Wednesday, 31 March 2010

International Exports

I bring to you a game from the Netherlands, and 1 from Japan. One of which is dreadful. Find out which!

.exe, Optional fullscreen

Maru is a 2D platformer based very closely off of creator Jesse Venbrux's previous game "Frozzd", and now ported to a similar game "They Need To Be Fed" as an entry to YoYoGames' "Design a Handheld Game" competition. Taking the ever-popular circular platforming seen in quite a few flash games over the past few years, and more obviously the 3D Sphere-a-thon in Super Mario Galaxy, Maru is a quick, painless, atmospheric little download to enjoy in just a few minutes.

Firstly, I advise you play this game with over-ear headphones. The music and ambience of this game, created by
Jake Almond, is incredibly atmospheric. It gives the entire game an air of individuality and professionalism, which immensely adds to what could have been a rather underwhelming game. Overall, I would say that the short 10 minute experience of this game is a saving grace as it doesn't really give the player much to do or think about. It veers dangerously close to bland, hoisting itself back into creativity with its quirky "HUD" and downright cute character design. I say "HUD", as the lives gathered in Maru are follow your little character around, floating above his head ready to resurrect the fallen guy or even in use with puzzles. Clever and endearing, I reckon.

Oh, and another gripe I had was the introduction to the "Life" puzzle. I actually had no idea how to get passed a certain section as I did so in an entire run without dying. There was no indication at how to continue. A big no-no! Always give the player some inidcation on how to progress or even play your game.

A short little game, I would hope that the new, improved version of Maru in "They Need to Be Fed" separates itself from the slew of similar coded games of late. One thing I definitely recommend though is the music director Jake Almond. I'm checking out his stuff right after I'm done writing this!
Download here:

.exe file, Tiny tiny window...

I'm just going to quick with this one, as I wouldn't recommend it at all to be honest. Teleportower is a puzzle game in which you can teleport between two sides of the split-screen to solve puzzles and pass obstacles. A clever idea wrapped in dreadful music, an uninspired art-style and anti-fun.

The first thing to be addressed here is the music. and 8-bit monstrosity, the tunes in this game sound like the soundtrack to a (bad) 90's romance anime fed through a NES. Needless to say, it's sickeningly sweet jauntiness was muted shortly after my starting this game. The art style in Teleportower is blue on black 8-bit graphics with no attempt at individuality or character. The character himself looking like a quickly rejected Ness concept. And finally, the gameplay, on a screen this tiny, split further into two, the movement and jumping feels like navigating a one-winged fly... with teleportation powers.

I did not enjoy Teleportower. At all. Here's the link (In Japanese);

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