Thursday, 20 August 2009

Flash game round up, part 1.

Ok, so as most of you will have noticed, we are now firmly in the middle of the season of gaming drought known as the Summer. But fear not, with my help you may be able to avoid needlessly going outside and taking part in the dreadful art of socializing. My intentions are to wade through the positive plethora of mediocre flash games, to find the rare gems that shine through the shit. I’m going to start my search on the front page of Newgrounds, the home of many a flash gamer. So without further ado…

The Facebook game

A game for those amongst you who want titles that make an existential statement

This title sees you taking up the mantle of an average emo teenager, struggling to balance facebook with other important activities (like watching tv… or writing macabre poetry about dead animals). In order to play the game you use the arrow keys to move around between different items of interest, which charge up satisfaction metres. You have five major desires to salve in this game, these are taking pictures of yourself in the mirror (like the vain twit that you are), phoning your friends (to talk about the senseless masses who don’t understand you because they’ve been blinded by prejudice), listening to music (by some whiney American teenagers about how their parents have limited their credit allowance), romancing (with your miserable c**t of a boyfriend) and of course posting on facebook (to an uncaring, uninterested mass of faceless internet drones). It’s not long into the experience that you realise that there’s no winning in this game… there is only failure and misery. So on balance it’s not really a game so much as a depression simulator and in that respect, it succeeds. The most I can give this title is a
halfway thumb as while it’s a mildly amusing joke, it’s not actually fun in any sort of traditional sense.

Note: If you are actually an emo kid and I’ve just really offended you, don’t worry I’m only joking (you miserable, self-righteous son of a gun).


Sometimes less is more or less, more

Now, this title has really charmed me, as it has the brilliant strengths of being incredibly simple, yet ludicrously hard. The game requires you to manage four mini games simultaneously, taking intense amounts of concentration and coordination. You begin by balancing a ball on a board which you control with the left and right arrow keys, which in itself is pretty easy. Before too long a second mini game is introduced where you have to move a block of colour out of the way of incoming arrows with the up and down arrow keys; still pretty simple. Now things start to get a little tricky. The third mini game requires you to move a green square around between different blocks (which are counting down from ten) with the W,A,S,D keys. I found that at this point I had to swap my hands around to counter cognitive dissonance. Then the fourth and final game is introduced. This last game requires you to pilot a ship out of the way of incoming blocks (pressing the space bar to ascend and releasing to descend). At this point the game is pretty devilishly hard, but it’s still doable. However the game doesn’t end with the fourth mini game, the longer you play, the faster it gets it eventually becomes next to impossible to progress without losing one of the mini games. This is a brilliant little game and deserves
two thumbs up, for taking a simple little idea and delivering with grace and style.

Daytraders of the Dead

The cause of the G.R.E.E.D virus has been traced back to the eighties

The eighties have a lot to answer for, first they gave synth pop, Margaret Thatcher and Reagan, but now it turns out they gave us corporate banker zombies as well. Daytraders of the Dead is a neat little top down shooter where you take on the role of a vigilante, fighting off G.R.E.E.D zombies that have taken over our financial establishments. Apart from being a very funny concept, it is also a rather stunningly good flash game. As you progress through each level, you’ll find yourself blessed with a steadily improving arsenal of weapons and power ups, which never leave you overpowered, but give you a pleasing edge over the horde. I played through the title on the normal difficulty and found it incredibly hard, so there’s definitely plenty of challenge available here, with a hard difficulty and survival mode on offer as well. The controls are seamless, with you moving the character around with either the W,A,S,D or the arrow keys and aiming and shooting with the mouse. Furthermore the action never lets up making it an incredibly intense, exhilarating title which is relentlessly fun. Can’t recommend it enough
Two thumbs up

YouDa Legend Amsterdam

Do you enjoy finding random objects for no clear reason? If so this is the game for you

I fundamentally don’t understand this game… I kind of get what it is and what it’s trying to do, but can’t help but feel that it’s a bit audacious trying to pass it as a game. The idea seems to be that there’s some kind of mystery (apparently) and you’re the one tasked with solving it. However it doesn’t actually specify what said mystery is, just that there is one and to be honest, I didn’t make it far enough to find out what was going on (thankfully). For some reason you go around finding objects off of a list in order to progress from one screen to the next. This may sound reasonable, perhaps even fun, but slow down and let me explain. The kind of objects that you have to collect include, potatoes, thumbtacks and paper airplanes… it’s like you’re playing as a sever OCD criminal detective (I don’t know about you, but I’ve never particularly wanted to play a game where the central character was Monk, from that god awful daytime tv detective show). As if this wasn’t bad enough, the game actively tries to stop you from playing by making the mouse move around like a feather caught in a gust composed of farts, every time you click too often (I’m sorry game, but if you’re going to force to look around dull backdrops to find potatoes, I am going to click around randomly and if you don’t like you can f*ck off, f*ck right off!). Everything about this title is pretentious and tedious in equal measure and deserves nothing but disdain. I can only recommend this game to you if you suffer from severe OCD’s or if you have a fetish for finding potatoes and as such I have to give it an exaggerated
Two thumbs down

Well that’s it for this instalment. I’ll be back very soon with reviews of more flash titles from the Newgrounds front page. In the meantime please let me know what you think and let me know if I should try and make this into a semi-regular feature. Cheers for reading.



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