10 articles Tag action

Treadmillasaurus Rex

Treadmillasaurus Rex by jmtb02

John Cooney – aka jmtb02 – can do no wrong in my book. He has the strange, wizard-like ability to invent the world’s most laughably primitive games and then do… something that makes them not only top fun, but also funny, infuriating, endearing, and completely un-leave-alone-able.

And look! Here comes his latest, Treadmillasaurus Rex, to prove my point. You’re going to play it just because of the name anyway, right? But pay special attention to how it starts out as a crushingly dull jumping game, and then – by throwing in a big colourful Wheel Of Fortune, confetti, a direction-switching conveyor belt, a ‘calories burned’ meter, flashing lights and very silly hats – somehow makes you play it at least 23 times.

A silly hatA very silly hat

It’s even funnier if you imagine you’re watching the pilot for a new gameshow. Play Treadmillasaurus Rex (Flash)

(And if this is the first you’ve heard of jmtb02, go and play Achievement Unlocked, I Love Traffic and – my favourite – Run Elephant Run.)

Dance Dance Dance

Dance Dance Dance

Here’s another Ludum Dare 18 gem – and by the way I’ve played through over 100 entries so far so you don’t have to, and my eyes are starting to fuzz over.

Dance Dance Dance from Nyarla (of the nightmare-inducing Magnetic Shaving Derby on iPhone) is a pixelated ‘dancing’ competition. You don’t really dance: you twirl. And you don’t really compete: you smash your rivals’ faces in by catapulting your partner towards them, steal other women’s men, and knock waiters to the floor so that they die. It’s fun.

It’s a genuinely challenging game, and the little pixelated hearts go some way to helping you forget all the stupefyingly poor sportmanship displayed by these tiny dancers. It also unlocks the reminiscence compartment in my brain containing 1984 Konami coin-op Mikie, which is no bad thing at all. Play Dance Dance Dance (Flash)

Indie game: Crop Defenders


You know the world’s running out of twists on the Tower Defence concept when you get a game where bazooka-carrying birds are protecting a vegetable garden from bunnies. But it’s that odd twist that makes Rob Scherer’s Crop Defenders kinda pretty much all right. Things are so much more interesting when your ‘grenade tower’ is actually a parrot indiscriminately chucking explosive barrels all over the shop — especially when, satisfyingly, there’s very little attempt to cutesify everything up. The RSPCA would probably be appalled, but even they must want the terrifying shadowy lake-monsters to be killed with maximum brutality. The game’s one flaw — and it’s a big one — is asking you to direct your birds’ fire, which means that when the feathers start flying and explosions are exploding at ten a second, it’s impossible to work out what the hell is going on. Still. Pretty good. Play Crop Defenders (Flash)

A Day Out West

A Day Out West

Oh dear. Now I feel even worse for not liking all the hard work that’s gone into The Pretender. Because the game you see above was thrown together in 97 minutes. It’s A Day Out West, it’s by Legendary Creations, and it was put together for the latest 2-hour game development competition on The Poppenkast. All you have to do is jump over cactii, wiggle about in mid-air, and shoot rivals who have seemingly exchanged their horses for trampolines. But who isn’t a sucker for games with giganto-pixels like this? And there’s something massively satisfying about catching those flying cowboys in mid-arc. It gives you a little glimpse into how clay pigeon shooters feel. Clay pigeon shooters on horses. Play A Day Out West (download, Windows)

Spacetacular Voyage

Spacetacular Voyage

Wait, come back! Spacetacular Voyage by Sash MacKinnon might be cursed with a teeth-clenchingly awful name. And some equally bad puns, eg “It’s a sine”. BUT it plays a blinder. Your spaceship’s just a glorified mouse cursor, and to survive you have to dodge, push past or blast through a waterfall of falling geometric shapes. It just works, and it’s not short on ideas: one minute you’re using brute force to wade through a hailstorm of clonking great balls, the next you’re negotiating a twisting path of innocent-looking squares. One of the few games of late that has the decency to weave physics into its play, rather than half-heartedly sellotape some gravity algorithms to its head and saunter off for a coffee and biscuit. I like it. Play Spacetacular Voyage (Flash)