Thursday, January 29, 2004

Game + Penguin = Fun

If you're anything like me, you often find yourself with 5-10 minutes to kill while sitting at your computer. You know: waiting for something to download, waiting for a new kernel or some other software to compile. Anyway, there are two games I highly recommend for anyone with a computer and some time to kill. Anybody who runs Linux is probably already familiar with these games (they are pretty popular by now), Windows folks have probably never heard of them (although both games are now available for Windows). Before I start, let me assure you that, besides the Linux connection, the fact that both games I'm mentioning include penguins is purely coincidental.

1. Frozen Bubble:
I'm not a big fan of Tetris-style games, but I've gotta say: this one is pretty good. Note: I said Tetris-style, not Tetris clone - this is definitely not Tetris. This came could very well be a direct clone of something else, I'd never know (not a big puzzle game fan), but in this case I don't think it would matter if it was. Frozen bubble is seriously just that fun, give it a try.

2. Tux Racer:
Now, the link above is Tux Racer's newer commercial site, which I wouldn't know much about. I'm only familiar with the older, open-source version which is still available. If the commercial version maintains the fun-level of the open-source version, it's probably worth the money. Anyway, the basic premise of Tux Racer is to get a penguin from the top of a mountain to the bottom of that very same mountain, collecting all the herring possible in the process. It may not sound as fun as it actually is, but believe me, it's worth checking out.

Update: I was just looking at the screenshots of the commercial Tux Racer, and I usually don't say things like this but, it actually looks like the game has improved so much it just might warrant a purchase.

Vendetta? We'll see....

More and more lately I've finally been getting into the world of online games, so I decided to try one of these massively multiplayer online games I've heard so much about. I've been trying out Vendetta (Linux, Mac, Windows) lately... to a certain extent. I just can't get into it. I know I'm supposed to go around shooting things, and there's something about flags that need capturing, but I can't find anyone to shoot, or any flags to capture. Sure, I see little red dots flying around my HUD radar, indicating an enemy spaceship (see, the whole thing takes place in space) but when I try to find this enemy ship it's nearly impossible. Aside from a few other minor gripes, the game just seems sort of well... boring.

Now, Guild Software does stress that what I've downloaded is more or less only an engine test for the game. Apparently they plan on eventually getting a publisher or something and then charging a monthly fee. If you ask me, they won't find a publisher with the game's interface in it's current state. However, my guess is that they will eventually start charging a monthly fee and I for one, will not pay it unless the game starts to get a whole lot better. Keep in mind, the time I've spent with Vendetta is still fairly short, and I will continue to play it until I'm sure I've seen enough of the game to have formed a decent opinion. Still, it seems like I'll be playing Cube a whole lot more than I'll be playing Vendetta...