March 07, 2007

Flash mob

All the games from the latest game design competition at Jay Is Games have been posted (I previously pointed you to Sprout). Links to all the games are here; I recommend Rings and Sticks, an original puzzle game that gets very complicated by the end (but it's still solvable, I swear). The constraint for the competition was that each game should embody the concept "grow" in some fashion. Both "Sprout" and "Rings and Sticks" managed that very well, I thought.

Of the other games, I also liked Grow the Robot (which rewards failure to solve its puzzles with entertaining short animations), although the thematic element is a little tacked on -- although not as much as it is in enQbate, which is still pretty good as puzzle games go, if not especially innovative. (It's basically a nice implementation of the type of path puzzle where you visit each cell once, sometimes with warps between cells. There are a few levels that involve revisiting squares you've been to before; I never really got the hang of how those were supposed to work exactly, although I got past them anyway.) The puzzles in Frog and Vine are mostly chestnuts, but I thought the puzzle you get to by clicking on the topmost leaf was worthwhile.

The other games didn't do much for me, but I mostly felt neutrally toward them, except for Grow Word, from the usually reliable Tonypa, which I found incredibly irritating. It starts out seeming interesting, until you realize that he's reinvented the cryptogram, but given it the worst interface possible.

If you find a game you like, consider spending a buck and voting for it in the Audience Prize competition. The programmers get to keep the money which was used to vote for them (minus PayPal's cut), and the top vote-getter wins an extra $200.

Posted by Francis at 09:17 PM

I kind of liked Tonypa's; it was kind of entertaining to solve if you actually went straight through it, resetting as necessary, rather than just getting the code and then solving it as a cryptogram.

On the other hand, NoBuzzle Tree seemed to me to be a clone of the Eyezmaze "Grow" games, only without anything fun in it. (And Chicken Grow was just dumb--the theme being even more tacked-on than in enQbate.)

Posted by: Lance at March 8, 2007 02:13 AM

Yes, NOBuzzle Tree was ridiculous, and I spent about two seconds on Chicken Grow before deciding it was a waste of time. Perhaps I felt more hostile towards Grow Word because I had higher hopes for it.

Posted by: Francis at March 8, 2007 08:26 AM
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