Link Dump Friday №179


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Link Dump Fridays

DoraRise and shine, puddin'-pop! It's a whole new day, and we, your humble word monkeys, are here to caper for your amusement once again with Link Dump Friday! This week features kittens, soul reaping, trial-and-error, and a double-dose of art-house gaming. An unlikely potpourri, perhaps, but we think it works. And hey, it could be worse. You could be watching Avatar again. (Who here is on board for Sharktopus with me?! Don't be shy.)

  • Victorian BMXVictorian BMX - Even when he's not being voiced by Norm Macdonald, Death is still pretty rad. In this twitchy, tricky game from Adult Swim, you play as Death (rad) and reap souls while performing stunts on your bmx (radder) in what the title informs me is Victorian England. (Raddest.) Unfortunately, there's definitely a bit of a learning curve that may hamper your enjoyment if learning to have a delicate touch on the controls isn't your "thing"; it'll probably be a while before you learn anything other than "faceplant". Come on, you can't tell us it wouldn't take some of the sting out of dying if Death totally reaped your soul in midair while flipping over some old-ladies on his bike. You'd be all like, "Man, being dead stinks... but that was a totally sweet backflip."
  • Journey of BugzyJourney of Bugzy - [Parental Warning: May not be suitable for children who would be upset at the repeated squishy demise of a cartoon bug.] So after a big storm carries Bugzy away, he needs your help to point-and-click his way back to his presumably equally grotesque family. Figure out the correct order to click on things in each scene in order to help Bugzy proceed. The downside is that Bugzy moves very slowly, and this game is all about the trial-and-error. Mostly the error part. Whole lotta error. Remember the Bable fish puzzle? Because I'm getting flashbacks. What do you want from me, game?!
  • Pussycat FrenzyPussycat Frenzy - Featuring some of the most adorable pixelated kitty animations you've ever seen, this is a fast-paced time and resource management game where the goal is to get all the cats to sleep in each level by meeting all of their needs; namely, litter box, scratching, and eating. The farther you go, the more cats you have to deal with, and I just wish there was a bit more complexity to it than frantic clicking. Of course, it's not entirely realistic, since everyone knows a real cat's motives would look something like "sleep on fresh laundry" or "look down on everything" or "throw up somewhere where your bare feet will discover it first after it has gone cold." Ungrateful cat owners represent, yo.
  • The Climb: LightThe Climb: Light - In this simple little platformer, you are a living shadow chasing something up the side of a mountain. All you have is a grappling hook and a suitably moody rendition of Moonlight Sonata to make your way upward. It's oddly striking, and the art house presentation is definitely intriguing, but the gameplay is unfortunately a little bland.
  • InterludeInterlude - The latest in a long line of "Things that make you go 'huh' or 'huh?'" is this simple and easy little platformer with an abstract narrative from the creator of Hummingbird Mind. It won't take you very long to play, and I can't promise it'll make a whole lot of sense, and yet... I smiled when I finished it. It's not so much a "Eureka!" as it is an "Ah, I see," moment with a sage nod to make yourself feel particularly arty.

21 Comments

Am I just being stupid or

is interlude simply one level (yes interlude I get it) but is it seriously worth making a game?!

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K2ulu: ah, but what is art worth? And is it worth making art?

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Livingpyramid Author Profile Page August 20, 2010 11:14 AM

@Jay: Only for the money :)
Journey of Bugzy was short, but worth it. And about Interlude: Whenever he wakes up, he's always in another place. It's just wierd to me. Any explanation?

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Okay, what is wrong with the people who made "Journey of Bugzy"? I'm a grown man, & even I'm a little traumatized from watching that guy bite it in such graphic ways!

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Victorian BMX is awesome! It's fun to play, the controls aren't too twitchy, and there's good replay value in trying to achieve higher rankings. Wheeee!

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Anonymous August 20, 2010 12:30 PM

Interlude can be "broken" (i.e. make it impossible to finish) by

walking leftward off the edge of the platform at the very beginning. Your character then falls below the screen, and you can't jump back onscren. But you can still gauge your left-right position by the glowing aura illuminating your section of the background.

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charlatan Author Profile Page August 20, 2010 2:19 PM

Mmm, find the collision controls way too sensitive on Victorian BMX, I'd rather play Cyclomaniacs again, that was brilliant.

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Alex:

As far as Interlude goes, I'm somewhat reminded of Alice Through the Looking-Glass myself, particularly the bit at the end where

she's left wondering if all this was the Red King's dream, or her own, and what would happen to one should the other awaken.

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As I played Pussycat Frenzy, my cat threw up on my bed. Twice.

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Interlude: Well, that was short and sweet. Mostly short. Definitely art, and the best part of it is that nobody's going to show up saying "This suuuuuucks." *Waits for someone to show up*
Pussycat Frenzy: Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. But the gameplay: Hairball.
Oh, Bugsy. I love your name, you're very cute and scrappy, you seem to be made for kids, yet...SPLAT. Urrgh. I only killed 'im once, but...I don't want to know why he turned into a pile of green goo. Also, I'm never blowing bubbles again.

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Brian Lutz August 20, 2010 9:58 PM

OK, even by the standards of bugs, I have to say Bugzy seems to be... shall we say, SUSPICIOUSLY fragile. Fall three inches? You're now a puddle of indistinct bug goo on the floor. Some bee buzzes near your head? It's gonna' fall right off. Get hit by a raindrop? Well, your head a splode.

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Sorry guys, while I'm a huge fan of art-games and enjoy them immensely when they're on link-dump fridays, and I've spent who knows how long defending the fact that art can be interactive and people who think otherwise are narrow-minded; I've got to say something...

Interlude is not art. It may not even be a game.

Interlude is a thinly veiled slideshow with background music and "interactivity" in the form of pressing a button to see what happens next.

Sure the music is art, the pixel art is quite clearly art; but this is no more an art-game than a powerpoint presentation with some well drawn pictures, captions and background music.

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And all Jackson Pollock did was splatter some paint droplets on a canvas.

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I loved The Climb:Light much more when I was a worm and got to give someone a faceful of bazooka after my bout of gymnastics.

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Oh, and btw, I liked Interlude. It's humble, unobtrusive, gets its point across, and somewhat touching (admittedly in a slightly corny way).

I think it's more of an art game then Braid is.

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Bugsy is like those sadistic choose-your-adventure children's books where there is only one safe path and dozens of dead ends.

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JuryRigged Author Profile Page August 21, 2010 1:34 PM

I loved The Climb: Light, even on a touchpad (not tablet this time.) Fell three times and got a nice message at the end.

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Ladies and gennlemen, I present to you: the art game done right, and the art game done badly.

Interlude! Nicely chosen images which flow into each other well, accompanied by little messages that take very little mental effort to reach. Gameplay is easy, but not tiresome because it's not focal. Not the greatest art game by a long shot, but short and sweet.

The Climb: A long, long, long game with two lines of weak premise at the start and one horribly trite message at the end. Visuals are stark, but also unvarying and bland. Gameplay is tedious, and the levels such as they are are pretty much the same - with no real content between the beginning an the end.

You could put these in a /textbook/.

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Chiktionary Author Profile Page August 21, 2010 7:58 PM

Interlude: I always pick the arty one to try first. Nice pics, but unlike Dora I didn't smile and feel arty at the end. I just blinked a couple of times, wondering what I'd missed.

Bugzy: Obviously his mother never educated him on the importance of carrying a clean handkerchief at all times. He looked more like a virus than a bug. Fun game to play.

Pussycat Frenzy: For little pixel pictures, the animations were beautiful :)

Too early on a Sunday for me to try to master The Climb or perform BMX stunts but they look like fun.

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OrigamiMarie Author Profile Page August 21, 2010 11:59 PM

@Chris
My mom's cat had a consistent pattern: three rounds. We would try to get the cat to somewhere cleanable before round one materialized, and then we knew to keep the cat hemmed in until round three finished.

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hi, it's finefin. glad you liked pussycat frenzy. As for the "frantic clicking" I may add that I created that game with multitouch controls in mind. Use a mouse(!) to control cats? pff. Imagine playing it with two thumbs!
If I find the time, I'll port it to iDevices and maybe Android, too. So stay tuned, will ya? ;)

Oh and I played Interlude and fell in love with that nice little game. It will stay in my kong-favs forever!

cheers and thanks!

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