Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A techno twofer today; Kongregate's challenge for that week was these two games, which is why I played them. Overall it was a pretty easy challenge; most of the challenges are pretty easy, but this one probably took 15 minutes at most. So, as you can probably guess, these are short games.


(Sorry for the caps, but that's what the game calls itself. I'm not going to keep doing that, though, so don't worry.)

Elephant Rave is one of those games that makes you go "Oooooooookay". It's thoroughly random -- you control an elephant, which is trying to dodge various colored bars attacking you from the top of the screen (and later, hurdles which move across the bottom of the screen) while techno music plays. The entire game is maybe 20 seconds from the start of the action to the finish, although you're probably not going to beat it on your first try. The action is preceded by an extremely lengthy (but fortunately skippable) random rambling asking for more understanding of elephants (no, really). And...well, that's pretty much it. It's very random, very short, and fun for about 30 seconds. Fortunately, it doesn't ask much more of you than that. At least the music isn't bad.

- Music in Motion -

Music in Motion is another experimental music-based game, although it has less of the "something whipped up on a lark" feel of Elephant Rave and more of a feel of something self-consciously trying to be experimental, with all that implies.

Music in Motion consists of four minigames, each consisting of various events happening in time with the music (at least I guess that's what the intent is supposed to be, though really in practice you don't notice it except maybe at the beginning and end of levels). In "Run and Jump", you have to run and jump over blocks which appear from the ground. In "Falling Blocks", you have to dodge blocks falling from the top of the screen. In "Disco Disaster", you're on a large disco ball and have to dodge spikes of light which appear from its surface. Finally, the final boss shoots various projectiles at you, and you have to stomp him at the appropriate time to defeat him.

I can't really say whether this is a successful experiment or not -- if the point is to notice the synchrony of game and music, then it's not really, as, like I said, it doesn't really seem to be that noticeable. But as a game, it's not much fun -- the games just aren't that interesting, and they're aggravatingly hard (not helped by the fact that the controls seem to stick occasionally), so beating this will probably take a few tries. It's not even particularly clear what you have to do for the final boss, which, given the frustration it takes to get there, is completely unforgiveable. Fortunately, getting the badge still doesn't take that much time, but this is a game I'm more than glad to see the end of.

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