Link Dump Friday №216


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Link Dump Fridays

DoraWhat do you get when you combine intolerant letters, zombies, blue-green frilled thingies, ducks, and emotions personified?... seriously, I'd like to know, because it's really stinking up my microwave and I'm having a hard time scraping the paste off the walls. Did you know microwave warranties specifically mentions "wanted to see what would happen" as things they don't cover?

  • Zombies RunawayZombies Runaway - Gotta love that; it's not just the title of this little action platformer, it's good, solid advice. Especially since you're a little girl. That's, uh... not meant to be an insult. In this game, you are literally a little girl, who is apparently looking for the flower of life to stop the zombies from coming back to life every night. (Remember that one quest in Breath of Fire? Like that but less depressing.) You'll need to light torches to see your path and watch out for the undead lurking in the dark.
  • Inverted YInverted Y - Part interactive art, part surreal platform-ish adventure, this strikingly designed little game tells the sad tale of a lower case y tragically born inverted and mocked by his fellow letters. Will a visit from a higher power and a special ability change his outlook on life? Or is he doomed to an existence of writing sad poetry on Deviant Art? While it may be odd and a little heavy-handed, Inverted Y has a neat style that makes it worth experiencing. Bill Nye was wrong! Clouds aren't made of condensed moisture, they're made of the word "cloud" densely packed over and over!
  • Dimension DiverDimension Diver - Isn't it nice when a game comes along and taps into your deepest desires? Like, for instance, being a little blue-green frilled thingy. Ever since I was a child, I've wanted to be a little blue-green frilled thingy. I even took little blue-green frilled thingy courses at the local college, but I just wasn't cut out for it. Thanks to this arcade platformer, however, I can finally experience the fulfillment of being a little blue-green frilled thingy, denied to me for so long! If any moment in my life ever called for a dramatic slow-clap, this would be it.
  • Duck Life 3Duck Life 3 - Being an avid reader of certain articles over at Cracked, I've come to learn that the animal kingdom, while wonderful and vast, is also horrifying and disgusting. Ducks are no exception. Thankfully, this little simulation is merely entertaining and weird, despite featuring some potentially freaking genetically modified duck hybrids. (Ewww.) Once again you're training a hapless duckling up to compete against other ducks by managing its stats and playing a bunch of little minigames. The ducks at Universal Studios aren't quite as rigorously trained, although they are quite skilled in the art of "begging for Cinnabons" and "being loud and smelly".
  • Lynn LoveLynn Love - Emotions are funny things, and not just because they live in freakish storybook town in houses specifically tailored to be monuments to their own egos... oh, wait, actually that is mostly why. In this strangely captivating little point-and-click adventure you play the titular heroine who stumbles across some nefarious goings-on in the town where all the emotions dwell. Despite some awkward dialogue and pacing, it's a lot of fun to just explore and take in the unique designs for all the emotions and their themed homes.

35 Comments

I was enjoying Zombies Runaway, but the level that said

be careful, the path is narrow

appears to be impossible. I've spent all my lives and 'retries' on that single part.

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Same here on Zombies Runaway, must be a different/secret solution

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"Remember that one quest in Breath of Fire?"

Indeed I do, Dora. Nice bit of geek nostalgia there. :]

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Gave up on Inverted Y in frustration after it turned into a straight platformer with awkward controls.

The spike-pit section was annoying enough, but at least you were playing with the gravity-flip mechanic, which is relatively unique. Disappearing platforms and retracting spikes? Meh.

I wouldn't have minded seeing the story through, but it wasn't compelling enough for me.

Also, why does falling off the screen kill you when there's clearly a solid block to stand on just off-screen? It's not like you're falling down a bottomless pit or anything.

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@Diego:
Completely agree. The game was okay, but certainly not worth starting over from scratch after dying repeatedly on that one level.

Is this a bug, or are we missing something?

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sandsnake Author Profile Page May 20, 2011 11:43 AM

Apparently, Zombies Runaway is bugged so that level is currently impossible.

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I also had to give up on Inverted Y for the same reasons. The gravity flip mechanic is too awkward and the world behaves weirdly when you die. I'd say it's actually unplayable without major changes to the physics.

I had reached a spiked ceiling with two blocks that appear when you flip the world. After flipping and attempting to cross the pit, I couldn't move fast enough to reach the second block. But, if I flip the world a second time, I appear on the 'wrong' side of the block I'm standing on, and get crushed against the spikes. This just feels really wrong.

Also, you would expect that the blocks would stay in the same position when you flip the world, because the flip is instantaneous, but they don't - so you can't advance by mashing the Space bar because the blocks move and disappear off-screen. This also feels really wrong.

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Lynn Love has two things going against it.

Apparently, following the step-by-step tasks gives you the bad ending. It's not at all clear where you need to diverge from these steps -- or, even, if you can do so -- to get a different end.

And:

The name of the game matches that of an "actress" in an industry that is most definitely not appropriate for the casual gaming crowd. Even with search filters on, Googling the name will make it obvious. This would make locating the game independently next to impossible.

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Dimension Diver looks suspiciously like Carbuncle from the Final Fantasy series.

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lvl 3 on zombies bugged? got the diamond but exit doesn't work. "watch your step"...too bad. I liked that one.

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For Lynn Love, the way to get the better ending is:

After you gather all 30 Love Sprites, go to the Old House and talk to the Old Man, then say yes to go with him.

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SkylerF Author Profile Page May 20, 2011 3:59 PM

@HeroForge

Really? I got the *good* ending by following the step-by-step instructions.

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DuckLife 3:

It was a nice game, similar fare to previous incarnations. I quite liked the evolving duck thing - cute.

Found a few bugs in game though, if I quit a race, sometimes it would display the podium with the 1st place duck rapidly scrolled through all the available ducks and changed my duck for which ever it stopped on. It sorted itself out eventually, but a little odd. Still great game all in!

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Ah...I have also read those morbidly fascinating articles from Cracked. The ducks scared me the most.

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SkylerF Author Profile Page May 20, 2011 4:49 PM

Diego and Andy Pearce - I agree.

Oh, and they're "feelings", not "emotions", as the name of the village states.
Since they include "treachery" "lust" "beauty" and greed ("rich" I assume).

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Dimension Diver is really cute, but it's far, far too easy to fall off the platforms even when they look like they shouldn't have an edge (eg, rising stair-steps) or to over-jump them.

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Anonymous May 20, 2011 11:36 PM

Finished Inverted y, if you gave up but wanted to see the story through, don't worry about. you ain't missing much.

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canadadian May 21, 2011 12:46 AM

@HeroForge:
How does one go about getting the bad ending? I followed the instructions,

said yes to the old man, went to Mr. Knowledge's place and got Sprite Glasses to help me see better, went around collecting all the sprites, and then went with him. Someone on the YouTube channel said something about going with Treachery/trying to go with Treachery? I did talk to her, but she didn't say anything about taking me with her...

@JIGuest:
Could you post a summary of the story for Inverted Y (in spoiler tags, obviously). Like dbfnq and Tom, I gave up on it after trying to deal with that weird platformy part and giving up due to the awkwardness of the controls. I am a bit curious to see what happened, though.

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Anonymous May 21, 2011 6:50 AM

I'm pretty much with everybody else:

Zombies Runaway -- borked as described above. Pity, because it's fun to play. I'm pretty tired of zombie games, but this one was different. 4 for potential, 1 for implementation.

Inverted y -- yep, clumsy controls killed it for me. 3 for concept, 0 for implementation.

Dimension Diver -- adorable and pleasant gameplay, but yes, the edge detection is awful. Just gave up after a few levels. 4 for concept (including cyooot character), 1 for implementation.

Duck Life 3 -- the first couple of training levels are a real slog, but after that, it's kinda cute. To the developers: speed the races up a little - I found I was setting the race then going away and doing something else for a few minutes because it's SLOOOOOOW and not so interesting to watch. 4 for play, 1 for making me feel like I was going to be covered in cobwebs before it was over.

Lynn Love -- pretty average point 'n' click. Got the good end (but boy she walks slow...) 3 for concept, 3 for design.

Overall grade for this week: B

Some fun moments, but a lot of "when is this gonna end?"

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There are three endings that I could find.

The endings depend on which character you agree to leave with and collect the love sprites for.

Ending 1

The ending with Thomas Time is the best ending. Go to the old house after Bob Despair jumps off the bridge and speak to the old man and agree to go with him.

Ending 2

The second ending is with Jennifer Lust. If you go to her house after Bob Despair jumps from the bridge she should offer to take you with her if you collect the love sprites.

Ending 3

The third ending is with Ann Treachery and it's the worst of the three endings. Go to her house and collect the love sprites after the bridge-jumping.

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Tofunaga May 21, 2011 9:20 AM

I also gave up on Inverted Y after I couldn't get past the bit with the moving x coupled with the spike trap. I got the timing right with the first, but was either too early or too late with the second.

Thanks for posting the 3 endings with Lynn Love. I only got the 2 bad endings.

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In Duck life 3, in the advanced evolution, in the final race of the qualifiers does anyone have it so the duck just stops right at the edge of the roof, and doesn't fly at all?

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On Lynn Love:
Lynn Love was cute, in a "this would make a good children's game" kind of way. She did move a little too slow for my taste, but fair enough. Worth playing through.

On Duck Life 3:
I suppose it does well for the genre it's in, but isn't really that engaging. I can't imagine why someone new to the 'train-em-up' type of game would want to spend an hour or two playing the same repetitive minigames and watching from the sidelines as the duck goes through each race without any player control.

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Be warned, if you really want to complete Zombies Runaway (I just did, eventually...), you'll be needing a hex editor. The below are just the game-killing technical bugs, but there are plenty of smaller annoyances (both bugs and questionable design decisions) to go around too! I did like the game, enough to jump through all the hoops to finish it even, but in the end I wish I hadn't bothered, and as already said the execution is rather sub par...

1) The exit doors on

levels 7, 17, 21, 23, 24 and 25

were completely non-functional for me. The first was fixed by upgrading to Flash Player 10.3.181.14, and did not occur on the version hosted on twotowersgames.com itself even on a slightly older player, but the others persisted for both versions even on the newest player and resulting in my completing each level properly and then editing the savegame to load the next

except on the last level, obviously, where there is no way to trigger the ending. A look at the content shows that this is just a pair of static screens anyway, representing two different endings based on whether you

get the flower in the last level

2) Collecting a weapon upgrade whilst invulnerable from being hit left me stuck in this state, and unable to attack or interact with objects besides environmental hazards and the exit door. This can be fixed by reloading the game (completing a level, dying, continuing or quitting to menu does not help).

3) As noted by several people already,

level 14

is impassible due to

an instant-death hazard with an oversized bounding box.

This is still the case on the externally-hosted version, and I had to download the swf and disable the object in question to get past - hardly an elegant solution! Hoping the developers fix this for the sake of everyone else...

4) Collecting the gem on a level and then getting a game over and continuing results in your count being reduced by one without the gem being replaced in the the level, so you can never get them all. Resorted to another quick savegame edit to restore the missing gem and get around that one.

5) There is no way to the part of the final level holding the last gem, but this gem is marked as taken in your savegame without you actually grabbing it and without adding it to your total anyway, again preventing a complete game and requiring a savegame edit to trigger the award.

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I found three bugs in ducklife 3.

when i was racing in the final advanced race, i was frozen before i could jump/fly into the pond, but none of the other ducks froze and the race kept on going.

and

when i was training for swimming, it would also train for running, i would swim for a while and then die, then try again but it would lead me to the racing dieing page and say that i increased my running level.

and the last bug is

when i do the running training when i die it just keeps on going until i have to close the window and start again.

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Arg - Inverted Y, even without the bugs, was about as annoying to me as Zombies Runaway. Although the gravity mechanic did seem sensible to me, the FX grated (perhaps due to rapid repetition), the collision detection was poor at times, the poor Y cannot jump at all when on a downward-moving block due to the mechanics causing it to bounce up and down raidly (and it can barely jump anyway), much of the game seems to made up of essentially single puzzle repeated ad nauseum, and the bright orange colour and constant deaths did little to restore my sanity after the performance that was ZR. And it for some reason still takes input from other windows, which means that every time I typed an "R" anywhere it restarted the level, very frustrating...still, it is a short journey, if a tough one, and I finished this game as well. Leaves things wide open for a sequel, that is as much as I will say.

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@canadadian: The end of Inverted Y:

"Inverted y" finally find "scared s" at the edge of a big cliff (the "end of the world"). The camera zooms out and you see that they are standing at the edge of a pixel near the top of a letter 'O' in one of the words "WORLD".

Then "Evil D" appears and the "world" is split in half."

Kind of anticlimactic, really.

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I've finished Inverted Y too and for those having issues it might be worth having another look. It isn't a classic though.

You can repeatedly press the space bar to flip gravity keeping a block in play. The trick to note is the blocks momentum is kept when you flip. If you repeatedly flip when the motion is almost stationary you can keep a block in a particular position enabling you to move as you require. Expect lots of deaths though.

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tigrita Author Profile Page May 21, 2011 6:12 PM

I found another bug in Duck Life 3. When I first did climbing training, I died after only a couple seconds, but it leveled me all the way up to 50.

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SkylerF Author Profile Page May 21, 2011 6:45 PM

@JDA - is it possible for you to post (or whatever) the game with the edited level 14 (I assume that is the "narrow path" one)?
If I were more of a completionist, I would ask for the "save game" edit you did as well, but right now I'd just like to get past those stupid ceiling spikes!

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ottoman Author Profile Page May 21, 2011 10:55 PM

Regarding the slow walking of Lynn Love, the in-game instructions mention that double-clicking makes her run, which I found to be a fast enough speed. If I had to play that whole game with her regular walking speed I would have quit shortly after I started playing.

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Kate and tigrita, they're the bugs I've encountered with Ducklife 3 too. I've found another one though.

I had an athlete and a strong duck and had just started on a flying duck when the game completely forgot about my strong duck and gave me a swimming one instead of my flyer.

Apart from the bugs, it's a cute little time-waster and I love the music during the London stage.

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barbara Author Profile Page May 22, 2011 6:10 PM

Even with the double-click running speed I found Lynn Love to be tedious. The worst was running to the end of each house to find nothing new there and having to run back. A tiny part of me wants to try for a better ending than the gaggy Jenifer Lust ending. But the rest of me couldn't stand all that pointless navigation.

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Did nobody else notice the pits labeled PIT OF DEATH in Lynn Love? Not to mention that even the ones that weren't labeled were pits of death...any screen that couldn't be walked all the way across was a pit of death. Couldn't they at least have given the houses back doors? Then you could have gone all the way across them and come out in the same place you went in...and the game wouldn't seem so badly-made.

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Ducklife is one of my favorite timewaster series. The final level on this one, though, is obnoxious beyond salvation.

My touchpad cannot seem to keep up with moving and shooting the Domo army, and it jumps or glitches no matter what I do--even knowing exactly where to place my cursor and when to hit the [thankfully] pre-set enemies. So I keep BARELY losing the race because even if only one of them touches my duck, it slows him down so much that he's 2nd in the race

Absolutely infuriating--and that's not even TALKING about the absolute WTF-ery of that last swimming training level, completely out of left field.

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