A Murder of Scarecrows

  • Currently 4.3/5
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4.3/5 (55 votes)

A creative play on words gives this game a poetic name and purpose, while a poem at the beginning of the game gives it soul. And yet it's the haunting imagery of men of straw being eaten by a murder of ravenous crows, and then coming alive to thrash and swipe for their lives that gives this game its magic. A beautiful work of art disguised as an enjoyable game. Or is it the other way around?

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16 Comments

Nils von Barth August 22, 2004 1:46 AM

I love the art in this game, but find the gameplay pretty boring.

The clean lines show the wonders you can work with monochrome, and the "roots = health" is very well-done and subtle. The animations get tiresome though, seen repeatedly -- this demonstrates the problems of distinctive animations in games: the point of games is that they repeat, and repeated animations get annoying.

The soundtrack works well, and the "shaking the browser window" is a clever touch.

The gameplay is a basic "ballistics" game (get the right angle and power), so pretty dull for me.

About the pace: the game moves pretty slowly, but this just seems kinda dull -- I wonder if it's aspiring to a languid pace? I've been thinking about this problem lately in the context of the Orisinal games, some of which seem to encourage this, but it's a pretty hard problem (simple, untimed pattern-matching, like in Solitaire, seems a key way to do this).

There's so much possible in game graphics, as "Scarecrows" (and the Orisinal stuff, for instance) demonstrate -- I hope we see more games that look like this (imagine a high-res monochrome platform game, for instance).

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There are subtle changes that happen throughout the game that change up the pace and affect gameplay. The scarecrows thrash about longer in the early levels, allowing a strategy of wakening them prior to a crow's landing. This advantage diminishes with each level forcing a different strategy of sometimes waiting until there are 3 or 4 crows pecking away before shooing them away. Also, the rate of seed generation declines over time making your shot accuracy very important in later levels. In fact, it eventually becomes a game where even one miss could mean the end of the game.

Personally, I like the balance of gameplay in this game, and the ramp of difficulty seems about right. Trying to attain a spot on the high score list kept me coming back for more many times.

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Josh Ozersky September 15, 2004 5:08 PM

I've played this game many times, and never got beyond 400 points. I don't see how the top scores were set. At some point near 300, you just don't get any more seeds, and six or seven crows descend and rip your scarecrows to shreds.

Any ideas on how to get past this? It seems like a built-in dead end.

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Josh - I agree that the game becomes very difficult in the 300 range. I believe my highest score is around 389 or thereabouts. I, too, have played it many times. And while I am aware of a couple of ways to alter ones strategy, I cannot believe there is any way to achieve scores as high as those lately on the high score list. Considering the fact that scaring each crow is worth a single point, that means someone had to scare over 1000 crows to get the highest score. That is almost inconceivable.

There exist programs that allow one to cheat by posting a score from external to the game. Not familiar with any of those programs, I cannot tell you how it is done or where to get such programs. But I do know they exist. I'd say if you can get close to 400 in the game, you're doing quite well.

You might try sending an email off to the author of the game indicating your frustration. That might be good feedback for him to hear from those who find his game enjoyable.

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Jason Rizos May 3, 2005 9:21 PM


This game is worth playing for about 5 minutes, but its repetition quickly outpaces its variety of game play. I would call it a good interactive piece of art. Got to love the soundtrack options as well. I heard a Goth version of the Door's 'People are Strange.'

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Another fabulous art flash game..lol The game itself has more potential. I didn't last thru the first set of Ravens. Love that art though. :D

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Very nice artwork. I played the game and ended up buying a t-shirt. The seed production certainly does fall off. I think I got to 169 or thereabouts before all my scarecrows were shredded.

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the art in this game is absolutely amazing. i would like a painting of this game on my wall

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Great game. Artful, relaxing, simple yet challenging in its own way. Made 373 on the first try - basically with the middle tree - and I'll be back. Thanks Jay ! For all I know, your site's offers the best. Keep the good work.

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Great game. Artful, relaxing, and a challenge of its own. Made 373 on the first try - mainly on the long run with the middle tree - and I'll be back. Thanks Jay ! Yours is the best site for all I know. It introduced me to some of the most beautiful work of this kind - Amanita Design's work, Wogger, Shift, Hanamushi, Orisinal and such. I love this meeting of Fine Art and Fun. Keep the good work !

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Link Broken??

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Oh! The link was broken, but it's fixed now. Thank you for the alert about it! =)

I'd be disappointed if this game ever disappeared off the Web.

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ok im really confused

you go to the skeleton shop page, then click to play the game, press enter, then you get the poem

then what!?!?!?!?

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I'm with vinny. What do you do after the poem?

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Sorry for the delay, the game should be playable now.

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cloudedguardian Author Profile Page September 13, 2011 8:57 AM

When I try to go to the mypetskeleton website, I get redirected to Macys. O.o
THAT can't be right.

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