Monday, July 4, 2011

Steam Sale!

The Steam summer sale started two days ago, and already I've spent close to fifty dollars. But each game hasn't been more than $5.00.

Here's what I bought so far:
 So far I've only played two of them.

BIT.TRIP Runner is a rhythm platformer. In some ways it's similar to platformers like Super Meat Boy - it's got simple yet appealing graphics, very smooth gameplay, and unforgiving challenges - one mistake means restarting the level. But I found Super Meat Boy frustrating and kind of gross, I find BIT.TRIP Runner relaxing and very pleasing visually. The "rails" style platforming is interesting to me, and the music really helps me get into the game.

However, it's really frustrating to have to sit through boring or easy parts of the level in order to get back to the hard part where you keep dying. Also, it's embarrassing to die to stairs... and that's what I usually die to. Still, it's contained far more than enough enjoyment so far to pay for the measly $2.50 I spent on it, and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who likes this sort of game.

SpaceChem is a puzzle game. In which you are a chemical engineer designing first a single reactor, then entire plants full of reactors. Anyone who knows me well knows I have a degree in chemical engineering, and quit to pursue computer science because I didn't find the work interesting and enjoyable enough. Oddly, this game has me thoroughly addicted. The fact that, while it acknowledges what it's doing is NOT real reactions (chocking that up to futuristic technologies), it doesn't break chemistry. It makes things simpler for non-chemists to understand, but it won't allow you to add more than four bonds to an atom - and correctly limits specific atoms to their actual, lower number of possible bonds (for example, hydrogen can only have one bond).

The gameplay progresses well in terms of difficulty and complexity. The levels do get a bit huge later on, and making a mistake in planning your plant can sometimes not be found until the last reactor, and you have to redo everything. Aside from this I found it extremely rewarding. The story that goes along with the game is told via short, page-long bits of text between levels. While this isn't the most engaging form of telling a story, I actually find myself very interested in what's happening even though it really doesn't much effect gameplay. Overall, I definitely recommend this to chemistry buffs and anyone who likes a good puzzle game.

I'll keep you posted as I try out my other purchases!

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