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Link Dump Friday №175


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Link Dump Fridays

DoraWelcome back to another succulent Friday, where this week's games are ripe for the picking! We gotcher snakes, we gotcher toes, we gotcher metaphorical flights of fancy. We got it all! All we need... is you! So warm up your gaming fingers, buff your nails, jump on that unicycle and aim for the floating brain of misery! (I promise, it'll all make sense. Eventually. Probably. Maybe?)

  • Darkness 2Darkness 2 - Hurricane season is almost upon us, and I'll take it upon myself to inform you that, as far as emergency supplies go, flashlights are so last year. No, what you do, see, is you get a paint gun loaded with glowing white paint, and you fire it randomly all around you until ... okay, you probably don't want to rely on magic glowy paint in an emergency, but it does make for an intriguing puzzle platformer. Use paint to find your way to the exit in each level without running out. The problem is that you can basically brute force your way through most of the levels by sheer determined dumb luck without even using any paint.
  • Toe Nail WheelToe Nail Wheel - This is a game where you play a toe. On a wheel. And you're trying to shoot the Brain of Mystery. Seriously. Um. I don't know what else to tell you, other than it's a shooter, with upgrades, where your goal is to dodge or destroy enemies and collect the cash they drop, using it between waves to upgrade your arsenal, all the while pecking away at the health of the Brain of Misery. Which, um. Just sort of sits there, really. It's seriously weird, is what it is, and that's coming from a woman who refuses to drink chocolate milk without a spoon.
  • Shadow SnakeShadow Snake - Shadow Snake is fifty percent shadowy-er than those other shadow snakes! In this stylish upgrade of the iconic arcade game, munch down orbs and avoid enemies until you open the portal to the next level. There's some seriously lovely design going on here, and once you've figured out each enemy's pattern it can get pretty relaxing, but unfortunately not quite varied enough to support your interest once you're past all the romance the "ooooh, ahhhhh" visuals have to offer.
  • Speed Escape 4Speed Escape 4 - It's the time again! You've got three rooms, and five minutes for each one to try to escape. You know, stuff like this makes me glad I haven't been kidnapped by some crazy psychopath and forced to escape his house of clever traps. If my lack of success with escape games is any indication, I'd spend approximately five minutes trying to figure things out, half an hour sulking in pity, and would probably still be trying to find a walkthrough on my awful cellphone connection when the killer returned. I make a very bad victim.
  • Inside a Dead SkyscraperInside a Dead Skyscraper - Created to promote an up-and-coming band, and based on personal experience, this experimental little bit of interactive art from the creator of Every Day the Same Dream is... odd. Armed with a device that lets you read the thoughts of nearby people (or does it?!) you take flight and explore your limited surroundings (or do you?!). Unfortunately for fans hoping lightning will strike twice, this lacks the emotional punch of Every Day the Same Dream and instead just comes off as... odd. Then again, there's nothing wrong with being... odd. I'm told I'm pretty... odd... myself.

38 Comments

Inside a Dead Skyscraper... if you read my thoughts- "???"

I think there's a time limit or something because I was on top of another building "reading minds" and then I died. Maybe another explosion? I understand what event its referencing, but the music just distances you from it. Odd, indeed.

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zbeeblebrox Author Profile Page July 23, 2010 1:29 AM

A music video game. Weird. But kind of cool. Let's roll with this. Hell, games sort of lend themselves to long segments of our attention - you could ostensibly create an entire album video game, where each "level" is essentially the next song on the track. I like the idea of taking the interactive aspect of games, stripping away everything else, and then using that to create the (usually) abstract themes and visual expressions you typically see in music videos. Would it be better than a music video? I don't know, but it would definitely be different. And there's nothing music loves more than 'different' when it comes to visual expression.

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Well, hey! I like drinking chocolate milk with a spoon, too!

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cinder calhoun July 23, 2010 2:39 AM

Brain of Misery*

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hmm. I've found three endings for inside a dead skyscraper.

1. touched the explosion. died.
2. read the minds of a whole bunch of people, then died, presumably because the song ended?
the guy said something like innocence is a conglomeration of something.
3. returned the balloon to the little girl and talked to her, then died. said something about history being like inertia and him being hungry.

O.o;; this game is strange. but I wanna try finding more endings....

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I have to admit; I thought the worst part of Darkness 2 was that soundtrack. I mean, Darkness isn't even all that "creepy" anyway. The music just got annoying.

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KitKatFox Author Profile Page July 23, 2010 4:04 AM

I thought i was the only one who couldn't drink choco milk without a spoon!! :O

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Took me 06:37 to kill a brain on my 2nd try on Toe Nail Wheel.

I simply

saved up until laser, then double rate, then double damage.

Quirky, quick and enjoyable. My kind of game.

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Thankfully, Speed Escape 4 does not have game-stopping bugs as Speed Escape 3.

I have yet to try out 2 and 1, though...

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littlefish July 23, 2010 5:53 AM

Darkness 2 was exctly what I needed... A crisp little snack, and not *too* short.

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ChocoMilk July 23, 2010 7:27 AM

Oh my god, Dora, it's so true!! You can't drink chocolate milk without a SPOON!!!! *brain asplodes* (I, too, thought that I was the only one who couldn't drink chocolate milk without it O.o) Why is it so good?!?!

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I rather liked Darkness and Shadow Snake was a liesurely enjoyable affair and although the music vid/game was ok it could have been pushed a tiny bit furtehr. Great that music production companies are using games as a device though (bet the budget was typically low though)

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I feel moronic July 23, 2010 7:54 AM

Wow. I didn't see the skyscraper one, just Every Day the Same Dream, & I was like, "Huh? They featured this already!!" Now I feel like a total idiot. :D

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Anonymous July 23, 2010 8:03 AM

In Inside a dead skyscraper, I only noticed a plane and two buildings. The place is so large and maybe they hid some easter eggs, such as the balloon above. It would have been cool if there was something for at least one person in each area. I have no odea even wherer the balloon is though.

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Darkness 2 was enjoyable, though it's a bit annoying when the physics doesn't work quite how you expect; specifically, how strong friction can be in some cases.
Leve 20 had me frustrated, thinking "this is a very sudden jump in difficulty" until I just happened to approach how I rolled the block in a different way.

What I was doing wrong, and how I fixed it:

So, the block is teetering on top of one of the razor-wheels. It's obvious enough that if you move to the right side, it slides off and is now oriented with its corners pointing up-down and left-right, wedged between two wheels. The problem lies in coaxing the block to ascend the next wheel.

The wrong way which occured to me first was to sit on the rightmost corner and use my weight to try to turn it.
The much faster and easier solution was to stand on the LEFT corner and attempt to walk to the right, essentially pushing the block while also standing on it.

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Anonymous July 23, 2010 11:36 AM

in dead skyscraper are the buildings suposed to be part of the world trade center durring 9/11?

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Darkness 2 was excellent. I can't wait for more levels. Was there a Darkness 1 somewhere?

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Yes, JIGuest. The style of the building is the same, see this picture, and there really aren't any other skyscrapers that had AA (American Airlines) planes crash into them. That's what the song is about, too.

I couldn't talk to anybody, though. I found the balloon and all I (or she?) said was "that damn balloon", then I got the "I'm hungry" ending.

I agree that Darkness needs a mute button.

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choirboy Author Profile Page July 23, 2010 2:26 PM

You don't need us, all you need is LOVE!

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I personally thought Inside a Dead Skyscraper had more impact than Every Day the Same Dream. I went in having little-to-no idea what to expect and it was so... jarring.

Um, right. The other games are pretty fun. I think Speed Escape 4 is my favorite. It was simple and intuitive enough to not be too difficult but also fun. I just wish it was longer.

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neo1973 July 23, 2010 5:53 PM

Guess I'm still not ready for WTC references in art or otherwise. I really liked the concept and the sandbox feel of it, but there was art in there I just don't care for. I guess it makes curious as to what the author was trying to convey with those images...

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I can't find the combination to the safe in the first room of Speed Escape 4.

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phindex Author Profile Page July 23, 2010 8:20 PM

@neo1973

I agree neo. I don't think of myself as easily offended or overly sensitive, but when I realized what I was flying around my jaw dropped.

I guess I'm not ready for those references either, though I did like the song and the sandbox feel as well.

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Anonymous July 23, 2010 9:37 PM

@neo and phindex, i felt it was an exploitative use of the most upsetting image from our lifetimes, and the extraordinarily self-important manifesto about the crooked greedy record industry just below a link to buy a song based on its apparently arbitrary inclusion in a slapdash video game made it even more unpleasant. this is a commercial masquerading as art and telling us it's not a commercial. i think it's far more ethical to spike your hair and wear ripped jeans to sell your music than to commodify a nation's deepest and still gaping wound. etc, etc.

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Emiliagv20 Author Profile Page July 23, 2010 10:12 PM

@Ifeelmoronic
don't feel bad i made the same mistake except i thought they made a new version of everyday the same dream...

And BTW i also refuse to drink chocolate milk without a spoon:P and my brother and father do it to

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Fritware Author Profile Page July 23, 2010 10:21 PM

I was also startled by Dead Skyscraper...

...when you realize that you're floating around between the two planes crashing, and that everyone on top of the second tower is dead but just doesn't know it yet. The message I took away was that some events have such momentum that one person can't change the outcome substantially, yet there can still be meaningful acts -- because at least you can make that little girl happy in those last moments. Very dark and disturbing.

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Inside a Dead Skyscraper is an amusing thing to play, and it kinda blurs the line between game, art, and music all at the same time.

Here are the endings that I get:

Talking to at least one person:

I completely agree with you
What we call innocence
is sometimes just the accumulation
of ignorance and self-absorbtion
[game reloads]

Not talking at all:

I guess you didn't find anything
You have a neat gadget
Use it!
[game allows you to play again]

Going into the blast:

What burns never returns
Except when you are daydreaming
You can try again
See you later
[game allows you to play again]

Giving the balloon back:

[Talk to the girl that is pointing into the air first on the second tower - she will say "My balloon" in red letters. Find the balloon by following her finger, get it, then give it back to her. Talk to her again to get "Thanks!" in red letters.]
I know what you are thinking
History has a huge inertia
And your agency isn't that much
...
I'm hungry now
[game reloads]

As for the reference... well, I have to admit, I managed to miss it the first time. And then I found it because I did the first section first - and yeah, my jaw dropped.

I just am not sure about the two "endings", per say. I admit, pure innocence is virtually impossible - as stated, what people call "innocent" is due to the wish to remain ignorant of an issue because of other things that absorb their attention.

But the other ending is triggered by a girl, in fact, the only youth in the entire game. Clearly, she must "die" [being on top of the second tower and all], but I feel that she is really "innocent" in this entire situation. Yes, I guess you can say that her innocence is due to her self-absorption on her balloon, but the second ending kind of leads me (at least) to want to save her from the destruction that we know now will occur. This leads to my interpretation of the second ending - the idea that we want to change history, but we know that history will go on nevertheless, and we are completely powerless to stop it. We can only do so much, because history must go on.

And here I thought I wouldn't be able to think about much in this game. I proved myself wrong.

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inside a dead scycraper really did depress me... :/ I was on the WTC one month before they fell..i found the game to be a bit..insensitive..

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Well I like drinking hot chocolate with a spoon(smile).

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And for those like me who just wants to know what EVERYONE says in Inside a Dead Skyscraper:

What a nice day
I sell when they go down
I sell when they go up
Keep the straight face
This must be the center of America
My God
Is this a movie
I need a vacation
Am I too formal?
I always wanted to be a fireman
This is not happening
Is that my office?
This is the end
A short term investment
I don't understand poetry
I only read headlines
Damn you public transportation
Lord I can hear you
That report got me in trouble
My shoes
---
It's my first day and I want to cry
I feel so productive today
I respect common places
I only have to lie
Excellent: more bad news from Europe
I wish I was in my cabin right now
My animal spirits are stirring
Feeding pigeons fulfills me
This is my chance
This is awkward
Everything moves so fast
Zero tolerance
Chill down buddy, it's just pigeons
---
In the right place at the right time
An explosion
Was that a plane?
I'm so in love
This is the shit
It was worth
Too many people on this planet
Mi illumino di immenso
Quel vertige
What's next? Central Park?
Perfect light
Now It's getting boring
Oh the humanity
Fremdenfuhrer
So many yellow taxis
Jumping
Awesome
We are just like termites
I wish she was here
[My balloon] / [Thanks!]
That damn balloon
I need my pills
I wish this moment lasted forever
I love this city
Esto es como una pelicula
Deja de llorar
No como esperaba
I need a paper airplane
I can't wait to tell my friends
---
I'm not going to fall out of grace
I feel so productive today
So much hate in this world
What am I doing here?
That damn song in my head
Money ruins people but also the opposite
I feel desired
They are dead and they don't realize it
I'm unable to talk to a machine
That ugly powerpoint
Shrinking margins
I am the ideal type

All written from left to right order. The girl's speech is in bold and in the square [] brackets, and is the only speech in the entire game which is red.

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I tried speed escape but I'm stuck in the very first room. I can't find the no.0 button. (btw, I can't find the code of the safe either, I wonder if that has anything to do with the computer)
Any tips?

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Vivian, in the scene with the door.

to the right of the door

the window frame

the lower left corner

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KitKatFox Author Profile Page July 24, 2010 3:09 PM

everyone's commenting on how they also can't drink chocolate milk without a spoon, i did too! x) I seriously can not do it! i also want it ice cold, and non stirred. and i shower standing on one leg. yup.

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I don't see why including the WTC incident would be considered "insensitive", especially when it is done tastefully. I mean, we are playing video games based on real wars, and we do it to amuse ourselves.

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Coldfrog Author Profile Page July 25, 2010 4:00 AM

Anyone understand the deal with shadow snake on Hardcore mode? I keep dying - at first I thought it was from sitting still too long, btu that wasn't it. I just seemed to explode for no reason.

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Many thanks to JustMe :)

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Redward von Something-something July 25, 2010 5:51 PM

The dead skyscraper game: I really like this game. I don't find it exploitative at all, just evocative and very melancholy. I think it's shocking, sure, but I think it's quite brave and something very new. Maybe more internet games SHOULD challenge and provoke the player: after all, they can be considered a branch of art.

still, it is a bit ghoulish: even after nine years, thinking of those events makes me shiver...

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deathprog23 Author Profile Page July 26, 2010 1:39 AM

@Coldfrog Hardcore mode of Shadow Snake doesn't allow self-intersection (don't cross your own tail)!

I quite liked that one - stylishly done.

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