Keep typing Vs until your typewriter runs out of ink

The Humble Indie Bundle #3 is wrapping up, and one of the standouts is VVVVVV. That’s six Vs. VVVVVV was released in January 2010 for PC and Mac and in late July 2011 for Linux; it was designed by Terry Cavanagh and scored by Magnus Pålsson. VVVVVV’s inventive and unexpected method of roaming within the 2D environment pushes the envelope of what platforming is and can be. It’s difficult to imagine this game on disc for a console, and the ingenuity of motion in VVVVVV in itself furthers the case for indie game development and support for indie games from both casual and hardcore gamers.

V Mechanics

VVVVVV is a platformer without any jumping. Hold the phone! Platforming without jumping? Instead of jumping, VVVVVV allows the player to control gravity, reversing up and down to move the character among the platforms. Using the gravity manipulation, the player avoids wall, floor, and ceiling spikes and the moving enemies. The environment consists of a mainly flat, black background and a neon outline or solid foreground. There can sometimes be a bit of a seizure effect, neon images flashing different colors against the black backdrop; this game doesn’t play when it says it may give you epilepsy. It may give you epilepsy. (Disclaimer: I don’t know if this game will give you epilepsy. It gave me migraines.) It would be super-awesome disco V epilepsy, though.

vvvvvv image(image source: Indie Reviews)

I nicknamed that guy the Seizure Elephant. He’s sad because he gave me a seizure.
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THE Avatar??

When the Nickelodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender ended in 2008, fans began to look forward to the Last Airbender movie. For casting, script, and production reasons, the movie proved a major disappointment, but fans have remained hopeful that the forthcoming followup series, The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra, will revive their beloved show without trampling all over the original they knew so well.

Jump, jump, for my love…

How Come Killin’ Us Didn’t Make Us Dead?

The online Baccano! description, “the exploits of a group of immortal 18th-century alchemists currently living their lives as Prohibition-era gangsters,” didn’t prepare me for the 16 episodes, directed by Takahiro Omori, that I was about to power down. As each episode ended, I felt my hand couldn’t move quickly enough to grab the remote and start the next one. Italian for “ruckus,” Baccano! is an apt title for this series of seemingly unrelated characters thrown together repeatedly with a heavy jazz soundtrack backing it up.

What’s Stopping Glitch From Becoming Farmville?

What is a Glitch?

Glitch is a new MMORPG from Tiny Speck, so new, pre-new even, that it’s still in beta and you need an invite to join. It’s more than a little bizarre, with piggies inviting you to “nibble” them for meat and massaging butterflies the primary course to acquiring dairy products. There is as yet no combat, though recent signs point to a change there. The future combat looks to be rare, however, and the primary focus of the game will remain cooperation and friendship between players in the world that they in some ways create and no doubt affect.

During the Glitch beta period, which seems to last for an infinite “six weeks,” the game is periodically “open” and “closed” to players, and while the developers give hints as to when the game will next be available to play, nothing is ever written in stone. The elephant in the room is that at some future date, when the beta is ready to go public, the game will be reset and all progress gained during the beta period will be lost. Beta players understand this to be a way to level the playing field for new players just entering the world, but there is an underlying fatalism that everything done in the game isn’t going to last much longer. While the devs are entirely upfront about the reset, I wonder how many beta players will be discouraged by their loss of progress and not return when the game goes public, not as a conscious decision but out of lack of continued interest. The Glitch beta players are no doubt valuable to the community, as they will serve as ambassadors for the new, post-reset players, shepherding in refugees from Farmville and similar Facebook games. While Google+ remains Restaurant City-free, it may be non-combat MMORPGs that fill the time-sink hole for those fleeing Facebook.
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