play this game on a powerful computer or you might suffer needless deaths because the game lagged.


Like I said above, I'm not a techno fan. The stuff in Bullet Audyssey kinda blends into the rest of the genre for me - which should please those who DO like this kind of music. What I can appreciate is the fact that the music is timed, in most cases, to the enemy bullets, so you can use it to time your moves. Pretty damn innovative for a browser space shooter.

Challenge Rating

Look at that screencap above. Just LOOK at it. Gross, no? Looks pretty hard to weave around, no?

Well, let me tell you something scarier: That's the first level.

Wanna see something scarier?

Yeah. Told you.

Bullet Audyssey is not for the faint of heart. It's not as difficult as it looks, thanks to a leveling system, generous lives (though they're dependent on how well you do) and the ability to slow time, but it's still pretty damn hard. I'd suggest taking on other space shooters that involve weaving around bullets before you try out this game in any serious capacity.


Bullet Audyssey is, overall, pretty fun. Frustrating, yes, but it's a fairly robust game that takes a looooong time to master. Worth a try - just don't expect to get far if you have poor reflexes. Jet pilots are best suited to playing Bullet Audyssey.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Level Editor 2

I am not the greatest puzzle gamer, nor am I a huge fan of puzzle games. I don't HATE 'em, mind, but I tend to overlook really obvious solutions in favour of the complex, and I can get easily frustrated. So, perhaps, I may not be the best person to review Level Editor 2.

But I have. And, well, it's okay. I've played better.


As bereft of plot as any good puzzler, Level Editor 2 is a straightforward go-from-point-A-to-point-B type game. You start on one end of a series of rooms dug into soil, and you have to get to a door at the other end, like so:

Get to the door and you move on to the next level. Okay, sounds good - so how is this game unique? Every puzzler's gotta have a shtick, after all.

The name hints at the power you have, in fact: you can change the level's layout. Not as drastically as you may think, though - you're just given the power to create blocks, usually temporarily, that can be used to circumvent traps and get you safely to the door. Given the name 'Level Editor' I'd hoped for more power over the landscape, but I suppose this will do.

And if you foul up? Well, something like this usually happens:

Painful. So don't foul up. (Though you have an infinite number of re-tries.)


The controls were, by far, the most frustrating part of Level Editor 2. Not because they're BAD, per se, but they're a little complex in that you have to use the keys and your mouse in tandem - which isn't unheard of in browser games, but using them as such in a platform puzzler like this is a different beast than usual.

You are, in essence, playing two different entities in Level Editor 2: the stick man and yourself. You need to guide the stick dude around with the arrow keys, which is easy since he can only run and jump, then use the mouse to lay down blocks. Pretty simple in early levels, but later on you often have to rely on proper timing to survive complex traps, and your brain will inevitably go for the wrong set of controls at the wrong time on occasion. Death!

How could they have improved this? Not sure. A slowdown function while laying down the blocks may have helped (think bullet time), though that would strip the game of some of its challenge. Maybe I'm just a whiner, but the setup frustrated me more than once.


Level Editor 2 suffers from the same problem as most browser-based puzzle games in that the surroundings are, for the most part, the same in every level. You'll always be subjected to the same spikes, the same grass and dirt, the same thrice-be-damned rolling spike balls, just in different setups. The graphics are far from BAD, but they're also not terribly inspired.


Level Editor 2 is infused with a country twang that pleases the ear for a few minutes and, then, gets tiresome. You only get a handful of different songs, none of which are terribly different from each other, and I started to go a little batty after listening to the same track for half an hour.

The sound effects, however, are quite good. There's a fair variety of weird little bouncy sounds for the traps (notably the spiked balls), and your stick man has some delightfully painful reactions when he dies. I especially liked his scream as he falls into endless abysses. (Is it a good thing that I enjoyed when my little guy died? Probably not.)

Challenge Rating

Level Editor 2 is a damn hard game if you're trying to get three stars on every level, and even surviving without worrying about your score can be pretty tricky if you can't split your attention between two sets of controls. I couldn't get through the game without relying on the walkthrough provided (I even used it for screenshots because your guy dies if you hit the shift key, and, well, hot keys, you know?), and I doubt I'm alone. The challenge shouldn't deter players from trying the game, but it might deter some from bothering to get through the whole thing.


Eh. Level Editor 2 is good, but it's not the best. I played more innovative puzzlers years ago, and I'd probably play them over this game. It's far from awful, however, and will prove a more than adequate challenge for master gamers with good coordination. (Really. Those who fumble to coordinate their movements, like me, need not apply.)


Monday, November 28, 2011


Before I review a Flash game, I make a point of beating the thing - or at least getting far enough that I've pretty much seen everything. Can't offer a fair review otherwise, and it really annoys me when I can't beat a game's final hurdle.

Quietus? I didn't even SEE the final hurdle. Not even close. And, frankly, I'm not gonna try - I think I got the gist of the game already. Ugh!


See that faint silhouette of a hanged man on the title screen? That's you. Or, more accurately, THIS is you:

A tiny skeleton. Yep, you're a dead guy, and you're in Hell. The reaper has offered you a second chance at life, however - you just have to run a gauntlet of netherworld traps to earn the right. And that's what you do in Quietus: you flee for your life, because the slightest hit will, uh, kill you? Something like that. Beat all 40 maps and you're brought back to life.


Quietus is a precision game. You NEED good controls. Fortunately, this game is anything but complex: all you can do is run and jump. Having to think about any other buttons would probably make it even harder, so that's fine with me. I do swear that the game overshoots a teensy bit on some jumps, but that's probably just irritation looking for excuses.


Quietus is a rather bland game, to be honest. Hell is appropriately hellish, yes, but.. there's very little variety. Every level is grey platforms, red lava and a few generic beasties. Even worse, you can't always tell what's a trap and what isn't when you're running around - memorization plays a HUGE part in survival - though I suspect that was a conscious choice on the programmers' part.


... there IS no sound. Well, okay, there are a couple sound effects here and there, but the vast majority of Quietus is, y'know, quiet. (I think I just got the name. Dur.) A few musical flourishes between screens might have been nice, but I will admit that a lack of music probably helps with concentration, and god knows you need to concentrate.

Challenge Rating

'kay. Here comes the real rant. To sum up:

QUIETUS IS FUCKING HARD. Jesus christ! I don't think I've ever died so many times while playing a game! I get the distinct impression that the creator was trying to one-up Syobon Action, and by god, they did a good job. I haven't been so frustrated at a video game in a long time.

The primary contributor isn't so much the level design, which is fiendish, or the fact that there are 40 levels that get harder and harder, which is downright mean. The big problem is that the slightest touch will blow your skeleton out of the water, forcing you to start the level over. And, true, some levels can take seconds to complete, but if you have to restart a dozen plus times... sigh. Incredible frustration.

And cheap! Lord help me, this game is CHEAP! Hidden traps, spikes that look like the normal landscape, an occasionally-questionable hit detection system, surprise enemies, slowdown during moments of heavy action... death is inevitable. If you can beat this game in one go, without dying, you are not human. Or you're cheating.

And no, these things aren't bad. I have no doubt that the intention was to drive players bananas. Just... it... gah! RANT AND RAVE


You won't play Quietus for the graphics, the story or the sound. You'll play it because it's bloody hard, and because you want to prove that you're better than that. I surely did.

I have since been humbled. Level 29's my current limit. I doubt I'll get any further. Well played, Quietus, well played.

(Yes, that wasn't a proper conclusion. I wouldn't recommend Quietus for any but the most hardcore of platforming players. It's a mean, mean game.)


Friday, November 25, 2011


I mentioned the other day that I really like exploration games, and so shortly after I finished with Endeavor I wanted something else with a heavy exploratory slant. And, after a quick Google search, I found it: Insidia. Not quite as good as Endeavor, but not half bad either.


Insidia opens upon a tiny space explorer, zipping through the universe in a tiny space pod, just doing his thing. Disaster predictably strikes in the form of a meteor, and said tiny space explorer is sent careening down onto an unfamiliar planet. He must now gather parts to repair his ship and escape the planet before it does him in. (And it will. Repeatedly.)

As mentioned, Insidia is an exploratory game. You need to run around the darkened corridors of a dismal planet in search of parts, dodging obstacles - enemies and traps, mainly - along the way... and keeping an eye open for secret areas that might just change the game's ending. Solid enough premise.


More than the average browser game, Insidia is utterly dependent on its controls. You will die, over and over and over, if you can't master the controls. And guess what? Doing so is a piece of cake, 'cause all you typically do is run and jump. Sure, you eventually learn how to double jump and skid against walls, but there's a lot of practice space between the beginning and gaining these abilities. Most players won't struggle with problem controls.


Though your little guy is orange, most of Insidia is cast in blacks and other muted colours. The result is a bleak landscape, which suits the idea that your explorer should try and flee this planet as quickly as possible. I particularly liked the fabric texture applied to the backgrounds.

If there's a problem with this setup, it's that Insidia lacks variety. Given the sheer amount of ground you have to cover in this game, you'd think that the areas might change a little. And while you do run across the occasional nifty beast to spruce up the scenery...

... most of the time you're facing endless dark hallways. A teensy bit more flair, particularly in the sparse selection of enemies, would've been nice.


The music is Insidia's one great failing, at least in my opinion. There are only a few different songs, and they all sound close to the same - and they're all very space techno. Not a fan. As with the graphics, more variety in different areas would've added extra depth to Insidia.

Challenge Rating

Insidia's of middling difficulty. The puzzles and traps are tough, but not unreasonably so, and the challenge scales according to your experience and abilities. And, unlike other exploratory Flash games I've played, THIS one gives you a MAP!

(And, no, I'm not showing you the whole thing. Uncover it on your own.)

This map, coupled with handy save points that typically appear before especially tough puzzles, makes Insidia a much less frustrating experience than it could have been without them. It'll still take a solid hour to beat, but you should enjoy your time on the planet.


Aesthetics aside, Insidia is pretty fun. It's smooth and well-designed, and offers a reasonably satisfying conclusion if you manage to collect everything in the game (not as tough as it sounds). Once you're done playing Endeavor, give this game a go.


Thursday, November 24, 2011


Just posted an extra review by accident. If you get drawn here by a feed or whatnot, sorry - it won't be up 'til tomorrow. Deleted. You understand.

I will, however, give you a little taste of the thing I'm reviewing: Quietus, the hardest Flash game I think I've ever played.


I am a fan of exploration games. I like being able to roam through hundreds of rooms, searching every nook and cranny until I find... something. Anything. Consequently, games like Endeavor just plain old make my day.


You are a dwarf, the son of an explorer and treasure hunter, and the time has come to set out and make your mark on the world - or at least check out your dad's treasure stash. It's just beyond your reach, however, and you have to develop your dwarvenly muscles to jump that high...

... and unfortunately, you wind up doing that by falling off the edge of the dwarf world and into the under worlds, places where strange beings dwell - not the least of which is a voice that promises to return you home if you collect a series of gems, scattered throughout the lands. Why? It doesn't say. Sketchy, but what choice do you have?

The plot itself determines the nature of the game. Endeavor is a treasure hunt, plain and simple... or perhaps not so simple. (When are games branded 'art' EVER simple?)


Like any good browser game, Endeavor's pretty easy to control. At the beginning, all you have to do is hit X, and your little dwarf will jump. Jump against a precipice and, vitality allowing (the blue bar at the top of the screen), he'll grab on. There's a lot of running and jumping in this sucker. And, every now and then, you have to hit C to interact with people. Easy enough, and the programming's so precise  that you shouldn't have any trouble leaping around the pixelated world of Endeavor.


This is you.

Personally speaking, I have trouble seeing a dwarf in that. And while some of the other characters are a bit more obvious, the graphics on Endeavor are less-than-stellar. It's an NES-level game.

I won't complain about the graphics, however, because a) the game is pretty damn huge for a Flash game, and b) it's incredibly varied. Most screens use different tile sets from one another, to the point that every time you move from one screen to another, you're entering a whole new environment. Basic? Yes. Uniform? Hell no. And, given that you're on the hunt for unique items amidst massive plots of land, I don't mind that everything's simple, because it's very easy to pick the important stuff out of the background.


Endeavor's visuals are so-so. Its music, on the other hand, is gorgeous. There are a lot of tracks in this game, and they're all perfect for a trek into strange lands - a pleasant mixture of gentle horns and sometimes ominous drum beats, in most cases, though every now and then the tempo picks up as well. Don't play this game on mute, I implore you - the programmers put a lot into the soundtrack.

Challenge Rating

Endeavor is not a game in which you can die. Your dwarf falls a reeeeeally long way at the beginning of the game and doesn't even break his legs on impact. That said, you CAN still fail in that you can get frustrated at not finding the gems and give up. It happens, and I wouldn't blame some gamers for getting frustrated at the slow pace - you need to be really thorough to get the most out of Endeavor. (Which is why I find it lots of fun, 'cause you get to explore without having to worry about killing baddies.)



With tight controls, a solid story and multiple endings (yes, there are several ways to beat this sucker), Endeavor is a browser gamer's dream. I could play this game for hours and not get bored, and I suspect hundreds (thousands?) of other gamers have done the same. If you enjoy exploration, PLAY THIS GAME.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How to Raise a Dragon

How to Raise a Dragon was already a movie, last I checked, and the creator of this Flash game admits as such - but I somehow doubt that as much thought goes into the topic in that flick as does in the game of almost the same name.


How to Raise a Dragon is a somewhat misleading title, because despite what it implies, the dragon - which is you, fair enough - raises itself for most of the game. The plot more or less covers the entire life cycle of a dragon, going from this:

To, uh, this:

Moving from egg to adult you grow gradually larger and larger, interacting with your surrounding world in ways that will affect your future. If you want to be a cruel dragon, for example, you'll want to eat humans and burn down their houses. Wanna be nice instead? Leave them alone - or perhaps even heal them, assuming you develop the proper breath for healing (completed during the second stage of the game).

What's neat about How to Raise a Dragon is that your actions can sometimes have unforeseen consequences. If you develop breath that can heal people, you will be able to treat the wounded - but you may accidentally cause zombies to rise from the dead, forever giving yourself a bad name. Think carefully before you do anything. (Or, y'know, play the game over again. That option becomes more and more viable with each play through, as you can skip life stages once you've beaten the game.)


How to Raise a Dragon is an artsy game, and consequently you don't need to worry much about the controls. It's a pretty standard setup anyway, with Z, X and C all employing various uses throughout the game while the arrow keys guide your dragon around. I found the three letters easy to confuse while playing, but, again, that won't much matter unless you absolutely want to avoid a particular ending. (In short, if you wanna avoid accidentally jumping on humans, hold the jump key to glide, or hit it again to double jump. Or both.) No big complaints.


Because art games have a message above and beyond the norm, I usually give 'em a break on graphics. That said, How to Raise a Dragon is just a bit TOO simple, and though it's easy to tell what everything is I could stand for a modicum of shading on some of the backgrounds. I wouldn't mind more animation on the humans, as well, since they kinda... float across the landscape... and they're not small enough to warrant ignoring animations. No huge problems, however, and I did like the little homey details of the second stage of life.


How to Raise a Dragon is not a musical game. There are occasional woodwind flourishes, but for the most part raising your reptile is a quiet affair. What is there isn't bad, but some more sound effects to convey a sense of dread - or at least weight - to your huge-ass dragon would be nice.

Challenge Rating

There ISN'T any challenge to How to Raise a Dragon, really, since there's no set end - your dragon will each full size no matter what, and though there is one tiiiiny potential battle at the end, it's, ah, not exactly difficult.

In short, if you want a difficult experience, this game isn't one to play. If you want something that provides neat information about dragons, however - and one with many potential endings - then you've got a worthy title in How to Raise a Dragon.


Despite a few minor shortcomings, How to Raise a Dragon is pretty neat. It's not preachy or judgmental like a lot of art games, and unlike a TON of Flash titles, it's well-written. So long as you're not looking for a traditional experience - think of this more as an interactive documentary - you should have fun raising a scaly friend or two.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011


In my experience, people don't really hate pixels. If anything, pixel LOVE is more the order of the day, as retro gaming has been slowly but surely coming back in big ways. (Hell, most browser games kinda RELY on pixels, and generally do so to critical acclaim.)

But not here. Here, in Pixelhate, you abhor pixels. You must, for destroying them is your all-consuming purpose.


Pixelhate is a scrolling shooter title. You, the little yellow fighter pictured above, are placed on a vertically-scrolling screen filled with baddies, like so:

And, just like any game of this kind, you need to weave around and destroy as many enemies as you can before succumbing to their attacks. A classic arcade shooter - and at its core, that's all Pixelhate is: a shooter. Nothing REALLY innovative about it.

The catch? Well, this game has a weird sense of humour. As mentioned it hates pixels, and consequently your attacks chip away pixels one at a time. As a result you may wind up fighting enemies who look like this before they actually blow up:

Yes, that ragged mass of yellow in the north IS an enemy. (And, yes, those are the Pac-Man ghosts. The ragged mass is Pac-Man... just... not lookin' so good.) The fact that the enemies get ripped apart bit by bit is both neat and frustrating, because it can prevent them from shooting back... but it may also mean that one or two little pixels will be left floating around, barely noticeable, that will kill your ship on contact.

Beyond all this, you also get weapon upgrades (purely to your guns) and shields that will protect you from taking accidental dings. That's the sum of Pixelhate.


Very easy: move your mouse around. The ship will follow. The only big problem comes from steering too far, for if your mouse leaves the Flash window, your ship will fly wildly out of control - and probably smash into something.

My major gripe, and I don't even know if I SHOULD gripe about this, stems from firing. It's not difficult to do, mind - just hold down the mouse button - but every time you do, you start to overheat your weapons. Do so sufficiently and your rate of fire will drop to almost nothing until your guns run dry. This is doubtless a conscious choice to keep the game from being too easy, but I got killed too many times from sheer bad luck because my weapons decided to crap out at a bad moment. (Though you could argue that I should have paced myself, as well.)


Pixelhate is one step up from Atari but one or two steps down from SNES or Sega Genesis. It's pretty, but in an extremely simplified way - which makes sense since it's all about pixels. I personally like the overall aesthetic, though the repetitive, uniform backgrounds are boring after a while.

What I really appreciated in Pixelhate was the incorporation of retro icons, such as the Pac-Man above or the Atari symbol below:

Both of which, I might add, are bosses. It's nice to see references that aren't hidden in frantic action, particularly since most players wouldn't stand a chance in hell of catching smaller easter eggs if they were hidden in the game.


The music in Pixelhate is space shooter fare, which is to say, weird alien sound effects. Not especially impressive. That said, the music is accompanied by a male and female voice, both computerized, who comment on the on-screen action and bring a great deal of charm to the game...

... that is, until you reach the later levels. Hearing the female voice tell you every time you collect a shield upgrade that shields are for weaklings - and you get the upgrades CONSTANTLY, so she's always jabbering - is really irritating. Mute, mute, mute.

Challenge Rating

Pixelhate is not that difficult. If you didn't have shields it would be near-impossible, but since they fly out of enemies all the time you'll have no trouble zipping through massive crowds of enemies. Consequently, reaching the final stage - 7 - can be accomplished after just a few practice runs.

What makes this game so weird is that, at least on the Newgrounds version that I played (which I assume is THE version of the game), it craps out halfway through stage 7. The game will freeze, and there's no way to fix it. And though I thought at first that it might just be my computer, glances at the comments lead me to believe that it's intentional. I suspect this is a reference to the infamous 'kill screens' of the old Atari-era gaming systems, though it's hard to say without input from the programmer.


Pixelhate is pretty dang fun. Anyone who ever owned an Atari - I can raise my hand there - will appreciate its adherence to old-style gaming; and everyone else, well... they'll get a fairly solid shooter with a bizarre sense of humour. Just, ah, be careful swinging that mouse around.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Chibi Knight

Never has the saviour of a land been quite so stubby as with the protagonist of Chibi Knight. And while it's true that I have no proof to scientifically back this up, you gotta admit, this little powerhouse is very... tiny.

See? I know of what I speak.


The land of Oukoku is in deep trouble. Three legendary beasts have emerged unto the world to wreak havoc, and nobody can stop them... until the little Chibi Knight comes along. What follows is a long journey to destroy the three beasties and restore order to the land.

Or maybe not so long. This is a browser game, after all. Either way, Chibi Knight is, at least to me, most closely compared to Zelda II: The Adventure of Link in that it's an action RPG where you spend a bit of time on a map, but most of the game in side scrolling screens, killing monsters with swords and building up your abilities via experience. A fun formula, but does it work in practice?

Well, to be brutally honest...

Yes. Yes it does. (I'm so clever.)


Chibi Knight may be an RPG, but it's a fairly simple RPG in terms of control. Up is jump, side to side... takes you side to side... and A swings your sword, while S lets you choose from a small selection of spells. Very easy to get used to, and the controlling is so smooth overall that the chances of suffering cheap deaths on Chibi Knight is almost nil (and it helps that you can take several hits before keeling over).


Though it already looks fine in still frames, Chibi Knight is only truly revealed in motion. It's a smooth, picturesque ride, with lots of neat-looking baddies who are totally convincing when you see them in action. They bounce, they whirl, they slash, they... live. You'd swear you were watching a cartoon.

If I had ONE THING to complain about in Chibi Knight, it's a slight lack of selection. The enemies get repetitious. This is a browser game, granted, and each enemy (especially the bosses) probably required a lot of work, but some more tweaks to the sprites beyond simple colour changes would be appreciated.


The music on Chibi Knight is quite well done, with an appreciable epic fantasy feel that never really betrays its cutesy roots. There's a lot of symphonic stuff that fits right in with the setting, and it's not as repetitious as you might think.

What really stood out for me sound-wise, however, was Chibi Knight's voice. I don't know who they got to breathe life into the little guy, but they're perfect. PERFECT. It sounds exactly like I would have imagined a chibi character sounding, which is to say, they sound like they're five years old and possibly about to get their cheeks pinched by a bear of an aunt. Kudos to the voice actor for a job well done. (And if you DID just get a five year old, well, good idea.)

Challenge Rating

Chibi Knight is not a difficult game. It's not EASY, but it's not hard, either. The level grinding nature of the early parts of the game can easily be abused, to the point that the first few bosses are absolute pushovers. (And since I wasn't entirely sure what I was doing at first, that's exactly what I did. Musta killed the first boss in about ten seconds. Whoops.) If you're looking for extreme challenge, you're looking in the wrong place.

Does that make Chibi Knight a bad game? Not at all. It'll still take half an hour to an hour to fully complete, and even then it's fun to go back and challenge it again with a different take on your level progression. The enemy attack patterns could use some variation, perhaps, but I won't complain too much - this is a casual game, and should be treated as such.


Chibi Knight is a browser game I have no doubt I'll revisit in the future. It's not even remotely groundbreaking, but everything it does - aside from a teensy bit of repetitious gameplay at the beginning - it does really well. Thumbs up.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Fall Damage

I have a fondness for falling games. It's probably their simplicity that draws me in: all you have to do is run back and forth and, in the process, survive. Nothing fancy, just avoid the top of the screen. The bottom is your friend.

Consequently, I liked Fall Damage. It wasn't revolutionary, it won't change the orbit of the Earth, but it was good, clean fun - and fairly cute, to boot.


You are an egg.

You probably don't LIKE being an egg.

Time to leave the nest!

Egg of what, though? That's what you're trying to find out in Fall Damage. You're just about to be born, you're confused, you need to wander off and look for your parents. Understandable. For some reason, however, you've been laid at the top of a rather massive, intricate set of cliffs, platforms and, er, spikes, and you need to wander your way down to the bottom. (Not that there seems to BE a bottom, but still.)

All that said, there's one thing that sets Fall Damage apart from other, similar games: you take FALL DAMAGE! Surprise surprise. If your egg plummets too far you'll take a knock to your hit points, the amount based on how far you fell. Do this too often and you'll smash, and the game will end. This is inevitable - to see the ending you HAVE to smash the egg - but the point is to last as long as possible, made more difficult because the scrolling gets faster and the area more varied and tricky.


Another simple game, here, which is ideal when you need to think quick. Run left and right with the arrow keys, push up against walls to skid as you're falling to prevent falling too fast. hit space to activate parachutes you'll occasionally find to negate any fall damage. Very easy to learn - though you'll quickly discover that you have to think about where you're falling, as there are things both good and bad along the way that you'll want to reach and, er, not reach.

And in case you were wondering? No jumping. This one little fact radically changes Fall Damage, and I think it's a change for the better, as Fall Damage is less instinctual than other falling games.


Fall Damage is a pretty little game. Nice backdrop, cartoony platforms, cute graphics overall. Nothing to fawn over, but perfect for a game of this type. The egg is especially expressive as you're running around, which is appreciable for wanting to see it survive.


The music on Fall Damage is whimsical and kinda cheerful. Not bad - I like the harps - and pretty much what you'd expect. What I REALLY liked in this game was the sound effects: every time you fall just a bit too far, your egg lets out a tiny peep. It's a painful sound, one you don't wanna hear, and it raises the tension on an otherwise cutesy title.

Challenge Rating

You don't really 'win' Fall Damage, like other falling games - you just go until you can't go no more. Despite that fact, however, it's pretty easy compared to other falling games, perhaps because the screen never reaches the same high velocity. This makes Fall Damage a good title for cutting your teeth on the genre in preparation for other, more difficult vertical forays.

And while you can't WIN, per se, there is an ending...

... but you'll have to figure out what's inside the egg for yourself.


Fun! Fall Damage is fun. It's got a neat little story... very little, but still... and the game play is innovative enough compared to other falling games that you won't get bored. And, true, it's not hard, but it's worth playing to see what's inside the egg anyway. (Don't be heartless, you know you wanna help the poor egg.)