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Comeback Crossword

Sep. 1st, 2010 | 11:29 am

Hey, it's a new post! No, I'm not resurrecting this journal, but I wanted to post this somewhere publicly accessible, and this was the best place for it I have.

Recently, Longshot Magazine put out a call for created media with the theme of "Comeback". I decided to take a shot at it by making a crossword puzzle of sorts, inspired by the creatively shaped puzzles I've enjoyed solving in Games magazine. I decided to incorporate words that physically "come back" by making a U-shape in the puzzle, and also to have the solution spell out the words of a famous witty verbal comeback. Or at least some bastardized version of one... I found many variations of the quote and no definite source for the exact phrase. Unfortunately, it wasn't selected for publication, but I thought I'd share it anyway. So, I hope you enjoy solving it! And let me know what you think -- was it easy? hard? fun?

If you get stumped, the answer can be found here.

(Full disclosure: the puzzle I submitted was slightly different -- one of the words was wrong and I improved a clue)

UPDATE: Trillian pointed out an incorrect clue. I fixed it.

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So long, LJ

Jan. 18th, 2009 | 07:21 pm

I don't think many people read this anymore. On the other hand, people do read Facebook, so I'm going to make my postings there from now on.

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Merry Christmas

Dec. 19th, 2008 | 05:25 pm
Aural Pleasure: Westminster chimes three-quarters of an hour

There's a followup to last year's Christmas Escape, and I think it's even better!

For those who prefer a more satiric take on game design, try Achievement Unlocked. Can you unlock all the achievements>

Aren't the Meeblings cuuuuuuuute?

DOWNHILL BOWLING! It's exactly what it sounds like! (you will need to install the Unity player plugin if you don't have it already. Don't worry, it's nothing bad... it's analogous to Flash)

Finally, a real treat to play: Auditorium. As the gorgeous puzzles approach completion, the lush music builds in layers upon layers, ultimately reaching its climax as the puzzle is solved.

I don't know if anyone who reads this doesn't already know (or wouldn't care), but I'll be in MN from the 20th-28th and then in Wichita until Jan 2nd. Buzz me if you care to do something.

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Beautiful and Terrible

Nov. 26th, 2008 | 12:43 am
Aural Pleasure: Track 17 :)

... is the name of my mix CD for 2008. And it can be yours for the asking, shipped right to your door! And yes, I will ship internationally. Even to California. (in-person also works)

Some teasers: it turns out I seem to prefer songs in minor keys... the majority of these 19 songs are keyed minorly. That's not to say this is a sad album, though. Also, I've been obtaining new music at a higher rate this year, mostly due to the awesomeness that is the Amazon mp3 store. In fact, I believe only two of the songs came from other sources (both CDs). They have a daily deal where they offer some album for $1-3, usually either a classic album like OK Computer, or a recent release (such as today's which was Coldplay's new EP for $1).

So, if you want one just drop me a comment or message or email with your address, and it will soon be in your hands!

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Games Games, the musical fruit

Nov. 17th, 2008 | 10:23 pm

QWOP - Run. Or attempt to. This is the type of game that's as fun to fail at as it is to do well! The best part is the Chariots of Fire theme that starts up if you begin to do OK, and abruptly stops one you start faltering!

Splitter - Get the ball to the goal by slicing up anything in its path!

Hanna in a Choppa - Fun little game with lots of quirks and plenty of awards to earn. Use the choppa to fly around and perform a variety of tasks.

Zilch - Did I say the last game had lots of awards? I take that back. Zilch has 120 awards total that can be earned! A flash version of the famous dice game Zilch (aka Farkle). Quick version of the rules for those not familiar:

Start by rolling 6 dice. 1s and 5s are worth points, as are certain other combinations of dice. You must bank at least one die (collecting its point value), and then you may re-roll the rest. Continue until either
1) all 6 dice have been banked, in which case you get to roll them all again and continue to add to your score
2) no scoring dice are rolled, in which case your banked points vanish and you get a Zilch!
3) you have banked at least 300 points and decide not to risk Zilching. Your banked points are added to your permanent score.

First to 10000 wins!

Incredibots - Build robots to get stuff done. For the mechanically inclined.

Mirror's Edge 2D - Great momentum-based platform game, with vast leaps, swings, wall runs, etc. Currently in beta, so there's just the one level. The controls are wonderfully fluid, making it easy to leap tall buildings in a single bound... or something like that.

Bubble Spinner - Like Snood with rotational inertia!

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*wonders how smoked sunflower seeds would taste*

Oct. 18th, 2008 | 04:39 pm
Aural Pleasure: REM

It's called Casual Escape but it's more like a collection of puzzles than an escape-the-room game.

A new twist on the ol' block-pushing games: Globule. It's from the same people that brought you Scorching Earth... meaning we can expect a Community Edition of levels soon!

Fans of Shift will enjoy Never End. Despite at first seeming like a complete ripoff of Shift, it's actually adds a nice dimension... feels almost like Shift 4, actually. Beware, though... the title is not all that far off.

Light Bot - Like programming? Give commands to your robot. You can only use so many instructions though, so create your own subroutines for repetitive tasks. You'll probably find this either really fun, or very boring.

Maverick - How does a cowboy get around when all he can move is his arm? By using his pistol, of course! Get to the bottom to talk with the magic pig. Great retro green monochrome style in this one.

Hoshi Saga 3 - Find the star. Easy, right? (also check out Hoshi Saga 1 and 2 from the jayisgames page)

Chess Mazes - 2 or 3 chess pieces are on a board with some walls. The pieces move just like in the game Chess, except that a piece can only move if it is "under attack" from another piece. Get one piece to the goal.

Think you know your Japanese provinces? Try Japanese Map Game. The dots fill up based on the areas of the provinces you choose... try to get within the target range. 10 levels total. You get bonus points for ending further in range, but beware of going over! More bonus points for using all of the provinces in a region.

How good is your visual estimation? Test it out by performing various geometrical tasks (bisecting angles, finding centers of circles, etc.) in The Eyeballing Game.

Finally, the game that wins the award for the best game ending, evar: Blocks With Letters On. Also wins the award for least creative title... and with competition like the previous two games, that's quite an accomplishment. You have to put the lettered blocks into the yellow goal area to spell a word. Be careful... it's not always the word you think it will be! After each level is an animation or the word you just spelled, with a droll British voice reading the word. This is a must-play!

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Aug. 26th, 2008 | 10:02 pm

Did you know you can drive from Kansas to Florida in just over an hour? You can!

Any other peculiar driving directions that you know of? Share 'em in the comments!

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Games Games Games Games

Aug. 26th, 2008 | 08:59 pm

Lovely games, wonderful games! Slightly heavy on the physics-based games this time.

First, if you liked Scorching Earth from the last post, there is a new level set out, the "Community Edition"

Another sequel, Shift 3. Like the previous two, you'll be in and out of negative space, but the third installment finally perfects both the gameplay and the narrative.

Swinging Ball Exactly like the name suggests: use the arrow keys to spin your ball left and right and click the mouse to shoot a grappling hook at the green lines to swing yourself about. Get to the yellow square to finish the level. What's really great here is that elements of the level often spin around some axis, letting you do some really cool momentum-based tricks!

Two game that mirror each other a bit are Totem Destroyer"> and DUI. The object of both is to remove a specified number of blocks while guiding an object to some goal. Totem Destroyer is the simpler one; just click the blocks to remove them (black ones can't be removed) and keep the little idol from hitting the ground. In DUI, you can use the arrow keys to roll the ball left and right. The ball must not come to rest beneath the red line. To win the level, make the ball stop on a colored block and remove the requisite number of blocks by clicking them (you can hold the mouse button down and sweep over them for efficient removal). Also, all moving blocks must be removed whether or not you've already taken away the required number.

Another get-the-ball-to-a-goal game, but this one may be the best on the list: Fantastic Contraption. Basically, you're given an initial setup and have to find a way to get the ball(s) to the goal over any terrain that might be in the way. Draw line segments and join them together to make ramps, bridges, trusses, etc. If you need some locomotion, there are spinners that can be implemented into your contraptions. Sounds simple, but there are some really nifty things that can be built. After you solve a level, you can view others' solutions as well.

Moving away from the physics games, here's one that'll test your multitasking and reflex skills. Tontoko Family puts you in charge of four people (presumably the Tontokos) each chugging along their own road. Each one has its own obstacles that must be dealt with, and each character has exactly one key that controls it: W, A, S, or D (Z, X, C, and V may also be used). Nothing too deep, but so rewarding at the end when you find out what "prize" your score has earned.

Next up, a choose-your-own-adventure style game called Mr. Coo: El Laberinto Esferico. It's pretty short, so I won't go into a lot of detail, but basically you have to get this strange-looking man out of the maze of dreams. The choices you make affect future happenings, so be careful. Also, realize that the true end of the game comes when you have escaped in each of the three possible ways.

Finally, for you abstract thinkers, try Wiclimo from Tonypa. Simply discover the correct order in which to visit the blocks with your mouse. Your only hints are "dings" (good) and "whoops" (bad). Just mouse over the shapes until you find the first "ding" (no "whoops" will sound until you find the starting point) and then carefully move the mouse to what you think is the next shape in the series. If you're right, you'll hear another "ding"; if not, you'll hear a "whoop" and have to start again. Each level has enough clues that there need be little trial and error (although that strongly depends on how long it takes before the correct pattern dawns on you). There are 30 levels, but they are randomized, so it's not too big of a deal to have to restart after you use up your generous number of lives.

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I would be interested to learn the etymology of the word "sidle"

May. 28th, 2008 | 10:50 pm

More thinking games today:

Qink - A twist on the traditional Tangrams. You need to cover the cube with the given pieces, but some of them clearly don't fit! Solution: change the 3D perspective until they do! (this will make more sense when you actually play the game). Use the mouse to outline the shape you want to fill (size doesn't matter) and then click the piece with which you want to fill it. Each side can be only one color.

Scorching Earth - No tanks in this game, but on the plus side, you do get to play the role of fire. BURNINATE!!! Spread to neighboring spaces and BURN to gain one burn point for each square you inhabit. But don't run out of fuel! Most levels contain a purple fire which will compete for resources with you, but isn't very smart: kill it off with a raincloud or block its path (fight fire with fire!)

Dino Run - Take a break from the brain-busters and check out Dino Run, a frantic race for survival. Awesome pixellated graphics and TONS of unlockable bonuses, abilities, levels, etc. But don't take my word for it, take the reviewer's ;)

Chronotron - A time-traveling robot needs to collect all the keys to continue his travels. Unfortunately, most of them are located out of his reach. Luckily, he can go back in time to give himself a hand! All of its selves must get back to the capsule at the end though... can't have any of those time-paradoxes, you know. Apart from a couple of bugs, a good execution of a great idea.

Knuckleheads - Another good one from Nitrome. Guide the main character (two Mexican wrestlers' heads connected by a chain) (yes really) to the end of each level by swinging the heads around and using [up] and [down] to extend and retract the chain that binds them together. Avoid baddies.

Brute Wars - An RPG-style combat game with a surprising amount of strategy. Assemble an animal army and fight other squads. Use randomizers to gain better animals when you're within realms where they may be found. Ultimately it becomes too easy, but stick around for the best win message EVER!

6 Differences - Like those find-the-5-differences games you see in bars, except with breathtaking nighttime photography/photoshoppage/animation. Relaxing music sets the perfect mood. Also check out 5 differences by the same author.

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OK, you have to admit it's been a while...

Apr. 12th, 2008 | 11:37 am
Aural Pleasure: Incubus - Mexico

...since I posted some games.

CoBaCoLi is a simple game, reminiscent of pool in which you must get the colored balls to the colored lines. However, you have no control over the power of your shots, so you must plan carefully -- there's a lot of momentum in each shot, and you have to figure out where to put it all.

Simon Tatham's Portable Puzzle Collection - Downloadable versions of 27 classic puzzle games, including Sudoku, Mastermind, Samegame, Minesweeper and many more. Great for filling in downtime.

Vision - The top-rated game at Jayisgames. It's a room-escape game, complex, but not overly difficult (but there's a walkthrough to help you out if you get stuck). The in-game puzzles are clever and logical, and are complemented nicely by and amazing graphical environment, full of stylish lighting effects and vivid, detailed textures. It's not quite photographic, but it might be even better!

Pac Xon Pacman meets Qix! Claim 80% of the level, but don't let the ghosts eat you! (thanks unmannedflyingdeskset!)

Shift 2 A neat little platforming game in which you simply have to find your way to the exit. Press the SHIFT button to flip your character into the floor and change colors and gravity... just play it, you'll understand soon enough! Great use of negative space, and a sense of humor rarely seen in flash games. Also check out the slightly flawed original.

Dirk Valentine and the Fortress of Steam - One of the best games ever released by the webgame automaton that is Nitrome. It's got spies, dramatic music, steampunk visuals, and a frikkin' chain gun!

Compulse - The same guy who made TBA (see this post) is back! Place motion fields on the level to guide the ball to the goal! Your score is based on the number of fields you use, so be frugal!

Oh, and
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