Last year, Alan Becker created two clever Flash animations about an invisible animator battling his stick figure creation. Both Animator vs. Animation clips were big hits, and now with the help of Charles Yeh, the episodes have taken the interactive leap to become a full-blown fighting game: The Animator vs. Animation Game.
You can play as either the animator or animation (after unlocking the latter), each trying his best to eliminate the other player. Your arsenal is composed of common drawing tools found in the Flash development environment. Each tool has a slightly different effect depending on which character you play. For example, the line tool allows the animator to fire "arrows", but if the animation grabs it it becomes a staff.
As the animator you control the cursor and have two objectives: torture the stick character, and preserve the timeline at the top of the screen. Your arsenal is weak compared to the animation's weapons, but they're flexible and give you a wide range of freedom. As the animation, your goal is to attack the cursor and, secondarily, the timeline. The stickman's moves are much more destructive than the animator's, though your target is much more difficult to hit.
Analysis: The Animator vs. Animation episodes expressed what we feel like happens every day: the computer fights back. It was hilarious to watch the struggle between animator and animation as each used everyday tools to turn the desktop environment into a battlefield. Now that the war is interactive, it's even more entertaining. The Animator vs. Animation Game follows the episodes closely in terms of style, attacks, and overall design. It's a perfect game adaptation of the animations.
On the down side, there's a lot to learn before you can really get into The Animator vs. Animation Game. Moves are often intricate and require precise clicks and motions to get just right. In the heat of battle, it isn't always possible to pull off these fantastic stunts, forcing you to rely on simple but reliable attacks most of the time. Playing as the animation can be overwhelming at first, as this character uses a dozen keys for movement and attack. With a little practice, however, it becomes second nature.
The Animator vs. Animation Game preserves the grin-inducing fun of the episodes and makes it completely interactive. It's any desktop warrior's dream come true!