Erik vs. Erik
I was playing Christian's games all weekend before I realized they were written in Java. Very nice. Not that Java isn't a capable language to write cool little games like this, it's just that the graphics in Christian's games look hand-drawn, a characteristic that I've come to associate more with Flash, or even Shockwave, than with Java-based games.
So, as I mentioned, here is a very cool little Java-based game, written by Christian Hvid of Denmark, called Erik vs. Erik. The action arcade game is a cross between Pacman and Qix, where you must run around the maze avoiding bad guys and collecting dots, all the while building rectangles for scoring points and owning enemies.
Use the arrow keys exclusively to move Erik around the play field, to collect dots, and to avoid the other Eriks. Yes, everyone is named Erik in this game, hence the name. There is Speedy Erik, Angry Erik, Slacker Erik, Hophop Erik, and Mornin' Erik. Collect all the dots around a rectangular section of the play field to fill that section and score points. If any of the other Eriks are around a rectangle when it's filled, they are sent home. New Eriks appear from time to time preceded by a short animation warning of their impending spawn. Be alert for these and steer clear. Complete all the rectangles to get to the next level, and with each new level the size of the play field increases—however, the size of the game window does not.
The game is nicely designed, as are all of Christian's recent games. He demonstrates that you can take successful gameplay ideas from other games and build unique new experiences from them. Erik vs. Erik is instantly familiar and yet offers a fresh new game play experience filled with a variety of enemy types and power-ups to keep the action entertaining, accessible and fun. Click.