I don’t think I really need to make a case for Seed of Destruction, it pretty much sells itself. You play a cheerful stick figure cowboy, bent on destroying everyone he sees. And he does it riding a giant sperm.
Use the left and right arrow keys to change direction, up arrow to get a speed boost, and down arrow to slow down. You have constant forward momentum so just point him whichever you way you want him and he’ll go. To destroy, ram into people and vehicles with the head of your sperm, or whip them with your tail. Your tail can also be used to deflect oncoming projectiles, which damage the sperm if they hit the head. Some vehicles, like tanks, are too strong to be rammed, so you’ll have to redirect missiles towards them with your tail.
The art and music are A+, and the game is worth playing for the cutscenes alone. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to play Grand Theft Auto with a 5 star wanted level while flying through the air on a giant sperm, your prayers have finally been answered.
So you played Fail-Safe and now you’re in the mood for more creepy sci-fi games, eh? Well I can certainly oblige. Being One is a series of four short games that combine to make one dark and spooky sci-fi story. Perhaps not the most original story, but an entertaining one none the less.
You’re in the dank and filthy subterranean laboratory of Dr. Rycroft, a futuristic mad scientist type whose specialty is experimenting on supernatural beings. You’re not sure who or what you are, but you know something’s been done to you. To escape, you’ll have to make your way up the various floors of the lab, each one housing a different species of creature. You’re not alone though, you have an ally in the form of text messages sent to a cell phone placed right outside your vat. Your mysterious text buddy seems to know a lot about the lab, but is much more concerned with helping you escape than filling you in on what’s going on.
Most of the gameplay concentrates on the usual escape elements of opening doors and getting offline systems to work, but it also has occasional action sequences where you will have to take down an enemy. Sometimes you’ll have a weapon available to you, if not you’ll have to search the environment for ways to defeat your foe. There’s also something to collect in most episodes; blood samples, messages, etc. It can be tricky to find them all, some are very well hidden.
The puzzles are not difficult at all, but if wandering through rooms of weird lab experiments is your kind of thing you’ll have fun with this one. It has a lot of little touches that add to the whole experience. Notes and messages you find throughout the building make both the scientists and the creatures feel real. I really dug the creature specific floors idea, and I admit after finishing the game I immediately set about trying to recreate something similar for my unfortunate supernaturals in The Sims.
So basically, a neat idea, plus simple gameplay, plus a creepy-cool atmosphere make for a game series that is definitely worth your time if you’re a horror or sci-fi lover.
You begin in by awaking in a vat of green goo, on the alien floor. It’s obvious that this is no kind of place you want to be, so you better start looking for a way out.
The vampire floor! They can sense you, and are not happy with your presence. This is a fun one if you like horror, but if you’re jumpy or the easily spooked type, you might want to skip this one.
As the title implies, this is the dark matter floor. Mysterious even to Dr Rycroft. What’s lurking beyond the dark matter containment field?
You’re finally near the surface and almost free! You’ll just have to get past the arachnids and the lycans first.
I have something a little different for you guys today, a text adventure. I’m no expert on text adventures by any means, but I have a few favorites, and Fail-Safe is one of them. This one is interesting because in a way you both are and are not the protagonist.
Fail-Safe is set in the lonely reaches of space, where you pick up a distress call from a space pod named the Serpentine. It’s badly damaged and most of the crew is dead. You will have to guide the survivor remotely, over the radio, to repair the ship.
This is a great game for text adventure novices, because it throws out all of the usual rules. In fact, I’ve seen it frustrate a lot of seasoned players because the usual commands don’t work. The best advice I can give you when playing this one is to remember that in this game you are not talking to a parser or a computer, you are communicating directly with a living being. You wouldn’t say, “look computer” to someone, you’d say something like, “look at the computer”. You also wouldn’t say “save” or “undo” and expect anything meaningful to happen. If you keep this in mind, things will go much easier for you.
That said, no parser is perfect. And as in every other text adventure game there will be times when you know what to do, but have to figure out how the game wants you to phrase it. In this one I had some difficulty looking inside of things. You can try examining the object in various ways, but the command it wants is: “look in ____”.
A bit of general advice to get the most out of this game:
- Whenever you see italicized text, that’s your ship’s computer reporting to you, and is not broadcast over the radio.
- The survivor is desperate, and somewhat disoriented. If you want him to do something, sometimes you have to say it more than once.
- And finally examine everything thoroughly, and pay attention to detail. You have no eyes in this game, you have to rely on 3rd party descriptions for everything, so pay close attention to what you are told.
I love the way this game plays with the text adventure format, and uses its strengths and weaknesses to create a suspenseful game that wouldn’t work in any other genre. I think there have been similar games since, but to my knowledge this was perhaps the first. It’s a must-play for anyone who likes text adventures or chilling science-fiction stories.
A Small Favor takes place in a dystopian world where currency has been replaced by a government-run barter system and the black market favor-trade. You play a mysterious green fellow who’s racked up quite a debt in favors and is under the thumb of underworld forces until you can repay them. So when you receive instructions to take out Sen. RR Lobe to lessen some of your debt, you have no choice but to obey.
As you can imagine, getting to Sen. Lobe isn’t easy. You’ll need the proper security clearance and even then you can’t just waltz in there with a loaded gun. The two main components of gameplay are the barter system, and the collection of favors. You can pick up all manner of items but when it’s time to barter you’ll have to think hard about whether that empty bottle you’ve been carrying around will ever be useful at some point. If you do get rid of something you end up needing you can always barter something else for it, but again you’ll have to decide what you can give up. Most citizens have either a favor or mission they’d like you to do. Collecting favors helps relieve your debt, but doesn’t have any immediate advantages. Completing missions has more of a direct impact on the game. But remember when being controlled by corrupt forces your only loyalty is to yourself. You don’t have to do all of the missions. In fact it’s pretty tricky to do them all, since some of them cancel each other out. Choosing which ones to complete shapes the way the game will progress.
Navigation is simple, it’s point and click for the most part. Click the gun icon to draw or holster you weapon. Remember to keep it charged as much as possible. You’ll have to deactivate it at the security checkpoint, keep an eye out for somewhere to get it recharged. Your inventory is in the menu and you can combine objects from there. A Small Favor isn’t too long, especially if you choose to play it straight. And there’s really only one outcome, but there are plenty of different ways to get there and that’s what makes this an interesting game.
In six days, every living cell on Planet Earth will be dead.
You have one chance.
There isn’t much I can tell you about One Chance without spoiling the experience. Just go ahead and play it, it won’t take long. But it will stay with you for a while.
I downloaded Fedora Spade after coming across a screenshot and seeing that it was clearly styled after one of my most beloved games of all time: Deja Vu (more on that game in a future post). But instead of a game that puts you in the shoes of a seedy detective, Fedora Spade is a game that tries to beat you to death with exposition.
You’re one of the few humans left in a world peopled by werewolves. And your heart has just been broken by your special lady. And your special lady has just been taken by werewolves! Could things get any worse? No. That’s it. Those weres just messed with the wrong ninja (you are also a ninja).
To get your girl back you’ll have to infiltrate what appears to be the werewolf business district. You have two weapons in your arsenal: 1.) You have a really fierce pounce. Like really fierce (it actually puts the werewolves to shame, who for some reason prefer to shoot things at you from holes in their chests). 2.) And like any good ninja, you can turn invisible. Use these in combination to make your way past the werewolf horde. It’s tougher than it sounds. You’d have to be pretty good to sneak past all of them without touching one. And you must be very careful not to pounce on one where you can be seen by others. And your pounce, as I mentioned before, is pretty enthusiastic. You might think you’re safe pouncing on one as soon as the other’s back is turned, only to find yourself and your prey on a bloody slip n’ slide that leads right into the feet of the other werewolf. It takes a bit of planning, and good timing if you’re going to make it.
So if the idea of an action/platformer/stealth/puzzle game appeals to you, Vox Populi, Vox Dei is the game for you.
It points all this out as you play, but I’ll just mention that you use the arrow keys to move left and right, space to jump, down arrow plus space to pounce, and ctrl to turn invisible.