Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tag: The Power of Paint

Title: Tag: The Power of Paint
Author: The Tag Team
License: Freeware

I have to admit I did not see the potential of Narbacular Drop. I played it when it was released as a DigiPen student project. Its graphics used a very dark palette. I remember falling into some hole and getting stuck. Completely uninviting. Luckily, Valve did see the potential, and the result was Portal, one of the best games of 2007. In fact, when I played Portal, I did not even recognize that it grew out of Narbacular Drop.

Learning from my past short sightedness, I want to recommend that people give Tag a try. I have to warn you that it has some rough spots. It is short and incomplete. The controls are a little mushy. The interface could use work. Do not play Tag expecting a finish product. Play Tag for the puzzle concept and hope that a really good polished game based it comes out some day.

Tag is a first person 3-dimensional puzzle game. The goal is simple enough: get to the exit. Your only tool is an unlimited supply of spray paint. The great puzzle concept of Tag is that when your character touches a painted surface, the color of the paint caused you to do something. For example, a green pained surface caused you to jump.

A bit more accurately, green causes your character to be propelled off that surface. In the above screen shot, by painting two parallel vertical walls green, you can jump up the walls. It is this sort of innovative thinking that makes Tag special. Note the nice in game hints. Or course, I need to switch to the green paint before commencing to paint that wall.

The two other colors are red and blue. Red surfaces cause you to speed up. Blue causes you to stick to the surface. The combinations yield some good puzzles which require some outside of the box thinking.

I could go into the faults of Tag, but that is not the point. Being student projects, all DigiPen games have huge flaws. This is a demo, and I think it is best to view it as a concept demo. Give it a play. I really hope it a complete game.


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