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Link Dump Friday №58


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Link Dump Fridays

JohnBWelcome, ladies and gents! This week we have a special edition of Link Dump Friday, a collection of games that were not selected as finalists into our recent Casual Gameplay Design Competition #5. Even though these games didn't reach the last round, there is no doubt that considerable time and effort were put into each one. So enjoy the games, and leave your kind, constructive criticism in the comments for the respective game designer(s). Also, please indicate which game it is you're commenting on to help sort out the feedback.

  • icon_gradysadventure.gifGrady's Adventure (Matt Slaybaugh) - The space station had a mishap and Grady the robot has crashed on Earth along with nearly all of his upgrades. Help Grady retrieve the upgrades and get him back to the space station!
  • icon_supermegarobo.gifSuper-Mega Robo (CreativeCogs) - Control Mega-Robo and defend your factory from the attack by the evil clone-robos. Upgrade your weapon for faster, invincible, and elemental attacks. Be a hero!
  • icon_monstercruncy.gifMonster Crunch (Ja.Games) - An arcade shoot 'em up with monsters! Help the pink monster burst the balloons that carry the black monsters on top of the cliff. If you fail, you get a boulder dropped on your head. So.. don't fail!
  • icon_codered.gifCode Red (Frozen Module) - Strategy game where a player controls a team of four sodiers deployed with orders to investigate what happend in a laboratory. The aim of the game to proceed through all levels without losing a single soldier. Each completed level opens up new weapon options.
  • icon_greatbeerescue.gifThe Great Bee Rescue (KingMoo) - Oh No! Due to some insane structural defect, the hive has collapsed! Go hunt down some honey and rescue your fellow Bees. Oh, and don't forget the Queen.
  • icon_metamorfs.gifMetamorfs (Jonathan Marquez) - Create hybrids!!! Feed them... nurture them... and keep them away from enemies. Simply drag and move them with the mouse.
  • icon_userpatch.gifUser Patch (h_h_h) - Don't change your hardware or your software. Improve your Bioware with User Patch. User Patch is a simulator that will train you in order to increase your performance with your computer.
  • icon_gorobot.gifGo Robot (Goodexperience.com) - Help the robot achieve his upgrade... and his destiny. Similar to the Grow series of games.
  • icon_upgradebymodulo.gifUpgrade By Modulo (Zsolt Velykovits) - Challenge your logical skills with this simple entertaining game in a real 3D environment.
  • icon_mrcookins.gifMr. Cookins Steak and Curly Fries (Ian Stokes) - Cook up to four steaks at one time in cast iron pans, use condiments to upgrade the steaks and gain more points and time. Don't get distracted from the stovetop and burn the steaks! Create curly fries by holding down the machine button as long as possible.
  • icon_poinkt.gifPOINKT!! (Tornado Team) - A game that follows pinball, with different twists and turns. A game of skills and reflexes. A game of never ending challenges. A game like no other. A game where you point, it poinks... YOU'RE POINKT!!
  • icon_daionmyouji.gifDai Onmyouji (Ildun) - A turn-based RPG card game that incorporates the five elements in its upgrade system. Based on the traditional Japanese esoteric cosmology derived from the Chinese philosophies of Wu Xing and Yin and yang.

67 Comments

likephilshead Author Profile Page April 17, 2008 9:16 PM

Steak and curly fries game far too fun for it's own good...

I actually enjoyed it quite a bit, the simple concept was well polished... they could have made it a bit more than just clicking, and the constant telegraphing point sound is annoying, but now I'm hungry.

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likephilshead Author Profile Page April 17, 2008 9:23 PM

User Patch is a sarcastic WarioWare type game... but with not as many mini-games. Fun for a few plays, needs more variety of mini-games. I like the sarcasm.

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uh, it's still thursday where I am, well 7 PM anyways, but stil thursday.

I would understand if you wanted to get this out early or you are in a different time zone....

Also isn't there another game called Grady's Adventure? I don't think it had anything to do with this one, the name just sounded familiar. I'm not trying to say the authors stole the name.

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It is Friday afternoon in some parts of the world already, so yeah, Link Dump Friday is here. Enjoy. :)

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Yah more like link dump Thursday so we can get the heck out of here for the weekend....

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OrigamiMarie Author Profile Page April 18, 2008 12:32 AM

The Great Bee Rescue seems cute, and appears to have lots of pretty upgrades and different portions to the game, but I am having a couple of problems. I cannot play the little mini-games that are supposed to happen in the hive, I click on a bug and go to the screen and even if I choose to play the mini-game, it dumps me back at the map anyway. So I cannot pass the mini-games (since I can't play them), and therefore I cannot get past hive level 3. Also, there is something busted on stage 5 so that I reduce the number of enemies to 24 and then no more enemies appear. Since I can't get rid of those last 24 enemies, I can't finish the stage (I have to just abandon it), and so I can't get past it. So I can collect piles of honey in previous stages and upgrade my leaves all I want in hive level 3, and then I am stuck and it is of course boring. Looks like it would be pretty and fun for a while if it was fully functional.

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Cale Gibbard Author Profile Page April 18, 2008 1:22 AM

I'm having exactly the same symptoms as OrigamiMarie on the Great Bee Rescue. I'm running Shockwave Flash 9.0 r115 in Firefox on Ubuntu.

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I like "Mr. Cookins Steak and Curly Fries". There doesn't seem to be much of a challenge though. It's a fun game.

I'm a big fan of the potato curly fry machine.

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Also, why are the steaks served on plates with baked potatoes? Shouldn't the steaks be served with curly fries?
: )

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ZinVertigo April 18, 2008 3:16 AM

What's up with the arrows randomly bouncing off the balloons in monster crunch? Too frustrating.

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Wow. I seriously cannot believe my entry was a finalist compared to some of these games. o_o Especially The Great Bee Rescue and Mr. Cookins Steak and Curly fries.

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for code red, i liked that it upgraded the weapons, but the characters viewable distance should increase too( instead of just one square all around, it can be 2 squares all around)

and yes, i know that this is supposed to be slow paced, and you aren't supposed to lose your teammates, but what if they could find survivors or something that can join the group if you lost a man.

i found that with those two things, it makes it alot harder than it should be, considering one of my men would take a step and bam ,mutant right in front of him and no way of getting to safety making him dead in the water then being stuck a man down for the rest of the game

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The Great Bee Rescue is really cute. Too bad the bug seems to render it unplayable past a certain point.

And for those too lazy to try all the Go Robot combinations:

Run, grow, walk, jump, drink, grow, kick, beam

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Code Red has *SO* much potential. It's just awesome. Full thumbs up on the sound and graphics on that one... It really hits that whole "X-Com"/"Space Hulk" survival horror right on the head. I think that if it had:

1) The ability to turn in place,

2) "snap shot/overwatch" (where you could save move points to shoot during the zombie turns)

and
3)Some mechanics attached to each team member's background (e.g: One guy is a demolitions expert, but he can't blow anything up)

Now, maybe I didn't get far enough, and some of these issues are addressed...but still, at first blush this one was good. I hope they make a sequel.

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it wont let me log in! grrrr

anyways just tried to play poinkt and it says in the instructions that if you press 2, then a jetpack appears? well im on a laptop and have tried pressing ever 2 there is and nothings happened. the games responding to my mouse however. just fancied a rant because i get really annoyed with games that are impossible to play just because i like being portable :)

and Dai Onmyouji confused me from the first second of playing! x x

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Another bug on Great Bee Rescue: you can click "bees rescued" as much as you want and increase their number, thus unlocking all stages way before you're supposed too.
KingMoo really needs to upgrade (ahah) his game, cause it looks awesome and it's a shame we can't play it properly.

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Code Red seems very buggy. I got stuck in the Instructions menu and when the first level loaded it was completely empty.

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Wow! Seems a great selection of stuff, so I better go and take a closer look atz each :)

Zsolt, ha olvasod ezt, válaszolj légyszi! Remek a játék :)

bio

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I don't fully understand this... At this Upgrade by modulo, I had 16 points at the end of level 1 but it said that i have to score at least 15 and wanted me to restart the level.
I guess 16 is "at least 15". Why cannot i proceed then?

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Oh my... And I thoguht I was a reasonably fast reader... Up until I started POINKT...

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Grady's adventure is hard to follow - at least first, and that's where i am now. You move the robot, get to what seems like a part you're about to collect and then all you know is you're in a very different place - probably it was a teleport of some sort, but nothing hinted it was.
Then you're about to leave a screen and head to the other but this screen - due to a bug or on purpos - is an all grey screen, nothing is visible includibng your robot itself.

You're moving on, meet a crab and when you move to it it gets trapped in a huge cage seemingly all by itself.

Is it on purpose that nothing seems to make sense here? Or is it only my retarded brain that does not find any connection between what happens and what the actions result in?

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CatFurnace Author Profile Page April 18, 2008 9:02 AM

I absolutely love Go Robot!

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fuzzyface Author Profile Page April 18, 2008 9:08 AM

bioLarzen, Grady's adventure is indeed a very strange experience:

I manged to "win" however, here are some things i figured out.

* The whole world is a ocean shore that goes down to the left, while at its very bottom is a transport to the top.
* They gray screen is on purpose gray, the goggles make you see its contents, but this room has no discovered value.
* Without any upgrades all you can do is move to the left of the ocean, if all moveable upgrades are out of your reach you have lost and need to start over. For example once both feather upgrades are captured by air monsters -> game over.
* Whenever you get in contact with a monster it steals an upgrade from you, and drops its item onto screen.
* You can fly into space, but drop back, space screens are unimportant for the game.
* Following upgrades do following things:
** The wheel: Allows you to also travel to the right on the ocean floor.
** The cage: Allows you to imprison monsters so they no longer bug you.
** The green shell (?): Allows you to swim underwater.
** The magnet: Attracts other objects, usefull when underwater getting things from above water surface.
** The rockets: Colĺect those 3 and bring them to the big rockt to win.
** The feather: allows you to fly in air over the ocean.
** The goggles: allows you to view the grey screen, but nothing else happens
** The yellow baloon: No idea what it does.

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I'm playing the Bee game and I like it.
I'm just not sure - I've build a flower and I'm protecting it against the slugs and the bugs. The counter says I still have 24 enemies to kill but they're not coming anymore. The flower's there, the bees keep coming and collecting honey and there are no slugs and bugs to came for like 3 minutes. All i can do now is sit here and watch the bees come and go.

This is like the 6th flower I've built and there's been nothing like that so far. Is it the way it's supposed to work?

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fuzzyface,
thx for the info!

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fuzzyface Author Profile Page April 18, 2008 9:25 AM

Also the drill: No idea what it is good for.

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Anyone got thru stage 5 in the Bee rescue? No matter how many times I'm trying, it always kinda freezes when i gat 24 enemies left. The bees keep coming, the energy, nutrient and water score keeps increasing, I can do anything except kill the enemies because they don't come. I've waited for long minutes and no slug or bug comes by.

Am i supposed to do even longer or is there something i keep messing up?

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I'm having the same problems with the Bee game as everyone else has mentioned;

24 enemies left on Stage 5,
Can't click on the bugs, etc

Quite sad, I like the looks of this game too.

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Thanks, bioLarzen! Glad you liked Go Robot. If I have more time someday I may make some more scenes.

(Nice to see the spoiler up, too :)

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For poinkt: I miss sound, and I can't imagine anyone wanting to be forced to sit through a text only intro.

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Yeah. There are two things I don't seem to be able to do: the ever-mentioned 24 enemies left and eliminating the slugs in the hive. When i want to do that and click play I'm transferred back to the hive screen :(

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Oops, I somehow missed OrigamiMarie's comment that complains about the same things.

Sorry for that.

bio

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But, to be more positive: I tried every game and I think all of them are based on good ideas and all of them have the potential to be great games once they are polished. I'd love to see them all back at JIG.

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Slanzinger Author Profile Page April 18, 2008 11:34 AM

Poinkt! has a great concept, but feels a teensy bit... broken, almost - the WASD "Boost" seems not to work, and I appear to be put back at level 1 after going to the shop. Also, the unskippable intro is a little long.

Upgrade by Modulo felt a little confusing too - I lost a life when it didn't look like I should have, and I'm not sure what the "Modulo" function was that it mentioned (The explanation was a little hard to understand)

Mr Cookins was great fun, and although not following the "upgrade" theme all that well, was a great game all of its own.

User Patch was another fun one, caught me out a few times... Shame about the guys who felt the need to cheat on the leaderboard tho.

Super Mega Robo - Another great concept, quite fun, but the enemies felt a bit confined to their own paths.

All in all, from what I've played, a decent batch of games!

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aine morgan Author Profile Page April 18, 2008 11:46 AM

Id like to play Bee Rescue when the minigame, bees rescued and level 5 issues are sorted - the bit i can play i really like :)

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Monster Crush is a clone of an old game.

Pooyan

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I am having the same issues with the Bee game, only it started happening at level 2. I can get down to 2 slugs and then they cease to come...

I cant play the minigame either, but I don't think anyone can.

Too bad because without the bugs (no pun intended) this game could be fun...

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Ha-Ha! I absolutely LOVE the sound effects in GO Robot! I had to play it again just to hear the little noises! ^__^ Now onto the great bee rescue!

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Just another comment about Great Bee Rescue (comment meaning, pointing out a bug :( ) is that when I come upon upgrades for leaves and roots (like in level 3 of the hive) I have enough honey, but clicking on the upgrades does nothing. The little glowing green ball just gives me a message as to what upgrade it is, and then...does nothing. So I'm confused. Maybe I have to finish the hive lever to get the upgrades, but with the mini-game issues, I can't. :(

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ThemePark Author Profile Page April 18, 2008 3:20 PM

@Slanzinger:

Upgrade by Modulo works this way:
You start out with an initial score. Then choose a number on the next cog wheel to jump to. Your initial score will be divided modulo with the number you chose to jump to, and the game will remember the remainder, but it won't change your score.

For example, if you start with an initial score of 10 and jump onto the number 3, the game calculates 10 MOD 3, and saves the remainder, 1.

Then there is also an operator hanging over each cog wheel. That tells you what kind of operation to perform on your score and the remainder.

So again with the previous case, your score is still 10, and your remainder 1, and if the cog has a plus hanging over it, it will calculate 10+1 and that will be your new score.

Or if you want it as an equation:
S = Score (in the bottom corner)
N = Number you jump onto on a cog wheel
O = Operator hanging over the cog wheel you've jumped onto.

Then the equation is:
S = S O (S MOD N)

@Malach:
In order to get those upgrades, you need to click on the picture of the upgrade. So, for instance, the very first upgrade you'll see is a leaf, so when you have the screen showing how much it costs, click on the leaf, and you'll attain the upgrade.

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Another bug in The great bee rescue if you hold tab in easy your almost invinsable

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Aww, I really enjoying Bee Rescue but I'm having the same issues as everyone else - I hope it gets fixed 'cause I'd really like to play through the whole thing! :o(

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Grady's adventure doesn't seem to make any sense. How do I pick up the parts I need? How do I even GET to them? And what the heck do I do with 'em once I have 'em??

Seems like a start to a game rather than anything playable.

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Code Red seems a little ridiculous with it's movement restrictions. It took me less than thirty seconds to get the four characters locked up where only one would move and he was stuck in the original room.

It's a shame to waste such great music and environment like that.

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Any word on whether or not they're going to fix "Bee Rescue"??

Frustrating getting stuck like that.

Although it's slightly amusing that a BEE game has a BUG in it.

:P

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I'm finding a few bugs in Modulo:

Once I read the three pages of rules, I cannot go back and re-read them. Either I'm directed to the first page or the last page, and "Main Menu" and "Start" are my only two options.

I can beat level 2 with a score of 93, but it says I must score over 50 to continue and only allows me to restart level 2. Last time I checked, 93 > 50. :)

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Go Robot REALLY needs some kind of reset button. If you upgrade in the wrong order you're stuck and have to refresh the page to start over.

Which REALLY stinks.

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The steak and fries game might have been fun if it weren't for that ANNOYING timer sound. Turning the sound off completely took away a majority of the game aura or environment.

Having no control over when the condiments appear reduces the enjoyment of the game. And what the heck is up with the potato peeler thing? I never did figure out how that worked.

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AaronzDad - not sure what you're seeing... just click all four buttons and if they're not in the right order, a "Play Again" button pops up. No need to refresh the screen.

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ThemePark Author Profile Page April 18, 2008 7:06 PM

For Upgrade in Modulo:

I'm not sure this is the problem, but in case you haven't noticed, you get the exact same screen and text when you complete a level. The only thing that changes is the rightmost button, which displays High Score, if you failed to get required points, and Next Level, if you succeeded.

Might be that those of you who is having the points bug, have just overlooked that.

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ThemePark Author Profile Page April 18, 2008 7:10 PM

Okay, scratch my last post, of course I got the same bug immediately after. :-P

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Foreversh Author Profile Page April 18, 2008 7:22 PM

Metamorfs was quite an interesting game. Definitely interesting concept, but was so annoying because in the second level, they kept running into the viruses and bacteria deliberately -.-;

Once I got onto the 3rd level, I could not figure out how to feed the animals. I read the instructions and it said to place the animals on their corresponding food, but it did nothing for me. They refused to eat the food, even when i tried taking the food to them.

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Whoah! I should of put a smiley on the end of this post:

Yah more like link dump Thursday so we can get the heck out of here for the weekend....

Yikes, I read it again and without the smiley I am a jerk! I swear I meant it to be humorous, you can post Link Dump any day you want, just keep 'em coming!

OK, I'm off to practice my emoticon skills....

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OrigamiMarie Author Profile Page April 18, 2008 8:59 PM

Okay, I got to the end of "The Great Bee Escape". Of course it can't be finished by normal means. Stage 5 is just not letting anybody through, and the mini-games don't happen. However, you can
Get all of the bees

When in a hive, let your mouse stand still and use the tab key. Different hexes can be selected this way, and if you hit enter on a solid yellow one, you will go there. This includes the cells that bees and bugs are on (you want to select the cell, not the bee or bug, because hitting enter on a bee does nothing and hitting enter on a bug brings you to the defunct mini-game intro). Once on a bee's hex, you can click the bee to collect it. You can also go to the hex of an upgrade, then go back to another hex, and then if you go to the Shopping hive, you'll discover you have access to it the upgrade. So now you can collect all of the bees and end the game.

And rack up a lot of honey

If you want upgrades/points/honey, I found a pretty good way of achieving that too. Get the root strength and leaf upgrades, and it is kind of helpful to get cloud, root node, and worm upgrades too. Use stage 4 because it has weevils. Build your plant up, strengthen its roots, and put the best flower you have on it. Meanwhile, destroy almost all of the bugs. Leave just one weevil and let it work on your roots. Now sit back and watch your point-generator. Bees will collect honey, and nutrients, energy, and water will build, and every few minutes you will need to re-upgrade the roots to undo the damage the weevil has done. Of course, you have to keep the weevil or else the level will end. When you are tired of this, just kill the weevil. Bing! 11536 honey! Points seem to come from upgrades though, so for this I suppose you would make continuous clouds and flower replacements. Just no bug repellent.

Okay, so maybe I am a spoil-sport.

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I love the steak and curly fries game, but I can't get past level 7 (10 steaks). I'll click the steaks to flip/serve them, and they'll start burning immediately! I'll have clicked multiple times when it says "flip/serve now!" and they still burn like I haven't done anything. Is anyone else having this problem?

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So, if anyone hasn't realized, the reason why some of these games didn't make it to the finals wasn't because they weren't potentially great games...It is purely that they were too buggy to make it that far. It is great that we were able to see what games came so close and to also see why certain games didn't make it as far. It shows us all how fair this contest is. I get so burnt out on seeing popularity contests, where people simply vote over and over on their friends stuff and we only see mediocre output...thanks Jay, for "keeping it real" as the kids seem to say nowadays...(or maybe that is "old skool" by now...hhmmm...must go rethink my jargon.)

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Thanks, bumoftheums, for recognizing that. It means a lot to all of us here at JIG. ^_^

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Modulo has an interesting premise, in an educational game kind of way, but it seems like it would be a huge improvement if the number of teeth on the gears varied and the numbers varied, and most importantly, if the required scores to complete a level were much, much higher. The fact that there a multiplicative operator in there and the ability to visit that gear multiple times makes it quite easy to get well over 1000.

You could imagine, for example, puzzles with

1) a multiplicative gear with only one tooth that you had to pass through with a 2, necessitating that one pass through it with an odd number (otherwise it would multiply your score by 0)

2)a multiplicative gear with only a 5 on it, but where the preceeding gears made it very difficult to approach with a score ending in a 4 or 9, and a very high score requirement such that you need to multiply by 4 to finish the level,

3) optional-looking subtraction gears on a level that are necessary to use to get the modulus number at the correct value for another gear,

etc.

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fuzzyface Author Profile Page April 19, 2008 3:40 AM

All games indeed have potential to become good games one day, if they get fixed / enhanced correctly.

IMHO the most potential has Bees and Grady's Adventure...

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ladywriter April 19, 2008 4:59 AM

Loved the Steaks and Curly Fries, but the game started quitting on me after a few times. Made it as far as Level 8 (20 steaks), but then the game sarted to hang. Tragic!

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bumoftheums (4 comments above me) told it all.

Jay, I don't know how you planned it, but it would be great if you could somehow let us know here whether the bugs get fixed - or at least those more popular ones, like the Bee game. Of course the game's developers could drop a note here, but let's face it: very few people would come back and check this LDF entry after it drops out of the main page and these games would, for most of us, fade to oblivion. But, I think, the bee game would deserve an entry of its own after the bugs are dealt with because it seems to be rather popular (I like to think it would have made it to the final selection if those bugs weren't there :)).

And seeing these entries we can understand a lot easier why the games your teem selected for the competition were the ones to make it.

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Mark - with your Go Robot game sometimes I get the play again screen and sometimes I get nothing - not even the "GAME OVER" message.

Not sure what the sequence is to get it. Didn't mess with it that long.

Running Firefox 2.0 if you care.

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wow i didnt really like that steak and curly fries one because i dont know if it was just my computer...but by the time it registered that i had clicked somewhere it said that all the steaks were burnt and then if i did get to flip it once it wouldnt let me serve it...i dont know and the graphics were too right after another it was hard to understand what was happening at first i didnt even get past the first level... it was sad i believe that ive seen better of these game competitions

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AaronzDad - Let me know if you figure out how to replicate it - I'm not aware of any bugs in the code...

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Anonymous April 20, 2008 1:58 PM

They always do link dump fridays on thursday :P

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I know the author of the Bee game and will find out if fixing and upgrading is likely to happen.

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I liked the concept behind Dai Onmyouji. Upgrade was at least tenuously connected, in that elements enhance and reduce each other. Once I understood how to play (perhaps the instructions were mistranslated?), it was a good proof of concept for an RPG. However, it is only a prototype, and while the mechanics work, the game itself is missing. I hope the author keeps working on this; it could be very good.

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Caves Online> Johnny123 An online platform game that pits you against the "ghosts" of players who've run the course before you. Use the arrow keys to jump, dodge and collect gold as you avoid lava pits, skeletons and the ever-sliding view.  ...
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Primary Max> Lori.h Play around in Max's clone lab and test out his new machine by solving puzzles. Use your clones as stepping stools and button pushers but make sure they get back, as you find your exit, to prevent a time paradox.  ...
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Manor Memoirs> starchild Scarlett has just moved into an old, decrepit manor, looking for inspiration for her new book. But who can write in a house that's falling apart? That's where you come in. As a seasoned interior decorator/garage sale organiser, you will do your best to raise money to renovate the old place. Manor Memoirs is a wonderfully sweet hidden-object/time management hybrid that's guaranteed to make you smile.  ...
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14 Comments
History Museum Escape> Dora Trapped overnight in the history museum, if you want to escape you'll need to solve puzzles and craft some pretty darned clever tools in this short but sweet game also available free for iOS and Android.  ...

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