The Vault №95
Just one more turn. Just one more level. Just one more card battle. Just thirty more random encounters. We've all been there. We've all found that game that scratches our particular itch so we can't put it down, even when we have other things we really should be doing. Here are a few games we've found hard to walk away from over the years... I mean, except for me. I don't do game addiction. *elitist, condescending nerd snort* And now if you'll excuse me, I have to go wade through the tall grass another thirty or a hundred times until I get a shiny Meowth.
- Robot Unicorn Attack - We probably don't need to tell you that Adult Swim can be a little weird, but check out this glorious jump-and-run arcade game and you'll see they're more than a little wonderful. Combining a ridiculous premise with fast, snappy gameplay and the musical stylings of Erasure, it's as silly as it is sensational. You control a unicorn, that is a robot, racing across a fantasy landscape, and tap keys to jump and dash through obstacles for as long as you can. If you keep it up long enough, you get magical robot dolphins for accompaniment. It's since spawned several successful themed spin-offs, but you know what they say; you never forget your first.
- Phit - Phit! I do so love it when a game is as fun to say as it is to play, and Jeff Wofford's massive tangram/sliding block puzzle is definitely fun. All you have to do is find a way to slip and fit all the Tetris-style blocks at the top of the screen into the yellow space at the bottom... preferably in as few moves as possible. It sounds easy, and its fast moving, vibrant presentation is exactly the sort of devilish formula that draws in cocky can-do'ers and keeps them up late into the night. Phit is a perfect example of a simple concept taken and polished to a beautiful shine. And given a catchy name. Phit. Phit. Phitphitphitphit...
- BowMaster Prelude - LostVectors knows that deep inside each and every one of us is a glorious Legolas yearning to break free, and few games plugged into that urge as neatly as this action-packed defense game. You are an archer, tasked with defending a castle, and as you shoot down incoming enemies you gain gold and experience you can use to purchase upgrades to make your life a little easier. By packing in a variety of troops, enemies, and even arrow types to use, BowMaster gives you great incentive to keep playing, and while mastering the aiming will definitely take a little practice, by the time you've done so you'll be hard pressed to put the game down. So go ahead. Indulge your inner Orlando Bloom. The kingdom needs you.
- Kavalmaja - No discussion on addictive gaming is complete without mentioning the best secret Pokemon of them all; Tonypa. Kavalmaja is a tile-based exploration adventure that offers up puzzling maze gameplay but not a whole lot of hand-holding. You're simply dropped into an odd minimalist little world, and it's up to you to explore and figure out the rules. Figuring out why you died or how to get around an obstacle without much feedback may sound frustrating for some, but for others it represents another puzzle to crack, and it's definitely worth spending some time trying to suss out the mechanics on your own. If you die, you have to start all over, but for some players the curious mystery of this unassuming little game is going to be worth coming back to again and again to try to conquer.
- Craziest - Finally, a bonus... an animation about a lady who really knows something about game addiction. Specifically, Scrabble. Liz Dubelman delivers a bizarre narrative about a young woman obsessed with letters and numbers, and the lengths she goes to uncover their true meaning. By turns funny and freaky, it's a superbly well-told little tale with a hypnotic delivery and beat-poet style of narration to it that makes it worth watching. Just a little something to keep in mind the next time you get a little too excited about that triple-word-score.
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!