Thursday, February 08, 2007

Sometimes, I Have No Idea What To Call These Things

It's a pain in the ass when Thursday comes and I have no idea what to do about an update. Today was once of those days, so today's post is going to be a mix of a few things. At least they're all game related.

First I took a look at Wormux which is, you guessed it, a clone of Worms. I'd been meaning to take a look at it for some time, but the lack of artificial intelligence and online play meant that it was a little less than easy for me to evaluate the game. No online play yet (that's coming in the 0.8 release), but Wormux finally has artificial intelligence. Well, it's certainly artificial, but whether or not it's intelligence is highly debatable. Perhaps the fact that the key to initiating a battle against the A.I. is to name the second player "AI-stupid" should have been a clue.

I'll say this: the game has a nice solid look and feel. The 2D graphics are drawn nicely and have a comfortable cartoon quality. The destructible environments don't generate into pixellated hell, even after a long battle. Once Wormux is playable over the net, it will be a lot of fun. For now, the artificial intelligence is just a bit too keen on getting stuck and walking in place for the duration of its minute long turn for the game to keep any sort of pace. If this only happened occasionally it would be easier to deal with, but it happened to me nearly every turn. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for the network enabled release, though.

The second game I checked out was Brutal Chess which is, according to its bio on Happy Penguin, inspired by Battle Chess. For those of you who don't remember, Battle Chess was basically a good old fashioned game of chess with one gimmick: animations of your pieces actually fighting each other when you made a move.

While Brutal Chess is a nice looking front end with the option of picking different chess engines, there is absolutely nothing brutal about it so far. Well, unless you consider plastic chess pieces knocking over other chess pieces brutal. I don't. I am fairly sure that they plan on adding animations over time, as there is built in support for loading md3 (Quake 3) models. They also mention a particle engine, which I never saw used. It may be me, though, I haven't spent too much time with the game.

Lastly, I very briefly checked out Pox Nora. By very briefly, I mean I signed up for an account and took a short look at the tutorial. I'm not one for blindly jumping head first in to multiplayer games, so it may take a while (possibly forever) until I have anything to say about this one. If I actually manage to play it, I'll post my thoughts on it next week.

No comments: