Weekend Download №72

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Weekend Download

JohnBWe polled over 800,000 random people on the street and asked them one simple question: are you a squid, or are you an octopus? The response was overhwelmingly the former, prompting us to re-evaluate our personal belief systems so that squid occupied the highest echelon of importance.

spaceball2000.gifSpaceball 2000 (Mac/Win, ~20MB, free) - A great little sci-fi-themed ball-bouncing physics-based platform-puzzle game (could I have worked any more hyphenated phrases in there?!). Use the [arrow] keys to move and build bouncing momentum as you work your way to the key card that opens the level's exit. You can also reverse the stage's gravity by tapping the [spacebar], though you're limited to a few of these in each stage. Use the platform-specific links above to download the game directly.

squidyesnotsooctopus.gifSquid Yes! Not So Octopus! (Windows, 6MB, free) - An arena shooter with an unusual name, you take control of a squid (not an octopus, mind you) raised in the shadow of a mushroom cloud trying to fend his home world from alien robots. Oh, and it's his birthday, too. Fire your Beams Of Electro Death to destroy your foes once and for all!

themanipulator.gifThe Manipulator (Windows, 5MB, free) - A 2D puzzle-platformer with a unique twist: your main weapon is the ability to control the enemy! Tap [X] to "fire" and hit one of the soldiers, then control him as you would yourself, using [X] to shoot your weapon. Move through the level and clear the way using these hapless souls, and when you're good and ready, walk your way to the exit at your leisure.


These are cool games! I can't wait to play them!


The Manipulator is simply AWESOME but it is plagued with serious errors that show up from the beginning of the game till eventually it just quits. What fun is it having to press IGNORE every 2 seconds in such an amazing atmospheric game such as this? Be on the lookout....

They need to fix these bugs QUICK!

Otherwise, an amazing game...looking forward to playing it w/o the issues tho.

Patreon Crew SonicLover January 17, 2009 3:14 PM

I don't know about the Manipulator. I noticed how you could "read the minds" of the people you were manipulating and find out more about them before killing them off. Somehow I have trouble playing a game like that; it just makes me feel too guilty inside. I finally quit out at Sector 1-3.


The manipulator also has some major issues if you have two monitors. It seems to set the resolution of the main monitor, but show up on the 2nd one in a tiny little window.

fuzzyface January 17, 2009 3:51 PM

SonicLover, but as long as the men are anonymous to you, you don't feel guilty killing masses?

I didn't manage to save in the manipulator, and I have absolut no motivation to do it in "one go", too bad...

Patreon Crew SonicLover January 17, 2009 4:41 PM

fuzzyface: Should've known you'd be the one to start a disagreement.

And yes, as a matter of fact, I don't feel as bad killing characters when I don't know who they are. The more anonymous they are, the less human they are, the less I identify with them, and the less guilt I feel inflicting genocide on them.

fuzzyface January 17, 2009 4:53 PM

I'm not aware it was an argument... its a well known fact (milgram experiment and so on). I like it when games give the victims of the main hero some personality... I don't see it as a downsite, altough it spoils the fun of unscrupulous genociding "monsters".

Pieter8888 January 17, 2009 5:11 PM

Does anyone know how to get through lvl 14 of Spaceball 2000? It's the level that looks like a giant hourglass. I can pick up the key card but the block crush me so I don't have any other way out than falling though the glass witch kills me :(
any help would be appreciated!

Pieter8888 January 17, 2009 5:14 PM

whoa I got it the first try after that post:

lvl 14:

note the brick floor totally underneat the level, get down there and break the glass above you making the movable bricks fall, push them away to the left and right side of the screen and stand in the middle, you should know what to do after that.


Manipulator needs some kind of save or checkpoint feature. I'd like to play the entire game, but not all in one sitting, and I can't just minimize it and come back later because it changes my screen resolution making other programs unusable.


Ug, Manipulator is alright. Mainly I just found the blurry style hard to look at for too long. How long is the game? I made it to 2-4 before my eyes needed a break.


SY!NSO! is teh fun!

Try the "Are you mental" effects option, it really is mental.

waycooler January 17, 2009 8:55 PM

The Manipulator was a little bit disturbing, for example when you kill the person instead of just letting them go, but it was fun. I stopped playing though because of how twitchy the graphics are. If there was maybe an option to turn the effect off, I would definitely play more of it.


It's possible to beat The Manipulator without killing anyone.. I got one or two people killed by mistake, though, and it really does need a save feature.

I kept thinking that it would be easy to make it tougher, too. The last levels seem easier than the first ones.

It's a cool little game, though, and it works on Crossover.


The Manipulator was an excellent game! Very fun and not too difficult. There were two different endings, but you are going to find out what they are for yourself. :) I might try for the other ending tomorrow afternoon ...


Is there any way to save in the Manipulator?


Why not give the manipulator a full review?


I'd kill to be able to play The Manipulator because the premise is great, but I can't for clinical reasons.

I don't understand why someone would make their game in a blurry, flashy, twitching style like that unless they were purposely trying to irritate players.


The second ending (passive) was nice. Manipulator was definitely worth playing through twice. Unfortunately, I must have accidentally killed someone on the first "key" level. As for the graphic style, it might not cater to those susceptible to epileptic seizures, and it is evident that there are some people that do not like it, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable, atmospheric experience for myself.


Because of the way that the end game and credits are formatted, it does seem that the "best ending" of The Manipulator is to get through it as a pacifist.
My only annoyance with it was the sudden need for more accurate platforming skills in 5-2 and 5-3.
I've played through it four times, twice as a pacifist and twice as a god of death and had a few questions about the pacifist route.

Due to the text in the cut scenes, do the kills made during Stages 5-1 through 5-3 not matter for which ending?

Are there only two endings available on this route also? Is mind controlling the chief the same as the "kill him off" option if you surprised him? The two times that I did it, I mind controlled the chief, even though the text box with its options still popped up since I had entered the final room.

And a random hint for pacifists:

If you accidentally kill anyone, you can kill yourself off which will purge that kill from the record.
And if you didn't notice it when gaining control of weapon bearing enemies, pressing space will switch their weapons between the lethal one and a tranquilizer which is still considered peaceful.


In the Manipulator, the idea is to NOT kill any person, right? Because I think I found out the hard way when there wasn't anyone left to open up the doors and type in the password -_-


The Manipulator can be won as a pacifist or god of death; all you have to do with passwords is read their minds before they die, and all you have to do with keys is tranq them (which can be done with the spacebar as mentioned above).


I can't find the download link for Spaceball. I am at the MySpace page, but don't see a download link.


Thanks so much, BDR! One more question before I resume the game: Dicky mentioned something about 'killing yourself'.

Say if I 'kill' a few on the previous level and want to 'purge' myself by suicide. Would the game forget me killing those, or would it resume as normal?


And sorry again, my mind keeps slipping away when I really, really want to ask this, if anyone could help my answer this:

Is tranquilising someone equal to killing? Not that I don't really care, but I'm curious :)



Killing yourself only resets the enemies on the current level. If you killed enemies on the previous level they'll still count.

And tranquilizing does not count as killing.


It does appear that there are only two endings for the pacifist route, even with the third option that is available.

And to answer one of my own questions from earlier,

You can go on a killing spree in stages 5 and you will still get the pacifist options in 5-4.

And a possibly useful bug for pacifists is that if you can end your peaceful manipulation with the enemy character jumping, it will just continue going back and forth in midair, unable to attack. This doesn't count for the air force or the bouncers, but you can usually find a decent out of the way spot in which to to stash them.


Ta, Neddo :)

Now, anyone like to share their thoughts on Sector 5-2? It's too difficult for me, and I'm inches away to esc the game >_<

[Fixed your angle bracket smileys. Please use &lt; and &gt; instead of typing just the angle brackets, because in HTML they have special meaning and can mess up the page. Please use Preview to be sure your comment appears as you expect. Thank you! -Jay]


Why can't I seem to figure out the password in level 1-4?!? I've read the minds of all the enemies and shot just about everything, what am I missing?


@Username: That drove me nuts for awhile too. You have to

first look at the door password screen as yourself before you can read someone's mind for the password. Otherwise, I suppose the game has no reason for you to be looking for a password.


I played through The Manipulator for the second time just now, taking the Pacifist route. At the end, something weird bug happened.

As soon as I walked into the room with the boss I hit 'x' to "shoot" him. My guy then pulled out a gun and told him he was under arrest and a text box came up asking if I wanted to cuff him or take over his body. As I was thinking about it, other messages continued to pop up and things continued. Though I never actually made a choice, the game continued and ended as though I had decided to take over his body. I guess I shouldn't be so quick to shoot next time!


That exact thing happened to me, fnord3125. It's a shame because I actually wanted to choose the other option. I don't want to play through it again to find out if it makes any difference, though.


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