Tag Archives: puzzle game

Crawlco Block Knockers: A Game That Indeed Contains Both Blocks and Knockers

If you were to tell me a couple of weeks ago that one of the most addictive, satisfying games of the summer would be a peculiar combination of venerable (but largely forgotten) Sega arcade title Pengo and ’90s Japanese arcade eroge I’d… have probably believed you, to be honest, but here we are anyway.

Yes, the aptly named Crawlco Block Knockers is a deliberate homage to dank, smoky, sleazy Japanese arcades in the ’90s and the games you would find therein. Drawing particular inspiration from Kaneko’s Gals Panic series and Mitchell Corporation’s Gonta the Diver duology, the game combines strategic thinking, arcade action, ’80s inspired vaporwave music and the opportunity to gradually reveal images of attractive, curvy women not wearing very much.

Sounds like a party, right? Let’s take a look. Some mildly NSFW shenanigans after the jump!

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Kotodama – The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa: Stripping Away Deceit

Over the last few years, UK-based outfit PQube Games has become a force to be reckoned with in the localisation and publishing space.

Since its inception in 2009, PQube has brought Western fans a variety of games that might otherwise have never made it out of Japan, including Inti Creates’ Gal*Gun Double Peace and Gal*Gun 2Kadokawa Games’ Root Letter and Red Entertainment’s Our World is Endedthey also played a key role in popularising and expanding the audiences of titles such as Nitroplus’ classic visual novel Steins;Gate and Arc System Works’ anime fighting series BlazBlue.

It’s a company serious about what it does, in other words — and so when I heard it was developing its own game for the first time, I couldn’t help but take notice. That game, Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa, is finally here, so let’s take a closer look.

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Atari A to Z: Quadromania XL

It’s another “mystery game” today!

Quadromania XL appears to have originated as a type-in listing for a German Atari magazine, but beyond that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information out there online aside from the name of its creator — one T Meyer — and the person in charge of Loesungsalgorithmus (“solution algorithm”, apparently), A Blohm.

It’s a simple but enjoyable puzzler based on a straightforward concept: pick a block to swap the colour of, and all the blocks surrounding it will also swap colours. Repeat until the whole screen is one colour or you run out of moves. Easy, right?

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Delving Into Kirby’s Dream Course – #2

Minigolf is, to borrow a phrase from a completely different sport, a funny old game.

Typically implied to be a rather silly, chaotic affair rather than something to be taken seriously, your average minigolf course nonetheless tends to include a variety of fiendish obstacles to negotiate, many of which will tax even the most skilled putters among us.

Kirby’s Dream Course, being a minigolf game that takes place entirely in a digitally rendered dreamworld, is free to do even more ridiculous things with its course design than would be possible in reality. And herein lies its main appeal.

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Delving Into Kirby’s Dream Course – #1

During my exploration of Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush, I mentioned that I wasn’t sure what to expect from a Kirby game other than, well, the unexpected.

I was expecting at least some of the games in the series to be relatively conventional platform games — and I know they’re there somewhere! — but the next one I happened to alight upon, courtesy of the SNES Mini’s built-in lineup of games, was Kirby’s Dream Course.

I had no set expectations for what Kirby’s Dream Course was going to be before firing it up for the first time. But I can tell you I didn’t expect it to be a thoroughly charming minigolf game!

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Atari A to Z Flashback: Maze Invaders

This one’s a cool addition to the Atari Flashback Classics collection: a “lost” game from the Atari archives.

Maze Invaders sadly never saw an official release either as an arcade machine or a home port, languishing in the archives until recently. The International Centre for the History of Electronic Games managed to acquire a whole bunch of old Atari goodies back in 2014, and part of that heap of fun times was Maze Invaders.

It’s kind of surprising this never got an official release for one reason or another; it’s a really interesting, unusual and highly addictive game with a ton of personality to it!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Boom Boom Rocket: Classical (Exploding) Gas

Quick! Name three Bizarre Creations games! GO!

If your entire list consisted of Project Gotham Racing games, you just about scrape a passing grade. If you remembered to mention Metropolis Street Racer, take five bonus marks. Including any Geometry Wars games in there (except Geometry Wars 3, which wasn’t them) gets you an additional five marks. Remembering The Club exists gets you a gold star — and hold that thought, we’ll definitely come back to that one.

If Boom Boom Rocket was anywhere in your list, however, you get exclusive membership into the Cool People Club. Benefits include never being able to get a small selection of classical music out of your head, the constant desire to tap your foot any time you see a fireworks display, and optional free hugs. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read on…

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