uDevGames 2004 Reviews

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.