Flashy Friday: Vol. 4
For this installment of Flashy Friday, I'll be checking out a pleasant puzzler, a "killer" app, and some multiplayer mouse mayhem!
Who knew tangling things up could actually be good? Entanglement is a puzzle game that asks you to create the most tangled up path possible on a board of hexagonal sockets. You create the path by choosing which tile you want to place down from your inventory. You can also rotate the selected tile and preview how the path will extend out once you place it. Since your inventory of tiles is limited, and each tile has different paths, you should choose which ones to use wisely for maximum effect. Naturally, you’ll want your path to pass through as many tiles as possible and tangle up into a chain as it will score you more points. It is game over if the path touches the outer border of the board or the very center tile; otherwise, the game proceeds until you run out of tiles. The Japanese-inspired visuals add a mood of calm contemplation, enhanced by the soothing Zen music.
This one is a personal favorite because there are a lot of strategy and RPG elements involved. Quite insidious in its concept, Pandemic 2 allows you to name a disease (a choice between virus, bacteria, or parasite) and watch as you gradually infect the entire world by land, sea, and air. As your custom disease spreads, you’ll gain points with which you can buy attributes that will make your disease more contagious, resistant, and deadly. You can even control which symptoms you want your disease to display; symptoms like vomiting will make your disease more noticeable and can send countries into a state of emergency. If enough chaos rings out, countries will start to close down their ports, making it much harder for you to infect their population. Madagascar is a particularly tricky one to finish off, as they will likely SHUT DOWN EVERYTHING at the very first sign of anything wrong.
Transformice is an online multiplayer platformer based on the age-old concept of mice loving cheese. Your goal is to capture the cheese and return to the mousehole in the fastest time possible. The cheese is often placed in an out-of-reach area, and along the way you’ll have to dodge various traps and pitfalls while racing against the clock. Most levels designate one or two mice as Shaman characters that are able to construct physics-based contraptions and use objects to help the rest of the mice reach the cheese safely. The game mechanics can be quite demanding for a beginner (especially when playing as a Shaman) but the Transformice Wiki does a great job of explaining most things. The in-depth physics engine allows for a wide variety of objects to be constructed (out of player ingenuity), such as vehicles, catapults, pulleys, etc.
The multiplayer options are quite impressive; you can type a name and jump right into a numbered room, or create and name your own room (pick an obscure name if you want a private room); however, taking the brief time to create a free account will enable more features and reserve your name for future use. You can add people to your Friends/Block list, and chat and perform emotes as you play the game. As you retrieve more cheese and/or successfully lead your fellow mice as a Shaman, you’ll earn titles and in-game money with which you can purchase cool outfits for your character. Most of the fun resides in the social interactions you can have with fellow players. The numbered rooms are crowded around the clock and quite often hilarity and mayhem ensue when a mischievous Shaman decides to “troll” his followers by killing them intentionally.