Saturday, December 31, 2011

Brave Kings Players Pack Flash Game Review

Link: Brave Kings Players Pack
Developer: PegasGames
Genre: Physics/Puzzle
FlashMush Rating: 7/10

Play Original Brave Kings Here: Brave Kings

The players pack for the popular game Brave Kings is here! Brave Kings is another drop in the bucket of physics based catapult games like Angry Birds popularized and like Ninja Dogs II.

So what makes Brave Kings stand out from the countless other physics puzzle games? Not much honestly but a few things do. The general physics engine used is actually a doubled edged sword for me. I love how some of the objects move but then feel some other things move too unrealistically... So it's sort of half and half. For example I really like the bomb and other explosion dynamics as well as the interactions between the actual characters, but then I hate the way the wood blocks react to any items. The graphics for Brave Kings Players Pack while not extravagant do a very good job and I actually like the simplicity at times.

Overall what you're getting with the Brave Kings Players Pack is just more levels for the original Brave Kings so if you like the original you will love the players pack.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Snow Drift Flash Game Review

Link: Snow Drift
Developer: Nitrome
Genre: Platformer/Action
FlashMush Rating: 7/10

Nitrome (of Nitrome Must DieDirk Valentine, and Test Subject Blue) has uploaded one of their seasonal games to Kongregate; Snow Drift. Snow Drift goes back to the roots of strict platforming action without too much other distractions.

Snow Drift is a platforming game with one twist which is appropriate for winter. Ice! And sliding! This makes for some pretty fun levels. Sliding on ice to essentially slide tackle enemies and then jump from ice to ice as they are melting. Really intense level design and it does make it very fun.

However... Their are some problems with this game design. For one the level difficulty curve is actually quite steep at around level 6. And then the levels get very long and very difficult. Now I actually like really hard platforming games (I'm thinking along the lines of Give Up Robot from AdultSwimGames) but the difference between the two is shorter levels and easy restarting. Snow Drift has neither, slow restarting time and very long levels. Now a way to fix this is checkpoints but Snow Drift does not have those either. These lead to some very frustrating times.

Overall though Snow Drift is a great sliding type of platformer game that is very appropriate for these icy times outside nowadays.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

William and Sly 2 Flash Game Review

Link: William and Sly 2
Developer: Kajenx
Genre: Platformer/Adventure/Relaxation
FlashMush Rating: 8.5/10

Kajenx is back with the very anticipated sequel of William and Sly. For die hard fans of the series you may be happy to know that not much has changed at all. Take that as good or bad news.

William and Sly 2 employs the same great platformer with free roaming adventure styled gameplay. You play as a fox who is sent of a mission from his master to well...gather a bunch of things essentially. A fairly large map space is then open to you with secret caves and other secrets which can help you on your journey including end results of teleportation, flight, and increased sight. All of these things can be considered side quests but I view them as part of the main quest.

What will really blow you away though right from the beginning is the graphics. I have not seen graphics this...vibrant, detailed and just generally mind blowing in a flash game in my whole life. However, my rating of the game isn't as high as perhaps other flash game review blogs due to a few stipulations. One is the lack of real change from the original William and Sly, I view no change in sequels as generally a bad thing. The others is just the general annoying wandering the gameplay utilizes and with a lack of a good (bigger) map the annoyance is doubled.

Overall though William and Sly 2 is one of the best platforming adventure flash games out there and worth a play!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Color Link-a-Pix Light Vol. 1 Flash Game Review

Link: Color Link-a-Pix Light Vol. 1
Developer: Conceptis
Genre: Puzzle
FlashMush Rating: 9.5/10

Now that is a mouth full, Color Link-a-Pix Light Vol. 1...not much of a flash game name but I feel that is kind of the point. This is the beginnings of what I can see as a huge game and maybe even a new branch of the puzzle genre (although it's nothing too new).

The word "Color" should tip you off for what Color Link-a-Pix should be. Basically it is a coloring puzzle game. Let me explain. You have a grid, on the grid are colored numbers. The numbers correspond to how many grid boxes must be connected. So for example a box that has the number 1 on it only has to fill one grid box, whereas if you see a 10 it means that you need to connect 10 grid boxes with that one color. Sounds confusing when I write it down but it really is a simple and easy to pick up concept. The end result of these puzzles are cute little pixelated pictures of dogs, sunsets, and boats. Cute little reward for some brain activity.

Color Link-a-Pix Light Vol 1. is obviously the first in what I hope to be a long series of these cute little coloring puzzles. In Vol 1. there were three different "difficulties" if you will with around ten levels in each. I really hope more comes out as I have spent a ton of time so far on Vol 1. (finally beat them all and working on improving my times now). In terms of complaints only a few easy to fix control and coloring issues would have to be fixed before this game could easily be a top tier puzzle genre game.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Moto Tomb Racer Flash Game Review

Link: Moto Tomb Racer
Developer: NoNameLab
Genre: Racing/Sports/Adventure
FlashMush Rating: 8/10

Moto Tomb Racer is the game if Laura Croft of Tomb Raider drove a motorcycle around on all her adventures. This game employs the very popular motorcycle game where you follow a linear bumpy path and you try to not flip over. In Moto Tomb Racer however they take it to a larger scale. It's not just limited to a linear path now.

You notice I've tagged it as Adventure. This is where the new gameplay dynamics come into play. While you do have the typical somewhat linear path with the bumps and ramps you also have a secondary, optional goal of collecting treasure (a la Tome Raider series). This allows for multiple paths and discontinues any linear paths. On top of this traps are introduced in typical Egyptian tomb fashion. This gives a new dynamic that is very different than the majority of motorcycle games out there.

Moto Tomb Racer is a great addition to the motorcycle games and adds some interesting dynamics to the formula. I hope that more games follow in these footsteps and add new and innovative ideas to old and tried games.

Rocket Santa Flash Game Review

Link: Rocket Santa
Developer: BerzerkStudio
Genre: Distance/Upgrades
FlashMush Rating: 7.5/10

What happens with an intergalactic war is going on during Christmas and Santa still wants to give presents to the soldiers on the moon? Well, he rocket's up there that's what! This is a creation by BerzerkStudio, the same creators of Frantic Frigates, and this was made in under 24 hours so do keep that in mind.

Rocket Santa is of course like any other distance/upgrades game so not much to say here. It is a vertical distance game like Goin Up and the upgrade system while pretty basic and bare bones is evenly spaced which is a hard balance to accomplish it seems with lots of other upgrade games. In terms of actual gameplay mechanics, Rocket Santa is a very easy game to play. Mouse only. However a few minor annoyances bother me like the fact you can't collect things on your fall back to earth as well as the general lack of obstacles..but again, under 24 hours.

All this aside, Rocket Santa is a very festive and holiday themed distance/upgrades game to get you through this season!

Monday, December 26, 2011

MobileMush Monday: Kongregate Arcade Review

For my first MobileMush Monday blog entry I thought what could be more fitting than reviewing the Kongregate Arcade app for Android. I mean, Kongregate is where I play all my games on my computer which I review.

Kongregate Arcade is pretty much just a mobile extension of your online Kongregate account. It is fully integrated so when you earn badges on the mobile version they transfer to your full account as well as any points you gain, reviews you post, ratings, etc. In fact for some top games they have mobile exclusive badges so if you're a badge fiend like myself than this is a must download. Also if you love having lots of points so you can rank up in Kongregate's level system, by just installing Kongregate Arcade you get 30 points and if you are involved in the GameStop PowerUp Rewards you get 250 PowerUp Reward points.

Currently the Kongregate Arcade has 630 games and is ever expanding. The interface is very user intuitive as well so no frustration there. The games themselves are usually ones that can be easily adaptable to a mobile interface and also the most popular games. One issue I do have with this though and it's not Kongregate's fault but some of the games do have poor mobile ports, but this problem falls on the developers.

Overall if you love flash games, Kongregate Arcade is a must download!

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MobileMush Monday

It's me again with another news post! This time I'm announcing another branching out idea for FlashMush. I was recently asked why I don't review mobile games for Iphones, Androids, Ipads, etc. And well the main reason is I started this as a internet flash game review blog and I've stuck to that, another reason is up until a few weeks ago I never had a platform to play mobile games. I could have borrowed my girlfriend's Ipod touch but that would have gotten annoying. But now I have a Droid 3 and I have been downloading some more mobile apps and I feel I can do a branching out and do a "MobileMush Monday" type deal where every Monday I'll review a mobile app game. Hopefully this idea goes well and who knows may turn into a more frequent thing than just once a week.

With the recent explosion of the mobile market and the rising popularity in tablet computers (as well as general smart phone usage of Iphones and Droids) I think this is a great business move on my part as it will not only diversify my posting themes but my viewership as well and I hope that gains me some new readers.

So stay tuned, I'll have my first MobileMush Monday post up later today!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mass Mayhem 4 Flash Game Review

Link: Mass Mayhem 4
Developer: WebCypher
Genre: Action/Shooter
FlashMush Rating: 8/10

WebCypher, the creator of Feed Us/Feed Us 2, is back with his highly successful series and one of my favorite series; Mass Mayhem. This time the 4th edition!

If you don't know the Mass Mayhem series I'll first warn you that this series is very gory. Perfect for a Christmas afternoon game review! Like the title suggests the game is about mayhem. You basically are a suicidal maniac who has many different objectives which includes killing certain amount of people, destroying buildings, and other crazy objectives. I really like the series due to the largely destructible environments and just the layout of the environments. You see, for example, in Mass Mayhem 4 the environment ranges from a large highway, secret military base, nuclear power plant, farms, underground mines, church, and city. Plus various airplanes and satellites in the sky. There is many different secrets to find.

Mass Mayhem 4 keeps up with this tradition with a multiple of different objectives and the environment is just as diverse. In fact I feel as some of the objectives and secrets are better in Mass Mayhem 4 than others. Unfortunately I feel this game was kind of rushed. There is an insane amount of lag depending on what you do, the characters in the game routinely glitch out which can lead to failure to complete objectives otherwise you would have. I also found the explosion graphics unfitting to the rest of the game's theme and also contributed to the lag.

Overall though Mass Mayhem 4 is still the same game and if you love this series as I do then you will love this game.

Merry Christmas and a Happy MushArcade!

I just wanted to take this time to write to all my followers how much I appreciate their support for FlashMush throughout the year and to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays!

So to show my gratitude I decided to expand FlashMush and add a whole new dynamic to the "Mush" franchise. You may have seen the new tab on the top header, I have started my own flash game arcade portal! No more just embedding my games into the posts I'll have a separate site (and separate hosting) to play all the games. So when I review a game now I'll just link to my own site for all to play the games. What's the site called? Well MushArcade of course! And can be found here:


I hope everyone has a great holidays and will join and play games on MushArcade now!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Boxhead the Christmas Nightmare Flash Game Review

Link: Boxhead the Christmas Nightmare
For Two Player Action: Boxhead 2 Player
Developer: SeanCooper
Genre: Defense/Shooter/Zombie
FlashMush Rating: 8/10

The great and immensely popular Boxhead series is back for Christmas time! This time instead of just fighting zombies and demons you have to fight Christmas themed zombies, huge abdominal snowmen, reindeer, and exploding presents!

If you don't know the idea behind the Boxhead series then you are really missing out. I think it's one of the best zombie defense game, it's also one of the most unique. You see, in the previous Boxhead games you start out with just a pistol and as you kill zombies you get better weapons and your weapons upgrade (larger spread, faster fire rate, etc.). Unfortunately this way of gameplay has changed for this Christmas edition and I don't really like what they have done with it.

Now, you start off the same way basically but a little different. Start off with a pistol and shotgun (and a lightsaber which is a nice addition). But then a lot of big game changing differences appear. First the good. The level designs are much better. More color with the addition of trees and other structures, better looking (yes even in the box like graphics) and larger areas. However, there are exploding barrels everywhere and already turrets placed. It used to be, in the older Boxhead games, you rank up enough to place these not just have them already placed. You can literally do nothing for the first five or so levels now with these turrets placed. Now the other big change that I absolutely hate is the way you gain weapons and upgrade them. Part of it is the old way with amount of zombies killed but the other half is time...yes time. You upgrade your weapon and then have to wait five minutes to upgrade. Yes, that terrible system that is so popular on Facebook games like Farmville and Cityville.

Boxhead the Christmas Nightmare is more of the same Boxhead goodness but for some ungodly reason they took it into a new direction that has some good qualities but have some overwhelmingly negative and annoying qualities.

Greens Survive Only When Reds Die Flash Game Review

Link: Greens Survive Only When Reds Die
Developer: FriedPixel Games
Genre: Puzzle/Platformer
FlashGame Rating: 8/10

Whew...Now that is a mouth full. But it pretty much tells you what the game is about. The Reds must die! I'm telling you what is with these suicidal games nowadays, just yesterday I reviewed Dibbles 2: Winter Woes and now this? Guess it's a 2011 trend!

The idea behind this puzzle platformer is you must kill all the red characters before the door opens to allow the green characters through. Sounds easy and well...I'll get back to that. The premise is a neat concept and the level designs are well done. The difficulty ramps up a little bit and you have essentially multiple screens with many different characters and it can get tough to keep the greens alive while killing the reds.

But back to the difficulty. I've played games like this before, or levels in video games (VVVVVV comes to mind) and I thought they were so frustrating. However, I literally breezed through Greens Survive Only When Reds Die in a heart beat it was so easy. Now I know this isn't because I suddenly got really good at these type of games. But other than that slight issue the game is a great new addition to the ever expanding puzzle platformer genre!

Minicraft Flash Game Review

Link: Minicraft
Developer: Notch
Genre: Action
FlashMush Rating: 9.5/10

Decided to review something new and different for today; Minicraft. Yes, that sounds an awful like Minecraft and well surprise if you read my developer tag it is created by Notch! And more impressively made by Notch in 48 hours for a Ludum Dare competition.

As the name implies the game does borrow heavily from the aspects of the beloved game Minecraft. By this I mean some of the basic game dynamics are still involved. You start out with nothing aside from a workbench so resorting to punching trees to make axes and picks are still common place. Crafting is still a large part of Minicraft although it is much simpler. Elements such as farming, coal, smelting and general exploring are still commonplace and just as important in Minicraft as Minecraft. Minicraft also has a goal! As Notch states;

"The goal of the game is to kill the only other sentient being in the world, making sure you'll be alone forever."

Aww.. so sad. But I do feel a goal is important for this simplified version especially as I feel it gives people motivation to play this stripped down flash version. I do wish some things about Minicraft although I do take into consideration the 48 hours feat. The main thing I wish and I doubt will happen is for Notch to actually continue to develop this further. It's great as is, very addicting and a great game, but it could be so much more. Adding more craftable items, adding the ability to actually build a little base instead of my hollowed out mountain (as seen in my screen shot), and just general more depth. I can see this game transforming from just a little flash competition game to a game I would love to have on MushArcade and can see the big flash portal sites like Kongregate and ArmorGames really giving their backing to a game like this. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Canoniac Launcher Flash Game Review

Link: Canoniac Launcher
Developer: FunBunGames
Genre: Distance/Upgrades
FlashMush Rating: 8/10

Boy do I love launcher games, just something about the mindless gameplay and addictiveness. Canoniac Launcher is the newest distance/launcher game to enter the scene.

Canoniac Launcher plays very much like Toss the Turtle in many aspects. The main similarity is in weapons. Like Toss the Turtle you can buy weapons to then shoot yourself to propel yourself further. The graphics are sort of similar which is a huge compliment. Canoniac Launcher also uses the typical launcher game formula. Loads of upgrades and they take it a bit further by offering upgrades for the cannon itself, weapons, and powers both active and passive (as well as sub-upgrades for the cannons). This is fairly unique or at least adds more replay value to a game that already has tons of it.

However, I do have a problem with a few things. First off the active powers need some sort of hotkey as it gets annoying to move the mouse from the ever moving character to the bottom of the screen and then back again, also some should last longer (talking about you frog man). I have read complaints about the amount of "traps" in this game and while I see that I don't think that's the main issue. I actually find this game to have loads less traps than say, Chuck the Sheep. It's more so their behavior. They don't slow you or hurt you but literally stop you. Or cause you to go backwards... Which combined with Canoniac Launcher's annoying habit to have extreme bounciness leads to elongated and boring gameplay at the end.

Overall though Canoniac Launcher is another great addition to the distance game genre and everyone should give it a shot!

Dibbles 2: Winter Woes Flash Game Review

Link: Dibbles 2: Winter Woes
Developer: thepodge
Genre: Puzzle/Strategy
FlashMush Rating: 8.5/10

ThePodge, creator of Firebug and Stunt Crazy as well as of course Dibbles, is back with a sequel to the very successful Dibbles series! If you don't know the Dibbles series it plays a lot like how lemmings do...suicidal. Basically you have a beginning and end point and the goal is to get the king to the finish line however possible. This requires you to give orders to the King's loyal subjects to create bridges, climb things, etc. However, it's lemmings like because when they carry out their orders...they die. In Winter Woes they all freeze to death. But it's all for the King! So I guess it's ok.

Dibbles 2: Winter Woes brings back the same gameplay as before which is no surprise but it's still an excellent game. The amount of detail put into the game is staggering. The graphics and music are also very well done which of course adds a certain level of polish to a game. The level designs are fairly typical but still good and will make you think which is always the goal for puzzle and strategy games.

Overall there isn't too much to be said about Dibbles 2: Winter Woes. It's a Dibbles game which plays just like you would think and it's very well executed. You won't be disappointed!

Elemental Defense Flash Game Review

Link: Elemental Defense
Developer: PlayDefenseGames
Genre: Defense
FlashMush Rating: 5/10

Elemental Defense is a very simple tower defense game, not that that is a bad thing. In fact I usually prefer simplicity over complexity when it comes to most tower defense games or flash games in general. But I think Elemental Defense may be too simple...or at least has some other problems.

But first the good. The simplicity factor is a feature I like about Elemental Defense and going off of the simplicity is the graphics. Some people may say they are too rudimentary but I like the simple look of them and it gives a clean feeling actually. Also the vibrant colors play with the elemental aspect quite well. In fact the idea of an elemental defense game, while a rehashed concept, is done well here. Again not too complicated but you don't need it to be complicated to have a good time and have an addictive game.

My main problems with Elemental Defense and what brings it's score down is a few things. Mainly bugs though... Clicking certain things causes it to freeze. That is a huge annoyance and can put off many players. Some other things are missing which would have been helpful. A small tutorial level is one. I know the game is self explanatory but it helps for any new players of the tower defense genre and since this game was so simple it could easily be a gateway tower defense game for people. While the feature to speed up the enemies is there it isn't well known and seems to lag the game a bit. Also the ground tower is over powered and just spamming those and attack increase towers guaranties a victory.

But overall, Elemental Defense is a simple tower defense game which has some ups and has some downs. But if you like the genre might as well give this one a try!

Thursday, December 22, 2011 Site Review

So I thought I would take a slight detour from my usual subject matter and do a post on a site that recently has come to my attention; Mod Chip. What is Mod Chip? Well, I emailed the owner and he told me,

" is dedicated at bringing you the highest quality and cutting edge modchip's and spare parts for Nintendo Wii, PS3 or XBOX 360 consoles. Our excellent Live Support and quick delivery system helps us be a trusted provider."

The modding culture for consoles has recently exploded and I am always hearing about cool new mods or seeing pictures and blog entries about the latest xbox 360 mod and other mods. Just looking around the site's inventory I can see that if you are a console modder or want to get into the game, Mod Chip has everything you could possibly need.  Say you wanted to mod PS3 you recently purchased. Mod Chip offers multiple jailbreaking materials as well as general PS3 accessories like controllers and HDMI cables.

Mod Chip is also a very trusted and professional looking site, you are not on some joe smoe's ebay account. The range of mod equipment doesn't just stop at Xboxes and PS3s, but cover the Wii, DSi, 3DS, PSP, and older consoles such as the Gamecube, original Xbox, PS1 and PS2, and the Gamecube. Not sure how to mod certain consoles? Mod Chip offers user manuals and blog entries to help you along, plus their renowned customer support.

So next time you're on Reddit looking at the latest PS3 mod and want to try your own hand at it, check out Mod and I can guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Santa is Mad Flash Game Review

Link: Santa is Mad
Genre: Physics/Puzzle
FlashMush Rating: 7/10

Just in time for Christmas! Santa games! Santa is Mad is a physics puzzle game where Santa must take down evil snowmen by...well what else, dropping things on them!

Like any physics puzzle game you have an end goal which is to essentially drop something or make something touch something else. In this case it's to cause a big snow ball to hit evil snowmen. One great thing about Santa is Mad is the graphics. They are very polished and the beginning cut scene is very well done. The idea while isn't unique is well executed for the most part and to be honest you're never going to really find a unique physics puzzle game as the formula is all the same and Santa is Mad does the formula justice. A large amount of levels is also a great thing about Santa is Mad and will keep you entertained for a while.

My only real qualms about the game is some of the level designs. A few rely on shear luck or quick reactions but you can tell they weren't planned to be that way.What I mean by this is that in some levels you have to either time some of your actions just right or just hope that when you drop a block it falls just right so that the snowball hits it and can bounce off.

Overall though Santa is Mad is a good physics puzzle game and it's festive! What's better than that?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Isoball X1 Flash Game Review

Link: Isoball X1
Developer: 3dleigh
Genre: Puzzle
FlashMush Rating: 9/10

3dleigh is back with another Isoball game, this time entitled Isoball X1. But first off, if you recognize 3dleigh's name it could be because he was also the developer of Tank Blitz Zero or because of how successful the Isoball series is.

Isoball X1, if you read the game description, "Overclock your brain with the most challenging Isoball game out there.". That is right, If you thought the regular Isoball series were haven't seen anything yet.  But it is this self aware difficulty that really makes Isoball stand out. Basically the way I see it is if you're playing Isoball X1 there is no need to have that much of a difficulty curve since you can play Isoball 1-3 for that. X1 comes out of the gates swinging and your brain is K.O.ed from the start.

This difficulty is coupled with just great game dynamics. The graphics are typical Isoball fashion which we have grown to love and is a very clean interface, and all the right puzzle elements are present. There are a few slight annoyances with how the game recognizes some moves (mainly with bridges) but overall it's the same great Isoball game but harder for us loyals!

Santa Rockstar 4 Flash Game Review

Link: Santa Rockstar 4
Developer: deface
Genre: Music
FlashMush Rating: 9/10

Love music games like Guitar Hero or Rockband? Or their original flash game counterparts, Flash Flash Revolution? Then Santa Rockstar 4 is a game/series you don't want to miss out on! And it's Christmas themed!

Now I'll be the first to admit that I am terrible at any music rhythm games although for some masochist reason I still enjoy playing them (and thereby losing). But I know enough to know that Santa Rockstar 4 does everything right! Santa Rockstar turns what I would consider boring Christmas songs and turns them into metal rockstar versions! There is a lot of songs/levels so you will spend plenty of time with this game. There is also three difficulty modes with two different keyboard configurations. The only slight complaint is not much change between the series but it's still a great game and will make your Christmas time even better!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gravistation 2 Flash Game Review

Link: Gravistation 2
Developer: elmortem
Genre: Puzzle
FlashMush rating: 7.5/10

Time to wrap your brains around another puzzle flash game! Gravistation 2 is all about flipping yourself around and around so hope you don't get too dizzy!

Like I said above, Gravistation 2's puzzle style is flipping yourself around and around in "space stations" to gather keys and money and eventually exit through a door. This type of puzzle game of course has been done before but it's still always good to see other developer's takes on a genre of this saturation. Gravistation 2 does a wonderful job of including levels. They have separate level packs for easy, normal and hard mode so Gravistation 2 will leave you busy and is a good time killer.

However I do have a few problems with Gravistation 2. The graphics are ok, nothing spectacular but gets the job done I suppose. The controls are pretty awful in my opinion. I don't know if it was the style of the game or just lack of coding, but the controls just seemed slow and unresponsive at times. There is also no jump button which I would have liked incorporated but I see why it was left out. My only other concern is the difficulty. I played through both the easy and normal modes with no problem. Now I know that that might seem like a no brainer but it most games the normal mode at least trips me up a few times. But I also attribute this to lack of diverse level design. Some were noticeable different but most were either generic level design types or ones rehashed in previous levels.

Overall though Gravistation 2 is a good puzzle game to kill some time over this holiday break!

Paper Pirates Flash Game Review

Link: Paper Pirates
Developer: Aimar
Genre: Physics/Puzzle/Action
FlashMush Rating: 6.5/10

Another physics puzzler game to add to the huge pool that exists in the flash gaming world. So why did I choose to review this one? Well partly due to procrastination from my finals as well as it's the best game I could find at this time. But also it's not that bad of a physics puzzler game and I had quite a fun time with it.

Paper Pirates takes a few directions. At one end it's a physics game sort of like any typical box remover (think Red Remover or even Imperfect Balance series) but then it does have some random quick action type levels where you have to use a cannon to shoot down pirates. This gives it a fairly unique edge but to me it actually shows discontinuity. What really made me like the game was the graphics as they showed a polished game which is honestly (and unfortunately) a rarity for this sub-genre. The title is Paper Pirates and the graphics do sort of reflect that. In all honesty they sort of remind me of the graphics from Hungry Sumo which is always a great comparison.

Paper Pirates does suffer not only from he discontinuity of level design but also boring level design and lack of levels. It's a fairly short game and when you combine this with non puzzle type games and levels which are either boring or literally done before in the same game...well you take notice of those faults. The biggest stride for Paper Pirates is the graphics, I just wish the gameplay was a little better.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Invertion Flash Game Review

Link: Invertion
Developer: HighUpStudio
Genre: Puzzle/Platformer
FlashMush Rating: 8/10

Played Portal and Portal 2 but still yearning for something? Try Invertion! It's not exactly Portal-esque but it was inspired by it and it is a great flash puzzle game that does have some crazy aspects to it!

You play as a robot who is fighting against an evil A.I. (sound familiar?) as you go through level after level of increasingly difficult puzzles. On your way you have a few tricks up your sleeve. You can "split" yourself into two so you can hit far away switches and work together as well as flip gravity and walk on the ceilings so you can avoid various traps. These aspects aren't new to the genre but are carried out very well and do employ some nice levels.

The difficulty curve of Invertion is quite well done at first but later on I do feel is a tad steep. Another complaint I found, other than some slight control issues, is some of the level designs. Some seem to be too catered directly to the special powers. Also, while I did find some of the levels to be very well done and even unique, the majority are typical levels you would see in every other platformer puzzle game.

Overall though, Invertion is a great puzzle platformer game and if you're bored over your Christmas break then Invertion is a great time waster and well worth your time!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

300 Miles to Pigsland Flash Game Review

Link: 300 Miles to Pigsland
Developer: VladG
Genre: Action/Distance/Upgrades/Platformer
FlashMush Rating: 8/10

Are we there yet? Nope, 300 more miles! 300 Miles to Pigsland is sort of exactly what the name suggests. It's a distance game where the goal is to get the 300 miles without dying.

I'm sure you've noticed all my genre tags and how many there are, and that's because 300 Miles to Pigsland is a hodge podge of game dynamics, some of which are good and unique but others that just don't fit well with the game. The action part comes from essentially it's a one button push game (two buttons if you upgrade). The button is to jump (or go down a platform). The game is constantly side scrolling so think of a game like Canabalt...except you're a pig. The distance part is pretty self explanatory, you have 300 miles to go, better live! The upgrades part is also pretty self explanatory, but it is one of the nicest features. You can upgrade your solo pig to have armor and double jump so it can withstand getting hit by enemies or double jump over them. The platforming part really just comes because all the elements involved are indicative of platforming; the platforms in general, the enemies, collecting coins, etc.

So 300 Miles to Pigsland does do some things really well. The upgrade system, while not as extensive as I would have liked, is a very integral part. Not only can you upgrade your solo pig, but you can upgrade to have up to five different pigs, each outfitted in armor to have the best pig party. The upgrade system is a pseudo tree based which is my favorite type of upgrade system, so points there. I also really like the idea of the distance game in general and the graphics are a great compliment.

However there were tons of minor problems that really annoyed me. The first few plays is sort of like a tutorial as it introduces you to all the different enemies and such. But it stops the game and makes unnecessarily long pauses which really bugged me. I also really didn't like the set pattern of the level. I know it was probably in their plan to have a set "300" miles but I think if it was all randomized (like games such as Canabalt) than the replay value would have been huge and I could see this game being a huge success. But since it's a set level design, once you beat it you probably won't play it again...although there is a puzzle mode to add a little extra replay value.

Overall, 300 Miles to Pigsland isn't a bad game and is quite fun. Just it had so much potential that didn't really shine through.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pinata Hunter Flash Game Review

Link: Pinata Hunter
Genre: Action/Upgades
FlashMush Rating: 8.5/10

Who knew there was so much money in the pinata hunting business? In Pinata Hunter it is your task to beat so much candy out of this cute little elephant pinata that you utterly destroy it.

I am very surprised that I haven't seen such a game come out. Pinatas are a staple in many cultures and a game based off of it just seems like it should have happened before as they make for some pretty funny games. As you can see by my genre description and tags, it's mainly an upgrade style game which means you do a single action and then you upgrade various stats so you can do that action better and more efficient. It sounds boring but for some reason people, including myself, love these types of games and I literally just spent a half hour playing this game. In Pinata Hunter you start out with just a paper bag to catch the candy and a stick to beat it out of with. You can then upgrade your stick to a hammer, then a morning star, all the way up to a chainsaw. The same with your bag, it gets upgraded eventually into a vacuum cleaner which sucks everything up.

An interesting addition, but kind of annoying, to Pinata Hunter is the idea of hand spasms. If you hit the pinata too much your hand cramps up and you have to wait a while to hit it again. I know the purpose of this is to prevent just constant hitting of the pinata but the wait time can get kind of annoying (luckily you can upgrade your resistance to hand cramps with tougher gloves).

Overall, Pinata Hunter is a great time waster and a very funny game indeed. I can guarantee you'll have a blast playing this game!