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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Video Game Reviews: Avaris Dungeon, Zombiegeddon, and Zombie Football Carnage

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While waiting for the next "real" game to arrive via Gamefly, I thought I'd download a few random "indie" games and give them a whirl. After all, it's always nice to support the little guys, right? Wrong. Dead wrong.

Avalis Dungeon


2.0 out of 10

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be trapped inside a dark, mysterious dungeon filled with scantily clad chicks with pink hair? I think we all have, really. And now there's a game to satisfy our curiosity.

Besides the ridiculously long loading times (filled with creepy church music), it's clear from the get-go that there's not going to be much story here. You move through the dungeon by pressing a button. It's not animated—it's like flipping through a picture book, actually. And when I happened upon my first enemy, he turned out to be an Elf. A little guy, digging a hole.

What are you doing, little Elf? I wondered, pressing a button to confront him. His response: "I was just digging your grave." There was no way I was dying at the hands of an elf, so I attacked him and—thankfully—he ran away.

I traveled deeper into the dungeon and soon found myself face to face with a scantily-clad dark warrior woman, ready to attack (no animations, though—had to use the ol' imagination!). Before she could, I used a fire spell to defeat her. Based on the next freeze frame, the spell was apparently strong enough to rip away her steel bikini.

Off I went again, through the dungeon, pushing buttons and moving frame by frame through the small, cheaply drawn dungeon. It wasn't long before I happened upon another evil half-naked woman hellbent on stopping my quest (whatever I'm supposed to be questing for). I figured a good old-fashioned ice spell would rip those clothes off pretty easily, but I was wrong. Her dogs killed me, according to the text. I had to take the game's word for it, because after the next button I pushed, I ended back at the title screen, apparently forced to restart the entire game.

At this point, the redundant pipe organ music chiming through the speakers was just about driving me insane, so I called it a day. Thanks, Avaris, for bringing back memories of 1992, when games like this were cutting edge.

Zombiegeddon

3.0 out of 10

2011-03-07

Ah, zombies. So overused at this point, it's almost worth it to avoid them altogether. Sadly, I cannot.

So the game begins with a little crawl ... narrated by an automated voice. Seriously, it sounds like your Kindle reading something back to you. After the text, poorly rendered men and woman stare at you with slack jaws to signify their horror at some unseen evil and then: skeletons. I kid you not. Skeletons.

Things stay pretty simple once the game starts up. You're a soldier and you run around shooting zombies that show up. Everything's from a top-down perspective so you can't really see if the zombies are scary or not. The graphics are nice but, again, it's from a top-down perspective so you can't really see much of anything ... and that includes the power-ups. Where do I go? I go up, OK, but can I walk through that green stuff there? Oh, yes, I can. What about that circular thing that looks like a mushroom? No, that I can't.

Whoops, the zombies got me. I think when you die, blood starts to spurt out. I don't know if it's realistic or not—I can't be sure because it's a top-down game and I can't see the wounds.

Once you master the slippery controls, it's possible to enjoy the game a little bit before you die.

Zombie Football Carnage

5.0 out of 10

2011-03-07


Ten minutes in, I wasn't really sure what was going on. So I went back to the title screen to see if I missed anything. Nope, nothing there. Here's what I was able to piece together after a few tries: you play some sort of little zombie who enjoys football. Your goal is survive four levels (or "quarters") by avoiding attacking enemies much in the same way a running back would in a football game. You can also kill the enemies by throwing your football at them. Don't worry—the football bounces back like a boomerang.

Truth be told, the cartoonish graphics work pretty well for this game, and the controls are tight enough that it becomes a mildly fun time once you acquire some upgrades. You can button mash and get through a few levels pretty easily, and the rocking guitar riffs should keep you pumped enough to fight your way through a few levels before it all starts to feel just a little too repetitive.

On a side note, I kept getting awards for my "accuracy," but it seems like it's pretty impossible to actually miss any of the giant eyeballs or mummies coming after you. The zombie is like a tiny, undead version of Aaron Rodgers, scattering from enemies and throwing with pinpoint accuracy.
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