VGNG 6: A Return to Chaos

A busy day yesterday prevented me from trying any VGNG games, so I had to do some very short evaluations today… Might seem unfair, but on the other hand the ability to catch my interest in a matter of minutes is perhaps the most important feature in a game developed in less than a month and available for free.

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Post-Apocalyptic Unicorn Uprising is a shooter… sort of. you control a flock of unicorns bent on destroying the robot invaders, to help you do that you can shoot rays from the horns of the unicorns as well as draw rainbow shields (much like in Kirby’s Canvas Curse). You can’t move around the unicorns yourself, but you can deplete your rainbow meter to revive dead ones, and while this mechanic is interesting there is a fundamental problem with mechanics that make you weaker when you’re hurt – usually, it all goes well until you make a single mistake and then you get caught in a vicious circle. The game is otherwise pretty simple and it would be nice to see a “proper” shooter use some of these new mechanics.

No-one can Stop the Sloth of the Blood God is an interesting real-time strategy title (or rather, tactics) where you control armies composed of different kinds of troops in order to help Russia conquer the world. The twist is that in order to win each battle, you need to satisfy the blood god by making sure at least 300 soldiers are killed before the battle is won forcing you to make sure you’re winning the battle at a slow rate. The different kinds of soldiers aren’t that well implemented as usually you’re best off by just using the most powerful units available, but the different nations in the world use vastly different strategies and while this only produces a megaman-like effect when you have to fight them in a certain order to stand a chance, the real-time manipulation of the battle flow makes this game fun to play.

Papal Shotgun Gladiator is an arena shooter where you play a member of the clergy armed with a shotgun in a lion-pit. Martyrs are thrown in and it’s your job to make sure enough of them finish their praying and become enlightened before the lions eat them. The game doesn’t seem to have an end as the difficulty progression is completely linear, and while shooting stuff can surely be fun there are games that do this better.

Presidential Crowbar Encounter, like Papal Shotgun Gladiator this one doesn’t do much to extend on the humor of the title. You see a crowbar and use a rubber-band mechanic to jam it into president Bush’ skull, which may be fun to look at once or twice but it’s hardly a game.

Rocket-Powered Frisbee Punch Out features a man with a rocket-propelled frisbee in his mouth flying through space taunting the bad guys in a spacewar taking place behind him. A funny concept for the story but the gameplay mostly consists of hammering the mouse button at the enemies. Plus it’s really short with only one screen of enemies and another one with a boss.

Secret of Software 64, a GROW-like game. Like them, it may be fun to play the one time you don’t know the answer but after that it’s pointless (disregarding the rumored secret ending). It was nice to see the animations, but there’s no logic behind the results and no different ordering combinations to try so I got done with this fairly quickly.

Viking Bazooka Bloodbath Lets you play as a viking with a bazooka in an platform/arena shooter. The controls are good (even though binding “up” to jump should be illegal) and the graphics and variation of firing are okay, but I got bored pretty quickly since the bar for getting ahead even in the early levels was set very high and encouraged sort of a “mole” style gameplay. The game does uses a very nice Halo-style system for death, though – you can take any number of sparse hits, but if you take two hits in short succession you die immediately.

Orbital Booty Interceptor puts you in the shoes(?) of an alien kidnapping people to fuel his spaceship. The claws used to capture people are the only functioning parts of the spaceship so you also use them to push yourself in the air. I sort of liked this game because even though it was very unforgiving it felt fluid and hinted that there was some decent progression, but each time I played the camera went haywire and the character disappeared out of screen and crashed shortly after since I couldn’t control it. It would probably have been good if it wasn’t so volatile.

2 Comments so far

  1. Daniel Benmergui on March 31st, 2008

    Thanks for the review, Anders!

    I hope I manage to convince you to play a better game in the same style, when I finish it 😉

  2. Tr00jg on April 10th, 2008

    Thanks for the review. I made Rocket Powered Frisbee Punch-out. I just needed my game dev fix so I quickly hacked something together. 🙂

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Posted on Mar 30/08 by Saint and filed under Gaming culture, General game development, Reflections | 2 Comments »