Hatred and fear are the root of all comedy—maybe. Hatred. The core of all humor. Look deep within the bowels of any knock-knock joke and you’ll find white-knuckled fists pounding angrily at the door, only to ruin the self-esteem and mind-fuck the answerer. And we (as a country) must never let the knocker in. Why? Because he’s there to kill you. Every knock-knock joke, when magnified, is a recipe for murder. Think about it, shitheads: a strange person who you could never recognize, spinning lies—he’s the devil and he wants your soul. Because he’s going to eat it. For dinner. And you’re invited to the dinner, too. That you’re the food for. The main course for. -Brendon Small, of Home Movies, in this week’s Say Something Funny
A sort of yearly tradition for the Mac gaming world – which I have departed professionally but am still keeping tabs on personally – is the uDevGames contest, which allows nearly anyone to compete in a big best-new-game competition for independent game developers. I’ve been looking for some new things to try out in between my IIDX sessions; here’s the cream of the crop of the thirty-one games I tried. Note that I’ve left everything I’ve rated under a certain bar off the list; there were, as usual, some really terrifyingly bad entries, and I don’t want to embarass the authors with snark as they did put in effort to make something. Fantastical BugThug – Impeccable Bug Arcade Fun! Unique mouse game with supreme style. Tremendously polished, with innovative fun gameplay. Amazingly easy to pick up, and addictive to boot. Brilliant. Kill Dr. Cote – Relentlessly insane top-down shooter. With zombies. Smash TV for the 21st Century. Throw this on Excessive and blast the fuck out of some zombies. Could use some level variety but I had a blast playing as is. Water Tower 3D – Fast-paced 3D platform/puzzle game. I had played the original Water Tower last year – this is just as good. Great translation into the 3D world. Although, where the hell is the key in the first level? SolarQuest – Fun, Challenging, Arcade-Style 3D Sidescroller! Who thought SFCave could look this good? Snowball – Smooth action puzzler with character. It amuses and bends the mind. Interesting isometric puzzle, somewhat similar to Adventures Of Lolo Good Times BitRacer – A fastpaced 3D retro racing game. Feels like F-Zero right; physics are a little wonky but a good soundtrack and clean interface makes up for it. Goldgeier – Gold digging game for 2-4 players Really nifty board game. I enjoy a good innovative board game. Single player is a little uninteresting, though. l1neum – UPDATED ! 3D Arcade Action ** Snatch enemies territory see:Qix/Volfied Nice 3D-perspective Qix game. Framerate needs some upping, but it’s good enough for a first shot. Toad Muncher – Up to four players try to eradicate the evil Cane Toads with an APC. Interesting concept, somewhat wacky fun. Some UI work, maybe some network play, and it’s gold. Decent Ark-Annoyed 3D – Fast-paced, 3D modern remake of the arcade classic Arkanoid. Seemingly nice Arkanoid knock off with some interesting camera work. Some potential. Dead Days – Slay the zombie invaders as a powerful battle robot in 3D Framerate is a little wonky, but it’s got some potential if the gameplay could be sped up and the graphics punched up a bit. Frogspawned – 2D eat-’em-up game! There was an old Mac game this reminds me of who’s name is escaping me right now. Decent fun. MadTak – A unique single and multiplayer space action/combat game Interesting combat/movement mechanism; could turn into something good. Nanocrisis – Zelda-esque 3d action-adventure game Better than I expected, but my expectations were low. Could go somewhere. Nice sense of humor. Okugai – Outdoors, FPS-style 3D game. Really nice snow textures. Gameplay confuses the crap out of me, though. WordBeGone – Build words with as few moves as possible. Can you clear the board? Nice combination of word search games with a puzzle; music is calming and soothing too. Just needs some interface work and it could be a winner. WildLands Hockey – One on one arcade hockey with single to muli-player network action. Reminds me of the Activision hockey game for the 2600. Potential is there.
When you see a reference to “ODB is dead” in meeting notes, and wonder which database that was and what it’s being replaced with.
ABA Games has become somewhat synonymous with “fantastic, free games” over the last few years. Few gamers have been able to escape the shmup-y* goodness of such fantastic releases as Noiz2sa, rRootage, and Tumiki Fighters. After playing Tumiki Fighters a few months ago, I honestly thought that would be the best that ABA could ever release. It was cute, it was more than just a bullet shower, and it was fun to play. What else could be done? How sweet it is to be wrong and to behold Torus Trooper. Part Tempest, part F-Zero, part Rez, and – of course – part shmup, Torus Trooper is a frantic, fantastic game to play – and it’s totally free. Playing this should be required by law. If you’re on OS X, you can find Torus Trooper here, along with ports of other ABA games. Many thanks to shinichiro.h for these ports.
Anyone dying to register for VJ Army without a registration code can register for the next two weeks without one. Please spread the word.
Exit apartment. Zip up coat, because it’s cold. Walk, walk, walk. Curse at the cold. Walk, walk, walk. Enter game store. Notice there’s no one there besides the clerks. Notice there’s Halo 2 on the counter. Exchange pleasantries. Pay an extra 3 bucks since I had credit to bump me towards a Limited Edition that I wasn’t going to use otherwise. Take game. Exchange more pleasantries. Leave game store. Walk, walk, walk. Wonder what the fuck the big deal about the “most important event in gaming history” was. Walk, walk, walk. Enter apartment. Sit down and shrug.
“It makes some parts of the game seem like Grand Theft Auto crossed with a giraffe on roller skates strapped with a bomb.” -G4 Tech TV’s review of Halo 2, describing the vehicle-jacking feature.