Friday, June 30, 2006

Armadillo Run

Armadillo Run is a neat indie game where you have to construct bridges made of cloth, metal and ropes and you need to make a ball (armadillo) roll over the bridge to arrive to a specific place. You need to be careful not to over-stress the parts of the bridge, coz otherwise it breaks down.

The user interface is very intuitive. You will start playing it in no time. Also you can create your own levels which is a great plus. You can also share your levels with others or download what others have created.

Grab the demo.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Indigo Prophecy

Indigo Prophecy (aka Fahrenheit) is now a bit old (released Oct 2005) however I got the chance to finally play the demo of this game. It is a thriller adventure game. Some guy apparently manages to possess other people and so is able to do murders at a distance. The interesting part of the game is the way you do actions which are done with mouse gestures. Another plus is that you can achieve a goal in a scene in many ways so there that open endedness feeling (but it's just a feeling mind you :) ). Also, you are shown what is happenning elsewhere while you're playing, like for example a policeman is coming towards the room you're in and so u have to hurry to do the actions required. The demo is quite short and you cannot skip cinematics if you want to replay the demo...argh!! I will try to buy a copy of this game when I have more free time on my hands :)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Episodic content - not the holy grail for game releases

Ok, so far we have two games that have been converted to releasing of episodes: Half-Life 2 Episode 1 and SiN Episode 1. They are both available on Steam. Regarding SiN Episode 1 I still have to play it.

Valve had originally said that they will be releasing HL2 episodes every 6 months, but I've already read somewhere that the release date is Spring 2007. Now that isn't really 6 months away is it? I'm already not impressed by what I saw in HL2 ep 1, however Valve are promising that episode 2 will have something new. Sincerely I don't care much about either the G-man or the Vortigaunts. I remember in HL1 trying to kill the G-man but obviously they didn't attach any bullet collision detection with his mesh. Ok the story telling done by Valve is nice, but heck give me some new gameplay. It wasn't worth the 20$ IMHO. Maybe 10$ would have been better *grin*

I don't think episodes will become a major way of releasing games. They could have named HL2 episode 1 anything, HL players would have still bought it. Ideally the publishers should release an episode every 3 months. 6 months is too much (let alone a year). Gamers will soon learn that they play games to experience new challenging gameplay. If you give them the same gameplay but with an extension to the story they will get bored. There's already a statistic that only 22.75% have finished episode 1 although Valve has said that this could be a bug in their statistic collection. If new episodes just mean more story telling, I prefer buying the season of 24 or X-files rather than a 5hr game with no new gameplay.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Prey demo - nice ideas

I have to say I was very sceptical about Prey but after launching the demo I got hooked.

You start in a bar where your girlfriend works and some drunk guys try to grab her. So you take your pipe-wranch and BAMMM! Then the room starts to shake, a spaceship appears and starts sucking everything up. In the background Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear the Reaper starts playing which really sets the right mood for some action.(I remember hearing the tune in some Steven King movie)

You're sucked into this spaceship which seems like some alien torture chamber. The Doom3 engine really sets the right atmosphere with it's dark shadows, but at least the lighting is adequate in this game (unlike Doom 3...buuaaah...I remember installing a mod called duct tape which made possible the use of a flash light with the gun heh)

There are some weird things which introduce some interesting gameplay ideas in an FPS:
  • Gravity paths - these are paths which have a gravitational pull and if you walking it you may end up walking up a wall or even walk on the ceiling.
  • Gravity switching - you can shoot a switch and the gravity changes to that floor which hosts the switch.
  • Spirit switching - you leave your body to use your spirit to reach some places which can't be reached with your physical body
Then there are some other interesting things that happen during the demo. The game makes use of portals and at one point you see yourself through a portal and so can end up walking after yourself, weird feeling hehe. Another interesting part was that you get shrunk into a container and you see a huge alien coming towards this container and then decides to join the fun inside the container.

I can't wait to play this multiplayer with my friends. Should be interesting.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Videos of Wii-mote @ Gameworld Network

Gameworld Network has an interesting collection of high quality streaming videos of the Wii-mote in action. Check'em out.

HalfLife2 Episode 1 - no new gameplay?

HL2 ep1 feels even more like an interactive movie which at one point made me really edgy - i was with just a torch light (which damn it doesn't last long enough), hearing those zombines coming towards me and the ammo is not enough to kill them all. Yeah I admit, I'm scared of the dark ... and when I get too scared i hit Alt-F4 ;)

I'm still not convinced about the naming of episodes. Maybe it's about time that gamers stop expecting a 20hrs+ worth of gaming from an FPS. Valve are doing an excellent job at pushing the technologies to deliver an emotional experience while playing.

However I prefer games which don't play with my emotions and don't make my bladder explod. They should concentrate more on gameplay. Ok, so the gravity gun was an interesting weapon for HL2 and the use of physics with it, but now it's already old. There seems to have been a lot of attention to detail in the levels and the animations. Agreed. However I don't think you'll see any new gameplay in HL2 ep1.

I still have to finish HL2 ep1, once I get back some courage to continue it :) Then i'll add another post.

Monday, June 19, 2006

LocoRoco - bubbly action online

LocoRoco is very similar to Chronic Logic's Gish however LocoRoco looks more cartoonish and doesn't have a dark theme like Gish.

In LocoRoco you control an orange blob around a level - a sort of platform game but with more physics thrown in. The blob deforms and bounces realistically thanks to some physics acting on it. The controls are easy, and game concept is simple but it looks really fun to play.

Check out an online playable demo of LocoRoco (requires Flash) - see if you like it or not. Now if only I had a PSP ... hmmm.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Eets - interesting gameplay

Eets is a very interesting game where your task is to place objects at a certain place to make Eets, a highly-emotional cute animal, arrive to a puzzle piece. Some of these objects can be marshmallows that change how Eets will behave when they are eaten, e.g. when he's afraid he won't jump when he arrives at an edge of a platform, but just turn back. You can also place explosive objects and lots of other stuff. These objects are placed in a sort of sandbox controlled by a consistent physics engine which makes the game more interesting. You must try it out to see what I mean. Also, its cartoonish backgrounds somehow remind me of Day of the Tentacle.

Another cool thing about this game is that you can create your own levels with a very easy to use interface. Or you can download more levels that other people are doing and posting on the Eets community website.

Grab yourself a copy of the demo.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Wii to change how we play?

Most of you have already heard about nintendo's Wii which hopefully will be available in November 2006 :D

For those who don't know what's so special about the Wii, here's a video from E3 2006. There are some important people from nintendo who play a game of virtual tennis. You will see that this will open a thousand possibilities for new gameplay ideas.

For more interesting videos you can also visit's Wii's website.