I can’t believe I made the first post almost half a year ago! Still, I’ve been meaning to write up a few more of my favorite games from Pirate Kart V. With Caverns of Khron recently released and a planned busy late-December working on a handful of other games (in addition to my classes), I figured I’d take a few minutes to write up another ten games.
Elektron’s single-screen platformer is brutally difficult. It’s perhaps a little too ungenerous when it comes to hit detection and so on, but for pixel-perfect, fast-paced platforming, it’s pretty darn good (when I played it x months ago, I got a lot farther than I did before playing it again this evening). Where it really excels is its interesting punishment for failing to clear a level. Rather than giving you finite lives or making you simply repeat the level from the beginning, the game boots you back to the beginning of the previous level. It’s a pretty ingenious approach to progression, as advancing farther really feels earned.
You may know Bento Smile’s name from any of a number of excellently designed games with supremely charming visuals (and a modicum of fame with Air Pressure from a few years back). I’ve played a lot of tower defense games in my time and this is by far the funniest.
Skeletons in the Closet by JF Roco
I never had a Spectrum ZX-82, and have never even seen one (though I recently saw a shelf full of games at a game store in Akihabara). I think I missed out, because people who played that machine a lot went on to make things like La Mulana and a trilogy of games made by JF Roco for Pirate Kart V. This was my favorite of them, a simple but slick, stylish platformer. Obviously, games like this have a special place in my heart, but really, this game’s biggest flaw is (as EffBee notes on the comments section for the game) that it just ends to soon. I could happily play through 50 levels of this.
Proximity Mime by Chris Chung
Are mime jokes old hat? Yes. Did I enjoy this game that involves dodging mimes? Yes. In part, because you yourself play a mime. And further, the mimes have pantomime apples that make you lose. It’s a simple, fun joke played well. Its core dodging and moving feel pretty good too!
In this game, your avatar carries a sword, but more importantly he–like the monsters he fights–is equipped with a set of multi-sided dice (that he gets more of as he levels up, defeating monsters).
The game occasionally rolls entire game boards that are effectively impossible (giving you nothing but enemies with more dice with more sides than your own). But throwing the dice down after entering battle is just quite a bit of fun. It’s something I wouldn’t mind seeing further developed.
Wasps vs. Demons: A Love Story by atuun
A surprisingly long and lush visual novel about the forbidden love between Wasp and Demon royalty. It’s played at just the right tone to be engrossing and ridiculous. The game came about as a result of one of the donor’s request rewards: “Wasps VS Demons! A love story!” It’s basically wonderful.
Also see the game’s Launch Day DLC.
At its heart, Snake is a game about managing your own space as you crawl and grow around the screen collecting pellets. In this one, your body splits and becomes part of a permanent obstacle course, making you design your own level as you go. Pretty clever.
Zaratustra also made another clever thing called “Flip” for the event.
Penguin Lost by Max Weinberg
It may be unfortunately marred by that Game Maker Lite logo in the upper left corner, but this game is just lovely.
That’s all for now! I’ll try to post another handful of games in the next few weeks. I’m going to go searching again through the entire 1,005 games of the Pirate Kart V soon, and I recommend you do as well (download them all free!) to find the gems I’ll miss.