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Blitzatron is an excellent remake of Williams' Robotron: 2084, where you take on the role of mankind's last hope on a quest to rescue as many clones as possible before they are totally wiped out.

Plenty of configurable parameters including five difficulty levels to challenge both beginners and arcade veterans. A joystick can be used as well.

Name: Blitzatron
Developer: Mark Incitti
Category: Action
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB
 

Discounting the graphics, Attack from Mars is probably the best freeware matching game available besides Zoo Keeper. You can select any of the 140 tiles to play with and even place your own songs in the music folder to listen to.

Tiles can be swap not only horizontally and vertically, but diagonally as well. Aliens will attempt to hamper your progress, though you can easily zap them to bits by pressing space. Use it sparingly as your zapper supply is limited.

Name: Attack from Mars
Developer: Mark Incitti
Category: Puzzle
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB
 

Ms Blitzman is a remake of Midway's Ms. Pac-Man, with one new addition. Eat prizes to gain zoom power, as the gauge at the top of the screen indicates. By pressing space, your character will speed across the screen until her energy runs out or the action button is released.

Besides that, everything else practically remains the same. Not an accurate remake but a good one nonetheless.

Name: Ms Blitzman
Developer: Mark Incitti
Category: Action
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB
 

Blitzum is a remake of an old Atari cabinet game called Quantum. In the original, the player has to manipulate a trackball to capture particles by drawing circles around them using a comet's trail.

Your probe must absolutely not touch any particles except for electrons or risk losing a life. Nuclei are joined together at later stages, and coming into contact with these strands when red proves lethal as well. Quantum allows players to sign their names using the trackball, but this effort by Mark Incitti lets you circle the characters you want to appear on the high score table.

Players can select their starting level in increments of two from the main menu. Some basic gameplay instructions are shown just after the high score table.

Name: Blitzum
Developer: Mark Incitti
Category: Action
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB
 

Super Human Cannonball is the sequel to Luke Twyman's original effort, where you assume the role of a daredevil pressured to please his bloodthirsty audience by performing a series of death-defying stunts.

The introduction screen blasts you with rocking music, setting up the scene perfectly for the bloodbath to come. Players are rewarded for completing stunts as well as failing miserably. Earn splatter points by landing on the top or side of buildings, billboards, even copter blades.

Play instructions can be accessed from the main menu, and high scores can be posted online for global fame or shame. Arcade and Single Mode allows for three tries per stunt and a chance to earn splatter points. Career Mode forces players to retry stunts until they get it right. Good for practice, but definitely not for the impatient.

Name: Super Human Cannonball
Developer: Luke Twyman
Category: Action
Type: Freeware
Size: 5MB
 

Monday, February 27, 2006
7 Wonders of the Ancient World is an effort by Hot Lava Games that is heavy on the eye candy, but offers little in terms of originality.

The main objective is to break the square blocks that lie behind each rune to create stones for workers to use. The player has to provide enough basic resources for the workers to complete a part of the current Wonder they are working on before time runs out.

Matching three runes will remove them, but matching more yields special items such as the lightning and fire balls which can be used to destroy all runes in the same column or row.

It's fun to watch the workers go about their business, go on strike, faint from exhaustion and even take a break once in a while. Not just merely cosmetics, they also contribute to your end level bonus points total.

Name: 7 Wonders of the Ancient World
Developer: Hot Lava Games
Category: Puzzle
Type: Demo
Size: 12MB
 

Fate-Sword Dance is an excellent fighting game by Rapid Fire that features well-drawn 2D sprites much like those from SNK's The King of Fighters series.

Moves can be found in one of the extracted folders. The Z, X, C and A keys correspond to the P, K, S and HS buttons. To initiate an air combo, just press the S key when your character is standing close to his opponent. Pressing the D key brings up the pause menu.

Unfortunately only two characters are playable in the trial, and importing it is going to cost quite a bit. The Japanese web site can be found here.

Name: Fate-Sword Dance
Developer: Rapid Fire
Category: Action
Type: Demo
Size: 60MB
 

Mythic Blades is a 3D fighting game by Vermillion Games that features twelve characters from the Greek mythology, although only seven are available from the start.

The 3D graphics are impressive and it will run at any resolution on most machines. The men and giants have rippling muscles while the women are beautifully rendered. With the exception of the Medusa and Sphinx, of course. They're not commonly associated with good looks, but still imposing nonetheless.

Instructions for all basic and special moves can be found in the installation folder. Most characters are limited to two special attacks and one divine attack. The divine attack usually benefits the losing opposition as the power gauge shown at the bottom of the screen charges up faster than the attacking player.

The demo weighs in at less than 20MB. Although only showcasing two characters, there's really not much of an excuse not to try it out.

Name: Mythic Blades
Developer: Vermillion Games
Category: Action
Type: Demo
Size: 20MB
 

Sunday, February 26, 2006
Shoot the Bullet is another excellent production by ZUN, described as a photography game rather than a classic shooter that the prolific developer is famous for.

There are only boss battles, but you can choose to play the stages in any order. The only way you can hurt your adversary is by taking their pictures. The number of photos required to defeat a boss is indicated at the top right of the screen, and battles get progressively harder after each picture is taken.

Pressing the X key slows down your character's movement. The Z key is assigned for snapshots, but requires a recharge after each use. Holding down the same button allows the player to move the camera crosshair around as well.

Extremely difficult, but surprisingly fun. Click here for more gameplay information. No demo available yet, but there's a list of games developed by him on this page which includes trial version downloads.

Name: Shoot the Bullet
Developer: Team Shanghai Alice
Category: Shooter
Type: Demo
Size: 150MB

Labels:

 

Emblem of Red is a fighting game by EXZAM that features eight characters, each with their own set of basic and special moves shown at the player selection screen.

Most of the moves are pretty easy to pull off, but important combos can only be discovered through experimentation. Computer-controlled characters are just too eager to show you how a multiple-hit combo is done.

Sprites and backgrounds are serviceable though a little on the plain side. However, the gameplay is good enough to make up for it's graphical shortcomings and will not disappoint fans of fighting games.

Press the F4 function key to switch between window and full screen mode.

Name: Emblem of Red
Developer: EXZAM
Category: Action
Type: Freeware
Size: 50MB
 

I'm O.K. is an effort which came about after a couple of designers had read Jack Thompson's proposal for a violent videogame as a charity benefit. Based on the draft that Thompson had written, the story of Osaki Kim (O.K.) can now be experienced by gamers around the world courtesy of Thompsonsoft.

Players get to control O.K. as he seeks vengeance for the death of his son by annihilating every single game designer alive. Gameplay is similar to SNK's Metal Slug series, with the violence taken to an extreme level.

The list of usable weapons include uzis, shotguns, rocket launchers, machetes, molotov cocktails and a baseball bat. Weapons can be purchased from a shop at the end of each stage. To purchase items, the player has to earn coins in the bonus stage by shooting at shop customers.

There's a lot of references to classic games of yesteryear which are fun to spot, though none will be revealed here for fear of spoiling the playing experience. Graphics do not disappoint, which isn't much of a surprise considering that Derek Yu of Eternal Daughter fame is the team's lead sprite artist.

Name: I'm O.K.
Developer: Thompsonsoft
Category: Action
Type: Freeware
Size: 12MB
 

Saturday, February 25, 2006
From the makers of Diner Dash comes Plantasia, a gardening game similar to Harvest Moon. You play the role of Holly, a fairy-in-training who has to grant the wish of a recluse named Jack in order to be able to cast real magic.

Unfortunately the lonely man wants you to fix his gardens, so off you go. Fixing a garden involves casting spells to repair all of it's statues, which requires mana. Mana is acquired by harvesting flowers. You need to use your gardening tools to plant and water the flowers. The appropriate tool will be used when you click on a spot, and you earn extra mana for planting flowers on spots with the appropriate colored circles. Mana can also be traded for more seeds, tool upgrades or even fairy powers.

Fans of Diner Dash would not want to miss this.

Name: Plantasia
Developer: PlayFirst
Category: Action
Type: Demo
Size: 12MB
 

Soul Fighter is a unique shmup that features only boss battles. Gameplay consists of dodging random bullet patterns and waiting for that window of opportunity to strike at the enemy ship when it's shield is down.

Accompanying background music can be selected from the settings menu.

Name: Soul Fighter
Developer: J-Factor
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 3MB
 

Immaterial and Missing Power is the collaborative result of two acclaimed Japanese developers, ZUN and Tasogare Frontier. Even for a trial, there's a lot of replayability as four characters are made available for just about all gameplay modes.

To switch to full screen or change key assignments, you need to modify the config.exe file properties by right clicking on it. Select compatibility tab, check the first box and choose Windows 2000. The first check box in the configuration menu modifies your window setting.

You earn spellcards by inflicting damage to your opponent. Once the spellcard counter increases, the spell declaration mode can be initiated by pressing down twice and then the D button. To cast a spell, do a circular motion from down to front using the directional keys and tap the D button.

Most characters can launch projectiles by holding front and pressing one of the buttons. Moves are also conveniently listed in the character selection and pause menu as well.

Click on the small image to access the download page. Gameplay information can be found here.

Name: Immaterial and Missing Power
Developer: Team Shanghai Alice
Category: Action
Type: Demo
Size: 110MB

Labels:

 

Friday, February 24, 2006
In Kuball, the objective is to grab furry little creatures and deposit them in your portal to score points. Your opponent will attempt to do the same thing, so it's up to you to prevent them from achieving that goal.

The Z key is assigned for most actions and the X key can be used to call upon your special powers. A menu is accessible by pressing the V key. You can grab a barrel and throw it at your opponent or any of the creatures to stun them momentarily. Watch out for the black ones though. These critters will cause you to lose points, but you can throw them into your opponent's portal to have their points deducted.

To download the trial version just click on the first link, then the text above the creature's image.

Name: Kuball
Developer: Studio Til
Category: Action
Type: Demo
Size: 15MB
 

Around the World is the latest puzzler by Frozax Games that limits the allowable tile-sliding direction to just two. Match three or more blocks of the same color to remove them from the playing field.

Your level objectives are shown on the notepad to the left of the screen. Some blocks have special properties such as those that will give extra time or remove all tiles of one particular color. Not all special blocks are advantageous, there are some that will complicate matters as well.

Earn awards by executing more combos or racking up a certain number of matches. The game offers a hundred levels spread over ten cities.

Name: Around the World
Developer: Frozax Games
Category: Puzzle
Type: Demo
Size: 5MB
 

New KQIX: The Silver Lining screenshots. [KQIX announcement]

Matteo Guarnieri of Rag Doll Software interviewed. [N-Ball review]

HipSoft announces next game.
[Gem Shop review]

GridWars updated to version 1.1. [GridWars review]

Castle of Elite updated. [Castle of Elite review]

Information on Herculean Effort's upcoming projects.

Alexei Pajitnov interviewed in BusinessWeek, currently collaborating with Wildsnake Software on a new project.
 

Lyle in Cube Sector is a platformer that is reminiscent of the classic Metroid series in more than a few ways. Exploration is a key element in this game, as you seek out the culprit responsible for the kidnapping of Lyle's lovable kitten.

The protagonist starts off with no possession or special skills, but will soon acquire the ability to pick up blocks and use it to eliminate enemies or jump twice as high. Things begin to unravel pretty quickly once you have learnt a trick or two, plus there are many rooms to explore and secrets to discover.

Don't be put off by the retro graphics, this is one quality effort that fans of classic platform games should not miss.

Name: Lyle in Cube Sector
Developer: Bogosoft
Category: Platform
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB
 

Thursday, February 23, 2006
GridWars now available for Mac.
[GridWars review]

OMG Cup winners announced.

Escort Wing takes first place, as predicted.
[Escort Wing review]

Blood Over updated to version 0.61.
[Blood Over review]

Nurium currently working on a puzzle game.
[BreakQuest review]

Bernie's next game will be a platformer.
[A Game with a Kitty review]
 

Steel Saviour is a side-scrolling shooter by Atlanteq that features impressive graphics and visual effects. The objective of the game is to guide your ship across five levels of alien landscapes and defeat the bosses that you will encounter.

There's a health meter shown at the top of the screen to indicate the amount of damage that your ship can take. No weapon shop but you do get to collect items to fill up your secondary weapon slots.

The trial version is limited to twenty minutes of gameplay time, which is probably enough to sample a huge portion of the first stage and hopefully a boss battle or two. Worth a spot in anyone's shmup collection, but the download size makes Steel Saviour a recommendation only for broadband users. Click here for the demo.

Name: Steel Saviour
Developer: Atlanteq
Category: Shooter
Type: Demo
Size: 230MB
 

Steam Brigade is an interesting effort by Pedestrian Entertainment Inc. billed as a side-scrolling, real-time strategy game. Each side begins with a factory and an airship. The building you own can be issued orders to churn out military units at the press of a key. Units can be transported across the field by attaching them to your magnet and carrying them across long distances.

The objective in each level is to send an engineer into the enemy factory before they do the same to you. Your ship will lose air in the heat of the battle, fortunately it can be replenished at the factory. Inch your way towards the enemy fortification by taking over key structures one at a time and expanding your borders.

Name: Steam Brigade
Developer: Pedestrian Entertainment Inc.
Category: Strategy
Type: Demo
Size: 20MB
 

Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Dash de Leilei is an action game by EasyGameStation featuring characters from Capcom's Darkstalker universe. The objective is to guide the protagonist as she makes her way to the end of each level before time runs out.

Six items are presented at the start of each game. You can use the sword to destroy most of the obstacles, though timing your jumps are more important. Pressing the X key when you're on top of a platform will launch your character airborne for a short while. Crashing into rotating plates or mines slows Lei Lei down.

The same developer was responsible for Gunners Heart, DuoPrincess and Ele Paper Action as well. Unfortunately the trial version only showcases two levels. Click here to download it directly from their site.

Name: Dash de Leilei
Developer: EasyGameStation
Category: Action
Type: Demo
Size: 15MB
 

The Family Treasure is another lovingly crafted AGS adventure game by buloght that uses a point-and-click interface made popular by classic Lucasart titles. Graphics are pretty good for an amateur effort, and the music fits quite well.

A story about pirates and hidden treasures may not be original but the gameplay more than makes up for it. Hints can be found here.

Name: The Family Treasure
Developer: buloght
Category: Adventure
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB
 

Tuesday, February 21, 2006
GridWars updated to version 1.0.
[GridWars review]

New End Effector trial with reworked graphics released, but only two playable levels. A must have.
[Older version with all levels]

Image of Asha from Grim Invention's next game added. [Little Gods]

First look at Hamumu's next game.

Exolon DX now available for Mac. [Exolon DX review]
 

In RunMan Monster Fracas, you control a star-shaped character as he seeks to escape from a green monster that is bent on chomping him into small yellowish bits.

Pressing up will cause RunMan to jump and holding the down arrow key will make him slide. Catchy music, brightly animated and surprisingly fun.

Name: RunMan Monster Fracas
Developer: CoolMoose
Category: Action
Type: Freeware
Size: 5MB
 

A Mini Adventure Contest held recently produced a treasure trove of one-room wonders. The Trap by Dex is a short game that won't take too long to solve, plus there are hints on the site if you're stuck.

Quest for the Cookie is pretty alright as well. Window size for the most of the entries cannot be changed, unfortunately. Worth a try for the sake of novelty. Click on show games, then Mini Adventures to access all efforts.

Name: The Trap
Developer: Dex
Category: Adventure
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB
 

Simon Read launches a new blog, announces Sensational Soccer.
[New Star Soccer 3]

Planetfreeplay releases 2nd podcast.

Update from Derek Yu on the TIGSource situation.

New Eets concept art. [Eets]

Shawn Noel tribute site opens.

Yahtzee discovers the joy of Silent Hill. [1213 Episode 1]

New Hero Theorem screenshots under Bits and Pieces section.
[Cedric and the Revolution]
 

Monday, February 20, 2006
Blood Over by 9thNight is a fighting game that features gorgeous 3D graphics and an impressive array of executable moves. The main protagonist carries two guns with her that can be fired by pressing the Z key. She is accompanied by another girl, who can be called upon to unleash the destructive power of her gatling gun by tapping the C key. This attack is only allowed when the player has collected some blood.

The A key can be used to target enemies. Pressing the X key while your character is crouching will cause her to slide. Circular motions made popular by the Street Fighter series to execute fireballs can be used here, together with the primary or secondary attack button for two different special moves.

You can use the configuration file to change key assignments, volume and screen size. End level bosses round up this two level demo nicely.

Name: Blood Over
Developer: 9thNight
Category: Action
Type: Demo
Size: 35MB
 

New screenshots added for Noitu Love, the next Fallen Angel Industries game.

Himalaya Studios are looking for beta testers for their next adventure game, Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine.

Reflected Games, developer of Sunny Ball, closes shop.

GridWars updated to version 0.99.

Scratches will ship March 1st.

Two new videos added in anticipation of FTG, the next game from Studio Trophis.

Lumixed 4E4, a Lumines clone, has been updated with two new levels.

New short film entitled Nusle added to Amanita Design's website.

Screenshots added for Continent One, a new RPG game.

Shoot the Core database updated with six new entries.

Concept art added for Grim Invention's new game, Asha's Adventure.

BreakQuest soundtrack available. Check Maniacs of Noise download area for XM-Play v2.7, the XM file player. (Right at the bottom of the page)
 

The objective in Twintower is to build as tall of a structure as possible on both sides of the balance by using blocks that fall from the sky. Stacking too many blocks on one side of the balance will cause everything that you have built to collapse. Use the mouse to move the balance around, and right-click to save a screenshot when your end level results are displayed.

The level ends when the player manages to stack a yellow brick on both sides. These bricks are easily identifiable by the red flag on top of each, but will only appear when you have stacked the blocks up to a certain height.

Name: Twintower
Developer: Omega
Category: Puzzle
Type: Freeware
Size: 5MB
 

Sunday, February 19, 2006
Vector Infector is another release by Oddbob that resembles Geometry Wars, featuring fifty rooms filled with geometric shapes bent on your ship's destruction.

There are some notable differences when comparing this version with the console hit. For example, the only way to power up your weapon's attack strength is by collecting gems that vanquished enemies leave behind. The game also has a wrap around playing field, where sprites that go over the edge of the screen will appear on the other side.

Two control options are made available to the player. Pressing the Z key will cause your ship to fire in the direction it is currently facing. Shots can also be directed by using W, A, S and D keys.

Looks very promising even if it's still in early development stages. The download link can be found in the forums by clicking on the Word tab, then the game name. The latest build is at the bottom of the page.

Name: Vector Infector
Developer: Oddbob
Category: Shooter
Type: Demo
Size: 15MB
 

GridWars is basically a PC version of the popular Xbox 360 game, Geometry Wars. Made by Mark Incitti, this release features less special effects compared to the original but also new controls to cater for players who do not own a dual analog joypad.

The hybrid option control allows a player to use both mouse and keyboard for ship movement as well as aiming their shots.

A new version is uploaded every few days to address all issues found, although the current one released is already pretty close to the real thing. Plus there's a Mac version as well. For people who cannot afford the console (like me).

The new download link can be found in this article.

Name: GridWars
Developer: Mark Incitti
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 2MB
 

Obscura: The Shadow Blade looks to be a quality production by Sarbakan, featuring characters and locations rendered in full 3D but it's unfortunate that a poorly implemented control scheme takes just about all the fun out of the game.

It plays a little like Blizzard's Diablo minus the inventory management. By repeatedly clicking on the left mouse button when the protagonist is close to an adversary, she will automatically execute a combination of attack moves. The problem is that it gets very tiring after a short while, which is a shame as there is much to explore and experience in this well-produced effort.

The link will take you to a flash intro. Click on The Game tab, then Play Game to access the download section for the demo.

Name: Obscura: The Shadow Blade
Developer: Sarbakan
Category: Action
Type: Demo
Size: 25MB
 

Saturday, February 18, 2006
Edited from the Game Maker forums.

With sadness we had confirmed by friends that Shawn Noel, alias Shawn64, passed away this week at the age of 17.

With his imaginative, picturesque and innovative games Shawn has always been an inspiring member of our community and an example to many. The premature death of this talented game maker no doubt comes as a shock to us all. With him, the members of this community, like online communities elsewhere, lose a creative energy - and many also lose a friend.

Shawn is known for many successful games, among which Infection, Mini Golf Pro and the Jetz Rampage games (four in the series). His latest release was Street Bike Fury. He also maintained a website at http://shawn64.com.

Our thoughts and wishes of strength go out to Shawn's family and friends.

The GMC Staff

You will be dearly missed by everyone, Shawn.

In memory of Shawn Noel.
Shawn Noel's web site
Game Maker Forums
Game Maker Forums (2)
Interview by Planet Freeplay
Journal Star Notice
School Notice
Vertigo Games Forums
 

Friday, February 17, 2006
Rick Dangerous Flash is a faithful remake of Core Design's platformer classic, down to the sprites and sound effects. Inspired by the Indiana Jones series, the game even begins with a homage to the infamous boulder scene.

Worth mentioning for nostalgic reasons.

Name: Rick Dangerous Flash
Developer: Core Design
Category: Platform
Type: Flash
Size: 1MB
 

Thursday, February 16, 2006
Egg vs. Chicken is an original take on the matching gameplay concept that many developers have milked dry. The premise is basically about defending the fort in each level from a horde of chickens and collecting the items that they leave behind when repelled. This is done by placing three or more eggs of the same color at the edge of your wall marked by arrows, then clicking on them to launch a counterattack.

The challenge in moving the eggs around becomes increasingly difficult as stronger enemies appear, able to withstand more damage than usual. Later levels include more castle perimeters to defend and boss battles as well.

Name: Egg vs. Chicken
Developer: PlayFirst
Category: Puzzle
Type: Demo
Size: 12MB
 

Monster Fair is the latest addition to LittleWing's family of award-winning pinball simulators, which the Japanese developer have been making since way back in 1991 beginning with Tristan Pinball.

Flippers are operated using the Z and slash keys. Hit flashing targets to activate the Dracula Tent, then deposit a ball in it to start one of the five shows for a chance to score extra points.

Steps to activate the Lollipop Mode can be found in the manual, featuring outlane ball-savers and slower ball speed for beginners. Unfortunately, the table will lock down after ninety seconds in the trial version. Definitely not enough to sample the features on offer.

Name: Monster Fair
Developer: LittleWing
Category: Action
Type: Demo
Size: 20MB
 

Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Solid Balance is an excellent game that will test the steadiness of your hands and block stacking abilities. The general rule is that no piece must touch the wooden floor at any time. You can use the mouse to place a block, and rotate it by left or right clicking.

The higher your structure, the more points you earn. There's a time limit to place each block, and the next piece is always shown on the top left so that advanced players can plan ahead. Pressing the T key is a quick way to end the game.

Unfortunately the trial version is very limiting, because most of the fun lies in building tall structures that reach for the skies. There's a color rule option for stacking experts that is disabled in the demo as well, where the game ends if two blocks of the same color touch each other.

Name: Solid Balance
Developer: Solid Games
Category: Puzzle
Type: Demo
Size: 5MB
 

Caramba is a matching game played using colored balls that you have to shoot from any of the playing field's edges. When two balls of the same color touch each other, they will both light up during that turn. If the player manages to light up three or more balls with one single shot, these balls will disappear from the playing field.

There's a time limit to remove all balls in each level. Think pool and you have a general idea of how the game works. Holding down the left mouse button will cause the ball to travel further.

The playing field will not always be rectangular in shape. Expect to see curves and circular walls in later stages. New balls are introduced from time to time, and there are three other unlockable modes to guarantee some replayability if you manage to complete the entire game.

Quite a bit of variety to be found here, which is surprising for a puzzler based on a relatively simple gameplay concept. Some levels require trick shots while others are built to resemble a pinball table complete with bumpers.

Name: Caramba
Developer: Zylom
Category: Puzzle
Type: Demo
Size: 12MB
 

After the End is an excellent action game that probably resembles Alien Shooter more than anything else. Quality of the high resolution graphics even surpasses those that were seen in earlier Sigma Team releases. The wasteland setting and dark corridors are a bit drab for me though, but will definitely draw comparison to Fallout and Diablo.

Each mission usually has an objective or two for the player to achieve. A helpful arrow that follows your avatar will point out the right direction to head for in each stage. There are plenty of opportunities to collect new weapons and power-ups in this game.

Experience points can be earned to level up your character and improve his stats. There's an option to turn off blood display but your character still bleeds when the game ends.

Name: After the End
Developer: KraiSoft Entertainment
Category: Action
Type: Demo
Size: 20MB
 

Sunday, February 12, 2006
Hamsterball by Raptisoft is a game that was inspired mainly by Marble Madness, one of Atari's flagship title. Featuring a cute little creature that you have to guide around a maze, many new obstacles are introduced as you make your way through each level.

Several control options are available to the player. There are fifteen different courses and some multiplayer fun to be had here as well.

Name: Hamsterball Gold
Developer: Raptisoft
Category: Action
Type: Demo
Size: 5MB
 

Air Hockey 3D by Avalanche Team is a decent simulation of the popular pastime, where points are earned by hitting a puck into the opponent's goal.

The mouse is used for controlling your mallet. Just about everything in the game is rendered in 3D except for the menus. The camera view can be moved around or zoomed in and out at any time. Opponent AI is configurable although the lack of online play is a little disappointing.

Name: Air Hockey 3D
Developer: Avalanche Team
Category: Action
Type: Demo
Size: 3MB
 

TubeTwist by 21-6 Productions is basically a puzzler in the style of The Incredible Machine. There are pieces of tubes which must be assembled so that green and blue balls can reach their proper color-coded destinations in the playing area.

Available pieces are shown at the bottom, and there's a helpful dictionary which provides more information about the gadgets that you will encounter in your quest to save Professor Jaymour.

The full game boasts eighty experiments and thirty tubes, as well as experiment packs to download in the near future.

Name: TubeTwist
Developer: 21-6 Productions
Category: Puzzle
Type: Demo
Size: 15MB
 

Saturday, February 11, 2006
Unnamed Project Joe is an adventure game by Synthetix that showcases gorgeous art but is slightly lacking in the gameplay department.

Developed using the Wintermute engine, the interface is similar to the one adopted by Curse of Monkey Island and Full Throttle. Holding down the left mouse button while your pointer is over an item will bring up the interaction menu.

There are several locations to visit and some puzzles to solve in this demo, which is only available from the Adventure Gamers' site. Looks promising but current project status is unknown.

Name: Unnamed Project Joe
Developer: Synthetix
Category: Adventure
Type: Demo
Size: 150MB
 

Maribato is a fighting game by DK Soft that lets you choose two characters to take into battle. Basically implementing the tag-team concept commonly seen in Capcom crossover titles, combatants fight in a slapstick manner using unconventional weapons and special moves in an attempt to knock out their opponents.

Only two characters available in this demo, but it's worth a look if you can afford to spare some bandwidth. There's a download link on the navigation menu, second from bottom.

Name: Maribato
Developer: DK Soft
Category: Action
Type: Demo
Size: 90MB
 

I had at first dismissed Phlinx To Go as as a poor Puzzle Bobble clone because of how small the gems are. After a few rounds did I realize that it's actually pretty good and there is a reason as to why the developers chose to decrease the gem size.

Action mode's gameplay resembles Taito's classic the most, in which the player have to destroy all gems in each stage to progress. In classic mode however, the player is sent on a quest to recover golden glyphs. These glyphs only appear when enough colored gems have been collected, indicated by a vertical bar and it's knob on the left side of the screen.

To collect gems, a player simply needs to break the gems holding them up and let them drop onto a funnel located at the bottom of the screen. Incredibly, this piece of vital information was not properly illustrated by the developers. A player could be left destroying gems for a long time which is not the classic mode's main objective.

Bouncing gems off walls is a skill that needs to be learnt to collect gems effectively. Clicking the right mouse button will cause your launcher to change positions and get a better shot angle although this option is disabled when the golden glyph appears. A gem saver on the right can be used to store gems for later use just by shooting one into it.

If you're yearning for a good Puzzle Bobble clone, this is worth a try. If you had enough gem matching action to last a lifetime, Phlinx To Go will not do much to sway your opinion.

Name: Phlinx To Go
Developer: Electronic Arts Inc.
Category: Puzzle
Type: Demo
Size: 12MB
 

Friday, February 10, 2006
Kizuna Fighters Zero is a decent fighting game that features super deformed characters with standard special moves. Computer-controlled opponents seem to have no problems executing long combos, leading to a slightly higher difficulty level than usual.

Move your character using the Y, G, H and J keys. Attacks are mapped to the Z, X, C and A buttons. The demo only showcases two characters which is surprising considering it's file size. Clicking on the download tab at the top of the page will take you to the trial version link.

Name: Kizuna Fighters Zero
Developer: Unknown
Category: Action
Type: Demo
Size: 40MB
 

Whizzball is a game by Discovery Communications Inc. that could be described as a simplified version of The Incredible Machine. A grid is presented to the player and it is up to them to figure out where each piece is to be placed so that when a ball drops out of a funnel, it will eventually hit the target.

Online help is available to explain what each type of brick does. Choose from thousands of puzzles to solve, sorted by their popularity or difficulty. You can even create your own and post them for other players to try. A high score table can be accessed from the main menu.

Name: Whizzball
Developer: Discovery Communications Inc.
Category: Puzzle
Type: Flash
Size: 1MB
 

Thursday, February 09, 2006
Dread Lock by Team GrisGris is a platform game featuring gorgeous 3D graphics, giant mechs and huge boss battles. Select from the standard gun, cannon or missile launcher as your weapon of choice and upgrade them by collecting red power-up items.

The X key is assigned as the shoot and confirm menu selection button. A double jump can be executed by tapping the Z key twice. Holding down the jump button will cause your mech to stay in flight for a short time.

Name: Dread Lock
Developer: Team GrisGris
Category: Platform
Type: Demo
Size: 40MB