Saturday, February 23, 2008

Plasma Pong

Title: Plasma Pong
Author: Steve Taylor
License: Freeware

This is the last in my series of not really logic/puzzle games. I am old enough to have really played pong on a tv, and thought it was cool! There are tons of little web based pong clones, but few add anything fundamentally new to the game. Plasma Pong is different.

Plasma Pong adds a fluid dynamics element to the game. It is you versus the computer. Use your mouse to move the paddle up and down. Don't let the ball get past you. The added element is that the game is played in a liquid fluid and you can effect the fluid. With a left mouse click, you send a jet of fluid out from your paddle. With a right click, you suck in fluid. Both effect the motion of the ball.

As you score points against the computer, the rules of physics change. The effects of the fluid become more pronounced. It is subtle, but the game does becomes harder. Once computer scores on you ten times, the game is over. The goal is to see how many points you can score before that happens.

Plasma Pong has beautiful graphics and audio. It is a truly wonderful idea. The one problem is that Atari, the owner of the original pong, had them take down Plasma Pong. So, to get a copy you have to use your mad search skills.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Title: Kumoon
Author: Mikko Oksalahti
License: Freeware

This is the third in my series of not really puzzle/logic games. Kumoon is sort of a 3-D shooter with puzzle aspects. You control the baby chick armed with one of three weapons: revolver, shotgun, or grenade launcher. The goal of each level is simple: knock all of the red blocks down.

This is not a reflex game like Doom. Instead, you have to carefully plan each shot. There is a cost associated with using each weapon, but you gain points for red block that you knock down/move. In order to successfully complete a level, your net score must be positive.

Your goal is to maximize the effect of each shot. First, you need to learn the effect of each weapon. After you master that, you can work on knocking down several towers at once like dominoes. Then you might notice that several levels contain additional objects like balls and ramps. You can use your weapon to get the ball rolling and watch the damage. Finally, there is an additional bonus if you bounce your shot off the wall/ceiling before hitting the blocks.

There are 39 levels. Once you learn how to bounce shots off walls, it is not too hard to complete the levels. The real downer is that there is no save game feature. You have to work your way through the levels in one sitting. Every five levels there is a bonus level.

The graphics in Kumoon are simple but sharp and effective. It has great sound. Most importantly, the physics model is very believable. It also has professional polish. This does not feel like a freeware game. Go play it. Have fun.