Archive for January, 2012
Space Pirates and Zombies is a little jewel of a game developed by a two person workshop called MinMax games. It is an interesting mix of 2D space action à la Escape Velocity mixed with some rudimentary RPG aspects and varying ship customization. At first glance, the game may seem very simple. You go from planet to planet, pick a side to fight for, buy whatever’s available, then move on. However, as the game goes on, you’ll find yourself beginning to grasp the subtle differences between each ship and its weapon load outs as you start doing more and more experimentation. Although a typical SPAZ game won’t be extremely long (20-25 hours tops), it is extremely hard to get enough research points to max out every category. This leaves a lot of room for replayability.
Q.U.B.E. is a puzzle based platformer based on the concept of extruding blocks. It was developed by Toxic Games and has won quite a few awards. I definitely recommend checking it out.
75 million dollars. Apparently, that’s what you can get from the Rhode Island government as a game development studio, despite having no prior published games at all. No wonder this state is broke. Well, as a gamer, RI resident, and taxpayer, I feel that it is my duty to at least try out the demo that was recently released (and provide faint praise) in order to do my little part. But wait! This first game, called Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, isn’t even developed here in RI. The studio is actually created by the Maryland-based subsidiary of 38 Studios. Well, that does it. Time to bust out the gloves of bashing +5
I’ve been waiting to post this one.
I’m sure many of you have already played Seiklus (pronounced ‘sāke loose’). If you haven’t, you absolutely should. While Seiklus doesn’t seem to be all that entertaining from the screenshots, it reveals incredible creativity and depth once you jump in.
The premise of the game is simple, if strange. It begins with two amorphous characters, a male and female couple, are standing on a cliff above the clouds watching a meteor shower. By chance, a single meteorite strikes the cliff, knocking the male character off into the depths. The entire game follows you playing as this character trying to make his way back to his lover above the clouds. Silly, but a wonderful experience.
The game world is divided up into a variety of clearly defined regions. You’ll go from a surreal grassy area, to silent snowy lands, and into the belly of a sea beast, to name a few. The graphics are colorful, and while simple, this adds to the appeal of the game. No other control input besides the keyboard is supported, but because of the simplicity of the game’s controls, this isn’t an issue.
In large part, the music in Seiklus is incredible. Even though it was all added in as an afterthought by the developer, the music sets the tone of the game perfectly, no matter which area you’re in. The game simply must be played with audio enabled. There is no dialogue, and few sound effects to speak of, but they’re simply not needed.
Seiklus is available as freeware as hosted by the developer here, so you have absolutely no excuse for not playing it. It’s an absolutely beautiful experience, and one of my personal favorites.
Hat Dash 2011 is officially over! Over 475 users participated, including 93 Zombies (people who last posted over 30 days ago) and 102 Newbies (first-time posters). 1152 questions were asked, 2259 answers posted, and 2042 hats were awarded in three short weeks!
Sad to see your hats go? We’ve added a new section to HatDash.com to see your full Hat Rack. You can find it by taking your Gaming user page URL (like ‘gaming.stackexchange.com/users/3/david-fullerton’) and replacing the “gaming.stackexchange.com” part with “hatdash.com” (like ‘hatdash.com/users/3/david-fullerton’). Feel free to put a link to it in your user profile!
Curious to see how other people did? Visit the Hat Dash Hall of Fame:
Some random info for you:
- Rarest Hat: The Un-Hat — 3 upvoted posts in “uncharted-3” (only 2 users unlocked it)
- Most Common Hat: Editor Hat — edit a post (70 users were wearing it at the end of Hat Dash)
- Most Unappreciated Hat: The Chatterbox — 10 comments in a day (0 of 27 users who had it were wearing it at the end)
And some miscellaneous stats:
- 1151 questions and 2254 answers were asked during Hat Dash, 42% and 32% more than the pre-Dash average
- 59 bounties were awarded during Hat Dash, almost 3x the average!
- 102 brand new users earned and wore hats
- The top 50 hat earners posted 60% more than they did before Hat Dash
Star Wars: The Old Republic Contest
The conclusion of Hat Dash also ends the Star Wars: The Old Republic contest. Over 156 questions were asked, boosting SWTOR into the top 30 tags on the site (and still climbing!) and making it currently the #2 most-viewed tag on the site (behind only Skyrim):
The winners of the contest are:
- Matthew Read wins the Interactive R2D2 droid for having the most views across all his SWTOR questions
- Nick T wins the Replica Luke Skywalker Lightsaber for the top question: Where does The Old Republic fit in with KOTOR?
- Raven Dreamer wins the Replica Darth Vader Mask for the top answer: What is Centering?
The Future of Hats
Overall, Hat Dash was a resounding success: our top users loved it (averaging over 10 hats each!), and the event generated hundreds of questions and answers that would not normally have been posted. While there are things we could have done better, the basic idea of rewarding our awesome community and having some extra fun during the holidays worked!
So you can rest assured, this won’t be the last you see of HATS!
Out of games to play? Looking for a deal? Me too!
This is the first in a continuing set of (hopefully) weekly posts by me, where I’ll introduce you all to some great indie games for as cheap as possible.
This week’s game: Octopede
Octopede is a reinvention of the basic principles of the classic Snake with a neat digital twist. The player can move in eight directions around the play area, collecting data that is used to lengthen the Octopede’s tail. Every eight segments of tail can be ‘cached’, which increases the score multiplier, but means that those tail pieces can no longer be used as extra health when taking damage. As well, there are various weapons and abilities that need to have ‘ammunition’ collected first, or they will remove an un-cached segment of your tail.
The game takes place on a single, rectangular stage, as shown above. However, as you play the game, new elements are added, and the board is cleared, rebuilt, cleared, and rebuilt again. The game starts out pretty slow but starts throwing new things at you pretty quickly. You’ll be dealing with viruses that chase you outright, firewalls that are best avoided, and all sorts of other enemies and bosses that will corrupt your data if they get their way.
It’s actually a pretty engaging experience; trying to balance your remaining health pieces and cached multiplier can get pretty intense if you’re going for the high score. The game has nice, computer-y graphics, and an awesome (if limited) chiptune soundtrack that doesn’t get on your nerves even after a 20 minute run.
As far as the controls go, they might take some getting used to, but once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll be zipping all over the place. Of note is that the game also supports a gamepad input, which can make it easier to play.
The game is available as ‘pay-what-you-want’ over at Indievania, with a minimum of a $1.00 purchase. And it’s absolutely worth it.