Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lazy Review #2

Chick Chick Chicky

Bah a square-headed green duck!! This new title for Xbox Indie Games (it's official peeps) is best summed up as a Pac Man style game for kids. It's colorful, kid-friendly and you play as a duck or a chick (baby chicken, not a bikini model) that gets chased around a maze by a cat. Collect all of the pellets and get to the exit and you win the level.

It's a pretty simple formula that's time-tested and the cartoony twist can't hurt. The difficulty seems aimed at younger gamers as well because instead of 4 ghosts, you are initially chased by just one cat for the first several levels. This is exceedingly easy as you really can't get trapped. There are some other design twists as well, like worms that pop up and can be snagged for points (sort of like fruit) and it offers multiplayer so you can play with gamer newbs or kids.

I'd say this is probably better suited for the 200MP, but it's not unreasonable at the current 400MP.

Rock Paper Scissors Xtreme!

I'd say that the "Xtreme" is debatable and the exclamation point is just plain deceiving. This is what it sounds like - a game of Rock Scissors Paper. And obviously, it's automatically less extreme when you're so pathetic that you can't play this game in real life with real hands. I mean, at least add something to the basic mechanic - or use creative graphics/animations. Not even the music had me bumpin'.

I am guessing the developer knows exactly what he's up to. My proof is that he also includes a rumble/massage based 'game' and crystal ball 'game' within the same download. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Insult to injury, the developer even plugs his other game while you try to quit out of this one ("Cold War Commander"). So I tried that [simplified platformer with a political satire twist] and it also includes a rumble/massage addition. I think cross-advertising should not be allowed.

Do I have to beg? Please stop. I appreciate the over-the-top themes, and might even smirk with you if this is an intentionally mockery, but we've (can I speak for everyone here?) had enough. You've got skills, so use them for good.


Last up is a virtual foosball game. Like most games in this category (billiards, ping pong, darts, etc) I always would opt for the real thing, but that's not to say that a well-built game doesn't have its niche. I actually really liked the look of this game (see screenie), with a nice 3D feel and simple interface.

But if you had to name the most important thing about a foosball video game, what would it be? Right, the controls. And unfortunately they are pretty rough. It must not be easy to recreate, especially considering that even real life foosball is challenging to control well. But really, I might as well have been trying to hold my controller with two bananas - there was just no way to make the ball go where I wanted - it was 90% dumb luck. Tilting the players seemed to do nothing to the velocity, and the ball would ricochet more akin to pinball than foosball.

4 of the 5 goals scored came as of result of the player (including the CPU) scoring on itself. There was also a common problem where the CPU was have the ball stuck in a corner for 10-15 seconds. If you like foosball, try the demo and see if you figure out a trick to controlling the ball that I missed. If you do, it might be worth the 200MP.

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