Monday, October 26, 2009

Lazy Review #9

Three solid titles this time around, as I catch up on some recent releases.

Very Hungry Pumpkin (80MP)

I am very hungry for some pumpkin pie, but I'll just have to wait it out a couple more weeks, won't I. Very Hungry Pumpkin is a very nice-looking 3D rendered Halloween themed game. Honestly, it's usually pretty rare to see a holiday themed game with this much graphical polish and I have to say that I was quite pleasantly surprised.

The pleasing graphics are nicely accompanied by smooth animations, great overall art direction, and well-suited spooky (yet catchy!) music. The gameplay is pretty straightforward - the goal being to collect a 'full tank' of candy while avoiding the trick-or-treaters and before they snag they candy! Crazy kids! The trick-or-treaters move horizontally at variable speeds, and you can collect a time-stopper clock to catch your breath when things get hectic.

Despite the one level (that simply amps up the difficulty per round), the experience is tight enough to warrant a good amount of playthroughs. My only real complaint is that sometimes the on-screen items (candy counter, remaining live, clock) actually block some of the important play zone. But all-and-all this is an attractive game for the season, and at less than the cost of a jumbo candy bar. If you're having a Halloween party, you should put this up on the TV for entertainment.

Banana Split (240MP)
I didn't have a token for Banana Split, but from what I can tell this is a promising food-themed platformer starring a classy banana as the main character. I usually keep my ear to the ground, but I didn't see much in the way of promotion for this game so hopefully it's not slipping by everyone.

The art direction is charming and diverse, and the levels are generally well-designed. It has most of the 'same ol' platformer mechanics (avoid enemies, jump on their heads, etc) but delivers them in a fresh package. There also seems to be a light story involved about saving the friendly healthy foods from the bad unhealthy foods. This was fun because I was able to rescue an ally before the demo ended.

It also serves as a child-friendly platformer with a positive message and fun theme. I'd recommend that any platformer fans give this a try and consider the investment - especially if you have kids and they can get some fun out of it too.

Powa Valley (400MP)
Here's a cartoon side-view volleyball game with a good number of features for online play too. If you're into this type of game and multiplayer action, there's not many reasons that you won't like Powa Valley.

The cast of playable characters is colorful, with each character having a special ability to use out on the court (jump higher, power hit, confuse opponent, etc). In my humble opinion, some of these abilities seem slightly unbalanced - like the little fella who can create a windstorm got a point on me every time.

The graphics are quite nice, with bright backgrounds and simplified shapes/effects. The controls are precise once you get used to the characters. I also have to give props for the intelligent AI with three levels of difficulty - they are not pushovers! The only real drawback here is that it's a pretty standard "bop-the-ball-over-the-net" mechanic - and while done really well, it might not be for everyone at the 400MP price point. Defintely worth grabbing the demo (and maybe a friend too) for a try though.


  1. I had a lot of trouble winning in the Powa Volley demo. But it is not really my type of game. Graphics are nicely done.

  2. Congratulations you did a great job with this blog on Very Hungry Pumpkin, I'm doing my thesis on the topic of unhealthy foods, I hope in a year nutritionist, and I'm collecting opinions different to add them to my thesis