You Are Games:
Reviewers, Assemble!


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You Are Games

PsychotronicThank you for sending in your entries, everybody! We had a great turnout for this one. We received 27 reviews, most of them for Upgrade Complete (understandably). We enjoyed reading them, and it looks like you had a lot of fun writing them, so chances are we'll try this again some time, or something like it. Congratulations once again to the winners, and thanks to everyone for participating!

A brief word about how the winners were chosen. The authors' names were removed from each entry in order to ensure that the judging was based on the text and only the text. Reviews were listed by category, in the order they were received. A panel of 8 volunteer judges from the regular Jay is Games writing staff looked at the entries, and they were asked to name their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place favorites in each category. The reviews with the most 1st-place votes were declared the winners.

Because we received so many Upgrade Complete entries, we'd also like to share the unedited runner-up reviews with you:

[This contest is now closed.]

It's a writing competition this week on You Are Games. We have selected three cool browser games that for one reason or another, haven't been reviewed here yet. Your mission is simply to write a review about one of them. We will choose our favorite three reviews and feature them on Jay is Games next week. It's that simple.

Here are the three games:

  • Upgrade CompleteUpgrade Complete - A game that many of you have been clamoring for in the suggestion box. It's a vertical shooter that lets you earn money for upgrades. The difference is that everything can be upgraded, including the graphics, the sounds, and the user interface.
  • MinecraftMinecraft - This sandbox game, written in Java, lets you build and destroy a 3D environment in real time with other players or by yourself. It's still in Alpha, which means it's evolving all the time, and that's a special challenge for a reviewer. If you're up for something a little different, try it out.
  • LightsLights - This popular escape game from Neutral has been sitting in our list of top-rated games for weeks, but all it ever got was a short blurb I wrote before I'd even played it all the way through. I think we can all agree it deserves better. It can be hard to put a critical eye to such a beloved game, but the trick is not just to say that it's great, but why it's great.

Entry LinkIf you wish to enter: Please send your review to the address on the right with the subject line "Reviewers, Assemble!" Sign your entry with your JIG handle, or, if you don't have one, with the name you'd like the review published under.

The deadline for entries is Wednesday evening, the 15th of July, at midnight Eastern Standard Time. You can submit one review for each game, but not more than one per game. I'm not sure why you'd want to write several reviews for one game, but I'm trying to cover my bases. People do a lot of funny things.

Naturally, we'll be looking for reviews that fit into the general JIG style, but that's a pretty wide range of possibilities. The first part of the article tells the reader what to expect — what kind of game it is, how you play it, what the goal is, where it fits into today's gaming landscape. The second part is the "Analysis" section, where you describe the strengths and weaknesses of the game, and get a little deeper into the reasons why somebody would want to play it. Basically, you start off answering the who, what, and where; and then explain the why and how.

Otherwise, we're looking for personality, clear writing, substance, and an understanding of the video game medium. There is no restriction on length. Just keep in mind that it's better to use a few words to say a lot than it is to use many words to say a little. "But Mr. Psychotronic of the Long-Windedness," I hear you inquire, "isn't you telling us that a bit like a hippopotamus telling a pig to lose weight?" To which I reply, "GRONK".

Don't worry about putting HTML code in there; the text is the important thing, and we'll take care of the formatting. But if you do want to throw in some pertinent links, I'm certainly not going to stop you.

More important than anything else, have fun with this! See you all next week!

Extra-special thanks to Griff for suggesting this contest in the Incredibots 2 Mini-Brawl comments.

37 Comments

Upgrade complete is one of my alltime favourites - even if I couldn't really explain why :)

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Meeeeeeeeeeeeee July 9, 2009 3:34 AM

Just so you know, it's one of mine, too. How do you change the angles of the guns?

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Whats a jig handle?

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TEEDUB0210 Author Profile Page July 9, 2009 6:04 AM

OMG, I just spent the last 5 hours playing Minecraft.....

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Upgrade complete is awesome.

It's a pity you can't rate games if they're part of a larger post, because I would've rated it 5 stars. :-)

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@Calvin:
It's the username you use on this site to log in, if you have one. Judging from the little JIG image by your name, I'd say it's "Calvin".

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Meeeeeeeeeeeee,

I never knew you can do that...

Can you? I only could build the ship, place the components and then steer left/right...

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Upgrade Complete is great if you don't take it seriously, and don't take it as a "game", per se. If you expect a nice shooter, you'll be disappointed. The challenge is quite close to nil. However using (and making extensive fun of) the upgrade system is hilarious.

Too bad there's a bug that allows you to see the "end" of the game way before you actually reach it. I'm not sure how I got it, but I guess it has something to do with my a bit unorthodox upgrade chain that somehow pushed the "completeness" bar above 100% before it should.

P.S. The game misses the downgrade button. Graphics Level 2 is far superior to Level 3 and especially the epilepsy-inducing Level 4. I advise you to wait for the last level before upgrading it to the max.

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I actually beat it with only the weaponry upgrades. All the gameplay upgrades came only after I beat level 20 - I simply forgot to do those during the game. So I only know the worst and best settings upgrades :D

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Anonymous July 9, 2009 9:54 AM

lava+water=stone

MINECRAFT ROCKZ!!!

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Michael July 9, 2009 11:11 AM

When I started Upgrade Complete I accidentally clicked twice when buying a coin sucker (magnetometer) - after placing the second one I couldn't go back and retrieve the first one (trying to drag it would result in me buying yet another magnetometer), and when I played levels it was recognized as part of my ship. It would float to the right side, way removed from the rest of my ship, and suck coins towards it. The system should be modified so that you can't buy another item unless you've placed the first within the red box.

After I got level 4 graphics, I stopped playing - it wasn't worth squinting through the white clouds that blanketed the stage.

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Anonymous July 9, 2009 11:37 AM

Minecraft looks amazingly fun, but it lags my computer to bursting point :(

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@baba44713 But the music gets better the more your graphics improve!

I definitely think Upgrade Complete is an interesting commentary on shoot-em-up games. But perhaps I might write a review on it to explain more ;)

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bookworm Author Profile Page July 9, 2009 11:57 AM

Interesting concept :)
But how do you get the super ship achievement?

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bookworm Author Profile Page July 9, 2009 12:00 PM

Oh...never mind. Finished game with 110%!
One of my favorite games, definetely...

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@bookworm:

Your ship can contain (at most) 12 items. Upgrade them all to the fullest, and you'll get the "Super Ship".

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Confused about no Lights review.

I knew I'd played this one already.

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xadrian: We consider that just a "blurb". We promised a review, but never followed-up with one. But we feel it deserves a proper review.

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I'm starting to have the feeling that Upgrade Complete would have had a definite chance at JIG's upgrade theme competition last year :)

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V2Blast Author Profile Page July 9, 2009 7:22 PM

Upgrade Complete is fun, but, like a previous poster, I managed to unlock the "Mystery" in the Shop before completing everything.

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V2Blast Author Profile Page July 9, 2009 7:36 PM

As for Minecraft, it refused to let me move my mouse (even after pressing Escape, as it told me to do), so I had to quit my browser. :/

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This review contest is a great idea, mainly considering the kinds of people who post and comment on this site. It's like a breakout opportunity for people who've had to content themselves with overdone walkthroughs. *er-hrm*

I expected the mystery upgrade of Upgrade Complete to be a representation of the game's designer, asking for that $1000 back, plus more usury than you could afford at that time. Instead, since I did have fun blanketing stages with missiles and seeing what comes next, it just felt like it was insulting me for playing it. I assume any review that throws around words like "propoganda" and "communism", it wouldn't even deserve a look.

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This is going to be a fun week... hope we have a lot of contestants this week!

Just finished Upgrade Complete. Very enjoyable 30 minutes of my life. Granted, I was playing with Atari art for all 20 waves, but I actually preferred that than the other graphical updates - either my computer is not up to date (and it really is old) or we have the old graphics at the cost of speed idea. Simplicity is best, sometimes.

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Heatwizard Author Profile Page July 10, 2009 2:08 AM

*tiny flag*
Lights is the first escape game I've beaten without a walkthrough. I'm mildly pleased with myself.

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Anzhela Author Profile Page July 10, 2009 2:09 AM

Aww. I really wanted to play Minecraft, but I keep getting an error that won't allow it to load. Something about a pixel format not being accelerated. I wish I was more knowledgeable about these things.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to see the winning reviews.

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@anonymous: Minecraft lag

Press "f" to increase speed (it shortens the viewing distance so it has less to display). It cycles after you click it 4 times.

My frame rates went: 3-->3-->6-->20

Also when you're underground (there are caverns, and also seams of gold, coal etc), the framerate is faster because the rocks reduce the viewing distance.

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Apparently this mine craft is going to be a clone of this 'infiniminer' game. I couldn't make it work, though.

But, so far, mine craft is really fun :)

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animage Author Profile Page July 10, 2009 9:33 PM

There is a sorta big flaw with Upgrade Complete if you select a piece while building the ship and press play the piece will be placed above the play button and cannot be move. The next thing is that you can't seem to clear the game data from deleting the cookies. Anyone know on solving theses flaws?

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Working on my review as I type this, I got a real kick out of "Upgrade Complete". I thought up a really.. unorthodox way of "presenting" my review.

We'll see how this weekend goes, hopefully I can finish it up by Monday or so.

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@ Animage: Can't clear game data from deleting cookies.

Upgrade Complete uses a flash cookie (actually, I notice that a lot more Flash games are using flash cookies lately), and unfortunately, most browsers only deletes browser cookies (which, by the way, are stored somewhere entirely different from where flash cookies are generally stored).

That being said, you can find ways of deleting it, now that you know what it is. If you like getting your hands dirty, try looking in "..."\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects\R5ZR2RGS\cache.armorgames.com\files\games\upgrade-complete-3955.swf\Johngame5.sol (where "..." is usually your personal documents folder).

Otherwise, you can find software to do that, or if you don't want to install software, enjoy going to "http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager03.html" and play around with the storage settings.

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Minecraft freezes my browser for some reason... and I'm using Firefox for heaven's sake!

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animage Author Profile Page July 13, 2009 7:16 PM

Thanks for the help Anon that fixed my issue.

[Peelz]
minecraft processes quite an amount of data to run properly so either
1. only have the minecraft window open
2. press the [F] key to lower your in-game vision that will reduce the amount of data needed to process to run minecraft

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deathfire234 Author Profile Page July 13, 2009 8:06 PM

I found an Infinite Money glitch in Upgrade Complete.

Buy a weapon and drag it off screen (out of the game window) then release the mouse and go back into the game, it will still be following your mouse. Click on the Sell button with the object in hand, and it will disappear and your money will increase by however much money it sells for, but you are able to click the button once more and profit.

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@ Animage: No prob.

@ The Reviewing team: I just realized that I forgot to sign my review when I sent it... Any idea what I should do?

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Sava2004 Author Profile Page July 16, 2009 12:05 AM

If there are prizes for handing it in the latest i think i won them. 11:59. i had to rush and hand in a unfinished work of art, my analasis ended with..../,,/,. I hope the judges will see my talent in the first half of my minecraft review.

Oh. and i forgot to sign it too.
just look for the email from Savabogdanets

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Upgrade Complete is the bestestestest game ever. /exaggeration
I have the bestestestest way to make a ship, while it is expensive...

Get an Agility Panel, if you want. Also, a Magnet, or 2 if you want. Plus, a Missile Launcher if you choose. Then, divide the remaining number of allowed parts by 2 & put that many guns on each side of the main module. The center of the ship should consist of the non-guns, all stacked. Then, 2 long wings of guns extending out to the sides. Oh, & of course, upgrade everything to the max. NOW BLAST THE CRAP OUT OF THE ENEMY!!

there. BYE :P

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