Monday, October 01, 2007

Crocodile Garden

Title: Crocodile Garden
Author: Anahara Masataka
License: Freeware

One of the best feelings is finding a new, simple game with good puzzles. Such games push you and stretch your thinking. I am always looking for these games. This means downloading a lot of junk. Mixed within the junk, I recently found this gem. It has weak graphics and no sound, but it does have simple rules and good puzzles. I probably like it more than most people will, but I highly suggest everyone play it.

The readme file calls Crocodile Garden a sokoban-like game. While true, this sells the game short. The objective is to move each crocodile to a different pool. The problem is that there are these holes which your character cannot cross. However, there are balls which when pushed into a hole, fill it in, and make that tile passable. How do you push a ball? With a bulldozer of course. Each bulldozer moves either left-right or up-down. You enter bulldozers on either side and can push balls or other bulldozers with its blade.

There are 40 levels which are arranged in 10 groups of 4. Once you complete any of the four levels in a group, the next group of levels becomes available to be played. The quality and pacing of the levels is very good. The first group of four levels is really a tutorial. The levels slowly become more difficult. In the end, they become difficult.

The later levels require careful planning. Bulldozers are often needed to push other bulldozers. The chain of required moves gets completed. This is where the fun begins, figuring out what has to be done in what what order. All the while, you have to make sure your little guy does not get trapped. One hint, you can pass through the bulldozers by entering on one side and exiting the other. However, you cannot pass enter a bulldozer while holding a croc, an interesting constraint and those dozers can get in the way from time to time.

I have no real complaints about Crocodile Garden. The only minor problem I ran into is that the help file WANI-EN.HLP could not be read on my computer due to a language support issue. I did read it in a hex editor and learned a few commands. Use the space key to drop a crocodile. To change direction with stepping in that direction, use an arrow key while holding down the shift key.

Crocodile Hunter comes with a nice level editor. If you make any good ones, send them to me.


At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Realy like this game. But is too hard.


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