Gold Well


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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.

16 Comments

The basic mechanics for this game seem to be descended from an old arcade game called Anteater.

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Can't say this isn't fun for a few minutes.
After that it's down to patience more than anything else. Not much skill going up and down over and over, never quite making it to the bottom level.
Thanks nonetheless for the few minutes!

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Thanks for that, Plover, you're absolutely right. I've updated the review to mention that. Cheers!

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Where's my "click" ?!
Without the "click" this is not an authentic "jay is" entry!
Shame!

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This game reminds me of anteater too. I used to have this on my old computer (back when floppy disks really were floppy, and computer monitors only had one colour...green!) and played until the joystick controller broke down. Thanks for posting this game.

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LOL. Just for you, Harukio. done. =D

Lisa - I'm pleased to be of service. ;)

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The name makes me think it was inspired by Oil's Well

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Good call, Keith. =)

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Um... Is it just me that can't move the muncher further down than the first line of gold blobs?

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Yes, it is a clone of Oil's well, I had it in my old MSX. Check some screen shots

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Pretty enjoyable, although very irritating.

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How so, Wulfo?

One complaint I didn't mention was about how slow the pipe seemed to travel. I can understand your irritating remark from that perspective.

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Ah, that's what I was thinking - it's just a wee bit too slow for me. I guess since I'm used to my real-time online play, I've lost all of my patience. =p I would probably put in more time if he had added just a couple more variables, such as new monsters, as jay mentioned, but also more power-ups and what-not. Coffee cup or something to give the people a temporary caffeine buzz? =p Ahh, I do miss my PS2 sometimes... the one with the floppies and the two-colored green screen. =D

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I would like to see a pause button.
More upgrades to chose from would do no harm too...
Nice game though.

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"Tetherball Pacman" is what one of my friends dubbed it. Enjoying it. Agree about the slowness ... maybe it could go slow when eating gold and faster when traversing previously-covered ground. Different power-ups or special items might be fun, too ... in addition to the time-stop, you could get something to electrify your pipe, for instance.

If you haven't already noticed, you can "eat" bombs when time is frozen without any loss of life.

It does seem the later levels are mostly about patience and a little bit of luck in having the right dude eat the other dude so your pipe doesn't get hit.

I LOVE watching the monsters eat each other!

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Well, first review since the day the game was posted - and the first in 6 months.

Well, if you like me missed this the first time around, and are just finding this - the game isn't bad.

The biggest single problem is that it's darn easy to die. The monsters should die once they hit you - or make you become invulnerable for a second . . . but no.

You start with 4 health points, or whatever you want the term to be for this game. And when you fail to eat a monster - it attacks your pipes. However, it doesn't just do it once . . . it does it over and over again.

I've NEVER been hit by a monster and lost less than 3 HP before I got back up to kill it. And considering that you have to pay 1000 credits (with about maybe 2000 credits per level on the first 3 or 4 levels) - you can not level up your hit points fast enough to have much difference - you will die on the higher levels.

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