Play The Dream Machine at www.thedreammachine.se
I had contacted Anders Gustafsson, creator of Gateway II, and he gave me a preview of the first chapter of his latest game — The Dream Machine by Cockroach Inc.
I had played the demo before and while it was presented well, I didn’t know what to think of it. It was so short that it felt like it was over before it ever began. But after playing through the first chapter, I can now rest my worries. I can’t wait to play the rest!
First off the game is well written. While Gateway had some dialogue, its story was mostly told visually through the animation of the characters. In The Dream Machine, the characters have some great dialogue, which I find believable. The game start with your character, Victor, just moving into an apartment with his girlfriend. You get a good feel for their relationship through their talking. The game has dialogue branches which allow you to respond in a more serious or joking manner if you wish. It helped me to believe in the characters — okay, Game Creator, you’ve got my attention.
Kavalmaja by Tonypa
I recently finished Kavalmaja by Tonypa. It’s an puzzle-adventure game that I first played about a year and a half ago. I had probably spent 30 minutes with the game, getting deeply involved with it. Something interrupted me and got sidetracked and never went back to it. It was bugging me that I never finished it — so I did. And it was worth it.
The game of Kavalmaja is a well thought out dungeon. The goal is to collect all of the “gold pieces” in the dungeon, acquiring abilities along the way to progress further along in your journey. The game is presented in an abstract fashion, requiring you to move around and touch stuff to see how it reacts. As you interact with the world you learn what its symbols and colors mean. So an area you passed through earlier will have a different meaning later on. It ends up playing similar to a Zelda game but there’s something special about its abstract nature. In a Zelda game it’s clear that if there’s a cracked wall you need a bomb to get through it, the world of Kavalmaja the connections aren’t that obvious.
I spent much of today beating 2 flash games. I like the sound of that: beating flash games. Not just playing them but beating them, because there is enough in the games to play that when you’re done you can actually say the games are beaten.
Dino Run: I found this beauty c/o the blog over at indiegames.com and I was very impressed with PixelJam‘s work. I’d label it under the Sonic the Hedgehog genre of games, one I’d like to play more of. It’s a full game with a lot to play with. The look and feel is nice, some of the physics are a tad weak, but they do the job and beat the norm. I love the tension, the atmosphere of fleeing. It would be excellent setting for a simple story because the nature of a chase is that it is linear. Not to say that stories must be linear, but game-stories tend to be (due to laziness). Unfortunately, the game is lacking in the story department, but it’s alright because it does well everywhere else. GO PLAY IT.
Warlords: I was linked to this piece from Ben Olding after playing Dino Run and was really surprised by such a simple design adds up to strategy on multiple levels. It’s not only about unit selection, but timing, and tactics as well. Again, the game has tons built into it: multiple races and unit types, unlockable races and unit types, leveling-up, a filled out campaign mode and the unit purchasing/upgrading system really gives players a place to craft a style of play. It’s all very simple, but the game is much more than the sum of its parts. PLAY THIS ONE TOO.
As a bonus, each of these games has a form of multiplayer. Dino Run is actual online play and Warlords allows 2 people to play on the same keyboard. Both options are pretty cool if you ask me.
Man, it’s nice to find good games.
-Christopher J. Rock
So I took a look at Gameshot.org because of a few referrals they sent back here (they grabbed our LUV Tank game) and noticed this pleasant surprise on their front page…
At first I was attracted to the awesome art style. All pretty pixel work. The description said something about it being a platformer with a Yin Yang twist so I wanted to see if it went beyond a gimmick. I was impressed before I even finished the first stage.
Gateway II by Anders Gustafsson.
This is one of first Flash games I’ve truly enjoyed in such a long time. I discovered this adventure game on the Newgrounds frontpage and gave it a legitimate chance. It reminded me of Leo’s Great Day, one of the first amazingly well done Flash games I’d played, so I had optimistic expectations. From the title screen I could tell that it at least had great production quality.
I know Chris just wrote something about the game but we’re often redundant like that.
The game is Reunion by Mike Bithell, I found it on GameSetWatch a few days ago. This is an amazing game. I believe the execution is phenomenal. I need more big sounding words to show how much I like it! Immediately the game reminded me of something I’d see coming out of Cal Arts, such incredibly good design going into it.