Link Dump Friday №156

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Link Dump Fridays

DoraYou know, it's not officially Friday until you've gotten your Link Dump. Does this mean that if Link Dump Friday were to suddenly stop appearing, Friday would never come? That you would be stuck eternally in some un-time between days? Slip through a crack in the ether where days cease to have meaning? MAYBE. Are we just trying to give ourselves job security? MAYBE. Anyway, my point is, friend, games are important. That's why we've cherry picked this week's selection just for you. To keep you smiling, and keep the howling winds of the nether realms at bay. You could say we're heroes.

... would you? You know, kind of spread it around a little?... well, it's not technically a lie...

  • TheiaKeyboard Mayhem - My initial infatuation with this fast-paced typing game had little to do with wanting to better my keyboard skills and everything to do with the ridiculous visuals and twangy soundtrack. You type the letters on screen as fast as you can to knock back the enraged... uh, guy, and ultimately push him off a cliff. It's the sort of completely nonsensical idea that could have become something incredibly awesome. Instead, a lack of progression and variation makes this one of those "Hey, check out this weird thing I found" games than a classic.
  • Valthirian ArcValthirian Arc - This was almost a feature. This sim about training students at an academy to increase your fame as principal is ridiculously well presented. The problem is that the lackluster and tediously repetitive gameplay doesn't hold a candle to the top-notch visuals. And while grinding isn't always frowned upon, ultimately the awkward, clunky combat was the final nail in this KAWAII coffin. That said, should you find such grinding to your taste, who are we to judge? (Actually, I'm Canadian. Judging is pretty much what we do. That tickle between your shoulder blades right now? Me. Judging you.)
  • DuckLifeDuckLife - Seriously? Seriously? This is a sim game where you train a duck to compete in various races after your farm was destroyed by a tornado. It's endearing in a weird sort of way, but also so bare bones that you have to wonder if the developer isn't just sitting back, snorting giggles into his cupped hands, kicking his feet and shrieking, "I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY'RE PLAYING IT." Oh well. At least it's a fair and entirely accurate portrayal of the life of a duck.
  • GeoGameGeoGame - Apparently expressly designed to make you realise just how paltry your geographical knowledge is, GeoGame is a very sleek and simple geography game (who'da thunkit!) where you identify locations on a map using hints or trivia questions. You can play anonymously, or connect with Facebook, so your friends can offer you a comforting shoulder to cry on when you lose even the simplest quesHAHA oh man, who am I kidding? Your friends are going to make fun of you so hard.
  • SidewaysSideways - I know what you're thinking, and, yes, it's another platformer that lets you flip the screen around to progress through the levels. Only this time, you flip the screen around to navigate your heroine through the mazes to the exit. It isn't as fluid as it should be, and there isn't really any story, but I like to pretend she's on the run because she stole The Bride's jumpsuit from Kill Bill. Of course, there are other possibilities. COINCIDENCE?!... yeah, probably. Man, I never get to have conspiracies!


For some reason, the "connect" window never popped up during the loading screen in Firefox. I tried it in Safari, and it showed up immediately. (But even after I connected it with my Facebook account, Firefox still just stopped on the loading screen...)

AnonymousGuy March 12, 2010 12:59 AM

DuckLife is so fail that it's awesome. Don't you guys agree? :)

Sillyman March 12, 2010 1:12 AM

You fools! It's still Thursday! Speeding up time like this is a Remarkably Bad Idea! Just as bad as halting time!

waycooler March 12, 2010 2:08 AM

You know, Sillyman, as hard as I laughed at that, and as right as you are... I think it's Friday in Jigland. I mean, it's still Thursday night at 11 for me, but in my memory it has always been this way.

Or, heck, they're screwing with time. Sounds like fun! I want in.

Birdieball March 12, 2010 2:25 AM

Valthirian Arc is pretty fun, but then I started getting annoyed at the fame requirement. I get that you have to keep sending off your top soldiers for fame, but even at level 30 with upgraded weapons, it was never nearly enough for the quota. And then you lose your top soldiers.

Also, the need to always have at least four students sorta gets annoying too. At one point I was 1 point away from the next fame level and 1 gold away from being able to afford a fifth student so I could graduate someone. At that point, I quit.


GeoGame doesn't work, perpetually loading.

StephenM3 March 12, 2010 3:08 AM

The first thing I thought of, reading about DuckLife, was DUCK SIM 2008, by the guy who made Robot Dinosaurs. If you want a more intense and accurate experience with your sim games involving ducks, that's where to go.

After playing DuckLife, I think you might have been too hard on it. It seems to me like a game made by someone without a ton of coding experience, but with a lot of time and effort put into it. It's small, but far from bare-bones, unless you're referring to the graphics. Each of those mini-games may be incredibly simple, but putting the entire package together as a whole was actually pretty well done.


GeoGame has some interesting features, like the "Which Atlanta did this event occur in?" question. But as an Aussie (or other random non-Nortamericano) I have only a random chance of getting it right. Furthermore, when I tried zooming in on the map, which is freakin' tiny on my lovely wide screen, my clicks registered entire continents away from where I thought I was clicking. Not happy, Jan.


Is it an ironic joke with Keyboard Mayhem that after I won it asked me to 'SUBIT SCORE'.

Rather fun game though. Nice production values.


Well, I enjoyed DuckLife. My neon-orange-with-pink-spiked-hair duckling totally kicked that other ducklings rump all over the place.

Yeah, du-u-uck!

Also, Keyboard mayhem would only let me play a few games before randomly not accepting keystrokes. I could refresh, but it wasn't that much fun, anyway.

Didn't try anything else.

CroIntel March 12, 2010 8:04 AM

Valthirian Arc I love, despite its somewhat repetitive gameplay and whatnot. Battle tunes are incredibly catchy as well :)

More to the point however, GeoGame should not really be called that because it's heavily American based. Nothing wrong with that of course, but when only two or three questions out of ten take place outside of America, then I suggest you just dump the rest of the world and focus on America - at least the map would be bigger and your clicking would make more sense.


Keyboard mayhem is extremely buggy and has some terrible design flaws. It often fails to take keyboard input and frequently neglects to give a new word after the first KO in a round.

But what's crazy is that it requires mouse input to start each game. Really? Someone thought that was a good way to make a typing game?

Anonymous March 12, 2010 8:42 AM

A notably bad selection of links, this time...

Keyboard Mahyem would be fun if only... it actually read the player's keystrokes! There isn't much point in being a good typist and seeing just one keystroke in five being registered...

The Geo game is eminently dumb both in presentation ("in which Rome the event happened"?), interface and networking.

I gave up on the others.


Aren't anyone tired of these "world geography" games made by Americans, which are largely focused on insignificant American towns completely unheard by non-Americans? I have a feeling that they are doing this just so they can laugh at people when they can't point out where randomville or nowheretown is.


bwansy, I am sorry for your feelings, but your conspiracy theory is probably ill-founded, as the actual GeoGame server appears to be in the U.K.

Also, I doubt I would be any good at this game, even though I am an American. I do agree, however, that the geographical focus on America is quite biased in the development of these games and illogical in this instance, with very few non-American questions for such a comprehensive map.

MrProsser March 12, 2010 5:07 PM

I have not been able to play the geography game sadly. It looks like I am better off this way though. Another geography game was reported on here some time ago, Geosense and I enjoyed that. And it had a nice world map section that certainly does not only ask about American location. It is not that flashy but it works.

Username March 12, 2010 6:40 PM

GeoGame won't finish loading for me, I think it's a browser issue as noted above (Firefox).

I tried to get into Sideways too, but got pretty fed up with the fact that it wasn't recognizing my commands and thus I kept dying. So, do I hit the "D" key right before the corner, right after I start to fall, etc? Got pretty old when I was frantically hitting the directional shift key and it wasn't acknowledging it. Too bad, looks like a fun game.

Acidifiers March 13, 2010 5:23 AM

No idea why, but... DuckLife made me happy. I played it thrice, where on the third time I'd developed a strategy.

Feed your racing duckling on a strict diet of gourmet blue birdseed, and focus only on one ability at a time, beginning with Running and ending with Swimming.

Running will prepare you for the running races, but also the Beginner flying race as well (you don't actually need to fly for long). Afterwards, well developed flying skills will win first in all flying races, but also in Beginner and Amateur "All Ability" races (you can fly over the most of the water).

If you reach your full potential, use the remaining coins to trick out your chick in preparation for the World Championship.

Very odd thing, because usually as a perfectionist, these "bare-bones" games make me angry; these programmers thought that this thing could possibly stimulate my brain!? They thought that putting the bare minimum could ever possibly do well?

Well it did. Bravo.

You know, it may be bare bones (with some muscle fiber), but if it had skin and hair it would only look better. The game is so simple, it doesn't hide any of the inner workings; amazingly, it doesn't really need to.


GeoGame is indeed heavily biased towards the USA, but also towards - strangely enough - my home country The Netherlands. So for all Americans out there, if the question is not about the USA, then click on The Netherlands, and you'll be the winner every time...

I have not seen any question at all from South America, Africa, Asia, or Australia

GigaClon March 13, 2010 3:36 PM

Geo Game is stupid. One of the questions mentioned Pakistan but both of the Dots were in Egypt!!!

Anonymous March 13, 2010 7:43 PM

The URL for GeoGame suggests that it is based in the UK, not the US. And, yeah, there is a bug in the game where sometimes it will ask you to choose between several points, none of which is in the right place. Once, it just asked me to pick "Which US?" and gave me dots in D.C., Texas and the upper Midwest. Some sort of subtle political humor there?

Carny Asada March 14, 2010 5:39 PM

I enjoy Sideways quite a bit, and dont' find it that derivative -- especially with the ability to fall to your (temporary) death. Maybe "shift" is now a genre of games?

In any case, my only complaint is that the game doesn't save your progress. There are a couple levels that were so fiddly, I had to walk away from them. And when I came back, of course I had to replay everything up to that point again.


I can't say anything for the other games, but I am *very* disappointed in "Keyboard Mayhem." I type an average of about 85 words per minute, and I find that games that rely on speed typing can't keep up with me. That's bad enough, but throw in a game where the computer interface is so buggy that I can sit and type the letters one-at-a-time very slowly and *still* not have the game register what I'm typing, and you have a bundle of frustration in a flash package. Seriously, I played on the medium skill level to start with, just to try it out, and found that once the "beast" was on the edge, I could not type the random letters at all! I'd punch the keys, but the game wouldn't register them! Add insult to injury, every time the "beast" got back off the edge of the cliff, *nothing* I typed would register, and I'd have to restart after watching my little guy get eaten. All in all, a terrible game I wouldn't recommend to anyone.

argyblarg March 15, 2010 10:25 AM

I think geogame is broken. It loads, asks me where Bodega Bay, California is (round 2/10 and 0 time left as soon as I start) and just hangs there forever. Too bad, I usually like these kind of games.


argyblarg, it's the same for me. And I was starting to fear that I'd screwed up the Bodega Bay answer so badly that the game was punishing me out of sheer disgust :). I really hope it gets fixed soon, sounds like fun.


Username- in Sideways you can't change gravity unless you are standing on something solid.


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