Weekend Download №63

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Weekend Download

JohnBI compose this edition of Weekend Download with the sound of leaf blowers screeching through my windows. Not only does half my neighborhood believe leaves in their yard are evil, but apparently creating hours of noise pollution for everyone in the area is an acceptable price to pay to shove them in the street. I miss the good old fashioned, non-air-and-noise-polluting leaf rake...

xoldiers.gifXoldiers (Windows, 1.7MB, free) - A hyper-stylish arcade game of combat, capture and general sieging of castles! Control a group of soldiers and maneuver your way into the enemy's fort, ducking to avoid attacks and firing grenades and good old-fashioned weapons power to elmiinate the bad guy. Raze the purple buildings to win each mission.

mageguild.gifMageGuild (Mac/Windows, free) - Take on the role of a skilled apprentice of the Nahelan Mage Guild in this roguelike adventure, carving your way through countless dark caves and gathering hidden knowledge and treasures along the way. Unlike most games in the genre, learning and casting spells is fairly straightforward, and a great tutorial session introduces you to the game's basic concepts. Plus, if ASCII visuals aren't your thing, a graphical tileset is available under the options menu along with customizable controls! (Note: Mac users can play this game by downloading the free open source program Mono.)

argonaut.jpgArgonaut (Mac, 9.2MB, free) - A fantastic space shooter that takes the classic gameplay of Asteroids and hurls it well into the next century. Pilot your Argo spaceship deep into the recesses of space where a new asteroid field has been found to contain priceless crystals. Destroy all asteroids and collect the crystals some leave behind, then trade them in for upgrades at end-of-level space stations. You'll have to be quick, though, and watch out for pirates in this high-intensity, Mac-only space game!

lightmare.gifLightmare (Windows, 3MB, free) - An old fashioned Game Boy-style platformer where you play a vampire trying to work his way through the city to collect vials of blood. Avoid cars and similar obstacles while keeping away from lights that flicker on and off. Hit detection seems a bit wide, as I noticed cars will kill you before the sprites actually touch. Very simple platforming elegance makes this one a charming time-waster. And any game that can make a vampire cute deserves a second look.

aquaria3.jpgAquaria (Mac/Windows, demo) - Bit-Blot's gorgeous breakout title is now available for Mac! You control the restless young Naija, a curious underwater dweller who sets out to discover her world. The ocean is teeming with mysterious caverns to explore, strange sea creatures (some friendly, some otherwise), and troves of ancient secrets buried by time.

crayonphysics.jpgCrayon Physics Deluxe pre-order (Windows) - First released as a prototype in 2007, the physics-based puzzle game is nearing completion. Creator Petri Purho recently announced that pre-orders are available, offering a $5 discount to early buyers. You'll definitely want to pick this one up, and in the meantime, be sure and check out the Crayon Physics prototype demo.


The Mac strikes back! I'm so bummed that I can't play Argonaut.

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Is there a tutorial for how to use Mono to play MageGuild game? I downloaded the Mono package, but the documentation is... let's just say "somewhat lacking".

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Xoldiers is the worst game ever, you can only fire in one direction and one formation, and no friendly fire or AI intelligence

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Okay, making some more elaborate commenting on MageGuild. I am btw. one who could were the T-Shirt "I ascended through nethack", but on the backside had to write "But I'm savefile scumm, so nothing special inside". But I'll compare it to nethack.

First to the positives, its an pretty okay game. technically its done okay, nothing big to complain here.

The real interesting thing in this games is the combination of items. I love this idea. You can combine almost every item with every item and having an unique result. So there is also a quite steep learning curve here. The ideas with potions is genius. Nice ideas to do let them combine with amulets and animal remains as well.

The graphic interface is also okay. By all love of the magic of ASCII I don't yet understand why one would design a game nowadays on ASCII when doing the work for the graphics eitherway. Or after its done its a complete riddle to me, why ASCII is the default setting.

About the implementation, why by the love of god C#? I mean on the desktop you have to compete with nethack, and I hardly see any game reaching it closely in any reasonable time. If it would be actionscript (flash) it would be a real bliss to have an elobarated roquelike flash game, accessable to the userbase without installation... (also I'd like to know if anyone is really able to run this on mono on linux, I doubt it).

In the game, I think the warp gue or how that monster is called is a real bad idea. (When you are a screen aways from it, even when walls are between, it can and will switch places with you. This can lead to almost sudden unwaranted death if the warper was standing in a middle of a monster group before, and in a game where you are not supposed to copy savefiles, I consider this a real bad design decision.

Personally I enjoyed playing the intro much more than the actual game. I think running through mazes and mazes of autogenerated stuff can become quite boring. Having some human designed level maze with some real puzzle to figure out what to combine with what to get through it, might be much more fun. I played now until 6 levels deep (yes savefile scumm again), and I consider it getting boring already. While nethack was interesting all 45 (or so) levels down and up again.

The magic system is a nice idea, doubt I don't think however its all too important, I realize its there to create replay value, just wonder if it really worked out well.

The permanent + life/energy potions is a nice idea, but thats a tad too much random for me. Since I consider permanence potions quite valueable, I feel somehow fucked by the RNG when just wasted on random resistance. I think it would be better if it had a predictable but logarithmic design like first 5 permanence potions work, then 2 of 3, then every 2nd then every 3rd and so on...

Oh some suggestion, I think it would be a good idea if you could fill bottles at the fountain. Would save quite some running back.

Some other hints for players:

A real good idea are amulets you just put on while needing them. They can last for a loooong time this way. A real useful amulet you can aquire early is the death amulet. Use amulet with death potion, when you were it you turn undead, and while undead you can drink death potions to heal! Just take care not to drink a life potion or bumbing into a life fountain, while having death on.

Another quite useful amulet is the amulet of haste, however aquireable only a few levels leter with the blade fiend.

Once I somehow managed to create a fountain of polymorph, I just cannot remember how :(

First when I read on the MageGuild forum that using balls+energy is a real good idea (to find the level sphere fast), I wondered since I considered the energy potions one of the most valuable. However later discovered, just drop the sphere onto a energy fountain, saves the potion!

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Isn't Crayon Physics just like Magic pen?
who would pay 20 dollars for a game they could get for free online, plus the guy playing has a screen tablet, which most people really can't afford...

a rip off in my opinion...

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1- the game was made for a competition
2- The fact that you can only fire in one direction and in one form is part of the game (X is duck if I recall)
3- I love the exlosions

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Did anybody ever explain to scola how to play MageGuild on a Mac? I can't figure it out either. I have downloaded Mono, but I still only get .exe files when I download MageGuild, and Mono didn't seem to give me a program that can be used to run these. Sorry for being dumb, but please help.

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