Weekend Download №70


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Weekend Download

JohnBIf you ask me (trust me, you did... and if you didn't, you know you wanted to), the selection of games on this edition of Weekend Download are some of the most well-rounded and fulfilling titles ever to grace a single article. We've got a pixel-perfect 2D platformer, a 3D spy game, an old favorite RTS title re-imagined in open source, and the classic mahjong puzzle game. Can I get a "YAY!" along with a few high fives?!!

spelunky.gifSpelunky (Windows, 11MB, free) - A procedurally-generated 2D platformer created by Derek Yu, artist and one of the developers behind Aquaria. Take the role of a treasure hunter as you carve your way through caverns looking for loot. Use bombs to blast away obstacles, ropes to pull yourself to ceilings, and a few acrobatic-style moves to navigate dangerous ledges.

gravitybone.jpgGravity Bone (Windows, 24MB, free) - A short but nonetheless impressive 3D first person adventure game powered by the Quake 2 engine (though it doesn't require Quake 2 to run). Take on the role of a secret agent who must perform such dastardly deeds as taking pictures of exploding birds or sneaking into the furnace room to obtain a drink and deliver it to a man with red hair. Only about 20 minutes of gameplay, but the art style and overall presentation are too good to be missed!

widelands.gifWidelands (Mac/Windows/Linux, ~48MB, free) - An open-source realtime strategy game inspired by Settlers that's still under heavy development. You play the role of a regent of a small tribe who must manage and expand an ever-growing settlement. Produce resources, manage relationships with neighboring tribes, build an army and more. Includes a level editor and multiplayer mode where you can take on human or computer AI opponents.

ivorymahjongg.jpgIvory Mahjongg (Mac/Windows/Linux, 6MB, free) - A simple but surprisingly playable implementation of mahjongg. Choose from a few different tilesets and layouts, rotate the camera view using the [arrow] keys, and start clicking away.

37 Comments

Gravity bone is so awesome. I seriously want to see more games by the person who made it.

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Yay!

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Gravity Bone looks like a lot of fun. Too bad it crashes after about 10 seconds of gameplay.

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I really wanted to enjoy Gravity Bone, but is that possible if it keeps pausing right after it unpauses 3 seconds later?

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Just a quick note in favor of Spelunky, which has joined Transcendence as one of my favorite games (also: has anyone noticed that authors of procedurally-generated Roguelikes tend to keep their games in development infinitely? Transcendence is in version 0.99c). Quick enough (because hard enough) to be playable as a short break, but intricate enough not to be tiresome.

Also, does anybody know how to open the doors to the special challenges? I got one of the trophies (the top one) but the doors stay closed.

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SidA: to open the challenge doors, you have to get the big gold trophies. Bronze or silver won't work.

Spelunky is one of my new favorite games. I usually hate games that are really difficult but somehow this one really grabbed me.

Gravity Bone was interesting as well and looks gorgeous, but I gave up on it after it crashed on me several times.

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wow. spelunky is interesting but haaaaaard.

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Gravity Bone is one of the best games to be posted as of yet in a Weekend Download.
'Nuff Said.

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Gravity Bone was spectacular! I wish there were 20+ missions, it'd be one of my favorite games of all time.

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Dear JohnB of JayisGames,

I am in shock at the lack of bacon in this article. That is all.

Baconless and angry,
Kero.

P.S. Gravity Bone was pretty awesome, if a little short.

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Gravity Bone is awesome, but I'm stuck on

3 of the 5 birds. Where are the other two? Can I get up to the next level? Why won't the double doors open?

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CMarie55, try

jumping on the flag, then jumping around the pipes

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Akerberus January 3, 2009 11:07 PM

Whenever I try to play gravitybone it says "Couldn't load pics/colormap.pcx"
Help?

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Add me to the list of people unable to play Gravity Bone. Game crashes after 3-30 seconds of play time.

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The ending of gravity bone was a bit wierd IMO, but that game does have potential.

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Gravitybone is a truth and beauty bomb.

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efrasiyab January 4, 2009 6:29 AM

Gravity bone crashes and I even can't close the game so I restart windows. Very nice game, please help .

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Is there a way to de-select stuff in Spelunky? For example, if I select the bombs, can I put it away again without using if I decide not to use it? I haven't found one yet.

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Spelunky is my new favourite game. It deserves a biiig review, not this tiny blurb. Nuff said.

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Widelands has a lot of potential but is still definitely very early in the development. Hard to figure some things out, and very little documentation to help. I also was nonplussed that you had to actually EXPAND to explore places; there was no way to just explore and pre-plan your expansion.

So definitely a lot of potential but I think I'll check back in six months. :)

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Widelands doesn't load fast on a flash drive!

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Also, Gravity Bone for me dosen't really crash. Like I said, it pauses, so I must be between the able and not able to play GB lists.

It's the sorta able list!

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molkman: if you hit 'c' again you will put away the items.

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In Spelunky, what do you do with the damsel in distress? After I grab her, if I set (read: throw) her down, she just runs around everywhere. Maybe I just got fed up with her too quickly and didn't really explore how to help her.

Spelunky is an awesome game though!

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eureeka, you have to carry her to the cave exit to save her.

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Thanks molkman, I figured it out. I didn't consider that because it didn't make sense to me to carry her deeper into the cave. Still a great game! My only complaint is that it seems to be built around speed rather than exploration. I miss out on so much because of that darn ghost. It seems to come really fast sometimes, but I never stick around once the music starts to slow, so I don't know if it's killable or not (though I doubt it).

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Gravity Bone is fun but very easy (I played a LOT of Quake in my day) and there's another fun game for dl on the same site, Grottoking. Fun little 5 minute diversion.

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Am I the only person who could only see black squares instead of faces in Gravity Bone? I would love to see the beautiful environments of the screenshot!

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fuzzyface Author Profile Page January 5, 2009 7:58 AM

widelands... First I gratulate anybody making an OpenSource game! These are unfortunally still a rarity. I don't know why, maybe because artists and programmers are hard to get together, maybe because gamers in contrast to application users don't care about it. Who knows.

Second I loved the Settlers 1 when it came out for the what? 486 CPU or so. Part of the gaming concept was just to watch the gorgeous art, and lovely little animations of the little people, often doing funny stuff as well when they have some free time.

In that regard, I wonder how much multiplayer action really fits this style, as this one is just hazzling to destroy the other, its no longer building up a little civilisation and just watching your people that made the singleplayer series so rewarding.

And since the graphics are IMHO so important to the settlers concept, I don't see widelands excel here. No the ingame graphics are okay good enough for most stuff, but they are not exceptionally beautiful, the grass etc. somehow looks clunky, I don't know how. However the avatars in the campaign are just brutal, every time a message comes up, I think oh my god! Is this a painting? Well you need a while until you adapt to it, and no longer notice it. The story of the campaign 1 starts to be quite good, but is interupted too early (okay its early developmment). The story of campaign 2 is just horrible. Oh my god, there are other people on the island as well, better lets kill them! Hello? Is this normal? I know, I know you need a conflict to make a game interesting, but as simple and brutal like this? Come on...

To the streets, they were part of the settlers 1 concept, and in some point the official settlers series lost them, and I think they had a good reason to. Yes making a good street net is part of the game, but just dropping more flags doubles transportation speed is redicolous. I in contrast would make a new building the "carriers station" or so, that for example houses 5-10 carriers and has an action radius like most other building, where carriers will get and put stuff to, or toward the next carrier station, if the destination building is out of its reach, but the other carriers within.

The expanding into dark is also not nice as someone posted aboth me. When I remember correctly it was part of settlers 1 also. However there it was less a problem, since the game showed you where you needed to go to (another gate was it, or so). And also made very important ressources visible to you, like mountains...

What I personally never liked so much about the settlers series is that altough they have a complicated economy system you need to get running, in the end its all only about making weapons. I know its difficult to make a game concept about "winning" otherwise, but its still something I personally never liked that much.

Also there were some crashes on my system, but I guess sooner or alter they get fixed.

All in all widelands is still a laudable effort, but there is still quite something left to do until it might become a little gem out there.

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i finally played Gravity Bone and I didn't have any technical issues other than a thin black line near the lower left corner.
Fun game! But really short. 2 missions is a strange number. If you're going to have more than one, I feel like there at least needs to be 3. Still, awesome.

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Anonymous January 6, 2009 11:01 PM

In Spelunky, has anyone else managed to get to the black market...and if there is a way to know how to get there? I was blowing up tiles, and all of a sudden a door appeared in a tile I blew up. Next think I know I am at the "blackmarket" a level of nothing else but shops.

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JIGuest:

I have a feeling the Eye of Unjat (which looks like an eye) would help there, as that reveals stuff hidden in the rocks, such as gems.

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Cornelius Horn January 7, 2009 11:40 PM

I can't find the exit on level 2 of the Gravity Bone. There's an open vent but I can't jump into it, and there are double doors that don't open, and there's a second set of double doors that lead back to the furnace room which are a dead-end. What the heck? Please send help; pastry.

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Cornelius Horn: If you have a low frame rate your jump height may be reduced. I had the same problem reaching the vent, but was able to get past by lowering the resolution or using a faster PC (either worked).

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I cannot get anything that requires material to work, this includes charcoal burner, wood hardener, etc.

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i got to 2 of the shops if you whip the clerk he
will shoot you if you try to blow him up he will
yell "TERRORIST!" and then shoot you so you can
only buy stuff unless you find out a way to kill
him

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Use down and x to pick up the item and follow his instructions.

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