Race for the Galaxy AI is a fanware of the Race for the Galaxy cardgame, and expansions designed by Thomas Lehmann. Keldon Jones is an excellent developer, and his artificial intelligence is super strong. The program has been updated numerous times for both UI and AI improvements. If you want to try this woderful card game with all three expansions, The Gathering Storm, Rebel vs Imperium, and The Brink of War, download and play Race for the Galaxy AI.
Race for the Galaxy AI
Tabletop Tuesdays: Race and Fight for the Galaxy for Free
|Submitted by sebastian sohn on Tue, 11/15/2011 - 22:32.|
|Submitted by IanSchreiber on Wed, 10/26/2011 - 14:08.|
In the wake of the Wall Street protests, we would expect to see a number of "persuasive games" that deal with the issue. This one takes an interesting approach: putting the player in the role of a struggling single parent who has lost their home and job and is down to the last of their savings.
Mechanically, the game is organized into 30 turns (one representing each day of the month) and the player's goal is to survive for all 30 days without running out of money. Ostensibly, the true "win condition" would be to survive for all 30 days and have enough money left over to make rent at the beginning of the next month. Each day the player is presented with an event randomly chosen from a pool (in my designer's eye, I can almost see the paper prototype with someone flipping over an index card from a shuffled stack), most of which offer the player a choice. The player has one primary resource, money, and most events affect how much you have.
Great Wall-Crossed Lovers
|Submitted by costik on Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:13.|
Barrier is a short graphic adventure in which you play Wu, a kung fu master whose girlfriend, Mei, is on the other side of the Great Wall of China. You must get to the top of the wall, pull her up, win her heart, and deal with the patrolling soldiers who apparently think peasants don't belong on the Great Wall.
The difficulty is that your verbs are not what you'd expect from an adventure game; all you can do is punch, kick, converse, and leap over. Thus, being the goofball that you are, when you attempt to use the ladder that is right there, you smash it to flinders with your mighty kung fu.
It's a short game -- ten minutes at most -- but entertaining, and the graphics, which appear to be scanned from a pastel rendering, are quite attractive.
Smurphin for Brooklyn
Slaughter the Annoying Blue Twits
|Submitted by costik on Wed, 10/19/2011 - 07:19.|
Smurphin for Brooklyn is a one-note joke, but mildly entertaining for all that. It's an arcade shooter with levelups and a variety of purchasable weapons in which you, a sort of gangsta smurf, exchange gunfire with other more distant smurfs while also blowing away little blue guys running down the street.
The transgressive nature of the material is amusing, and anyone who loathes the Smurfs will doubtless find it of at least passing interest. Nothing particularly innovative or elegant about the gameplay, however.
Locked Room Fantasy
|Submitted by costik on Mon, 10/17/2011 - 15:13.|
Less than Three (aka <3) is a short Adventure Game Studio title from Ben Chandler; at the inception, a D&D-like party of adventures have just opened the treasure house of Emperor Kemal, and shortly find themselves trapped in it.
There's one long-ish and not particularly difficult puzzle (walkthrough linked above should you become stuck), but what's interesting isn't the gameplay per se, but the writing. The "examine" and "use" texts (LMB and RMB) provide a sense of a living world, and the by-play among the characters provides a story that's actually interesting, a rarity in games of any sort. A nice, short adventure gaming fix for those who like such.
Keys of a GameSpace
Disturbing Graphic Adventure
|Submitted by costik on Wed, 10/12/2011 - 02:05.|
Keys of a GameSpace is a short Adventure Game Studio title that rather pretentiously labels itself an "expressive game;" a sort of artist's statement on the site explains that the game is an attempt to explore games' expressive potential and that "games are not a trivial medium of expression." Doubtless some would find this an impressive claim, though I expect most readers of PTT! would respond "well, duh."
But, as most readers of PTT! would also doubtless agree, what's important is the game, not any claims made for it. Keys of a GameSpace has merit.
|Submitted by costik on Mon, 10/10/2011 - 01:05.|
When you begin Megamash, a short Flash video plays of a cart being inserted into the "Nitrome Game System"; you're then offered a (bogus) choice of 7 different games. When you select, the screen fills with a "cartridge read error" message, and the game begins. This is contextualization for the odd mix of gamestyles that follows.
At first, it seems like a simple platformer in which you play a bunny collecting carrots and avoiding enemies. But half-way through the level, you pass through a barrier into a sidescrolling shmup, and become a spaceship shooting aliens with the space bar.
Table Top Tuesdays: Big Brawl in a Tiny Package
|Submitted by sebastian sohn on Tue, 09/20/2011 - 05:43.|
Button Men is minimalist, polyhedral dice dueling game. The game is sold in the form of 2.25" pin-back buttons, each with a character portrait and series of (usually five) numbers representing types of dice. For instance, the Hammer character button has a portrait of a Roman gladiator and the numbers 6, 12, 20, 20, and X. This means that Hammer fights with a d6, d12, d20, and variable dice in the range of 4-20. Because of the simplicity of design, numerous buttons have been created by various publishers with their original IPs.
|Submitted by costik on Fri, 09/16/2011 - 20:24.|
Hungry Sumo has one, entertaining, original mechanic; and that's enough to carry a fast-playing little Flash game, though not enough to build anything bigger around.
Your sumos (pink-belted) and the opposing sumos (blue-belted in early levels) bounce around the window, rebounding off the sides and each other like billiard balls. Each time sumos collide, they both lose size -- the bigger sumo causes more of a loss than the smaller one. A sumo reduced to the smallest size that impacts an enemy switches sides.
As you mouseover a sumo, it eats rice, swelling in size; however, if it impacts an enemy while eating, it "pops," turning into a baby and switching sides. Consequently, you want to mouseover when there's no danger of impact and quickly move away at other times.
|Submitted by costik on Thu, 09/15/2011 - 22:16.|
Omnicron is a vertically-scrolling shmup with pixelated, NES-style graphics. We see a lot of shmups, but there are two things about this that are noteworthy.
First, your ship moves with WASD and continuously fires, leaving your other hand free to move the mouse -- and anything blue you see on the screen can be absorbed by clicking on it, mouse pointer moving independently of ship. This is good for two reasons -- blue energy charges up your bomb (released with RMB, which clears the screen of enemy fire), and the blue stuff will kill your ship if it comes into contact with you, just like enemy ships and the (non-blue) stuff they fire. This is interesting, because it means you're trying to do two, dissociated things with your hands at once -- left hand maneuvering your craft, and right playing whack-a-mole with moving blue objects.