Articles by type: Game review

Glorg

One eye, one button, one to try. Don't miss probably the best one-button dungeon crawler ever made.

As the lucky readers of this esteemed blog will know by thanks to Tasha's splendid top ten, there's plenty of good gaming fun to be had with just one button. Indeed, as One Button Bob and the baffling yet addictive Poto and Cabenga have demonstrated, there is a mind-boggling array of things you can do with just that single control approach - jump, fly, fight, sprint, squish, climb, tap dance...well, maybe not the last one. Not yet, anyway.

The latest mono-button blockbuster is Glorg - a dungeon crawler like no other, says Swedish game studio Grapefrukt.

Published by Andy Jowett on 18th November 2010
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Zombie Trapper

Funnaut's new platform-cum-defence game Zombie Trapper might have a few holes in its plot but this is more than made up for by beautiful graphics and unique and enjoyable game-play.

Being a tad absent-minded, I often forget the dates of special events in the calendar. I wake up on Easter morning, for example, completely oblivious to the importance of the day, and then feel intensely embarrassed and guilty when I see the chocolate eggs my husband has bought me, I having of course forgotten to get him anything. However, there is one day that I never forget. Halloween. That is because in the days and weeks running up to it I am continually reminded of its imminence. I am not talking here so much of the ever-more frequent knocks on the door from grubby kids demanding treats in return for not playing tricks (though that does help). No, I am referring to the tsunami of undead-inspired Flash games that flood the web in the weeks before 31 October.

Many of these games are of a pretty low quality - thrown together by the developer over a couple of days in an attempt to cash in on Halloween. But occasionally you will find gems like the game we are reviewing today: Zombie Trapper. I say it is a gem but, if you were to go by the storyline alone, you might think the game more of a dud. The plot, you see, may well appear fairly standard on the surface - your town in under attack from zombies and you, a lone policeman with an armoury of weapons, have to stop them at all costs - but on further study reveals some glaring issues. For a start, there is the holy altar that you must at all costs prevent the zombies from destroying.

Published by Tasha on 18th October 2010
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Flock Together

Beautiful graphics, a charming storyline and fun original game-play make jmtb02's latest game a joyous and touching experience. If only it were a bit longer.

Regular visitors to this blog will know that we are suckers for games with a bit of heart. That is not to say that we hate games that involve mindless blowing up or shooting of things - we play them all the time. We're also not adverse to some cold-hearted logical puzzle solving. Or frantic time management simulations. But if you really want to get on our good side, create a game that is not only great fun to play but also communicates something about the human experience. Think games like Immortall or Loved.

Thankfully, we are not alone in this passion for games with some soul. As the popularity of our list of Games that make you think proves, there is huge demand out there for arty, philosophical games. More than 150,000 people had read the list at last count, making it by far our most popular article.

Published by Tasha on 19th September 2010
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ImmorTall

ImmorTall is a beautiful, emotionally moving game that makes you ponder on the nature of life.

If you are expecting some mindless entertainment from today's Game of the Day - perhaps whacking hedgehogs into outer space, or lobotomising zombies with an AK47, or maybe just shooting up aliens - then, I am afraid, you are going to be disappointed. For today's Game of the Day cannot in any way be described as an action game (although it does have some action in it).

Neither is it an adventure style game (sorry, Zelda connoisseurs). Fans of escape-the-room games are also unlikely to find much in the game - there is very little point and clicking going on at all. And strategy game fans, get back to the latest version of Civilisation for there is nothing for you here. Ditto RPGers (replacing Civilisation with Dragons Age Origins).

Published by Tasha on 11th March 2010
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Home Sheep Home

Home Sheep Home is proof that casual games based on films or TV shows need not be shoddy rip-offs of existing genres.

Not so long ago, video games inspired by films or TV shows had a very bad reputation. They were usually just shameless attempts to cash in on the brand, rarely offering interesting game play or cutting edge graphics. Most seasoned game players didn't even consider buying them. That, however, was before the release of Ghostbusters: The Video Game and Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009.

These two games have transformed our expectations of brand-based games. Both of them are really quite good and are worth playing even if you have no interest in Ghostbusters or Batman. Hence why Ghostbusters: The Video Game scored a very respectable 79% on game-review mash-up site metacritc. Batman: Arkham Asylum did even better. As of today, it is rated as one of the top 20 xBox 360 games of all time, with an average rating of 92%, putting it above classics such as Mass Effect 1 and Rock Band.

Published by Tasha on 9th March 2010
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Potion Panic 2

Potion Panic 2 is an unusual but effective take on the defend-your-castle game genre.

I have played loads of defend-your-castle style of games. You know, where your castle (sometimes it is your home) is under attack by hordes of nasty things, usually zombies, monsters of some kind or enemy soldiers, and you have lob rocks at them (or shoot them, or fire arrows at them, etc, etc) to prevent them breaking in and killing you.

Classics in this genre include The Last Stand by Con Artist and xGen's Defend your Castle (the game that started the whole genre off). Some developers have tried to spice up the genre by using unconventional themes (Black Sheep Acres, for example, has you killing cute bunnies rather than vile monsters) or adding innovative game play mechanics. In some games, rather than chucking things at the enemy hordes, you might pick them up and throw them away.

Published by Alex Kearns on 4th March 2010
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One button Bob

You don't need fancy controllers or joysticks to have fun with games, as One Button Bob - a game that requires just one button - amply proves.

One could be forgiven for thinking that a game needing just one button to play would be so limited as to be boring. Not so, if One Button Bob - an inventive new platform-style game that can be played for free in your browser - is anything to go by. While some games (Street Fighter, for example) force players to learn complicated combinations of button presses, the developers of One Button Bob have distilled the game play into the press of a single button (the left button of your mouse).

Rare is it to find a game that is so simple to control. And even more rare is it for such a game to offer such a wealth of game play as One Button Bob. The secret to the game's success is that what happens when you press the button changes depending on which level you are on. Sometimes pressing the button will cause Bob - the game's Indiana Jones-style protaganist - to jump. Other times it will make Bob fire his weapon. And other times still, you have to repeatedly click the button to fly or run fast. A press of the button may also cause Bob to climb ladders or stop on the spot to avoid falling objects.

Published by Tasha on 25th February 2010
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Fat Slice

Slice up shapes without letting the balls escape in this wickedly addictive puzzle game.

The best ideas always sound so obvious when you first hear of them. Suitcases with wheels. Pre-sliced bread. A status updating service limited to 140 characters. Why didn't I think of any of them. They're so simple.

Today's game of the day - Fat Slice - brings out similar feelings in me. The premise of the game is ridiculously simple - you chop off bits of shapes without isolating any of the balls bouncing around inside the shapes. To progress to the next shape, you have to reduce the size of the shape by a certain percentage.

Published by Tasha on 24th February 2010
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Civilisations War

Civilisations War is a beautifully designed new strategy game that achieves the perfect balance between ease-of-play and depth.

Many strategy games fall into the trap of being too complicated. Players are presented with so many options - often through impenetrable menu trees - that they suffer information overload and simply give up. Other games make the opposite mistake: stripping away all complexity in an effort to make the game accessible to everyone. The result is an easy-to-play game but one which lacks replayability.

The best strategy games manage to combine ease-of-use with deep game-play. One game that achieves this balance perfectly is Civilisations War, a beautiful new Flash game that you can play in your browser for free. In this game, you assume the role of the commander of a tribe that is seeking to rediscover a magical power that was lost when an brilliant, ancient civilisation collapsed many aeons before.

Published by Alex Kearns on 23rd February 2010
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