Link Dump Friday
Love may be in the air on Sunday, but right now it's Friday, and the only thing in the air around here is a piping hot fresh batch of casual gameplay just for you, my favourite reader. Yes, you! After all the times we've shared, it's the least I can do. Remember the time when we played that physics puzzle together? Oh, what fun! And then when we point-and-clicked that stuff that one time in that one place? So awesome. And then when we pinky-swore that we would always be there for each other, and you would do anything for me, even if it involved constructing an elaborate alibi for me if I showed up with a shovel in the middle of the night, even though that part of my life is totally over with now? Speaking of, if anybody calls, I was with you last night. No, no, don't worry about it; just play some puzzles and platformers.
- Skywire VIP - Do you enjoy pop culture, noble reader? How about squinting at tiny pixel representations thereof? Nitrome's latest offering is a bit different than their typical fare, requiring you to identify the little minimalist pictures of people or characters from games and other media. The inclusion of several obscure sources, as well as some tricky naming conventions, make this one harder than it has to be. Still, it's an interesting concept and probably best played with a buddy so you can mine each other's nerd knowledge. Friendship is a beautiful thing.
- Beulah and the Hundred Birds - This Knytt-like itty-bitty exploration title about a girl out to gather a flock of 100 birds is sweet and simple. Unfortunately, the charm is broken up by long, uninteresting underground sequences that simply involve jumping from platform to platform, but flying through the air with your numerous birds in tow is about as cute as it gets. This game was also made for the Experimental Gameplay Project's 100 Things competition.
- Finding Fairytales: Castle Party - More mini-game than full experience, this game sees you hunting down certain characters within a time limit. It's a simple concept, but the sheer amount of space and activity on the screen can be a bit overwhelming. If most children's programming these days makes you want to set the television on fire and then throw it out a window, Castle Party's aggressively cute and mobile presentation might not be for you. If, on the other hand, you think the bouncy, hamster-store-on-pixie-stix level of activity is peachy keen, then feel free to hone your spotting skills.
- Romance Maker - Ah, young love. Why, I remember when my first boyfriend threw an egg into a river and built a magic TV out of thin air. It was then that I knew I had to get far, far away from that weirdo. Adorable but baffling, this Grow-styled game has you placing objects on the screen to tell a very pink little story. The trial-and-error twins make an appearance here, but it's all so cute I can forgive it.
- Invisible Runner - I tried to submit an invisible review once, but it just got me "The Look" from Jay, so instead I'll put an invisible runner in this link dump. Collect orbs to keep yourself visible and navigate the terrain. It's an interesting concept, but clunky controls make this one feel stiffer than a platformer of its ilk should. To play this one in real life, arrange your house like an obstacle course at night and have a friend flick the lights on and off at odd intervals as you run around. Bring some shin guards.
- I Hate This Game - A bonus submission by reader Chiktionary, so direct your resentment accordingly after you've spent a while on this puzzler. How difficult is it to open a door? That simple question, and the simple presentation, will mock you relentlessly as you try every trick in the book to reach the final door. What lies beyond? Perhaps a pasture full of robot unicorns that never need cleaning? An everlasting Reese's Peanut Butter Cup? Well, gosh, when a game's got the word "hate" right there in the title, it must be a fulfilling experience. ... right?