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Kewlio's Last Played on Last.fm
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Caverns of Hammerfest
Yes, I'm still alive, although this blog particularly isn't. I don't want to say "This blog's not dead, I'll be updating more", because *every time* I've seen that happen on other sites, it was the last update or the next-to-last update. So...this blog's not really dead, but not particularly alive either. If it gets updated, it gets updated, and that's that. :P

Anyhow, review time!

System: PC / Adobe Flash
Genre: Arcade-style adventure
Developer: Motion Twin
Publisher: Motion Twin


Storyline
It was a regular old day in the land of fruits and vegetables. The bananas were playing, and the tomatoes were building a happy snowman. However, this was disrupted when the evil Tuber the Sorcerer flew in and started capturing and mind-controlling everyone! Well, for some reason, in the same manner as Frosty the Snowman, the snowman sitting there -- who, by the way, Tuber, evil that he is, stole its carrot nose -- came to life, in the intention of freeing the brainwashed foods...and getting his nose back. And so, down he treks into the deep Caverns of Hammerfest...


Gameplay
If you've ever played Bubble Bobble or Snow Bros., you should enjoy this one. You'll start on a training course, to learn the basic controls, and soon after, the goal of the game: throw all enemies, in this case, the brainwashed baddies, into the chasm below by ice-bombing them in such a way that they slide off the platforms and drop down.

In regular gameplay, you'll be doing this as well as collecting items that appear on the field. Some items are just for point bonuses, and others will have special effects, which may prove either helpful or detrimental to your progress. Once all enemies are cleared, it is then safe to drop down yourself, as the next level lies below.

At first, it's just another one of those games that you'd see in the arcade. Then it turns into something else, and becomes *real* addictive. Keep reading.


Sound and music
Seeing as we're talking in Flash, and they want to try to keep the game accessible to all, this part of it is fairly limited. The music isn't really much to write home about, but it's good and arcade-y. Auditively, the sound is what really gets you going on what's going on and what does what. There are really just a handful of different sound effects, but they certainly do their job.


Graphics
The graphics are quite well immersive for this genre. You have the happy outside world to begin with, which quickly gets replaced with the slightly less happy top levels, which slowly become darker and gloomier as you go down. The sprite colours are quite vibrant, and special effects are fairly impressive, considering the fact that this is all in Flash.


Intricacies
One slight drawback is that, unlike many of the Flash games out there, this one is not quite 100% free. You start with five free playthroughs, with the chance to pick up another five in mid-game. However, after that, unless you reset your account to get another five games (destroying all your progress in the process), that's about it. Fortunately, one single payment of €5 (about $7.70 nowadays) will get you 25 playthroughs (31 if you complete a certain quest), plus four more awarded every Monday night as long as your account exists. Buying more, in certain amounts, will result in more free plays.

Now, this is the fun part. As you play, the items you collect are counted up in two places. First, most items count toward one or more quests; completing a quest results in something good happening, including unlocking more items for your collection in-game, starting with additional lives, or in some few cases, earning additional playthroughs. They are also counted in the Fridge; collecting so many of one particular item (usually 10, except for super-rare or unique items) will unlock its presence in the Fridge for all to see.

Furthermore, all scores are entered into a four-level pantheon. (A high score list, if you will.) Every Tuesday, the list is reset, and the top x number of players are bumped up to the superior level. The topmost player on the list -- the #1 spot of the top level -- is inducted into the Hall of Fame, where they get the chance to get a message out to the world, as well as receive seven free playthroughs per week forever, in addition to whatever they're already getting.

Caveat emptor: this game was made by a French development group, and currently has French, Spanish, and English versions. The English one only, sadly, is rather underserved; though it is fully functional, it suffers of Regional Cheapout syndrome -- many features found in the other two versions are not found in this one, and nobody really knows when (or if) the English version will be brought up to code. If you sign up to one and spend money on it, you won't be able to switch to another and expect to keep your account as it is.



So, in conclusion...
Grade as an arcade game: 9/10
General Grade: 8.5/10




If you do wish to sign up to this game, tell 'em KewlioMZX sent you...I won't deny the fact that this gives me a small bonus, though I'm not sure exactly what yet :P Using the link at the top of the article has the same effect.
posted by Kewlio @ 2:30 AM   0 comments
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Location: New Brunswick, Canada

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