A brief look at 3 Game Maker games released last month.
Tottenham by Theta Games
I was attracted to this game by its name and title screen which suggested it was closely linked to the London Underground transport system. Tottenham is a puzzle game in which you need to create new tunnels for tube trains to travel in under the streets of London. This must be completed in a rather dangerous and haphazard way – using explosive charges to blast unwanted rocks out of the way.
On each level you must create a complete path to a given goal so that a tube line can be installed. As the game progresses the game becomes more and more tactical as you must navigate through narrow passageways, avoid pests whilst ensuring you don’t get hit by any flying debris. This is a fun puzzle game though the sheer number of colours used to represent different types of land and creatures can get confusing – take for instance the image above which will have little meaning unless you have played through all the earlier levels!
Retrovision by Alex Aris (sound by Max Hall)
A platformer in which you must collect 16 joysticks in 60 seconds whilst avoiding Retro baddies including the Sinclair C5! It’s tricky and fast paced with baddies always appearing down the same paths enabling you to learn a viable route through the world.
Blue Box: The Last Spray [Demo] by Haris Game Studio
Off to a bad start, the clickable zones in the game menus appear far below the actual button images themselves, rendering the lower placed button useless as they could not be activated. This is an extremely unusual behaviour which I have not experienced in any other Game Maker games. It seems to be an issue with the screen resolution used, the game website states 1280×960 is required which my laptop does not support but the game still runs without any errors showing.
The game itself, which states on its website “This is not a platform games” [sic] is indeed a platform game. The blocky world and character seem in contrast the trees and flowers that adorn the levels. The jumping mechanism seems very rigid and enemies can sometimes be killed simply by walking in to them. I found both the background drum beats and the clunking sound which plays when you collect money or points to be irritatingly distracting, so much so that I had to mute my speakers in order to actually concentrate on the game.
In short I was disappointed, the website seemed professional but the game needs far more polish before I would consider attempting to play it further, let alone spend $7.49 on the full version.