Hair design: The Blade Runner
Hair design: The Blade Runner
There’s this thing that goes around game dev circles about finishing your game. Not in the “getting to the end of it” sense that most of us all know and love, that’d be too simple. It’s sort of a short hand for explore ALL the things and then call it a wrap. So y’know, can you rinse everything valuable out of a mechanic etc…
Well, good news. Spike Dislike 2 explores all the things and calls it a wrap. To be fair, it pretty much did that in Spike Dislike 1 where Jayenkai ably rinsed the jump over/under the spike thing really fast to get a big number going up first time round. Spike Dislike 2 laughs at the idea of merely finishing something in this sort of sense, no, we’re out the other side here and Jay is kicking videogame sand in your face screaming HAVE IT, TAKE IT, HERE IS ALL THE THINGS I THOUGHT UP AND ONE OF THEM CONTAINS A BEE. A BEE DAMMIT. HAVE A BEE.
And a boat.
And a basketball.
I know, you’re sitting there now reading this looking at me funny but Spike Dislike 2 is a really tremendously marvellous thing. It takes this one simple idea, jump over/under spikes fast for big numbers and stretches it, painlessly, across so many different modes that I can’t even be arsed trying to tally up how many are in there. When you get bored of just jumping over spikes, why not change into a sheep and jump over some fences? Why not get in a boat and avoid some seagulls? Why not try it with 3 lives? Why not try it with just one and you’re out? Why not be a bee because bees are for everyone? And why not make it so utterly playable, so utterly compulsive that you’ll call Jay all the names under the sun for making something that’s twitchy levels of fantastic?
Yes, why not?
And then, fuck it all, let’s have some hats. You can put a hat on your balls in this game. A hat on your balls. I put a beanie hat on mine, it’s very snug and warm.
Spike Dislike 2 is one of my favourite things I’ve played lots of this year. It is, have no doubts, not a good looking game but it is a videogame in the purest of pure senses and it is all the things a videogame doing the thing it does could be and then some more because no-one gives a fuck. No-one can stop Jay from adding a boat and seagull mode short of chopping his hands off and really, who’d want to anyway if this is the end result?
One of the first games I ever really fell in love with, Jumping Jack is a simple but fiendish little thing. Albert Ball’s “jump through the lines” simulator is still great fun today and it’s nice to see another remake of it. (Retrospec are clearly slipping, they’ve not put a new version out since 2002. DISAPPOINTED. I was expecting Activision levels of franchising here. JackBLOPS 2:Jack Harder or something.)
Albert’s making this sort of thing these days which y’know, is one of the many many reasons why PC gaming is an amazing place. Just having stuff like this able to exist is enough to bring a smile to my face.
And a grand welcome back to the making games fold to Andy there. His presence has been missed.
Unfortunately I’ve packed up my 360 into a drawer at the moment so can’t bring you many thoughts about Grid Space Shooter other than “man, that looks right up my street”. Coming recommended by the ever lovely (and incredibly talented) Mr Fouts is more than enough for me to throw this up on the front page.
Grid Space Shooter on XBLIG is really nice. Variety, big fights, much better than the sorta-Geometry-Wars look suggests marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/…
— Nathan Fouts (@MommysBestGames) January 25, 2013
It’s 80 Fake Moonpoints because Microsoft are *still* being stupid and using fake money. Thanks Microsoft. Thicrosoft. And it’s here.
10,000,000 is one of those funny games where I just do not have a clue what genre to describe it as and I’ve been mulling it over for, ooooh, a few minutes and have settled on, “A side viewed rogue-like cross bred with Bejewelled”.
I’ve completed this now twice (go me). Once on my iPhone and once on the PC so I’ve also purchased it twice! But in saying that I don’t really know what I like about it other than it’s relaxing and occasionally frustrating when you’re being hammered by the evil things.
It’s not even an especially difficult game to complete though and you’ll likely beat in within a couple of hours if not quicker. However, for a game you can pick up and play for a few minutes or an hour it’s great! If only it lasted longer! You can’t name your game 10,000,000 (You shouldn’t bloody name your game 10,000,000 anyhoo) and not have it last for ages and ages and ages!
Anyway grab it off your iThing’s AppStore or from Steam – It’s good, honest! It kept me occupied round Mrs Stompy’s parents house over Christmas.
One of the things I’m really thankful for right now is the resurgence of games for humans. For a while it seemed as if single device/screen multiplayer games were going the way of the dodo or relegated to the AAA staples of OH LOOK SHOOTY MAN DEATHMATCH or OH LOOK DRIVEY CAR FAST. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve sunk a metric enormo-number of hours into both of these things (Split/Second is still my split screen racer of choice when I can’t get my Daytona fix, fact fans) and they’re great.
But y’know, they’re very much games for people who wot play games and know only games and in the same way that as much as I love Ribena I don’t want to exist solely on Ribena for the rest of my life, I want to play more than that with other humans. I know I’m a grown up and there’s always sexing and stuff but there are times this is rather inappropriate and maybe something else is in order.
Nintendo sorta helped usher in the new games for humans with Wii Sports a tad (otherwise known as “that game I got a dead arm from” but that’s a long story involving “bumps for the loser”) and over the past year or so we’ve seen a select few really start pushing this fun with people thing again. Which is great. We’ve seen everything from abstractions of sports to invented sports to physical play stuff and even the shouting of techno gobbledegook. Non deathmatch and car going fast multiplayer is back in. Playing things with other real humans in the same room as you is a thing again. It’s a bit like everyone gathering around the old 2600 to play Combat or something but without having to play Combat or something. Probably.
Anyway, so last night I sat down to play O. with Mrs B. Could I get her to play a car going fast game or a deathmatch game? No, I could not. Could I get her to play a game where you grab and sling virtual balls around? Yes, yes, I could. With no questions asked either. Well, except for “what do you do?” but a quick “grab the balls you want, throw the balls you don’t want at me” covered that and we were off. Two people, one iPad, one game of O. – five fingers almost lost.
It didn’t take long before Mrs B realised that the absolute best tactics to use in O. aren’t necessarily the ones that take place on the screen but rather physically disabling the other player in some way. Within less than a minute, she’s holding one of my hands up to my face whilst continuing to grab balls leaving me with just one free arm to play with and yes, this will not stop me from playing. I may be nearly 40 but I’m still the kind of person who’ll crack up laughing when Mrs B yells “if you touch my pink I’ll break your arm” over the sofa, equally it’s hard not to raise a smile over “don’t you dare touch my blue balls” *insert Roger Moore eyebrow raise* and that’s sorta O. really. It’s a game for humans. No press T to talk when the person is sat there, JUST THERE and probably has hold of your little finger.