They say laughter is the best medicine. Typically, I disagree; medicine is the best medicine. But during this time of year when, for most of us, the days are getting longer and colder, laughter is a great way to help stay warm. This week's Link Dump Friday features a batch of games to make you grin... or else.
- No Time to Explain! - Forever earning a place in my heart for its completely ridiculous premise and equally ridiculous but hilarious dialogue (do screams for help count as dialogue?) this absurd action game by Tom Brien is about a man who receives a visit from his future self, only to have it cut short when a giant crab claw bursts through the wall and abducts his strange visitor. There is literally no time to explain as you must take up the conveniently dropped super-powered laser and use it to propel yourself after... uh... yourself, around obstacles and hazards, as Future Dude's cries get increasingly piteous and hysterical. While the propulsion controls are unfortunately extremely frustrating, this is one game that you'll probably enjoy checking out just for the laughs alone.
- Camelot Smashalot - If you've never heard of Monty Python before, you're probably just going to be confused and maybe a little frightened at this physics puzzle game that has a group of very silly knights trying to destroy castles with some very silly ammunition while some very silly sound effects play. You've probably seen this sort of game before, but it's still entertaining to launch a pig at your enemies while they shriek in exaggerated agony and terror. The addition of Holy Hand Grenades and some more puzzle-like aspects to certain levels, such as castles with moving parts, helps to distinguish the game somewhat from its influences. It's also good training for any little nerds you have growing up in your dwelling. "Okay, sweetie, what does the knight say... ?"
- Hurry Up Bob!!! - You will never catch me in a mine. I have just enough claustrophobia that seeing Mike Rowe first nearly buried in coal dust and then nearly become trapped in a narrow cave crawlspace has instilled within me a natural distrust of enclosed areas. Now I have another reason to avoid them thanks to this arcade platform game where you star as a tiny miner (or is that a minor miner? HAW!) trying to outrun a swelling tide of lava by climbing as high as he can past traps, monsters, and other hindrances with your reflexes and power ups. If the movement and jumping were a bit tighter, this game would be a lot better, but it's still adorable, and besides which, entertaining to beat cave men to a bloody pulp with your bare hands.
- Lame Castle - [Note: Requires Unity plugin.] When Sony made an ad slamming mobile phones as a gaming platform, they probably never expected one developer (Bradley Johnson) to take them up on their joke concept of a mobile game. Inspired by the "Lame Castle" idea intended as a joke in the commercial, this short but sweet little arcade game features you as a knight on a wee little hobby-horse charging along a straight path, leaping over or bashing through obstacles, on your way to rescue your princess. The levels are short, and Endless Mode doesn't really offer quite enough variation to keep your interest for long, but with its adorable presentation and simple gameplay, it's easily worth a play and a smile.
- Night Adventure of Sleepwalker - Garbuz Games brings us this odd spot-the-difference title about the perils of sleepwalking. Speaking as someone who has the tendency to wake up if the cat sneezes three rooms over, I'm rather jealous of this girl's ability to not only survive a fall down a manhole, but to then proceed to snuggle into the cold, hard floor and continue sleeping like a baby. The artwork is simple, but really shines, and serves as a cautionary tale against rats. Do you think this is what Jill Valentine was worried about when she said she was close to becoming a "Jill sandwich"?