Sunday, February 8, 2009

Unity Web Player Safari

Believe it or don't, the Unity Web Player is good for playing browser games that don't feature dinosaurs of some outstanding circumstance. Tumbledrop, a 2D physics puzzle odyssey, is one such game. And while the privation of dinosaurs could viewed as a flaw, the game has enough positives to warrant a look.

The objective is simple: get the pink stars to rest on the surface of each island. Getting the pink stars to safety requires that you eliminate the geometrical buddies propping them up one by one. Things start out pretty simple, like in the configuration above, but quickly get more complicated as new shapes, and even indestructible ones start to show up.

The challenge is avoiding the choppy water around each island. The fear of drowning is about the only thing that will change the serene countenance of the little shapes. Not the random click out of existence that awaits them or the scenario in which a slim number of them do survive their encounter with the player and are then forced to mourn the dead. Imparting the shapes with little faces is a charming touch, but it raises an ethical dilemma in me that I don't think the designers were anticipating. I started trying to save as many of them as possible, despising the rainbow and confetti that appeared if the pink star happened to land neatly on the ground. "And what of his fallen comrades?" I was heard to shout. "Where is their rainbow fun?" I suppose it could be a metaphor for race hegemony in modern society, where heterogeneous masses labor to prop up the singular elite, who in fact thrive upon the expendability of those in their legion.

I suppose my brain also has to work over time to counteract the saccharine sweetness coating every aspect of the game. The clinks and plunks the shapes make is oddly satisfying and there's no timer or any other point system to raise your blood pressure. You can start on any of the 20 levels you want, and the game just cycles through them as many times as you want. While none of the puzzles are particularly hard, there are enough challenging ones to play around with a few times. I can recommend it with the caution that if you are insane, you may find the aspects of it beyond the gameplay inordinately troubling.