Friday, January 06, 2006

Node Warriors

Name: Node Warrior
Author: Garrett Greer, Josh Rodgers and Chris Klink
License: GNU Public License

I am starting the year with a five part series on a particular subgenre of logic games: programming logic games. In order to complete a level in such a game, you need to program your robot or character to complete some task. The tasks and programming models vary from game to game. This subgenre is not well represented in the usual places. So, for the next five weeks, I am going to write about five such games.

The first game is Node Warrior. Each turn, you queue up five instructions for your cyber bug to follow from the random list of available instructions. The possible instructions are turn left, turn right, turn around, move forward one, two, or three space, and move backwards one space. Once you hit go, the cyber bug faithfully follows the instructions. Even if that means moving onto a blue screen of death and dying. The goal is cleanse all of the green nodes by ending a turn on each of them and making everything right in the intercyberweb.

Standing in your way are various obstacles. The bit-streams act like conveyor belts. Doors need to be opened by landing on the corresponding button or hitting the sensor with your laser. Did I mention that you have a laser which fires after each move? And there are opposing lasers and error box tiles which damage your cyber bug. Once damaged, the instruction list shrinks reducing your programming options. If you take too much damage, you die.

Node warriors is loads of fun. You have to keep track of your position and orientation and how the bit-streams will move you around. A mistake in the instructions can result a cyber bug going awry in a bad way.

None of the games in this five part series is perfect. The biggest flaw in Node Warriors is that it contains only 16 levels. Once you get the hang of the game, you can complete all of the levels in an hour or two. A level editor is not included. The second big problem is the randomness of the instruction lists. On some levels, if the initial instruction list does not contain certain moves, the level can be quite hard. Also, several times in the middle of levels, I did not have useful moves in the instruction list. So, I would perform a no-op by spinning around or moving forwards and backwards hoping that the next instruction list would contain better stuff. This seems a little silly. I have some other minor quibbles, but I will leave them for another day.

Node Warriors is based on the cult board game classic RoboRally. And as fate would have it, a new version of RoboRally was just rereleased. There is a review in the Feb '06 edition of Games Magazine.


At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Dress Up Rush said...

In this fast life nobody has the time to play, but as I love to play games, I took out the time to play this game also its really wonderful.I enjoy a lot playing this game,it has become a part of my routine.

At 12:21 AM, Anonymous Online games said...

yes friend you are right. I agree with you. I have also became big fan of this game.

At 3:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting game, I played many times

At 2:54 PM, Anonymous kamagra said...

Cool game, I love this kinds of games, it keeps my mind a little sharp, or at least I think it keeps my mind sharp, my favorite is Tetris.

At 12:29 AM, Anonymous odds portal said...

I also have been played Chinese Chess also called Xiangqi with my friends. However, I was not familiar with its rule then my friend helped me and we both played with full enjoyment.


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