Cursors 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.
A 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.
2048 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.
Mini 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.
Pre-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.
GearSketch 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.
Marvel: 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.
Winnie the Pooh Home Run Derby is presumably for kids, which is what makes it extra frustrating. I played the game only because I was told it was impossible, and I thought it couldn’t be that bad. It’s for kids! The first 6 pitchers gave me some fits but I got past them all without all that much trouble.
After that, Tigger’s pitches disappear about 1/3 of the way to the plate. It took me probably 20 attempts to finally beat him. That was really hard, and I can’t believe this would be aimed at kids. Then there was Christopher Robin. Christopher Robin, that little shit, is beyond me, and I have given up. He mixes speeds, locations, and pitch types, and you have to get 40 home runs in 50 pitches. I can have an 80% success rate for short stretches, but over 50 pitches my true skill level comes out, which is nowhere near that. My best performances is 25/50, but I don’t think I’ve even made contact 40 times in 50 pitches.
Play at your own risk.
Demons vs. Fairyland is yet another Kingdom Rush ripoff tower defense game, and one I found confusingly short even though it isn’t actually short. The tree of upgrades is enormous, and I think I was only halfway through it when I finished the game. Normally I get obsessive about finishing out all the upgrades, but I was so far away when I completed the last level, I didn’t want to bother.
The actual game is standard tower defense stuff, except it becomes even more restrictive about tower placement. Not only are there only certain areas on the map where you can build, but you have to build a base for each tower type, and you can only place the towers within range of that base. Which is an interesting mechanic in that sometimes you can’t cluster the tower types together like you want (with your infantry to slow down the enemies surrounded by your high damage ranged attacks to pound on them while they’re held up).
Incursion is a ripoff of Kingdom Rush but kinda fun. There are lots of upgrade options, which a good way to get me to keep playing a game whether it’s fun or not. I played it on normal difficulty, but that was too easy, I think hard might have been a better choice (though I haven’t tried it, it might be too hard). The last level was the only one I had any trouble finishing flawlessly on normal.