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The irRegular Game of Life is a weird but fun little game (by irRegular Games) based on mathematician John Horton Conway’s ‘Game of Life’ theory. In this iteration, you are given puzzles to solve and must set the little cells into motion to meet the goals of each level. It’s surprisingly hypnotic at times — after getting past the initial introductory levels, you watch the cells shuffle back and forth, creating a variety of patterns and interacting with each other. There’s also a sandbox mode and some other features; the regular puzzle mode was plenty fun for me.
This is a fun little remake (more or less) of the puzzle mode of Tetris Attack; you have a limited number of moves to swap blocks and clear the whole board. While the early levels are pretty easy, some of the later stages get pretty complicated — all in all, not a bad little browser-based timewaster to kill some time on a Sunday.
We’re having a slow weekend here at Kotaku: Owen is off, and I’m holed up in bed trying to stave off the flu; Aether made a nice respite from my headache and general feelings of ‘blah.’ It’s a weird little game — a little abstract and fuzzy around the edges, you control a little guy and his pet who can fly through the air with the greatest of ease, using said pet’s tongue as a grappling hook/trapeze …. I actually quite enjoyed zipping through space from planet to planet, trying to solve puzzles and bring the colour back to unhappy people (the core of an unhappy planet seen above). It’s not the most intuitive game ever — it did take me some time to figure out how to successfully get off the ground and into the atmosphere – and I broke out the mouse because the trackpad wasn’t cutting it. Still, it’s pretty and soothing (and short) — good for a bit of time on a Saturday afternoon.
Are the ridiculous, wild goose chase puzzles of classic adventure games obsolete? Michael Abbott at the Brainy Gamer grudgingly says they may be — “A revealing slap in the face awaits the – shall we say “veteran” – gamer who hands an old adventure game to a young gamer with a hearty recommendation and an assurance of blissful gaming in store”. The response is likely to be ‘Is this supposed to be fun?’ Now, I know plenty of people who still remember fondly games like Monkey Island and other classic adventure games, including their oftentimes bizarre and lengthy puzzles, but:
While today’s Nintendo Virtual Console releases may have failed to stir joy in Wii owners, things are looking much brighter on the Xbox 360 side of things, as Mr. Driller Online is queued up for a Wednesday Xbox Live Arcade release. Featuring classic single player modes as well as online multiplayer for up to four players, the game looks to be a brilliant addition to the XBLA puzzle game stable. It’s almost sickeningly colorful, but that’s just the way I like it. Mr. Driller Online will be available Wednesday morning for 800 Microsoft points.
Jason Kapalka, co—founder and Chief Creative Officer of PopCap Games, sat down with Alec Meer to chat about a whole host of issues — unicorns, match three games, and the casual market. It’s an interesting interview that touches on a number of issues surrounding the casual market: who’s playing these games? Is there a market outside the aggressively casual? And is PopCap returning ‘credibility’ to puzzle games?
As far as we’re concerned, puzzle games never lost any credibility. I think the resurgence you’re seeing now with things like the Wii and casual games in general is really just the natural state of things… as with computers and the internet, their early phases were dominated by geeky hardcore early-adopter types, but later they became much more mass market and universal in their use and acceptance. Why shouldn’t video games be the same way? It makes no sense for them to remain a ghetto exclusively for twenty-something males who like shooting imaginary aliens.
Zing! It’s a great little interview and well worth a read through if you’ve got the time.
PopCap on Casual, Peggle & Valve [Rock, Paper, Shotgun]
While browsing my feeds during the inevitable mid-holiday news slump, I was pointed to some fascinating little Japanese point-and-click (or ‘point-and-kick ass,’ as Leigh Alexander described them over at Sexy Videogameland) puzzlers, lumped under the heading of ‘room escape games.’ Guest House is the latest in the series, and I spent quite a while clicking my way through all the frustrating (but not too sadistic) puzzles. It’s a good way to spend a few hours on a lazy weekend. Terminal House [via Sexy Videogameland]