Weekend Download


Weekend Download

JohnBBy far the biggest, most first-paragraph-worthy news of in the downloadable world this week is Sam & Max are back. Not only are they back for another season of episodic adventure games, but the highest rated release from season one — Abe Lincoln Must Die — is now free. Free as in download it now. No excuses. We've also got a healthy portion of other great games to download, including an almost-too-cutesy casual game, Nanda's Island, that came out of nowhere to steal my afternoon. Don't you just love games that are... good?!

nandaisland.jpgNanda's Island (Windows, 15MB, demo) - A surprisingly fun casual game, Nanda's Island stars a panda bear who mastered the rain dance and is trying to restore life to a barren island. As Nanda plants seeds and summons rain clouds, you must draw lines and guide the water to the flowers. Special plants such as fountain flowers fire water upwards, allowing you to feed seeds across barriers. It's a great-looking game that feels a little slow-paced at the beginning but quickly warms up to be a superbly entertaining title.

samandmax201.jpgSam & Max season 2 (Windows, demo/free) - Sam and Max made a triumphant return earlier this year with a series of six episodic adventure games that contained more jokes per minute of gameplay than allowed by law. Fortunately for us they're back for another season in Sam & Max: Ice Station Santa. To celebrate its return, Telltale Games has also released episode four of the first season Sam & Max: Abe Lincoln Must Die for free! If you've somehow missed these quirky, off-beat adventure games in the past, you simply can't pass this one up. No game can make you laugh this hard. Legally.

finalvision.jpgFinal Vision (Windows, 11MB, freeware) - Take Final Fantasy, then toss it in an indie blender with a simple (but colorful) platform game. What do you get? Final Vision, a short but tantalizing mix of run and jump gaming with experience point collecting and... chocobos! The storyline is quite flimsy, so don't expect to be wow-ed with prose, but the game itself is a treat to play.

marblearena.jpgMarble Arena (Windows/Mac, ~25MB, freeware) - Hey Marble Arena! Switchball called, it wants its game idea back! Well, not exactly. Marble Arena is an arcade-flavored marble rolling game where you dart around colorful levels collecting stars and playing with basic ball physics. It's an excellent time-waster that comes with cheesy steel drum background music to boot!

enigmo2.jpgEnigmo and Enigmo 2 (Mac/Win, 20/30MB, free/demo) - Enigmo and its sequel are puzzle games where your goal is to move liquids to their appropriate containers using a number of contraptions (springs, accelerators, sponges, etc.). Enigmo 2 tosses you into outerspace and introduces plasma and lasers for you to manipulate along with a host of new tools. The full version includes a level editor, and you don't need me to tell you just how much fun that is all by itself. (Note: Windows versions are available here: Enigmo Deluxe Enigmo 2)

Note: All games have been confirmed to run under Windows 7 and are virus-free. Mac users should try Boot Camp, Parallels, or CrossOver Games to play Windows titles, Linux users can use Wine. If you know of a great game we should feature, use the Submit link above to send it in!

30 Comments

Are there ever going to be any games that run on Linux in the WD?

Jig could do a review on supertux but Im not sure how well it works in linux because I dont use linux unless I am screwing with vmware player or opensource.region-stuttgart.de/test_linux_desktop.php (its an somewhat nonenglish way to view kde online but laggy because its running somehow over the internet with a full operating system somehow I wouldn't understand)

We've had this question asked before. So let me answer that question with another question:

Are there any Linux users out there who visit JIG that would want to start a weekly/biweekly/monthly column reviewing Linux games?

As far as I know, no one currently on the JIG reviewing team uses Linux, so it's a little difficult reviewing them not to mention even knowing about them. :)

Enigmo is also available for Windows. There is a link on that site. Also, I got it for free for Windows as part of some study a couple years ago...

Marble Arena is a lot of fun, if a little awkward sometimes- but I need help! On the level with the soccer ball, what am I supposed to be doing? I assumed I was trying to "score a goal" against the flamey thing, but I can NOT avoid it. At all. And I tried. Over. And over. And. Over. Again.

I might be a wee bit on the frustrated side. Anyone else figure it out?

Hey Switchball! Ballance called, it wants its game idea back. ;)

But hey, I love ball-rolling games, so the more the merrier!

MadWithMuchHeart - The very first level to toss in a soccer ball is just a question of having to smack it into the goal directly in front of you a few times. A few others down the road throw in other balls trying to mess with you while you do similar things, and there's a rather cryptically mentioned feature that makes things easier on some:

Any time two balls collide (not counting yourself) into another, the last ball hit ends up with a spinning ring of stars around it (more the more collisions are involved). Hit one of those into a goal, and it's worth extra points.

Personally, the one that has me stumped is Santa's garden (or whatever it was). I've found all but 1 star and can't for the life of me figure out where the last one is hiding.

I...Love...Enigmo...

but do be sure to look at the controls before you start or else it will be very confusing (so you know how to rotate the stage and etc.)

Jay - guess who's using Linux as his primary OS? ;)

Maybe I don't have time to waste it on late night IRC sessions, but I'm still here reading JIG daily...

don't like downloadz..

viva las online-games

Sam and Max was excellent. Playing the free episode has made me interested in picking up the rest of the season. Perhaps that'll be my next investment when I look to buy a game...

I also really liked Final Vision. The game was short, but that was fitting, considering the simplicity of the gameplay. Getting to choose different classes provided some variety, and gave the game some replay value. If only there were more places to explore, and more variety to the weapons and items.

Marble Arena also looks fun, though I might pick that up another day when I have more time.

I really like Final Vision, although I seem to be stuck.

I have my airship parked at the top of the mountain, and I accidentally saved elsewhere, so now I have no way of progressing.

Takkun: try reloading your game. Whenever I've loaded a game, it has started me at my save point with my airship directly above me, even if I had left it elsewhere.

Hmmm, there have been a lot of Big Fish games on here that I've tried out for the time limited demo and many of them are tempting, but I don't think I'd ever wan to buy Nanda's Island. It's good a good concept and look, and I was really enjoying it at first, but some parts of it just end up being really frustrating (and note that there is a big distinction between frustrating and challenging) For example, it seems to be very easy for drops of water to get stuck in little spots on the ground, often right where I was watering a plant, thus making it impossible to obtain a perfect score. If there were more ways to manipulate the water beyond gravity and drawing lines, this might be alleviated.

I'm a little surprised by Nanda's inclusion here, to be honest. I had the same problem with water getting stuck in awkward places, and I never felt like there was an intuitive way to predict when that would happen. It almost seems like a bug.

The bigger problem, though, is that the game's presentation doesn't justify a purchase. The main character's animation is awkward and cheap-looking, while the water effect looks nothing like water. The pen lines you draw look terrible. All the static backgrounds and the flowers look fine, but anything interactive is really sub-par. I feel like they should have cleaned this one up a lot before they started charging money for it.

Kudos for posting Final Vision, though. It seems like more of a concept than a full game at this point, but it's such a great concept, and it has a good feel to it. I'm hoping the author revisits the idea with a larger world, some more variety in the enemy behavior, and maybe some original ideas to complement/replace the Final Fantasy trappings.

In Final Vision, does anyone have any idea if it is possible to get past that cracked pillar to the left-most end of the area? The sign says that only great heroes may get past it, but I don't know what it is referring to.

I've tried final weapons, final spells and beating the game, without any success.

I've submitted a few Linux games on here like metal blob solid... none of them were mentioned.

I use linux all the time, but then I don't get too angry because I also dual boot with windows (as most linux users should anyway.)

Yay, more Sam and Max! I can never get enough of those.

I also tried Final Vision, but can't say I'm too overwhelmed. The game is extremely overdeveloped in some areas (skills, classes, items, weapons, the damn airship) yet sadly lacking in others (actual gameplay). Instead of creating a vase number of quite useless spells, a simple inclusion of the "evade" or "shield" manoeuver would make things far more enjoyable. Also, I didn't appreciate how the game window more often then not got stuck in my upper left desktop corner and couldn't be resized anymore. Finally, the game is extremely short, and it's pretty unsatisfying to invest some time to level up and acquire gold then realize there is only 2 minutes actual gameplay after that.

Nevertheless, I'd like to think the next game from the same developers could actually be a nice little retro gem.

Switchball looks wonderful, but to be honest, I cannot figure out what to do. I can spin the ball around, jump a bit, but it seems impossible to get to the higher up platforms to get the rest of the stars (which is what I presume one needs to do).

There are bouncy symbols on the ground, but they don't seem to do anything.

Am I doing something wrong, or am I just terrible at this game?

i cant seem to save my game progress in marble arena.... is there something i am missing?

bucky

I meant Marble Arena, not Switchball.

And the F5 key saves.

wow. you weren't joking when you said final vision didn't have much of a story.
I liked the inclusion of Cid, though I didn't really understand the inclusion of Farami, Frodo, and Sonic. I suppose it keeps it from being just like Final Fantasy though, so keeping it legal.
It was too easy to level up. I did what I normally do in FF - take twenty or so minutes to level up a bit before a boss fight. So I leveled up a bit, bought excaliber and went to fight the boss,

only to find myself three hits later riding a chocobo seeing "the end" above me! I groaned. And so much that could have been done! There was a treasure chest in the first rebel hideout that I couldn't reach - and that pillar that only great heroes can pass. I dunno, it was fun and cute - but there was no challenge at all. After beating the boss, I started back, killed those bird things, the guy by the bones and then getting the ragnarok - which was overkill by that point, as my hp was at 1400, I knew you could kill the boss in four hits and then I was like - blah.

So maybe at another time I'll replay it with a different skill and see if that increases the challenge a bit - but it'll be awhile before I try again.
Still fun for a short little game.

Wendy:

The chest you mentioned can only be opened by one class. So you don't hafta play through every class jut to get that one chest if you dont want to, I'll include a spoiler about it:

Dragoon is the only class able to jump high enough to reach that chest. Oddly enough, it contains an elixir which is useless to the dragoons who don't use magic...(at least in this game lol)

Thanks, Googleshng!

But I'm stuck again. How is it possible to win the first one with the glass marble without going overtime?

...or, I could be an idiot. Nevermind.

Final vision was way too easy. There really should be more classes and maybe some weapons that are not class specific and possibly a ranged class that uses bows, guns, and throwing spears.

Also sometimes when i make a red mage if i dequip my sword before i get into the airship i get extra attack.

Well, I discovered my problem. Marble Arena starts in a "playground" with no objective. To go to the levels with objectives, hit ESC and select "play another level". Obvious now, but somehow I managed to miss that at first.

At the end of each level, you end up back in the playground, so again, to go to the next level, go to "play another level".

currently testing probably the greatest theory to getting passed the pillar in final vision... leveling up to 99. I'm at like 54 now, which is one hit kill on almost everything. Playing dragoon for longest weapon reach and mad leveling abilities; Holy Lance (cave), and Dragon armor. Played most the game with the starting stuff to afford the expensive armor without wasting money, lol.

For now, I'm going to keep leveling, at every 5 levels I'm trying the pillar. Developer, make a longer game.

this is extremely stupid but i can't get past the first screen in final vision. how do i get out of my cell?

I had fun playing Marble Arena, but like Googleshng I couldn't find the last star on the "Santa's garden" level.

Any tips?

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