Welcome, new user. Please log in or register.


Showing 2 reviews by Gassa [2006]. all reviews

by miran
all reviews of Dodger

Review by Gassa all reviews by Gassa

With a 2D board with simple circular objects moving around, this game offers you some real action! You should boldly hold the left mouse button while moving the mouse in such a fashion that your nice blue glowing circular object (called ship) does not contact walls, other circles (drones), and missiles fired by evil tanks which move around the board. Sounds quite minimalistic, eh? Well, I'll just say that I spent over 1.5 hours playing and, despite only moderate care for the competition rules here, I consider this game the best and definitely most playable TINS'06 entry.

Yeah, it's all about time! Although you have to hold the mouse button (for no visible reason) if you want to stay alive, it won't hurt much - first time you try, you are going to stay alive for a mere second or two. After hitting the F1 key to get some info on what's happening, you try again, and yet again a couple of seconds will be enough for the drones to get you.

After a while (remember the `time' genre requirement here) you'll get to understand the mechanics of the game and could predict where the missile goes and how to get away from that strange circular trajectory of a drone. But it will require a firm hand, a sharp eye, and a good look ahead to survive for long. The longer you survive, the faster the drones move around; one false move and you are history. At higher speeds, looking ahead becomes more important and more difficult 'cause you have less time for it; every hundredth of a second will cost some physical and mental effort!

The help note offers you a challenge to survive for a mere 20 seconds, so you hit F1 again to bring the high score list back and begin the ascension. As time passes, the high score becomes fully populated, then the first line gets to 10, 11, 12, 15, 18!... seconds while the last line also gets up to 5, 6, ..., 10 seconds, being a reminder of how hard you tried. Even hundredths of a second become hard to achieve; you take a break and then continue your efforts. And here it is, you're victorious! Pitifully, the game does not reward you in any way for surviving as long as 20 seconds, but perhaps your inner feeling of being a topguy should suffice here.

Apart from the gameplay, we have TINS rules to consider. Here's where the game does not have much to offer - the idea of the game fits quite well into the genre requirement, but railways for tanks clearly are there just to formally satisfy the rule. When it came to reviewing, I had to restart the game to see whether the rail tracks are there, as the readme file states - there is absolutely no reason to notice them while playing. In fact, the gameplay is so intense that you'll very soon regret noticing anything outside the board! The so-called ASCII-art appearing in the intro is merely a bunch of words written using ASCII symbols instead of pixels.

On the technical side, the product is polished enough for a 72-hour project. Code is somewhat hasty but understandable and not `too ugly' as the readme file claims. Sounds and music are in place, though the music fragment is too short, and the shooting could sound much better. Graphics are simple yet nice. The design is the strong part of this entry - everything you need, from the help / high score board to the menu buttons, is in the right place, the music and sound themes fit the game. There definitely is an eye for detail here. It would be even better if the drones themselves could collide and bump, but well, that's a request for enhancement rather than a complaint.

As a summary, I would recommend you to play this entry, for it challenges both your fingers and your brain, providing a fun, intense gameplay in return. At least you can use it as a mouse trainer, but IMHO it deserves more attention.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 4 Technical 5 Genre 5

Pulp Training
by Darksoll
all reviews of Pulp Training

Review by Gassa all reviews by Gassa

In this game, you control a taxi locomotive. Your goal is to get to various spots on the 2D map in time, and enjoy the dialogues in between.

Well, the start menu, the help screen, and the credits when you complete the game are rather minimalistic. Indeed, I ain't quite sure that about two dozen characters of help are enough to satisfy the in-game help technical requirement. Furthermore, the ASCII art shown somewhere between dialogues was too abstract for me to understand (I even had to use my text and image editors on the source file to understand what it really is) and doesn't seem to have much in common with the gameplay.

The game involves chatting with some people and moving them around the map. The uncontrollable dialogues are a bit cheap, a bit humorous, mostly in an odd philosophical sense which is expressed to you when the game is finished. They are fun as a whole but boring to read one by one, at least for me.

Apart from the dialogues, you drive a pretty looking vehicle in a pretty looking city... but sudden clashing at the air and jamming at the corners contrast terribly with the nice graphics. If you don't get to the next stop in time, it's most probably the result of the awkward collision detection. Luckily, you can retry it over and over again, without any penalty.

One could expect a game with dialogues to make the most use of the `time' genre requirement... unfortunately, here we only see `time', as in `in time', but not the theme of a story or a dialogue.

The graphics and music fit well in the game; although they are reused from other people's projects, a sharp eye for what to reuse is an advantage nevertheless. The simple prerendered 3D model of the locomotive is also nice. But looking at the code, you see something in between the procedural and automaton programming paradigms - a vast number of cases having quite similar bodies, with only a few actions organized as functions... not to mention the strange collision detection algorithm. It seems that there could be no goal crazy enough for 70 copy-pasted cases to be better than a couple of functions... but then again, I ain't very good at automaton programming :) .

To summarize, what we have here is moderate gameplay with some extra fun for those who enjoy reading dialogues, nice graphics and music, and shallow care for the competition rules. Sadly, linear dialogues nearly kill the replayability of the game. Personally, I liked it... but I could not guarantee that YOU will.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 3