Reviews: Gunslugs, Avernum, Tribloos, Nitromes Plunger, Momonga Pinball

Orange Pixel’s Gunslugs is one blast of an arcade game. There are helicopters, jetpacks, a heck of a lot of shooting, some tanks. . . it’s like arcade candy land, really. You get to blow up lots and lots of stuff, and while doing so you’ll unlike new characters and new weapons. Orange Pixel’s Gunslugs ticks every box in the video game design school’s dictionaries definition of arcade shooter. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Oh yeah, and there’s even a multiplayer.

Your mission is simple: shut down the Black Duck Army’s beacons. You’ll journey through many different environments, each of which is packed full of its own kind of baddies. So, guess what? You gotz ta shoots dem, fool! But dey gonna shoot you back. . . fool.


So, yeah, everyone’s a fool and everyone’s shooting.

So, what about the controls? After all, you can’t make a video game that’s good without good controls.

Well, they’re joyfully simple.  Use the arrows on the screen to move left and right, drumming that fire button like Lars Ulrich drums a beat. Your enemies will drop weapons and items for you to collect.

When you die (and you will die), you start from the first level. Which should be a nightmare and leave you smashing everything around you, but actually, it’s not that bad because the game’s so darned good.

Anyway, I’ve plugged on about how great this game is for long enough now. Go play it. . . NOW. . . or click another page and then go play it, whatever’s good.


OVERALL:4 out of 5 

Spiderweb Software’s Avernum is one of the best indie RPGs of the past decade. Now, the complete saga is available in one title. With Avernum: The Complete Saga, you get hours and hours and hours of the best RPG gameplay and all for the very reasonable price of $7.99.

But anyway, let’s carry on with the review as though you didn’t already know how good Avernum: The Complete Saga is.

With each game you begin by creating a team of adventurers that suits your own play style. You can create a bunch of Berserker cat warriors, Lizard hedge wizards or a more sensible balance of heroes that will offer all the basic options and give you some unique traits too.

You’ll move by using the mouse and clicking. Numerical hot-keys are used for spells and other commands and during battle you’ll manually direct characters around the battlefield, casting spells and engaging your enemy.

Each game gives you a giant map to explore and you can choose to travel the map as you see fit. You’ll find treasure and items hidden around, making you want to explore every nook and cranny of the game world. The plots of the games merge together and you can choose to play the games in any order you wish.

One of the accusations that has been hurled at Avernum is that each individual game does little to evolve the series. This is somewhat fair. The game certainly are very similar, but nevertheless there is a definite sense of improvement from one game to the next. From a video game design perspective, it’s probably best to say that the advancement of the series has been about gradually polishing the basic framework to get the best results possible. It’s also possible to argue that Avernum doesn’t need to evolve. It’s an old-school RPG. It knows what it is and sticks to it. It aims to serve fans of the style of the game and it does so excellently.

Regardless of whether more could have been done to make a game in the series its own unique entry, the simple fact of the matter is that with Avernum, you know you’re getting an old-school, you’re getting a lot of old-school RPGs, and you’re getting the best the genre has to offer.

What’s more, there is an absolute TON of content in this disc.

 Avernum: The Complete Saga is a title that should be in the collection of every old-school RPG fan.


OVERALL: 4.5 out of 5.

 Good news. The Bumpkin Brothers have released a sequel to their 2011 simulation / time management title The Tribloos. Tribloos 2 takes place in a 2D world full of super-happy and positive creatures whom you must guide on a mission to discover the origins of terrible storms heading toward the island. There’s more than a spot of rain beyond those clouds, though.

Your mission is to organise the tribloos to distribute labour efficiently – which from the word GO is a great set-up for a game and far more interesting than “shoot stuff.” In order to succeed, you’ll need to assign workers to collect resources, build houses, sawmills and structures, remove obstacles and to keep staff in the various positions. You’ll be given a list of goals in each level and must complete them within a time limit.

You move your tribloo workers by clicking an icon above a building or above resources. You can send numerous tibloos to one task to make the work go quicker, but masters in management will tell you that the best bet is to spread the workers around between tasks.

Tribloos 2 is like a cute, simple and fun management course, but with cute critters instead of people. You quickly learn the nitty gritty of getting work done on time.

Mind you, that descrition sounds a bit boring and Tribloos 2 is an extremely fun game which never dulls. Rather, this game is a master in video game design. It’s so good it even makes me enjoy time management.

The Tribloos 2 is a simulation game in which all the pieces come together to make an utterly brilliant game. It’s also long, with over 100 levels.

I was surprised by exactly how good The Tribloos 2 is. Pick up a copy today. Trust me, it will not disappoint.

In Nitrome’s new arcade game Plunger, you play as a little face with massive extendo-plunger appendages. You move along the grid using [WASD], but instead of simply walking, you fire your Go-Go-Gadget arms and legs, which zoom across the grid and stick to a wall, to which you are then pulled.

Your mission in Plunger is to reach and connect to every node on a level while avoiding enemies and enemy nodes, which will kill you.

Enemies aren’t the only things that will do you injury. So will parts of the environment that may fire at you or pull you in and gobble you up.

Helping you on your way are pick-ups, including a lightning bolt that turns you electric, letting you reek revenge on your enemies.

Plunger is basic title, but it’s an absolutely adorable one too. You’ll be grinning from ear to ear thanks to the super-cuteness of the game’s design. Plunger is one of the best games for kids I’ve played in a while too thanks to that super cuteness and also the simple puzzle nature of the game (which won’t really tax your brain but will at least have you thinking).

Overall: Plunger achieves a well-earned score of 4 out of 5.





Pinball is nearly 100 years old, but it’s never really seemed that old thanks to new designs and innovations to the game that happen every now and again.

One team to help the continual development of Pinball is Paladin Studios, who new game Momonga Pinball Adventures takes the basic premise of pinball and turns it into an adventure. It’s not just any old adventure though—it’s an emotional story brought to life with beautiful art.

Owls have taken the tranquil village Momonga and turned it to ashes, kidnapping the inhabitants and flying off. Only one of the Momongas survived the attack, Momo, but he’s scarred from top to bottom. With the help of a lonely Lorekeeper who found him, the Momonga will heal and journey on an adventure to save his people.

Not a bad story for pinball, ay

As for the traditional pinball game part, theres are flippers, objects to bump into, other objects to hit around and it all takes place in an open environment. The open world allows you to explore the land, find treasure, destroy enemies and even fly.

The gameplay here is truly unique and enjoyable, and even for those who don’t generally enjoy pinball games, the beautiful story that takes place around the pinball action offers charm and entertainment.

My favourite thing about Momonga Pinball is the way in which in reinvents such an old game. It’s a wonderful thing for traditional pinball fans, and the art and story are a brilliant bonus on top.

Paul Harrison

Paul M Harrison is an entertainment journalist, novelist, and blogger, and a specialist in the theory of storytelling. Paul Harrison can be contacted via his personal website or on Twitter or Facebook.

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