chick chick BOOM
- WiiWare - 800 WiiWare points (£5.60)
In certain cultures, it's perfectly acceptable for chicks to blow one another up. Five yellow chicks in one pen, five black ones in another... Boom! [Boom! - Ed] I'm not even embellishing the details for comic effect.
Okay, I should have mentioned that these are chicks of the fluffy cartoon variety, and that this is a noble form of turn-based warfare that we're discussing. With five vengeful avian terrorists on each side, the idea is to take it in turns to throw bombs, heavy objects or snarling fauna over onto your opponent's arena and then try to sabotage their defences.
Attack or defence is a matter of swift and timely line-drawing. For example, the power of each attack is based on how quickly you can join the dots of the outline of the icon, while defending involves drawing lines to stop your chicks being crushed or blown up.
But even then, the attacker can try and sabotage these carefully-placed bomb shelters or weight deflectors with more lines of doom. Sometimes you'll even get the chance to send lightning crashing down, or sabotage their attacking abilities by making it harder for them to join the dots when it's their turn to issue an order.
Although the lack of a campaign structure makes chick chick BOOM a little lacking in single-player mode, as a local multiplayer game it has potential. With the option to set up round-based or time-based challenges, you can rain death upon one another till your heart's content.
The only question is how long you'll want to do so. While it's undoubtedly fun for a few rounds, developer Tons of Bits' debut WiiWare effort feels like it lacks a little substance to make it worthy over the longer haul.
Bloody Good Time
- XBLA - 400 Microsoft Points (£3.40)
- PC (Steam) - £3.99
A 400 Point XBLA game you say? From Outerlight, the makers of The Ship? Sold.
And just like its promising PC game from 2006, it's a sneaky take on the murky business of multiplayer death-dealing. This time around, you choose from one of eight Hollywood hopefuls, who all find themselves having to prove their murderous abilities to a crackpot director.
Playable over four modes by up to eight players, the task at hand is to snuff out your quarry in any way you can, while also keeping an eye on tiredness, hunger and the need to relieve oneself. With three ever-depleting meters and patrolling guards ready to berate you for carrying a weapon, it's somewhat distinct from the average multiplayer knockabout.
Rather than simply run around smashing your opponent to pieces, you can stalk your enemy and wait for them to take a sleep break, or better still catch them with their pants down and dish out a humiliating taunt in the process. You've also got your own issues to deal with - not least that you're never quite sure who's stalking you. As a result, it's a finely balanced affair that introduces some interesting ideas that keep players on their toes throughout.
Unfortunately, a lot of the fun of Bloody Good Time is locked away in elusive potential. Cursed with somewhat woolly targeting, and a wholly unreliable melee combat system, it's often easier to circle-strafe opponents and wait to strike after they've missed than to take the risk and leave yourself exposed.
With a more refined combat system, BGT would be a fine prospect at its slim price tag. As it is, it doesn't quite live up to its title, but then Fairly Good Time doesn't quite have the same ring to it.