Link Dump Friday №152


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Link Dump Fridays

DoraLove 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 VIPSkywire 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 BirdsBeulah 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 PartyFinding 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 MakerRomance 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 RunnerInvisible 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 GameI 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?

62 Comments

being a really big Knytt/Knytt Stories fan Beulah and the 100 birds was right up my alley! i actually enjoyed the underground part... it provided just enough of a challenge for a short and sweet game like that... the birds were just beautiful and the ending was WONDERFUL :) i enjoyed it very much! i guess my only problem with the game was Beulah's movement... her sort of momentum driven walk/run... but if you played the game i suppose it is very useful in the lower parts... jumping over wide gaps and what not... anywho... good game! :)

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OrigamiMarie Author Profile Page February 12, 2010 1:19 AM

I liked the 100 Birds. The second time through, I got all 100. And I like to think that

I was picking up birds for other people to ride in the game :) .

I agree the jumping movement, especially the landing friction, was a bit odd. But I could make it work, and I'm definitely not a star platformer.

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I Hate This Game walkthrough:

In most cases this will open the door and you then have to click on the white exit to progress.

1. Drag door to the left, release button on the white rectangle.
2. Repeatedly click on the lock until it breaks.
3. Click on the thin white strip.
4. Ring bell slowly 5 times (let sound finish before next click).
5. Click the invisible panel inside the right edge just above the line for the floor.
6. Click on barely visible panel in the same position as 5. Drag key to door.
7. Click to open the door. Wait for exit to go white or you will be sent back to level 1.
8. Click on the password and delete it using the keyboard.
9. Click the Start button to begin the game of Simon and make a mistake.
10. Click the NO button.
11. Click just below handle, might take a few tries to find the spot.
12. Press tab then space on the keyboard.
13. Drag the wall to the left of the door to the left, might have to release while dragging and click a bit to stop it moving back.
14. Drag the handle to the left to expose a white hole, again click a bit to stop it moving back.
15. Move mouse inside game area until remote and batteries drop onto floor. Drag batteries to remote, drag remote to door (use normal escape game conventions to manipulate objects).
16. Right click then left click on exit.
17. Repeatedly click monkey? until he drops a key. Drag key to door.
18. Enter "your name" into answerbox and click the door.
19. Click to enter code 5693 (turn you head on the side to see code).
20. Click under body of robot? to pick up card. Drag card to card reader.

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anyone else get very far in Skiwire VIP? i'm at 50 something lolz... i'm stumped!

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Romance maker was charming. A lot easier than most grow style games for some reason(or I jut got on the right path quickly)

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nvm... i got passed that one... then quit at like 64 or 65 lolz... that was fun for a while

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Ahahahahahahahaha "I tried to submit an invisible review once, but it just got me "The Look" from Jay"

I seriously almost choked on my soda. Awesome.

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I Hate This Game, level 1, doesn't work on Chrome on a Mac.

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wickedcherub Author Profile Page February 12, 2010 6:38 AM

I'm about to level 50 or so with Skywire as well. I'm stuck on the little man with the blue top, brown pants, he's holding something or other and he's a character from a video game. Anyone?

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Romance Maker Walkthrough

plant, book, egg, tree stump, tools, machine, hammer, bow and arrow

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Hundred Birds is, as everyone said, a real delight but yes, the controls callibration is extrememly frustrating at times, especially when you're aware of the delightfully balanced controls of the incomparible Knytt.

Still, if everything else in the game is as charming as it is then it manages to be forgiveable.

Well done Jake!

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tildessmoo February 12, 2010 7:19 AM

I wish I could have fun with 100 Birds, but how the heck do you get on and off the bird so you can do the platforming sequences? I've collected eight birds already and I don't know how I started flying in the first place!

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I think that tricky character from a video game on level 50-something of Skywire is:

Lara Croft

I know, it's not a very close resemblance!

A tip for this game:

If you're really stuck, notice that the game tells you if any of the letters are correct. So just type in all possible letters one at a time for the first one until it displays 1/15 instead of 0/15, for example. Once you have a few letters you should be able to guess the answer

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Here is a winning order of events for Romance Maker:

1. Book
2. Seed
3. Egg
4. Stump
5. Tools
6. Machine (3rd from left)
7. Gavel
8. Bow and arrow

The first two items' order can be switched.

Very cute!

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Mystify: care to share the Creating Romance walkthrough?

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tildessmoo-

when you come across another one of those bird pedastals (looks like a T) just rest on top of it and press Z... and it'll leave your birds there so you can go do the platforming portions. :)

jimbog-

yeah i got passed lara croft... i was actually talking about

Queen lolz it was so hard to figure out who they were! and the hint was just "an english band"

but yeah i used the letter indicator to figure it out... stopped later on because i was tired of staring at the tiny characters with my nose an inch from the screen lolz, cute game though and a lot of the characters were interesting even though i had to cheat and look through the other nitrome games for some of the answers lolz

and i liked the Romance Maker but i dont really have the patience for grow games lolz

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Yeah, it's a little embarrassing but I almost got completely stuck on the very first character of Skywire VIP. I wasn't used to the art style yet (so tiny) and it just looked like a blob with horns. I waited for the timer to run out, since there was no "pass" button... and then was horrified when it still wanted me to figure it out before I could do anything.

I did finally see it, but for anyone else in the same situation: NO, you DON'T need to know the answer in order to go on. You have infinite time in which to keep trying, one letter at a time, to figure it out. (I like trying A in every slot, then, E, until I know all the vowels - sometimes that's enough to realize I should have recognized them after all).

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I found Skywire VIP to be disappointingly easy, actually. I had the most trouble with the characters from Nitrome games.

I was a bit annoyed when I typed

Horatio Nelson

and it turned out to be

Admiral Nelson.

Same number of characters!

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Oh, and the

Invisible Man

bit was really clever.

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English rock band is:

Queen

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adam Gunderloy February 12, 2010 5:24 PM

i find it strange that a

pentagram

appears in an otherwise romantic game.

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For Skywire VIP, it was one instance where the art style was just plain boring. It was so hard to tell the pixelated forms who they were supposed to be. Cool concept, but bad execution.

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The art style of Nitrome is getting stale. The characters were so pixelated I couldn't make them out. The inclusion of Nitrome games was also a mistake. I don't play many of them so I had to guess on them. Good idea, poor execution.

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Made it to level 75 of Skywire and shut it off, does it ever end?

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Skywire has 100 levels. *whew*

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I really do Hate This Game. No, seriously, I can't even start. The door won't drag on lvl 1. Help?

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Chiktionary Author Profile Page February 12, 2010 10:10 PM

Thanks for the Skywire tip Jimbog, and Aktoaster's revelation of 100 levels made me want to plow onto the end. Very iconographic, and a lot of guesswork, but I like the concept.
Romance Maker, very cute.
Thanks for the deference Dora :/ and after all the nice things I've said about you...sheesh...

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I think "I Hate This Game"'s music is a remix of some anime song I can't remember...

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oh awesome,invisible runner.I actually sent a submit form for that.:D

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zbeeblebrox Author Profile Page February 13, 2010 3:22 AM

I played Hundred Birds, and it put me into a strangely narrative mood. Or maybe I was in a narrative mood, and the game acted as an enabler. It's hard to say for sure. Either way, my observations here are not an actual interpretation; I'm intentionally over-analyzing it for the sake of an interesting story. I don't know why. Just bear with me.

She starts alone. Is she an outcast? An Introvert? A wide-eyed traveler? A jaded mercenary? No one can say. She has ambition, though. That, at least, is certain. Up and ever up is the direction she chooses to go. And when this can no longer be done with her own abilities, she searches out a beast who can. The great bird breaks easily to her will, and lets her ride.

This talent does not appear to be new to her. Although - if so - it makes you wonder how she came to be so alone. No matter, such things can be fixed. The first thing she does is use her new mount to impress the local wildlife. They are the people of this land, there can be no question. In a place this high, only birds could rule. But these are an easily influenced people, and her voice is a convincing one. With each reclusive bird to take flight and join her burgeoning flock, her heart grows with greater joy. They look to her for guidance, rely on her, hang on her every word, follow her every whim. It is a wonderful feeling. And yet.

This is as far as she can go. This little place. She could live here, and her little followers, few as they are, would love her. That would be enough for some, perhaps, but to her it feels tragically incomplete. An empty, trivial success. The only way forward is down, though, and her steed cannot follow. Or will not - but she refuses to accept the possibility that there is something she cannot convince someone to do. So it cannot, and that's final.

Below, the world is dark, empty and difficult. There is no life here, no one to impress or follow her, no soft earth to live off, not even water to drink. Just miles of unsympathetic rock to crawl through and climb over. Many times the thought crosses her mind that she might be lost, that she could die here and no one would know. Then, at last, an end - and a shortcut - but for what? The key seems so minor a thing after so much work. Long grueling hours for a meager, stingy reward. She feels cheated of a better prize.

When at long last she emerges from the pit, she dares not rest. She is tired and bruised and sore, true. But when she lays her eyes on that little flock, skittish, flighty and bored...fear grips her in a way it never could within the long black caves. Without her flock she is nothing...yet it's such a tenuous grip. There is no time for rest. She can sleep on her mount if it comes to that. She prays it doesn't.

With a click, the world expands before her. A population of wings. Each in turn she confronts and demonstrates her influence. Each in turn fall into step behind her, gleeful, excited. She shares the sentiments of her new people, as they join her old ones and grow her following. The land here is wide and grand. Soon, she doesn't even need to confront them directly. The flock expands, like a great wing itself, and swallows those who will listen. Everyone listens.

And yet.

All this is just a portion. A large one, yes, but not the whole. Why go this far and not go all the way? Again, she goes to ground. With one success in the depths behind her, the long-time followers hold fast, and will remain to reassure the new ones who have yet to solidify their faith in this young leader of theirs. They cheer as she descends, which puts a smile on her face.

Again, once below, she is alone. It is inescapable and frustrating. The frustration turns to anger as the cave grows longer and deeper. Down. She hates down. She hates it so much. She loses count of how many times she bumps her head, how many times she stumbles; tries to ignore how useless and clumsy and inept she is when she's alone. She grabs the key in disgust.

On the surface, she is surprised to find that her flock is not only still waiting for her en mass, but that they wait with barely contained excitement. It is a frightening, yet extraordinary thing to see devotion of such fervor and intensity aimed at nothing but herself. In the spirit of the mood, she decides to surprise them, taking a passage just out of sight and going around, to drop down from above. Above, now that's a place she likes to be seen coming from.

Onward, they fly with abandon, determination and cause on their wings, filling the air with the sound of her words, her inspirational words. They come to her in droves. After the new gathering, they all lay down to rest in a grand valley, hidden within a niche. A well needed rest. She sleeps on her mount after all. It turns out not to be so bad: her people are still there when she wakes. Now, here is a place she could live. With such a host as this, they could rise to be quite a large community given a couple years - and she their revered leader all the while. And yet.

It feels wrong. False. She is not one to hide. She is one to rise and be seen, to be revered, respected, to be honored, loved. Feared even. Perhaps. The natives of the valley show her the way. Again, she must enter alone.

At the edge of a short passage, as the sullen, vast expanse of switchback nothing looms before her, the rush of joy all but leaves her entirely. Dispair's choking weight comes crashing down as she makes the terrible, dolorous descent. She curses it with every breath, hates herself for doing this. Why must she go alone? Why must she do it all herself? Where has she failed, that she can't get even one single follower - tiny as they are - to take up this quest in her name? What is her influence, truly? Fool. Phony. Pretender. A leader who no one will suffer for is no true leader. Finding the key is almost a nonevent: she stumbles into it in the darkness, picking it up without thinking as she exits. A symbol of her failure.

The depression is not left behind with the cave. The exultations of her flock sound hollow and distant as she returns to the familiar back of her first friend. He is no follower, this one, the strongest one. He made a decision on his own, when she had nothing to impress with; no cause to define. They fly, rising to the clouds. It is a meager comfort anymore.

She is lost in thought, as they forge into the new land. The flock grows on its own, her followers bringing her words to countless others while she barely does anything. She has grown separate from her people. Alone again. Worse than the caves, worse even than when she began. She feels distracted, troubled. Even now, this is not enough. She itches for something beyond what has now become common. As she floats there, bored and anxious on her only friend, the swarm loses focus. It begins to look instead like one, giant, ferocious organism. And then, there, like a flash of lightning, like a turning key, she knows what to do.

With new determination, she flies. Her flock - her hundred - courses behind like a whirlwind as they jet through the now-empty lands that were once these creatures' home. As they near that humble place she first began, a smile brightens her face: something she had not truly done since the first time her flock cheered for her. This would be her great move. The start of something better by a magnitude. They blast out of the mountain crevasse, a flood of feathers and triumph, though only she truly understands the goal.

Before her sit the idle people she had left. Anxious and bored in their own way, but harder to convince than the birds. When they see her host, though, they are awed. When they see how easily she rules the air they grow envious. When they see how every bird follows her command, they are swayed. Thus, her words gain power, and these people, too, begin to follow. Now her host is vast twice over, and with those who can fight and defend as well as speak. Now she can grow her flock exponentially. Now she can lay claim to the whole region; the whole world. Her power and influence will grow and grow. And so it does. And it does. And it does.

...

...

And yet.

Something about the game's high concept just made it seem like the main character was a compulsive manipulator with insatiable ambition who constantly needed more and more followers. It seemed like an interesting - if somewhat cynical - idea that I just had to explore. The game, of course, makes no indication of these flaws, and I doubt what story there is, was meant to be anywhere near the depth I went into. Obviously. I was just bored, inspired, and had time on my hands. :D

To be honest, I only thought the game was okay. Seemed like more of a proof-of-concept than anything, but the flock mechanic was fun to watch.

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adam Gunderloy--

I see nothing unromantic about a

pentacle.

A dear friend once gave me one as a gift, and I treasure it. Perhaps you've been

watching too many horror movies?

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When I try to play I Hate This Game, all I get is a blank white screen. Using Firefox. IE doesn't work either, but then it rarely does.

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need help with #5 on I Hate This Game. walkthrough doesn't make sense...

♥♀♥♀♥♀♥ Happy Valentines Day to every one 2morrow ♥♀♥♀♥♀♥

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I Hate This Game, Level 5

The place to click (just click, not click and drag) is on the right-most side, just (and I do mean *just*) above the thin black line that represents the edge where the floor and wall meet.

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For those having trouble with I Hate This Game, Level 1 --

First, make sure you're on level 1. If not, click the doorknob. Now then:

Look to the left side, just above the thin black line that represents the edge between the wall and the floor. See that little white rectangle? Okay. Click and drag the door from a spot on the left side near the bottom so that when you let go, you're over that white rectangle. The door should open. Click the big white.

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queen-of-diamonds Author Profile Page February 13, 2010 9:12 PM

Absolutely loved "Beulah and the Hundred Birds"! I love birds and it was lovely when I had all those little birdies flying around with me...

But I do think

a simple 'you are here' map

would have been useful, though :)

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Skywire VIP was boring and unrewarding and forced me to squint. Plus I just guessed half the answers (not knowing them) based on the "number of correct letters" count. Eventually stopped somewhere after Level 74 (I stopped paying attention/caring).

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I enjoyed "Beulah and the Hundred Birds".

Simple as that.

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Likewise. Beulah and the Hundred Birds was relatively short and not at all challenging. Nice and relaxing. I like it, on the whole.

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what's the name of the game on lvl 5? skywire VIP)

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Finding Fairytales: Castle Party - Irritating music, irritating gameplay, irritating concept.

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Romance Maker is interesting (and Grow-like), but the items/order don't make too much sense themselves. Still haven't figured it out. Time to go search through the comments for a walkthrough!

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Belulah was beautiful although some of the platforms were a pain to try to land on. Got through the whole Skywire with 6 hints (hooray for useless knowledge!) even though Queen was not an English band as they were from San Fransisco. As for Romance, that whole stupid girlsgogames site was disgusting to me, and I AM a girl.

And look, she has died! Don't worry, we'll bring her back at the cost of her SOUL with a PENTAGRAM. What is this, Trauma Center?!

Also, I love I Hate This Game.

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Alright, now *that* is a strange progression of events.

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Invisible Runner has REALLY clunky controls... You weren't kidding.

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I was amused by the mediocrity of I Hate This Game. It was neither impossible nor completely straightforward. It was intentionally a half-assed version of one of those "impossible quiz" types. Good stuff.

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AbbiNormal Author Profile Page February 14, 2010 3:38 AM

Okay, so, I feel silly. On level 16 I am following the instructions in the walkthru, but

when I right-click I only have 3 options: 2009 Keybol.org, Settings, and About. Also, if is move the door away and right-click to hold the door in place, as soon as I try to click the white open door I still cannot exit.

Please help? Thank you.

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AbbiNormal Author Profile Page February 14, 2010 3:40 AM

Nevermind. I just experienced "the power of posting." =)

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brokenrecord Author Profile Page February 14, 2010 11:55 AM

100 birds definitely wins for worst music ever. That was just intolerable.

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Vogonviking Author Profile Page February 14, 2010 11:58 AM

AbbiNormal - how did you do level 16? I'm stuck too!

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Akarroa:

Quote--

And look, she has died! Don't worry, we'll bring her back at the cost of her SOUL with a PENTAGRAM. What is this, Trauma Center?!

Reply--

Hunh? When she died, her spirit hovered over her body. When she was revived, her spirit returned to her body.

What's with all the pentacle-hate?

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I thought Romance Maker was very well put together.

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Skywire is ridiculous! There's no way to skip levels, it doesn't advance you even if you time out, and the hints are vague as anything. I got stuck very early on, sought a hint, and was only given "Nitrome game." I don't play Nitrome games; am I supposed to research their characters? Inside references and fanservice are all well and good, but when there's absolutely no way around the levels that have you stymied... bleh. Cute game, cute idea, I love pixel graphics, but yeah. Stupid execution.

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Akarroa- Queen was not from San Francisco they were English except for Freddie who was born in Zanzibar but he lived in England. They had accents and everything

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Re - Skywire:

I certainly spent most of the gsme thinking "When does it end!?" Had to stop once to give my eyes a break.

Other than that - there were HINTS!?!
I never saw that....

Even after finishing the game, I have no idea who some of those people were....

Re - 100 Birds:
Nice, though slightly tedious during the underground parts.

I had no idea what was happening during the final 'fade to white' segment, though.

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monkeymynd Author Profile Page February 15, 2010 9:37 AM

Skywire VIP is like a bad habit. You know you should stop, but you just keep on doing it! It's cute though. The Nitrome "ads" are tough if you're not familiar with their games...luckily they have the hint system for correct letters :D

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I know there's some way to recommend games for being reviewed, but I don't remember how to do it, so I will (sensibly enough) suggest reviewing I Hate This Game More. I know it is available at least on Newgrounds.

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zbeeblebrox Author Profile Page February 15, 2010 11:02 PM

@Elisha: on the top right of the page, there's a big gray "Submit" button ;)

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Oh, and for Skywire, I didn't know half the answers - besides just guessing letters, for the Nitrome games, I just opened their list of games in a new tab and guessed based on the number of letters.

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I also found Skywire VIP rather tedious, although there were some levels which I thought were pretty clever, like the the one with the box in the middle, which I knew immediately was

Metal Gear Solid

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@wickedcherub

its

lara croft

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In Skywire, I was waiting for certain people to show up (like, how easy would it be to have Yugi be there for Yu-Gi-Oh! ? I mean, the uniquely spiky hair would be fun to see in pixilated form.

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Monsters &amp; Medicine> Satori Get the door, because it's a throng of monsters demanding your... medical treatment? Build your hospital while bringing life to the dying in this adorable turn-based strategy game from Clockwork Acorn that's good for what ails ya.  ...
621 Views
4 Comments
March> Dora Everyone needs money, fast cars, good grades... but what might you miss if you only focus on what you have in front of you? This short but sweet interactive art piece follows one man through his life and asks the same question.  ...
2,662 Views
9 Comments
Alexandria Escape> Johnny123 This escape game plops you into ancient Alexandria and has you muddle your way out. Bookshelves, statues, steam machines, and weapons all factor in to your daring point and click adventure.  ...
635 Views
6 Comments
Notebook Wars Saga> Tricky It's the famed shooter series that transforms "shock and awe!" into "shock and draw!" Francisco Ferreres' Notebook Wars returns with the first Unity installment of the series: Notebook Wars Saga. The transition to a new engine means losing a lot of the features fans of the series have grown used to, but those looking for a stripped-down throwback or fun on a mobile screen should enjoy this new iteration of shooty fun.  ...

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