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Showing 41 reviews

Entry of Team Darkbits
by darkbits
all reviews of Entry of Team Darkbits

Review by entheh all reviews by entheh

I was unable to run this entry initially, but the author kindly directed me to:


Overall: 4. As always, the whole thing is tied together and made into a polished game, complete with a main menu and a map to link the levels together. Sadly I found the \'jumping off walls\' action to be just too unreliable. Did I have to press the keys at exactly the same time (which is impossible to do reliably)? Was I doing something else wrong? This stopped me proceeding beyond the second level, so I had to give up. It\'s unfair to mark a game down simply for one playability issue, and given the overall polish and the number of levels that seem to exist, I feel this game deserves a 4.

Artistic: 3. The graphics aren\'t bad, although they do seem a little loud somehow. What I saw of the dialogue was interesting, until it played on every attempt at each level and didn\'t seem to be skippable.

Technical: 3. There was an attempt at an interesting control mechanism, although as described above it proved to have a flaw. The GUI engine hasn\'t quite been used to perfection: for example, the Credits screen can only be exited with \'Esc\', and the words in the dialogue can start to form on one line and then move to the next when they get too long. Finally, I couldn\'t find any reference to atan2() in the source code, so I can only really award 3 points here.

Genre: 5. The imminent world destruction is a creative choice (not the obvious \"player has to destroy everything\" that I went for) and is implemented to great effect, complete with camera shake which increases over time. I immediately knew I had a time limit, even if the timer readout itself wasn\'t massively obvious.

I have a feeling there is a version floating around with the playability bug fixed, but sadly I have a busy weekend coming up and am out of time - but I\'ll play it and enjoy it at some point after the voting is over!

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 3 Technical 3 Genre 5

by FalseMasterJ
all reviews of Failure

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

Given how incomplete this entry is, the screenshot looks kinda slick.

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 1 Technical 1 Genre 1

Review by Alvren all reviews by Alvren

The worst part about it is that it looks like a promising game :P

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 5 Technical 5 Genre 1

Review by jbernard all reviews by jbernard

There isn\'t a game here, just a message stating that FalseMasterJ failed to complete his entry. The graphics are nice looking though; it\'d be better, however, if the stars scrolled a little more smoothly, they\'re kinda jerky.

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 1 Technical 1 Genre 1

Entry of allefant
by allefant
all reviews of Entry of allefant

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

In this game you control a population of little beings in a small but fertile meteorite floating all alone in the vast empty space. You can build up a society with farms, lumberjacks, defenders and healers while you have to stand back and watch how your island is destroyed bit by bit, slowly at first but then at an alarming rate.

When I first saw the screenshots of this game I had to think of Easter island. You know it is said that Easter island once housed a large population until the islanders cut down their last tree? Unlike the Easter islanders, the inhabitants of this game are not the cause of their own destruction. This comes at hand of something that looks like evil purple space mana. This mana drops down from space and seems harmless at first, but after a while it literally punches holes in your island, and destroys your buildings and inhabitants.

You can build defenders to defend, but housing the defenders costs a lot of wood. You can get wood by attracting woodcutters, but cutting down trees makes your land more exposed to the evil mana. Construction takes time as well, you can add an extra constructor if you\'re willing to gamble that you can make up this lost time. The purple infection spreads at an alarming rate and usually one defender is not enough to cope.

Most of the time you don\'t have enough time or wood or people to do all these things and your land is quickly turned into swiss cheese by the purple menace. Only one time, probably by luck, I succeeded in building an extra constructor, two lumberjacks and two defenders before I got a single infection spot. As long as there is little purple spots around the defenders can cope easily and this was sustainable for a while, until that moment that for some reason both my lumberjacks got stuck near a construction site and before I noticed I ran out of wood, both my defenders were struck down by a descending piece of evil and I was back in swiss cheese mode again.

For the sake of the competition I have to note that this entry lacks atan2. Hence, low score for the technical part.

But other than that this entry is great. The game has cute graphics. I especially like the way the land slowly corrodes and black space appears through the gaps, it really makes you feel concerned. This game is too difficult as it is but all the tunables are there: if there were a little grace period without purple falling from the sky while you build up, if the infection would spread a little slower and if the defenders were a little quicker this could really work. I haven\'t seen an RTS game in TINS or speedhack yet, they are technically really hard to pull off in a weekend so the fact that this game is so close to complete is a real stunt. Please Allefant, tune this up a bit and release again, I would really love to play more!

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 5 Technical 3 Genre 5

Review by Gassa all reviews by Gassa

I\'m not obliged to write a review on this, so it will be short.

First, I\'d like to note that this is my favourite entry from TINS \'08. Second, amarillion already covered the game in his review in much detail. So, instead of explaining why I like it, I shall use the review system for feedback - to put a few suggestions that can make it more playable.

1) Some quiet time at start (one minute?), to be able to build some structures before the first meteor can fall on your land. That can be no meteors, or no land destruction from already fallen meteors.

2) Improved pathfinding and target assignment, at least for defenders; right now, these two are the causes of stupidly losing the game.

3) If the issues 1) and 2) are somehow dealt with, the game will become too easy, so maybe increasing the meteor rate and/or the destruction speed with time would be nice.

4) Some text hints on what to build at start, to make learning the game pretty easy.

5) Different levels with more than one piece of land and different starting locations.

Thanks for the game, I really hope to see a more polished version of this entry!

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 5 Technical 4 Genre 5

Review by Sos all reviews by Sos

This is a settlers-like real time strategy game. You are a master of an floating island which reminds the ones you see in Netstorm. Your island is surrounded by 4 smaller ones, each carrying an evil spire. Each spire occasionally sends \'an evil\' towards your island. This Evil can either destroy one of your bouildings or trees or plant itself in the island gradually eating it, and reproduce itself in the process. You can build several different structures on your island, each providing you with different unit:

Woodcut: cuts down trees, and provides you with wood, the only material used for building.
Constructor: constructs building, available from the beginning
Planter: Plants trees
Protector: gets rid of the evil spawn from your world. It converts it into Mana
Farmer: provides citizents with food
Residence: provides 5 inhabitants
Healer: uses mana to extend the land

Game mechanics work quite well. Each unit is controlled by AI, without need to worry by the player. A unit action goes in two turns: first it goes out of its hut, does his job, then returns into hut. Some of the units seem to \'get lost\' in this small piece of world by, for instance cutting a tree on thew other side of the island while there still are plenty of trees near the hut.

The rules are met quite well:
World domination: in this game YOU control the world, so it\'s very well met.
Insulting dialogs: units seem to express their narrow world perception every now and then by uttering some quotes like \"I\'m a lumberjack and I\'m okay\", some are insulting the player, so the rule is met alright.
atan2: only occurance of atan is in one of the npc\'s sentence saying that the creator had no idea what atan2 is.
Destruction: those evil spawns will keep eating your island regardless how big army have you built, so it\'s met
Act of Letterman: the same as for atan2, this sentence makes fun of the creator clearly.

Game\'s art resembles a hybrid between settlers and netstorm, and give\'s quite a nice impression. Overall, the game is playable, I don\'t know whether it\'s winnable, because it\'s hard as hell.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 4

Avery's World Destruction
by DownloadMyHeart
all reviews of Avery's World Destruction

Review by Alvren all reviews by Alvren

Didn\'t play it. How the hell do you play it? What is a CSV?

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 1 Technical 1 Genre 1

Review by kenmasters1976 all reviews by kenmasters1976

This game doesn\'t seem to be completed. The provided readme.txt isn\'t helpful in explaining whether it is even playable or not.

The game features a presentation with the title of the game and a working menu. All menu entries do work but it\'s not clear how (or if) is possible to play. I even tried to create a file using the \"Editor\" menu option, which again, there\'s no clue as to how to use it; but after saving the file, trying to load it in the \"Play\" menu option resulted in an error.

So, there\'s not much to review since the game is not playable. Not to mention that it is nowhere near to implementing the TINS rules.

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 1 Technical 1 Genre 1

Review by entheh all reviews by entheh

\'Avery\'s World Destruction\' looks like a fair attempt at a game. Frustratingly, and sadly, every step in investigating it was difficult, and the game didn\'t even work when I finally managed to get it to start.

My first observation was a distinct lack of level files, so I went into the editor available from the main menu.

The editor interface makes it hard to place individual tiles - I found myself either using the menu or dragging a rectangle around the tile I wanted to change - but it did enable me to put some pieces together in the hope of then trying the level and seeing what would happen.

In order to play the level, I had to select \"Use Wildcard Specification\" from the main menu, which was hardly obvious. I almost gave up before trying it, and when I finally did, the game locked up.

I did get to see all the enemy ships facing towards the player - obviously the atan2() usage - and some music started playing.

Some other frustrations got in the way. Each time I returned from a sub-interface to the main menu, there was a slow fadeout I had to wait for. Periodically the game would appear to lock up, and would only resume working when I obscured part of it with another window. Before I created an allegro.cfg file to let me run it windowed, I didn\'t even have this option. Finally, the game logo disappeared for about 1/4 of the time, which looked a bit shoddy.

Unfortunately I am unable to give this game good scores since it just didn\'t work for me, which is a shame as an attempt was clearly made.

Overall: 1. Sorry, it was too frustrating.
Artistic: 1. There was a world map but no other evidence of world domination, and I found no dialogue.
Technical: 2. I did find the atan2().
Genre: 1. I didn\'t find any evidence of destruction.

There are two things I would recommend for future competitions.

1. Keep the user\'s experience in mind. Whatever else you do during these competitions, make sure your users will see the fruits of your labour without much effort. For example, include some pre-made level files, and make the route into the game is clear and short. This is difficult, but the more times you participate, the better you\'ll get at it.

2. Failing that, write some end-user documentation. The readme file should explain any extra steps needed and draw my attention to the good work you\'ve done, compensating for any shortcoming on the first point.

As the developer notes, an existing game was taken and tweaked. This is certainly a valid skill for rapid development, and I\'d like to encourage it. (I got criticised for doing it myself in a previous TINS.) However, do make sure that you add a reasonable amount of new content, and make it clear what parts are new, so that the voters can judge how much work you did. The enclosed readme didn\'t make this particularly clear.

Kudos for the name \'DownloadMyHeart\'. It\'s heartful :)

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 1 Technical 2 Genre 1

by Kwame Alexander
all reviews of Zerog

Review by entheh all reviews by entheh

\'Zerog\' is an entertaining little timekiller. It pits you, an odd purple blob creature with teeth resembling the cutter on a clingfilm dispenser, as a trainee hopeful hoping to join a mysterious clan who appear to be planning underworld domination - a nice twist on the rules.

You are presented with three courses, each differently themed and of very different layouts, all of which test your ability to reach a target teleporter without falling through any unsafe platforms. At the start of each course, a blue member of your species hovers into view, tells you a little more about who you are and what you\'re doing, insults you, and then glides away and leaves you to it.

I found a few small issues with the game. The Instructions and Story pages stated that I could press any key to return to the main menu, but some keys (e.g. Space) didn\'t work, and the arrow keys operated the main menu as if I was already there. In-game, there was no clear indication of how picky the collision detection was, making me a little too nervous to try moving between two diagonally connected squares when the opportunity came up. When I completed the final course, the game displayed a final screen of text and then exited as I continued pressing arrow keys, so I didn\'t get a chance to read it.

However, the game has a lot going for it too. The very existence of the short, concise Instructions and Story pages adds a lot of approachability. The changing themes and layouts expertly get the most enjoyment out of the engine. The first course shows you which tiles will disappear, and warns you (concisely again) that it won\'t last - a good mechanism to ease a new player into the game. The death sound effects are a nice touch (if a little lonely without any other sound or music), and are exactly the right place to put the comedy, since that\'s when players most need it.

All in all, a good entry, although I question the name \'Zerog\' if you can fall in!

Overall: 4. While not perfect, it\'s pretty good and certainly above average.
Artistic: 4. The dialogue is well integrated, and the art creates good atmosphere and variety. The world domination is a little tacked on, but does have the \'underworld\' twist.
Technical: 4. The atan2() is used in a rather original way, to create the game logo on the title screen. I would never have guessed without checking the code.
Genre: 4. The map undergoes destruction as you proceed through it, which is subtle and well integrated.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 4

Entry of kenmasters1976 (bomber ver.a)
by kenmasters1976
all reviews of Entry of kenmasters1976 (bomber ver.a)

Review by stevenvi all reviews by stevenvi

Hmm, what is this? The readme file did not explain how to play. As far as I can tell this is not a game.

From what I can gather about the game, this is how it works: you press Spacebar to drop bombs. You want to blow up all the things. Once you blow up all the things you have nothing else to do.

This game needs more work. :)

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 2 Technical 1 Genre 2

Review by jbernard all reviews by jbernard

There isn\'t really a game here. You\'ve got a Link-like character who drops bombs to kill all these dudes walking around in this room. Once you kill all the dudes, nothing happens, you can keep walking around dropping bombs until you kill yourself.

There is no dialog, so that\'s a minus, but I thought the little \"twirly spiral\" move the dudes made when they were hit by a bomb was nifty.

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 1 Technical 3 Genre 2

Review by FalseMasterJ all reviews by FalseMasterJ

This entry kind of reminds of me of when I first participated TINS.
The idea was a good one, but things got in the way that prevented it from becoming what was originally planed.
The code wasn\'t as messy as when I first tried, I had almost everything in a single main.cpp (and got thoroughly lost)

What was I talking about again? right kenmasters1976\'s entry.

It is fun for what it is. An incomplete game.
In this game you try to clear the screen chaotically by pressing space bar while the scenery warps slightly around you. Pretty good destruction fulfillment.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 1 Technical 2 Genre 3

Review by Kwame Alexander all reviews by Kwame Alexander

It\'s certainly frantic, but I\'m not sure what I\'m supposed to do. I just dropped a bunch of bombs and eventually hit escape. No complaints about the graphics. Unfortunately a couple of requirements were left out.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 2 Genre 2

All Yar Bits Arr Belong To Us
by codnik
all reviews of All Yar Bits Arr Belong To Us

Review by entheh all reviews by entheh

I don\'t have to review this to qualify, but I want to because amz is my friend and Codnik is a girl! Go girl coders!

Overall: 4. A good, fun game. It is a little too hard on the first attempt, and it lacks a main menu framework to encourage you to keep trying, but it has great music which helps to compensate for that!
Artistic: 5. The dialogue is included and fits perfectly. World domination is portrayed in a topical, entertaining way. The vector art style works very well and the colours are cool.
Technical: 4. It\'s smooth and it has beautiful particle explosions. The atan2() implementation is a little obvious but does fit well into the game. I do just have to withhold a point here because I couldn\'t work out what \"Torrents\" means and because the game is just a bit too hard.
Genre: 3. The destruction is obvious; I can\'t really give it more than average points.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 5 Technical 4 Genre 3

Review by Timorg all reviews by Timorg

I quite enjoyed playing this game, it took some practice to be able to successfully destroy a headquarters and collect the bits that are released.

Overall: 4. I found it quite polished and I actually liked the graphical style, it was a nice touch rather than just have sprites scribbled up in paint. The game was quite fun to play, even if it was a little hard at 1st.

Artistic: 4. The art was rudimentary, but I quite liked it. Messages from the MAFIAA are displayed on the screen. The game is about defeating the world domination of the MAFIAA.

Technical: 3. The game engine appears quite solid and atan2 is used in the code. There is also quite a bit of code reuse.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 3

Review by Gassa all reviews by Gassa

When you run the game, you are instantly put to control a schematic ship, after a slight movement towers around you start to shoot at you, and pretty soon you die, getting some 8-digit score which makes you suspect that someone forgot to initialize a variable. After that, the game ends. Duh.

Well, give it a dozen tries, and you start to get what\'s going on there. Your ship should move almost all the time, or the towers kill you easily. You, in turn, shoot at them from your side guns and eventually destroy them. You can also destroy the yellow blocks to get more room for shooting, and loot the brown squares which are guarded by guns; when destroyed, the squares let out a bunch of colorful binary numbers, some of which should be caught, others avoided. Reading the readme.txt file helps to determine their effects.

Towers, blocks and squares all repair when certain time has passed, so you should destroy and loot the squares really fast. Your life ends when either you have no guns (a pair of guns is destroyed by each hit from the towers) or run out of torrents (the blue binary numbers which you should beat out and catch). That\'s not at all easy; after trying again and again for about 30 minutes, I only managed to completely loot one base out of six. So, I don\'t know if something good shall happen if you manage to destroy them all, which is kind of un-probable, given the fact that they repair fast, and you usually run out of torrents even faster.

All in all, this game is much fun once you grasp the rules. Often lasting less than a minute, it is very intense and keeps the player alert and active all the time. Graphics are rather simplistic, but the music, sound and the tower guards shouting text messages at you contribute to the active spirit of the gameplay.

The ratings follow.

Artistical: 4.
+ The insulting takes place in text messages. That\'s not exactly a dialog since you can only answer with your guns, but it counts for the artistical rule requirement.
- Graphics are a bit too simplistic - well, you don\'t have much time to look at them anyway.
+ However, music and sound make a nice game atmosphere.

Technical: 5.
+ atan2 is obviously used by the towers.
- As for the world domination rule, you can just find a simple storyline for it in the readme.txt file.
+ Hmm, actually, losing so fast, you do get the feel of being dominated.
+ The game runs smoothly, all parts are well integrated.

Genre: 5.
+ With that shooting sound and the torrents popping out of the bases, you actually get the destruction feeling.
+ Conforming to the genre rule, it is all about destruction, and fast.

Overall: 4.
- The game is a bit hard to start with. Some introductory level or in-game tips would have been nice.
+ Besides that, once you get the rules, it is very fun, fast and addictive.
+ Graphics (simplistic but sufficient), music and sound are all in place and serve their purpose.
- Other things to wish for are some menu and a scoreboard; a score without a scoreboard doesn\'t make much sense.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 5 Genre 5

Break Invaders
by kibiz0r
all reviews of Break Invaders

Review by Alvren all reviews by Alvren

Not played either, no binary :(

Scores: Overall 1 Artistical 1 Technical 1 Genre 1

Review by entheh all reviews by entheh

Sorry, I can\'t run this entry. Is it C#? I bought a new Vista laptop this week (specifically on 22 September 2008), and the executable included in Amarillion\'s binary pack doesn\'t work. I immediately get a message stating that \'vshost\' has stopped running.

Scored 2 in everything - low but not too low.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 2 Technical 2 Genre 2

Raid 2: Saddam Hussein's Revenge
by stevenvi
all reviews of Raid 2: Saddam Hussein's Revenge

Review by amarillion all reviews by amarillion

It\'s often true in TINS that simple gameplay leads to best result and this is a good example. In this game you man an anti-aircraft turret and you must fend off a barrage of incoming bombers as long as you can. You get a clear 3D view over your city which has a set number of buildings. If the main building gets destroyed you lose. The bombers pick a random building to bomb, presumably as your buildings are turned to rubble one by one, the chances get higher and higher that a bomber targets your main building and ends the game.

To help you there is a radar overlay with blue dots representing bullets or bombs and red dots representing bombers. You can shoot and destroy everything (even your own buildings) and all that goes with a satisfying noise from your speakers.

Simple gameplay doesn\'t mean a simple engine. I think the 3D engine for this game is really a nice technical achievement. Having said that, I found a number of glitches. Making the game download music at runtime is a nice way to get around the 400k limit, however the music system has a glitch that makes the game crash, so unfortunately I had to review this with music turned off. I also noticed that the rectangular transparent area of all sprites shows up, presumably this is a glitch that depends on settings on my computer because I don\'t see this in the provided screenshots.

Another unfortunate point is that the artistic rule is not implemented. There is some attempted self depreciation, but it doesn\'t really go all that far...

Destruction is a strong point of this game. It\'s very satisfying to shoot around and litter the sky with explosions. All in all a great entry with a few minor negative points.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 3 Technical 4 Genre 5

Review by Kwame Alexander all reviews by Kwame Alexander

Neat 3D engine. A bit frustrating to play because I can\'t see the airplanes well enough to shoot them. Certainly lots of destruction. Much easier with the cursor keys.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 2

Aliens on Fire
by entheh
all reviews of Aliens on Fire

Review by FalseMasterJ all reviews by FalseMasterJ

Aliens on Fire is one of the few games that I can compile and run on my mac, so I\'m glad that I\'m assigned to review this game.

In this game you strategically plan where to shoot the missile on each of the randomly generated planets. The goal of the game is to get as much score as possible on these 7 (plus 1) planets.

Overall this is a great game, nothing is laking or unnecessarily added on.

The theme of destruction is played out well, especially when you plant a few mines on the planet. The world-domination artistical requirement kind of goes along with this main theme. I fail to see the logic of the insulting NPC\'s plan (destroying worlds to dominate them makes \"perfect\" sense), which make him even more irritating. A plus for that.

I\'m still mind boggled on how entheh made 3-d rotating planets (I still wish I can see Sos\' or stevenvi\'s Entry in action). The games engine is very solid. Though at first I thought that the whole 3-d system was done with atan2 (shows what I know) it was only used for the final cut scene. The explosions uses quite a few tricks to get it the way it\'s looking.

I still think that a mouse click would have been a more intuitive missile luncher button, and maybe an different way of instructing of how to plant mines (via insults maybe).

Aliens on Fire is one of the top three games for me, and it\'s replay value is about medium (unless your trying to get the highest score then it\'s replay value is quite high).

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 5

Review by kenmasters1976 all reviews by kenmasters1976

Well, I was forced to review Aliens on Fire by entheh. Lucky me!.

Aliens on Fire must be one of the most complete entries for TINS 2008. It features an original, yet simple gameplay, that together with a cool graphical presentation, cool effects, cool dialogs, cool music, and a cool amount of randomness, turns it into an oustanding entry. An absolute MUST PLAY.

The game idea is to destroy everything on the surface of a number of planets. You do that with a fixed number of bombs and missiles that you have to use efficiently to try and maximize the destruction. You get points on each planet depending on the destruction caused, including extra points for destroying all buildings or all forest areas. The Hi-Scores table in the game will have you aiming for a perfect score on each planet, which you\'ll find to be rather challenging.

The random generated levels just fit perfectly in giving the game its challenge. You may find yourself in a level with a fuel depot in the middle of the sea ruining your perfect game.

Everything from the 3D presentation of the planets to the effect of the ship traveling in space and the hilarious dialogs is presented in a very professional way.

All the TINS rules were fulfilled quite nicely:

Genere: Destruction.
Not only destruction is the main theme in the game, but it is also presented in a very original and nice looking way.

Artisitcal: NPC\'s with insulting dialog.
During intermissions, you get a lot of hilarious dialog, some of them insulting, that fulfill this rule.

Artistical: World domination.
Having someone that randomly picks 7 planets and decide to destroy them just because, is a valid argument for the world domination part.

Technical: atan2().
The readme states that it uses atan2() to pass angles to the rotate_sprite() functions. If the game doesn\'t seem to have plenty of places to make use of atan2() with its 3D look, then that statement alone should suffice.

Bonus rule: Act of Letterman.
Well, if the world domination argument is not solid enough, there\'s some dialog involving entheh that calls this Act. Even amarillion appears in a dialog.

Overall: Outstanding!.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 5 Technical 5 Genre 5

Review by Kwame Alexander all reviews by Kwame Alexander

I loved everything about this game. The gameplay was fun and interesting, the dialogue was amusing (this person knows Japanese pretty well!) and I\'m amazed that it was done in only three days.

Scores: Overall 5 Artistical 5 Technical 5 Genre 5

Entry of Jeff Bernard
by jbernard
all reviews of Entry of Jeff Bernard

Review by stevenvi all reviews by stevenvi

The Life and Times of the Sexy Panda:
Journey to the Center of the Death Core

This is a cute little game, though the concept is a bit simple. It begins with the \"cuddlegators\" explaining how the game works. You walk around a room and collect the alligators, while viruses move around and destroy floor tiles. If one hits you, you must start the level over. Some of the alligators will babel about \"The Doctor\" and other things. They also will occasionally insult you. I personally ignored these messages, because they didn\'t really affect the game one way or another.

After a few levels, you will encounter a new type of character, the repair droids. These replace the tiles that the viruses remove. Waiting around for them can be a nightmare, and really isn\'t particularly fun. It is very common that you will get trapped by the viruses either by isolating you from the rest of the level, or isolating an alligator, rendering the level unbeatable. Pressing Tab will restart the level if this happens.

Eventually you will come to a level which requires ten alligators be rescued. I could not beat this level no matter how many times I tried. Then I accidentally hit Esc and it closed the game without confirmation. Doh.

Artistically, I thought this game was cute. The panda\'s eyes were a little strange, but I suppose that can be overlooked. The art isn\'t just scribbles made with mspaint, so that\'s always a plus. There was definitely some insulting going on, though I didn\'t really get any feeling of world domination. There was something about \"The Doctor\", but since no readme file was provided I didn\'t understand the story.

Technically, the game works. The check for interaction with an alligator is a little strange in some places, so perhaps that could be fixed. Was atan2 used? This is rather hard to tell from just playing a game. After glancing, my suspicion was correct: the enemies use atan2 for an angle, to make them point towards a \"target\". Unfortunately, the target is completely random, thus the use of atan2 is also just a mostly random angle. Kind of against the spirit of the rule in my opinion.

I wish that there were jumping in the game. That would have made it much easier to avoid the empty tiles. This is the game\'s major technical flaw. As was stated above, you can get trapped and must start the levels over. That really isn\'t fun to me.

Genre. Well, tiles are destroyed. They talk about \"The Doctor\" wanting to destroy the world or something... I think. So the theme is at least present. However, it is not particularly at the forefront of the game. The game is more of a race against time to get the alligators, and destruction is the reasoning used to collect them. Since it isn\'t really explained, at least not as far as I was able to get, I didn\'t see much of any of the TINS themes expressed.

Overall, the game is cute. It is not interesting to play more than once, however, because you must play through every level to get back to where you left off last time. This was common in games many years ago, but the feeling of this game is different. It isn\'t like advancing through the stages in Pacman, where you try for the highest score each time. It\'s collecting the same alligators for the sole purpose of advancing to the next level.

With some touch-ups, this game could turn into a fun little pastime, however in it\'s TINS state it still needs a bit of work.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 3 Genre 2

Review by Alvren all reviews by Alvren

Here we are put on control of a super sexy panda (?) with a mission to the center of the death core, as stated in the fun, good-looking title screen. Right in the beginning nothing of that seems clear, of course, but as the game progresses and you rescue the cuddlegators (a version of Alex the Allegator with added cuddlability?) you get to know little by little about the story of the mad scientist who wanted to conquer the world and then... well, let\'s not spoil it here!

You need to rescue the cuddlegators before you leave each floor by stepping in the blue tile, avoiding the viruses that are destroying the death core . You don\'t want them to mistake you for death core.

Interesting game! I\'ll make it a list of positive and negative points to make things more clear.
Negative points first:

- Can\'t skip dialog; this is not a big one, but it gets to you when you restart the game for the Xth time and already memorized the lines.
- Walking vertically and horizontally is perfect, but the diagonal walking is not parallel to the isometric tiles. It does generate some confusion since a lot of the time you\'ll need to move as fast as you can and avoid all collision.
- No readme; the controls are basic and beyond intuitive, but it\'s nice to have something to read about the game at least.

Now for the positive points:

- Particles, they add a lot to the otherwise not-full-of-movement look of the game. Particles should keep eyes happy and not make the screen a colorful mess. These are a good example of both qualities.
- Good-looking dialog; the \"typed-in\" effect always makes it more interesting than a single blit of a message to the screen. Also, the dialog windows have nice transparency and are not always in the same spot on the screen, all adding
to the movement and making the whole experience less boring.
- Obscure story: actually I should put this under both negative and positive, but I\'ll keep it to this since it\'s much more positive than negative after all. The game plot is obscure and makes no sense in the beginning, but since it\'s revealed little by little by the rescued cuddlegators it can be forgiven. This kind of story-telling gives it a better feel and even adds a tiny bit to the replay more than a story-in-the-readme-only kind of thing (which is exactly what I did).

Conclusion: it\'s a nice game, but the gameplay consisting basically of playing a level and dying until you memorize the correct order to rescue the cuddlegators makes it kind of boring. Adding a few more elements to gameplay could change that drastically, and I guess that\'s the usual damage lack of time causes on games. At least it\'s exactly what happened to mine as well... ;)

Rules: destruction is nice and happening all the time. The sound and particles help transmit the feeling, as opposed to a simply disappearing tile. World domination and mad scientists are the plot of the game. The insulting dialog is delivered by the very-grateful cuddlegators in a fun way. Atan2 was used in the particle generator effect (from what it seemed to me after a few Ctrl+Fs given the lack of a readme.txt), but not like I really understand what it does anyway. All the rules were implemented well enough in the game.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 4 Technical 3 Genre 2

Sling Shot
by Timorg
all reviews of Sling Shot

Review by entheh all reviews by entheh

This game doesn\'t seem to work properly. I get to fire a slingshot a few times. The balls have a mind of their own, and I can\'t work out what effect I can have on them. After a while, the screen floods with boxes, and the game locks up.

Overall: 2. Looks as if it could be a nice idea, but it just doesn\'t work.
Artistic: 1. I saw no dialogue or world domination. The slingshot does look fairly nice, but the rest is very basic vector code and doesn\'t look polished at all.
Technical: 2. I haven\'t checked if atan2 was used and where, but I did like the way the slingshot adjusts to the mouse position. That said, since nothing works properly, I can\'t give more than 2.
Genre: 1. I couldn\'t see any destruction.

In the future, I would recommend packaging the game up with a readme explaining what it\'s supposed to do and what any known issues are. Given such documentation, we can award points on merit if we think it was darn ambitious and deserves points anyway, and we\'ll have a better idea of whether it\'s broken everywhere or whether it might be some portability issue or cosmic ray influence that\'s stopping it working.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 1 Technical 2 Genre 1

Review by darkbits all reviews by darkbits

Okay, so in this little game you shoot balls from a slingshot at floating squares. When the balls hit the squares they bounce about in what seems to me like a physically correct way. After playing a while the game seems to freeze, at least on my computer.

Not much to say about the game gameplay wise, since it isn\'t finished. The slingshot works well however, it looks smooth and aming with the mouse works well.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 2 Technical 3 Genre 1

Earth and Water
by Gassa
all reviews of Earth and Water

Review by darkbits all reviews by darkbits

In this game you control some sort of a water being fighting earth for world domination by drowning everything in your way.

At first the game is a bit tricky to understand, it\'s not obvious how the game play works, but after a while you realize you have to kill each earth being to advance to the next level. Killing is done by simply colliding with a being.

As the player strives for world domination the world domination rule has been covered, although I find the battle between water and earth a bit lame as a world domination theme. By killing earth beings, and covering earth with water, the destruction rule is covered, but you never really get the feeling of destroying stuff, more a feeling of painting a window with a blue palette. Between each level a text message is displayed insulting you as a water being which I guess covers the dialogue rule, although a simple text message isn\'t really a dialogue, it\'s a monologue as there is no reply from the player (automatic or by the actual player). The art and gfxs of the game are not very impressive but serves it\'s purpose.

One thing that bugs me with this game is that it doesn\'t seem to have a decent timer implemented, as it sometimes changes running speed from running very slow to running very fast for a short time, but most of the time it runs terribly slow. The game would have been much nicer with a faster pace.

The good thing about this game is that it\'s actually a finished game! There are a set of levels (I think it\'s four, I\'ve always died on the fourth level so I\'m not sure), there is a high score list so you can beat your records and the flow of the game works nicely. A complete game in TINS is always impressive!

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 2 Genre 2

Review by Timorg all reviews by Timorg

This game wasn\'t really clear on what you had to do, after reading the readme again, and thinking about it, it became clear that the builders wouldn\'t kill you if you touch them, and it made a heap more sense. I found the game quite slow paced, but it was functional, and when you slow down you cover a larger area with water. The game was quite well designed in that respect.

Overall: 3. The game played quite well, I just didn\'t find it that exciting.

Artistical: 3. The graphics were quite limited with the object sprites being a circle with a line in it designating direction of travel. The water and land effect was quite nice though.

Technical: 3. The code seems quite complicated, but atan2 is used quite a few times. It provides its own random number generator, so if I ever need one, I will know where to look.

Genre: 4. The game directly involves destruction of the world, which really does classify for world domination. The gameplay was also quite original, I hadn\'t seen it before.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 3 Technical 3 Genre 4

The Road to World Domination: Made Simple
by BigBrain
all reviews of The Road to World Domination: Made Simple

Review by Gassa all reviews by Gassa

The game starts with some lines of text coming very slowly into existence, which is just ugly when you expect some action. Fortunately, it can be skipped by pressing ESC key.

Then, you see a level with four small blue spheres, two of which occasionally shoot tiny bullets, producing a sound. At first, it is kind of difficult to get what is going on, since everything is so small.

However, after playing for a while or reading the readme.txt file, you realize that two other spheres can be controlled by two players, and that\'s when the game starts to be fun. Single player however is not much of a game since the AI players don\'t move, only shoot. On the other side, playing with a human opponent can be very entertaining.

What you can do in the game is move, aim, jump and shoot, causing damage to your opponents and destroying inner walls of the level. Sometimes you can move or jump through walls, and moving to vertical walls lifts you to the top. These physics twists make the game even more challenging.

On the downside, mastering the game is hard and not very convenient since everything is just so small, and understanding the physics also takes quite a bit of time. Some better and bigger visualization, as well as visualizing the recharge time, would have been nice. Faster terrain destruction depending on the level should also be considered.

Well, to the rating part.

Artistical: 4.
- There seem to be no insulting dialogs in the game. Just slowness of the introductory scrolling text, which is not bad enough, and the text for winning or losing the game.
+ However, this is more than compensated by an excellent readme file, with a storyline, playing instructions and FAQ.

Technical: 4.
+ atan2 is obviously useful for the AI players.
+ Five different levels bring more strategies to the game.
- However, the game characters, i.e. spheres, are just too small to get a good feeling of them.

Genre: 5.
+ Having picked the genre, which is a game in the spirit of Scorch or Tanks, the obvious destruction part is, of course, to make the terrain destructable. That is well implemented.
- That might seem a bit too simple and worn, but fits the game well.

Overall: 4.
+ The game is actually fun, playable and replayable with two players.
+ The physics twist is sufficient to make it an interesting variation of an old plot.
- On the other side, trying it in single player can get you bored quickly.
- Also, characters are too small to get the good feeling of them.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 5

Review by codnik all reviews by codnik

The Road to World Domination: Made Simple

overall: 2. I gave it a go four or five times, but It didn\'t really catch my attention. Maybe playing with another human player it could be fun for a little while. The spheres\' movement is a bit weird and not smooth enough, but I guess the reason is the developer aimed for fast terrain coverage. The strange physics is intriguing at times but mostly it annoyed me ( too complex for my head? :P ). Non-human spheres are too dumb and usually kill themselves shooting at the terrain.

artistic: 2. The games\' excuse for world domination didn\'t convince me. The spheres are circles and just that. Terrain is ok, and the explosions are fine.

technical: 3. Obvious use of atan2 but who am I to judge? lol

genre: 2. Destruction is there, but the flow of the game is just too slow for my taste.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 2 Technical 3 Genre 2

The mysterious and evil Dr. F.
by amarillion
all reviews of The mysterious and evil Dr. F.

Review by Sos all reviews by Sos

In this game you are to protect the world from evil Dr.F. You are in control of a tank, a helicopter, or both with the ability to switch between these. As you take your actions you are attacked by numerous static and mobile enemies. The goal of each level is to destroy the bunker, which is heavily reinforced.

The game is of infinite length, for if you beat the last level, it appears that the Dr. F (Princess F?) is \"in another castle\" :P Apart from that game seems quite complete though. Marking is as follows:

Artistic: 3
Graphics are well done, yet most of the levels seem empty, and you can simply wander off to a desert with nothing around. The cutscenes are ncie however.

Technical: 2
The game is playable, yet unbeatable. The enemies aim well (using atan2) however if you simply follow the green arrow (which shows bunker\'s location) and shoot mad at the bunker you can beat the game in about 3 minutes or so.
There is also no player - building collision detection

Rules: 4
One by one:
World domination: Dr F is said to have plans to dominate the world, so it\'s a-ok
Destruction: Destruction is an essential part of the game, but buildings are invincible (:/) that\'s why 4, not 5
Dialogues: There are insulting dialogues (and hilarious ones either)
atan2: Used for bunker arrow and enemy aiming.

Overall it\'s a good game, yet too easy to play, and impossible to beat.

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 3 Technical 2 Genre 4

Review by BigBrain all reviews by BigBrain

In this game you control a tank or a chopper (or both) and try to defeat the bases of the enemies. They will of course defend the bases by attacking you.

The graphics fit together very well and the dialogs show up quite smooth. There are many different objects in the game (many just as an extra detail like trees etc).

atan2 is used at least for the AI aiming (didn\'t dig into the sourcecode too much)- All game elements work together quite well, and the game engine features many types of them (e.g. menu background animation, intro, player, driving enemies, towers, trees, base, ...)

Destruction is not happening \"all around, all the time\", but it\'s an essential part of the game to destroy the enemies and the base. A problem with the gameplay is, that the game is way to easy: dying takes ages as one hit only deals 4 damage (from 100 HP) and if you play as chopper you can\'t die at all if you fly high.

Overall one can say that there are many little details featured in the game which makes it look very polished. The gameplay isn\'t too fun, as the game is way too easy, but could be tweaked easily (less health, more damage, less movement speed, ...). However, I liked the game very much because the details were worked out so nicely, and that\'S what TINS is all about, isn\'t it? ;-)

Scores: Overall 4 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 3

by Alvren
all reviews of Beetzkrieg

Review by stevenvi all reviews by stevenvi

This game is also cute. I have just finished reviewing Jeff Bernard\'s Sexy Panda game, and must say that Beetzkrieg is even cuter. The artwork is adorable in this game, and I can tell that the author put some good effort in that.

In the game, you control a bee and must collect pollen from the flowers and bring it back to your hive. You can play against up to three of your friends. You fly down to the flowers at the ground, collect the pollen, return to your hive, drop off the pollen, and repeat. The player who collects the set quantity of pollen first wins!

While the concept is novel, it isn\'t particularly fun, which is unfortunate. I really like the look of the game, so I was hoping that it would stand out as one of the top entries. I tried to play with my fiancee, but we got bored of it very quickly and did not play again.

As I have said already, this game looks great. The art is wonderfully drawn and is pleasant to look at. There is no insulting that I am aware of in the game, however that does not mean this is not a part of the game. In my experience, most multiplayer games where you compete against others will always involve insulting dialog between the players. So were someone to play the game in the proper situation, they certainly would experience insulting dialog.

As for world domination, that\'s kind of in here, too. It is your goal to compete against the other bees and dominate your world: the flowers. So that\'s in there as well, and is key to the purpose of the game.

Technically, the game works. Colliding with the hives feels natural. But that\'s about it. There isn\'t much to the game. I do not see anything which would imply the use of atan2 in the game. Based on the readme file, I do not expect to find this anywhere in the source code.

This is one of the few games which has a menu. A menu is an excellent thing for any game, and I find it improves the playability of the game greatly. It gives it a more polished feeling than some of the other TINS entries.

The biggest technical problem I saw was the split-screen part. The screen splits just fine, but the viewports are not scaled. So you can see much more of the screen playing solo than you can with four. This should be altered in future versions; you cannot see much with four players.

Genre-wise, there is only a very minimal amount of destruction. You can destroy hive tiles by running into them then holding away, making you thrust your stinger at it. (Shh, that wouldn\'t really work for a real bee.) Other than that though, I didn\'t see destruction going on, but instead competition with the other bees.

Overall, the game was a disappointment. It is a unique concept, but it isn\'t quite working yet. Hopefully with time the author can improve on the game idea and produce a fun multiplayer game. Network support would be a good place to start.

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 4 Technical 2 Genre 2

Review by entheh all reviews by entheh

This game has such wonderful graphics, I just had to review it!

Overall: 3. It has pluses and minuses.
Artistic: 4. It doesn\'t have insulting dialogue, but it does have a nice take on world domination, and the graphics are bright, colourful and professional.
Technical: 2. Sorry, there\'s no atan2(), my bee got stuck (bad collision response), and you can\'t see far enough! But I know you don\'t program very often, so don\'t lose heart - it\'s pretty darn good considering. The bees even go inside the flowers really cleanly and perfectly!
Genre: 1. Let\'s be honest - there\'s no destruction, is there?

Scores: Overall 3 Artistical 4 Technical 2 Genre 1

Review by Sos all reviews by Sos

I just had to write a reviw for this one. I\'ll make it brief tho, so:

It has nothing to do with the rules, but the look of it is splendid. It just looks so eye-catchy. multiplayer is great too =] And the tune, that at first seems improper for the image, fits perfectly. That\'s why artistic: 5, rest: whatever.


Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 4 Technical 4 Genre 1

Sos' Entry
by Sos
all reviews of Sos' Entry

Review by stevenvi all reviews by stevenvi

This game did not run on my computer, and no instructions were provided to assist in the matter.

The game sets a video mode, then a Windows error message appears. Both the binary pack file as well as when I compile the source myself do this.

Scores: Overall None Artistical None Technical None Genre None

Review by codnik all reviews by codnik

overall: 2. Feels very much unfinished. Still, feels like it\'d have potential with a better worked out story and gameplay.

artistic: 3. It looks cool. The animations are very nice, even the infinite dying one with the butterfly swinging sideways. Exploding people rocks. No insult rule though.

technical: 4. Effects are pretty impressive. Flying around is kinda cool (go way up and look down at the stadium.. some nice fog). It seems not to matter where exactly you aim, as long as it is within the stadium. Score keeps going up... even if you press the button while in peaceful infinite death.

genre: 2. There is destruction, but my purpose for it is nothing else than seeing the animation of the bouncy people.

I\'m not a 3D fan, but this game didn\'t feel so awkward, after all.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 3 Technical 4 Genre 2

Review by BigBrain all reviews by BigBrain

Yeah, a 3D game for TINS 08, something different.

An evil emperor called Mao Tse Tsung wants to take over the world domination by turning all humans into \"box-ppl\". You are a butterfly and your goal is to stop Mao Tso Tsung by killing all of his box people by creating monsoons (well, tiny monsoons).

You control the giant butterfly with mouse only (mouse movement controls camera, left moves forward, right creates a monsoon) and the box ppl just stand around doing nothing. There\'s not really something like difficulity, the only way to die is to crash into the floor (and then the die animation lasts until infinity). One bug I noticed was that the \"kill counter\" would even increase if you shot already dead box ppl.
Anyways, the game can easily be \"won\" by just turning around in circles and rightclicking as often as possible and thus killing all the people.

Artistical score: 3
Big bonus for using 3D graphics. Another nice thing is that many things (well, there aren\'t too many game elements though) are animated which looks quite nice. However, on my computer the screen always flashed when I moved the camera which was very disturbing. The intro dialog (only one dialog is a bit few) is just a simple multi-line textprintf\'ish call and it doesn\'t insult the player. The NPC in this case is the evil emperor, but the whole story doesn\'t really seem to be connected with the gameplay at all.

Technical score: 4
The atan2 function is first used in draw_shot and second when simulating the moment, when the monsoon hits the box ppl (which kinda reminds me of my game, just in 3D).
The effect when the box people are thrown through the air when hit looks great, one neat detail.
Yet again a small bonus for using 3D.

Genre score: 2
The game is all about destruction, so this rule is fullfilled.
However, it doesn\'t really feel like destruction, more like \"click the right mouse button and gain more points\", probably because all you can \"destroy\" are the box people.

Oeverall score:2
There\'s not much gameplay here and the rules are only partially fullfilled, so this game only gets two points by me.

Scores: Overall 2 Artistical 3 Technical 4 Genre 2