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  Preview: “A Tractor”  
 
 
Posted 2003-03-14 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
A Tractor (PC)

Publisher: The Island Network
Developer: The Island Network
Price: $Free
Availability: Download



"A Tractor" is, if you believe the Web site, "the future of tractor-related internet gaming."

Free to play, and very, very strange, A Tractor puts players on islands that other players control and/or create. The rest is really hard to figure out. It seems that one's purpose in the game varies with which island you're on, as the owner of the island has configured such settings as "...how you gain points to the speeds of the vehicles to what happens when you die. Some islands are about earning money and building businesses, some are about fighting, some are combinations of these and other features." Judging by what I managed to glean from their arcane Web site, a big part of A Tractor is vehicular combat... but there is also "Crowfighting." Nothing about the game makes sense to a newcomer, but for a 3.4MB download, I'm willing to try it out.

More detail can be found in the extensive New Player Guides, and since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are some screenshots from an upcoming upgrade to A Tractor:

Shot 1
Shot 2
Shot 3
Shot 4
Shot 5

Links not guaranteed for freshness.
 
     
 
   
 
  2 comments  
  Preview: “My Street”  
 
 
Posted 2003-03-12 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
My Street (PS2)

Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Idol Minds
Price: $Unknown
Availability: March 12, 2003

My Street boasts exciting party game action for both local and Internet-based players, putting gamers in the very tiny shoes of neighbourhood kids. Limited to four players in total, participants test their skill in such classic mini-games as Dodgeball and Marbles, while learning new ones... Chicken Herding? Must be a rough street.

I'm not sure what the appeal is here, considering it's not all that hard to play an actual game of marbles around the house, or, perish the thought, go outside and pick up a ball. I guess it's just easier to sit on the couch and watch your ass grow.

 
     
 
   
 
  5 comments  
  Review: “Kung-Fu Chaos”  
 
 
Posted 2003-02-24 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Kung-Fu Chaos (Xbox)

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: Just Add Monsters (JAM) Ltd.
Price: $49.99US ERP
Availability: Spring 2003

Bust out the wine, `cause it goes so well with cheese. UK developer Just Add Monsters slathers it on thick with 4-player fighting game Kung-Fu Chaos. A great party game (another reason you'll need wine,) Kung-Fu Chaos features goofy characters, simple controls, a dynamic environment, and the ability to replay the action in gloriously gritty Super-8 style.
Kung-Fu Chaos is all about rock `em sock `em action movie-making: Your character is an actor, working for a barely-sane director in a dozen or so familiar and bizarre locales. A true star will survive to the end of the picture. Fail, and you'll be mercilessly insulted by the movie's director.



Continue reading: Review: “Kung-Fu Chaos”
 
     
 
   
 
  1 comments  
  The First-Person Shooter Goes Retro  
 
 
Posted 2002-03-22 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
There was once a time when we didn't have videogames. You remember that, right? Well, maybe you don't, but that's okay -- I can help. Rewind a few decades, and the twitchiest games around were probably Hungry Hungry Hippos and Mousetrap. Board games were pretty much it for a quick, sit-on-your-ass game fix.

In the eighties, the whole board game industry got shaken up due to the sudden popularity of arcades and the primordial videogame consoles. If makers of tabletop games were lucky, a kid might stop playing her Atari or Colecovision long enough to sit down for some Pop-O-Matic Trouble. But, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em: So traditional game manufacturers like Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley cashed in on the arcade frenzy, coming out with board game versions of Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Zaxxon. It wasn't long though before videogames started getting more and more complicated, busting out in a 3D stylee, ending the love affair between traditional games and videogames.

Continue reading: The First-Person Shooter Goes Retro
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
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Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


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