Posts Tagged ‘Kongregate’

Papa’s Wingeria

Posted: January 6, 2014 in 4 Hearts
Tags: , ,

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Papa’s Wingeria is a time management based strategy game out of Flipline Studios, the makers of the whole Papa Louie line of games. The basic concept of each of these games is roughly the same. You play the only employee at one of Papa’s many restaurants, managing the register, food prep and serving the customers all at once. And these customers are picky about their food. On top of that, you have to save up from your meager tips and once a week pay to get upgrades for the store, like timers or a doorbell.

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Each day, an increasing amount of customers arrives and the amount of choices they have for their food also increases, while a day always stays the same amount of time. Early in the game, you don’t really have to manage your time but you have to stay on top of the cooking food to not burn it and watch for new customers actively. As more and more customers arrive, time becomes much more important, but hopefully you will have picked up things like the fryer alarms and the doorbell so you can know what’s going on while on other screens.

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The graphics are simple, though the building phase is very well made and the food goes exactly where you put it. While this is much more evident in the other Papa Louie games, especially Papa’s Burgeria, it still holds true here. And positioning during the build phase is very important for your final score. One of the things I really appreciated while playing is that the sauces for the wings are each a very distinct color which makes it possible to sauce the wings without having to manipulate the orders too much and thus waste time.

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Scoring is based whether or not the order is correct, how well the wings were sauced, how well it was plated and how long the customer had to wait. This does mean that the wait score can be extremely difficult to achieve as you get further in the game and things get more complex. There are also special customers called Closers who arrive at the end of each day and they score more harshly than the other customers.

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Between each day, there are rounds of optional mini-games based on the other Papa Louie games. These give chances to win extra money, items for the shop or clothing for your avatar. The item rewarded by the mini-game depends on which Papa Louie game it was based on and they don’t seem to reward store upgrades, just decorations. Though decorations can improve your waiting score. You earn the tickets to play the mini-games by doing a good job in the main game.

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Overall, I very much enjoyed playing Papa’s Wingeria, though I will say that if you don’t enjoy stress, this isn’t the game for you. Time management games are an exercise in frustration. The graphics fit the feel of the game, the difficulty ramps up nicely and the mini-games are a nice touch to change the flow of the game. I also appreciate that there is a pause button during the main game. I award Papa’s Wingeria 4 out of 5 hearts.

4/5 Hearts

If you’d like to play Papa’s Wingeria, you can find it here on Kongregate.

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Pheus and Mor

Posted: September 24, 2012 in 4.5 Hearts
Tags: , , ,

Ah, the puzzle platformer, a truly wonderful genre. A puzzle platformer is any game where getting to the other side of the level involves more than just jumping on your enemies, usually involving complex puzzles, levers and such. In Pheus and Mor, the player controls a boy named Pheus and his dog, Mor. In each level the player has to get both of them to the door. The controls are simple enough, WASD for one character and the arrows for the other. The puzzles, storyline and graphics are what make this game truly awesome.

The graphics are really clean and crisp, simple and cute. In the first set of levels, everything is really bright and fun, then things started to get dark. I’m only about half way through, but I’m starting to suspect that the main character might be dead. Its a really crazy feeling. I love the difficulty of the levels, but also that I can go slowly and really think about how its all playing out. Every 4 levels or so, you get another panel in the comic that is the story of the game, letting you slowly fill the pieces in.

One of the hardest things about Pheus and Mor is navigating the puzzles while controlling two characters. Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses, for example Pheus is very light and can’t break things and Mor can’t jump. My only complaint so far is that I’ve figured out I need to collect the keys to open the big door in the middle of the room, and I can’t go back to re-try the level where I didn’t get the key but know there is one. Hopefully when I finish the others, I can go back and get it.

Over all, this is a very well made game with an excellent way of slowly revealing the plot and a wonderful mechanic. The art style really adds to the entire experience. I’m absolutely hooked and just want to keep playing. I expect to be sad when its done. I award Pheus and Mor 4.5 out of 5 hearts.

4.5 out of 5 zelda hearts

If you’re interested in playing Pheus and Mor, you can find it here on Kongregate.

Bloons Tower Defense 5

Posted: September 19, 2012 in 4.5 Hearts
Tags: ,

Hey guys! I know I totally dropped off the face of the earth for a while there. I graduated from college and have been spending my time trying desperately to get a job. There was also a period of about 2 weeks where I lacked internet and that made it really hard to get back into the routine. But I’m back and ready to go. To get back into the swing of things, I’ll be talking about a game in a series I absolutely love. I love tower defense games with a passion, particularly Ninja Kiwi’s Bloons Tower Defense series. With the 5th in the series available on Kongregate, I figured I should tell everyone about it.

As with other games in the Bloons Tower Defense series, the story line is that you’re helping the monkeys fight the bloons which are tying to invade their land. To do this, you have an arsenal of darts at your disposal, and a few other more interesting weapons too. In Version 5, there are some new towers, Special Agents and a way to upgrade one type of tower outside of a map. Some of the new towers include the ninja and the sniper monkey. They also tweaked the upgrade method to have two distinct paths of 4 upgrades. You can only get all 4 upgrades in one of the two paths and 2 in the other, but its up to you to pick. The towers also have to be used in order to make all the upgrades available.

Special Agents are a truly new aspect of this game. The basic idea is that you use Monkey Money to purchase Special Agents which are special towers or effects that can help you with a map. Monkey Money can be gained either by opening the chest on the menu screen daily or by beating maps on various difficulties. Completely challenges also rewards Monkey Money. Another use for Monkey Money is specialty buildings which allow you to have permanent upgrades for your towers.

As with every time they make a new Bloons Tower Defense, the graphics improve wonderfully. The graphics are a lot crisper and their style is very coherent. I really like the look of everything, it looks very professional. I mean, compare that to the picture below from one of the older games.

Bloons TD

Bloons TD (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I really love Tower Defense games and this series has a long tradition of being excellent. They’ve added a ton of new things and kept everything about the series that I like. Well done, Ninja Kiwi, well done indeed. I award Bloons tower Defense 5 a 4.5 out of 5 hearts.

4.5 out of 5 zelda heartsIf you’re interested in playing Bloons Tower Defense 5, you can find it here on Kongregate or here on the Ninja Kiwi website.

Do you enjoy the boss fights in old arcade games but could do without the rest of the content? Then you should consider trying Boss Slayer. The basic idea of of Boss Slayer is that there are 10 spaceships coming and you get 12 attempts to take them all out. You get to keep the money you earn while fighting them and you can upgrade your ship to try to combat the menace.

The controls are simple, the graphics bring back memories of the days of Space Invaders and Galaga, and even the sound reminds me of a bygone era of arcades and games that were simple, innocent fun. The game itself is quite hard at first, though with some practice and using the in-game store to purchase upgrades it is very much a winnable game. They included 2 different control schemes. The first is the basic keyboard based controls and the second is mouse based. They also included an easy mode where you get as long as you want to defeat the 10 alien spaceships. Through the course of the levels there are two different kind of Pick Ups, money which is used to purchase upgrades and hearts which give you extra lives.

I found Boss Slayer to be a very fun and challenging game. I really appreciate a game with an interesting premise, good execution and a good level of difficulty. I award Boss Slayer 4 out of 5 hearts. Well done.

4/5 Hearts

If you are interested in playing Boss Slayer, you can fine it here on Kongregate.

Strawhat Samurai

Posted: June 27, 2012 in 2 Hearts
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Strawhat Samurai is a flash game available on Kongregate. Its a combat adventure game with a simple storyline. The basic idea is that two warlords are at war in Feudal Japan and you’ve been called in as a Samurai to fight the opposing army to distract them until your allies get there. The level select map is the path you’re following to get north and has some interesting, though simplistic mechanics to it. Such as being unable to go out on to the road until you’ve dealt with a watch tower.

In order to fight other warriors, you use the mouse to draw the line you’re cutting with your katana. You can click on a location to walk there, or slash through it to run there. The archery system is interesting in that the player can toggle their bow at any time that they have arrows, and arrows must be gathered in a level. This seems a little odd, but it works. Why don’t arrows I don’t use in one level carry over to the next? One thing I do approve of is that you can’t shoot while moving like in a lot of games. The levels can be very difficult and periodically made no sense. At one point, I found myself fighting a catapult and the game text said to “hit it back in the balls”. Hitting the catapult stones appeared to do nothing, particularly since they usually disappeared on impact and I couldn’t actually hit the catapult.

The game certainly has a very samurai movie feel to it, with all the running around and the lone good guy with just his sword. Even the background music embraces the feel. The art only adds to it. I wish that the game play and puzzle design could have lived up to the rest of the game. Overall, I was underwhelmed. Though I do approve of the archery system. I award Strawhat Samurai 2 out of 5 hearts.

If you’re interested in playing Strawhat Samurai, you can find it here.

Bubble Tanks 3 is yet another installment in the Bubble Tanks series by HeroInteractive. The basic idea of these games is that you’re controlling a tank made of bubbles and fighting other little bubbles for control of the big bubble territories that you live in. You kill other bubbles and absorb them to become bigger and more powerful, but if you get hit too much, you lose your upgrades until you have enough bubble stuff to get them again. The controls are simple enough, and pretty much standard. WASD to move around and mouse to aim and fire. What is nice is that if you don’t like that, the controls are customizable in the settings.

This tank here is reasonably advanced.

As you progress, fighting various types of tanks of various difficulties and slaughtering what appear to be unarmed bubbles, you can choose to either use of the pre-made tank upgrades or customize your own. The customization screen was a little confusing at first, but once you figure it out, it was quite nice to have that level of control over my tank’s appearance and weaponry. The main thing that confused me is the GP score, which stands for Gun Points (I’m pretty sure). GP is actually the current gun score of your tank, with max GP, the tiny text under it, being the amount of GP you can have. What this means is that you can keep adding guns until you hit the max GP value. I had assumed they were a type of upgrade points I had to spend that would go down. Once I figured that out, it made a lot more sense. My major complaint is that loading the tanks seemed to take an unbelievably long time, and my computer is not slow. However, I have been told that if you unselect all the download options and just use custom tanks, it moves much faster.

The game starts a little slowly, giving you some room to figure out the controls and get used to shooting, and to get some upgrades before you go after the bigger tanks. The fights get pretty hard as you get larger, because its harder to dodge their weapon fire.

Bubble Tanks 3 is a fun little top down shooter. I enjoyed playing it and suggest you try it out. It has a very nice level of customization. It has some lag issues due to the amount of content, but that is a normal enough trade off. I award Bubble Tanks 3 a 3.5 out of 5 hearts and suggest that you try it out.

If you would like to try out Bubble Tanks 3, you can find it here.

Have you ever wanted to learn how to make video games? Playing games leads to modding which leads to making your own, its a wonderful process that more people should experience. That’s why today I’m bringing you Stencyl. Stencyl is a development suite for creating Flash, iOS and Android games, and if you have the pro version you can also create Desktop Mac and PC games. The engine is designed for 2D games, but that’s what most people want in a Flash game, right? One of my favorite parts is that they include a feature called StencylForge which is an online hosting of various game assets such as characters, backgrounds, environment building tools and even pre-coded behaviors so that you can learn at your own pace. This is great for kids or people who want to get into game design but don’t have the strong programming background. It also includes example games so you can get an idea how a lot of classic mechanics are done.

One of the great features of Stencyl is the forums. There are tons of people on there willing to help out newbies. Another great thing is that it includes the Kongregate, Mochi and Newgrounds API so you can connect to their score boards and give achievements. Speaking of Kongregate, There are tons of tutorials and forum posts about Stencyl and how to use it. For some of those tutorials, you can go here:

Here’s a code block that handles two different types of collisions: the player with an enemy or the player with a coin pick-up. But you can also choose to write real code if you want to. The interface for building scenes is just as simple. They made everything very drag and drop and friendly.

If you’re interested in learning the concepts behind game design and even starting to make your own games that you can upload to a real gaming site and get feedback from people, you should consider trying out Stencyl. Stencyl is available for Linux, Mac and PC and can be downloaded here. I am thoroughly enjoying using it and can’t suggest it enough. I award Stencyl a 5 out of 5 hearts for wonderful software, community and game design teaching.