Indie, Web , Flash, Retro Game Development Interweb Mash-up

Here is the “mash-up” for this week. I have had a little time to visit some of my favorite blogs, magazine sites, retro message boards and more. There are some reviews of games and our second ever portal review (at the request of the owner, so don’t go thinking I have time to seek out portals and pick on them…they asked for it).

Wired picks on “Fremium” games. I couldn’t agree more. How did it come to this crap being the only way to make big bucks in  games?

Is the future of gaming REALLY cloud rendered titles fed to your cigarette carton sized portable console via the interbaun?  I’m not sure about this one either, but it sounds kind of cool.

If you sponsor games and you have not put in a bid on the ridiculously awesome Cat Astro Phi by Photonstorm’s Richard Davey (fellow Jeff Minter and Atari ST super fan), what are you waiting for? Look for an in-depth review as soon as someone with much more money that us can give it the sponsorship it deserves.

What the “f” is the Hellstrom project? Why should you care? Because these guys ( are geniuses, that’s why.  It looks awesome.

Can you win the 16K Retro Inspired Atari Re-make contest?

Flash Game Portal Review:

The owner of the game portal called emailed to ask if we would review his site. I don’t normally review gaming sites, but I figured this time that I would give him some public feedback and also leave it open to anyone else who wants to comment.

The good:
The site looks clean with an simple layout and nice easy to find game menus. There is a wide selection of games.

The Bad:
Many of the games and categories might violate multiple copyrights / trademarks. You probably  should not have the word Barbie or Bratz, or any other trademarked name in your menu unless you have specific rights to use those names. You could be looking at some trouble if you do things like this and it gets noticed.

There are a lot of ads. Now, I don’t disparage someone making money, so this not a big problem usually, but on this site a actually had trouble finding the games because there were so many clicks to get to them. When you click on a game, the page shows an ad with a text link underneath to click to open a pop-up to play the game.  This was a cumbersome, to say the least, way to start a game.

The Question Marks:
I played about 6 different games and I saw the “Ads By Google” pre-loader on most.  I didn’t see any Mochi ads, even on games like Bloons, which I thought were Mochi exclusives. Now, this might not be a problem at all. I have no idea what rights the owner has to the games on his site. I didn’t find any of my Pac-man style games under his “Classic Pac-man Games”  list so I can’t personally say whether or not the ads in these games are legal.

But I did find a HUGE problem. Stolen games. There is a game on the site in the “driving” section that is a stolen Hot Wheels game. How do I know? I worked on the  site when it was created. The name of the game on this site is “No Brakes”, but the real name is “Brakeless”.   I also found s stolen “Hot Wheels Modifighters” game that I personally added the web trends  tags to. This game links off the “Car Parking” so I have no idea what is really going on here.

This site has potential, but will need to focus on more original content and a way to keep users returning to be a major success.

Games I’ll Play Again

Alloy Tengu – A stupendously well crafted and fun scrolling “arena” style shooter. This is a little like a combination of Asteroids, Bosconian, and Geometry Wars combined with Ace’s humours sensibilities.
85% Retrotastic

Eagle Mini Golf – A very well crafted Mini-Golf game with greens that are HUGE and fun. The controls take a few minutes to understand, but then get set for an awesome fun time playing.
89% Retrotastic

The Nokkians 2:  Play this awesome retro side/top-down/down-up/sideways…every-which-way scrolling shooter and you’ll love the hell out of it like I did.
89% Retrotastic

Hostage Crisis: 8-bit, tile based, scrolling world adventure / action / shooter with style in droves that I can’t wait to play again….need I say more?
88% Retrotastic

Some Retro Stuff

An awesome collection of old articles about arcade video games (1980 – 1998).
I especially enjoyed this one on the secrets of Asteroids, and this one on Ms. Pac-Man.

Totally Off-Topic
If you do indeed park like an asshole then you might find yourself on this site. If you find some who does, take a photo and send it in.

(8bitjeff is Jeff D. Fulton)

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