Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pandemania!

Ever been to Kongregate? It's a site of free Flash-based games, guaranteed to sap hours of viable time from your life. Games a sorted by genre and popularity, and you get a chat window through which you can view the endless stream of drivel that comes from internet-users.

I digress.

Kongregate is fun, but the games are, by and large, bricked to a greater or lesser extent. Sometimes it's not all that serious. Take the puzzle game Filler for example. In it, you are tasked with blowing bubbles that will fill a box--once you fill it up 2/3 of the way, you advance a level. You are obstructed by bouncy balls, and as the levels increase, the number of bouncy balls does as well. It gets quite tricky at the higher levels--tricky, that is, unless you're playing on a computer that can't handle all the flash info and starts giving you frame rate issues. This, effectively, slows the game down and makes it quite a bit easier.

This is pretty minimal, and the ranking nature of the site sends most of the defects to the bottom of the heap, where you will never, ever, ever see them. So for most of the games on there, you just get weird balance/difficulty issues. I've been playing one today called Pandemic II in which you create and control a disease. It spreads across the globe via natural borders, airways and waterways, and you win by wiping out humanity.

A touch macabre, I know, but that's not my issue with it. Winning the game seems to hinge on getting your virus into Madagascar before they close off the shipyards, which is the only way in, it seems. Madagascar seems to be a paranoid country, keen on closing off it's only border at the drop of, well, a hat. I had a virus spreading through water supplies that was completely asymptomatic (which, oddly, Blogger believes to be a real word). There was no reason anyone at all should have had any idea that they had this bug (I was saving the pulmonary edema until after I'd gotten a good foothold on Europe), but there they go, closing off the shipyards.

Also, periodically you'll get briefs about natural disasters in the world--earthquakes, which are extremely prevalent, and the like. These affect the game by doing fuck-all. Seriously. I don't know why they're even there.

But it's fun, and it's a great way to kill a few minutes. So, methinks I'm going to have another go at it.

Now.

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PS - off to see The Dark Knight at the IMAX tonight. Woot!

2 comments:

Bill Haworth said...

Another awesome site that I use to find games is over at Militant Platypus - http://www.mps-games.com/games/

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