Games of 2012: Girls Like Robots

I’ve spent a lot of time in 2012 playing games, but not a lot of time writing about them. As I did last year, I’d like to tell some stories or share some thoughts about the ones that meant the most to me this year. I’ll be posting one a day until Christmas. See all Games of 2012 posts.

It is a strange thing when my favorite television “network” has become one of my favorite game publishers as well. Adult Swim, home of staples like [The Eric Andre Show]( and [Check It Out!](, has been steadily releasing Flash and mobile games for the last few years. Unsurprisingly, most of these games are pretty twisted – but not the subject of today’s post, Popcannibal’s Girls Like Robots.

GLR is a charming little block puzzler, with a nice drawn art style that sort of reminds me of Double Fine’s Stacking – perhaps because the animation style is similar. Most levels give you a grid, a number of tiles to place, and asks you to organize them to achieve a certain score.

There are rules to those tiles, naturally, and they are gradually rolled out over the length of the game as the story unfolds. As the title says, girls like robots – but girls don’t like nerds. Nerds do like girls, but they don’t like other nerds. Robots like girls (but don’t like being surrounded by them) and are indifferent to nerds. Everyone likes pie, except for robots. One particular girl doesn’t like robots but does like bugs. Fish and robots are mortal enemies. Space seals make…actually, let’s not talk about the space seals.

The rules of placing tiles is often variable too – sometimes you can pick the order, sometimes it’s pre-determined. Most levels are asking you to maximize happiness, but some want you to make everyone miserable, and others demand a balance of emotions. Some levels feel like Tetris, others involve physics.

Putting this all in text may sound overwhelming, but the thing I’ve really dug about GLR is that it keeps slowly changing as you play it. Add a tile type, take away some tiles, change the rules…it’s a gradual build and it works really well. There’s a little storyline with some cinematics (which you can skip, but it’s worth watching for the little jokes), and most new gameplay elements are introduced with enough tutorials to get the point across.

GLR also manages to balance the difficulty well – the best solutions are typically non-obvious, but I’ve never felt stuck on a puzzle (and there is a Skip button in the menu).

This trailer probably explains the gameplay and style a lot better than my text did:

I enjoy a good high-stress, twitchy game as much as the next guy – but sometimes a relaxed puzzle like Girls Like Robots just hits the spot.

Girls Like Robots is available as [a universal iOS app]( for $3. It’s also on Steam Greenlight.


Gentlemen – BEHOLD!

Over the last week, an acquaintance posted Kurt Vonnegut’s Rules For Short Story Writing. Number 7 starts with “Write to please just one person.”

This is not a short story, nor a short film, nor anything that could really be treated as art. This is another stupid mashup. But if it pleases just one person, I will feel at least mildly pleased.

Last week, Katie and I went to see [Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters]( I will spare you more of a review than to say that if you’ve ever liked ATHF, you will enjoy this movie. And if you haven’t ever watched ATHF, or have never enjoyed it, you will hate this movie.

Anyhow. During the movie, a plot device of the movie is nearly always accompanied by a somewhat catchy dance tune. I checked the soundtrack after returning home, and the song is titled “I Like Your Booty (But I’m Not Gay)”.

The following bullet points explain my train of thought after learning this.

* That’s fucking hilarious. And this song IS good.
* You know, the beat is pretty well defined. This would be easily manipulated by most music programs.
* This is easy mashup material. But what do I mash it with? What’s a song I won’t mind ruining?
* Of course. Daisuke.

[Daisuke]( may be the most joked about Beatmania IIDX song in history, largely due to its over-the-top para para video.

I loaded everything into my freshly upgraded Ableton Live 6, and started hacking the bones. Fifty minutes later, I had compelling evidence that I need help.

So, ladies and gentlemen: I give you Insane-O-Flex vs. Y&Co. I give you my seventh (good lord) mashup. I give you…

I Like Your Booty, But Daisuke

Previous Bemani-related mashups:

* [The Bingo Roaster](
* [Night Of QQQ](
* [Tracing Your Deadlines](
* [Valesynctorian](
* [Let Them Dunk](
* [TEXTURE66](

Found Puzzled Over

Press Conference With The ATHF Bombers

If you thought the situation was strange before, wait till you see the press conference.

I’m going to take a small chance to editorialize here: I’m confused how you can arrest someone on charges of setting up a hoax device when the device was neither phoned in as a bomb nor looked like a bomb.

It’s a damned Lite Brite. Is Hasbro breeding terrorists?