Weekend Download №15
Gene is shorter than Bruce but taller than Imhotep. Imhotep is taller than Gene but shorter than Lord Scotland. Lord Scotland is twice the height of Gene and Brutus combined, but only 1/10 the height of Millsy. Millsy is at a constant height of X-Y. If Gene stands exactly one nautical mile away from Lord Scotland, how tall is Imhotep?
Find out with these games below! Or not!
Nuclear Ball 2 (Windows, 12MB, demo) - Games are always more fun when flavored with a little destruction. Nuclear Ball 2 is one part Breakout, one tiny part pinball game punctuated with explosions, breaking glass, crumbling boxes and exploding... everything! It's surprising how entertainment value carnage can add to a game, and Nuclear Ball 2 features destruction of the good kind. The usual battery of paddle-altering power-ups fall from broken crates, but cool items such as power and exploding orbs make it far more interesting. A good variety of weapons and unique stage design puts it in the same category as games like Professor Fizzwizzle. You know, just with bombs.
Exolon DX (Windows/Mac, 13MB, freeware) - A remake of the classic run and gun game from the late 80s, Exolon DX falls squarely in the "remake done right" category. The controls are tighter, the visuals are better, but the core gameplay remains virtually unchanged. Take control of a futuristic soldier as you fire a gun and rocket-propelled grenades to defend yourself against aliens and robots of all kinds. Perhaps the game's homepage sums up the experience best: "Shoot stuff, jump over other stuff, avoid further stuff."
Synaesthete (Windows, 90MB, free) - Nothing short of a brain-altering experience. Synaesthete is an isometric action shooter welded onto a musical game akin to Frets on Fire. You play a stylized hero named Zaikman who travels from zone to zone vanquishing foes. Move with the [WASD] keys while hovering your right hand over the [JKL] buttons. A music meter appears when enemies arrive and you must tap the right-hand key set in time with the tune. You don't have to hit every beat and can concentrate on just one column, but the more accurate you are the more powerful your attacks. It's a work-in-progress being developed by four students at DigiPen University, but already it's got my vote of "fun".
Puzzle Quest (Windows, 35MB, demo) - Finally, PC gamers can enjoy the hyper-addictive Puzzle Quest without walking across the room to pick up a DS! Just released for Windows, Puzzle Quest blends a Bejeweled-esque match-3 game with an RPG. As you swap tiles and make matches you'll damage your enemy, collect mana to cast spells, and gain gold and experience points to level up your character. It's the pinnacle of addictiveness and is blazing its way across nearly every gaming system currently on the market. You can buy Puzzle Quest in some retail stores or purchase online at Big Fish Games.
Shellblast (Windows, 23MB, demo and freeware) - Vertigo Games brought us the free Acidbomb ages ago. The team released a souped-up retail sequel called Shellblast earlier this year that is now available for the extra low price of $4.95! The object is to diffuse each puzzle (which is a bomb) by detecting which tiles are pistons and which are safe. The game plays a lot like picross where you must use clues to narrow down possibilities. It's a tense cerebral experience that really heats up when the bomb timer starts ticking down to zero.