Pre-weekend doldrums got you down? Look no further than this edition of Link Dump Friday, which will first strain your brain with puzzles one fellow reviewer calls "ridiculous", and then soothe it with lovely images. Spot-the-difference in an ethereally beautiful book, get home before the music stops, or do battle atop a sufficiently epic castle roof, complete with rain and lightning and everything.
- Professor Spelunkington - The touching tale of an older man desperate to buy a younger woman's affections with copious amounts of cold, hard gems stolen from undefiled caverns and beaten out of monster faces, this retro platformer isn't actually as similar to its namesake as you might initially think... or hope. The controls are a little stiff, but it's still fun to bounce around the monster-ridden caves as an extremely dapper geriatric. We should all hope to be so spry!
- The Search for WondLa - What it lacks in any sort of narrative, this spot-the-difference game makes up for in sheer purdy-ness. There are twenty-eight scenes to explore, and while they're all phenomenally well illustrated, the absence of any sort of story integrated into the gameplay makes it little more than a virtual sideshow. The good news, at least, is if you want to know the reason behind the loveliness, you can check out the book of the same name it's based on by Tony DiTerlizzi, whose work you might recall from the (rad) "Spiderwick Chronicles" or his work on the "Planescape" products for Dungeons and Dragons. (radder)
- The Roomz: Eclipse - After three years, the Roomz are finally back to confound us with a series of remarkably difficult puzzles and riddles, making it part (sort of) escape, and part "GAAAAAH WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM MEEEEEEEEE?" One reviewer describes it as being for "people who hate themselves"... well, what better pit of self loathing to look into than the internets?
- Battle Shift - Battle a boss through eighteen stages of transformations in this surprisingly tricky retro action platformer. It's a straight-forward concept presented in a neat package, but too many of the boss forms are too similar to one another, and it isn't until halfway through when the terrain changes that things get challenging. Anyone else think this is basically just the last boss battle from Link's Awakening?... anyone?... *sigh* Man, I'm old.
- Get Home - Make your way home before the music runs out in this short advergame platformer designed to promote the band Team Me. Although the gameplay is exceedingly straightforward and unvaried, the game features a breezy, likable aesthetic, great soundtrack, two endings, and a clear though unobtrusive message. It may be an "art" game, but it's a decidedly well intentioned and clear one. While it might have benefited from some more creative gameplay, I can find no ill in a game that introduced me to some new fantastic bouncy music.