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Bubsy 3D tribute photo
Bubsy 3D tribute

Bubsy goes to a museum and then to Hell in this tribute

'Go visit an art museum in your area and quit video games'
Nov 12
// Steven Hansen
Developer Arcane Kids wanted to do something, uh, nice (?) for Bubsy's 18th birthday. So, it brought Bubs back in this low polygon, free, 3D browser game, Bubsy 3D: Bubsy Visits the James Turrell Retrospective. It starts off...
Korean cyber attacks! photo
Korean cyber attacks!

South Korea suspects North attacking it with free games

Damn teens!
Oct 24
// Steven Hansen
The South Korean National Police Agency is warning internet users of free game downloads that could potentially be developed by insidious North Koreans waging cyber wars. Arirang News reports. The police allege free game soft...
Shantae photo

Shantae: Risky's Revenge free on iOS, has new outfit

Get it ya dingus
Sep 22
// Jonathan Holmes
The Kickstarter for the Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, the HD re-imagining of the classic character for PC and consoles, is almost fully funded, though we're still pretty far away from snagging all the stretch goals. The most rece...
Game of Thrones game photo
Game of Thrones game

Brace yourselves for an 8-bit Game of Thrones platformer

Pixels are coming
Sep 16
// Steven Hansen
Abel Alves, a Spanish comic artist and amateur game designer, has went ahead and made a game... of thrones... based on the hit TV series (and novels) Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones: The 8-Bit Game is an old school platform...
Pause Ahead photo
Pause Ahead

Tower of Heaven creator releases new game Pause Ahead

You can play it for free on Adult Swim
Aug 27
// Darren Nakamura
Do you remember Tower of Heaven? If the answer is yes, skip ahead to the next paragraph. If the answer is "no" because you never played it back in 2009, then you can (and should) rectify that immediately. It's not very long; ...
Mega Man Unlimited photo
Mega Man Unlimited

Easy mode update for Mega Man Unlimited is out

Fixes many other issues too, such as the wonky native controller support
Aug 06
// Tony Ponce
It was only a few days ago when I mentioned that a difficulty adjustment update to Mega Man Unlimited was on its way. Version 1.1.0 is now available, bringing along a whole host of changes. The biggest and most welcome additi...
Mega Man Unlimited photo
Mega Man Unlimited

Mega Man Unlimited has been ported to Mac

Also, an Easy mode is coming
Aug 02
// Tony Ponce
I don't think I need to repeat how amazing Mega Man Unlimited is. Here's my review again. The original game is only available on Windows, but the wizards at OneWeakness have ported it to Mac so that no one is left out in the ...
Experiment 12 photo
Experiment 12

Super Hexagon, Lone Survivor creators team with 10 indies

Experiment 12 is a freeware collaboration between some big indie names
Jul 26
// Steven Hansen
Here's a thing we don't necessarily see too often in videogames: anthology. Experiment 12, which you can freely download right here, right now, is a collaborative effort between twelve different indie developers, including Su...

Review: Mega Man Unlimited

Jul 14 // Tony Ponce
Mega Man Unlimited (PC) [Available on the MegaPhilX website]Developer: Philippe Poulin, Jean-Simon Brochu, Gabriel LeblancPublisher: Philippe PoulinReleased: July 14, 2013MSRP: FreeRig: Intel Core i3-380M, 6GB of RAM, GeForce GT 425M, Windows 7 64-bit First, let's revisit Mega Man 9, as Capcom's retro revival is directly responsible for Mega Man Unlimited's existence. Fans were no doubt surprised when Capcom announced MM9, the first Classic series entry in over a decade. Even more surprising was that it would return the Blue Bomber to his 8-bit NES roots. True, this could be considered a cost-saving measure, but the bigger reason for the throwback style was that the simpler the game was structurally and aesthetically, the easier it would be to represent the core values of challenge and accessibility. Former Mega Man producer Keiji Inafune and his development team specifically used Mega Man 2 as a baseline because it's considered by many to be the best in the series. They figured that by isolating what made that particular entry so fun and pure, they could make something that rivaled or even surpassed the legendary Mega Man 2. MM9 turned out fantastic, but it did so by ignoring many of the valid strides made in the post-MM2 sequels. Among other elements, it disregards the slide ability from Mega Man 3, the charge shot ability from Mega Man 4, and the gradual improvements in NES graphical quality -- compared to Mega Man 6, MM9's level of environmental detail falls woefully short. So while I can't stress enough that MM9 is an excellent game, it nonetheless feels like it held back too much, even within the forced limitations of the pseudo-NES framework. [embed]258027:49544:0[/embed] In honor of MM9's release, Canadian game designer Philippe "MegaPhilX" Poulin whipped up a couple of rough Flash animations for a dream sequel. He was later convinced to turn this "Mega Man 10" into an actual game, over which he and a small team of coders labored for nearly five years. During that time, the official Mega Man 10 was announced and released, prompting Philippe to change the name of his game to Mega Man Unlimited. The final product is a realization of a fan's childhood dream, one that has translated the traditional Mega Man experience so accurately that any existing faults will be revealed only under the most anal-retentive scrutiny. But despite adhering so closely to tradition, Unlimited doesn't restrict itself like MM9 did and manages to raise the quality bar. It is a true successor to the NES lineage. Most noticeable out the gate is the phenomenal pixel art that gives each level such depth and vitality. From a sprawling cityscape to the Earth looming in the distance, the environments are anything but barren. Even the all-new enemies, from the smallest cannon fodder to the most imposing mid-boss, express a wealth of personality and strike that trademark Mega Man balance of looking threatening yet adorable. The Robot Master lineup in this outing is not without a few curious representatives. Jet Man, Tank Man, and Comet Woman exude "cool" and "dangerous," but guys like Yo-yo Man and Rainbow Man do not. And check out Nail Man, who is literally a giant nail with legs! I wouldn't consider that a mark against them, however. Think about past bosses like Top Man, Toad Man, Centaur Man, Spring Man, Clown Man, Pump Man -- Unlimited's cast is in welcome company! Do not be fooled by their names and appearances. Each boss possesses a unique yet deadly set of skills that will keep you on edge. For instance, Comet Woman casts a pair of energy spheres that persistently orbit Mega Man, and when they stop moving, they will converge on his location unless you jump at the precise moment. All the while, Comet Woman will be zooming across her chamber, generating energy waves in the wake of her flight path. The weapons earned from these encounters are some of the most useful in the series. The aforementioned Comet Dash has offensive capabilities and doubles as means of mid-air travel, similar to how the air dash from Mega Man X2 and onward functions. The Glue Shot generates footholds on walls and also freezes enemies in place, allowing you to switch to a separate weapon and plug away at your immobile foe. And the Yo-yo Cutter can be tossed in any direction like the MM2's Metal Blade, and if it hits a wall or ceiling, it will travel along that surface. I can't say for certain if the levels are in fact longer than those in previous Mega Man installments, but they are definitely much more concentrated with enemies and hazards. I particularly enjoy the original stage gimmicks, such as Glue Man's adhesive floors that prevent you from running and Tank Man's conveyor belt ceilings that launch you like a slingshot if your head makes contact. New gimmicks are always introduced in isolation to give you ample time to plan ahead. Consider Rainbow Man's tower of pain, which presents a cruel twist on the insta-kill laser beams from Quick Man's domain in MM2. When you first fall down the first screen, a pair of lasers fire harmlessly overhead, warning you that you'll need to be swift on your feet in the rooms ahead. Later you encounter a turret that alters the trajectory of incoming lasers, and by shooting the turret, you can redirect the laser's path. Once you've familiarized yourself in this controlled area, the stage will start presenting multiple lasers and turrets at once, giving you only a couple of seconds to assess the environment and reroute laser paths accordingly lest you get a face full of death. Though Mega Man once again lacks the use of his charge shot, his slide ability makes a triumphant return. Sliding has always been a helpful evasive maneuver in past adventures, but Unlimited goes a step further in providing opportunities to exploit the technique. One such opportunity is in Trinitro Man's level, where jumping onto platforms floating on a pool of nitroglycerin will trigger combustion and launch the platforms into the spiked ceiling above. Using the burst of speed provided by the slide, you'll be able to narrowly avoid impalement. Such scenarios demonstrate care in ensuring that the slide remains a crucial tool in Mega Man's repertoire rather than just a superfluous addition for the sake of inclusion. The eight Robot Masters levels are tough enough -- indeed, on the higher end of the difficulty scale relative to its predecessors -- but for an even greater challenge, you can attempt the special stage. In MM9 and 10, special stages were purchased as DLC and became accessible immediately from the main menu. In Unlimited, you must seek four letter icons hidden within the main stages to unlock the special stage. These letters are not sitting in plain sight, easily snagged with the use of the Rush Coil. They are located off the beaten path, dangling near the end of alternate stage routes. Sometimes the entrance to these secret areas are behind a shielded door that can only be opened with a specific weapon; other times the entrance is a suspiciously empty space where a wall ought to be. Once on an alternate route, you might even be greeted by completely new hazards or gimmicks not found anywhere along the normal route. Once all four letters are collected, the ninth Robot Master, Yoku Man, invites you to dance. Yoku Man is the master of the disappearing blocks that have hounded Mega Man players since the '80s, and his level is an illusory nightmare filled with false platforms, rooms that loop if you don't travel the correct path, and of course acres upon acres of those despised vanishing blocks. He's undoubtedly one of the most sinister yet inspired concepts for a Mega Man boss ever. Beyond the Robot Masters is the usual castle, the ultimate test of players' proficiency with every acquired weapon and support unit. Unlimited keeps the momentum going into these endgame levels, pulling out tons of new surprises and homages to bits of Mega Man history. Even if you think you've seen all the series has to offer, I guarantee you'll encounter at least one or two "holy crap" moments during the final stretch. And what would a Mega Man game be without an infectious chiptune soundtrack to tie the whole package together? The bulk of the music was produced by amateur musician Kevin Phetsomphou, Philippe himself provided a handful of tracks, and Philippe's friend Yan Thouin composed original melodies later rearranged by the other two. Kevin's work is phenomenal; Philippe's contributions, not so much. There is a clear disparity between the their musical skills -- on one side is the delicious Yoku Man theme, on the other is the slightly grating Rainbow Man theme. As I said, Kevin takes point for most of the tunes, leaving the remaining music as the tiniest of black marks on an otherwise brilliant game. Can't give Philippe too much of a hard time for that! The only other item of note is the control setup. Though you can play using a keyboard, purists will prefer the native controller support and its suite of customization options. However, I noticed with my Xbox 360 controller that certain actions would "stick," as though I hadn't lifted my finger from the button. Unlimited thankfully cooperates well with key mapping software like Xpadder, which completely eliminates the sticking issue. I don't own any other USB controller, so I can't say for certain if this problem only affects 360 pads or even just my pad alone. The important thing is that the game plays exactly how a Mega Man should. It looks how a Mega Man should, sounds how a Mega Man should, and feels how a Mega Man should. Screens and videos can't accurately convey how meticulous and polished the entire product is. I don't even feel right calling it an emulation of the real deal; it is the real deal. I don't make this statement lightly, either. Such skill and talent as went into Unlimited cannot be faked. Simply knowing the ingredients for a world-class chocolate cake doesn't mean you'll be able to bake a world-class chocolate cake. It requires something more. Last December, Capcom surprised fans by announcing it would finance and publish the fan-made Street Fighter X Mega Man as though it were an official release. I thought, this game must be something special if it fills Capcom with so much confidence. Could this be the proof that fans are capable of standing on the same level as multinational software studios? Sadly, it wasn't. Oh, it was decent enough game, but it suffered heavily, and I'm not talking about the rough patches born out of its being rushed to meet the release date. Some bland level structures, inconsistent visual design, and a host of minor oversights indicative of poor attention to detail -- these can be directly attributed to the developer's lack of skill in certain areas. A laudable effort, but not professional quality. Unlimited expertly avoids all those shortcomings and then some. Philippe and his crew didn't stray from the tried-and-true Mega Man template, but their true accomplishment was in taking those building blocks and constructing a masterpiece, exhibiting the same pioneer spirit that launched the series in the first place. It's too early to determine exactly where it falls on the Mega Man hierarchy, but it most definitely deserves a high spot. Mega Man Unlimited is a brilliant game by any measure. And I am in awe.
Mega Man Unlimited review photo
Robot Master-piece
I've been championing the fan game community since the day I joined Destructoid, yet I've never before anticipated the release of a fan game with as much fervor as I'd reserve for an official title until Mega Man Unlimited. I...

Ripple Dot Zero photo
Ripple Dot Zero

Free PC game Ripple Dot Zero is Sonic mixed with Strider

Genetically engineered penguin in sneakers
Jun 29
// Tony Ponce
It's a pretty slow weekend. Why not kill an hour or two by playing this freeware Flash game just released yesterday? Ripple Dot Zero by Pixeltruss is an homage to the super awesome Genesis years of my youth. Taking its cues ...
FREE! photo

MoshiMoshi teaches kids about meth, death, and shooting

If only my elementary school teachers taught me these valuable lessons
May 02
// Allistair Pinsof
Colorful, ecstatic, and utterly bizarre, free indie shooter MoshiMoshi may be the oddest game you play today. Conceived at a Braingale game jam, MoshiMoshi is a brief but fun twinstick-style shooter with gaudy visuals and an...
Hey, sissies! photo
Hey, sissies!

SiSSYFiGHT 2000 aims to return, takes to Kickstarter

Seeks free, open source rerelease
May 02
// Allistair Pinsof
Hey, sissypants! If you had one more wrinkle, you'd be a prune! You're so dumb you stole cookies from a free cookie stand! You smell like a can of fish left in a hot car for a month! OK, so I'm not so great at berating peopl...
Free game photo
Free game

Play as Tim Schafer in Host Master Deux

Help Schafer make it thorugh the GDC Awards
Apr 05
// Allistair Pinsof
Host Master Deux: Quest for Identity is a free, browser based sequel to 2009's Host Master. Once again, the player must help Double Fine founder Tim Schafer bumble his way through preparing for the GDC Awards. It may be the c...
Gun.Smoke photo

A remake of Gun.Smoke is now available on PC for free

Capcom's 1985 vertical shooter remade
Feb 08
// Chris Carter
Yep, you're reading that right -- the classic Capcom game Gun.Smoke is now available for free should you feel like getting your nostalgia on. For a freeware remake, it actually has a decent amount of options, including multi...
Dog of Dracula photo
Dog of Dracula

Scare yourself stupid in Dog of Dracula

Don't say I didn't warn you!
Feb 07
// Allistair Pinsof
In today's free game that you can't help but play because of its ridiculous title: Dog of Dracula: Barbecue Densetsu is "an otaku noir nakige about a groomer stuck in a sauceless city, developed by major depressive auteurs te...

Review: Westerado

Jan 26 // Fraser Brown
Westerado (Mac, PC)Developer: Ostrich Banditos Publisher: Adult SwimRelease: January 17, 2013MSRP: Free  My kin are dead, my mother is a mutilated corpse, and I put my brother out of his agonizing misery. Nothing will bring them back, but that doesn't mean I can't put the black-hearted son of a bitch who murdered them in a shallow grave. With vague directions, I ride to the nearest town, intent on discovering the identity of the bandit who destroyed my life. Welcome to Westerado. Justice has long since fled the town of Clintville. More than a few residents, including the local sheriff, know the identity of the man I hunt; while others know what he looks like, or at least what color of hat he wears, or that he has a fancy belt. There's no such thing as free information, unfortunately, and I'll need to work to discover who I need to kill. This is a land of mercenaries, in both attitude and often career.   I gamble, I spurn the advances of women -- I'm that dedicated to my mission -- and I demand aid when there is none to be found. I know I need to swallow my pride and put my six-shooter to work on less personal business than hunting down my quarry. I don't like it one bit. The West changes a man. It chews him up, spits him out, and all that's left is a gun and a hat. I'm presently wearing my hat, and I'm pointing my gun at a crying rancher. He owes my employer money. I've come to collect it early. I won't leave until I have every last cent, and he's starting to realize this fact. As I cock my pistol, he finally breaks, giving me everything owed to my employer. Another job done. Another life ruined.  My employer pays me in information. It's the final piece of the puzzle, the end of my investigation, and finally I'll be able to end the pathetic existence of the monster who left my ranch ablaze and my family dead.  As I make my way through the bandit hideout, I put down 20, 30, maybe 40 cronies. They don't put up much of a fight. Then, in a cave lit up by a solitary camp fire, I finally lay eyes on my prey. I'd be lying if I told you it was about justice anymore -- this is vengeance, plain and simple. Round and round the fire we go, taking pot shots at each other before quickly pulling back to reload. I shoot his hat off, he puts a hole through mine; one of my bullets goes whistling through the air and into a wall (one of his ends up embedded in a crate.) Then, at last, a shot to the gut. He goes down like a sack of potatoes, and my sorry tale comes to a close.  My short tale of revenge merely represents one of the myriad stories that can play out in Westerado. The main story is always about a lone gun man seeking to end the life of the man who slaughtered his mother and brother, but how I went about reaching that climactic battle between good and evil was entirely up to me, the player. This gorgeous pixelated facsimile of the Old West is ripe with opportunities for exploration, and everywhere I went, I found people looking for my help. Aiding folk is the only way to get ahead here, and my investigation would grind to a halt unless I was willing to get my hands dirty. There were wagons to protect, ranchers to aid, bandits to put in the ground, and even the occasional task that didn't require me to pull out my gun. Of course, pulling out my pistol at the drop of a hat is all part of the fun. During any conversation I could draw my weapon, and the result was often hilarious. Though, sometimes it's a tad darker, as it was in the aforementioned debt collecting scenario. Amid this classic story is no small amount of humor, laden with a lot of amusing pop culture references -- even Doctor Who's Tardis gets a mention. The juxtaposition of the hilarious with the gritty and grim makes Westerado a curious game, where drama and tension are just as likely as side-splitting silliness. Glitches and freezes happen far too often, halting progress entirely. The game only saves map progress. When I had to restart, I ended up right back at the beginning. Westerado can be completed in all of 15 minutes, so it may not seem like a huge loss. However, the expansive world begs to be explored, and a freeze can mean that a good hour of progress goes up in a cloud of smoke. Shooting can also be a finicky experience, requiring quite a bit of trial and error. Positioning myself in just the right spot to actually shoot someone was occasionally frustrating in the beginning, as there's no way to really tell if I had my foe in my sights. The permadeath system gives weight to these conflicts, but the poor shooting almost ruins them. The lack of any real enemy AI can be exploited, so it doesn't pose too much of a challenge. Bad AI shouldn't be a feature. Yet, the times when it's not falling apart at the seams are wonderful. The open world let me choose how to make my way through it, and the occasional moral quandary inspires multiple approaches to many of the title's scenarios. There's a depth here that surprised me a great deal, but for those just looking for 15 minutes of gun-toting, horse riding shenanigans, it caters to you all the same. Accompanying me on my adventures as a lone gun man was a memorable soundtrack that conjures up images of rolling tumbleweed, lined-up coffins, and tough men in ponchos. It is both catchy and stirring, and I've already started to miss it now that I've stopped listening. The music runs the gamut from up-beat tunes that spurred me to action, to more wistful, lonesome tones of the sort I might hear in my head as I eat some beans and remember the good old days before the ranch got burned down.  The soundtrack goes perfectly with the detailed, sun-soaked pixel art visuals that tap into one's nostalgia, while also creating a surprisingly authentic western look. Westerado's a very animated game, never staying still for a moment. The protagonist's poncho constantly waves away, chickens never stop pecking at invisible seeds, and dried out weeds endlessly dance in the ceaseless wind. Even if you are put off by the plethora of bugs, it's free and accessible at the click of a button. You'd be doing yourself a disservice by not checking it out at least once. No doubt you'll find yourself checking it out again and again, as I have been. Drape that knackered old poncho over your shoulders, roll up that cigarette, and strap on a rusty six-shooter -- it's time to hunt down a real bastard. 
Westerado review photo
The Good, the Bad, and the Pixelated
When I was still wee, I often found myself stuck in my grandmother's house, far away from friends and video games and left with little to do other than draw or read. Once I filled every piece of paper in the house with doodle...


Go play this cute Mega Man Legends inspired fan game

Servbots, ahoy!
Jan 03
// Chris Carter
The "100,000 Strong For Mega Man Legends 3" fan community, despite not getting their wish of a full MML3 release, have accomplished quite a bit. They've inspired thousands of Mega Man fans to create artwork, fan games, and ov...

Our first glimpse at Portal 3 or just a DigiPen game?

Perspective continues DigiPen's legacy of creative first-person games
Dec 17
// Allistair Pinsof
Who knows if Portal 3 will ever come about, but if it does, I have a feeling that Valve may snatch up the students behind DigiPen project Perspective: A 2D platformer played on the walls and objects of a 3D space. In a bad s...

EXO is like ecstasy, except it won't damage your spine

Sep 04
// Allistair Pinsof
I don't know what happened but I just saw some pretty things and now my spine hurts real bad. Free experimental art game EXO may have the same effect on you. Yes, I said it: ART GAME! Unlike so many other games that are given...

Kill some rats in free iOS game Dishonored: Rat Assassin

Aug 31
// Allistair Pinsof
At long last, killing vermin in my rat infested storage unit I sleep in is going to pay off! Rat Assassin is kind of like Fruit Ninja instead you are slicing rats, not fruit -- the story of my life. If the idea nauseates you...

Plants vs. Zombies creator's new game: Octogeddon

Aug 28
// Dale North
Layoffs are a bummer, but Plants vs. Zombies creator George Fan isn't going to let them bring him down, even if a sequel might be happening without him. This past weekend, Fan entered the 48-hour-long game creating compe...

Spelunky available on browsers, red nose still adorable

Jul 31
// Jason Cabral
What's better than playing an awesome indie game? How about playing an awesome free indie on the browser of your choosing, whenever you want to! A port of Spelunky has just hit broswers everywhere. Darius Kazemi took the orig...

Review: Abobo's Big Adventure

Mar 11 // Daniel Starkey
Abobo's Big Adventure (PC)Developer: Team BoboPublisher: Team BoboReleased: January 11, 2012 MSRP: FREERig: Intel i7-820QM @3.06 GHz, with 8GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 480M GPU Abobo's Big Adventure is a minimal game, a tribute to the NES generation in which everyone from Donkey Kong to Ryu Hayabusa makes an appearance in some form or another. Focused on punishing difficulty and an assumed proficiency on the part of the player, Abobo is a juxtaposition of the modern and the classic, a tangential parody of the youth and innocence of the NES era that melds grotesque physical comedy (read: poop rockets and bloodsport) and the simple gameplay of times long past. Drawing purely from the comedy of anachronistic allusions, Abobo constructs a caricature of everything about contemporary video game culture and feels like nothing less than a snarky shot at the 21st-century gamer. In my experience, a delicious cocktail of allusion and parody are the highest form of comedy. They necessitate prior experience and knowledge as well as engagement and immediate reflection upon the consumed work. Abobo fits right in that niche, tapping into the collective experience core gamers have with the NES. In much the same way that Greco-Roman art can be said to be the foundation of Western culture as a whole, the monomyth of the gamer would be the marriage of Mario, Mega Man, Metroid, and more. It is an aspect of our culture that we all share to some degree, even if the days of the NES weren't our own. [embed]222925:43027:0[/embed] While never quite reaching the comic brilliance of Portal or Psychonauts, Abobo has more than a few "laugh out loud" moments. More often than not, however, it warrants a mild "heh." Solidly constructed in general, the game still steps into the realm of excessive too often (like the aforementioned poop rockets). It was originally made as a free Flash game for Newgrounds and has that classic Newgrounds toilet humor. It fits the audience well.  Stepping outside the allusions, Abobo doesn't have much depth, though in this instance, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Controls are very simple -- you move with the arrow keys and execute techniques with "A" and "S," effectively using the keyboard like an inverted NES controller. Actions are context-sensitive, as the levels are a wildly varied smorgasbord of 8-bit staples. You can go from fighting down Double Dragon alleyways, questing through a penis-shaped Zelda dungeon, and touching gloves with Punch-Out's Little Mac.  Playing just like their respective sources, from a mechanical perspective alone, the stages are damn near perfect. While often a bit too hard for my tastes, they never veers into the realm of absurd (see I Wanna Be the Guy). The title relies on technical skill, not raw trial and error, so if you die, it is your fault. This, like everything else, feeds into the theme of evoking nostalgia for an adult gaming audience. Then there are the boss battles, glorious indulgences in third-generation gaming that amount to simple tests of skill. The 80's aesthetic is matched with gusto, placing the protagonist side-by-side with engines of unbridled nostalgia. Clocking in at around two hours, Abobo manages to pack a lot of content in a very small space -- each of the eight levels contains several dozen references to the NES. Though I realize that the game is meant to throw the audience into the wayback machine, I also realize just how far games have come since then. Even if you are only playing for challenge, there has been a resurgence of modern games that are better in nearly every way (e.g. Super Meat Boy). This isn't to say that Abobo is bad, but it isn't as good as other, newer-feeling games. Still, the experience as a whole is unique and definitely worth a look, especially if you grew up the late 80's or early 90's. Its referential humor is fun and not something that can be found anywhere else. Abobo's Big Adventure is a competent, very short but sweet throwback to our Golden Age. The referential humor and absurd juxtaposition of modern sensibilities on older mores is great, but it's all been done already and better. The game does nothing wrong, in the strictest sense, but it just doesn't have that "pop," that "wow" that leaves a truly lasting impression. That said, it is free, so if you're a gamer on a budget or someone just looking for a few yucks, it's definitely worth it to follow Abobo on his journey, at least for a little while.

The NES era was a special time for a lot of us. Many of the staff here at Dtoid will always have a certain attachment to the period, myself included. Abobo's Big Adventure is a tribute to all those who grew up with the gaming gods of old. This free Flash game is quite fun and funny, definitely well worth a trip down memory lane.


Disabled girl dating sim Katawa Shoujo is out now

Jan 04
// Josh Tolentino
Like the first legless man to compete in a marathon, few expected it to finish, but it has finally happened: Katawa Shoujo, an indie visual novel developed by the former 4channers at Four Leaf Studios, is finally out, after f...

Review: Nitronic Rush

Nov 09 // Allistair Pinsof
[embed]215505:41689[/embed] Nitronic Rush (PC)Developer: Team NitronicPublisher: Team NitronicReleased: November 11, 2011MSRP: Free!One of the most difficult things in game development is having a good sense of quality control. Nitronic Rush has perhaps too good of a sense for this. Its opening seven Story Levels are so well designed that it’s shocking that the game was made by amateurs. Then you unlock five "Old Levels,” that were scrapped because the team didn’t think they were good enough, and discover they are awesome too. Even Nitronic Rush’s scraps are worthwhile!None of this would matter if the controls and general design of the game wasn’t so innovative. Nitronic Rush is as much about survival as it is about racing. That description may make it sound like the Stuntman series, but the game ends up playing more like a mash-up of TrackMania and Burnout. You speed your way down neon-lit, futuristic race tracks, as you survive buzz blades, long chasms, and a track that forces the player to change his center of gravity. Nitronic Rush is made to be played with an Xbox controller. The weight of the cars and physics of the game don’t feel perfect, but anyone who has played a Ridge Racer or similar arcade racer will be able to adjust. Along with a Motorstorm-esque boost that will kill you when overused, your car is equiped with wings that help you glide across gaps, a jump for elevated platforms, and the ability to move to a horizontally- or vertically-positioned surface by moving the right-analog stick in the correct direction.While the Story Mode is a pretty easy introduction to the game’s mechanics, the five levels in Hardcore mode reach Trials HD levels of challenge. Flipping your car to a track above you and then rotating (mid-air) back down is pretty damn difficult. In fact, I wasn’t able to beat the game because one section was so insanely hard that I eventually had to give up. It’s hard to say if it is the game’s fault or mine, until more players get their hands on it and we see what is possible. Though the game has no mulitplayer or traditional race mode, it does have leaderboards and the ability to download ghosts runs of other players to compete against. Along with the normal tracks, there are eight challenge tracks and two maps for tallying up a high score with the trick system. Unfortunately, the trick system is the worst aspect of Nitronic Rush. Since the physics aren’t fully realized, flipping your car and landing it feels awkward. Making a mode where this is all that you do just highlights the game's flaws.The Challenge maps take different obstacles from the main campaign and expand on their difficulty. One called track, called “Car Wash”, challenges the player to drive down a tunnel made of grinders and buzzsaws. Another has you flying your car through an asteroid field. Some of these levels are even harder than Hardcore mode, so you might want to skip these tracks until you've beaten that. These challenges can be beaten fairly quickly, but it’s a nice addition. There are retail games, made my large teams over the course of years, that have have been released this year that can’t compare to the vision and originality of Nitronic Rush. Though the game lacks polish and could greatly benefit from more maps and modes, it’s a thrilling experience while it lasts. The visuals, music, and fast, chaotic gameplay compliment each other well. All these elements come together to make for a refreshing racing game.Every couple years a couple students from a game development school remind us why these places exist. Not since the original Portal has a group of students made such a unique, well-made and fun game. With a Valve and extra revenue behind them, there is no telling what this team can pull off. Nitronic Rush is free. If you like a unique, challenging racing game, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t download it. In due time, development studios, publishers, and gamers alike will be keeping an eye on these young gun developers.

It’s hard not to be wary of something given away for free in the age of Horse Armor DLC. Nitronic Rush is neither Korean nor a free-to-play MMORPG, so I let my guard down this time -- good thing too! Nitronic Rush i...

Review: Proun

Jul 08 // Allistair Pinsof
Proun (PC)Developer: Joost van DongenPublisher: Joost van DongenReleased: June 25, 2011MSRP: Pay-what-you-want Proun is not a simulation racing game nor is it an arcade racer. It’s something I can only label a binary racer. It’s a game with Zen-like simplicity that makes 1982’s Pole Position look like rocket science by comparison. Once you peel away Proun’s outstanding presentation, you are left with a shallow game lacking ambition in every department beyond visuals and audio.In Proun, you control a ball that is locked to a large, looping cord. The game is similar to Boost for iOS (Speed X 3D on Android), albeit without the accelerometer and less track space. Rather than drifting around corners or throwing red shells at an opponent, you simply rotate your ball around the cable, dodging obstacles that force you to find a safe, narrow route on the cylindrical track.Each track has boost gateways that launch you forward, but you can also acquire boosts by avoiding contact with obstacles for a set amount of time. A progress bar lets you know how close you are, adding to the pressure. Although, you’ll rarely be able to successfully pull off a collision-free boost until you thoroughly memorize a track -- therein lies the main problem with Proun.Playing through the game’s three main tracks for the first time is a worthy experience. The fantastic visuals, soundtrack and sound design overwhelm with a sense of scope and immediate danger. The subtle lighting and depth-of-field effects transform the game’s bare world into an artful, curated landscape. Dodging imposing shapes and navigating through a tight pathway, while the game’s calming jazz soundtrack plays makes for an uplifting experience. Even when you hit something, coming to a dead stop, it’s hard to get frustrated -- but then, you play it again.   [embed]205557:39804[/embed] After your first blush with the game, you realize that you are not only limited to a very small collection of tracks (five if you pay, four if you don’t) -- you are limited in the way you navigate each track. For a game that is abound with imagination in its sound and visual design, it’s a shame that its creator and sole designer Joost van Dongen doesn’t offer the player the same amount of creative freedom.Even Pole Position presents enough variables to keep players returning for faster lap times, but there is so little to “driving” in Proun that it's hard to see any point to it. You dodge, boost and stay still (in order to reach maximum velocity). Since the speed and obstacles are set, a player could literally play the game blind-folded once a course is memorized. It would be an impressive task, but one I’m sure is possible. You can’t say the same for most other racers, where reaching a max speed and navigating a track offers a persistent challenge due to opponents (Proun's are merely ghosts to chase).The game is thoughtful enough to include four-player split-screen and leaderboards, but these additions don’t improve the core of the game. Without an endless supply of hallucinogens, you will have a hard time keeping your friends interested for long. As for the leaderboards, they are full of crazy people who have memorized each track and play it like a machine. Unlike other racing games, there is an obvious path to getting the fastest time but only the most dedicated masochists will get there. They are probably methheads with God-like twitch-reflexes.Fans have already posted two user tracks, which show off their prowess at rendering 3D environments. “Archipelgo,” posted in the game’s forum (by user JohnArr), is especially pretty. I can imagine the game being a great platform for 3D artists to show of their work, but I don’t think many aspiring game designers will take part. Dodging incoming shapes and preparing for the further away, out-of-focus ones makes for a fun way to explore the game’s 3D Studio Max landscapes. It’s like art appreciation for the hyperactive generation. Strap a jetpack to your dick and flying toward a life-size Mona Lisa! The fact remains though, the role of the player is secondary to the importance of the world, in Proun. Creator Joost seems to be aware of this.“Design choices in Proun were not made to make it the best game for the player, or to make as much money as possible. Proun was made because I love the experimental art from the early 20th century.”That’s all well and good, but this train of thought has resulted in a game that feels unfinished and bare. I love experimental art from the early 20th century as well, but I’m not going to write this review in pictograms. Mainly because that would be WAY harder to do, but it also would be a waste of your time, dear reader. You want to read words about games, and I want to play them.Regardless of Joost’s ambitions, “pay-what-you-want” system and the game’s six years of development, Proun is neither a gem nor a waste of your time. In fact, I’d recommend it to anyone curious. Partly because you don’t have to pay, and partly because the initial run through the game’s Championship mode is thrilling.If I sound bitter toward the game and its creator, it’s only because there is a lot of untapped potential that Joost has disregarded, in favor of serving his own art school ambitions. I deeply wish Proun was more of a game. One with more track space, competitive interaction between drivers and a Championship mode that doesn’t recycle the same three maps.  I want a racing game that is less Flower, more Uniracers. Or, hell, more of a game at all! Proun deserves its place in a museum. It's a work of art you stop and stare in awe at for five minutes, but then you quickly move on to the next painting -- that's assuming you give a shit about art to begin with.

Just look at those balls! Those beautiful, magnificent balls, zipping through those abstract planes of color and geometric shapes!  Proun is a beautiful and clever visual feast that deserves to be displayed in a museum -...


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