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Velocity: a melody game in space

So, the first thing I noticed about this game was the discourse occurring in the background. Apparently Earth is under attack from the Vorlons! It seems they have returned and decided to finally erase humanity from the stars instead of a proper welcome back party. Or perhaps this is a proper welcome back party, Vorlon style. Actually that makes sense!

As melody games go, this is a pretty good one, quick, punchy and too the point. Everything that I am not. Velocity is a fast paced dodge game, which has absolutely nothing to do with speed or velocity of any form and more to do with co-ordination and skill. You simply have to dodge stuff and move around. This perplexed and vexed me, why name the game velocity when speed has nothing to do with anything?!

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Unicorns and Hand Grenades: the only hangover cure that works 100%

It’s Sunday morning, unsurprisingly my head feels like a nail that’s been hammered into a wooden plank so badly that the end has curved over itself and subsequently been further hammered into the wood. The end result of this metaphor is of a nail being hammered in horizontally and looking like an atrocity. Welcome to my life on Sunday mornings.

Luckily, the innate desire to visit this carnage upon my fellow man has been fulfilled by this brilliant repose called Unicorns and Hand Grenades. It’s one of those horrendously one sided affairs that I have so much affection for. At first, I figured you’d be a lame Unicorn who throws hand grenades at stuff, but boy was I wrong.

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Customisable Isolation

Technology is wonderful thing. It has changed our lives in fantastically commercial ways. Today we own the latest mobile phones, MP3 players, home theatre systems, gaming consoles, lap-tops and the latest shows fast tracked direct from the US to give us unprecedented freedom and the ability to customise reality to our own specific desires.

All this technology, all this customisation, has it really set us free or has it further entrapped us in an increasing reliance on commercialisation to fill the void of loneliness and isolation that it brings with it? Why is it that with each leap forward in technology, we take an equivalent step away from each other as people?

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To-Suta: OMG! LazORS and SeIzureS filled with WTF!ness!!

It’s Friday before a long weekend. I’ve finished work and am waiting for my class to start. I know I’ve had too much coffee when I encounter this crazy game. You are a flying toaster with wings, yeah that’s right, wings! And get this, you freaking shoot rainbows out of your mouth! That’s right, this shit just got officially insane y’all!

So the shaking of my hands after playing this game indicates a few things:

  • I like this game
  • I’ve had too much coffee
  • I am potentially stroking out

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The Day: not a flash game but a flash artwork

While procrastinating over an upcoming exam I found this little beauty of flash brilliance. It’s a repose into the dichotomy of existence and doing what we’re told. I found myself intrigued by both the card game (as I love card based challenge games) and the deeper narrative of what was going on outside the camp.

Personally I loved the ambiguity of the whole endeavour and how much is left unanswered. This is what art is all about, interpretations and discourse. This is an exploration into exploration, the game itself serves as a medium of delivery for an idea. Play the game and see if the idea it leaves you with is tangible or real.

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Content driven marketing

Most popular sites these days are driven by the content that users create. For example the big social networks out there are all user created because they require their users to create an account, fill it with their personal information and the interact with other users. The only thing they provide is the medium, the platform and occasionally, updates that increase the level of interaction one may have with the site.

This is nothing new and has been done in gaming for years. If you are an avid gamer, you’d have easily recognised the picture above as being from Little Big Planet, a game for Playstation in which users create and share levels with each other. This means that the game will effectively never end in terms of content. As long as you have people interested and playing your game, they will keep creating content for it. The cycle propagates and perpetuates itself and becomes self sustaining, effectively becoming as perpetual motion machine. Yeah, take that laws of physics, you ain’t got nothing on human nature.

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Solipskier: Control reversal can work

But dear god is it hit and miss with it! We’ve all played the action flash games were you have to survive for as long as you can. This game is a little different because instead of controlling the skier, you control the ground. Yeah, that’s right, the FREAKING ground. It’s happening and I just blew your mind away.

There are many games of this ilk around, think of pinball games, where instead of controlling the ball, you control the paddles that send it rocketing towards high-scores. Or perhaps a more familiar game is LocoRoco on the PSP, where you control the tilting of the ground, this game has managed to keep me playing in for 2 years now so clearly it’s on a successful formula.

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