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Showing 44 reviews

by IcedRazor
all reviews of Trollus

Review by Eric_Love all reviews by Eric_Love

The character sprites are those of Samus (from some Nintendo game) and you jump around trying to avoid deadly rings. The ripped graphics are very well used and the physics is well done.

The main weakness: It\'s almost impossible to avoid the rings ultimately; if you dodge them, they continue to pursue you in increasing numbers. A better alternative would be having more rings cross the screen rather than staying around.

The drunk/screwed modes are nothing new but very well done and a great way to use sine waves.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 2 Technical 5 Genre 3

Review by DekuTree64 all reviews by DekuTree64

Err, it seems I\'ve been selected to review this game but it pops up a window that says \"GFX error\" and quits. By the screens of it in the log though, it does look pretty impressive.
Can\'t say much for the feel of it, but I love the double sine wave effect, and the sine shaped red in the background.
The art does look nice, but since it\'s all just ripped, I can\'t give a very high score there.

Looks pretty nice overall, I wish I could actually see it in action. But where\'s the troll?

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 2 Technical 4 Genre 2

Nutella Factory Hijacker
by ahuillet
all reviews of Nutella Factory Hijacker

Review by gcsaba2 all reviews by gcsaba2

Nutella Factory is an ugly game. That being said, it\'s the game I enjoyed and played the most. This is one of those games where gameplay adds up for graphics, and I\'d recommend it for everyone to try it out.

At the start you\'re some dude in a nutella factory. You need to get into the nutella, put some of it into your bucket, and go back to feed the troll. When you are inside the nutella, you lose air. When you\'re air is gone, you lose energy. When you\'re energy is gone, you die. But that\'s not all. You also lose energy by time. To recover energy, you need to eat some nutella yourself. But to eat, you must get into the nutella, which means losing air. To cut it short, it\'s a complex game. I suggest reading the readme file where it\'s all explained.

The fun part of the game, for me at least, was trying to balance it all out. Just as everything starts going well, the nutella wave covers the whole map and I lose air no matter what. I start panicking, I don\'t know what to do. Should I eat some nutella to keep my energy up, or should I try and find some spot on the map that is free of nutella. This can be very addictive.

Finally, to add some criticism. The graphics is not very good. There are no sounds. The readme file is too long. Other than that, it\'s a great game! I give maximum score for all categories (except artistical).

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 3 Technical 5 Genre 5

Review by IcedRazor all reviews by IcedRazor

When I first played this game, I was very confused. But after a bit it made a little more sense. It involved doing a number of things at the same time. While the graphics were not very good, I think that the gameplay made up for this a bit. The main idea of the game was to keep back the nutella, seems simple enough. To do this you had to fill up your bucket, then feed it to the troll (thats where the troll entered the game). You could also eat the nutella, this would give you more energy (so you don\'t die). After a bit you could also get the Nutellator (this was the unlockable thing) which is a gun that you shoot at targets (while doing the normal things). If you hit a target the nutella would be pushed back a bit.
The use of sine waves was very apparent, and fairly well integrated into the game (the nutella came after you as a sort of wave that resembled a sine wave).
Overall I thought this game was decent, it did fufill all the requirements (oh, yeah the parody was on slashdot trolls, hence \"Do not feed the troll\") well.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 4

Troll 'n Tower
by tobi
all reviews of Troll 'n Tower

Review by ahuillet all reviews by ahuillet

Trollntower is, in my opinion, the funniest game in this contest.
I played it once, 3 minutes, while testing all the games, then I got back to it, and back again later, ... ad infinitum.

The game is very simple by design but the implementation is rather good and the final product can be funny if, as I do, you like this kind of game.

Now let\'s see what my notes are. Concerning the genre requirement, this is the problem : the author says his game is a parody but I really doubt it. Anyhow, as I don\'t see the parody, but considering it could be due to incomprehension on my side, the note is 2 out of 5.
The technical performance is fairly correct. I especially like the particle effect, even though it makes the game less playable due to too much fireworks on the screen. The physics are well implemented : falling of objects is great, the ship is easy to move but not too much ... This is obviously a good technical performance, that is, 4/5.
Concerning the art ... the game looks good to me. The unlockable troll is interesting. The TINS rules are completely fulfilled on this point.
Minus the invisible background which prevents you from seeing what happens ... 4 out of 5.

The overall note is the best I will give. I think this game really deserves a five because the gameplay is excellent. So here we go : 5 out of 5.

Thanks tobi !

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 2

Desperate Land Adventures
by allefant
all reviews of Desperate Land Adventures

Review by Eric_Love all reviews by Eric_Love

No one has made more good games in 72h periods than Elias! It seems like every hack he gets a good game happening then proceeds to make it so long that few have the patience to finish it.
(click \"all reviews of...\" for the proper reviews)

Scores: Overall None Artistical None Technical None Genre None

Review by tobi all reviews by tobi

In Desperate Land Adventures you are a troll father and you have to get the troll-eggs out of the cave as soon as they begin to jump (jumping eggs yes :). They were put there by the troll mothers according to the story. If you walk near them, they\'ll follow you and doing so you may lead them to the \"exit\", a large white tile in the level. This will bring you into a new level, with more jumping eggs, and more acid slugs - strange jumping egg like creatures which scare the troll eggs, so it\'s quite difficult to get the eggs past an acid slug.

Artistic requirements:

Desperate Land Adventures features nice prerendered animations of a your main character - a troll. The troll fits good in the storyline, therefore the troll-requirement is nicely fulfilled

The unlockable-requirement is slighly weaker implemented, but nothing really to complain about. As soon as you guide all the jumping eggs to the level entrance/exit, the next level is unlocked.

Technical requirements:

Sine waves are readily available here - anything that moves, does so in a sine wave. To quote the readme:

For one, the legs of Troll move in a sine wave. The acid slugs change their form based on a sine wave. The troll eggs jump in a sine wave...

That\'s quite clear, this game has most sine waves of all entries.

A particalur nice thing is that the levels are randomly generated.


The graphics are very good and the technical implementation is also ok. It looks very polished (ignoring the fact that it doesn\'t have a menu). The game itself gets boring quite soon actually, since the goal is the same for each level - there are just more eggs and acid slugs. The fact that the levels are randomly generated improves the replayability a bit though.

Anyway, to summarize, I decided to assign the following scores to this game:

overall: 3 - very polished gfx & sfx but lacks a menu, a bit boring
artistical: 4 - really nice gfx & sfx, the troll is prominently present in both the game and the story around the game, which is good. Only bad thing is that unlocking just unlocks the next level. It\'s nothing special.
technical: 4 - quite a lot of sine waves are visible. The engine runs smooth, no problems. A nice \"bonus\" technical feature is the random map generation.
genre: 3 - I\'ll just give average score here because it\'s probably my fault I don\'t recognize the parody :/

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 3 Technical 5 Genre 3

Troll Gems
by segludian
all reviews of Troll Gems

Review by allefant all reviews by allefant

This is a tetris/blocks style game. Noteworthy is the intro animation, the beautiful game pieces resembling gems, and the rendered troll. Definitely have a look at that troll. Looks like a robot troll, somehow feels scary. It\'s not doing much, just watching you play - and in my case, watching me fail miserably, getting not more than 3 or 4 times 3 pieces before the Game Over screen. Not much money in the troll bank, if I understand the story right :)

Overall, this has some nice graphical elements, and the basic gameplay is implemented. But all in all it feels somewhat unpolished, and it didn\'t make me want to play for long, even though I normally get addicted fast to this type of game. OTOH, it was done during a TINS, and from that perspective I must say, quite well done.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 2 Genre 2

by Epoch
all reviews of Exterminator

Review by segludian all reviews by segludian

Overall: Pretty good. I got to frentic mode once, and it seemed pretty cool, lots of red pixels all over the place. The game is a bit simplistic in scope which is understandable due to time contstraints. Probably would have been more fun with sound. Adding barriers to hide behind or extra levels with more varied backgrounds would have helped too.

Artistic: Pretty minimalist (but well drawn) sprites. Trolls figure in prominently and the unlockable is cool.

Technical: The sine wave gun seems to rotate nicely and is not just a pre-rendered sprite.

Genre: The parody part seems a bit forced, but that seemed to be rather common among all of the entries.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 3 Genre 3

Potted the Hairy
by Thanatos
all reviews of Potted the Hairy

Review by gcsaba2 all reviews by gcsaba2

Potted the Hairy is a side-scrolled game similar to Super Mario. You are a wizard and you need to kill some trolls. The trolls are little green men that move from one point to another, and you can shoot at them. To add some complexity to the game, your bullets won?t go to the end of the screen, but only about two inches, which means you need to have the trolls get close to you.

The idea is there, but I think the game is not finished. The author could have at least added a few more levels. This way the game is just too easy: I finished the map in about a minute, and then I unlocked the multiplayer mode, and finished that one again in less than a minute, playing the same map. The author admits it himself that the game is easy, and I would have given him higher score if only he had added 2-3 more levels, it would have made a lot of difference for me. And some basic sounds would be nice too, like when the wizard shoots.

Other than that, the game fulfills all the rules. The wizard?s bullets move in a sine wave-like path, the trolls are there, and the game is a parody of Harry Potter (though I had to read the readme file to find this out, cause I never read or watched Harry Potter ;) ). Considering how Thanatos is still in high school though (and I knew a lot less when I was his age), I?m giving him a high score for the Technical level.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 2 Technical 4 Genre 4

Space Pixels
by Darksoll
all reviews of Space Pixels

Review by Eric_Love all reviews by Eric_Love

It\'s not the first time I\'ve seen a space invader game in hi-res but with very lo-res enemies. The balance is good; something which can\'t be taken for granted in rapidly produced games. I was wearing out out my left wrist pressing the Ctrl (fire) and I decided to check whether I could change the code to make it automatic, but I came across many pleas not to be a code cheat (which I usually do with impunity). The enemy graphics are best 300 pixels you could ask for :).

Scores: Overall None Artistical None Technical None Genre None

Review by gcsaba2 all reviews by gcsaba2

Space Pixels by Krax is a parody of Space Invaders. But I wouldn\'t call it a parody, since it\'s basically the same as the original game, with some added elements of a troll\'s shop where you can upgrade your weapons or buy lives. Just like in the original game, you are a space ship and you shoot at incoming monsters, which also know how to fire back sometimes.

This is one of the games I would call complete. I hadn\'t found any bugs and the game didn\'t crash. It had sounds, which mean a lot for a game. What thrilled me was that the game starts with a robotic voice saying \'space pixels\'. This is a very easy thing to implement; yet it adds a special flavor to the game right at its start. As you progress through the game, you gather more money, you buy better weapons from the troll, and you also start unlocking hidden stuff, which is actually background music. There are 13 background melodies, and this makes the game somewhat more enjoyable, cause as you progress farther you can listen to different stuff, not the same melody over and over.

This review may be short, but I really have nothing more to add. The game is complete, and it can be fun playing in 5 minute breaks during work or study.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 2

Review by Thanatos all reviews by Thanatos

Not a bad game. I\'m not too good at it though, but it can hold my attention. I usually die from gazing at the enemy, and not paying enough attention to the enemy fire bombarding my ship.

The unlocking of music was a unique idea, and adds value to the game. I have a few favorites that I like (Castlevania / Ghouls) that seem to go well with the game. Still need to unlock the others.

The troll, however, seems to not be part of the game --- the shop keeper might as well be an elf, pigeon, etc. I also guess that the enemy ships\' offset is a sine wave, although this isn\'t too apparent.

Overall, it gets fairly repetative, and is more a clone of the original. (The title sound effect caused me to jump out of my seat as well.) The graphics aren\'t complicated (in part to parody the original, I guess), but, while the enemies are quite pixelated, you are finely drawn. Go figure. The choice of using control for fire (over space bar, which rotates music) seemed odd to me as a player.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 3 Genre 4

by Nuno Martinez
all reviews of dex

Review by Darksoll all reviews by Darksoll

Dex is a game where you control a gut and killsome machines without reason.
the graphics are cool, and the tile system is O.K.
it could be a good game but.... IT HAS NO OBJECTIVE!!!, yes, you read fine, the game has no objective, so you have nothing to do except shoot and kill some machines.

if the game someday is finished can be cool, but an incomplete game= incomplete score ;-)

please don\'t feel bad, but sometimes a simple and finished game can be more fun than a complex but unfinished one.

sorry if the preview is short, but i have nothing more to add.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 3 Technical 2 Genre 2

Tin Party
by CGamesPlay
all reviews of Tin Party

Review by Eric_Love all reviews by Eric_Love

Playing a board game (including throwing the dice and moving your token along the board one space at a time) on a computer seemed a bit absurd to me, but then again, when I was 10 I used to play computer games on the blackboard. My brother would make the choices while I would write on the board what was happening.
(click \"all reviews of Tin Party\" for the proper reviews)

Scores: Overall None Artistical None Technical None Genre None

Review by gcsaba2 all reviews by gcsaba2

Tin Party by CGamesPlay is a parody of Mario Party, a game I have never played or it was on Commodore 64 so I forgot about it. You have 4 contestants, each starting at position 0, each player rolls the dice and moves as much positions as the dice game him, 10 being the maximum. An interesting element of the game is that they do not race on some straight path, but rather a sine wave.

That being the description of the game, I think it is not completely finished. The menu presents you with the options of playing a multiplayer game (you vs. 3 computers for example), but you can also play \"1 on 1\" and \"Single player\". Well, these last two options don\'t work, I guess either the author did not have the time to implement them or he forgot to throw them out of the finishing design. Anyway, let\'s start with the \"multiplayer game\". You need to select 1 character out of 4 (with the troll being the 5th, but you need to unlock him by playing 12 times). Then you select the opponents, and finally a map. The only map given is a sine wave. This is fine. Unfortunately, I can chose not to select the since wave by pressing the \"down\" key and when I press \"space\" the game will crash. OK, so I finally got to play the game, and I\'m Player 4. The first 3 computer players throw the dice, they move away from me, then I throw the dice, and I get 2. I move only 2 places, which puts me in the last position. The computer players throw again, they move away, I throw again, and I get 3. OK, I may be bitter for always ending up last, but is there a way to predict how the dice will fall? I tried observing the numbers; I don\'t see any pattern there. It doesn\'t matter when I press space to stop the dice, cause it won\'t affect the final outcome. In the end, my game broke down to watching my opponents moving 9 or 10 spaces, then I move 2-3 and again the agony starts.
In short, this may be a good game, but it\'s just not the game for me. It irritated me cause I always kept losing :)

The game elements are there. I didn\'t play 12 times to unlock the troll, but I trust the author that this will happen. The graphics are not at a very high level, the background is black-white, and there aren\'t any sounds. Sounds are very important in a game. Never forget the sounds!

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 1 Technical 2 Genre 2

Violencing, Kill for no reason
by Zaphos
all reviews of Violencing, Kill for no reason

Review by Eric_Love all reviews by Eric_Love

In this game you have to kill everyone in the area, which is almost impossible because you need to jump from one platform to the next without seeing it until you\'re there. This game would have been better with everything smaller compared to the screen - the drawings wouldn\'t have suffered from being reduced a bit.

The characters are drawn large using only black lines, and the effect when they die is very clever (it\'s possible to overlook the fact that sine waves are used there).

I have never seen physics like this before; shooting propels you backward, so you need to balance your shooting with your forward acceleration to get your speed right. Jumping is also frustrating if you\'re used to the more athletic characters of other platform games.

Scores: Overall None Artistical None Technical None Genre None

Review by gcsaba2 all reviews by gcsaba2

Violencing is a game where you are a creepy looking dude on skis and you kill random people and monsters (which I suspect are the trolls) \"for no reason\". The skis are a bit hard to control, so you often fall into the abyss, but once you manage to control them the game starts to be more fun.

With that being said, I never finished level 1, so I can\'t say if there\'s a level 2. I tried for half hour to learn how to control the skis, and when I finally reached the other end of the map, the game didn\'t end (probably cause some trolls were left alive), and then I again fell into the abyss. The game can be addictive for some time I guess, I know I tried hard to kill all the trolls, but in the end I failed each time.

The bad side is the graphics and the sounds. There are only 3 colors in the game (as it\'s pointed out at game start :) ), and there are no sounds. Some horrible screams of agony would have added some flavor. I also did not see the sine waves. Where are the sine waves?

Finally, my girlfriend liked the game, so I\'ll add +1 for the overall score.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 1 Technical 4 Genre 3

Review by CGamesPlay all reviews by CGamesPlay

This game was pretty fun. The level curve between the first and second levels was a bit steep, but once you beat the second level it\'s fine. Some interesting challenges, nonetheless. I enjoyed it. Not sure what it\'s a parody of, if it is one, however. Also, the unlockable element wasn\'t too high-par, or at least, unorthodox.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 3 Genre 2

Troll Hunter
by Marcello
all reviews of Troll Hunter

Review by Zaphos all reviews by Zaphos

An awesome game for a speedhack; it\'s an impressive concept and impressive that Marcello could pull it off. Polished and solid. The only weak point is that gameplay itself is a bit simplistic & does not entertain for very long.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 5 Technical 5 Genre 5

Review by ArchMageZeratuL all reviews by ArchMageZeratuL

This game is certainly the most interesting entry in TINS\'05 in my opinion. It makes clever use of trolls by unleashing forum trolls flaming the allegro.cc forums. Literally. With flamethrowers.

The game actually downloads the 10 most recent threads from the forums and renders them with a custom renderer. Then you need to snipe the trolls that are roaming around the page with a sniper scope (complete with zoom effect).

If Marcello posted in the current thread, then the machinegun gets unlocked, and you can have even more fun. :)

Complemented with a nice music and good sound effects, and summed with the awesome idea, this game is really very fun. Definitelly my favorite entry this year.

Sinewave requirement is implemented on flamethrowers and troll movement, subtly. The game itself is a parody of forums and their trolls. In my opinion, this game has the best implementation of trolls by twisting the word and using forum trolls.

Very recommended.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 5 Technical 4 Genre 3

Review by DekuTree64 all reviews by DekuTree64

Total awesomeness, by far my favorite in the compo. Very smooth graphics, and the zoom targeting has a nice feel to it. It just doesn\'t get any better than sine-moving, forum-flaming trolls set to a funky tune.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 5 Technical 5 Genre 5

Trolls from Hell
by BAF
all reviews of Trolls from Hell

Review by Marcello all reviews by Marcello

Well, well, well. Seeing as this game is completely unfinished, I am not entirely sure what to say.

The game starts out with a nice title screen listing a bunch of people who worked on the game, and some music. It preps you for an awesome game. The menu screen is not too bad, sporting some graphical buttons and a title.

The crude default-font credits scroller at the bottom is the first sign that the game is going downhill (actually the readme is the first sign, but I will assume most people didn\'t read that). The about and info options take you to a nice big wad of spam slapped in your face. Obviously that part is incomplete.

The game itself is quite boring, being unfinished and all. You just kinda walk around, and that\'s it. There are some weird kind of pill things on the screen which you can walk over, but not actually pick up or even collide with. From the allegro.cc forums I found out you could control two of the characters, controlling a troll (hey, at least they got part of the rules down) with WASD. Hey, the characters have animation. There\'s something.

The in-game graphics are not terrible, seemingly pre-rendered 3d graphics (generally not my favorite graphic style, since it almost always looks cheap and/or unfitting completely--this game probably is not an excuse). Still, they had two different artists helping out!

So in short, this game is not really a game (no objective, way to win or lose), I\'m not sure what it is a parody of, and I do not believe it uses sine waves either.

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 2 Technical 1 Genre 1

by Kaitlyn
all reviews of CorruptionWare

Review by BAF all reviews by BAF

This is a nice game... i like it. Sorry that the review wasn\'t longer, I don\'t have much time to review the games. It is a nice game.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 4

Review by gcsaba2 all reviews by gcsaba2

CorruptionWare is about a troll with a club beating up peasants. You move from hill to hill and try to beat up as much peasants as you can. At each hilltop there is a flag where you stop, and you have to play a minigame. The minigames are quite fun to play, so you should definitively check this game out.

Kaitlyn obviously knows how to combine various game elements to make a game enjoyeable. The background music is fun, it doesn\'t get boring as you play for some time. Game speed is perfect too, cause something is happening all the time, and in the short pauses you can\'t wait to see what\'ll happen next. The graphics is nicely done, a few effects here and there add nice flavor. The terrain represents the hillside, you are a troll, and there are unlockable items plus minigames. This is definitively one of the top five games of this competition.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 3 Technical 4 Genre 3

Review by ArchMageZeratuL all reviews by ArchMageZeratuL

With CorruptionWare, Kaitlyn proves that girls also have their place in the game industry - and, damn, she deserves quite a good place for this. CorruptionWare is my second favorite entry for TINS\'05, second only to Troll Hunter. The game\'s premise is that you play as a troll slaughtering peasants.

The gameplay is straightforward. Your troll is always moving forward, following a sinewave terrain. Helpless peasants come moving towards you. Your objective is to just kill them by hitting them. Whenever you miss or let one escape, you lose some of the \'accuracy bar\'. When that bar is zero, you lose. Also, when you keep hitting peasants in a row without missing or letting any escape, you\'ll achieve a combo, which are worth more points.

Sometimes you\'ll enter a minigame, which don\'t really have anything to do with the actual game. One of them shows a spinning wheel with some anime-ish character drawn in it, and a certain sector of it painted blue. All you have to do is stop the wheel when the arrow is pointing at the blue sector. The other minigame has Mario moving up and down in a platform, and you need to shoot him with Bowser.

If your score goes high enough, you\'ll unlock an option to play the minigames on title screen.

Very nice polish, good graphics and audio and nice gameplay. Good implementation of technichal rules, but I\'m not sure what it\'s a parody of. Troll is obviously there, too.

My only problem with this game is that it gets hard too quickly (when you start moving way too fast), and, once it does, there\'s nothing you can do about it.

A solid entry. Recommended.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 5 Technical 5 Genre 2

The lord of the stars
by ArchMageZeratuL
all reviews of The lord of the stars

Review by Kaitlyn all reviews by Kaitlyn

ArchMageZeratul\'s Lord of the Stars, a space shooter roughly based after the events and characters from the Lord of the Ring movie / book series, is easily the most polished game of Tins \'05. In fact, one can hardly believe such a game was made in a single weekend. However, despite a pretty finish, deep down this game suffers from its own design flaws.

As soon as the player starts Lord of the Stars, they will be absolutely blown away by the presentation of this game. Starting from the main menu straight out of star trek, to the game play with professional looking sprites, this game seems extremely well put together for a single weekend.

The music and sound are also crafted well. However, the music, the Lord of the Rings theme, seems to fit the menu well, but not the actual game play. The rhythm of this piece seems too slow for space combat. However, despite the questionable choice for a musical score, the graphics and sounds are simply amazing.

Unfortunately, good graphics and sound don\'t necessarily make a game great. The two biggest problems with Lord of the Stars are its controls and difficulty.

When the player starts the game, they are greeted with a keyboard-driven menu. This will confuse most players since the main game is designed to use the mouse. Without reading the readme, I never would have known that the mouse was enabled in the game.

Over complexity is another problem with the controls. Although the game implements moving the ship up and down perfectly, the shooting system is complicated and frustrating. The game assigns each enemy a color, and the player must match that color via scrolling around a bar-shaped color wheel. The main problem arises from the game being too fast pace and the color selection system too slow. ArchMageZeratul could have fixed this problem in one of two ways: either by simplifying the enemies to two or three colors that are easily switchable, or by implementing a bullet-time feature in which the player can easily pause or slow down the game while selecting a new color.

The difficulty also requires more tweaking. Although levels one through three are challenging enough, most players will not be able to pass levels four through nine. Of course, this could be due simply lacking the time to properly play-test the game.

The game itself is a parody of Lord of the Rings. More specifically, the game focuses on the characters from the movie and exaggerates their portrayals and motivations. Even the stats of the very ships they pilot are somewhat related to their personalities. ArchMageZeratul should be applauded for his transposition of fictional characters into the inanimate specifications of star ships.

The entire game\'s overall feel is a mix between Gradius, Star Trek, and Tron. Based in space, the game alludes to a future of cyber pop-culture and fantasy. ArchMageZeratul uses the absurdity of the dialog between the characters to explore and critique not only Lord of the Rings, but also human communications in general. All the characters relate to each other in a completely different manor in an effort to explore the way language effects perception and vice versa.

The game sort of meets all the requirements for Tins \'05. ArchMageZeratul included four unlockable ships, implemented a sine wave blaster, and made the game a parody of Lord of the Rings among other things. However, his ?troll ships? look more like beetles than trolls. Besides, a ship that looks like a troll is not actually a troll anyways. However, at the very least, an effort was made to include trolls within the game, and bad art aside, it\'s close enough.

In the end, players will enjoy Lord of the Stars for its polished graphics and sound, and the game experience as a whole. However, a few design flaws keep Lord of the Stars from showing its true potential. If nothing else, this is a stunning example of what can be done in a single weekend.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 5 Technical 4 Genre 4

by jorram
all reviews of Parody

Review by ArchMageZeratuL all reviews by ArchMageZeratuL

\"Parody\" is a Yoshi\'s Island parody game, where you play as Yoshi jumping on moving platforms trying to kill a giant troll in the background with eggs.

While the general idea was very interesting, the gameplay itself was an unfortunate failure. Movement is choppy, and it\'s too hard to control jumps to land on a platform properly. Also, hitting the troll\'s nose is somewhat dodgy.

The complete lack of music and sound is another major turndown. It\'s something that only takes a few minutes to implement (assuming you already have musics and sounds available, that is), but they can really make a game a whole lot better.

The game fullfills the requirements well: the troll is obviously there, and as an important aspect of game; sinewaves are used to move the platforms; and the titlescreen supposedly changes when you beat level 6. Myself, I couldn\'t be bothered checking last one... The controls and complete silence drove me nuts, so I couldn\'t play it for long enough.

I give this an overall score of (2/5). It could easily have been a (4/5) if the mentioned issues were addressed.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 4 Technical 3 Genre 3

by markr
all reviews of Peril

Review by jorram all reviews by jorram

Peril by markr is an isometric 3rd person shooter game. You\'re a troll that must reach the exit of a labyrinth while dealing with knights in armor and fairies.

Artistic: The art for this game is good, you can see that there was some effort put in the graphics. All the characters are animated and the game has a consistent style (except for a cartoonish deer). However, it looks somewhat unpolished, because of the simplistic menus and the lack of sound. The troll requirement is fullfilled, but the unlockable level would have added much more to the gameplay if it changed the difficulty.

Technical: The engine for this game looks solid and is quite fast. The sine waves are used to create a sort of \'water effect\' that works well enough. There\'s little else, though: no other special effects, and no special techniques.

Genre: This is the weakest part of the game. Good parodies need lots of text or a really clever design. There isn\'t much of any here, except for a Wolfenstein-style head in the HUD, which is not enough to make a parody.

Overall: While this is game is technically and artistically good, the gameplay could be way better. You can reach the level exit in seconds without fighting any enemy and the difficulty levels don\'t really make the game harder to beat.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 3 Technical 3 Genre 1

by amarillion
all reviews of Xelda

Review by markr all reviews by markr

Xelda is a parody of Zelda on the snes. This is does pretty well.

Artistic: The graphics are very chunky but fairly well drawn, particularly the main character. The animation is minimal but effecitve. There is quite a lot of content in this game, for one weekend. If there was only one person on this team, this would be amazing, however as it was a team effort, I will give it 3/5

Technical: There isn\'t really anything technically amazing about this game. It\'s all there, it\'s fairly polished, but it uses quite a lot of existing libraries for its tilemap etc, and doesn\'t do anything REALLY revolutionary. There is a background which scrolls with parallax which is nice. There aren\'t any nice touches like explosions or particle effects. The sine wave is only present on the title screen, which looks like it was added as an afterthought. It\'s a Pikachu (or its predecessor) which moves around in Lissajoux figures, which is nice but hardly part of the game. 2/5

Genre: This is where this game\'s going to win a lot of points I feel. The parody is exactly right, with the right amount of sillyness, the twist is also rather nice. The troll appears in a very entertaining fashion which enhances the game a lot. Full marks 5/5

Overall: The game is probably better if you like this sort of thing. I did laugh out loud at the parody, but I didn\'t find the game itself very amusing. A few particle fx or at least some explosions or something would have improved it. 3/5

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 2 Genre 5

Review by Eric_Love all reviews by Eric_Love

In this game Martijn shows the strength of his own libraries. AlSPC is used to play music from Zelda III (sounds exactly the same as the SNES - I played Z3 a few months ago), and Tegel (the tile system) has enabled him to design large areas (with different layers and parallax) which would be impossible without it.

The control lost accuracy on the slow PC (which has my gamepad plugged in - I hacked the code to use the gamepad), a problem which plagued the 3D entries to SpeedHack 03 leading to my article \"Maintaining accurate player control at low frame rates\".

Scores: Overall None Artistical None Technical None Genre None

Review by Kaitlyn all reviews by Kaitlyn

Xelda is my pick for this year\'s best game overall. It is fun, creative, and stylish. The controls work well, and the game\'s presentation comes across as very polished.

Artistical: The graphics in Xelda may not seem impressive to many game players, but given that this is a parody of an NES title, I felt that the graphics fit perfectly. Everything on the screen comes across as pleasing, if not somewhat professional. The music and sound also work well to set the style of the game. A little more could have been done with the troll, however.

Technical: Overall, the engine functions as it should. There are some problems with attacking while jumping, but overall, amarillion implements this game well. However, the use of the sine wave requirement seems a little lacking if maybe just not obvious, although I can not blame amarillion for not wanting to implementing impressive 3D effects due to its genre.

Genre: As a Zelda parody, this game comes across as extremely hilarious. Everything from the story to the game play made me laugh.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 4 Technical 3 Genre 5

by Steve
all reviews of Pacula

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

This is a fairly faithful pacman clone, where pacman is replaced by his evil twin pacula. Pacula has big pointy teeth dripping with blood, which makes me wonder if eating ghosts can really still his thirst.

As pacman goes, the game is quite playable. It has quite a finished feel, for example, when you eat a ghost a pair of eyeballs remains that goes back to its origin. When you wrap around (i.e. from the left side to the right side of the map) you see a shrinking / growing animation. These are nice little touches that show the maker has eye for detail.

Still, a couple of essentials are missing. First of all, there is only one level, and as pacula wins or dies, you drop straight back to the dos prompt. Secondly, there is no score keeping. Fix these two ponts and the game would immediately become something that is worth playing for at least more than five minutes. Another point is that pacula and the ghosts moves fairly slow making the game pretty easy.

As for the rules: only the parody requirement is somewhat satisfied (although this means nothing more than adding teeth and blood to the sprite of pacman). Thus far I haven\'t been able to unlock anything or discover and sine wave or troll.

All in all this is a good start but it is just not there yet. Probably the author didn\'t have enough time to implement some of the rules and some other crucial things.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 1 Technical 1 Genre 3

by Krzysztof Kluczek
all reviews of Snake

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

This game is a complete reversal of snake, where you are one of the pills and the snake comes after you. In some levels there is also a troll who comes after you. He doesn\'t kill you but slows you down, giving the snake more chance to eat you.

I find the reversal of the snake concept pretty original. 4/5 for genre.

The game uses sine waves to generate sfx. The sfx is a bit bland though, and there is no music, so probably a bit more should have been done with this. The game also makes use of pathfinding for the snake, so I\'ll still give it 4/5 for technical.

I found the graphics very funny. The troll is animated quite nicely. The troll also makes up an important part of the game, as it more or less cooperates with the snake to kill you. The unlockable requirement is not great but it is there. 3/5

Overall the game is quite complete and fun for a while, although it is missing lasting appeal. 3/5

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 4 Genre 4

Pulp Mission
by casey
all reviews of Pulp Mission

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

Unfinised. The parody, sine and troll are there but only marginally so. Nothing unlockable either. From what I read in the readme.txt the author had some quite good ideas for the parody, but ideas alone are not enough :)

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 1 Technical 1 Genre 1

Review by Krzysztof Kluczek all reviews by Krzysztof Kluczek

The game is very far from being complete. In fact, it can\'t be probably called a game yet. You can ride a bike, move it left/right on the screen, accelerate and jump (height depends on your speed). There is scrolling background and troll head moving in sine wave pattern and that\'s all.

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 2 Technical 1 Genre 1

Review by markr all reviews by markr

An incomplete prototype. No real gameplay, none of the requirements are really fulfilled. Quite a nice demo but that\'s all.

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 1 Technical 1 Genre 1

Legoland Adventures
by Eric_Love
all reviews of Legoland Adventures

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

Legoland adventures is a sidescrolling platformer set in legoland. You have to collect yellow pills (or whatever they are, I have no idea) to \"unlock\" the exit and get to the next level.

You are a photorealistic lego man. On your way you have to avoid the many mischievous trolls with pink hair who hang from the ceiling but drop down on you when you try to pass.

The photorealistic graphics are certainly nice. The lego man is animated nicely, for example when you get killed the lego man falls apart and when you finish a level he makes a v-sign to you, like mario does in super mario world 1. Other graphics (e.g. lego blocks) are a bit plain with too many bright colors, which leaves you with a weird mixture of photorealistic graphics and programmer\'s art. The flag animation is very nicely done, this is one of the best uses of sine I\'ve seen during this competition. 5/5 for technical and 4/5 for artistical

Also the music is in mario style, and clearly here is where the parody requirement comes in. There is more, for example the level exit is a flag you have to raise like in super mario bros 1, and in one level you have a staircase just before the exit as well. Still, I find the parody element rather weak. The game is not really trying to make fun of mario, it just copies certain elements. Therefore, only 3/5 in the genre category.

The game can be quite hard at times, as trolls can come at you very unexpectedly, and you die at the first touch. There is a boss at the end, but I haven\'t managed to beat it. The boss is a big troll who, as bowser in smb3, tries to jump on you from above but leaves a hole in the floor when he misses. Unlike smb3, it takes quite a long time before the floor is completely gone though, and when you make a single mistake you have to start over again. I haven\'t managed to beat the boss yet.

In conclusion, Legoland adventures is one of the most complete and playable entries in this competition. 4/5 overall.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 5 Genre 3

Review by markr all reviews by markr

Legoland adventures is a beautiful game. It stands out mostly because of its (I assume) completely original graphics, sounds and (to some extent) music. The idea for photographing the lego man was inspired, and resulted in a really good looking main character. The troll enemy was really devious, and I particularly enjoyed the animation when you get killed (the head and helmet pops off the lego man).

The sine waves are used in at least two different ways (apparently, anyway). The sine wave flag effect is very effective and appears as part of the gameplay. I particularly like the recursive flag (Yes, if you move around, the man on the flag moves too).

I can\'t see exactly how it\'s a parody of Mario, possibly inspired by, but not a parody so I can\'t rate it highly in this category - but it\'s the effort that counts.

I loved the end of game boss (which I wasn\'t expecting). The \"unlockable\" feature is in fact in every level, the gate must be unlocked. As the rules didn\'t specify WHAT or HOW the unlocking should occur I conclude that this is totally acceptable.

Overall: 4/5 - I couldn\'t *quite* bring myself to give it 5, but it really is a very entertaining game, has some original concepts and well done in a weekend.

Artistic: 5/5 - No way I could give this less than 5, with the quality of the graphics and inspired way it\'s done.

Technical: 3/5 - The sine wave was nice but there\'s nothing else to write home about here.

Genre: 1/5 - Well, apparently Eric tried to make it a parody, but I\'m not sure what of, or how.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 5 Technical 3 Genre 1

Review by casey all reviews by casey

Although I was only randomly selected to write a review for it, I can honestly say that Legoland Adventures is my favorite game developed for the TINS ?05 competition. Apparently a parody of the classic Mario platformers with the twist being that Mario is a Lego-man and Treasure Trolls are trying to stomp him, the game doesn?t exactly seem to make fun of Mario. The ?Lego-mation? graphics, however, are the funniest thing I have seen this competition, especially the peace sign that the Lego-man flashes to conclude each level. The theme is very original and well implemented. The use of trolls is perfect in my opinion; they fit well with the toy-land theme and apprently inspired it, which suggests that the game was built around the competition requirements and not vice-versa.

Unfortunately, other competition requirements are where the game stumbles. There are no un-lockable secrets, and though the README explains that collecting all tokens unlocks the flag, that is no different than saying that pressing enter unlocks the game. The sine waves used to wave the Lego-man?s flag are cool, but they are just eye candy and do not affect the game play. A similar idea was implemented better in Trollus.

While there is not a whole lot of variety in the game play, the engine is solid and the game is about as complete as any weekend-competition game I?ve ever played, with 8 different levels and a boss battle at the end (similar to the one with Koopa in SMB3). Joystick support and semi-original music (waltz versions of Mario?s music) are a much appreciated bonus.

Overall, Legoland Adventures is the most enjoyable game I?ve seen this competition; here?s hoping for a sequel.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 4

Troll-io Cart Racing
by PacManFan
all reviews of Troll-io Cart Racing

Review by Eric_Love all reviews by Eric_Love

This is a tidy top-down racing game. You race your small car sideways against a few other such cars, hoping to pick up the speed bonuses on the way.

It\'s hard to keep your car on the road when the track zigzags (though the opponents manage it with no trouble) and once you\'re on the grass it\'s very slow going. It would have been a bit more playable if the grass doesn\'t slow you down too much. Also, if you weren\'t forced forwards all the time and were able to steer around the full 360 degrees without the screen wanting to scroll ahead, that would make it easier to handle the zigzags.

The balance is good - after many unsuccessful races I won by under 50 pixels!

The title screen is perhaps the best of all the entries, and fulfils the sine wave, parody and troll rules all by itself. I didn\'t find any readme, so I don\'t know about any unlockable item (I must admit my game didn\'t have one either as I misread the rules).

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 2 Technical 3 Genre 1

by miran
all reviews of Tuna-Jump

Review by ArchMageZeratuL all reviews by ArchMageZeratuL

This is a surprisingly amusing game, where you play as a tuna fish. The objective is to gather as much momentum as possible by swinging in the water and holding space with the right timing to jump as far as possible in a pier.

The game is well polished and, despite being extremely simple, is very fun to play. It is, however, very incomplete, which can be noticed by the fact that, while you can unlock something by getting to 12 m, the \"something\" is missing. Also, it\'s not really a parody of anything, and the troll fells kinda slapped there.

The use of sinewaves is very good, modelling the sea at the background and the movement of the bouys. Overall, a relaxing, addictive game.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 3 Technical 4 Genre 2

Mediocre Oiram World
by DekuTree64
all reviews of Mediocre Oiram World

Review by miran all reviews by miran

I wasn\'t very impressed by this production. The opening screen promises a nice game and the graphics certainly look good but playing the game is just not much fun. It is a platform game, a clone of Mario. The engine is not so bad but the moving, jumping and dying just feel wrong somehow. The game is lacking a bit of the polish, it looks more like a very early test or something. There are no menus, no special effects, no sound, no music and it doesn\'t even come with a readme, which makes it very difficult to start playing because the controls are not explained anywhere.

Artistically look very nice, obviously the author spend a lot time on that aspect of the game. There were two artistic requirements in TINS: troll(s) and unlockables. The game has both, the final boss is a troll, very well drawn I might add, and once you beat it, you unlock a second chracter, Igiul.

Technically the game is not as nice as it is artistically. As already mentioned the engine doesn\'t feel right and sine waves are only used for the weapon - the gun shoots sine waves and that\'s it. I suppose the technical requirements were met though.

In the genre department I don\'t know what to write. The game is obviously a Mario clone but I can\'t see how it is a parody. Maybe if it had a story, either in-game or in a readme, that would make clear what was so funny about it...

To sum it up, I didn\'t enjoy this game very much but that\'s mainly because I didn\'t figure out the controls right away. It looks good and all the competition requirement have been met but the game is very short and too many things are missing for it to stand out.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 3 Technical 3 Genre 2

Review by Kaitlyn all reviews by Kaitlyn

DekuTree64\'s entry, Mediocre Oiram World, comes across as a simple yet surprisingly enjoyable spoof of Super Mario Brothers despite being coded in a single weekend. The game\'s biggest failure is its lack of music and sound. However, the game still has an addictive quality many professional platform titles lack.

After executing, the game greets the player with a simple splash screen illustrating the lightheartedness of the game as well its overall graphical style. The hand-drawn artwork works well to add humor while still managing to be pleasing to the eye.

Once the player presses a button, they are transported to the first level as the protagonist, Mediocre Oiram. Oiram, being the backwards spelling of Mario, looks very similar to his namesake. Likewise, the controls and objectives in this game mimic those of the original Super Mario Brothers title.

The game consists of two levels, the first outside and the second underground. The first level is fairly straight-forward. However, after going down the pipe to the second level, the game begins to challenge the player. One jump to a platform comes across as a little too difficult as the player must time their jump perfectly or fall into a pit of lava.

Once reaching the end of the level, a large troll awaits Oiram. The player can either use Oiram\'s special power, a sine wave he can shoot, or jump on top of the troll to vanquish this boss. At the end of the second level, Oiram saves the princess, and the game restarts, unlocking Oiram\'s twin brother Igiul!

The game\'s biggest shortcoming is its lack of music and sound. Music is one of the most memorable aspects of the Super Mario Brothers series. Add this to a total lack of sound effects, and the game feels a little empty. Adding music and sound effects would not have taken long to code and would have made the game play experience much more immersing.

Artistically, the game succeeds in being an obvious parody of the original Super Mario Brothers video game, however, some of the humor is lacking or confusing. For example, when the player hits a box and a sine-flower emerges, the box changes to an icon of poop. Understandably, the icon is designed to be humorous, but the humor was a little too childish to laugh at. The game could have tried to critique the Super Mario Brothers series in other ways as well. For example, questioning why the princess was always kidnapped, and doesn\'t going down pipes mean Oiram has to sludge through sewage? In many ways, the game comes across more as a Mario Brothers clone as opposed to something to laugh at.

DekuTree64 did something nice for the player by explaining some of the controls within the game. For the most part, the controls behave just as any player of Super Mario Brothers would expect them to, but they still feel a little off. They feel lagged or a little too sharp at moments, but the control scheme remains simple and easy to work with.

The game meets all the requirements as a parody that includes sine waves as projectiles, a troll boss, and an unlockable character. However, all the latter mentioned of these seem thrown in as opposed to being part of the focus of the game. Regardless, all the requirements are integrated well into the framework of the finished piece.

Overall, Mediocre Oiram World is an enjoyable piece and a great accomplishment for one weekend\'s worth of programming. The game experience comes across as light hearted and somewhat addictive. Despite that this game can be beaten within the timespan of 2 minutes, many players will enjoy playing through a few times.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 3 Genre 3