December 2005 Archives


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Thanks to everyone who participated by casting votes in the Best of 2005 feature. And, after close to 20,000 votes tallied, I can say with confidence the winners this year are undisputed leaders of the pack. Look for a countdown of the top Web games of 2005 beginning sometime tomorrow (the 1st).

Have a safe and happy New Year! =D


(6 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
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Robobug BlasterWord of the Best of 2005 compilation is spreading around the world, far and wide, with the voting page receiving a tremendous influx of visitors from Europe—particularly Brussels, Belgium and Amsterdam, The Netherlands. And probably due to this new traffic, I have received word from Karel of inslag.com, maker of fine Web games and Web sites from North Holland in The Netherlands, about a brand new Flash game they created for Demion Online.

Robobug Blaster is a gorgeous platform shooter with an unusal vertical orientation. The object of the game is to protect the cargo boxes, as they travel from top to bottom along the conveyor belts, from the cargo-hungry robobugs. The robobugs will latch onto a box and damage it quickly, so fast action is required to navigate the entire system and keep the path clear.

Control is with the keyboard: use the arrow keys to navigate Roboi left, right, up (jump) and down. Double-jump by pressing the up arrow twice in succession. Press the space bar to fire your extremely large pulse cannon. The weapon will automatically target the little buggers very nicely, thus making firing simple as facing or jumping in the general direction of a bug and pressing the space bar.

Each level sends a set number of cargo boxes down the belts for you to protect. A target goal is given at the start of each level indicating the percentage of boxes that must be saved. If you fail to meet the goal, or if you lose all your 'health juice', the game ends.

Points are scored for each bug killed and for the extra chips and bolts they leave behind. Sometimes the bugs will leave behind valuable cans of health juice; get those while you can, because they disappear and they don't come often.

Analysis: The game possesses a very appealing commercial feel due to the exceptional artistic talents of Vincent van de Wetering (a.k.a. VinzEnd). The graphics are cute and the animations of each character are simple and yet expressive, and very well-done. I especially liked the detail of the quality control man that checks each box for damage.

The idea of protecting the cargo from the bugs is engaging from the start and helps to create a frantic mood that is well-suited to the fast-action of the game. The auto-targeting of the oversized weapon is the single most important feature that makes the gameplay here lots of fun. Click.


  • Currently 4.3/5
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Rating: 4.3/5 (21 votes)
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Cat SledgingIt seems the popularity of d_of_i's blog, Dofi-Blog, has inspired the author to make available some previous work with Processing, and the best of the bunch is this Cat Sledging racer that pits the player against seven (7) other computer controlled sleigh cats.

Use the [Z] and [X] keys for control during the race. [Z] will lean the cat back and cause the sled to rotate counter-clockwise, while the [X] key leans the cat forward and will rotate the sled clockwise. Use these keys to perform somersault(s) to gain a boost in speed; best when performed over a hill that sends you airborne. Press the [R] key to retry the race from the beginning; press the [T] key to return to the game's main (title) menu.

For those who just like to watch, there is even an "Auto-play" mode that lets you watch the computer race against itself. Click.


  • Currently 4.3/5
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Rating: 4.8/5 (42 votes)
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Hell of Sand

The Dofi-Blog sand and zombie toys are making their way around the Web like a ??? explosion (inside joke), and for good reason: they are quite literally sandbox games that allow for a seemingly infinite variety of creative play.

And now the author, d_of_i, has released another sand world, Hell of Sand, which appears to be a combination of the previously reviewed War of the Hell and World of Sand. There is even a large version (pictured) for those with faster computers.

In this one, the little zombie people cling to the rolling ball as they did the spider's thread in War of the Hell. What is the point you ask? Nothing more than pure creative entertainment for the imagination.

As with the previously reviewed Dofi-Blog interactive toys, this was also made with Processing, which is built upon Java. Therefore, your computer must have at least Java v1.3—ideally v1.4—installed to view and play with them. Although Java v1.5 may work, the Processing folks have this to say about Java v1.5: "...We don't support it and recommend that you avoid using it, as we don't test with it and it appears that it may be the slowest (certainly most bloated) release of Java yet."

Regardless of your Java install, do give this one a try. If it works, kiss the day goodbye.

Play Hell of Sand


(11 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
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Underworld: EvolutionThe latest in a string of movie-licensed, multiplayer, turn-based strategy Flash games from BigSpaceship is here, and it's very pretty. In fact, the company's co-founder and CEO, Michael Lebowitz, claims it could well be the first major Flash game release to use the impressive new features of Flash 8. But do the impressive new features make this game fun to play?

The Underworld Evolution game is played by aligning yourself with one of two teams: the lycanthropes (werewolves) in blue, or the vampires in red. After choosing a side, you choose a location for battle: City, Forest, or Ruins. Although each location appears different, there doesn't seem to be any reason to choose one over another except to go where the people are. When I played, everyone that was online was in the City, and no one was in the Ruins or the Forest.

Once inside the game you are presented with three (3) different modes of play: Deathmatch, War, and Missions. Deathmatch allows you to play against the CPU for practice if you like, or if no one else is available to play. War is melee combat for up to 16 players (8 players a side), and it seems to be the mode that attracts the most players. And though I haven't actually played through a mission yet, Missions appear to be two-player variations on the theme with the game providing goals that differ depending on the location chosen.

Regardless of the mode you choose, it is likely that your gameplay experience will be similar to previous games from BigSpaceship, as the company relies heavily on its turn-based strategy game engine and doesn't stray far from its core mechanic. In this latest iteration, a 5-second turn timer counts down and everyone takes a turn simultaneously. The computer then plays out each turn in succession as the players watch the events unfold. If you don't complete your turn in time, then you must wait (in place) until the next turn timer fires.

To move your avatar, click and drag to any square within the highlighted region that shows permissible moves. To attack, choose one of the small white symbols that appear near your avatar; a red highlighted region will appear showing the range of the selected attack. When all your health is depleted you die, but a trip out to the menu and back is all it takes to bring you back to life. The game keeps track of your kills and your deaths if you register with the site for bragging rights, if you are so inclined. Click.

Analysis: My experience with the interface was maddening. Too often my avatar would sit out its turn simply because I could not get the interface to do what I wanted. More than half of the time nothing happened when I attempted to move my avatar, and sometimes I moved the map instead (the map may be moved around by clicking and dragging in the same manner as moving your avatar). Also, it seemed, that all attempts to direct attacks toward my opponents were fruitless, and invariably would go off in some other direction where no one stood. This made the game play experience feel random and uninspired.

The game is still in beta so there is hope that the developers will iron out the kinks eventually. The multiplayer cooperative team aspect of the game is very appealing, and it could prove to be a lot of fun with some much needed improvements to the interface. And yet with all the Flash talent this studio has, it would be nice to see them move-on from these turn-based strategy games and try something completely different.

While playing and reviewing this game I stumbled upon a video of the folks at BigSpaceship talking about their experiences developing with Flash 8 while they were making this game. Click.


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StarJust a quick update to wish everyone and their loved ones a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, or whatever it is that your religion or your culture celebrates at this time of year.

Thank you kindly for your visits, for your wonderful comments, your donations, gifts and support. The outpouring of love I have received from you, the visitors of this site, has been a remarkable experience and one for which I am sincerely grateful. It seems that the love I put into the site continues to be returned to me 100-fold, from all directions, and in ways I never expected.

I also want to thank everyone who has participated so far in voting for the Best of 2005. If you haven't yet voted, you still have a couple more days to review the entries and get your votes in for your favorite games. Voting is easy, just go to the voting page. Click.

Look for my feature that counts down the best Web games of 2005 beginning with the new year.

Have a safe, warm, and soulful holiday season. Peace. =)


  • Currently 4.3/5
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Rating: 4.3/5 (49 votes)
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Bonte RoomBart Bonte sends word of his brand new point-and-click adventure, The Bonte Room. And besides being a rather typical escape-the-room type of game, it is an exceptional effort.

The stylized graphics are simple yet pleasing, and the puzzles are all quite logical. So logical, in fact, that the game comes off as rather easy and a bit short, and yet those qualities never stopped anyone from having a good time with one of these games. Plus, there is a video game to play in the room: Does that make it art imitating art?

Nice job, Bart ...about the art. Now do your part... Click.


(15 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
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Spider's ThreadThere is plenty of remarkable work being done over at Dofi-Blog with both the Java and Processing languages. Although the blog is written predominantly in Japanese, there are at least a couple of engaging interactive games and toys that should not be missed regardless of your language of choice.

The first is a Java-based applet called War of the Hell. And while I am not sure why the author chose that title, I am almost certain the game was loosely inspired by a short story of famous Japanese writer Akutagawa Ryûnosuke. In The Spider's Thread, Buddah rescues an evil man from Hell—a man who had performed a single good deed in his lifetime—by using the thread of a spider's web. A spider's thread was used because the man had once spared a spider its life by choosing not to step on it.

In the game, you control a highly elastic string and attempt to fling the souls that cling to the string up towards Heaven. There is no time limit, just a counter that keeps track of how many you save, and the maximum number of souls you save in a single chain. Very impressive.

Play War of the Hell

Sand LickingThis next fascinating interactive toy was created with the Processing multimedia language. It involves playing with sand, water, salt, and oil as molecules of each fall from above. Use the mouse to draw walls for the materials to flow over and around. Ignite the play field with fire or a devastating(???) explosion. After allowing it to run for a while I noticed that the ball of sand grew bigger as it collected the materials that poured over it.

There is no point to it really (and why should there be?), and yet there is plenty to do and to discover with it. The ball of sand seems to be affected differently by each of the falling materials. There is more here than I can discern on just a casual glance.

The name of the piece is World of Sand (with thanks to Sariko for the translation =) The babelfish translation of the title is "The Licking World" ...or something of the sort, which had me rather confused. All I can say is try it. You will be, at the very least, intrigued by its interactivity.

Play World of Sand

Try these also... (thanks to masaki for the translations! =)
Erase the slug with salt
Playing with sand
Extinguish the fire with sand

Thanks to Lee for the link. =)

Looking for more sandbox fun? Try Hell of Sand, or Sand, Sand, Sand, both are newer updates to the ones posted here.

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SmarketsHere is a compelling Web game for anyone even remotely interested in stock markets, prediction markets, or just in Amazon.com products. =)

Smarkets is a browser-based stock market game for products sold on Amazon.com. Each product available through Amazon becomes a stock that you can buy, sell, short and cover. When you sign-up for the game—simply by creating a username and password with an email address, no other information or validation is necessary—you are given a virtual $10,000 to invest in anything you wish.

Stock price is determined by Amazon's sales rank. If the sales rank goes up, so does the stock price (based on a pricing formula). Products are grouped with other like products with tags, and then compared with other groups like it. A stock (product) not already in the market can be introduced simply by entering its Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN), a 10-character code that can be found on every product page.

The game was created by Steve Odom as an experimental prediction market to learn whether markets that are set up to trade products can predict sales of those products, or groups of products. Very cool. Click.


  • Currently 4.5/5
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Rating: 4.5/5 (415 votes)
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Small Forest StoryIf you haven't seen Small Forest Story yet, it definitely deserves to be played through once for the holidays. And while it won't present much of a challenge for you, the pixel graphics are exquisite and the characters are adorably cute—especially the little bunny dance.

The interactive piece was created by Watanabe of Watarigraphic, where "various, happy contents are plenty here." :D

The load times can be a bit long, but persevere and you will be rewarded with a delightful holiday point-and-click experience. It reminded me of those tiny little books I used to have as a child, and how each of them contained a tiny little story commensurate with my own tiny little self. Too cute.

Play Small Forest Story

Apparently the interactive piece was only a temporary offering from the artist for the holidays, as it has been taken offline, but we have preserved the game by mirroring it here for posterity.


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Seeds of ImaginationThere hasn't been much lately in the category of interactive toys; cute little diversions that don't seem to have any purpose other than to delight and entertain, and possibly even to educate us while we play.

Enter Ecoimagination: A new site from General Electric (GE), the purpose of which is to raise awareness of the need for more abundant and safer sources of energy and water, and technological solutions to address those needs. Yes, it is an advergame of sorts, and yet the marketing aspect does not obstruct its entertainment value.

To get started with Seeds of Imagination, all you do is plant a seed by clicking on it. Once the seed is planted, a text entry box will appear for you to 'talk' to your plant by entering words. Some words have special meaning that will affect the growth of the plant. Try: sun, water, love, happy, fruit, etc. If a word is recognized, you will see it float up toward your plant. If not, it just disappears without a trace. You may also change the color of parts of the plant by typing in colors.

You will need to register with the site only if you wish to submit your creations to the gallery so that other visitors may rate them; however, you can do that at any point during play.

Very nice, almost tranquilizing music accompanies your efforts. A great way to relax while in front of the computer. Click.

With thanks to Rosalba for suggesting the link. =)

Update: Looks like GE took the site down and it's no longer available. We have removed all tags but are leaving the review and comments up for posterity.


  • Currently 4.5/5
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Rating: 4.5/5 (36 votes)
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White ChamberWhile making my daily rounds I discovered a new link on the Fasco-cs website that has been host to Toshimitsu Takagi-san's Crimson Room and Viridian Room games since early 2004. Those two games were among the very first escape-the-room games to appear on the Web and, due to their popularity, a new genre of Flash-based casual Web games emerged.

Today a brand new game has been released called the White Chamber, an escape-the-room game with much the same look-and-feel as the Viridian Room before it.

From the Fasco-cs website:

"WHITE CHAMBER is an interactive game that you escape from by finding, using, and combining items you find in this room. You only have to click the right places on the screen. Using the graphics, the sounds, and the responses as clues, you are to escape with your idea and your inspiration."

That sums them all up fairly well. The items that must be found are in all corners of the room, and even in places you cannot see nor even access at first. Items can be examined in your inventory by clicking the item and then clicking the "i" tab that appears next to it. When you want to use an item, simply click on the item in your inventory, and then click on the place you want to use it. Be sure to look at the room from all angles. Although there are only 4 walls to the room, there are many more times that in perspectives that exist.

Upon a successful escape, you are rewarded with a special ending scene with credits similar to the authors previous games. Also, upon finishing, you will be given the opportunity to leave your name and a comment among those who also have finished.

Besides the opening and closing credit music, the sound in the game seems to have been taken directly from the Viridian Room. Although this is not necessarily a negative, it would have been nice to have given this game a fresh set of sound effects to go with its fresh music tracks.

And there is not much in the way of a narrative here as there was in the Viridian Room. After having escaped we still know nothing about the person who owned the bike or why she was locked in the room.

Still, it's yet another excellent puzzle game in Takagi-san's famous escape-the-room series, a fun casual Web game for people of all ages, and one that provides a decent challenge for even the sharpest puzzle-minded peeps. Click.


  • Currently 4.8/5
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Rating: 4.8/5 (261 votes)
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[Editor's note (jay): Next up is a new guest reviewer, Xiao, and he offers his take on a brand-new melee-style shooter from XGen Studios. Note: The game contains graphic violence against other players (who play as stick figures), and therefore may not be appropriate for some age groups...]

Stick ArenaYou might know XGen Studios as the makers of Fishy, Motherload, Stick RPG and Defend Your Castle. Well, they have created another excellent Flash game, only this time it is a top-down shooter that features over-the-top multiplayer melee action in any browser. In Stick Arena, you take the role of a stick figure aiming to kill everyone else in sight to elevate yourself within the ranks.

Gameplay consists of basically running around until you can find some kind of a melee weapon, and then beating some poor stick to death with it. To do the most damage, however, you will need to find some kind of a gun to start killing everything in sight.

If you have ever played a game like this then you may already know the controls: [W], [A], [S], [D] to run, mouse to aim and shoot, [V] to walk—though I don't see a need for that—[T] to chat, and [shift] to view the leader board.

The game has an array of options including: 17 different maps, quality selector to suit the speed of your computer, chat with users, change the color of your cursor, toggle the blood from "On" to "Off" or "Savage", etc. There is a tutorial and, although it is short, it does explain pretty much everything you'll need to know.

The game seems to be well balanced between the melee weapons and guns. There are three of either kind of weapon. The three guns available are the Glock (A small pistol), The Shotgun, and the AK-47. The Glock enables you to be faster then the shotgun or AK, and while its shots are not as devastating, its rate of fire is higher and therefore a worthy weapon. The AK-47 shoots roughly 3 rounds every 1.5 seconds, however, it makes you much slower than usual, which leaves you open-target to any fast moving samurai sword wielders. The Shotgun is my personal favorite gun. With it, you will likely get a shot every 1.5 seconds, and it takes about three (3) shots to kill someone who has full health.

The melee weapons consist of a Samurai sword, which is very fast and powerful and can even take on AK's at close range, a baseball bat, which is slightly slower then the sword but packs more damage, and a Sledge Hammer, which can kills anyone with just one hit, and yet it makes you very slow moving and it has a slow rate-of-fire.

The graphics are excellent for a stick figure game and extremely polished. The character animations are smooth and believable, and the backgrounds are nicely detailed. At the end of each round the player is treated to well-produced cut scenes. Unfortunately the only game play mode available appears to be Deathmatch. The addition of an alternate mode would have been nice, such as mission-based combat of some kind. Another thing that would make a great addition would be the ability to change the color of your stick figure, attach bandannas, etc. However, this is a flash game and it still manages to be one of the best available of its kind.

The game allows you to play as a guest, or you could spend the 5 seconds it takes to register. Registering is free and it's worth it, because you'll be able to rank up. Ranking is dependant on how many kills you get. It's surprisingly action-packed, addictive and well made, so what are you waiting for? Click.


(5 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
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Gold WellNext up is a casual Web game clone of the rare arcade game Anteater from 1982 by Tago Electronics. The game plays like a cross between Pacman and GoldMiner, both of which are extremely addictive games with simple and accessible game play.

Gold Well is an action arcade game in which the object is to clear, or "exploit", each well of all its gold by 'eating' it Pacman-style with a special machine designed for the task: Think Pacman on a string and you'll be close to describing the gameplay mechanic in this one.

Use the arrow keys for controlling the contraption. Move left, right, up and down in the manner you would navigate a Pacman maze. As you move the little chomper, an extensible pipe trails along behind blocking the path. Press the [space] bar to quickly retract the pipe, and little chomper, backwards for as long as you hold the key down.

Monsters and bombs will randomly cross each of the levels of the well during play. You may eat the monsters, but not the bombs. Eating bombs will damage your pipes. You may also let bombs pass by your pipes without harm, but if a monster reaches part of your pipe that is blocking its path, it will take bites out of it until you lose it from excess damage. There are a few different monster types that vary in their speed, ability to eat other monsters, and the damage they can do to your pipe. Become familiar with the qualities of each to know when to retract and when to go for that last little crumb of gold tucked away in the bottom corner.

Your progress in the game is rewarded by an accumulation of gold, which you can use to upgrade your pipes following the successful completion of each level. Upgrading simply adds an additional hit point to the total for a mere 1000g sized nugget. If the pipe took any damage during the level, you must first repair the pipes (150g per hit point) before you can upgrade.

Analysis: I really like the simple and accessible nature of the gameplay, and that it is immediately identifiable to anyone who has played either Pacman or Goldminer before. There is something inherently gratifying about clearing a maze full of yellow dots that I can't quite put my finger on, and yet it has me coming back repeatedly to give it another go. Also nice is if you lose your pipe you can restart the same level as many times as you wish with pipe upgrades intact, but without any accumulated cash. And while there exists a timer that counts down during each level, it is used only to calculate a bonus, if any, at the end. Therefore you can take your own sweet time, if you wish, playing through a level.

On the downside, the behavioral difference between the various enemies creates a bit of depth to the game, though not a lot. I'd like to see even more varied enemy types as I venture deeper into the game, along with crazier maze layouts, but alas I found nothing all that different from the first few levels. Click.

Flash game created by Ji...™Ã­ Slepička of Thunderbird Design in Prague, Czech Republic, and sponsored by FastGames.


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Best of 2005

Well it's that time of year again, a time to look back over the great casual Web games we all enjoyed playing throughout the year and select the very best ones for the coveted Jayisgames' Best of 2005 awards.

Vote buttonAs I did last year with the Best of 2004 awards, I will be compiling a "Best of 2005" feature that will be published here for the new year counting down the top Web games of 2005. In fact, you can help me decide which games were the best of the bunch by casting your votes now.

On the voting page you will find a list of the games reviewed here throughout all of 2005—that's roughly 250 games(!). From there you can read a short description of each game before you vote, or follow the link to see the entire review and even play the game, too.

Vote for up to 10 games that you thought were a cut above the rest, or for the ones you keep coming back to time and time again. I had a difficult time picking only 10 since there were many excellent games released this year. You will only be able to vote once, so make your votes count by choosing wisely.

And, I thank you kindly for participating. Click.


  • Currently 4.7/5
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Rating: 4.7/5 (154 votes)
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Grow OrnamentJust in time for the holidays, On of Eyezmaze has done it again: a brand new X-mas mini-Grow game has just been released and, as the name implies, is a bit shorter and sweeter than the others.

Play Grow Ornament in the same way as the previous games in the series: Click on any one of the items along the sides of the game window. Select the items in the correct sequence to level-up all items to their maximum and see the gorgeous and delightful ending.

If you find you enjoy these games as much as I do, please consider giving a donation to On using his Tip system. A small expression of gratitude to help give him the inspiration to continue making wonderful and free games for everyone. I love his games so much that I donate a little something each time a new game is released.

On's Grow games are all elegantly simple, and accessible to people of all ages. A wonderful holiday gift from Eyezmaze.

Play Grow Ornament

Still want more Grow? Play the entire Grow series of games (in order of release)...


(9 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
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HamuresuAs promised, another point-and-click adventure for your weekend travels. This one is from Japan and will require some extra effort from those who do not know the language.

Here's what our friend Slgalt says about Cageling:

"So far the best point n' click escape game I've played - very intensive puzzle gameplay and nice graphics. I've spent days playing it. It's all in Japanese so you do need some hints, but I played through twice (there are various endings). Happy Holidays."

Note: I generally avoid games with a significant language barrier as this one has, but it comes highly recommended from a number of sources that said it deserved a mention here. Proceed at your own risk (and enjoyment). Also, I have experienced some trouble accessing the game depending on the network I was connected to. So, if you receive a 403 Forbidden error, then try a different computer, network, proxy, firewall, or other (?).


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Mucha LuchaA couple of adventures to leave you pointing and clicking your way through the weekend. This first one is a beautifully made game that offers a unique take on the genre. It is simple and short, and should be a delight to casual gamers of all ages.

Yes, Mucha Lucha should be familiar to anyone who has played a Flash point-and-click adventure before, and yet there are qualities of the game that elevate it above others in its class.

It begins with an introductory cut scene that combines animation and text that together serve to put you into the story. You play as "The Flea" and "Masked Dog" on an adventure to rescue your friends Rikochet and El Rey who apparently have been kidnapped by El Evil Dentista of Doom.

To make it through the game, you will need to make use of three important items: the map, the switch button, and the inventory. The map is important for moving between the several areas of the game. The switch button is for switching between the two characters, since you must make use of both to find all items and solve all the puzzles in the game.

The inventory will store the items you find along the way. To use an item, open up the inventory—you must be the Flea to open it—and then click and drag the item over an object in the area to use it on. For example, drag a key you find over a door to unlock it.

Analysis: This game gets it done right where other games in the genre fail. One of the major complaints with point-and-click games is the exhaustive hunting necessary to find that one-pixel-sized hit area that must be clicked to find an item. In Mucha Lucha, when the mouse cursor is over an item that can be clicked, a very nice starburst graphic appears around the item indicating a click action is possible. Similarly, when dragging an item from the inventory, a starburst will also appear if the item can be used on something in the area when over top of it. This is a very welcome feature that other point-and-click game designers should stand up and take notice to.

Also, the addition of the switch button to swap characters adds a bit more depth to the game play than simply pointing and clicking. Granted, the puzzles in this particular game are not all that difficult to solve even with the switching of characters, and yet the feature represents another welcome change to regular p-n-c formula.

Created by Frima Studio in Quebec, Canada, this latest game is a breath of fresh air in the rather cramped and stuffy room of Flash point-and-click adventures. See for yourself, and leave a comment with your impressions or analysis of the design. Click.

Update: Unfortunately, it appears that Frima Studio has removed the game from their servers, probably due to the traffic it was receiving. I have made an attempt to contact them about it.


(16 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
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ManoleFor those who don't care for room escape games, this gorgeous action game may be more your style.

From Romania comes Manole, a simple little Flash game in which you try to fly as far as you can by clicking the mouse to flap your wings. Wing flapping burns energy, and once you're out of energy your flight is over.

Begin by clicking once to start your approach, click once more to kick off near the end of the tower. Preserve your clicks for as long as you can, and only click when necessary. Collect the white wings for a boost in speed, and avoid the birds—they will slow you down.

Haystacks can help by giving you a lift if you hit them at the right angle; or they can hurt you by stopping you short if you crash into them too low.

Similar to the genre-defining penguin tossing games, as well as Nanaca Crash and Six Feet Under, both previously reviewed here, this game is a little bit of skill mixed with a lot of luck. The result is a game that is very easy to pick-up, and won't take but a few minutes of your time to play.

The richess of the graphics and animation, parallax scrolling, as well as the subtle touches to the user interface suggest that this game was created by a highly skilled Flash game developer, or team. The gameplay also possesses some depth due to subtle changes in physics that occur during flight. Unfortunately I do not understand the language of Romania so there is little I can gleen from the site it's hosted on. Maybe our nice friend Adina will help out in the comments? =)

Created for and hosted by ejocuri.ro, a very cute and popular games site in Romania.

Very nice indeed. Click.

Update: Now available in English from the same developers and their new website, gameSheep.com.


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Attic EscapeA fairly decent, fairly standard point-and-click game of the escape-the-room variety that is 50% hunt around to find the missing pieces, and 50% solve the puzzle with the pieces.

Attic Escape will keep you busy for about 20-30 minutes, depending upon your skill level with this type of game. For some, hunting around for the right pixel to click is maddening, and yet this one seems to have things hidden in the logical places you might find in a real attic: around rafters, under boxes, etc. Riddles and clues are provided along the way to keep you moving forward. The information you gather will help to finish the game without need for any spoilers or a walkthrough.

Analysis: Although not a beautiful game, the setting is an attic so the rather drab appearance is appropriate. The game is short, its puzzles logical to solve, and it has a mild difficulty level that should appeal to a wide array of casual gamers. But don't expect a narrative; this one is all game play with a solid implementation and without any noticeable bugs or flakiness. Beware, however, the strategically placed ads along the left border of the game that will cause you to lose the game in progress should you click on one of them.

Short, sweet and to the point.

Update: The game was created by Robert Mac Nelly and was originally hosted on its very own site and URL: AtticEscape.com. Unfortunately, the site no longer exists and the game was hardcoded to work only on that site, so the game is no longer available to play. Previous tagged as: browser, escape, flash, free, game, macwinlinux, pointandclick, puzzle, rating-g


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Shadow of the ColossusYou know that game that you pre-ordered eight months ago in the hopes that you will get one of the first copies in what will prove to be the always sold-out "it" game of the year? It is the one where the mutated alien zombies kidnapped the princess leaving it up to you to massacre your way through them while collecting the mysteriously appearing coins which are used for the weapon and armor upgrades, purchased in the villages full of aimlessly wandering villagers, that you need in order to fight the over-sized and anonymously evil final boss who is set on world domination and who lives in, on, or near a volcano. *Deep inhale* Ya know which one I am talking about? Final Fant...Hal...Resident Ev....The Legend of Zel...well you get the idea.

Don't get me wrong. These are all good games in their own right, but they are pretty much the same game with different graphics. Luckily, director, game designer and art director Fumito Ueda and producer Kenji Kaido, along with the rest of the development team behind ICO, have broken the mold and released, exclusively for the Playstation 2, what has become the single most original and awe-inspiring gaming experience of my life, Shadow of the Colossus.

Shadow of the ColossusIn Shadow, you play a nameless hero on horseback who, in the opening sequence, takes the lifeless body of a nameless girl and places it on an alter in a temple to which he has been journeying. You are then informed that in order to bring her back to life, you must destroy sixteen idols that line the temple's walls. To destroy an idol, you must kill the colossus which is represented by each of the idols. This admittedly does not sound much different than any other plot to an action/adventure or RPG. The plot is, however, much more involved and cryptic than it first appears.

The actual gameplay is quite different than the average game as well. Unlike other games (The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Halo, etc.) where the player is to run thru an area hacking or blasting away at throngs of enemies in an attempt at leveling up, Shadow has no leveling up other than a few increases to the health meter and strength meter. Also, Shadow of the Colossus has no field enemies. None. Nada. Instead of the standard "fight, fight, fight, mini-boss, fight, fight, fight, dungeon boss" layout of gameplay, it is simply "boss, boss, boss, boss, boss." They've cutout the middle man or men or demons or skeletons or rabid animals or whatever other games throw in to pointlessly slaughter. This did, at first, seem a bit odd to me mainly because I kept expecting something to be lurking in the bushes to pounce at any given moment. Shadow's focus is on the task at hand. That task being to kill the colossi and restore the girl's life.

Do not let the lack of filler enemies fool you. Some of the colossi are difficult to find in the huge landscape (I could write another few pages on the games beauty alone) that is yours to explore. You are equipped with a sword that, when held up to the sunlight, shines a beam in the direction of your next foe. Sometimes however, this can be misleading as you'll find that you have gone around the wrong side of a mountain and gotten lost in a forest trying to follow the light. Other times, you'll find yourself in a valley where the sun's light does not reach, and you are stuck having to explore the area in an attempt at tracking down your next victim. As soon as you start thinking to yourself, "Well, this can't be the right way," a 250 foot tall creature will slowly stride past bringing about a whole new set of obstacles. Each of the sixteen colossi is a puzzle in and of itself, and each one must be killed by hitting a series of "pressure points". Unlike other games where you can simply whip out a missile launcher from a ridiculously over-sized arsenal and blast your foe or pull out an obscenely over-sized and ornate sword and start thrashing at it without any strategy, in Shadow you are equipped only with a sword, a bow with unlimited arrows, and your horse Agro. Of these, only the sword does any damage to the colossi. Since most colossi have their main weak point located high on their torso, you'll have to climb them to make the kill, all while clinging on for dear life. Many of the battles take over of an hour to complete and will have you so drawn into the action, that when you finally do defeat the colossi, you find yourself out of breath and with a sense of achievement.

The only negative things I can say about the game are of its length, the control of the horse, and the camera. This game was a little too short at about thirteen hours for my taste. There are features that are unlocked by playing through multiple times, and you'll want to play this one again and again. Agro takes a little getting used to. I walked everywhere when I began the game after attempting to control him. Once you get a feel for him, it is not as difficult but still not perfect. The major flaw in Shadow is with the camera. Every single place that I've read about this game has mentioned the camera. It is not always horrible, but it seems to be the worst when you are in crucial moments during a battle. Another reviewer described it as a conspirator against him. It is a pretty major flaw, but not so much of one that it should keep every single person who owns a PS2 from dropping whatever they are doing and going out to buy the game immediately. I could, obviously, go on about this game forever, but it is just one of those things that everyone should experience on their own.

Analysis:

Dude, it's just awesome!


(12 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
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Pop PiratesAnother amazing shoot-em-up just released from the ultra-talented folks at Bloc Media in the UK. This one created for Diesel and their ProtoKid line of fine gaming accessories.

Pop Pirates is an excellent arcade shooter with a hi-tech computer network security theme: The evil pop pirates have hacked into the Protokid servers and are stealing all the music. Prepare to be digitized to eradicate all bugs and virus threats while reclaiming your music files as you go.

Follow the link and then press the "Guest" button if you don't feel like registering. The only downside is that your scores will not be saved.

Use the mouse exclusively for control in this game to glide your protokid around the play field to avoid enemies and their firepower. Press the mouse button to fire your weapon(s).

You begin the game with just the basic blue ray gun to eliminate each computer virus that comes at you. There are several different types of enemies and the game randomizes the ones it sends at you. In fact, there may be two or three consecutive waves of the same enemy type during a level. Each level is comprised of roughly 20 waves of enemies that you must clear to get to the level boss and beyond. There are only two (2) different bosses that I've seen so far, and they are randomized as well.

As you eradicate enemies, music files will be left floating in their wake and will begin counting down to zero. Catch the files quickly to score maximum points. Besides the music files, bonus icons will sometimes appear to help you power-up your arsenal with additional weapons: Killer-watt, Mega-bite and Fire-wall, and defensive power-ups Anti-virus, Magnatron, and 1-up extra lives. As each new upgrade is collected, your protokid will automatically fire all weapons simultaneously creating some pretty pyrotechnic eye candy. This is where the real fun begins.

Block games has done an excellent job with play balancing the weapon upgrades and enemy aggression throughout the game. Difficulty ramps up comfortably without being too easy or too difficult at first. As you progress, enemies will begin to possess more hit points, they will fire faster and move faster. Every time you lose a life some of your weapon upgrades will be taken away, but not all of them—it seemed to be about half that are removed. Losing your weapon upgrades will put you in a precarious position in later levels when the enemies are quite fierce.

The game is a lot of fun to play, is highly addictive, and absolutely gorgeous. The background music and sound effects are of the same high production values and fit perfectly with the theme and character of the game. Truly an exceptional casual game. Click.

For a similarly addictive shooter from Bloc Media, try MINDgames: Head Space.


(0 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
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Mercedes Benz Mixed Tape 10

For those who still are not on the MB mixed tape mailing list, and because I especially enjoy turning people on to remarkably good music: Number 10 is now available for free download.

Listen online or download all the tracks, and share the music freely as you please. All courtesy of Mercedes Benz. Click.

Also, be sure to check out their brand new Text Tracks series, just launched December 1st.


(0 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
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Life on MarsAll weekend long I have been thinking "What could possibly follow-up a game like Samorost?" And the longer I thought about it the more I realized that the more I thought about it the longer it would be before I posted another review. Whew. Now you see the predicament I was in. It was a vicious cycle.

And speaking of vicious cycles, I finally set aside a couple of hours Sunday evening to install World of Warcraft (cheers, Kim!) and create my first ever character in the venerable mother-of-all MMORPGs. Three hours later I found myself still locked in a seemingly never ending cycle of update installations that required restarting the WoW application, re-accepting the terms of service, and downloading the next update. Rinse. Repeat. I was getting so good at the whole installation process that, when it was finally over, I put WoW away for the evening and proceeded to install Half-Life 2 (cheers, David!). Well, at least the games will be ready for me next time I am ready for them. =)

Thank heavens for casual Web games. They are truly a godsend for anyone with even a remote propensity towards immediate gratification: Click the link + load the game + play = instant fun. No waiting, no installation, just good times. That is what games were meant to be like. Kind of like TiVo for television. Once you experience it, there's no turning back. =)

So, back to what I was saying about what could possibly follow a class act like a Samorost game: How about 30 games??

Know Like an EarthlingDirect from Mars—not the planet but the candy bar company—comes this wacky collection of games on an equally wacky website called: Life on Mars.

Disguised as a Martian gameshow: Know Like an Earthling—not to be confused with the Venusian gameshow: Walk Like an Egyptian—the Mars site offers Australian's a chance to win fabulous prizes by becoming a membership (sic) to enter candy wrapper codes and, of course, play silly games. You don't have to live in Australia for the latter.

There are three (3) games each from 10 different countries to test your Earth skills. Each game gives you 30 seconds to score as many points as you can. The games are often hilarious, as is most of the site for that matter, and yet none of them will keep you occupied for very long. Still, with 30 games to offer, the sheer variety can be a fun and amusing way to spend an afternoon.

That's about it for a review from me, you're on your own with this one. Post what games you liked or disliked in the comments along with your high scores. I liked the idea for Frash Photoglaphy from Japan's games, though it could have been done better by awarding higher scores for nicely framed photos. My best score for that one was 8000. Crazy silly fun. Click.

Cheers to Chaz for the link. =)

Update: This from the "Life on Mars" website... 'Thank you for visiting Life on MARS®. Life on MARS® is now closed, we hope you have enjoyed it.'


  • Currently 4.8/5
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Rating: 4.8/5 (118 votes)
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Samorost 2

Samorost 2 is finally here, the sequel to the game that proved to me that amazing and immersive, interactive experiences can be achieved in any browser with Flash. The original Samorost is undeniably one of the greatest casual games ever to have graced the Web, and was one of the primary sources of inspiration for the casual games focus of this blog. And now, there are two (2) brand new chapters to play in the Samorost universe.

In the first chapter, the main character from the original game—the one you helped save his planet from collision with another—loses his puppy when a couple of aliens trespass on his little planet and dognap his pet. Your mission is to rescue the puppy from its captors. The second chapter is a pay-for-play download ($6.90 USD) that continues at the point of the first chapter's cliffhanger ending. What you receive is a zip archive of the entire Samorost 2 game, including both chapters, for a seamless interactive experience.

By virtue of a "2" in its title, there exist expectations for meeting or exceeding the graphics and gameplay standards set by first game in the series, and I am pleased to report that the game does not disappoint on either count. Samorost 2 contains 11 all-new levels comprised of over 15 richly detailed alien environments. The artwork, which again is both gorgeous and surreal, contains many interactive elements that bring each scene to life before your eyes. Amanita Design achieves the same delicate balance between photo-realistic bitmap images and Flash vector graphics that gave the first game its illustrious charm.

As with the first, each level in Samorost 2 contains puzzles that must be solved to advance the main character through the adventure. A puzzle usually consists of clicking on an object to activate, a creature to perform an action, or a location to move to. Some puzzles require multiple actions to be performed; some in a particular sequence, and others with precise timing. And while none of the puzzles are very difficult, there are a couple that will require thought and reasoning to work out what must be done. As with the original, there are no gameplay dead-ends: all puzzles remain solvable no matter what you do first, and is a quality in which both Samorost games exhibit excellence in design.

Where Samorost 2 surpasses its well-established predecessor is in its size and its soundtrack. There are more animated environments to marvel at, more puzzles to solve, and more interactive elements to click in this second game of the series than ever before. Though even larger than its size, Amanita Design has pulled all stops at providing the very best music and sound effects they could find to complement the remarkable visual experiences in the game. Two talented artists, both named Tomas Dvorak, collaborated to provide all of the audio in Samorost 2, and they have produced some of the finest music and sound effects I've ever heard in a Flash game. Tomas Dvorak (nickname: floex) composed the music, and Tomas Dvorak (nickname: pif) created the sound effects as he did for the original Samorost. Together their efforts have given each environment its own characteristic soundtrack that succeeds in capturing the personality of its visuals. The music is so good, I found myself reloading the different levels of the game for background music to enjoy as I was writing this review.

On the downside, the initial release of the game has been marred by extremely long load times due to the popularity of the game and the resulting high volume of traffic hitting the servers on which the game is hosted. To compound the problem, a couple of bugs also surfaced that caused many people to experience difficulty getting levels to load properly. Amanita Design has been quick to respond to the bugs by issuing repaired versions of the game to everyone who purchased the full version.

All things considered, this second game of the Samorost series lives well up to the lofty expectations set by the first. It is every bit a sequel that includes all of the best qualities that made the first game remarkable, and then adds more environments, more puzzles, and more sound and music. The result is a game that continues the reputation set by the first as being one of the finest immersive interactive experiences available on the Web today. It is altogether a truly exceptional work of interactive art.

If you're looking to get your money's worth out of the second chapter alone, then you probably will be disappointed as it is a bit shorter than the first chapter. On the other hand, those who consider both chapters of Samorost 2 as a whole will be pleased with what they receive for the few dollars it costs. And while you can play the first chapter alone for free, Samorost 2 is a well orchestrated cadence composed of two chapters that should be experienced seamlessly together as one, and missed by no one.

Play Samorost 2

You loved Samorost 2 and now you want more?
Play Samorost and Machinarium
.

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Just a quick update for a couple of announcements. I am presently inundated with games to play—as if that is a bad thing(!)—and so I am taking a little time for play today so that I may write up a more comprehensive review of the new Samorost game. Look for that sometime this weekend, possibly along with a couple other reviews.

The other thing you will notice is that I have implemented Google AdSense on all of the individual archive pages—the main page will remain ad-free (for now). I chose Google's ads because I can customize their appearance to blend well with the rest of the site. I dislike annoying, flashing, and obstructive ads just as much as you probably do, and I want your experience here to continue to be a pleasant one. I will consider implementing a mechanism to turn off ad display for those who make a donation to the site, if enough of you think that is necessary.

Cheers for your understanding and continued support! =)


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Samorost 2

It's finally here, the sequel to the game that proved to me that fantastic, immersive, interactive experiences can be achieved in any browser with Flash. The original Samorost is undeniably one of the greatest casual games ever to have graced the Web.

And now, there are two (2) brand new chapters to play in the Samorost universe! In the first, the main character from the original game—the one you helped save his planet from collision with another—has lost his dog, which was kidnapped by aliens. Your mission is to help him rescue his puppy.

The second chapter you must pay for, and is a way for the game author, Jakub Dvorský of Amanita Design, to reap some reward for the fabulous experiences he has created and that so many have enjoyed. I am most certainly going to support him and purchase the game, and I will be back sometime later this weekend with another update, including a full review of both chapters. In the meantime, drop everything and go play the new Samorost 2 ...do it now. Click.

Update: For anyone who paid for and downloaded the full version, Amanita Design just sent out word that they discovered a bug in the first version and a have made available a repaired version for immediate download. Check your email for the links (for both PC and Mac versions).


  • Currently 4.4/5
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Rating: 4.4/5 (42 votes)
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Hot AirFrom Nitrome, a new media and mobile games developer, comes this delightful action game with irresistible pixel graphics reminiscent of an old-school Mario game.

The game play in Hot Air involves navigating a hot air balloon from its green starting platform to the red landing platform within each level. To succeed you must maneuver around obstacles and onto platforms, collecting keys to open gates while avoiding just about everything that will make the balloon pop. Much easier said than done.

The mouse controls a little whirling fan that will influence the balloon's movement when the mouse button is pressed and moved near the balloon. If any part of the balloon or dangling basket touches anything except for the brightly colored platforms, you must start the level again.

There are 20 levels to unlock in all. For each level you complete, the next one will unlock. Five (5) bonus levels can be unlocked as well by earning stars. Collect all of the stars within a level and then land successfully on the red platform to earn that level's star.

Analysis: The gorgeous pixelart and level design is where this game really shines and will bring back memories of old-school 2D side-scrollers from the 90's. The gameplay, however, is quite a bit different than any Mario platformer, with an extremely steep difficulty curve that will surely alienate the more casual gamers out there. Unfortunately, the game's difficulty is not its only problem. The background music loop for each level begins to overlap upon itself making the music tracks unbearable to listen to (Update: this issue has been fixed!) Thankfully, an options screen in the game's main menu allows you to turn the music off while leaving the sound effects on. Charming, challenging, and bubble gum delicious. Click.

Cheers to pixelHugger Pete for the link, and for hosting the game on Fingertime. =)


(7 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
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Snowman SalvagePaul Croft sends word of his brand new seasonal viral game to help promote the launching of MediaTonic, a new media company in the UK.

Snowman Salvage is a fast-action Flash game in which you are tasked with maintaining a number of snowmen against increasingly heavy odds.

The first problem about snow is that it falls. So, being the good-natured beings that most of us are, we look to the bright side and make snowmen as a means of escape from our discomfort. However, the second problem is that snow will eventually melt and therefore a snowman requires maintenance to survive, accomplished by simply adding more snow.

And that is the basic premise to the game that starts you out easy by requiring a single snowman, and then ramps up in difficulty with each new level. To succeed and move on to the next level, you must build and maintain the required number of snowmen for 30 seconds. Later levels require you to maintain a minimum number of complete snowmen, or it's game over.

Control is with the mouse. Click drag and drop a clump of snow onto another clump to make an even larger clump. Eventually the clump will take shape into a snowman, but a clump left unattended will melt away to nothing. Drag and drop clumps quickly to build as many snowmen as needed, and then continue adding snow to each to prevent them from melting away.

Later levels introduce hazards to avoid and combat, such as snow plows, fires, and alien abductors. Snow plows and alien spaceships can simply be clicked on to attack. Fires must be put out with snow.

In between levels you are given an upgrade point to spend on any of four (4) variables that influence game play: carry more snow; more snow falling; bigger snow falling; do more damage. The first three affect the amount and handling of snow, the last affects combat with hazards.

Analysis: Overall, the nicely designed and well-produced game is a fun seasonal romp in the snow. Paul has done an excellent job of keeping the game play interesting while gradually ramping up the difficulty of each level. The upgrade system provides the player with a sense of agency and is a nice touch to the game that adds depth. However, the drag-and-drop gameplay mechanic becomes tiresome quickly, an annoying trait that may have been lessened a bit with a simple click to pick-up snow and then another click to drop. A smallish complaint to an otherwise fun little game.

Play Snowman Salvage

If the link isn't working above, you can also play this game at Shockwave.com (warning: lots of ads that may interrupt your gameplay.)


  • Currently 4.7/5
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Rating: 4.7/5 (58 votes)
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Tennis gameA tennis game? You've got to be kidding me. In Flash? You must be crazy.

Believe it. And yes, I am crazy... about this elegantly simple and impressive single-player game of Tennis, created in Flash by Taro Ito of GameDesign.

Controls are simple enough to grasp: use the arrow keys to move your player, press [space] to swing. But don't swing too soon! Use the arrow keys to influence the direction the ball travels. Timing is crucial for both.

There are two modes of play to choose from: Exhibition and Tournament. In Exhibition mode, you may choose the relative strengths for both you and your opponent, or just accept the defaults. Values range from 1 to 10 for each ability: forehand, backhand, serve and footwork. You must win by three (3) games to be declared the winner.

In Tournament mode, just select the tennis pro you wish to play as. There are 16 different preset players in all with many of the major pros represented. Once you've selected your racket, you must work your way up the tournament brackets in a series of matches against the computer. First player to win three (3) games moves on up the ladder.

Analysis: The modest and lackluster appearance of this game hides well the exceptional gameplay beneath its surface. And yet with the very first serve across the net, one can immediately tell this is no retro game of Pong. Instead, an excellent game of tennis is revealed with elegantly simple controls that lead to gratifying extended volleys with a formidable computer opponent. Challenging and exciting, this is the latest game by the very talented Taro Ito of GameDesign in Japan. Arigatoo gozaimasu!

Before you pass it by, give this one a try. My guess is you will be very glad you did. Click.

Also be sure to try Domino Pressure and Maze, also by GameDesign and previously reviewed here.


(10 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
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MTV Obsessed: The GameTake a trip through the history of games with a brand new Flash game offering from the MTV Obsessed website.

MTV Obsessed: The Game contains roughly 20 mini-games that are organized within levels called "eras" that must be unlocked by playing through the Time Travel mode of play.

Time Travel begins with the "Dark Ages," a time when games were played on a table top, with pencil and paper, or even with just your hands. Similarly, the game presents several mini-games from this era that you must beat to unlock new games from other eras. In the dark ages you will play games like Checkers, Rock-Paper-Scissors, and Hangman. The mini-games from this era should be self-explanatory, just follow the on-screen instructions for each.

"The Dawn" features mini-games similar to those from the dawn of the video game era; games like Space Invaders, Pitfall, Snake and Pong. Each mini-game in this era is a race against the clock, putting you to the task of beating each mini-game you face. For Space Invaders, you must clear the board of all enemies. For Pong, you simply need to tie or beat the computer's score. Each mini-game has its own objective, and you will need to beat 12 levels—each of increasing difficulty—to unlock this era's bonus game: a Pacman clone named Lawnmower Mayhem. Beat the bonus game to unlock "The Golden Age" era.

The Golden Age features games similar to Frogger, Breakout, Asteroids, and Duck Hunt. This era, like the one before it, requires you to beat 12 levels to unlock the bonus game, which you will also need to beat to unlock the final era of the game.

A practice mode is also available that you can use to brush up on each of the games independently. You may only play games that have already been unlocked.

Analysis: The game features familiar gameplay from many classic games. In fact, it is a virtual hall-of-fame of classic gameplay delivered WarioWare style via Flash in your favorite browser. Overall, it is quite an achievement for a Flash game, one that includes several eras of unlockable content that gives players an incentive to keep playing until everything is beaten.

On the downside, there are some control issues, bugs, and gameplay balancing issues that will undoubtedly cause some players frustration. For example, the control in Treasure Hunt is so unresponsive at times that it makes the levels nearly impossible to complete. Reloading a second time in the Duck Hunt game requires key mashing on the keyboard, though I am still not quite sure how I even got it to work.

Other issues I noticed: There is a large boulder in one of the Treasure Hunt levels that appears to be impossible to jump over. The crocodiles are also very difficult to get the jumping just right. The Breakout level does not provide enough time to get all of the bricks before the time runs out, while the Frogger game provides significantly more time than necessary.

The game was developed by Say Design and it was only just recently introduced to MTV's website. It's so new that I know the developers are still working out the bugs, and a new build of the game should be available on the site soon. Hopefully it will address some of the issues I noted above. Give it a try, and let me know what you think in the comments. Click.


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Weekend updateIt's always feast or famine when hunting down good games to review and post here. And with the lack of a good game posted in a few days, it seems that we're all getting a little hungry about now. Never the one to post a game simply because it's the thing to do, I generally prefer to wait a day (or two) in hopes that something truly brilliant will make its way to the surface of my awareness.

And then there are times when games will just drop into my lap, so to speak. For example, game authors will sometimes send word of a recently completed game for me to try—thank you Tonypa, Ferry, Jonathan, JP, Philipp, et. al.)—and sometimes a kind soul will send me a review for a game all written and ready for posting. And while I won't promise that I will post every review that is sent in, I will certainly try.

So today I want to offer up (at least) two (2) games that I feel deserve a mention, both of which sort of found their way into my inbox.

The first is a game that I probably would have passed on posting here myself since it is a fighter with a narrower target audience than usual for the games I like to feature. And yet Garrett did a fine job with the mini-review, and it IS a well-produced game that he claims is full-featured and a lot of fun.

The second is a recent addition to MTV.com that, apart from some control issues, is a fairly good game that features a wide array of different mini-games all delivered in a Wario Ware-styled frenzy.

As always, your comments are much appreciated. And thank you kindly for all the wonderful shout outs and birthday wishes that helped make this year's an extra-special one. =)


  • Currently 4.8/5
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Rating: 4.8/5 (42 votes)
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Etherena BetaI stumbled across this flash game many months ago but only just recently noticed it bookmarked in my favorites. After further analyzing the game I felt it deserved a review in the veritable hall of fame of online games that this site has become.

Created by a technology student named Arayh, Etherena Beta is an exceptionally good fighter featuring some of the creator's original characters.

While the game seems to be lacking in a storyline behind the game's unique clashes, the features and entertainment of the game outweigh the brief and nonsensical plot that the mysterious opening introduction attempts to create.

During the actual gameplay, Etherena Beta does not disappoint as it features upwards of forty unlockable levels and versus modes, coupled with fast-paced surreal fighting action on an epic scale. The controls are customizable, and there are two characters available for play, each featuring unique attacks configurations.

Though the game has only a fair replay value after completing all the challenges, it is certain to keep you entertained for hours.

Play Etherena Beta


  • Currently 4.8/5
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(2 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
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Frappr map of Jayisgames visitorsWhile I have been enjoying all of the wonderful comments and gifts that are pouring in from all corners of the globe, Bob reminds me about the Frappr page he has set up to display the locations of visitors of this site.

Frappr, which is short for Friend Mapper, is a new Google Maps powered site that lets you map the zip codes for locations of anything you like, even a group of people.

So, why don't you add your zip code, and a nickname that you go by here, to the Jayisgames map and we'll see how many different countries are represented and where everyone who visits is from, hmm? Click.

Cheers to BobSmith for setting up the map. =)


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Friday, December 2nd is my birthday, but it's not too late to select an item from my Amazon.com wishlist. ;)

Or, buy a T-shirt to support JIG!

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Whale-Flip!In a plea to save the whales, Greenpeace has posted this cute and delightful Flash game on its website for the world to play. Whale-Flip! puts you in control of two (2) different whales on a cooperative mission to rid the waters of the nasty polluting submarines.

The blue whale can blow a bubble by pressing and holding the mouse button. Release it before it gets too big and pops. Trap submarines in the bubble, but don't let any friendly fish become trapped, or you will lose points and valuable time.

The pink whale can use its spout to push bubbles up to the surface by pressing and holding the mouse button down when positioned beneath a bubble. If you wait too long, the bubble will pop and release its occupant(s) back into the water.

Toggle between the two whales at any time by pressing the space bar.

Bonus points are awarded by capturing and releasing more than one submarine at a time. You will find that additional submarines can be caught by moving a bubble within their path. For each submarine released, an additional five (5) seconds is added to the clock.

Analysis: The graphics and music are very nicely done, and the gameplay is simple and yet challenging to manage two different whales with unique abilities. And while it won't keep you engaged for hours, it is a fun little game with a greater purpose: to raise awareness of the damage we do everyday to our precious natural resources.

On this World AIDS day of awareness and remembrance, let us not forget how valuable each and every one of us is in making a difference to help make the world an even better place to live. Click.

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