Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Albo Plays Some [adult swim] Games

Nine Billion Miles From Earth is a classic side scrolling space shooter with 50's sci-fi style (very Flash Gordon). The attention to detail throughout is tremendously exciting, with visible strings holding up most of the spaceships you encounter, and spot-on full motion video of the hero and his nemesis Dr. Cadmus. However, there are a lot of non-spaceship foes like balloon poodles and invincible space sharks that are a little too silly for the generally straight genre humor.

The gameplay itself can be a little frustrating. It's an exercise in patience as you spend life after life (you have unlimited) learning the enemy's attack patterns. There are nine levels in all (each one a billion miles) and it'll take about 45 minutes to play through 'em. It's definitely worth it to see all the great design work.

VERDICT: Well-designed and kinda fun! 4 out of 5 STARS!

Four more quick reviews after the jump!

Bible Fight is a fighting game with an all-star cast: Eve, Noah, Moses, Mary (complete with Baby Jesus), Satan, and adult Jesus. They and their corresponding stages are so beautifully rendered that the game is worth playing just to see them all in action. Once you've gotten an eyeful, though, there's not much to stick around for.

There's a reason there have never been any decent fighting games for the PC: keyboards are teh suck for controlling a game that requires quick reflexes and complicated button combinations to pull off special moves. If I had a gamepad I might feel differently about this game, but as it is... Most special moves are impossible to pull off with any useful consistency. Which isn't so bad when you give up and realize how effective it is to just trap your opponent in a corner and tap the kick button as rapidly as you can.

VERDICT: Beautiful, but gameplay's rotten. 2 out of 5 STARS!

5 Minutes to Kill Yourself is a really great concept. A dark twist on Office Space, this game finds you controlling a nine-to-fiver who has sat through one too many meetings and would rather kill himself than attend the one that starts IN FIVE MINUTES! You frantically run around an isometric pixel-arty office harming yourself any way you can: shoving your face in a paper shredder, stabbing yourself with scissors, blowing up the microwave in your face, eating urinal cakes, etc etc etc. You can also pick fights with coworkers by navigating dialogue trees trying to offend them.

It's really a blast to discover fun new ways to harm yourself. It won't take long to exhaust all these methods, however, and unless you care about beating your own high score there's no reason to keep playing. It doesn't help that the game generally doesn't run very smoothly, doesn't look great in action, and is a real pain in the ass to navigate. The perspective from which you view the action means that up moves you up-right, right moves you down-right, etc etc. I kinda got used to it after a while, but my non-gamer girlfriend never could get it straight.

VERDICT: Great in concept, a little unpleasant in execution. 3 out of 5 STARS!

Look Alive! should be called "Look Out! Avoid This Game!" It's a simple clicking game based on the funny funny Home Movies. You play as Brendon, trying to kick sockerballs at other kids while Coach McGuirk talks your ear off. The dialogue is funny, but not enough to endure the uninspired, deadening gameplay. Would be more at home on a banner ad.

VERDICT: Boring and boring. 1 out of 5 STARS!

Squidbillies Floor It! is a simple game that's easy to play and extremely addictive. You start out in a car, where you shake your mouse to rev the engine and click to race ahead. You don't get far before you hit a stump and Early shoots out the windshield and high into the air. The game becomes about bouncing off objects on the ground, creating explosions and propelling yourself as far as possible.

The backgrounds are beautifully hand-painted and the character art is straight out of the show. It feels surprisingly good to fly through the air, barely controlling your trajectory. There's some dialogue that is kinda funny but gets repetitive.

VERDICT: Novel, attractive, addictive! 5 out of 5 STARS!

Play all these games at ADULT SWIM DOT COM.

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