Link Dump Friday №114


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Link Dump Fridays

Dora"Where's John?" Well, I … I certainly didn't tell him he could only hang out with my gang if he spent the night alone in Old Widow Agabee's house at the end of Gypsy Graveyard Avenue, if that's what you're implying! And even if I had, just because nobody's heard anything from him since other than a single mournful wail is no cause for alarm! No, it's totally cool! I got this! Here, have some games while I go off and do something that most certainly does not involve bartering with an unspeakable evil for John's release!

  • Survival LabSurvival Lab - Everyone loves science, but the closest we usually get to it is a lame baking soda volcano we slapped together in third grade the morning of the Science Fair because we'd spent the last four weeks playing SNES and eating Pop Rocks. Survival Lab is a chance for you to make up for all that, in one itty-bitty pixel package. Hop, run, dodge, and upgrade your way with the [WASD] keys through 26 levels of dubious scientific merit. The cannons, buzz-saws, mines and more would put a damper on anyone's day, but the job does come with a slick orange jumpsuit and free sympathy bouqet for your next-of-kin. Aw, c'mon. Do it for science!
  • NecropolisNecropolis - You have ladies, and you have adventurers, but not every lady is a lady adventurer. I can't disable ancient traps, and the last time I tried to leap over a pit of spikes I had a heck of a time trying to explain it to the ER doctor. Ms Lillian Trevithick is made of stronger stuff than I. Maybe it's the Sundress of +2 Dodge, but she isn't afraid to descend into dusty tombs littered with deathtraps in search of ancient treasure, and if you're handy with the [WASD] keys, you can give her a hand. She may not have a franchise like Lara Croft, but she does have Gregory Weir in her corner, which should count for something.
  • Savior Tower DefenseSavior Tower Defense - You there! Have you ever been caught on video pretending to be Harry Potter and are now the highest rated thing on You Tube since Lightsaber Kid? Lucky for you, the tower defense genre has realised you're a sorely overlooked market! Use your mouse to scribe arcane symbols on the battlefield to conjure up spells and beasts to keep the enemy from breaching your defenses. But that's not all! … what? That is all? … oh. Okay.
  • Red MoonRed Moon - If this game seems familiar, it might be because you've so much as glanced at Armed With Wings or its sequel. Fortunately, this time through your hero knows how to jump without behaving like her body is made of popsicle sticks, and the same gorgeous animation is back with a vengeance. Unfortunately, the combat seems to have suffered for it. I blame wizards, but then, I blame wizards for everything. I just hate them so much.
  • Perfect Balance: PlaygroundPerfect Balance: Playground - I don't know about you, but when I was a lass about yea *holds hand up to knee-high on a grasshopper* what I really enjoyed most was stacking things on other things. And if those things then had to remain balanced according to the laws of physics? Oh man! Kids love that stuff! Perfect Balance: Playground is easy and charming puzzle-stackin'-non-action for all ages. I especially liked getting cheered upon every completion. Yaaaay!

28 Comments

thehoodie May 15, 2009 12:09 AM

Your link for Perfect Balance is broken. Just sayin.

[Edit: Thanks. Fixed. :) -Jay]

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Perfect balance seems a bit fussy about stillness -- if the last piece you place needs a moment to settle, it gives you the "unstable" message and doesn't allow you to advance even after your piece settles and all is still.

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Y'know, at first I didn't really feel like I was going to enjoy Savior Tower Defense. Playing through the first level, it felt kind of clumsy and at times the game thought I was drawing one symbol when I was clearly drawing (or attempting to draw) another. But the next thing I know, I'm being knighted "Savior of the Realm" and playing through the third level!

A warning, though: Laptop users will enjoy this game best if they have a mouse to attach via USB. I played this on the laptop I own and couldn't imagine how much clumsier the first level would've felt using solely the touchpad.

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Huh. So I just beat Perfect Balance. The game is really imperfectly unbalanced.

I think the only level that were even remotely challenging was 39, which really required some unorthodox order and jamming pieces between others. All the other levels, last one in cluded didn't require any thought at all. I often found myself just easily making some sort of 'net' and then just quickly haphazardly dropping everything on top of the block net without giving it a second thought and still winning. I admit there were a few levels where you would have to drop one and then wedge another one into a gap before both fell into the abyss, but again, this was not a common technique. More often than not, I just sighed and finished the level instantaneously.

Not to mention I JUST REALIZED that you can rotate the pieces after I already beat the game without it. Wow. That mechanic wasn't even necessary to beat it.

I do recognize that this game seems to be geared for a younger audience, though, with its 4+ age rating, so perhaps I'm being overly harsh with my claims of non-difficulty.

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I just played Necropolis. Enjoyable! Not the best graphics, but still. It's like a dungeoncrawl, but without all that monsterfighting and spellcasting and what have you.

Ended with
+11 Disable
+7 Detect
+10 Dodge
+2 Health
2 Tonics, 51 Tools, 5485 Gold.

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"Perfect Balance" wins the "most boring game of the century" award, hands down. I think it even put people in the next building to sleep while I played it.

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Survival lab is terrific. I hadn't expected

The boss fight

in the end. It was cool.

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Anonymous May 15, 2009 5:59 AM

Got to level 20 in Necropolis. Would play again!

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Well, I really liked Perfect Balance! I'm rubbish at balancing games usually, and feel good about finally being able to finish one, even if it is designed for seven year olds :)

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qoalabear Author Profile Page May 15, 2009 6:51 AM

Necropolis:

FINAL STATS:

------------
Equipment:
Head: Lightweight Monocle (Disable +2, Detect +1)
Body: Tailored Shift of Quality (Dodge +8)
Hands: Deft Gauntlets of Distinction (Disable +6, Health +5)
Feet: Patent Leather Boots of Science! (Dodge +6, Detect +3)

Inventory:
Patented Health Tonics: 9
Disposable Tools: 23

Gold Collected:
5238

Level Reached: 25
--------------------

With 15 dodge, it was safer to just run through traps than try to disable them (which had a higher chance to fail painfully with my relatively low disable)

Survival Lab was hilariously fun

I especially loved how

Rockets fall to the ground after they run out of fuel. But they can still explode. XP

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Am I just thick, or is it impossible to disable a trap if you can't walk towards it?

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Gobsmacked May 15, 2009 11:21 AM

Hmmm. Since the items and consumables in Necropolis seem to be random, I'm pretty sure I'm boned.

I played Levels 1-4, 3 separate times... and only ONCE did I find more tools. I have yet to find any potions AT ALL. Just worthless (well, in terms of keeping you alive) gold. Three times I found levels with exactly ZERO small chests (and those usually had traps in front of over half the doors, too, guaranteeing you end up empty on tools AND health).

That pretty much makes it unplayable, and by the time you get to Level 4 you're seeing 100% invisible traps on virtually every single "seemingly-empty" square, especially if you haven't been given an opportunity to improve your stats (the only item I've seen is the Work Gloves, which keep showing up over and over again in every Big Chest, and don't really help, much).

Either I'm fantastically unlucky, or the randomizer needs some work.

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It's too bad that the Necropolis ending is just a stat screen. Still, kind of fun running around tempting fate with +12 Dodge and +3 Detect.

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And after three tries: x.o

FINAL STATS:

Equipment:
Head: Lightweight Glasses of Excelsior! (Disable +6, Detect +5)
Body: Sturdy Evening Gown of Distinction (Health +6)
Hands: Heavy Forceps of Class (Disable +5, Health +6)
Feet: High Heeled Loafers of Science! (Dodge +4)

Inventory:
Patented Health Tonics: 0
Disposable Tools: 44

Gold Collected:
5267

Level Reached: 25

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drakono Author Profile Page May 15, 2009 1:59 PM

Savior Tower Defense was fun, even if the grid was a little confusing. Though, by the end, I was only building ice and earth guardians.

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PucKviruS Author Profile Page May 15, 2009 2:13 PM

Necropolis:

Second attempt

FINAL STATS:

Equipment:
Head: Shiny Derby of Quality (Disable +4, Detect +6)
Body: Tailored Evening Gown of Distinction (Dodge +6, Health +4)
Hands: Deft Tweezers of Class (Disable +7)
Feet: Steel-toed Moccasins of Science! (Dodge +7, Detect +6)

Inventory:
Patented Health Tonics: 8
Disposable Tools: 81

Gold Collected:
5352

Level Reached: 25

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Anonymous May 15, 2009 2:30 PM

You have won! (Necropolis)

Final Stats:
Equipment:
Head: Lightweight Glasses of Excelsior! (Disable +6, Detect +5)
Body: Shift of Quality (Dodge +5)
Hands: Thick Tweezers of Science! (Disable +5, Health +6)
Feet: Worn-in Slippers of Distinction (Dodge +5, Detect +5)

Potions: 6, Tools: 52, Gold: 4238

*looks at other people's stats* Um, yay me? I got most of the junk before lvl 15 and only gotten minor upgrades afterwards.

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Single run through and I finished Necropolis with...

Equipment:
Head: Pleasant Derby (Disable +1, Detect +2)
Body: Tailored Pantsuit of Distinction (Dodge +6, Health +5)
Hands: Heavy Gardening Gloves of Distinction (Disable +4, Health +6)
Feet: Patent Leather Pumps of Class (Dodge +4, Detect +2)

Inventory:
Patented Health Tonics: 6
Disposable Tools: 67

Gold Collected:
5035

I was actually getting to a point where I was purposely dumping gear that I just didn't need because of how much of a drop in stats I'd receive. The only thing worse about the gear I was seeing was the frequency of "something something of Excelsior!" I was seeing, which only made me want to punch Stan Lee in the nose.

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Argh, Red Moon has great music and I love the visuals, but there's one level that's really frustrating me....after the halfway point, where the exit is blocked by a wall you have to go under then jump off another wall...I think.

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Necropolis! Of the good:

No inventory to worry about! Huzzah!


Of the bad:

I can't rotate to face the trap? Ow.

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Oh yes, also re: Necropolis, please Mr. Developer

Put in a Y/N prompt before going down the stairs. I closed out too many levels too early by tripping on them.

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The trap disarm mechanism in Necropolis is pretty much useless. First of all, given identical skills, Disarm and Dodge have the same rate of success... meaning if your Dodge is higher than your Disarm, you're better not tinkering around with any trap. Also, Disarm needs the tools, which are supposedly a limited resource, AND you can't disarm a few traps because they are behind doors and corners and you can't face them to disarm them without running into their "line of fire".

Aside from that, nice little game. Beat it on my first run.

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BTW:
FINAL STATS:

Equipment:
Head: Goggles of Excelsior! (Detect +6)
Body: Clumsy Shift of Science! (Dodge +5)
Hands: Heavy Gauntlets of Quality (Health +8)
Feet: Thin-soled Boots of Science! (Dodge +6, Detect +6)

Inventory:
Patented Health Tonics: 3
Disposable Tools: 51

Gold Collected:
5323

Level Reached: 25

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Anonymous May 15, 2009 5:58 PM

One complaint about Necropolis. Sometimes the fire horns are masked by a statue over them. You don't know they're there until you get blasted be them. I don't know if it's intentional or a glitch.

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Necropolis. Awesome. Some tips:

The key to this game is to max your detect. "Hidden" traps start fading into view with a high detect.

Dodging (requiring health potions as a failsafe) or disarming (requiring tools) is pretty much a matter of being miserly and using whatever technique you have the tools for at the moment.

Take your time and puzzle out the best route to avoid the fire horns - sometimes it's worth disarming/springing a trap in a different direction to have enough room to approach the other traps safely.

You can safely turn to face a fire horn if you are standing beside it, as they only trigger when you walk in front.

Don't go downstairs until you've hit every chest, because you need potions and tools.

Water-filled rooms are awesome since there's no traps.

And here's the best hint:

Pressing "Z" doesn't use up the tool, so get used to pumping the key as you take each step to disarm the ones you can't see in front of you.

FINAL STATS:

Equipment:
Head: Comfortable Derby of Science! (Disable +8)
Body: Threadbare Sarong of Science! (Dodge +6, Health +3)
Hands: Rubber Gloves of Quality (Disable +5)
Feet: Sensible Slippers of Quality (Detect +8)

Inventory:
Patented Health Tonics: 0
Disposable Tools: 24

Gold Collected:
5357

Level Reached: 25

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qoalabear Author Profile Page May 15, 2009 7:44 PM

@Guest

On lower floors, traps are hidden in base tiles.
For the floor traps,

these appear in otherwise blank tiles.

For the fire horns,

since you shouldn't be able to walk through them (even if you don't detect them), they are hidden in columns/statues.

Note that spamming z on every tile won't necessarily help here, since if you can't see it, you have a 1/4 chance of approaching the business end.

As you raise your detect with better equips, they're transparency will decrease, making the trap more visible (the lower you go, the higher your detect will need to be). I'd suggest looking carefully for the slightest hint that there is a transparent trap overlayed on any such tile.

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Guys...

Perfect Balance: Playground is a joke game.

It was made in response to complaints about how hard the other Perfect Balance games were.

It's meant to be boring and easy.

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