I recently checked out my ol' arcade at the hometown mall... Have to tell ya, things were pretty dire. It was once an Aladdin's Castle, but nowadays it's more of an Aladdin's Shack or, perhaps, an Aladdin's Hovel. The only things close-to-functional were a claw machine filled with stuffed animals of questionable copyright status (and lead content), an Addams Family Pinball game with a broken right flipper, and a Cruisin' USA machine that had a pool of liquid on the seat that I can only hope was water. Needless to say, the $5 in my pocket ended up going to a pretzel instead. At least the JiG Vault is here to make up for what reality lacks. This week we have three awesome arcade-styled games that deserve your tokens and your attention.
- Tontie v.1.0 - With all due respect to the Grow Series, my favorite eyezmaze creation has always been Tontie. It's a little reflex-testing game of skill that starts out simple and easy, but has increasingly complex rules of engagement that will drive your fingers to a dance of madness. Imagine an adorable Whack A Mole machine created by a demented wizard of the arcane, and you'll have a pretty good idea what to expect. The game works best with a keypad, which makes it non-ideal for laptops. On the other hand, my desktop computer's Num Lock key had been patiently waiting for the chance to shine. I guess it all works out then.
- Vector Runner - Have wire frame graphics ever not been awesome? Answer: No... no they haven't. I could end my case for Dig Your Own Grave's Vector Runner right there and then. However, it's got more than just a pretty face. It's 3Daction you can get lost in, your heart beating faster as your cube accelerates. Your score climbs ever-higher, but you're afraid to blink for fear of missing a power-up. You hold your breath without realizing it, and when you're about to crash, you mentally brace for impact. Vector Runner is not just fast... it's sleek.
- Heli Attack 3 - So many levels! So many weapons! So many helicopters! So many explosions! Released back in 2005, Heli Attack 3 by Square Circle Co was a platform shooter ahead of its time that still holds up today. Though it clearly owes a debt to the Metal Slug series, its emphasis on raw survival makes it its own. Some of the features that once set it apart, like the keyboard/mouse control scheme and the original score, may have become commonplace, but at Heli Attack 3's core is the simple joy of shooting stuff to make it go boom. That, my friends, is timeless.
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!