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Weekend Download №98


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Weekend Download

JohnBAah, I love the smell of flat, shapeless pixels in the morning! And four-color screenshots in the afternoon. And any combination of the above at any time of the day.

bombiezombie.gifBombie Zombie (Windows, 2.8MB, free) - Take some green zombies, then put in a little guy who can jump, dive, and drop landmines. The result? Bombie Zombie, a strangely captivating retro-style arcade game from Codemonkey. Tap [z] to jump and [x] to set landmines, the goal being to take out as many of the annoying buggers as you can with each blast. Falling power-ups give you a boost. If you can manage to clear a path to them, that is. Way too much fun!

boom.gifBOOM (Windows, 2.4MB, free) - The old-school first person shooter demakes continue! A tradition made popular by the likes of QQUAK and 8-bit Killer, BOOM comes along and strips away even more technology, namely... color! Run around the Game Boy-style levels shooting foes with the [z] key and strafing with [x]. It works surprisingly well once you get used to the lack of mouse support.

brokenbrothers.jpgBroken Brothers (Windows, 11.8MB, free) - A unique type of real-time strategy game created by Michael Todd for the Experimental Gameplay Project. The tagline "Gather, Survive, Expand, Unlock" serves this minimalist game quite well, as it's stripped of most elements that make RTS games inaccessible to casual players. At the start you meet Malakai, a strange sort of being who has lost his brothers. In order to build units you need to harvest Hope that springs from wells along the side of the land. As your units gather Hope, you can build stronger fighters to defend the bug onslaught and eventually head out to save his friends. Each brother you find gives you new units to build, but be careful, as the enemy bugs get those units as well!

Note: All games have been confirmed to run under Windows Vista and are virus-free. Mac users should try Boot Camp, Parallels, or CrossOver Games to play Windows titles, Linux users can use Wine. If you know of a great game we should feature, use the Submit link above to send it in!

17 Comments

Codemonkey's famous! XD

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Evilbottom August 22, 2009 5:58 PM

Is anyone else having trouble with Broken Brothers? I can't get past the first wave! I make a whole bunch of tanks and then the bugs come and just destroy them all, and then kill my harvesters and then I lose. No matter what I do I can't seem to kill the bugs!

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I passed that one by lining up the tanks roughly in line with the first hope fountain.. As soon as I had three harvesters I bought 4 tanks then bought another harvester and then just stocked up on hope.

I died after the second wave once you find the first brother. :(

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I just built tanks once i had three harvesters. After i had enough to defend my self i built one more harvester and then just finished the whole game with tanks. Everytime I found a brother it made the game too hard to continue because the enemy upgrades as well so i just finished it with the tanks.

the ending kinda sucks.

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As far as broken brothers goes...

I just played through but instead of getting the bothers i'd leave one tank by each, and then once i cleared all the bugs, i collected all of the brothers at the same time. ;D. Build 6 harvesters before you build a single tank, then just build 14 tanks and make your way through the level.

Sneaky sneaky.

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Anyone else have trouble running broken brothers?

Seems to just take an enormous amount of effort for my computer to run it. Running on 7800gtx graphics!

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ManoftheSea August 23, 2009 1:02 PM

Re: Broken Brothers

It seems that bombers are pretty useless. They're inaccurate and don't kill the weakest bug in a single hit. Your anti-aircraft don't have the range to cover a bomber in front of your tanks. So it seems that the first brother pickup makes the game too difficult.

On the other hand, the second brother makes a mothership and mobile turrets available. If you can replace all your tanks with turrets, you can hold the bugs at bay again.

It really doesn't pay to give any thought to air.

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Broken Brothers looks and sounds amazing and is a really interesting take on the TD genre. However I found it too difficult (and I didn't find the controls very intuitive), and it's annoying when a 'good looking' game is ruined by impossibly difficult gameplay - for me there is plenty of mileage for it to seduce me with its aesthetics and storyline before hammering me with impossible levels...

Very promising game though from an interesting developer. Thanks for sharing JIG!!

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I found the tanks in Broken Brothers to be way too inaccurate. At times just a single bug was able to kill a tank, even though I had a group of four. Next time, I built 6 harvesters, saved up hope, then pumped out an army of like 8 tanks... and again, after a few small waves all of them were gone.

Aesthetically pleasing, but gameplay-wise way too unbalanced - or perhaps there's something wrong with the hit-detection. Whatever it is, it makes the game unplayable. Too bad... it looked really promising.

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Broken brothers:

I find it highly funny:
This game wants to leave out a lot of things which are too much for casual gamers, but on the other hand, micromanagement is STRONG. and by strong, I mean strong as nothing else.

It's true. Just grab like 6 tanks and just keep your distance by either stopping if a small group of enemies approaches you or moving backwards if a large group of enemies approaches you. Once there are no bugs ahead (or just like 1 or 2), advance. Repeat this without grabbing any brothers and you win.

Furthermore, reading the readme and such, it feels like the 'bare minimum' approach is more some 'ah, I don't want to spend too much time optimizing my targeting AI, let's... let's call it bare minimum and casual user friendly and make them run into enemies to do stuff', because.. the tanks are ranged and work?
This also continues through some pretty elementary UI elements which are not exactly complicated, IMO. Things like groups. Those tanks are group 1, those are group 2. Oh, and I want my newly spawned tanks to move there. Such little things. That's nowhere near casual-user unfriendly IMO.

Sort of sad,
Tetha

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@Pieter:
well, the tanks don't lead their shots, so if a bug moves fast sideways to their shot, the tanks usually miss. For maximum performance, position the tanks so the bugs run into the tanks.

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@Tetha: I noticed, so I put them at my end of the first narrow path. It made little difference though: I lost my first 4 tanks after the first 7 or 8 bugs. That's a guaranteed loss after 5 minutes.

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Ok, I have beaten Broken Brothers twice now.

There is one tricky anti-tactic out there, and one boring other tactic. :)

Initially, they are the same:
The enemy will attack once you have 4 tanks. Thus, it makes sense to delay building tanks until your economy works. However, too many harvesters will hit hard with the low unit-limit. However, when I had 6 harvesters, I got more Hope than I could burn, so I'd advise building 4-6 harvesters intially. Once you have those, build tanks, many of them. Place the tanks like 2-3 tank-lengths away from the narrow exit of the island with your hope fountain. Keep calm and spamming tanks, even if some tanks die, until you have around 8 tanks placed there. Given this, you now should have around 6-8 units left for a certain task force.

Now, max out your unit limit with tanks and begin to march outward. With those tanks, you need to be a little bit careful, because they are unable to aim :) Thus, micromanage them (aka: click around like crazy into the tanks) into a tiny bunch of tanks, so all bugs approaching the tanks run into a hail of bullets and just die. If there are too many bugs running against your tanks to kill them all, have your tanks move backwards, they will continue to shoot the bugs.

Given this, defeat the two buglairs close to the first brothers (from the hope island, first turn left), but don't activate the brother yet. After this, turn around and continue pushing until you also cleared out the island with the second brother. You might loose a tank-group in the process, but this doesn't really matter, just rebuild them.

Now the two strategies begin do diverge:

The anti-tactic.

As you might have noticed, 6-8 tanks are very, very powerful if you keep your distance and angles properly. In fact, they are powerful enough to rip apart bugs no matter what. Thus, just keep building task forces of 6-8 tanks and carefully push into the bugs land. In the last island, this grows a bit tricky, because bugs approach you from three sides, so a little less care must be used in the initial attack(s), but after this, you can just continue to push as described above, until all lairs are dead. Once all lairs are defeated, collect the three brothers and win.

On the other hand, there is the technology-tactic.

Basically, the first brother you touch gives you and the bugs Tier2 and the second brother you touch gives you and the bugs Tier3.

Tier2 means: Flying bugs and bigger bugs for the bugs and anti-air and bombers for you. Don't mind the flying bugs, they just stay on defense and will just kill your bombers in case you send them over there. On the other hand, the bigger bugs are a pretty nasty thing, because they are a touch nut to crack for your tanks (and bombers are inaccurate as if they are really, really drunk).

Tier3 means: Gigantic, slow bugs and mobile turrets and a mothership for you. The gigantic slow bugs can take quite some punishment and are quite tough to kill with tanks, but you won't need tanks with turrets :)
The mobile turret is basically a rock-slow rock-hard machine gun which is capable of ripping apart bugs in groups like nothing else.
The Mothership is basically a mobile spawn-point, so if you build something and have a mothership, whatever you built will spawn here. Very, very helpful in the following.

The plan is now very simple:
- grab both brothers in rapid succession with two tanks
- build a mothership.
- spam turrets until you have used around 14 of your population
- build 2 anti-air-units
- build bombers until maxed out.

Now, you just advance with those turrets by pushing the bugs back by just moving forward or stopping if a large bunch of bugs approaches. If a turret dies, replace him from the mothership. Once there is a bunch of lairs ahead, position your AA-gun close to the turrets so it can clear out the air above the lair from flying bugs. Once the flying bombs are dead, send in 4 bombers to take out the lair. Repeat until everything is dead and grab the last brother.

However, the ending isn't really worth investing the time, imo.

He just says something like 'you found my brothers and gave me hope. You walk away'. Woho T_T

anyway,
Hope to help,
Tetha :)

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yeah i saw that but I don't really see point of the whole 7 day thing as it just seems to result in games that aren't quite as good as they could've been... but i suppose an flawed but interesting experiment is better than a good but conventional game. I hope the developers will have the opportunity to refine these ideas in a future game with a less restrictive development schedule :)

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