Monday, March 16, 2009

Big Fish Sale

Bah, Big Fish, the bane of my existance? Why? Too many games to choose from, and so little time. Then they come along with these crazy sales, and I end up spending lots of money on them.

But now, I pass the blessings/curses on to you. Big Fish Games is currently offering half off on all of their games, with coupon code LUCKOFTHEIRISH. The sale ends tomorrow, so if you want a game, you'd better get it quickly. There are plenty of games to choose from, so as a slight takeoff on my other job, here's a quick list of some things to consider, if you're in the market for another time-wasting addiction. I haven't much time, so I apologize for keeping these somewhat brief and lacking glitzy screenshots and that. Starting from the top of my current BFG play menu...

Diner Dash - link
Synopsis (in 10 words): Time management with fast restaurant action. Keep the customers happy!
What I Think: This one's really a guilty pleasure for me. I'm a fan of time management games, but don't like some of the hyper-excessive bells, whistles, and other unrelated tasks that some have you do. GameLab (maker of too many other awesome games) really does a nice job with a fun game with a great atmosphere. Also, Flo and the customers rank up there among my favorite character designs in a game.
Will I Buy It? Most likely. It's fun, it's quirky, and it's simple enough to be a great challenge.

Slingo Supreme - link
Synopsis: Bingo plus slots in a classic strategy game. Darn Devil!
What I Think: Again, another guilty pleasure game. I've been a fan of the online version for a while, and it's a fun time-killer when there's nothing else to do. This downloadable version has a lot of interesting bells and whistles in the form of power-ups, but it still feels like it has the potential to get stale quickly and suffer from PMMS, or Pictureka! Museum Mayhem Syndrome, in which a game has one short game aspect which is played a billion times over to obtain a rather uninteresting goal. (Remind me to heavily pan that game on here sometime.) This here has a lot of emphasis on getting high scores, which is something I usually don't find as a fun goal.
Will I Buy It? No, for several reasons. One, the PMMS mentioned above. Two, there's still the free version on or something like that. Three, I've come across an interesting bug. I tried this when it first came out, played the hour demo, then uninstalled it. Several months later, I'm playing it again, but with my saved progress still intact. So... yeah, sort of a free game on a bug, there. Keep it under your hat though, right?

Puzzle Quest - link
Synopsis: Match three manas to beat an opponent on your quest.
What I Think: Oh geez, the match-3 genre, such a boring and overused thing. When Bejeweled/Diamond Mine first came out back in the day, it sucked out trillions of hours of productivity from the American workforce. Just think where our economy would be today if the game had never been invented. Since then, so many clones have popped up, with very little variety to offer, Puzzle Quest, however, stands out in a huge way: It's essentially a 2-player game. Now instead of just matching any three items together just to get it done and over with, you have to strategically plan your moves so that you leave an opponent with ineffective moves. A much needed refresher in the genre, I think. I'm not much of a fan of the forced-Celtic atmosphere, but I guess it comes with the territory.
Will I Buy It? Definitely. If nothing else, there's an online-multiplayer mode that looks awesome, and I know of at least one other reviewer that would be up for a throwdown. (This means you, John.)

Boonka - link
Synopsis: Blast off critters to restore the wooded lands. Oohn Shtarna!
What I Think: It's been a long time since I've seen an arcade-ish keep-the-stuff-from-getting-to-the-top puzzle game, so this was a welcome entry. From the moment you start, you're sucked into this cheery and whimsical world of a Buddha-like god trying to restore his trees, his friends, his people. Fast-paced and unique, this one's definitely worth a look.
Will I Buy It? Already did, after my first time playing it. Too bad it was full-price back then.

Mystery Case Files series - link, to one
Synopsis: Find the hidden objects to solve the mysteries at hand.
What I Think: I'll spoil the ending and reveal that I actually got two of these games (Huntsville, Madame Fate) for free during a game giveaway BFG had not too long ago. Do you remember those I Spy books we spent weeks at a time looking through back in elementary school, or those hidden pictures pages in Highlights magazine? This is basically that, but usually with a haunted/murder mystery theme. Find the hidden objects in different settings to unlock riddles and solve cases, the synopsis above pretty much says it. I don't want to sound bitter about these games, because they're actually quite excellent, but hidden-object games really aren't my cup of tea, especially with my poor eyesight (which I strain greatly when playing for a couple hours, thank you very much).
Will I Buy It? Aside from the fact that I got them for free anyway, no, but only because it's just not my genre. MCF games are some of the better in the genre though, and are strongly worth considering.

Hopefully that's enough to get you started off. Just remember, you still have to save money to feed the wife and kids. And the sale ends tomorrow, March 17!

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