7 Simple Yet Awesome Computer Games
There are the monolith video games that take a massive development and design crew several years to make. You know, those video games that will not run on your computer(tm). Titles like Call of Duty and Crysis. Then there are the indie games with an average development crew size of 1 person, the ones that do not feature state-of-the-art graphics or super-realistic physics engines but still, somehow, manage to keep you entertained for hours on end. These are great games, and they are an exceedingly rare occurrence nowadays.
Let me introduce you to a few.
Imagine Soldat combined with a link gun á la Scorpion (Mortal Kombat) and the same body layout as the Weebl characters. That’s Teeworlds. In other words: Pure awesomeness. This baby will keep you entertained for many a tee-fragging/dragging/bashing hour. Teeworlds is a perfect mix of Quake, Worms, Soldat and pie-loving. Remarkably violent whilst cute.
In comparison to Soldat, the weapons arsenal is more akin that of Quake 3, the jetpack is replaced by a Spiderman-style link gun and your primary weapon is a giant wooden hammer.
Whoever said games need to have lots of gore to be interesting? Give us tees with rocket launchers, link guns and ninjas (yes, there are ninjas) in a cartoon environment and we’re set!
N-Game is a unique 2D puzzle/action platform game somewhat similar to Lode Runner. The main character, you, is a ninja (yes, the N is for ninja!) trapped in a world of well-meaning, inadvertently homicidal robots.
What makes this game awesome, apart of course from there being ninjas, is its slamming ragdoll physics system. Limbs flying around and about is never a bad thing.
A very frustrating, yet very fun and addictive game.
Elasto Mania (Elma)
Boing boing. Get ready to bounce up and about collecting ’em apples. Elasto Mania, or Elma, is about apples, flowers and bikes with super-elastic wheels. Drive over a hill, plummet to the ground and recoil into the air, all while not sustaining trauma to the skull.
This was probably one of the first game to include ‘physics’ (the wheels stretch and bend). That, combined with the ability to change your facing by pressing Space makes this a game that is adept at consuming a lot of your time.
Phun is a 2D physics sandbox. Create whatever you’d like, wherever you’d like and see what would happen in the real world. I think I’d be a genius today if I’d had this to play with as a child — there’s virtually no limit to what you can make here.
The playful synergy of science and art is novel, and makes Phun as educational as it is entertaining.
It may look like a toy, but Phun is based on highly competitive technologies for interactive multiphysics simulation, ranging from novel physical models and variational integrators to high performance numerical methods.
Of course, the obligatory Soldat. This is a fun little 2D shooter based on games like Quake, Counter-Strike, Liero and Worms. Choose from an arsenal of weapons á la Counter-Strike and blow stuff to oblivion and beyond. And while you’re blowing stuff up, gaze in awe as the games ragdoll physics system makes the aftermath a nice show of debris tumbling down hills and bouncing off crates.
If you need to get around, your character is very fittingly equipped with a jetpack. Oh, and one of the selectable weapons is a minigun.
For each bell you hit, the score for each bell goes up a little. For each pigeon you hit, your current score doubles. Yes, doubles. You’ll find that if you hit a few birds, your high score quickly becomes too high to count!
The game isn’t the least bit complicated, but you’ll find it isn’t too easy keeping your focus. Very, very addictive.
The World’s Hardest Game
Let’s just say the title isn’t exactly an exaggeration. This game will piss you off. Immensely. But it’s fun (generally), and that’s what matters! It’s a 2D puzzle game where the objective is to collect coins and get to the finish area without getting hit by all kinds of crap. It’s really very hard.
There is also a The Worlds Hardest Game 2, which is basically just additional levels. It can be found here.
Bonus: World of Goo
World of Goo is a physics based puzzle / construction game. The millions of Goo Balls who live in the beautiful World of Goo don’t know that they are in a game, or that they are extremely delicious.
Praise goes to the authors of these games. They certainly deserve it; they have managed to make games so original, so enticing that top-notch physics engines and two-digit DirectX version numbers merely serve as unnecessary distractions.
Honorable mentions go to all of the text-based MUDs that still keep thousands of players entertained to this day — without any graphics.
And yes, I know I like ninjas.