Showing posts with label falling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label falling. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sunshine, Knightmare Tower, Purple Planet

What's we got today? Aside from a dip into the medieval, mostly outer space fare. First up iiiiiiiis


You are a photon in a universe full of black holes. Make those bastards pay by becoming SUNHIIIIIIINE

Bizarre concept, put into motion in a fantastic way. You orbit around small planetoids and collect motes of sunlight while avoiding black holes. Simple-as-hell premise, more difficult than it initially looks. My only complaint is the music, which, while well-composed and fancy, is poor quality.

Knightmare Tower

Save the princesses! They've been captured! They're in a big, incredibly-impractical tower! Fling your manly knight self to the uppermost limits of the tower, slicing shit on the way! Knightmare Tower is great, upgradeable fun, but you CAN'T PLAY IT ON AN OLDER MACHINE. Or laptops that aren't so great with graphics. Seriously, don't, it'll lag every five seconds. (Hence my crappy position in the screenshot. I'm better on my PC, I swears.)

Purple Planet

Invade an alien's house and mess with his stuff. Sounds like a good plan for an astronaut. Purple Planet's a fun point-and-click adventure that's got a surprising number of challenging, intuitive puzzles and neat visuals. I'd like to see this team do a full-scale puzzle game, reminiscent of the old Castle of Dr. Brain or Myst titles.

I know I promised an extra title today, but I've hit on a revelation: I'm gonna run out of (good) browser games to play if I keep at a four-a-day pace. I think three is a better number. Gives me more time to play each one and sort the good from the bad. Agreed? Agreed. See ya Friday!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hot Tub Heist

Aliens. They're such bastards, aren't they? One minute they're reaching out in friendship with their glowy fingers, and the next they're trying to kidnap everyone on the planet. Just can't tell which kinda aliens you're gonna meet from day to day.

There are, unfortunately, no friendly aliens in Hot Tub Heist. These dudes wanna take you into their spaceship - and what they'll do after that is best left to the imagination.


You play the part of the industrious-yet-not-terribly-productive company owner, a dude with big pecs and a ridiculous set of hair, who's busy hanging out in his jacuzzi when aliens suddenly attack. Wearing naught more than a tiny speedo you must escape your rapidly-vanishing office building and dash away from the descending spacecraft on a subway at the bottom of each level.

This may not quite spell out the game's mechanics, but once you start playing you'll understand in a hurry: this is a falling game. With a twist. If the top of the screen catches up with you - which is, in this case, the alien ship - you're dead and have to start over. Each new level gets progressively harder and harder, though you also get ability power-ups as you go along, such as improved speed and dashing. using 'em all is absolutely necessary for survival.

I must admit, I'm impressed by Hot Tub Heist's concept. It's quite original, a step above the average falling game, and more than silly enough to enjoy on its own, as the boss is quite a douche. Not only does he spend his whole working day in a jacuzzi, sending messages to employees via cell phone, but he escapes by kicking said employees into walls. Professionalism.


Hot Tub Heist is nice and simple at first, gaining a slight bit of complexity as you go along (but, so far as I can tell, still using the same buttons): arrow keys for movement, space to kick things out of your way. Eventually you'll get some double tap dashing moves that ratchet your options up a notch, but they never make Hot Tub Heist overly confusing.

Control issues are, instead, more related to response time. Your boss is OKAY when it comes to reacting to commands, but not spot-on. He has a tendency to drift a bit, and moving him about just feels generally sluggish. I'm sure this is done to add to the overall difficulty, but it's a little irritating.


Hot Tub Heist looks great. The sprites and backgrounds are all clean and interesting looking, and the office environment offers a fair variety of recyclable elements that keep the stages from growing too repetitive. And that ship... that giant, alien ship... you just KNOW you don't wanna get near that thing. Ever.


Hot Tub Heist's music did not wear off on me in any great way. It's not bad, but it's also not terribly memorable. Take it for what it is.

I was more enamoured by the sounds than I was by the music, and when I say 'sounds' I mean the boss' dialogue. He's a pretty funny guy between levels, and his macho incredulity at what's happening is perfect for the situation - his action-oriented grunts are hilarious when you happen to be kicking an employee out the side of the building.

Challenge Rating

Heeeeere's the troubling part of Hot Tub Heist. It's a hard game. Potentially too hard.

I honestly can't say how long Hot Tub Heist is, because there isn't a chance in hell that I'll get through all the levels (unless there are only five, because five was my max). The growth of the alien ship's weapons is a bit too drastic between levels to make survival an easy task, and the randomized nature of the building's layouts sometimes leaves you with near-impossible escape situations. And, granted, you get powers that help a lot, but they don't come soon enough to be really helpful.

If I knew how many levels there were, I would suggest the programmers move the difficulty curve up a bit more gradually. As I don't KNOW how long the game lasts, though, I can't really recommend that. Just... be prepared for a brutal experience, especially if you're no good at falling games.


Hot Tub Heist is a solid experience. The visuals are great, the accompanying sound effects remind me of Duke Nukem in the business world, and the game play is addictive... if a little too hard. Overall, highly recommended.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I kinda suck at escape games. I enjoy 'em, don't get me wrong, but the hectic nature of quick-reflexes flight from a series of dangers, getting progressively harder as you go... I usually get creamed in no time. And yes, practice makes perfect, but that's only true if you actually improve.

I guess I improve a little bit. Over time. Not so much on / ESCAPE \, though, which is about as distilled escape-style gaming as you're likely to ever find.


You are a little ninja dude who vaguely resembles a purple Wolverine. You're trapped in a pit, just below a massive chute filled with shocking wall patches and a laser that steadily rises if anything dares to go above it. With nothing better to do, you must guide the ninja dude in leaping from one wall to the other, as far up the chute as you can go, until you die.


That's / ESCAPE \ in a nutshell. Go until you can't go no more. Harsh, but that's life: live until you get zapped by high technology.


/ ESCAPE \'s name betrays its control scheme. You don't choose where the guy goes; you just choose how hard he goes. How? The ESC key, of course. Hitting it makes him jump from one wall to the next. Tap the key gently to rein in his jumping, or mash the sucker to make him fly.

That said, control over your ninja is not as simple as it sounds. Because the area is littered with electrical traps you need to time your jumps to avoid getting zapped - but if you wait too long your ninja will slide down the wall and into the rising laser trap. What a conundrum, albeit a fun one.

My only major concern with the controls stems from the combination jump you can achieve by, essentially double jumping. It makes you go higher and faster, which is good for escaping the laser trap, but it also seems to have unpredictable effects. Why bother with this when most people, especially later on, won't dare use it?


/ ESCAPE \ looks nifty enough. The surroundings are fairly neat, the laser is appropriately apocalyptic, and your guy really plays the part of a ninja with his dramatic jumping and slight after-image. Won't blow your mind, but it does the job.

Could it use more variety? Sure. But, hell, you'd probably die long before you reached said variety.


/ ESCAPE \ boasts a single track that repeats throughout each game, which is generally undesirable. That said it's such a high-octane number that you won't mind, as you need your senses pumping at all times to maximize your reaction time. All in all, not bad.

Challenge Rating

/ ESCAPE \ is pretty goddamned hard, and understandably so - it's not reeeeally a game you're supposed to win. The point, rather, is to play against the scores of OTHER players, and then outdo 'em. In that, / ESCAPE \ is great, as it can be played quickly and easily but damn near anyone...

... though, in the end, the ninja will always die. Depressing.


/ ESCAPE \ ain't bad. It's one of many such similar games, true, but it includes a level of finesse that's not always present in these titles. Worth playing, especially since you can conceivably be doing so for less than a minute and still have a fulfilling experience.

Where you die.

(PS Sorry about the lackluster screenshots. It's bloody hard to get any good ones while playing / ESCAPE \.)


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.)