August 12, 2011

Free Games What Need Playing: Orange Narbacular Fighting Edition

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Written by: Oliver Sachgau
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Bullettime Fighting


They say the best things in life are free. I guess that makes the following the best of the best. That’s right, its time again to showcase the best of those games that will make you and your wallet happy. These games have been proven to increase short-term happiness by a made-up number, and best of all, they’re absolutely free.

Our first game is what I imagine angry birds looks like from the view of the pigs. Our second game is the mother/father of a very well-known puzzle game. Third and last is a good old-fashioned beat-everything-in-sight browser game, with some sharp-dressed characters.


Cover Orange

(iTunes Link)


Cover Orange is an iOS game that looks like  an advertisement from the Florida Department of Citrus. The premise is that you have to protect these sweet innocent oranges from the raincloud spewing acid rain all over them. The game relies on physics-based gameplay where you drop objects of various shape and size in order to leave the oranges completely covered. Once every object has been placed, the raincloud appears, and rains all over the level. If a single raindrop touches your orange, it dies in the most horrifying way possible. So horrifying in fact, that we can’t even show it here. You’ll have to play it for yourself. If, however, the oranges are untouched by the time the raincloud passes, you get rewarded with some happy oranges and permission to move on to the next level.


The game is fairly easy, but also very addicting. Only a few puzzles are really difficult, but they are spaced in between a lot of fun and quick levels. By the time you get to a challenging level, you’ll feel like you can take on anything, which will make you keep trying. The music is simple, but due to a lot of repetition gets annoying fairly quickly. Even worse are the oranges, who sound like orange versions of Alvin and the Chipmunks. The animations however are top-notch, and the gameplay is very robust. All in all, the game is great for some distraction on long bus rides and for lovers of oranges and physics-gameplay alike.


Narbacular Drop

(Download Link)

Narbacular Drop is a project by a small developement team called Nuclear Monkey Software. The game was released in 2005, and featured a brand-new game mechanic. In the game, you control Princess “No-knees” – named so because she can’t jump – who has to escape out of a dungeon where she was put by a demon. She discovers that the dungeon is actually sentient, and named “Wally.” Wally helps the princess escape by allowing her to place portals anywhere on (or actually in) him, through which she can travel. What goes in one portal, comes out of the other. Sound familiar? Well, the game was discovered by a game company named Valve, who decided to hire the whole team to make a game called Portal, which was a bit more than successful.
The game controls much like Portal. You move the princess with the arrow keys, and place portals with both mouse buttons. Most of the game is puzzle-based, with boulders being redirected into switches, and preferably over enemies on the way. You can ride turtles over dangerous rivers of lava, and have hours of fun launching enemies through portals into said rivers of lava. What’s remarkable is how robust the physics are: Launch into one portal at high speed and you come out at the same speed, which plays a big role in the puzzles.  While the graphics aren’t the best, the game is great for old-school fun, especially for those people who played through Portal and Portal 2, and want more, with a twist. The only caveat is that the game has no save mechanic of any kind, which means that it has to be beaten in one sitting. Still, it’s possible to do, as the game takes only 3 or so hours to complete on a first run. If you have a PC, download this game, because as a free game from the guys who brought you Portal you really can’t go wrong.

Bullet Time Fighting

(Download Link)


Bullet Time Fighting is better-known among those who know in-browser flash games. The game borrows heavily from the movie The Matrix, and by borrow I mean takes everything that was great about the movie (the fighting and leather coats) and removes the boring parts (talking and romances between characters that should never get together). You are in charge of a little figure who has to beat up any number (up to 5) Agents or white figures, using Kung Fu moves and the occasional bullet.


It basically controls using the arrow keys, which are pressed in combination to execute different moves. For example, pressing up will make the character jump. Pressing up , then down, will make him jump, then kick downwards, but pressing both up and down at the same time will make him do a “bullet-time” style move where he arches back to avoid bullets. You can also take out your gun and shoot, but then you aren’t allowed to perform normal attacks or moves, apart from jumping and running. While the control scheme can get a little overwhelming, it is fairly intuitive, and the game allows you to customize them at the beginning.


Where it really gets fun though is when slow-motion is activated. Like The Matrix, the game gets most of its appeal from the fact that with the press of a button you can activate either regular or super slow-motion, making every move slow and the fighting look beautifully choreographed instead of the hectic mess it is in real time. A nice detail is that bullets get their trademark air-ripples behind them in slow-motion. The game is a must or anybody who needs to kill hours of time letting their anger out on small figures, and feeling like a kung-fu master the whole way.


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