Zee and the Alien Machine
In order to earn votes, you can't just get your partygoers a drink and expect everything to work out. You need to really satisfy these people, and usually that means listening to them and getting them what they want. You're probably going to need to get a little creative on your end. Control Zee with your mouse, and click an item to pick it up. If you need to use that item, click on it in your inventory and move it to what you want to use it on. Need to combine two items? Drag the items to the two slots in the upper right corner and hit the "+" button. That's all you need to know to have a successful party. Well, that, and figure out whatever is going on with that machine... you don't suppose... aliens are actually... ?... Naaaaaaah! That's crazy talk.
Analysis: Just as we've come to expect from Jay Ziebarth ("Zeebarf") and Steve Castro, Zee and the Alien Machine looks and plays great. Zeebarf has mastered his distinctive artistic style; you can always look at a game and tell when it's his, but you can also notice the slight differences that compliment the tone and setting of each game. This is a comparatively mundane scenario from a guy who has made games about a bounty hunter in a society that relies heavily on favors and another that features an exterminator in a fantasy setting, but while you won't be seeing a lot of strange things, the art still draws you in. The ordinary setting and situation works, and Zeebarf is good about sprinkling in the more fantastic elements while you're trying to host a successful party.
There aren't a lot of what you might think of as traditional point-and-click puzzles. The game isn't very challenging, but you won't be able to breeze through it without putting some thought into it. Zee and the Alien Machine also feels shorter than Zeebarf's other offerings, but he experiments with some gimmicks to make up for it, like some randomized elements and multiple endings to give you some replay value. If you just want to see the different endings you can restart from the moment you made a particular decision, and the brevity makes it easier to replay.
Zee and the Alien Machine is fun and looks great. It won't take you long to complete, but it's very enjoyable while it lasts. It's imaginative, funny and effective, and is definitely going on my short list of the types of parties I love. (Somewhere between "Beach Blanket Bingo Party" and "Pajama Party".) If you're a fan of Clickshake's work, this is one party you'll definitely want to attend. Just remember to keep your eye on the sky while you do it. Do-DO-do-do-DO-doooooooooo....