Weird games

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Weird games

Postby Egaladeist » Sun Jul 30, 2006 6:29 am

Strange Attractors: Are you sick of games that create faux complexity by forcing you to learn hundreds of button combinations? The designers of Strange Attractors went in the radically opposite direction: They use one single button -- the space bar -- to control the action. Your goal is to maneuver a little craft through free-floating space by using the button to activate and deactivate "gravity," drawing yourself toward larger objects. It's like navigating a NASA probe by slingshotting it around celestial objects.

The lesson here? Super-simple control schemes strip twitch gameplay down to its pure essence: raw, gorgeous physics. If you like this conceit, there's a world of other free "one switch" games out there waiting for you.

Façade: You walk into an apartment to visit two old friends, and discover their marriage is rapidly falling apart. By typing in dialog, asking nosy questions, and playing totally sick mind games, you help to steer the course of the evening -- and their marriage. (The first time I played, the husband threw me out after I made a pass at his wife.)

Façade is interactive theater so open-ended -- and with such juicy voice acting -- it puts paid to the supposedly "immersive" qualities of today's blatantly tree-forked narrative games. Bonus: It's fun enough that you'll ignore the graphics, which appear to have been culled from an ancient Mac HyperCard stack.

RSVP: There are a zillion card games online, and they mostly emulate existing real-world titles -- like Hearts, Bridge or the endless limbo of Solitaire. But since anything is possible in the online world, why not design an entirely new concept from scratch? Thus was born the genius of RSVP, which -- like any good card game -- can be learned in about five seconds, but never entirely mastered. The goal is to place "guest" cards around a table so their colors form a connecting chain. In a neat bit of design, the cards look like they're from the 1920s, yet their faces shift and morph as you play, making RSVP feel like a sepia-toned, Depression-era opium dream. (Caveat: This game was designed by Pop & Company for a client -- Lifetime TV -- so it was technically paid for, though you can play it for free.)

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Postby cgkanchi » Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:22 pm

Strange attractors was one of the prize winners at IGF (Independent Games Festival). I've played it and it's definitely interesting. But somehow, it doesn't make you keep coming back to it. However, it is one hell of a concept. Kudos to the developers.

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Postby Jennifer The Dodo » Mon Dec 18, 2006 5:50 am

iplayed a game like that once. only you controlled a helicopter and had to guide it through this tunnel. i think you had to click on the mouse button to either raise or lower its altitude to guide it through safely.

as i recall it was one of many things distracting most people from working at out college lol.
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