Break out your imaginary lasers, practice your kung-fu hollering, and hone your walking-away-from-explosions-like-a-boss skills, we're saddling up for some action on this week's installment of the Vault! Of course, as everyone knows, action isn't just about Michael Bay blowing things up in slow motion. In the wonderful world of flash gaming, it can lend itself to just about any genre, and sometimes it's weird and silly too! Here are three very different games with gameplay that will keep you on your toes, and settings or styles that will make you raise an eyebrow or several.
- FoolYoo - So you say you want to be a samurai but Ken Watanabe isn't returning your calls to train you, and surprisingly the early '90's anime you watched isn't helping. Well, luckily for you this simple little Japanese game will get you on the right track with a wave of your mouse. Different demons will leap at you, and you have to figure out how best to attack them to slice them to bits before they take a chunk out of your health. And then, you get to make soup! Awwwwww yeah, we're gettin' all feudal up in here! It's an odd combination of addictive mouse-based action and surreal humour that, served up with some sleek looking watercolour visuals, makes this something that's easy to get the hang of and hard to put down. Plus, aren't you sick of fruit by now?
- Zoo Keeper Quest - Don't let the Japanese language barrier scare you away, Kiteretsu's match-3 puzzle game can be enjoyed by anyone with a soft spot for snappy gameplay and cuddly-wuddly animals. In this clone of an older DS game, the goal is to "catch" the unamused looking animals on the board by swapping them around to make lines of three or more. There's a "normal" mode that simply asks you to catch a certain amount of each beastie, and a quest mode where you, hapless zoo keeper, are ranted at in Japanese by your boss who wants you to catch specific animals while adhering to certain rules. (Karmen has thoughtfully outlines each level's requirement in the original article!) The timer is constantly ticking down, so it's a race to manipulate the board in your favour. Swapping games are always addictive, and when you throw in the fantastic little animations and cheesy retro style, you have the makings of the perfect coffee break game. Is this actually how zoo keep-ery works? Because if it is, the folks at Busch Gardens have been holding out on me whenever I watch their demonstrations in the animal pens.
- Skywire - Oh, Nitrome. How we love your zany, colourful ways. They have a knack for dreaming up unusual games, and this bizarre physics game about guiding a cab full of the world's bravest sightseers along a twisty, turny course in the sky packed full of strange hazards is a prime example. Your goal is to get everyone in the cab from one end of the wire to the other without hitting anything along the way; each time you take a hit, a passenger falls out, and if you lose them all you'll have to start all over. Just what sort of things could you run into in the sky, you wonder? Oh, just average stuff like a jack-in-the-box giraffe and a flaming sky serpent. You know, the usual. Nitrome's trademark detailed pixel aesthetics are in fine form here, and seeing the bizarre things blocking your way to the finish line is a treat.
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!