Weekend Download №69


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Weekend Download

JohnBThe recent TIGSource Commonplace Book Competition has ended, yielding heaps of creative, unusual, and slightly dark games. Entrants were challenged with using a line from H.P. Lovecraft's "Commonplace Book", a notebook of disjointed, cryptic ideas, and create a game around these snippets of text. Below are a few of the top picks as chosen by the TIGSource community.

verge.gifVerge (Windows, 7MB, free) - A 2D platformer (featured in a previous Weekend Download) created by the developer of Bonesaw that took first place in the TIGSource competition. Take control over the unnamed protagonist who must travel between two worlds in order to solve simple puzzles. Impassable blocks in your way? All you have to do is die — that's right, go step on some spikes, Karoshi style — and you'll be transported to the flipped underworld where you'll likely find a way to get through. But be careful, as enemies in this dark realm will attach to you and steal your energy, so make your trip through the underworld a short one.

primordial.gifFrom Primordial Egg (Windows, 2MB, free) - Nabbing second place in the competition is From Primordial Egg, a unique take on the platforming genre where you play a dinosaur trampling across the landscape kicking and eating archaeologists in order to stay healthy and evolve. The best part of the game is the enemy AI. Watch as the little guys scramble about in search of something (bones, shovels) to hit the stampeding dinosaur with!

eversion.gifEversion (Windows, 8.2MB, free) - Another 2D platformer with a twist, this one casts you in a colorful world with happy graphics, bouncy music, and smiling blocks to brighten your way as you collect gems scattered throughout the land. Oh, and then there are "eversion spots", places you can stand and switch the game from normal to slightly more creepy mode where some of the game's objects change, such as clouds becoming solid. Use both modes to collect all of the gems in each world.

eldritch.gifLost in Eldritch (Windows, 4.8MB, free) - A moody platformer with physics slightly reminiscent of more realistic 2D games such as Out of this World and Flashback (though without the climbing). The story is told with text-only cutscenes that really add to the dark feeling the game evokes so well.

theatreofcruelty.gifTheatre of Cruelty (Mac/Windows/Linux, 3MB, free) - A text-only adventure that doesn't mess around when it comes to a Lovecraftian setting and mood. Two download options are available: one that contains only the .z8 gamefile (good if you already have an interpreter), and another that includes Windows Frotz and Mac Zoom.

35 Comments

To clarify, is this a newer version of Verge, or a reposting of the same?

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It's the same.
Also, on eversion, I got stuck with the red dust chasing you. I like the happy stage one! Not horrible stage 10! (In eversion changes, not actual 'levels'.)

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Agh, Lost in Eldritch has such potential. Some cleaner animations and a way to climb and you have the makings of a great game.

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About From Primordial Egg: "Yup, you'll grow differently based on how you fight, how often and where you get hit, how much you run/jump around, how aggressively you fight, how you eat, and whatever else I could think of."

I just wanted to note how cool that is. Really fun, if a little clunky. Omnomnom!

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Grasa Total December 27, 2008 2:16 PM

I just recently started using Crossover Games, and it's not clear to me how I can play games like Verge, which just have a zipfile (not an "installer"). Can anyone offer guidance?

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Does anyone know of a way to set up alternate controls for Enversion?

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Grasa Total - even with games that come with a zip file, first you unzip the contents, then you'll find at least one .exe file. Use that file with your Cross Over Games.

That being said, not every game will work with Cross Over Games, and Verge, in particular definitely DOES NOT. In fact, when trying to run Verge, my Mac completely seizes up and I have to force reboot it. I've communicated this to the Cross Over Games team, and they are aware of it.

Verge will, on the other hand, run under Parallels 4.0 for Mac.

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Super Twichy Author Profile Page December 27, 2008 4:04 PM

When I tried to play From Primordial Egg, my screen went black and I had to restart my computer.

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Super Twichy Author Profile Page December 27, 2008 4:36 PM

Oh, I got it working. I needed to "extract" it or whatever.

My dinosaur was cool, he was blue-grey-black, he had razor spikes on top of his head, and he had smaller spines along his back.

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are there two endings to eversion?

even after going back through and getting all 240 gems, it still had the ending of the stage going black with the red eye and the princess(?) killing you and the game closing

am i missing something?

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Theatre of Cruelty was actually pretty cool, once I figured out how to find the toxicant:

By eating things! Your tongue can tell when there is poison

The ending is strange and fittingly Lovecraftian. I won't say fun (it's disturbing), but very interesting.

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Emerald Hawk December 27, 2008 7:48 PM

There are two different endings to eversion.

First, you need to collect every gem. Once you have done that, you have to restart the last level again, and do something special (simply beating the game with all gems isn't enough).

Getting ever gem allows you to eversion into an even more evil purple dimension at the very beginning of world 7. Beat this version of world 7 and you will unlock world 8, beat world 8 and you get the real ending.

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oh, thanks for that, the ending was... interesting

the purple world 7 was crazy, but i enjoyed world 8

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I love, love, love Eversion! It's quite literally like Mario meets Yume Nikki. A guide would be kind of nice, maybe. NOT THAT I NEED ONE (I think)

From Primordial Egg was fun too, I love the idea of hatching and then wreaking havoc on these scholarly squishy things. If I didn't read about the "last screen" though I don't think I would have ever finished it. I am always compelled to eat everything so that I can see what I can evolve into. Instead, I ran and marveled at all those sticks of dynamite.

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wohh, my computer flipped when i tried to download theatre of cruelty. My safety-software never flashed this red and urgent: this is a reported attacking site!

decided to ignore it. will play soon :)

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My experience of Eversion:

Level 1: Okay, a retro platformer. Find the gems, blah blah blah. They told me there was an "eversion" button. I have no idea what that means. I bet it makes me jump on the clouds. Oh well, let's just move on.

Level 2: All right, I can't make that jump without jumping on the clouds. I've got to figure out how to "evert." Hmm... oh, hey, the background color changes and ... Well, this is slightly different. Is *that* the gimmick of the game? Kind of subtle and a little lame. Wait a minute... I can do it again and ... hmm.. This new "world" is kind of moodier, slightly darker than the last one. Oh well, let's see.

Level 3: I see. It's a bit of a puzzle game, too. Hmm.. "world" 4 seems ... interesting. There's definitely something going on here. Wow, the black wall of doom. This is awesome. Tension!

Level 4: Okay we're back at "world" 1 and ... Did I pop its eyeballs out?! This is getting kind of ... OH NO THE HANDS! AAAAH!

That was sort of the climax for me. But what a great experience!

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Am I the only person sitting there hitting the X key in Eversion and wondering when something is going to happen? I played level 1 through - got the gems that I could, hit X repeatedly and couldn't get on the clouds to get the rest. I'm in level 2, staring at the broad span of impossible-to-jump, and hitting X. Nothing, nothing, and more nothing. What gives?

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Well I just stayed up all night beating Eversion twice, I must say that this is one of the few games I love very much!
Even after dying so many times, I never got significantly frustrated!

Notes about the last levels and ending

It was a good idea to save World 8 for morning, that was taking things to a whole 'nother level!
Towards the end of World 8 a cloud spawned directly on me and I disappeared and I thought, "NOOOO I GLITCHED AWAY" but then I spawned on top of the ceiling and it was super cool! Too bad being on the ceiling revealed that last claw!

By the way, second ending: WHAT NO THIS ISN'T- WHAT IS THIS, I DON'T EVEN-
NIGHTMARE END

But speaking of which, it kind of irritated me that there is no "suicide" button for when I would get myself stuck in places where I couldn't move ahead and couldn't die to get back to my last checkpoint. Oh well, I beat it anyway.

I would like to pretend that this game is the story of a boy who used dark magic to save a princess. :3

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I'd like Eversion more if the level with the red cloud wasn't so jerky and hard to control.

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Grasa Total December 28, 2008 8:30 PM

Jay: Thanks. I've tried the method you describe with a few games (including Eversion) and ended up with a bottle that didn't seem to have any files in it except the default-- but maybe that's another potential failure mode for Crossover? And thanks for the warning about Verge.

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So I finally figured out the trick to Eversion. Now, I have other problems.

I'm on world 4 in the 5th eversion level (I've punched out the eyeballs of the brick and there are giant flame hands afte me any time I jump over water).

I'm at the first "save point," I suppose you call it, where you hop from one small block to the next and try to avoid red hads, one right after the other. I got past that all right, but now I'm stuck trying to get past the larger pool just afte it. Seems you can't just jump across the pool because it's too wide.

From the looks of it, I have to jump up the left side, meaing jut out slightly and up, which will active Devil Hand, except there's no room for me to jump from the first brick to the second. I've tried it about two hours and five minutes so far and I cannot jump from that brick to the one above because the Devil Hand is too wide and I *always* hit it and die right there.

Is there an eversion point I'm missing, am I just a bad player, or is there a specific way you're supposed to get past this pool? I'm begging for help.

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to tabsie:

it's a bit tricky, but yeah, you have to jump between the hand and the wall up to the second brick

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Eversion is... interesting. I finally, after much frustration, have seen both endings. I like the game, but there are things that could be done to reduce the frustration level. In particular, the way the game deals with one-block spaces is difficult. It's hard to know how you have to be positioned in order to fall between two blocks or jump between two blocks, and jumping into a one block tall passage is tough as well. This resulted in my death many, many times, and is one of those things i point to ask an example that Frustrating =/= Challenging

Still, the idea behind the game is very cool, and the overall experience was excellent.

Also, for those having trouble with The Hands:

Only the Hand itself will kill you. The arm will not. In certain spots you can get close enough to trigger the Hand then jump or walk under it through the arm.

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OMG. Eversion is amazing. Completely, totally, mind-blowingly amazing. Every little nuance of the game, from mechanics to presentation, is absolutely perfect.

Ranks up there with Seiklus and WADF as one of my favorite indie platformers.

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Alex: Yes, after dying a few times I noticed it started lagging, but turning the game off and then back on seems to fix it.

I've been turning the game on occasionally to help my friends who are complaining to me about certain levels. It was a nice surprise to see the title screen change after you beat the game, but I never would have turned the game back on after seeing both endings unless I had friends to help! :{

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I really like the concept of From Primordial Egg, and I really like watching how the creature evolves, but that game gets pretty difficult and frustrating pretty fast. Does anyone have any tips?

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flytape8490 December 30, 2008 7:59 PM

How am I supposed to get past level two in Eversion? There's that large gap just after the midpoint that is seemingly impossible to get over, and there is nary an eversion point in sight. Am I missing something?

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flytape: Pay close attention to the sky. It will change colors at eversion points. You may have to have the character stand still to find them.

Personally, I didn't have a problem finding the eversion points. But I like to explore on untimed games, particularly platformers.

As for a general opinion, even after knowing that Eversion was going to turn dark, now that I'm at world 6, I'm STILL too freaked out to try to finish it right now. Plus, I have given up trying to get all the gems in the first try. I can already see there will be much tears and pain involved with that one. This game is brilliant.

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Celidah:
It's not that hard to get all the gems, since you can go back to any level you want to pick up those you've missed. And even if you die before completing the level, any you've grabbed before dying count. I'd hate to see how many times I died on level 6 to get all the gems, but I did eventually snag them all.

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Oh dear. Eversion...

After eversing quite a lot, it started saying "stop" and "give up" instead of "ready"! I had to take a break when it said "behind you". A "slightly more creepy version"? I might be easily scared, but with all that... that... blood--it has to be blood!--this game doesn't get just slightly more creepy!
I am going to finish it, though, I am!

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Help! Eversion is of the devil!

I'm on world 4, eversion level 5.
I'm stuck around where tabsie was but i can get to the first block. However when i try to reach the second i get consistantly killed.

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Kaddy: I too died many, many times trying to climb up there. But it *is* possible to jump into that one-block space between the block and the enemy; you just need to keep trying (learning to keep arrow keys pressed for only a moment/maybe 1-3 frames is the key).

I really enjoyed Eversion, and I loved the true ending even though it was something I thought of as a possible ending while I was trying to beat the last world. However, I must agree that the precision required to enter/pass through one-block spaces is a weakness (especially on world 6, where I died a humongous number of times to get the last 5 gems). Still, I really want to see more games from the author!

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I recently played Eversion after hearing more about the nature of its scariness; I actually couldn't help but think that the "Princess" was not the crown-ed feminine-looking thing at the end, but that the main character had to rescue herself... Especially after collecting all the gems.

After getting all the gems for whatever reason, and becoming able to evert to the deepest place, she has to survive all the eversion layers attempting to re-assert themelves into their proper places. Or worse, she leaves them all shattered, so she and her prince can manifest their true forms, and head directly from the eighth layer into the first one. Either way, a happy ending for them, at least.

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To anyone having trouble getting the last 5 gems in Eversion level 6:

There is an eversion point in the bottom-right-most chamber in the maze at the end of the level. If you evert there, it will stop the red wall.

I didn't actually find this out until I'd already gotten them the hard way. :)

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No Bunny Home January 27, 2010 9:50 AM

I hope someone sees this comment, I know this is a very old thread.

I just found Eversion and I can NOT advance in level three!!! No matter what world I'm in I can NOT move forward, the blocks and small trees are barriers and I can't jump over that impossibly tall stack. Are there secret invisible steps or something?

Help, please!

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