Monday, 29 September 2008

next stop: adventure!

So, I've been playing a little bit of Magical Starsign. There's nothing wrong with it, that I know of. I see cute things in it. But, especially compared to the Mario RPG I was playing earlier, it's not compelling.

Oddly enough, I think part of the reason for this is the lack of save points.

When throwing babies, you can only save at specific spots. These spots come quite frequently. And because of the way the mini-map on the top screen shows you the general shape of areas even if you haven't explored them yet, you can always see your way to the next save point and roughly how far it is.

This gives the gameplay a "maybe just one more" feeling. You can see the next safe stop point. It's right over there! It's not that far! You can go just that much further, can't you? Sure you can!

And quite commonly, these save points are at the 'end' of an area. So, maybe I'll just peek through this door to see what's outside this area... Oh, there's the next save point... it's not that far... Maybe just one more...

There is a constant feeling of achievement/progress as you reach them, and a constant temptation to push on just a little bit further. That's addictive.

At the same time, things are kept light and non-threatening. You know you'll pretty much always have a save point right before encountering a boss. You don't have to worry about too nasty a surprise showing up and disrupting your progress.

In Magical Starsign, you can save anywhere. If you're paranoid enough, you can save every few steps through a dungeon, just in case something really horrible appears. But saving isn't that fast a process... it gets tiring waiting for it to finish. Also, since you can save in unsafe places and you don't have tons of save slots, what happens if you save in a place you can't get back out of? Is that possible? I don't know. I still haven't played very far into it.

100 Game Maker Games video montage

Not all are free. Not all will be to your taste. But they do vary a lot.

(Link changed because Vimeo doesn't like gameplay videos.)

blurring the lines

Do you ever find it too stressful playing MMORPGs? A little too much like work? Do you wish you could just unwind and play a game to get away from the stress of playing a game?

Apparently they're now going to put Bejeweled inside World of Warcraft.

I would say that a better solution is "don't play World of Warcraft" but unfortunately, I have a shameful admission to make... somebody bought me a copy and demanded that I play with him.

I can't say that I either like or dislike the game. It's been such a topic of conversation in the business for so long that it feels totally... familiar and inoffensive? My first attempts at building a character made the gameplay so utterly boring I couldn't go on, I eventually rolled up a rogue and now am struggling with the interface in order to get behind things properly in order to backstab them. Which at least keeps me on my toes.

In the best tradition, my rogue is also an herbalist and skips through the fields picking flowers.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

speaking of Good Old Games

While I have picked on Lionheart in some detail, at the price of $7 it's not a bad buy. The first half of the game is fun. It just all falls apart after a point. You'll probably get enough hours of entertainment out of it to be worth the price. :)


Good Old Games has one of those all-animated laser disc games?

... Okay, that I have to see.


I find myself vaguely interested in the DS title Deep Labyrinth. Anyone want to weigh in yea or nay?

Friday, 19 September 2008


That's why I usually resist puzzle games... There were only 53ish levels to Stardrone, and I've now beaten them all.

They were tricky, some of them took an AWFUL lot of work, but... Whine.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Tiny Adventures

I am somewhat baffled to get search engine hits by people looking for a walkthrough. It's a random Facebook toy! How could you have a walkthrough? :)

A random Facebook toy that generates encounters like:

As some pebbles fell onto Queira Thanyu, she looked up just in time to see a boulder falling onto her.

Queira Thanyu made a Strength check with a difficulty of 14 . . . and rolled 8

Unable to get out from under the rock, Queira Thanyu had no choice but to wait. Soon, a hungry delver came by and ate the rock off of her. After that disgusting display, Queira Thanyu will never eat a rock again.


Queira Thanyu entered cylindrical room and the door slammed shut behind her. Queira Thanyu then noticed numbered dials next to the door. Above the dials were the words "What is the value of this room?" As she pondered this existential question, a copper piece hit her on the head. Then another. Then twenty, then fifty. The room quickly began to fill with copper pieces, and she decided she had better do some math, and fast.

Queira Thanyu made an Intelligence check with a difficulty of 15 . . . and rolled 9

Queira Thanyu really wished she had paid more attention in hoarding class. As she began to suffocate under a king's ransom, the force of the money popped the door open. Coughing, Queira Thanyu counted her blessings -- whoever had set that trap was as bad at math as she was.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

more reasons not to buy spore

Edit: Apparently EA backed down on this.

Being blatantly promised features and then denied them. Oh, you guys wanted to have different user accounts for your family? Pfft, you should each buy a copy!

And, as usual with so many bits of software, if it doesn't work, most stores won't let you return it. Le sigh.

In brighter news, more DS games to order! Not only will they just plain WORK, but I can resell them for a fairly high proportion of cost on ebay when I'm done!

Monday, 15 September 2008

impulse buy

Got obsessed enough with Stardrone to decide to buy it. I can't explain it, really, I tend not to be too fond of plotless puzzle games... but it's just tricky enough to make me feel clever when I do well, unlike, say, Chuzzle, where I feel like my brain is turning into fluffy technicolor gooble.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Dungeons and Dragons Tiny Adventures

As seen on Gamezebo, a D&D themed Facebook toy:

all you have to do with Tiny Adventures is set the adventure in motion, and the rest of it plays out automatically in 10-minute chunks whether you're at the computer screen or not. You can check back at any time to see how your character is faring, and use special items to boost your chances of finishing the adventure, such as a healing potion if your hero has lost some hit points.

Sounds a bit like Progress Quest, doesn't it?

star drone

Wacky action/puzzlish thing that's really hard to get the hang of, but cool looking when it works. It's all about gravity and angular momentum... You hold down the mouse button in order to orbit the nearest star, and let go to fling yourself off in whatever direction you were going. Which takes some practice in order to figure out how to move around, and will make you blow up a lot while confused.

Some levels can be REALLY HARD, and while you can keep retrying as much as you want until you manage to make it work, the casual gamer in you might wish you could just sit back and enjoy the shiny lights more. :) It is groovy when it's going well.

Friday, 5 September 2008

lock's quest

A sort-of free flash tower defensey thing, advertising a strategy game that's not yet out. However, this promo is a lot less strategy and a lot more 'click frantically until your hand hurts and try to blow stuff up'.

Murder in the Abbey

Neat looking animated adventure game

Monday, 1 September 2008