Pointless Nonsense

Posted in browser game by Bill on February 20, 2021

Retro Bowl is a browser game that’s kinda like minimalist Tecmo Bowl but with Baseball Stars-like GM/Franchise stuff. Drafting, developing players, paying them, staying under the cap. Which has caused me to obsessively play it all week.

It defaults to a dynamic difficulty, which isn’t quite dynamic enough… I went 19-0 to win the title my first season, with a RB with 4,800 yards rushing and my QB attempted 7 passes all season, then the second season despite more talent, I went 10-6 because running got suddenly hard and I had to learn how to pass. The thrill is fading after my third title, but that’s a solid amount of enjoyment from a browser game.

Posted in browser game by Bill on May 25, 2020

Poker Quest is a roguelike browser gameĀ  where you make your way across a map, using abilities tied to card draws to do battle with random foes. There are different characters to unlock with different powers. Ultimately there’s not much to it but it was fun for several hours. After beating it with one character, I lost interest in beating it with anyone else.

Posted in browser game by Bill on April 24, 2019

I stumbled back over that Paperclip browser game and lost a couple hours to re-doing it, then discovered that it’s a whole genre of games (idle games or incremental games) and they are excellent timekillers:

  • A Dark Room most resembles the Paperclip game. It requires a lot of manual attention in the mid and late games. The late game paradigm shift is a little too wacky for me though. I was really enjoying it up to that point.
  • Crank is probably the most ambitious but also least intuitive. In the post that linked to it, I saw people getting stuck and unable to figure out how to proceed. I breezed past those parts, but ended up getting stuck late in the game, and didn’t care enough to figure out how to fix it. Early on, this requires a lot more attention than the others.
  • Spaceplan probably has the best “story” although there’s a mechanic in the shift to the late game that… I either missed something, or it doesn’t make sense.
  • The Idle Class is probably the longest of them. It has a nice design (that almost looks like you’re working to a casual observer over your shoulder), some amusing flavor text, and in two weeks of play I’m at about half the achievements with several upgrades I won’t be able to afford for a long time. It has a mechanic to restart but with a modifier to future income that’s basically required to unlock some of the later features, which I’m still trying to get through.
  • Swarm Sim is really long too. It could really use exponential notation instead of going with M, B, T, Qa, Qi, Sx, Sp, Oc, because I get a little lost after nonillion. It uses a similar “start over but with new bonuses” mechanic to make it run seemingly forever.

Posted in browser game by Bill on October 23, 2014

cursorsCursors is a multiplayer flash game, where you try to navigate your mouse pointer (the one with the yellow circle around it, that took me a minute to find at first) through mazes, some of which require help from other players to complete. It’s an interesting idea, and pretty fun in parts.

I got stuck a few times and had to do something else for a while until some more players reached my level to help us through. Which is weird. And I eventually reached a point where I lacked the manual dexterity to complete a level, a long really narrow space that I tried about 15 times and hit an edge every time, sort of like the pictured level, but it had an even more narrow space (if the tip of your pointer touches the red areas, you go back to the start). Most levels aren’t like that, though, just moving through a maze or clicking different colored buttons to open barriers.

Posted in browser game by Bill on July 19, 2014

squaresA Game About Squares is a pretty neat minimalist logic/puzzle game. It’s pretty easy early on but some of the later levels are challenging. The jokes between levels can get a little annoying, though.

It does a pretty good job of slowly teaching you the concepts you’ll use later on. The only problem I found was that right off the bat, it wasn’t completely clear. You click on the square to move it in the direction of its arrow, and you want each square to get to its color’s circle.

Posted in browser game by Bill on March 19, 2014

20482048 is I think addictive because it seems so easy. Combine two 2’s to make a 4, combine two 4’s to make an 8, etc. The goal is to make a 2048 tile. But I’ve not made it past 512.

Posted in browser game by Bill on March 14, 2014

minimetroMini Metro is a nicely designed game where you build a subway system for a growing city. It’s in alpha so it may be constantly changing (it changed sometime on Wednesday, you used to have a limited number of tunnels, now they just slow you down). Keep the stations from overcrowding to stay alive, get an upgrade every Monday.

The minimalist design is nice, but part of it threw me for a loop. I was building the rail system at first to be able to efficiently transfer riders from one end of the map to the other, but I later learned how it actually works. When a triangle passenger spawns, it can be delivered to any triangle space on the map. So moving people across the map isn’t that important until later in the game (when the baseball field shaped thing, the plus, the star, and the pentagon show up). Early on, if you can get a square, circle, and triangle on a line, it’ll never have to transfer passengers off.

698 is my best so far. A lot seems to depend on the luck of where the stations spawn.

Posted in browser game by Bill on September 8, 2013

pre-civPre-Civilization: Stone Age is sort of a very simplified version of Civilization. The only object is to build a palace before turn 100. You try to get food to feed/grow your population, production to build buildings, advance through a tech tree, and try to fend off occasional barbarian attacks. It’s pretty fun but very challenging.

Even on easy, I imagine it would be rough the first time out. There’s a delicate balancing act with population allocation, branches on the tech tree that aren’t all that helpful, and buildings that you definitely should not build. And on hard, there are game conditions that I’m pretty sure render the game impossible. If you get an “ice age” early on, I don’t think you can beat it on hard. That cuts food production by 20%, and means you’ll be using almost your entire population on food and defense just to keep growing. Which is kinda bullshit, playing on hard requires frequent restarts because of things you can’t control.

Posted in browser game by Bill on August 1, 2013

gearsketchGearSketch isn’t exactly a game, but it’s still quite fun. Draw gears and belts and then set them in motion. Click the ? to show you how.

Posted in browser game by Bill on January 23, 2013

av-alMarvel: Avengers Alliance is a “social” freemium Marvel game. The basic idea is that you’re a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who’s job it is to assemble and train a team of superheroes to tackle some mystery threat. You earn various kinds of chips used to recruit heroes, train them, research technologies, and buy equipment, and fight in Final Fantasy-style turn-based combat. And as with most of these kinds of games, there’s a time limitation that can be circumvented by paying money. I think most people play it via facebook, but fortunately you don’t have to. And based on the insane amount of email it sent me at first, I imagine it would be awful as far as constant facebook notifications go.

They mostly walk you through the game, but a few things weren’t obvious to me. Most importantly, that when you’re on your helicarrier, there’s a section at the bottom of the screen to “visit” your allies, at which you gain a bunch of silver and S.H.I.E.L.D. points. I dunno how often it refreshes, but this makes it really helpful to gain allies (which you basically do by watching the chat section on the left, clicking to “add friend” when one comes along, then checking your messages periodically to accept invitations). I was stuck on next to no S.H.I.E.L.D. points for a while until I discovered that.

These kinds of games are mostly just time sinks, but there is a sort of story to follow, and the superhero theme obviously appeals to me, so I’ll probably continue to kill time on it for a while.