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Weekend Download №180


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Weekend Download

JohnBGames. Fresh games. Newly minted from game presses built before the turn of the century. Which, come to think of it, wasn't that long ago, was it? But it sounds like it's ancient. Classic. Time-tested. You keep thinking that while you play the gems below!

1916.gif1916 - The War You Never Knew (Mac/Win/Linux, 58MB, free) - Ok, so you're stuck in the trenches. That's not good, but you should be able to find a ladder and climb out, right? The twisty little passageways all look the same, save a few crates, an item to interact with or two, dead bodies on the ground, and roving dinosaurs. Wait, roving dinosaurs? Yeah, roving dinosaurs. This 3D survival horror game will scare you to your bones with its deep infusion of lizard-based terror. You don't really have anything to fight back with at first, all you can do is throw a shoe and hope the dino leaves you alone long enough to run away. But watch where you run to, as there are more dangers around the next corner... Note: You can also play 1916 in your browser, but your performance may vary.

ranger.gifRanger (Windows, 15.5MB, free) - This top-down sci-fi shooter is the bee's knees! You play a well-armed space pilot hired to rescue prisoners on an alien world. Stock up on guns before you step out into the jungle, then confront your enemies as they play hide-and-go-seek in the bushes, appearing only when in your line of sight or when they fire at you. Move around using the [WASD] keys, switch weapons, aim and fire with the mouse. You can even order the prisoner you're rescuing to hold position, but mostly it's a run and gun back to the ship after the rescue has occurred. Ranger is a bit of stealth, a bit of arcade action, and many big bits of entertainment!

tottenham.gifTottenham (Windows, 3MB, free) - Upgrading subway lines is rough work. Especially when the walls you explode tend to fly back and destroy you! This minimalist game gives you the power to blow up any wall you can see. The goal is to clear a path from the entrance to the exit. The challenge is giving yourself the room you need to blow a hole in the wall and hide from the flak. Later, new challenges arise, like pests you have to get rid of, but the puzzle-meets-arcade feel never really changes. You'll never look at the subway the same way again!

Note: All games have been confirmed to run under Windows 7 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!

11 Comments

Tottenham was great. It feels more open to how your going to progress through the "to be subway".

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I didn't give it a second shot yet, but 1916 didn't run well for me on it's default display setting. Also I must mention that the lanuage setting only matter for the controls: all the in-game and menu text is still in German.

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Anonymous April 10, 2011 12:20 AM

Why is 1916 tagged "linux"? The download options are windows and mac, and playing in a browser requires the unity plugin, which is not compatible with linux.

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Tottenham was pretty cool, definitely only for those who appreciate retro games. I didn't understand the end, though, I guess it's an injoke of some sort?

1916 was definitely disappointing. Not worth the download imo.

Ranger was a lot of fun, but too repetitive. I'm sure I'll go back to it another day.

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I played 1916. I was already pretty much expecting

the game ending with the player's death.

I guess it's just the in thing to have that happen in this sort of story. Horror story, that is. But yes, the text in game is mostly still German. Anyone have a translation?

Other than that, it actually reminded me a lot of an experience I had a bit over month ago. I don't want to go into the details much, but basically I hadn't slept in four days and hadn't had much to eat or drink for a couple days and had to get a shelter built in rather cold weather. Suffice that it was not pleasant--rather like this game. This game is actually worse though, as I was still pretty much in command of my senses. Having a grayish, blurry, fuzzy screen for the duration of the game is not much fun to me, even if it doesn't take all too long to beat. Speaking of which,

the Bunker seems to me the best place to go, since you can go there and hang out indefinitely while learning the nearby dinosaur's patrol. Then just follow the map to Louisa and Vorral, pick up the gas mask, head into Wilhelmina and along the right side until you get to the ladder.

On the whole the game was not pleasant, but I guess you shouldn't really expect pleasant. One last point: I repeatedly fired bullets at dinosaurs, but they never seemed to have any effect. Did anyone have any luck with them?

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The atmosphere of 1916 is great, but, I don't know, the game doesn't work for me. Maybe I'm just frustrated right now, but there's so little you can do about dying here. Are the paths of the dinosaurs predictable in any way?

Is there a catch I didn't find yet?

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It seems others are unenthused but I like 1916. Considering it's a game set it WWI where your being hunted by the velociraptor sisters from the kitchen scene in JP, it's not as tacky as it could be. The graphics are blocky and the dinosaurs look like robots (are they meant to be robots?) but the atmosphere and controls are perfect.

When Iconian said, "Having a grayish, blurry, fuzzy screen for the duration of the game is not much fun..." reminded me of a conversation I had with a housemate years ago.

Them - "What are you watching?"
Me - "'Whatever happened to Baby Jane?'"
Them - "But it's in black and white..."
Me - "Yeah... it's supposed to be"
Them - "But it's in black and white..."
Me - "I can see that"
Them - "Why would you watch something in black and white?"
Me - "It's a classic and it's awesome..."
Them - "Ew, well tell me when you're done, I wanna watch Fast & Furious."

Where were the velociraptors when I needed them back then?

Clever girl...

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I can't get Tottenham to work (under Windows XP Pro). The splash screen and menus all look file, but the video screws up when I play the game itself. I can kind of play it, but the screen seems to be interlaced with blocky video garbage. :-(

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Why does the blurb neglect to mention the main character in 1916 is a myopic head-injury sufferer? That's a crucial bit of characterization there!

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Well, I guess my main point was that when I was operating with little sleep, food, and water for a few days, my vision still never got blurry like it was for the character in 1916. Would it have been different if there had been explosions going off around me as well? How stressful must conditions be before your vision gets so dark and blurry? I actually don't know myself, but it didn't seem very realistic to have to deal with it throughout the whole game, short as it is. It's an interesting stylistic choice. I guess it seemed a little bit over the top to me. I think having the entire landscape muddy and gray, as was already the case, would have been pretty much sufficient to get the feeling of bleakness and tragedy and such across.

I sometimes watch and enjoy black and white movies, if they're good enough. But playing a game where it's always gray and blurry, and no amount of time spent resting in the Bunker will really normalize it for you? It's a stylistic choice, but I don't really like it, and I don't find it very fun.

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@Swoopie: There are a few things you can do to stay alive as regards the dinosaurs.

Tossing a body part of a dead person within sight of one of the velociraptors will distract it, and cause the dinosaur to inspect (eat?) the limb. During this time the dinosaur becomes I believe totally unaware of you, and you can move away to somewhere out of the dinosaur's sight, and it will have forgotten about you. I don't think there are exceptions to this. However, if you sprint while you are too close to a dinosaur, even if it can't see you, it will hear you. That range is, say, 5 meters (15-20 feet maybe?). I think it can also hear you even if you're walking nearby and it can't see you, but you have to be quite a bit closer. I actually walked behind dinosaurs several times for a number of seconds without them knowing where I was.

Some or perhaps all of the dinos do have patrols they walk, and it can be helpful to just watch a little bit ahead of time to figure out where they are going. But I expect the main thing you're missing is distracting the dinos. I didn't use the flares much, but I think the body parts are more effective at distracting the dinos. Keep in mind that even if a dinosaur has spotted you and is sprinting toward you, you can still survive if you stay calm. If you have a body part, or flare I guess, throw it directly into the path of the dino. Then move out of sight. Run if you have to, but don't run for too long or the dino will hear you. I most remember this technique when I got the gas mask. As soon as you get it a dinosaur is spawned I believe that is alerted by your presence and is in one of the paths. Just throw a distraction for it, and then hide in the area with the gas mask in a position where it won't see you. It doesn't look side to side much, just straight forward, so it's not too difficult.

These techniques should probably help. Post again to tell me how it works out for you.

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