Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A few short dreams for your spare time

Hello, Dreamers!

Apologies for this SUPER late entry, the weekend was mental and many things piled up, but I'll try to keep this blog a weekly thing!

This week, I want to talk about a couple of Flash games you can try on your browser. Most are short things, so you shouldn't worry about them taking up a lot of your time.

Let's dig in, shall we?


First off, let's start with something light-hearted:


Papa's Taco Mia!, developed by Flipline Studios is a... hmm I guess a good description would be multitasking time-management restaurant sim?

Yeah, that sounds about right.

No real storyline beyond "You won a taco restaurant branch, go be the manager, cashier and cook".

There, you must take orders from customers, cook the kind of meat properly, put it into the right kind of fake-taco shell, and finally add the veggies and sauces.

Simple enough.

Get graded based on how well you did, get paid!

The part I think this game (And in fact, most of the Papa's series of games) d remarkably well is the subtle time managing that they teach. Eventually, you get many customers with different orders, and that requires you to keep an eye on different meats with different cooking times, keep an eye on the counter for more customers and an eye on the orders to make sure you don't mix them up.

In general, it's just a simple time-waster, but the time management/multitasknig the games on the Papa's series enforce on the player could translate to a more efficient work in areas that need it... if not just an entire afternoon lost making your perfect restaurant.

Still, worth checking out, if anything for the cute art style!

Now, for another game that is ENTIRELY different.


K.O.L.M.

Developed by Antony Lavelle, for Armor Games, this is an exploration powerup collect game, in a similar vein to Metroid games.

In it, you take control of a barely functional robot, led by a loving mother, to recover parts of their body to be able to explore a complex collection of rooms. While you might not be entirely sure why, mother knows where to go and how to get there.


The main aspect of this game would be a tie between platforming puzzles and exploration, and like many other games in the Metroidvania style, the more you explore, the more abilities you earn, and the more you get to see of the world around you.

What's interesting about this is how the relationship between the robot and Mother works, and how each powerup you acquire makes it more and more obvious that Mother is not selfless, and has her own reasons for wanting a "fully functioning child".

The game has several maps, and a rather well-sized world for you to explore, so make a little bit more time for this one.


I've got a soft spot for metroidvania, and this game certainly fits the category. Tight controls, not too long that it would take hours to finish it, and a simple yet engaging story make it something worth taking some time to play.


Finally, I've got not a single game, but a dev that got several games out in Armor Games. He's got a couple games, all with different gameplay, but all with quite interesting narratives.

Let's look at some of Eli Pilonen 2DArray's work.

First: The Company of Myself.


This is a very short puzzle platformer, where the point is to go from point A to B. Each level comes with narration, as seen on the screenshot above. It tells the story of a man that has lived alone most of his life.

Gameplay is straightforward, move, jump, reach the end of the level. However, once you get a bit further, things get more interesting: Each time you reset the level, you will see a ghost of your previous playthrough that you can interact with, mostly in the form of standing on your own self.

 

The puzzles are interesting, and slowly increase in complexity, and the narrative slowly reveals more about who you're playing as.

The story is most interesting on its own regard, and I don't want to share more else I might spoil some rather important bits.


Next, Viricide:


Asteroid-esque in nature, you control an antiviral unit inside a computer, destroying viruses, collecting bits for upgrades and making sure the computer runs at top shape.

Each level has a moment of narration from the computer, explaining her situation, what she needs you to do and sometimes even talking about how she feels about her functions.

The gameplay is quite fun, in my opinion, and the story development through the computer's monologues takes rather interesting turns and twists that I will not spoil for you.

Please do take a look!


Next up, Fisher-Diver:


Sail out into the ocean, shoot fish with what seems like a hot, short-range harpoon weapon, gather fish, return to your boat to return home and sell the fish.

Use money to buy upgrades so you can shoot fish without damaging them, swim longer, carry more and dive deeper. Find Guffins that allow you to unlock some of the upgrades, and become a great fisherman.

Each Guffin, however, was left behind by another fisherman before you, and each has a note of that fisherman's journal.

As the game and story progress, you soon find more fish that fight back, more money, and more treasures.

The journals start getting more and more interesting, too.

Much like the previous ones, I don't want to spoil the narrative either. Just go ahead and take some time to explore the ocean.





This isn't quite a single game as a collection of puzzles, and solving them reveals some narration from a man that calls himself "The Doctor", as well as newspaper clippings that complement said narrative.

There are five different kinds of puzzles, and each one increases in difficulty as you progress. There are only four per puzzle type, so it isn't a terribly long experience, but if you take the time to read the clippings, and what The Doctor has to say, you might be left with a small haunting feeling that will stay for a while.

Warning: If you disassociate from reality, you might want to skip this last one.


That's it for this week. I hope that the content makes up for the tardiness, and you enjoy these games!

Do let me know what you think, and if you have any other interesting games you'd like me to try and/or talk about, leave a comment or send me a message through twitter at @enistoja!

Take care, and keep on dreaming!

enistoja

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