Friday, September 2, 2011

Dot.S, Trains, Puzzle games, Pac-Man, and Break Out oh my!

Yep, get ready folks, because we're going to dig in into obscure gaming and nostalgia overload. Before I begin, though, I want to share some good news with you guys.
I am happy to announce that I have secured a working copy of the Dot.s Design Builder, and have uploaded it to Mediafire. So now people can enjoy this great application that emulates Tomytec's great toy product from Japan. Sure it's in Japanese, but if you're into MS Paint or other common painting applications, you may be able to figure it out without understanding the language.

And now we begin with the real thing.
Since about a year ago, Matt Rix's Trainyard has made a big impact on the mobile gaiming industry, by introducing puzzles that can be solved in hundreds- or even thousands of unique solutions. Since the launch of the level editor September 1st, I have made a number of levels for Trainyard, each with varying difficulty.
If you own Trainyard (not Express), here are the levels.
And BTW, respect the brown trains!
Heheh, sorry. Got a little bit carried away there. ^_^; Anyway moving on.
Next up on our lineup is Xye, a open-source enhanced remake of Kye, the later being a puzzle game made by Colin Garbutt way back in 1992. It was released in two versions, a shareware version that had 15 levels in all (and they get hard very fast), and the ability to add and distribute single levels via the internet. The guy behind the remake is Victor Soliz, and he did a great job on reviving a little under-rated gem by adding many, many new concepts and unique puzzles. It is also compatible with levels created for the original Kye.
You can get Xye as well as multiple versions and editions of Kye here at this site. As for additional puzzles, they two can also be found at Xye's homepage, buy you you can look around the Net. I recommended this site to get old Kye levels and the official Xye forums for both old and new. For more information as well as a few more level packs, Robert Phipps' Kye fansite is the place.
Allow me to introduce two games of the "Noid" family of breakout games. Both by completely different companies and on Microsoft's now-defunct MS-DOS (which means for newer computers, you need DOSBox to run them), Aquanoid (1991-1992) and Electranoid (1994-1995) were clones of Taito's Arkanoid games, that tried to cash in on the popularity. Sadly though, both games sort of failed, as they both had difficult paddle physics, in that the ball wouldn't ricochet correctly as it should in any modern Breakout clone, but they both tried to introduce new elements to the genre of Arkanoid clones. Aquanoid had a massive overabundance of powerups and powerdowns to boot, as well as solid unbreakable blocks that would fire lasers at destroyable blocks. Electranoid (besides sounding like a god-darn Sega Genesis game), had enemies, which Arkanoid also had, but Electranoid take is up another step. These enemies lob balls at you, meant to hinder your progress by turning blocks into metallic ones that require multiple hits to destroy, turning your paddle invisible, or killing you. Yea, pretty crazy, especially with the Green Menacers and their Metallic Green blocks that need the Red Ball from a Red Menacer to destroy, which does become troublesome at times besides not being able to control the ball well. Overall, both games are okay, but I don't recommend them a whole lot (especially Electranoid) unless you are addicted to Breakout and Arkanoid and their many, many clones.
I am supplying a download for Aquanoid because this "limited shareware" version seems to be more up to date compared to the one you can find on the internet. It even has a separate Setup application that you can boot up to change the color of the ingame font. Pretty cool. Get it here. If anyone knows about or has the full 150 level version of Aquanoid for download, please, of all things, let me know.
Electranoid, on the other hand, can easily be found by google-searching the net. Grab it here.
I'm also throwing in a .ZIP of Yabog, another breakout clone with some crazy block types, plus an editor. There's also Bat 'n Ball, but it's remotely nothing special. No power-ups, just a paddle, a ball, and no special block types besides destructible and indestructible blocks.
Dodger is a pretty strange puzzle game (yea that genre is really fancy today) that deserves the title Pac-Man vs. the Space Muntants. You're Pac-Man, you run around, eat food, dodge alien lazers, and avoid swallowing poison.
I only (and sadly) have the shareware version, which lacks the level editor of the full version. Anyways, here you go.
This next one, called Mini Pac-Man is pretty funny though. Once again, you are Pac-man (who looks rather odd), but for whatever reason, he has a bad flatulence and belching problem. Mazes are constructed by blocks and contain dead-ends, turning around sharp corners is hard, no recovery time from getting hit, but still good fun.
So yup, this is why I've haven't been drawing much recently. I've also been getting ready for my final year at school, so I've been doing a lot lately. Yea, I got one hell of an agenda. @__@


Guilherme said...

Hi, Justin.

Have you already found the full version of Aquanoid? I've been searching for it intensely, but not finding it.

I'd even pay those $20.

Justin De Lucia said...


A bit late of a reply, but I advise you to check out one of my more recent blogposts to get the inside scoop on Aquanoid: