Monday, 24 August 2009

Flash game round up, part 3 (Noobtoober suggestions)

Well I was going to finish reviewing games from the newgrounds front page; but then a few of you sent me suggestions for games to review and I decided to review them instead. Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas (If any of you comment below I shall award you with a noobie for inspiring this digression Very Happy), it’s been great fun playing through all of the suggestions! Anyway, without further ado let the review commence…

Last Stand 2 (suggested by capnredchops)

There’s nothing more terrifying than an army of obese zombies!

As some of you might know, a group of scientists based in Africa recently tried to mathematically model the outcome of a zombie apocalypse… their findings? Well it turns out the only way that we can realistically survive such a scenario, is apparently to arm ourselves with combat shotguns and pray to Zeus (or any other historical God figure) for mercy… and preferably lots of ammunition. That being the case, you can consider this training for that inevitable day in the future when McDonalds infuse their burgers with the T-Virus (We all know it’s coming).

Last Stand 2 finds your character desperately trying to move towards Union City (I know, towards the city, what a tit!), where he has heard tell of a rescue plan. In order to do so however, you’ll need to cover a long distance. This requires supplies, people, traps and mostly importantly, lots and lots of weapons. On each of the 40 nights you’ll find yourself having to fend off gigantic hordes of zombies with whatever weapons you happen to have sourced during the day. Throughout these onslaughts you’ll find yourself restricted to move around behind barricades on the far right of the screen (also limiting the zombie’s easy access to your brains). You repel the armies of daytime TV viewers by aiming and shooting with the mouse (an often imprecise art), trying to score headshots to increase efficiency. Unfortunately the aiming is a bit hit and miss (pun intended) and you’ll often find that you get swamped because of the slightly dodgy system that is used. Thankfully most of the time you’ll have fellow survivors helping you, stopping this becoming too much of an issue most of the time. Furthermore, you’ll often find traps which can be employed to help with your quest to quell the quasi cadaverous masses (I had to force that one Very Happy), easing the struggle. At the end of each night you’re given twelve hours in which to search for supplies, survivors, traps and musty old pornography (what… there’s no one around to judge you!) and to repair your barricades. You’ll have to manage your time wisely in order to get the right balance of searching, travelling and repairing and successfully making your way through the campaign.

Overall the Last Stand 2 is an incredibly deep flash game with incredible graphics, good cinematics (a rarity in flash gaming) and fairly solid game play. The one thing holding it back is the shooting mechanic, but it’s unfair to mark it down too much because of that and on those grounds I grant it a strangely appropriate One and a half thumbs

Multiplayer Jelly Battle (another suggestion from capnredchops

This is what happens when gelatine based confectioneries are introduced to communism

I’m not quite sure where the concept for this game could have come from, what I do know is that I like it regardless. MJB is a game of light tactics which can either be played by yourself against A.I opponents or multiplayer against fellow internet goons. The game itself has you playing as one of four sadistic jelly babies, who’s only goal is to massacre one another.

Each match pits you and your wits against three other players (all jelly, all pissed!) in a four way battle to the death. The best way I can describe the game play is as an actioney, turn based grid type thing. You attack other players by jumping to a different square with a power assigned to it. Once all the players have moved, each of them uses whatever power is assigned to the square that they’re inhabiting. It’s an interesting play style that nicely balances quick thinking, luck and skill together in a strong well presented package. The single player isn’t exactly stellar, but then one assumes that it only exists to allow for practice and to grant you the ability to play when no one else is on the servers. When I tried out the multiplayer myself I found that the match started almost immediately (meaning there’s still plenty of people playing this, so now is definitely the time to try it) and remained seamless throughout. It probably won’t keep you captivated too long (mostly due to the lack of challenging opponents) but it’s definitely worth giving it a shot while people are still playing it. MJB receives Two thumbs up as a brief bit of multiplayer goodness.

Death versus Monstars (suggested by ultrabean2.0)

This is about as calm as the action gets!

I really can’t believe how good some of these flash titles are; this is one of many examples of a title that could happily co-exist with professional pay for play titles (With a little bit of extra polish). I’m not sure what the story behind the game is (frankly it doesn’t matter), but what I do know is that this is an example of how flash games should aspire to be.

In Death versus Monstars you play as death (or at least his disambiguated head), fighting off hundreds of colourful enemies with your heavily upgradeable cannon. The control scheme is quite different to the majority of things you’re likely to have come across before. You control Death by moving the mouse in the direction you wish to travel, with the cannon swinging round to fire in the other direction. The cannon can be locked in position at any time by clicking down the left mouse button, meaning you don’t have to be constantly changing directions to target enemies. You also have the option slowing down time at any point (trust me, you’ll be using this a lot) in order to outmanoeuvre enemies, by pressing down on the space bar. Obviously you can’t do this all the time as that would be daft, so you’re limited to a fairly generous amount of bullet time using a gauge at the bottom of the screen. There is another gauge to be found as well, the berserk gauge. Once the berserk gauge fills you can activate the berserk power by double clicking, granting a few moments of invulnerability and firing bullets from all angles, annihilating enemies, allowing much needed rest bite and massively increasing your score. As you play the game felled enemies will drop coinage which can be used to purchase upgrades of your cannon, your health and your berserk abilities; this adds a welcome extra layer of depth and gives the game extra longevity.

The game contains ten main campaign levels and an extra endless level where you can fight for score supremacy (Note: if you get this far check the high scores and you’ll notice that the top score is clearly a bot, either that or the guy who lasted 18 hours had taken an awful lot of speed. I’m currently 33rd globally). Each of the levels has one of two objectives, either kill X number of enemies or last n seconds. All of the levels are challenging and interesting in their own right, with a prevalent strong difficulty curve. Everything from the characters to the backgrounds is simple, stylish, slick and lots of other words beginning with s (except that one). This has quickly become one of my all favourite flash games and truly deserves the ultimate accolade of Two thumbs up

Tetris Friends (as suggested by ‘the three hole’?{couldn’t find you in the forum list}during the main show

At this early stage you’re opponents appear to be comprised of stray keyboard hamsters and nodding birds

Tetris friends is a website for Tetris lovers everywhere. There is a wealth of games available to be played on the site, but the specific game I intend to review today is 6P battle.

6P is another multiplayer battle game, but this time it’s a game that we all already know and love. The game pits you against five human opponents over a two minute period, during which your goal is to rack up as many points as possible, and make life difficult for other players. I’m going to make an assumption here and guess that you all know how to play Tetris and stick to describing what makes this game different. What really makes this game different from previous iterations is the targeted attack system. Every second line of blocks that you disappear causes two layers of blocks to form on another players screen, until they can get a line themselves. As you play a targeting reticule moves over each of the individual players screens, showing you which player will suffer if you perform an attack. This adds an interesting tactical element, as you score extra points for KO’ing other players. You have the option of either coordinating attacks on the weakest player, or simply scoring as many lines as possible (Note: this isn’t meant to be taken as a drug taking reference Very Happy) and avoiding unnecessary delays.

It seems to be that, at any time you want to play the server can instantly connect you with five other players (I’ve never had any delay) meaning that switching between matches is seamless and carefree throughout. Each player is given the option of creating their own profile, which is kind of an aside, but a pleasant feature all the same. Success in battles levels up your rank, moving you towards battles against more experienced/competent players. This is definitely a good thing as you’ll spend the first few matches playing against, what I can only are assume simple trained monkeys or young Earth creationists, leaving you somewhat miffed by the lack of challenge. It’s not long before you’ll find yourself playing against other people who people that have calculated how to use the keyboard and have the capacity for coordinated thought. Once you get into the flow of it, chances you’ll really enjoy what’s on offer here. 6P battle is quite clearly a fairly high budget title as everything about it is seamless and well presented , but it’s not the budget that wins out here… it’s the strength of concept and quality of delivery that takes the finish. This is another absolutely fantastic flash title and is one hundred percent deserving of a score of Two thumbs up

Red Star Fall (Suggested by BashmentGal)

Got this link from BashmentGal’s blog which you should really check it out at

It turns out I haven’t got anything even vaguely witty to say about this image

Red Star Fall is one of a growing number of what I like to call “tactical falling games” . The aim in these titles is to drop an object (in this case a red star) to some point lower down the screen without dropping them too far. You do this by clicking on the blocks that you want to disappear and hoping that it doesn’t lead to your downfall. As you progress you’ll come across more complex towers, comprised with irremovable blocks and exploding blocks as well, meaning that the challenge changes incrementally.

Each of the game’s levels is scored for speed and efficiency, which is added up to a total score and can be uploaded to be compared with other player’s scores. All of the in game physics are perfect, never feeling erratic or unrealistic (which I guess is quite important in a game that is essentially about physics) and always responding correctly to new situations. If I have one quibble with this game (and there is only one), it’s that there’s not enough of it. I got to the end in less than ten minutes and was left with the horrible feeling of wanting more… but more didn’t come. While it lasts this is a very classy piece of flash, deserving of respect and admiration, thus its receival of the coveted Two thumbs up

Well that’s it for this installment… I’ll most probably be back with one of these at some point in the future, but until then big thanks to you for reading and even bigger thanks to everyone who contributed ideas.


1 comment:

  1. Really sweet article! I think I might actually check some of these out, particularly Last Stand 2 and Tetris Friends.