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Link Dump Friday №159

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Link Dump Fridays

DoraYou have no idea how disappointed I was that April Fool's didn't fall on a Friday this year, and I was unable to render you immobile with a devastating prank in addition to your serving of this week's package of games. In fact, I was so upset that I decided to go down to the local high school and play basketball. I'm not very good at it, but I just wanted to chill out and relax. So you can imagine how upset I was when a couple of guys who looked to be up to some mischief started making trouble in the vicinity. I got in a bit of a scuffle with them and when I told my mom she got scared and said, "You're moving in with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air".

... I whistled for a cab and when it came near...

  • Time Sensitive MaterialsTime Sensitive Materials - Everyone has that one summer job they hated, whether it was helping Grandma shave her calluses, or walking the neighbour's incontinent Saint Bernard. For me it was the year I spent trying to transport highly explosive alien materials to a containment device in under ten seconds before I was vaporised. This twitchy platformer is super short, but that special brand of frustrating we love so much. At least, I assume this boiling sensation in the pit of my stomach is love.
  • Unreal CityUnreal City - [Parental Warning: Contains scenes that may not be suitable for young children.] Billing itself as an Alternate Reality Game, Unreal City wins a lot of points for high production values and a twist-sy, turns-sy plot, but lost out on a feature of its own when I realised that the whole "game" aspect was barely there. It's a well acted piece of work, although the dialogue is a bit too heavy-handed and prose-ish, but none of the clues you uncover or the choices you make actually affect the game except for the very last one. I, uh. I actually don't have anything witty to say about this one. Ooo... although, we do have some time before the next game for a tasteless knock-knock joke! Knock-knock!... hey, where you goin'? Awww!
  • Kaban SteeplechaseKaban Steeplechase - This is about a boar with a gun. A boar. With a gun. Boar. Gun. I just want to make sure you've grasped that deep and complex starting point before I tell you that the rest of the game is a race of sorts as you run, shoot, and stink your way to a big city to win a tournament. Because what else are you going to do if you're a boar with a gun? I mean, besides be awesome in general. The controls are a bit sticky and frustrating, which is what earned this one a noble Link Dump Mention rather than a feature, but it's still worth a look for boar fans. I know you're out there.
  • A Stitch In Time: Fishing GameA Stitch In Time: Fishing Game - Hey, adventure fans! Stop writing those angry e-mails to George R R Martin and Patrick Rothfuss for a minute and partake in some good, old fashioned point-and-click adventuring in A Stitch In Time. Then, when you're done, you can relive the glory of the 30 Second fishing minigame with this little beauty, where you try to haul in the biggest catch you can before time runs out. It's just like actual fishing, but without all the sunburns, bug bites, and crippling boredom. Hooray!
  • Bread GirlBread Girl - By now Minoto should need no introduction. Each week I keep telling myself I'm not going to include another of these bizarre little point-and-clicker'ers, but I'm so weak. I can't stand in the face of such adorable weirdness. Your goal, this time, is to help Bread Girl by dealing with dentists, angry shoppers, and some sort of... furry... clawed... thing. Then, when you're done, you can play the sequel. I can only hope Bread Girl is eventually reunited with her true love, Ciabatta Guy.
  • TremerzTremerz - If you're not familiar with the glorious source material for this avoidance game designed for Newgrounds' Kevin Baconpalooza, shame on you! We're not friends anymore. It's short, it's simple, and it's even fairly easy, but it's just the right amount of goofy, five minute fun to fit into your day. Plus, y'know. Tremors. Now go play it and don't bother talking to me again until you're properly educated in 80's-90's campy horror films. (So help me if you mention remakes... )


Birdynumnum April 2, 2010 12:24 AM

Dora, in my books you're definitely the freshest prince(ss) of Bel-Air!

wlangford April 2, 2010 12:42 AM

Okay, with Time Sensitive Materials, is there a trick to jumping 4 blocks high? Or is it really just that impossible?

Londonbrig0 April 2, 2010 12:59 AM

Wow, the controls for Time Sensitive Material are phenomenally annoying.


Time Sensitive Materials has probably the worst controls of any platform game I've ever played. The sliding is just way too over the top, making it a test of patience as well as trial and error rather than actual skill or logic. I usually love games that require multiple tries, but with those games, I walk away with a sense of improvement. Every level of this game had me cursing the apparently frictionless world I was living in. :(

Mystify April 2, 2010 1:51 AM

Did the ships really need to be made of ice?


Well, I made the first part of TSM without deaths on easy, but I made the

"get back"

part with like... 7 deaths.

V2Blast April 2, 2010 3:46 AM

I got a final score of 3710 in TSM. On one of the levels I actually finished with "0.0" seconds remaining. Controls were annoying due to the difficulty of jumping 4 blocks up, and the utter lack of friction. Music helped you know how much time you had left without looking at the timer. The thing I actually found interesting about Time Sensitive Materials was the level design - they had to make it so that each level could be completed forwards and backwards - and they also had to make it so that you could never get stuck. Super frustrating and repetitive, though.

Randomname April 2, 2010 4:33 AM

I gave up on TSM on lvl 3. There is hard... then there is frustrating... and then there is simply impossible.

ThemePark April 2, 2010 6:02 AM

Well played, good madam. Well played.


You had me at Ciabatta Guy.


TSM is a great concept for a game... too bad the controls were a complete fail. It actually wasn't the levels going forward that were so bad, but it seems like the designer tried as hard as possible to punish people who scouted ahead without grabbing the orb first to see what they were up against. I gave up after trying for about 5 minutes just to get back to the orb on level 2-4(I think) -- couldn't find a kill or restart button. Judging by other comments, you have to go backwards later on in the game anyway. If I couldn't do it with no time constraints, I can't imagine trying to get it in 10 seconds.

Anonymous April 2, 2010 11:23 AM

i love that tremerz is "inspired by: kevin bacon"...


Had to quit Time Sensitive Materials on the 3rd backwards mission, maybe I'll try it on easy. Tremerz is quite enjoyable though I haven't finished it yet. Thanks for another great Link Dump Friday!

Grool The Demon April 2, 2010 3:24 PM

I agree with the above posts that Time Sensitive Materials has the most annoying game mechanics ever. I don't care if it was created in one week, there is no reason that if you want to survey the area for the best possible path, that it should take you an hour of feet sliding to get back to the orb. Good in concept but frustrating as hell to play.

Grool The Demon April 2, 2010 3:29 PM

Now Tremerz on the other hand... Still frustrating but in that good I just need to figure out the pattern and watch my butt sort of way. Very simple and well executed little game.

StephenM3 April 2, 2010 3:44 PM

TSM's control problem is that they are incredibly inconsistent: Jumping has apparently no momentum whatsoever, for as soon as you release the jump key you're stopped dead, vertically. Horzontally, it takes forever to decelerate. This wouldn't be as much of a problem if acceleration wasn't so fast! In any game, the speeding-up and the slowing-down should be fairly similar, otherwise controlling things becomes needlessly obscure.

zbeeblebrox April 3, 2010 5:32 AM

Heheh, I'd say the reviews were better than the games this time around :p

I'm guessing you got to your new place of residence around seven or eight, perhaps even wishing your cab driver a curt farewell in the process?


Okay, is there a trick to TSM that I'm missing? I can't jump over the 4 block high wall at the end of level 3. Even though it looks like I can.

Cyberjar88 April 3, 2010 12:01 PM

Not exactly a remake... But there was a TV show based on the movies....


V2Blast, were you playing on easy or normal? Because I really think that level 3 going backwards is actually impossible. I've been doing it perfectly and still keep dying about 0.5 seconds away from the end.

Terrible, terrible game


I have the strong impression that Time Sensitive Materials wasn't playtested. I mean, clearly some thought went into level design, in order to get so many cases where the absolute minimum time needed to get from one goal to the other, if every keypress occurs at exactly the right instant for exactly the right length of time, is exactly 10 seconds (I also had one or two "0.0 seconds remaining" levels). But I'm not convinced the author made sure that every level could actually be completed by a human being within that time limit.

K, for the record, it is possible to do the whole thing on normal difficulty. I eventually finished, with a score of 4380. There were at least two levels that took I don't know how many dozens of tries, where seriously every motion had to be exactly right or the character would blow up before the goal. I can't explain why I kept on playing. "Oh, trying just one more time will take only ten seconds..."

A game that requires this much precision, with controls this poor, is a terrible, frustrating experience. I want it to be featured in a full review so I can rate it a 0. Dora, this boiling sensation in the pit of my stomach is the desire to kill Adam Durand.

If there weren't enough other things to complain about, the story fragments that are dropped as you advance totally fail to pay off at the end. I was looking forward to at least some half-interesting idea behind the

sentient blue lifeforms falling off the cores and the final ship actively trying to oppose your progress and whatnot,

but the final message was something to the effect of

"Congratulations, you win! Your score is [whatever]. Your success will be noted on your permanent record. Press Enter to start a new game from the beginning."

I didn't even realize there was an easy mode that gave you 50% longer per level until after I'd finished. That was an error of labeling right there: instead of "easy" and "normal", the two modes could be "normal" and "impossible". That would go a long way toward correcting the player's expectations.

With 15 seconds per level, I imagine it would be orders of magnitude easier. [a few minutes later:] Yeah, with the hell of normal difficulty behind me, I was able to finish easy difficulty in a few minutes, with no more than one or two tries per level and a score of 16680.

...Wait, did I just play the entire game *again*? What in the world is wrong with me?


Ah, Minoto..

I laughed at the 'green potato' and 'suspicious child on the road' parts.


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