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All 6 game Reviews


Mastermind: WC Mastermind: WC

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Slicker than snot on a doorknob.

I have to say, as entertaining as the Mastermind toons are, I had felt the desire for more Blockhead all along. True, as an artist, you don't want a fan commandeering, and that's respectable. But to drone on from my end, this little doodad is more than a satisfactory stall for the aforementioned character. In fact, it's possibly the most fulfilling flash game I've played, which says a lot considering games aren't meant to fulfill any more than trivial electronic stimulus.

This obviously exceeded many expectations, I can tell. It could've just been a menu-based game, it really could've. The design is organized well and runs very smoothly from screen to screen. The complexity of these Mission Plots is desirable as well, since the use (and Ultimate Disuse) of patsies gave me a more thoughtful edge on strategies. The expansive mission screen coupled with the common ideas of investment for residual income and purchasing of weapons/defenses gave my clicking finger a little exercise. And it kept me thinking ahead, and forethought is always a good thing to inspire.

I have the assumption in mind that you were originally aiming for menu-based only. But wait, you give me strategic command in real-time battles? Surely you love to indulge your fans. The great thing about it was that I didn't necessarily need to involve myself as much as most RTS formats do. The minions, eh, they kind of do their own thing. Run their patrols, respond to nearby enemies and fight willingly to their deaths. Which, y'know, loyalty is great and all, but the Fallback commands were always useful for better retention. And after I was making decent money and filling the field with men, all I needed was to clamor everyone in the center so the whole crowd could effectively defend on their own while I could sift through menus and maintain my master plans - 'cause they won't run themselves even during battle, right?

The tutorial goes both ways. In a desirable light, it explains the absolute necessities and basics and wraps it up quickly enough for short attention spans to be thankful. Plus the condescending minion was a humorous touch for the same crowd. Me? Well, I like my directions, though I do have a knack for learning by doing. Honestly, I got stumped in a couple areas. Damn, I had no idea I could make extra money by assigning minions to the finance menu. Not until I stole A.I., anyway. But it goes to show those little question marks in each menu are a great feature, and any extra assistance one would want can quickly find it. It's a functional system, to say the least.

Then, well, I'll just wrap this up; I thoroughly enjoyed it, beginning to end, and got a few laughs in the meantime. You're already a flash artist Great, and you're only looking upward with the quality that keeps coming out.

Just do me a favor and let me know how America's Phallus is doing once in awhile from up thar in O-town. I'll be ditching this dirt in a couple weeks for cooler, bumpier pastures.

Brimstonius Vomitus


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Xeno Tactic 2 Xeno Tactic 2

Rated 2.5 / 5 stars

A footless boot...

And by that, I mean it has all the details and graphics and programming necessary for a great game, but it almost entirely lacks in areas so necessary that it doesn't have the force to make it even half-way good ("boot can't kick with no foot in it").

A nice thing is that it's veering away from the original's clinging fascination with Desktop Tower defense and strives for its own image. But the original did have some semblence of balance (I believe tower pricing and reward ratios are often mentioned). Not only that, but the towers' acquisition system made it far too frustrating, especially when there are only four tougher enemies and all turrets in a vicinty fire on one target, and it would've only taken a fraction of those shots to kill it, thus wasting precious time and allowing enemies to escape. This not only widdles away the shields, it also deprives one of the money from killing those enemies that truly should've been killed.

The air waves were deplorable, and spending money on upgrading the ground towers made me paranoid while knowing I was going to need plenty to spare so I can quickly position the Sky Beams where they needed to be. The accuracy, eh, I could get over. But the top-to-bottom pathway was wretched.

It really has the looks and layout, but not the gameplay and AI. And it pains me to find a tower defense game that I don't particularly like...


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Cursors of the Future! Cursors of the Future!

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

A stunning addition to anyone's desktop.

To those reading this; yes, the title does indeed imply that these gadgets can be downloaded and used on your very desktop settings. I've seen too few previous reviews acknowledging the little "Download" button in the lower-left corner on the last cursor. It'll lead you right to the site where you can go to 'Downloads' and follow the instructions to light up your screen.

The Spyroscope desktop is teh pwns. Or something leet like that.


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( ellipsis ) ( ellipsis )

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Simple, but utterly fantastic.

Okay, this one deserves a piece-by-piece breakdown of the scores.

Graphics:
Honestly, I wanna give a higher score, but let's be honest - it's a bunch squares attacking a circle.

Style:
However, where raw graphics weren't terribly impressive, the way you animated everything was fabulously smooth as silk. It gets dull with the redundant 'point-and-click' theme, but the way your clicks ignite a confetti of smooth animation, the differing personalities of the squares and the seamless transition between waves made this absolute eye candy while I endured it.

Sound:
Gets a ten for the appropirate and engaging soundtrack.

Violence:
Yeah, 'cause killing them poor squares really takes a toll on my moral values...

Interactivity:
It's a game, so I'd call it pretty interactive.

Humor:
Can't say I was laughing.

Overall:
Like I said, it's eye candy, but not something I'll come back to time and again to relive it's clickety controls. Deserves an 8 in my world.


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Blockhead: The Game Blockhead: The Game

Rated 4 / 5 stars

The interactive Odyssey foretold to us...

It's a beautiful concept, no doubt. Difficulty; well, it was to be expected to be viewed in the series, but not played in a game.

Some things are entirely more useful than others. Take for instance, the 'Interrupt' button has served me well to an extent - none. Seeing him wanting to interact with an object or person excites my desire to 'interrupt' him, but pressing this button takes so much of his attention span away that he won't acknowledge a command to move away. And even if he does, the person or object is still so close by that he'll quickly forget the command and perform what he set out to do in the first place. The only use I find in this button is to stall the inevitable for a fraction of a second.

However, the 'Bad Idea' button more than often appears as a good idea. Not only does it allow the attention span to build without anger damage taken in the meantime, it gives Blockhead time to utterly destroy things without the conscience taking an anger hit. So he can effectively destroy things so they cannot be interracted with again and therefore leaving less things to piss the conscience off.

The random patterns make this perhaps entirely more difficult than it should/could be, but Blockhead's reasonings are very accurate given his character in the series. You've stayed true to the character while avoiding my fear of making him controllable...but now I fear that he's TOO uncontrollable.

But just the same, it merely takes some learning of the levels so avoiding objects and people becomes easier; where I couldn't even make it out of the bedroom the first play, I managed to complete the first mission with less than a quarter of the anger bar filled several tries later. It takes patience, no doubt, which is more than we can ask of the conscience, so it's truly up to the player to devise working strategies. This is a good quality, albeit frustrating in difficulty.

So, though I (usually) enjoy this game utterly, I do hope your Flash efforts focus more on animation than more interactive installments.

Been fun,
Brimmy V.


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The-Swain responds:

Well, there are tricks that aren't listed to make "Interrupt" more useful, and I will give you one. When you interrupt him from interacting with an object, click on a person or object nearby to move him to it. Not only will it reduce the AS bar less than a Move command, but Blockhead will not stop to interact with any NPCs along the way. He will interact with objects if he comes into range of one, but if he does, you can continue the process again to another object or person. This is what makes "bouncing" essential to getting through the levels.

And thanks for the lengthy review! You're the only one besides myself who seems to like the Bad Idea button :D


Submachine1: extended Submachine1: extended

Rated 4 / 5 stars

A very well-done puzzler...

Considering I've come across many games of this sort, my good review points to the presence of originality. The ambience given is appropriate and diminished boredom should I have been stumped. The sequences weren't as complicated or interesting as they could have, but they made sense and allowed easy intepretation of what to do or where to go next. The clues were mostly vague, but with enough time staring at a particular puzzle, the clue to it does get more and more apparent. Sound effects are done well. The physics feel organic and engaging, especially with the shifting between rooms.

I find this a solid entry and recommend it to anyone that enjoys pictoral puzzle games.