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Jun. 29th, 2005 02:16 am
This is my second ever entry playing with, and commenting on, games found by Little Fluffy Industries, which in turn comments on them but much differently. Think of the benefit - instead of trusting the opinions of random people on the Internet, you get the opinions of one slightly more random person who may or may not inspire you to waste the next hour of your life.

And so, without further ado (or consideration for my Very Limited bandwidth)...

Firstly, we have Poom, which apparently has something to do with the State University of New York. You'd think that that might give it some basic point, or at the very least be educational.

No, on both counts.

The game consists of a pipe that drops balls toward a bottomless* pit, and an oddly shaped thingy that you control beneath it to stop the ball falling down. It teaches... well... nothing really, and I imagine it's much more fun when drunk. Except, if drunk, you wouldn't be able to play it very well at all - unless you're a <em>student</em>; a finely tuned machine capable of doing complex theoretical physics while blind drunk - or, at the very least, capable of arguing about it in a pub.

Kung Fu Statesmen involves British politics; you play one of the New Labour high-ups, and run about trying to find the pages of their manifesto. 'Lives' are called 'swing seats', and when you lose all of them, the game's over. The game comes with a short primer on UK politics, if you'd like a bit of explanation for some of the jokes.

The gamplay's actually fairly fun. It's a moderately typical platformer, even if the bits I saw were a bit easy. The background music is good for a soft giggle the first time through, but soon becomes irritating and... WHAT AM I DOING? These are Flash games. Why, oh why, am I bothering to review it like this?

Somewhere deep within the wrethced hive of scum and villainy that is Mos DevArt, we have Grid Game. This flash game invites you to click a square to set off immense, killer chain reactions in the playing pieces, scoring huge amounts of points as you go. Or, something like that.

In practice, you go clicky and watch as it goes beepy for a while. I'm sure there's some science to picking the best clickyspot, but I have no idea what that might be, since I'm not a supersciency person. If you're really desperate for new music, you can get some fun out of the really long reactions - or even play with Winamp running, output plugin willing. The Chili Peppers make this an interesting process.

And from there, we move to a more stimuating challenge - The Maze, for those of you who like confusing riddle-ridden Internet games or who, like me, have lost all their passwords and URLs for not pr0n. It's quite fun, and entirely fiendish. It's also elegantly written, and I'll have to go back and finish it sometime.

And, maybe, find my URLs and passwords for not pr0n.

While we've still got the brains working here, Five a Row makes for... um... timewasting. It's a Flash game, after all.

In all honesty, this one's rather tricky. You line up rows of five gems, and they disappear. Rinse, repeat. Jerry Bruckheimer, however, seems to be warping my mind with an odd sense of concern for other people and, indeed, random animated objects in my Firefox window. These missing gems may have friends and family - I feel the need to call Anthony LaPaglia to try to track them down, alive and well, before the worst does happen.

My other concern is that these gems look like the front of filing cabinet drawers. This is interesting - and I think I could be quite partial to an office where the furniture is SparklyShiny, but only if they fix that other problem. Some days, it could be useful to be able to line up five chairs without them suddenly vanishing from existence.

Bubble Bobble 2 is the... um... approximate midpoint of the height and depth of retro gaming. It's also enough to make me wish I was younger, and couldn't remember paying to play it.

Since I'm nice, I'll give you the instructions that they don't - Start, blow bubble: Control; Jump: Space; Arrows: Move. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to trap your enemies in bubbles and then pop them for no apparent reason except that you're a semi-cute green bubble-blowing dinosaur. What more reason could you possibly need?

Next up, we have Dogs Playing Poker, which contains (oddly enough) dogs playing poker. Interactive painting holds great promise... or not. In case you haven't noticed, I write this first paragraph while the game's still loading, and this one's done in Shockwave, and seems to be bigger, and I'm kinda padding this review to kill time. And now it's half done. And gmail's checking and... no, still on my own here. If this goes on much longer I might just end up reviewing the review, and that'd be rather silly. Which reminds me, in the comments here I saw someone say 'Silly Scientologists', and I was amused by it beyond all reason and... hello! It's loaded.

It's quite well done, really, if the idea of bluffing dogs appeals to you. The sums of money are huge - no, really. There's an entire $100 at the table to be won in 5c increments, with raises being limited to 50c. That's more than enough to lure you down the Dark Path into the waiting arms of the gambling industry. Or maybe not. Unfortunately, there's no doggy-tells that let you see that these poker playing hounds are having you on with little more than a pair of 4s.

Lastly, we have Plumber 2. It's also taking a bit to load, so I'll mention Pipe Dream, upon which this is based. I was never very good at Pipe Dream, whereas everyone I know was, and that made me feel rather left out. I feel like slaying whoever decided that there should be a time limit on plumbing, because I've certainly never seen a real-world plumber who thinks that they exist.

The first thing you notice is the music. You expect the pipes to be green and covered in mushrooms, and the plumbing to be done by a pair of poorly colour-matched brothers of inequal height and an unfairly skewed fame. By level three, I got Very Sick™ of the music, and merrily welcomed Winamp back. Hello Winamp, oh how I missed you. As it happens, this game also makes it unnecessarily difficult to design unnecessarily complicated networks of pipes.

And that's it for me, for this entry. See? I update. Tomorrow there might even be stuff about me in there. I guess you never really know.

*Pit may not be bottomless and may just be a black rhombus.
Little Fluffy Industries is Lore Sjöberg's means of reviewing other people's e-crack on teh intarnets. It has reviews of internet games, many of which can be quite entertaining.

BowMaster, despite its sexist name, is one of those games. It's addictive, and possibly dangerous if you're under the influence of deadlines. While it doesn't look much, its blend of simple ballistics and badly-drawn cartoony death to little men makes it an exceptional timewaster - and that XP and skills bit qualifies, as far as computer games care, as 'RPG elements'.

Xraye is deceptively tricky, and somewhat fun. It eats away at boredom, but doesn't have cartoon death.

I think Kitty Cannon is pretty self-explanatory. I'd suggest not playing if you don't like the idea of a cartoon kitten being eaten by a venus flytrap. If you don't mind tasteless flying Flash animals, however, then this game might see you lose a few minutes that you probably didn't have to spare. Furthermore, if explosives labelled 'OMFG TNT TNT LOL' upset you, don't click.

And remember- the whole point of Flash games is they ain't appropriate.


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