Flash Game Distribution Game Report Sunday August 2, 2009

This is the first episode of “Flash Game Distribution: Game Report”, in which we cover the newest games coming out of the Flash Game Distribution feed. I have never really sat down to look at the FGD games, but my first impression is that the games are of fairly high quality.

There was only one game that came through on August 1st, so this will be a short report.

Game: Saunavihta


Developer Description: In the coldest corner of Finland the only way to survive is to learn how to get to the sauna, without being run over by plow trucks, frozen by snowmen or shot by snow canons.

Our Take: A game based on Finnish winter activies? I’m There! I was pretty surprised when the game started, because if this game is actually about the “Winter In Finland”, I’m not sure I ever want to visit. Apparently the “Finish Winter” is, stylistically, a lot like an indie (read: college film class) horror movie. However, since I’ve never been to Finland in the winter time, I’ll have to take the creator’s vision at face value.

The game is a series of single-screen physics puzzles, not unlike the recent “Cargo Bridge”. Your job it to manipulate the “white” objects, and get “Finnish guy” (a crudely drawn little man – on purpose of course) into the “sauna” (a basic particle effect). After a few tries, the game is not very hard to figure out, but the puzzles can still be a bit difficult on the early levels. It’s a neat idea, but there seems to be a limited amount of actions the player can take. You really only spend the first few levels clicking on objects and watching the physics unfold. In that way, this is the “Dragon’s Lair” of physics games (look that one up kiddies it was an arcade game from 1983).

I have to say though, that concept of Finnish Saunas and a physics puzzle is masterstroke. While the game might have limited interactivity (on the early levels anyway), it is still very original, and worth a good ,hard look.

Grade: B. Physics action is pretty good, but the abstract nature of the graphics and sound are bit off-putting. The game is also a bit too hard on the first levels. Still, some very impressive work, even if the level of interactivity is a bit low.

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