Kongregate recently announced the results of their Unity game design contest. One of the reasons I like Kongregate so much is the effort they take to promote game development and encourage people to become involved in game design. Everyone wins. With their popularity and sophistication, smart devices have become a large platform for gaming. Similarly, browser games continue to grow in complexity and sophistication. My hope is that Unity and similar development platforms will lead to universal access to browser based content regardless of operating system (see Apple v. Adobe).
The contest winners range from physics based puzzler to network multiplayer FPS. Granted, a few are ads for complete versions that can be played on the iPhone or that are currently in development, but I’m still impressed with the technical achievement of these games that I’m playing in my web browser. Following is a reprint of the results with a thought or two based on my reaction to the games. Give them a try yourself!
1st place: Antimatiere by Chronodrax
The first couple of rooms may seem a little off-putting, but things open up quite quickly. I haven’t spent enough time with this game yet, but it seems to be a quite interesting experience.
2nd place: Sarah’s Run (preview) by SophieHoulden
It feels like Mirror’s Edge with a twist of Portal. The clean aesthetic and smooth animation really stood out to me. It’s a fast and fluid 3d platformer.
3rd place: Aurora by limbo_cow
I love particle effects. I’m not sure I played enough to fully understand the ‘game’, but I did enjoy growing my planet before it bashed into another orbiting mass and collapsed into the sun. I also enjoyed all of the pretty lights.
4th – 10th place (alphabetical order)
Bullseye (Interstellar Marines) by ZeroPointSoft – On one hand, it’s just a shooting gallery. On the other, it’s a really nice FPS shooting gallery in your web browser. I plan to write more about this later…
QBCube by CatStatic – There are a few quirks in the animation, but this three-dimensional block puzzle seems to have some well designed levels. The isometric viewpoint really challenges ones ability to think spatially.
Save Toshi by uvmarko – This version is only a forty level demo of their iPhone application, and it is very silly. But I enjoyed solving the puzzles. It definitely borrows some from Boom Blox, but has somehow managed to marry the escort mission with the physics puzzle – and made it fun.
Sentinels: First Wave by RElam99 – I really like what this tower defense game is doing. It has fancy graphics and those nifty particle effects I enjoy so much. But it also allows the player to enter the defense grid and man special turrets in first-person, to mop up the dross or focus strategic fire on a boss. The balance may be off though, as the levels that I played did not seem to allow proper use of the first-person feature – too many other elements to manage during quickly moving swarms.