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Weekend Download №34


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Weekend Download

PatrickA little bit of this, a little bit of that. This edition of Weekend Download throws a strange variety of games your way, but with one major headliner: Westward 2. Insert obligatory "oohs" and "ahhs" (and maybe even a "cool it's about time yay" or two) here.

Westward 2: Heroes of the FrontierWestward II: Heroes of the Frontier (Windows, 41.6MB, demo) - The sequel to Sandlot's Virtual Villagers-esque hit sim Westward has finally arrived! Strike out across the old west as you set up new towns and combat the growing dangers of the untamed land. Gather resources, survive natural disasters, and keep your citizens alive as you fight off bandits and construct over 20 new types of buildings. The story picks up where the first game left off and has you directing the fortunes of three old-time heroes. Also new is the ability to zoom in on the action thanks to entirely new 3D visuals.

RomCheckFailRom Check Fail (Windows, 2MB, free) - Imagine if you had the heroes, enemies, backgrounds and music from classic 80s games mashed together like WarioWare gone retro. What you'd get is Rom Check Fail. The game has you moving with the arrow keys and attacking with the [spacebar]. Your moves and those of your foes change every few seconds when the game remixes everything again, so you've got to meta-game a bit in order to defeat all twenty levels. Mind-bending fun.

OwlCountryOwl Country (Win, Mac, 24.8MB, free) - Owl Country is a pulp game made by a few indie folks after a creative jam session at GDC. The result is a kitschy B-game with solid production values, tricky but rewarding gameplay, and personality to spare. Press the arrow keys to fly left and right, up to flap, and hold the space bar to perform aerial acrobatics. Get those pigeons, lest they rule the night!

PerfectionismPerfectionism (Windows, 1.3MB, free) - Perfectionism is the latest exercise in gameplay as metaphor by Jason Roher. You start with 99 moves (the green number, upper left) and zero points (yellow number, upper right). Click on an arrow at the side or top, then click on another, similarly pointed arrow to shuffle a column or row. Doing this moves every yellow disc on that line, the object being to move yellow disks into the rings, scoring you a point. The genuis of the game is, you have to make a choice between spending moves trying to get more points out of a level, or moving on to the next one. It's a puzzle game that puts you in a battle with your own perfectionism.

dangeroushighschoolgirls.jpgDangerous Highschool Girls In Trouble (Win, Mac, 15MB, demo) - Dangerous Highschool Girls In Trouble is an innovative hybrid Puzzle/RPG from Keith Nemitz, the man who brought us The Witch's Yarn. The game has you controlling a gang of unruly, semi-liberated highschool girls in 1920s America. Four mini-games involve taunting, manipulating, and flirting as you socially maneuver through the den of snakes that is the secondary education system. A compelling storyline and interesting advancement mechanics makes this a classic that crosses audience boundaries.

29 Comments

I hope ROM Check Fail won't be like I Wanna Be The Guy; it's just that I hear, "Game mechanics change", and expect an addition of "during critical maneuvers" or "when you least expect it". Still, shooting bubbles at goombas and jumping on space invaders sounds like a delightfully ridiculous romp.

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here are some pros and cons for ROM Check Fail:

Pros: It is a great concept, and the mixing of different games is interesting. There is nothing like listening to the music of Pacman while jumping Mario on a Space Invader in a Zelda world.

Cons: It is often annoying when you are right next to an enemy that is slow while you are fast, when the tables are turned before you can react. I suppose that might be part of the skill, though. Also, the ship from Space Invaders cannot travel up and down, making a lot of levels impossible, and letting the enemy change positions freely while you wait for your character to change.

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Rom Check Fail was a lot of fun. I managed to beat it, but when I did...

The game reset, but with everything moving at a faster speed! I gave up then, but if anyone can beat that, I will be greatly impressed. =)

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Rom Check Fail is a very good game

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Dangerous Highschool Girls in Trouble is awesome, but as far as I can tell, all there is right now is a demo. I couldn't find a buy link for a full version. It's also got a bit of a balance issue, I think, as I couldn't see any real advantage to using all 4 girls, it felt like it was easier to stack your level-up/power-ups on one girl.

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zbeeblebrox Author Profile Page March 30, 2008 1:08 AM

Rom Check Fail actually rom-check-fails on my computer :p
(not really, but an unknown error does autoclose the program for some infuriating reason)

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The problem with one of the stages in Rom Check Fail is that it positions 20 enemies directly above you and depending on what happens next they might be crushing you within the next second.

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Rom Check Fail. One of those games that really make you swear in anger when the tables are turned on you.

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Ohhhhh Westward 2. Awesome! I'd whine about the length of time it's taken but really, the first was such an engaging game that I'm happy to wait for such quality.

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Rom Check Fail is an extremely original and fun game! I can't help but get mad, though, when I am chasing down a few Goombas with the Asteroids ship and then they're turned into the Qix guys and I'm Link, all of a sudden.

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ThemePark Author Profile Page March 30, 2008 1:31 PM

I don't really know what to think about ROM Check Fail. The idea is superb, and the backgrounds, enemies, player character and music is perfect. But it has one major flaw, which makes me less eager to play it.

The few seconds you get to play each scene before it builds another random scene, is just too little. You should have at least double the time to play the scene. For me it goes something like this:

"Oh, the game changed. Umm...where's my character? Oh, there he is. And now where's the enemies? Hmm...oh, right, those are the ones. And now I suddenly have cars? Oh, I can walk on them. Okay, got it, now to pla...damn, it changed again!"

Also another big flaw is that not all scenes can be played. Like the shooter from Space Invaders can only move left and right and shoot upwards, and if I've had Mario for instance just before, and was on a high platform with him, then I usually can't do anything as the enemies, who aren't always moveable, are often below me or to my left or right. So then I just have to wait until the next scene comes along.

So all in all, a great idea, great game elements, but the gameplay is seriously flawed IMO.

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Dangerous Highschool Girls in Trouble is a good game. Unfortunately, it always freezes at the Flirt screen on my Mac, so I wasn't able to play through much more than the first day =/

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I really enjoyed "Dangerous High School Girls..." and I am excited to actually play the full version. A month (or two) is so long from now! Thanks for the link, Patrick.

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Do you need to have played Westward to fully enjoy Westward 2? Which game in this "sims casual strategy" genre is the best one to start out with?

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Question for jingidy,

Did you previously install the game or was it a clean, first install? There is a bug in the demo that would crash Flirt if you have old save games. You're welcome to contact me through our website email link. We will be releasing a new demo in the next couple days. We've swapped out the Fibbing game, yet again, for something different, hopefully better.

Meanwhile, we're in final testing of the full game. Wish us luck!

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Musenik, the game crashed when I got to the flirting part as well. It was a fresh install, on Windows XP. It worked after I restarted, though,

The 20's setting really adds an interesting flavor. I'm looking forward to seeing the changes.

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Lizard,

That sounds like we slipped up somewhere. I know about a week ago, we discovered a missing piece of artwork. That also caused Flirt to crash, but we posted a corrected demo. However, that wouldn't explain why your game started working after restart.

I've downloaded the current demo and tried to reproduce the bug, but no luck. I suspect it's the same problem we found with old saves. I think the fix we made may fix the problem you encountered as well, but unless you're willing to try the next demo we post, in a couple days, we might never find it...

Please contact me through the link on our website. Much appreciated, maybe even worth a full copy of the game, if you help us identify a bug we haven't fixed.

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blockhose March 30, 2008 9:58 PM

"Perfectionism" seems like something Tonypa would conjure up. I'm convinced Level 12 is unbeatable. This is the level with just two pieces to move, but they aren't on the same row (and need to be in order to complete the puzzle). There is no way I can see to line those puppies up given the constraints of the game. Anyone disagree?

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No, I'm pretty sure there's quite a few impossible levels in Perfectionism. That's part of the concept. We want to be able to solve the puzzle perfectly, but we can't. What happens to us when we know there is no perfect solution to an otherwise well-constructed puzzle? What switches does that flip in our minds? Are we content to solve what we can and accept that every step may not be the right one? Does the situation affect different people differently?

And so forth.

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Musenik,

It's a first install. I'm looking forward to the new demo!

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morrisondwm Author Profile Page March 31, 2008 10:05 AM

I absolutely loved the first Westward and have been waiting with baited breath for #2! Unfortunately, I'm having graphics problems. I have a hunch that it may have to do with the fact I'm operating with Vista. (Dang it!) I really want to buy the game but I'll have to wait til it's compatable. Soon, hopefully!

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musenik, do you have a mailing list I can sign up for so you can email me when you have the full version ready or something?

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teiso,

Sorry. I want to say we're 'too indie' to do mailing lists, but basically it's one of a million things I should be doing but am not. We're close, maybe a couple more weeks.

You're welcome to email us using the link on our website. I will definitely contact you with a reply when the game ships. Be sure to mention your platform. This may be politically incorrect to say, but the Mac version will ship first, by a week or two.

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It's entirely possible to play Westward 2 without having played the first but I'd strongly recommend doing the games in order. Some of the storyline references the earlier game though it shouldn't cause too much of an issue. The main reason is that it's so damn good!

morrisondwm - I'm playing with Vista and have had no problems. Perhaps there's an issue with something else?

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Yeah, I really kind of enjoyed "Dangerous High School Girls.."
I am curious about Westward 2. I enjoyed Westward at first, but then lost interest after a while in.

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I'm not sure how many of the previous posters will read this, but I thought i should be thorough.

Mousechief has uploaded new versions of their PC and Mac Demos for DHSGiT. Hopefully, the flirt bug is fixed, but the main thing is an entirely new Fibbing game. We would love to hear your feedback about it.

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i have just finished the game "dangerous high school girls in trouble" and I was just wondering what's the true ending? It seems that the ending depends on the moral "whatever" you'll choose at the end parley that was gained by the gang. And I had finished it without getting the counterpart of the glamour moral stricture. Plus there were only 3 left in the gang. Can somebody please explain to me? I'm just curious.

And oh..
The teenage girls, do they have individual stories? They are all interesting and unique.

p.s.
The game is awesome. I love the simplicity and the vintage touch. I suggest whoever responsible for this game should make a sequel.

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We published a review of Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble, you can find it here:

http://jayisgames.com/archives/2008/07/dangerous_high_school_girls_in_trouble.php

Along with a more lengthy discussion of the game in the comments. You might find your answer there, or at least a more active discussion thread. :)

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