War of the Human Tanks is a very strange Japanese title, localized into English by Fruitbat Factory, a company that specializes in doing so.
Its gameplay is somewhat Advance Wars-like, though unlike that game, it's not turn-based; instead, each unit has a timer and becomes available to receive orders when the timer counts down. Units have different speeds, of course, but this increases the tenseness of play, as you often want to react quickly when a unit at a key position becomes available.
Your units are "human tanks," apparently something like replicants, since you build them; but they have anime personalities of their own, and all appear as little anime girls in uniform.
The original Caveman Craig was released back in 2008, and apparently the Andrews brothers have been extending and refining it since. The basics of the new game are the same as the old. Unlike the RTS norm, you have an avatar, the eponymous Craig, and newly created cavemen must be taught how to perform their tasks -- killing dinosaurs, harvesting berries, returning them to the cave, transforming them into food.
The new game has a larger variety of dinosaurs, as well as accomplishments and system that lets you buy useful things with XP (including the mammoth shown in the screenshot above); it also has an element the previous game lacked -- actual combat. In most levels there are multiple opposing tribes, and when you feel ready, you gather your hunters and fight them, defeating them by destroying their totem.
In Infested Planet, Alex Vostrov is taking the basic gameplay dynamic he explored in his freeware Attack of the Paper Zombies and running with it. As in the previous game, you control a handful of space marines who must clear out a succession of spawn points that churn out huge numbers of opponents -- Zerg-like bugs here rather than the zombies of the previous game -- but Infested Planet has many improvements.
In Infested Planet, most levels are algorithmically generated rather than predrawn. There are several different weapons with which you may equip your marines, each with its own advantages and drawbacks; in addition, they can construct a number of defensive turrets, and use grenades to wipe out enemy structures. In early levels, the bugs have only one basic attacker, plus a defensive turret and eggs that can spawn more bugs, beyond those that bug bases create; later on, they can have a wider variety of building and unit types.
I've been playing this game all week and it wrecked me like a dying hooker with a heart of gold and pregnant with the third child. But maybe I relate to Tower Defense games in a weird way.
There's so much polish here for a game made by three people, the illustrated graphics of course grab you, but this title does so much to flourish this genre's craft, it's like the oblong cousin of Immortal Defense, doing what you would expect, only much more so.
Attack of the Paper Zombies is an indie RTS game that feels more like space marines versus bugs than the zombie apocalypse. You control a handful of heavily armed marines on a graph-paper arena with scattered zombie spawn-points, and must mow down ranks of advancing attackers, ultimately killing the cthulhoid creatures that spawn them, taking over all spawn points.
The game lacks the typical resource extraction component of conventional RTS games, but instead has a tower defense-like element in which you can build turrets at fixed locations, as well as calling down a chemical strike on a zombie-infested area, laying minefields, and creating a heavy weapons targetting area. Additionally, the weapons of your marines (initially all have rifles) can be upgraded to flamethrowers or sniper rifles (useful for taking out spawners at range). All of these consume "BPs," however, and the only way to earn more is to capture spawn points.
Although the game is continuously moving, and has a player-skill component, it feels much more cerebral than a typical action game, with careful planning and use of your constructions and special weapons critical to winning with your limited BP budget.
The tutorial is nice and fairly short; there are only a handful of designed levels, but there are also randomly generated ones (at a player-selectable difficulty level).
Graphics and sounds are obviously not startling, but the gameplay is solid and entertaining.
From a host of contracted developers, including the creator of Super Energy Apocalypse and some academic advisers, comes the most delightful chromosome synthesis ever achieved between game design and the rutting instinct of spreading a message through the most trendy medium available. You control a cell in a petri dish, the subject of experiments by duck-billed platypusses (platypi?) trying to create a microscopic cloning vessel to save their species from an impending meteor. Humor about grant funding ensues, along with a more cartoonish twist on HAL 9000, with writing that is uncharacteristically good for a game of this origination, or really for games in general.
Submitted by Tof Eklund on Fri, 12/18/2009 - 19:40.
"In societies dominated by modern conditions of production, life is presented as an immense accumulation of spectacles,. [...] The spectacle presents itself as a vast inaccessible reality that can never be questioned. Its sole message is: 'What appears is good; what is good appears.' The passive acceptance it demands is already effectively imposed by its monopoly of appearances, its manner of appearing without allowing any reply."
Just when you get jaded about genre derivations and overly "zany" aesthetics from the casual game sector, coupled with a sense of market saturation and imminent collapse oddly reminiscent of the US housing market, something like this comes along. Plants vs. Zombies is the latest hyper-polished, QAed-to-the-max casual fiesta from PopCap, a company whose success is driven by one part design innovation, three parts user testing, and two parts production value.
When you first fire up Space War Commander, you may at first wonder whether there can be much of a game here. The basic structure is one that often leads to symmetrical gridlock: You have one starbase, an opponent has another, you must destroy the opposition. Scattered about the starfield are a number of planets and asteroids; each produces income for the owner (whoever's got a ship there). Generate income, buy new ships, defeat the enemy.
This structure is normally a slog, and one that becomes tedious quickly. Surprisingly, however, Space War Commander has a great more depth than at first appears.
Fantastic Contraption is a level-based physics puzzler reminiscent of, but far simpler, than the legendary Incredible Machine. In each level, you have to get your pink circle from its starting position into the pink "goal" area. Everything you build has to start within the blue "construction" area.
There are only five construction objects, but these suffice to create a surprising variety of devices using basic mechanical principles: wheels that rotate left, wheels that rotate right, wheels that are unpowered, rigid struts that cannot pass through other objects, and rigid struts ("water sticks") that can.
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