With bigger images, better organization, and a bit more explanation, this post about one of my favorite Flash games is ready to view again! It’s “Magic: the Gathering meets tower defense!”
Want a relaxing yet challenging game? Meet Boomshine, and see how this simple-looking game actually packs quite a mental workout!
I went back and edited this gaming post about Dice Wars, an addictive little favorite of mine for many years. If you like Risk but never get to play because you don’t have anyone to play with, check this out!
|The screenshot at left is the actual size of Guimp.com, home of the tiniest miniature games, Flash toys, and galleries I’ve EVER seen. Right within that 18×18 pixel square is where all the magic happens. Zoom in and get ready for itty-bitty pixel fun–awesome things DO come in small packages!|
How to Play the Games
Pacman (mad skillz required)
Piano (this is awesome!)
Other Available Games Not Pictured Here:
- F1 Racing
- Space Invaders
- Drum Machine
- Fruit Slot Machine
- 3D Arena (REALLY COOL)
All in all, Guimp.com is a wonderful little game and timewaster site (to pardon the pun). If you’re feeling nostalgic and want a tiny taste of retro gaming, or if you want a crazy novel take on gaming, click and enjoy!
If you’re gaming more through your computer these days (and who isn’t? LOL), there are literally thousands of sites which cater to our needs. Games of all flavors, whether single-player Flash games or multi-player server-based games, exist to entertain us–and, as you’ll see below, all sorts of gaming news sites have popped up to tell us about new games we’d like to play, too. Here are four I really like:
Flash games, Flash games everywhere…
Creative games and online timewaster toys abound on this awesome little site.
This site is the online home of the free-to-play Marvel Comics-based MMO, available through Steam as well as downloadable through this website itself. (I still miss City of Heroes, but this game helps fill in the void some.)
Any kind of gaming news you could want is probably already profiled at Massively…they seriously cover just about everything.
For composers, musicians, and music enthusiasts, then the Sound Matrix Flash game could be your new favorite Internet toy. I’ve definitely wasted more than my share of time goofing around with it! 😀
How to Use Sound Matrix
Clicking any gray square on the grid turns it white; the white square will produce a tone every so often. In the above example, this white square produces a B natural approximately every 3-4 seconds, and the little white square lights up when “struck,” such that the whole grid sparkles with it. Very pretty! 😀
For those who might be interested, I came up with the complete musical scale that Sound Matrix can produce. (The uppermost squares produce the highest tones; the lowermost squares produce the lowest.) While this may not look like the most diverse scale, it can actually create quite a variation of tunes!
As for actually composing tunes, clicking squares that are an equal horizontal distance apart will give you a “beat,” which will loop every few seconds. That’s pretty much all you need to know–the rest is just experimentation, play, and happy accidents! 🙂
A Few of My Sound Matrix Compositions
These are a few little tunes I came up with while musing and playing; I had a ton more saved, but I lost them in the Great Hard Drive Crash of 2011. :/ But where those came from, there are plenty more 🙂 The following screenshots kind of serve as “sheet music” for Sound Matrix:
Thanks to Stumbleupon, I found this awesome little Flash tool called Incredibox, which is my new “musical sandbox.” I like it so much I wanted to honor it in this week’s creativity post, because it certainly makes me feel more creative!
How to Use Incredibox
Click and drag one of the colorful icons to the guy’s hat, and he’ll start making a beatbox sound–there are various beatbox effects, such as bass, beats and breaks, melodies, and other vocal additions.
Recording and Sending Your Tune
This is what it looks like when you’re recording–a strip appears across the top showing how long the recording is going. Maximum recording length is 30. If you need to stop the recording for whatever reason (if you misclicked or waited too long to start/stop an effect, for instance), you can click the circle button again (it becomes a square when you hover over it).
For inspiration, here’s a little tune I made and recorded using Incredibox–I call it the “Pensive Club Jam”. 😀
Give Incredibox a try and see what kinds of cool grooves you can make! I literally spent an hour the other day while writing this post playing with it…it’s addictive!
(PS: Happy birthday to me! :D)
Building on the success of the first Castle Wars game, which I wrote about before, Castle Wars 2 improves on every facet of the original game, and introduces a new mode of play as well.
Basic Game Premise
You gather your resources, build up your defensive wall to protect your castle, and survive long enough to either get your castle to 100 height, or smash your opponent’s castle to 0. (Fans of Magic: the Gathering will recognize some similarities in gameplay along the way).
Just as in the first game, you begin with three different types of resources:
- Bricks (obtained through Builders)
- Crystals (obtained through Mages)
- Weapons (obtained through Recruits)
The more Builders, Mages, and/or Recruits you have, the more of those resources you get per turn. (For instance, if you had 4 Builders and 2 Soldiers, you’d get 4 Brick resources every turn, but only 2 Weapons resources every turn.)
The key to surviving in the game is to use your resources efficiently, and try not to depend too much on any one type of resource.
Game Modes and Options
Players of the original game will be familiar with the “Practice” gameplay mode–that’s pretty much all that the first Castle Wars was.
In both “Campaign” and “Practice” modes, this is how your screen will look. Your castle is on the left, with your information about resources and castle height at top left; your enemy is on the right.
- Shovel: Builders
- Brick: Brick resource
- Helmet: Recruits
- Axe: Weapons resource
- Pointed hat with stars: Mages
- Sparkling crystal: Crystal resources
About the Action Panel
New for Castle Wars 2, the Action Panel helps with tasks during your turn. By default, you can click a lit-up card to use it; you can also click “Discard” and select up to 3 cards to ditch from your hand. Lastly, you can click “Card Info”, then click a card to see what it does in more detail.
The “Campaign” mode is a new, story-mode style of play, in which you choose a “tribe” to play as (either “Easy,” “Medium,” or “Hard”), and battle against other castles around you, trying to take over every territory on the map. But once you’ve taken over every territory, there is still one challenge remaining–I won’t spoil it for you! 🙂
In Practice Mode, you can choose a number of options that aren’t available to you in Campaign Mode. You can choose whose turn comes first, what “tribe” you and your computerized opponent are playing, and even select your own customized deck (if you’ve built one using the Deck Manager, explained below). You can even select what the background looks like and what background music is playing!
The Deck Manager allows you to build and save your own customized versions of the default deck. Scroll down using the brown scrollbar on the right side to see all the card options; use the up and down arrows underneath each card to choose the quantity of that card in your deck.
Your custom deck must have at least 75 cards, and you’ll want to build in at least 3 of each Builder, Recruit, and Mage cards, but other than that, the sky’s the limit in terms of innovation. When you’re done, click “Save” at the bottom, and give your new deck a name. (To test it out, enter Practice Mode and click the Player 1 tab. Beside “Deck: Default,” click the word “Change,” and a list including your new custom deck will come up.)
You must create an account with GamerSafe to play multi-player Castle Wars 2. I’ve never tried it–if you’ve tried it, tell me about it in the comments section!
Play the game: Castle Wars 2
Simple mechanics: destroy bad guys, get a few life points, survive a few seconds, rinse, repeat. 🙂 Each level lasts 50 seconds–can you survive that long?
- Press A to smash the knife-wielding bad guys when they get close enough
- Hit Spacebar to jump (you can also hold Spacebar to jump continually)
- Press D when you’ve got a glowy bomb to nuke the whole screen full of baddies
- Use Left and Right Arrow keys to move around
This screencap from one of my playthroughs is the single best strategy for surviving the game: keep jumping around. (See yellow arrow.) Staying aerial means that the baddies can’t knife you unless you land for too long, but since you can hold the Spacebar to jump continuously, there’s no reason to stay on the ground much at all. I pretty much never use the A key to smash the baddies; using A means you’re locked in place on the ground, which means your health bar is far more endangered.
I usually like to jump all around the screen, keeping the baddies running back and forth. However, you can jump around close to the right side of the screen if you want to camp out and wait for bombs to come rolling through. This way, you can jump on a bomb and wave bye-bye to 5-10 baddies at a time! (However, I have noticed something strange about the rolling bombs: sometimes you land on them and set them off, but they don’t destroy any baddies nearby. Not sure what causes this to happen.)
Besides keeping an eye out for rolling bombs, grab the falling pink hearts and glowy bombs whenever you can. If you have to make a choice between getting a bomb or a heart, go with the bomb; you can set it off across the whole screen, and get a ton more life points that way. (Remember that getting rid of bad guys gives you a few life points apiece! :D)
The End Result
At the end of the fifth level, this screen will appear, with your final life score at bottom right and your game score at top left. For this runthrough, I got a pretty high score–close to 1200. The life score was about the highest I’ve ever gotten it, too. :O
Once you’ve managed to survive through the fifth level, Stick Smasher becomes more about perfecting your skill at avoiding the knives, using rolling bombs effectively and carefully, and getting both your life score and game score as high as possible. See if you can match or beat my score! 🙂
Play Stick Smasher: Stick Smasher @ MaxGames.com
Sometimes creative thought just won’t come, or seems sluggish and slow–it’s like your creative juices have been frozen and won’t thaw enough to move.
When you get stuck like that, some say to keep pushing ahead, to keep trying to do what has become so difficult. I, however, have found that switching to a different artistic task entirely can revive the ol’ creativity machine in your head. By the same token, I’ve found that doing something randomly creative rather than purposely creative can help the Muse start to work again.
For that reason, I’ve gathered some of my favorite artistic timewaster games, which have served me well as “icebreakers” for my Muse. Check them out and try them–you might find a new idea bubbling to the surface even as you play!
|I actually made this fairly-human-looking face using Ultimate Flash Face–surprising and pleasing, considering that most of the faces I try to draw on my own look like alien faces. XD This is a great artistic program–helpful for both art newbs (like me) and veterans alike!|
These are three examples of the kinds of swirling art you can create with Flame Painter–so many settings, opacities, saturations, and colors to play with! Great for anybody who loves just playing with color.
Drawing with TypeDrawing is very different–instead of plain lines, you’re drawing with words strung together in a never-ending string. (Thus, my simple landscape done with just the words “tree” and “landscape,” and my attempt at a city skyline done with the word “city.”) There is a data limit–you can only draw in so much detail–but what you CAN make with words will surprise you!
A selection of drawings made with the Scribbler Toy, which takes a simple line drawing done by the user and transforms it with subtle shading lines of all sorts. You can play with the basic settings (as I’ve done in the far right drawing) to change how much scribble it adds, what color/opacity they are, etc.).
From smooth veils of color to waving lines, from fairly orderly to completely chaotic, Bomomo helps you make all sorts of random visual awesomeness. You can’t choose colors, but you can choose from a variety of lovely automatic brushes which follow the directions of your mouse (with surprisingly pretty results!).
And, last but not least, you can unleash your inner preschooler with JacksonPollock.org‘s art simulator. You start out with black paint, and you can click anywhere within the window to change the color to another random selection. Fill your entire browser window with virtual paint–who cares what it looks like, just have fun! :