At the time of writing, a new independently developed game called “Helltaker” is all over social media, with all sorts of people sharing screenshots and fanart.
With that in mind, I decided to give it a look for myself. Turns out it’s a free download for PC, available via Steam. As such, there’s absolutely no risk involved in trying it out at the very least — and if you like it, you have a cool thing to add to your library; if, on the other hand, it’s not for you, you haven’t lost anything.
What did I think? Hmm, mixed feelings if I’m perfectly honest; let’s explore all that a little further, then.
Continue reading Helltaker: Hell is Sliding Block Puzzles
It’s good to give the ol’ noggin a bit of a workout now and again, and that’s exactly what 1978’s Brain Games for Atari 2600 intended to do.
Consisting of several different games relating to memory and perception, Brain Games is a surprisingly fun little package that is all the more remarkable when you consider how early in the VCS’ lifetime it came out.
It was also a direct influence on the popular children’s toy Simon, so it’s got genuine historical significance, too!
Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.
Wrecking Crew is one of Nintendo mascot Mario’s more underappreciated adventures — and a fairly underappreciated entry in the NES’ overall library, in fact.
First released for Famicom in June of 1985 and subsequently as one of the 17 launch titles for the Western Nintendo Entertainment System, Wrecking Crew is something of a departure from what you might typically expect from a Mario game — even outside of the main Super Mario Bros. series.
It’s a puzzle game with a strong emphasis on strategic thinking and forward planning rather than fast action or precise platforming, and it’s actually been one of my favourite games in the NES’ library since I first encountered it via the Wii’s Virtual Console service. Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading NES Essentials: Wrecking Crew
It’s kind of strange to think that puzzle games — at least how we know them today — were a relatively late evolution compared to other genres.
Today’s Atari 8-bit title is a type-in BASIC listing from popular Atari magazine Antic, and was developed by someone who had never seen or heard of Tetris at the time. It’s a fun little puzzler, and an interesting example of the very early days of a genre we take for granted today.
It’s also surprisingly bloody hard, despite the simple concept! After a while all that nuclear waste just melts your brain, I think…
Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.
If there’s one thing the Neo Geo is good at, it’s… well, it’s fighting games, but if there’s more than one thing the Neo Geo is good at, puzzle games are definitely in the mix too.
Money Puzzle Exchanger is a 1997 release from Japanese developer Face that began its life on the Neo Geo MVS system before later being ported to Game Boy and PlayStation. These days, it’s pretty easy to get hold of in its initial incarnation thanks to it being part of Hamster’s Arcade Archives series, whose various releases have found their way to numerous platforms over the last few years.
And that’s fortunate, because Money Puzzle Exchanger is a great game that is well worth your time and… well, money.
Continue reading Puzzler Essentials: Money Puzzle Exchanger
G’day cobbers, it’s time for another MoeGamer Podcast featuring both Me of Here, and Mr Chris Caskie of MrGilderPixels.
The MoeGamer Podcast is available in several places. You can subscribe to my channel on YouTube to stay up to date with both the video versions of the podcast and my weekly videos (including the Atari A to Z retro gaming series); you can follow on Soundcloud for the audio-only version of the podcast; you can subscribe via RSS to get the audio-only version of the podcast in your favourite podcast app; or you can subscribe via iTunes. Please do at least one of these if you can; it really helps us out!
Or you can hit the jump to watch or listen to today’s episode right here on MoeGamer. (I encourage you to watch today’s episode if you have the means to, as there are lots of cool things to look at!)
Continue reading The MoeGamer Podcast: Episode 23 – Drop, Connect, Erase
If there’s one thing Nintendo has absolutely always been good at, it’s sequels.
How do you follow up a big hit like Donkey Kong? More of the same? Some lesser companies might think that is a good way of doing things, but not Nintendo — even back in the ’80s. Instead, they chose to take a very interesting approach: they’d take the formula of Donkey Kong and flip it on its head, placing the previous game’s hero in the role of the villain, and tasking you with rescuing the titular big ape.
Donkey Kong Jr. was born, and Nintendo’s rapidly establishing reputation for creating simple to understand, difficult to master and highly addictive games was further cemented.
Continue reading NES Essentials: Donkey Kong Jr.
Okay. Let’s talk about how this game looks, because it’s a real highlight of the experience.
One of the things I really like about the Nintendo of the Wii U and Switch generations in particular is the fact that they’ve demonstrated themselves to not be afraid of experimenting with aesthetics and overall style — though there’s a certain amount of internal consistency there, too.
Specifically, it’s all about Nintendo’s desire to make interactive experiences that are as much “toys” as they are “games”. And Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush is a great example of this at work.
Continue reading Delving into Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush – #2
The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards that I’ve devised in collaboration with the community as an excuse to celebrate the games, experiences and fanbases that have left a particular impression on me in 2018. Find out more here, but you’re out of time to leave suggestions, I’m afraid!
One’s first love is a powerful thing. Often it influences the way you feel about all sorts of things for the rest of your life — sometimes without you realising it.
Rediscovering one’s first love can go in one of a few ways. You can find yourself wondering what on Earth you were thinking. You can recall exactly what caused you to fall in love in the first place. Or you can be delighted to find that your first love has actually been making something of themselves, and is ready to provide you with some all-new entertainment that is simultaneously fresh and familiar.
This metaphor is getting slightly tortured, but regardless, this latter option is what today’s award is all about.
And the winner is…
Continue reading The MoeGamer Awards 2018: The Old Flame Award
Imagine Tetris. Then imagine it wrapped around a sphere. Then forget whatever you just pictured, because Tetrisphere is nothing like that. It’s still great, though.
Technically Tetrisphere is a little outside of MoeGamer’s normal remit in that it was not developed by a Japanese company, nor was it ever actually released in Japan. It did, however, find its home on a Japanese games console — the Nintendo 64 — and as such it totally counts. Particularly as it’s an awesome puzzle game, and we’re all about awesome puzzle games.
So how can one possibly make something as simple and elegant as Tetris work in a three-dimensional, spherical space? Well, as I’ve previously alluded to, you don’t; you do something a bit different.
Continue reading Puzzler Essentials: Tetrisphere