Professor Fizzwizzle


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Professor Fizzwizzle

Another finalist for this year's Independent Games Festival (IGF), this one in both the Seumas McNally Grand Prize and Innovation In Audio categories, Professor Fizzwizzle is a delight to the eyes and ears and one that will even give your brain a workout while you play. (Requires a download.)

The first offering by GrubbyGames, the Canadian-based duo of Ryan Clark and Matt Parry, presents a fun and whimsical romp around a make-believe puzzle world in which the game's namesake professor must make his way through dozens of levels and back to his lab.

The simple premise on which the game is based puts the player in control of the estranged professor who has been removed from his laboratory by the very robots of his own creation. These Friend-Bots-turned-Rage-Bots have wreaked havoc and scattered all the professor's keys and gadgets everywhere, and it becomes your job to help sort things out.

"I won't give up," said the prof;
"I'll never give in!"
"I've got to get past all the Rage-Bots within."

A straightforward control scheme makes the game deceptively simple to pick-up and play: use the arrow keys to move the professor back and forth, left and right; he can even climb up and down ladders. He is capable of so much more, and yet all his actions are handled automatically within the context of the situation. For example, if he falls down onto a barrel he can ride that barrel by using the left and right arrow keys as before.

The goal of each level is to move the professor to the exit tube (represented by the large red arrow) from his starting position. To do so requires strategy, cunning and even a bit of good timing, the latter of which injects a unique arcade element to the classic puzzle formula.

Analysis: The 2D side-view puzzle game shares similarities with other sliding-block logic-based puzzle games like Sokoban, and yet includes a wide array of special items and gadgets that together add originality and charm to the formula resulting in a truly unique game play experience. Adding to the game's charm is its saturday morning cartoon themed sound effects and music tracks composed by Michael Huang, to which I couldn't help bobbing my head back and forth each time I played. Everything about this game screams: Fun!

In fact, GrubbyGames has pulled all the stops to compile a comprehensive and enjoyable game by including: regular levels, advanced levels, and two (2) sets of levels deigned especially with kids in mind; the ability to play custom levels; a level editor with which to create your own custom levels; and even animated solutions to each of the games 236 puzzles(!) There is so much fun packed inside this very appealing and accessible casual game for all ages, I heartily recommend downloading the free trial version of the game and see for yourself. The game is available on all three platforms: Mac OS X, Windows, Linux. Download.

Or, try the online version to get a feel for the gameplay first.

Game credits:

  • Ryan Clark: design, programming, level design
  • Matt Parry: design, graphics, level design
  • Michael Huang: sound and music
  • Victor Zakharov: level design

The IGF will be held at the annual Game Developer's Conference (GDC) later this month in San Jose, California.

8 Comments

good game, but the real highlight is the fact that you can build your own levels...i had more fun with a friend creating levels to stump eachother...wonderful!

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I downloaded this a while ago and loved every second of it. The graphics are fantastic and the animation is really smooth. I particularly liked the ability to see the solution at any time, since you could look at the first few steps, then try it yourself.

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I agree with Wulfo. Fun game! I, too, like the fact that you can exit the solution at any point. Thus you can solve the puzzle on your own with just a nudge in the right direction. Another good find Jay!
P.S. When graduation gets here, are we going to see a pic of you in your cap & gown?

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Hahaha, no 'me', I am not planning to 'walk', I just want to finish my program is all. =)

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I love this game. I wasn't going to buy it, because many times, with games like these, I will play them, and then remember the solution to the levels a few months later. I bought it because you have the option of downloading levels from other players to test your skills. Right now, there are more than 200 more levels to complete!

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man ilove this game.
ive searched the net everywhere for games like this except it gets boring after a little while.

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this game was so easy! But its fun.

the last level was so hard i cheated somehow

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Chris (Jesdisciple) Author Profile Page July 4, 2008 4:03 PM

I had to count the levels anyway so I could know which I needed help on, so I decided to give a walkthrough while I was at it.

Level 1: Welcome!

Walk 2 paces to the right.

Level 2: The Basics

Go down the right ladder and up the left, then to the exit tube.

Level 3: Vertically Challenged

Push the bottom box into the hole, then climb the ladder. Push the top box down and follow it, then drop off the box's left. Go to the exit tube.

Level 4: Two New Terrains!

Push the barrel right and follow it down. Push it left and follow it down. Slide across the ice, climb the ladder, and go to the exit tube.

Level 5: Stacked Against You

Push the (new) bottom box 2 paces left, 3 paces right, and 1 pace left. Climb the ladder and go to the exit tube.

Level 6: Pop Quiz!

Climb the right ladder, push the barrel down and follow it. Push the (new) bottom box 2 paces left, 3 paces right, and 3 paces left. Climb the left ladder, push the barrel into the final gap and go to the exit tube.

Level 7: On The Rebound!

Push the bottom box 4 paces left. Climb the right ladder, push the barrel down and follow close behind. Push the box 5 paces left. Shove the barrel back into the trampoline and climb the right ladder. Climb the left ladder and go to the exit tube.

Level 8: Losing Traction

Push the barrel left and climb the ladder, then follow the barrel down. (Don't hold the right cursor key while you slide or you'll fall off.) Go to the exit tube.

Level 9: Introducing Gates!

Push the barrel left onto the red switch. Climb up the ladder, push the barrel right, climb slightly down the ladder while the barrel passes, and climb back up to push the barrel onto the blue switch. Climb down the ladder and push the box onto the yellow switch. Climb down the ladder and go to the exit tube.

Level 10: Chain Reaction

Push the (new) bottom box 1 pace right, and 3 paces right (onto the ice and blue switch). Push the barrel onto the yellow switch. Climb the ladder and push the barrel off onto the red switch. Go to the exit tube.

Level 11: Baffling Barrels!

Push the right barrel into the trampoline and climb the ladder. Push the barrel off the sand and climb the ladder. Push the box onto the yellow siwtch and go to the exit tube.

Level 12: Using Your Head

Push the barrel right and off of the edge. Climb down the ladder while the barrel falls and rolls and position yourself immediately to the left of the red button. This will allow you to stop the barrel on top of the red button.
Push the other barrel left into the trampoline.
Climb down the ladder to duck the rolling barrel. The barrel will stop on the sand.
Climb up the ladder and push the barrel to the right.
Stand on the sand and wait for each barrel to stop on top of a button.
Climb down the ladder, walk through the gates, and step onto the transporter.
You've now completed the non-download version.
(source: http://www.grab.com/boards/b/games/topic/90677/1 )

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