Friday, January 16, 2009


N3wton is, as you might not be able to guess from the name, a game inspired by Newton's Third Law. However, the classic E&M Pong aside, making a game based on a neat physics property won't always necessarily result in a particularly interesting game. While N3wton is by no means a terrible game, there's nothing about it that makes it really engaging, either.

So, the basic idea behind N3wton is that you control a mobile cannon, and there are various enemy cannons strewn around the stage. (Most of them are stationary, though there are a few moving targets in the last couple of levels.) You fire bullets at the enemies, and they fire back. When you're hit by a bullet, you get knocked backward, and the objective is to knock your enemies off the stage without getting knocked off yourself. You also suffer recoil when you fire a bullet, but your enemies, somewhat unfairly, don't. I constantly found myself forgetting this last fact and firing when too close to the edge, with predictably disastrous results. Gradually, various other elements are introduced -- stabilizing wells which keep you in a certain location, teleporters for yourself and your shots, and switches which have various effects.

Overall, the game falls into kind of an awkward gap. It's got some puzzle elements and some action elements, but neither is quite sufficient to carry the game on its own. There are some tricky shots that you have to figure out occasionally, but they're not terribly difficult; conversely, sometimes you'll find yourself in close combat with an enemy, but it's usually pretty easy to keep your balance. As a result, the game isn't quite satisfying on either level. There is one level which is much more puzzle-ish, but it feels kind of out of place with the rest of the game, and as a result is kind of confusing and awkward (though, if it were by itself, I would think it was pretty clever).

The graphics are pretty basic, as are the sounds. My opinion of the music swings from "interesting" to "really annoying", but, like so many other games, it does get repetitive pretty fast. There's a total of 25 levels, and each one is pretty quick, so it shouldn't take you very long to make it through the game. The game also has a couple of glitches; I found myself being shot through a wall more than once. All in all, N3wton is kind of a cute idea, but there's just not enough of a game surrounding it to make for a really interesting result. It's not an unpleasant game-playing experience, just one which is missing that extra element.


ToastyKen said...

Man, that was cheap! You made me play that game just by talking about my awesomeness. :P Clearly I should rewrite E&M Pong as a flash game. :)


ToastyKen said...

Oh, and as for N3wton, I played through it, and it was alright. An interesting mix of action and puzzling.