eGamer on: Some great “mini”games!
I thought it would be interesting to have some coverage on the smaller names in the gaming scene. Firstly, all of us aware of game’s high prices these days and I’m also sure that most gamers out there are well equipped with knowledge regarding the big-name titles currently in development, but it seems that lately all the fun and good “mini” games, so to speak, have been either left forgotten or remain unheard of. The games I have in mind are those you’ll bring to a LAN party, or sneak into your school computer lessons or those you play simply because they’re hellishly addictive. Despite these games often being simplistic in their gameplay and nature, they have ways about them that keep them amazingly fun to play, especially with some friends. So with this article I’ve decided to recommend some of these games to you in order for you to try them out and see what you think. Let it be known that you have to do some downloading to get the majority of these titles, but some of them are real treasures. Now then, let’s begin!
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Genre: Shoot em’ up
Players: 1-2 (split screen – you can play with bots as well)
Multiplayer: Online and LAN; 1-8 recommended (not sure of the maximum amount, but I’ve tried up until 12 players)
Liero is a very popular and damn addictive, realtime shoot-em up multiplayer game. Taking on the role of a customizable worm, your objective is relatively simple: to obliterate all opposition. Equipped with a Ninja Rope and a diverse arsenal of weapons ranging from your standard hand guns, machine guns, shotguns, grenades and cluster bombs, to the largely destructive (and some original) banana bombs, big nukes, rocket launchers, flamethrowers, hellraiders and cannons. With these types of weapons in mind the game can really become quite a chaotic, but very enjoyable experience. The game modes available to play are: Team Deathmatch, Deathmatch, Demolitions, Capture the Flag, VIP and Tag.
Liero was originally released way back in the days of DOS gaming, but has fairly recently been remade to support Windows XP, Mac OS X and Linux. Now named OpenLieroX, the game is currently in the beta stage, but do not worry as the game comes with online and LAN play as well as a ton of mods and extra maps (including a Level Editor to make your own levels) to keep up the variety. The mods include the likes of Modern Warfare, Star Wars, Naruto, Warhammer and a lot others – they’re all great to experiment with. The only drawback at this stage is that you’re looking at a 54mb download (for the Windows XP version), but if you have nothing else to get at the end of the month, you should check this one out.
Link to website and download: OpenLieroX
Genre: Shooter Platformer
Players: 1 (at a single PC)
Multiplayer: Online and LAN; 1-8 players recommended (maximum seems to be 32)
Soldat is another amazingly popular, fun and addictive game, similarly to Liero. The game is very simplistic in its gameplay and, like Liero, the aim is to kill all of your enemies. Playing the role of a customizable soldier equipped with a jetpack (if you can call Iron Man-like rocket boosters underneath your boots that), guns, grenades and collectable power ups, the player is required to battle it out with other soldiers in a variety of different maps to see who (or which team) comes out best. Looking at the above screenshots will tell you more or less how the game is played. You start out by selecting your weapon (consisting of your familiar modern guns such as Dual Desert Eagles, an MP5, Grenade Launchers, Sniper Rifles, Shotguns and so on) and thereafter you’re thrown into the heat of battle to locate and kill your enemies, utilising your JetBoots to traverse across the map or get to vantage spots. There are a variety of different game modes, maps and weapons to enjoy, and I can easily say for a game that is just over 10mb in size, you’ll have a damn lot of fun playing it.
Official Website: SoldatHomepage
Link to download: games.saix.net/soldat
Additional Info: On the games.saix.net website, you can go to the homepage and look on the left toolbar under the game’s list to find soldat. You can get the SA server IP address there, but I’m doubtful if you’ll find many players online these days.
Name: Little Fighter 2
Genre: 2D Fighter
Players: 1-4 (at a single PC)
Multiplayer: Network Play, 1-8 players
Little Fighter 2 is the sequel to the original Little Fighter which was a very popular fighting game back in the days of DOS gaming. Little Fighter 2 is a very enjoyable little game to play and it’s very easy to learn. There are a variety of characters to choose from, and after selecting your character you’re left to fight it out with the enemy, either in a free-for-all or Team battle. There are various game modes to play, such as Stage Mode, Championship and Survivor mode which are all nicely implemented into the game.
The game is very simple to play, as it’s a 2D Fighter that only requires you to learn four directional buttons (up, down, left or right) and the three action buttons (attack, jump and defend). Every character in the game performs his abilities via the correct button input, keeping in mind that every move starts with Defend (e.g Defend, forward, attack or defend, up, jump). Performing moves take up your energy meter, which recharges itself either with time or by drinking alcohol. As shown in the screenshot above, other than your character’s combat techniques and special moves, there are various weapons to pick up and use (that drop from the sky as the battle progresses) such as throwing knifes, baseball bats, pick axes, boulders and so on. Little Fighter 2 is a great mini game to play and is definitely worth the 24mb download. It’s got fun and interesting characters, a fairly lengthy Stage Mode and it’s great to play co-op in.
Official Website: LittleFighter.com
Link to download: download.cnet.com/LittleFighter
Additional Info: Type lf2.net in the game’s start menu to unlock all characters. Furthermore, you can download mods for the game to get special, custom characters, but these can heavily unbalance the game, especially in Stage Mode, so it would be wise to make a duplicate of the original game (copy the folder in Program files after installation to a seperate location) for the sole purpose of modding it.
Genre: Shoot em’ up
Players: 1 (Multiplayer online and LAN only)
Multiplayer: Online and LAN 1-16 players
Teeworlds is a very similar game to Liero in both its offerings and gameplay. It’s a free, multiplayer and online shoot em’ up game, allowing you to fight it out with up to 16 players in various game modes, such as Team Deathmatch, Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. In Teeworlds you play as a customizable round, fluffy ball with feet equipped with a grappling hook and a small arsenal of weapons consisting of the melee hammer, pistol, shotgun, grenade launcher and shock rifle. From here on the gameplay is pretty much exactly like Liero, where you’re tasked with taking out the opposing team. What this game lacks in variety regarding weapons in comparison to Liero, it makes up for it some what with its extremely attractive and “cute” visuals which somehow serve to enhance the addictiveness and enjoyment to be found in this game. It’s only a 5mb download, so I’d recommend it you to try out, especially more so since there is a local, South African server for playing online. All the more reason to play it!
Name: Babo Violent 2
Genre: Shoot em’ up
Players: 1 (Multiplayer online and LAN only)
Multiplayer: Online and LAN 1-16 players
Babo Violent 2 is a free online, multiplayer shooter that puts you in control of a “Babo”, or in other words a very destructive and murderous ball (orb). The game doesn’t need much explanation other than the fact that you create your own Babo, altering the patterns and colours of it, make yourself a name and then you’re pretty much ready to play. Babo Violent is simplistic in its gameplay and it’s played from a bird’s eye view where your task is to eliminate the enemy players in a free-for-all, Team Deathmatch or Capture the Flag game mode. You’ll be able to choose from a list of 8 primary weapons (namely the Sub Machine Gun, Dual Machine Gun, Bazooka, Shotgun, Sniper Rifle, Chain Gun, Flamethrower and Photon Rifle), as well as coming equipped with some grenades and Molotov cocktails. Finally, there are three special attacks to choose from (of which you’ll get to use one at a time), namely the Shield, Pop-up knives (melee attack) and Kamikaze Nuke.
For a game that is barely above 10mb in size, Babo Violent 2 is extremely fun to play (it’s quite addictive too). It’s great to play with friends or when you’re bored and need some quick time to kill.
Link to download: games.saix.net/baboviolent2
Details on South African servers and players: forum.war3.co.za/BV2Local
Link to South African server tracking (check up who’s currently playing online): BaboLocalServers
Additional Info: On the games.saix.net website, you can go to the homepage and look on the left toolbar under the game’s list to find Babo Violent 2. You can get the SA server IP address there, I’m sure you’ll find a fair few SA players online, although I’m not 100% sure.
Name: Killing Floor
Genre: First Person Shooter CO-OP/Survival
Players: 1 (at a single PC)
Multiplayer: Online and LAN 1-6 players
Killing Floor was originally a mod for Unreal Tournament 2004, where it continued to be supported and updated until 2008. From there, it was around March 2009 that the game was announced to be getting a retail version, allowing you to purchase it off Steam. That pretty much wraps up its journey to retail. Looking at the game itself, if you want any indication of how this one plays, look no further than Left 4 Dead (to those who’ve played L4D that is).
Killing Floor is a class-based, co-op multiplayer FPS game that has you team up with up to 5 other players (or engage in a solo act) to battle against four waves of zombies and other scary creatures, thereafter facing off against the game’s boss to complete the level. Despite Killing Floor only being just under 2gb in size, it excels both in its gameplay as well as graphics. Killing Floor is a damn lot of fun with friends – sometimes even more so than Left 4 Dead itself. In the game, you’ll have to eliminate a fixed amount of enemies per wave (depending on your difficulty setting and the amount of players in the game of course), thereafter gaining access to a short break where you can visit “The Trader”. At the trader you’ll be able to purchase new weapons, armour and stock up on ammo. There is good variety in the weapons, as you’ll be able to use machine guns, single as well as dual pistols and desert eagles, a crossbow, shotgun, flamethrower, rocket launcher and some others.
Aside from weapons there are two other tools you’ll have from the get-go which add a tactical side to the gameplay. You’ll be able to heal yourself as well as team mates with the health injector and seal doors shut to block out enemies as well as bunch them together using the door welding tool. These recharge over time after use (although they do recharge fairly quickly) so you’ll have to use them effectively. As far as the classes go, each class has their own special weapons and perks which improve drastically as you level up [Note: Any class can use any weapon, but specific classes gain improved stats with certain weapons]. Perks include bonuses along the lines of increased health, discount and improved damage and accuracy on certain weapons, extra grenades and such. Admittedly the game does require you to play a considerable amount of time to level up, but the game compensates for it in a way due to you becoming much stronger with each level.
Killing Floor is a hell of a lot of fun and is definitely a game you can really enjoy with friends. I strongly recommend you try to get your hands on this one and try it out, but mainly if you took a liking to Left 4 Dead (or similar games).
Link to official website: Homepage/KillingFloor
Name: World of Goo
World of Goo is a very interesting little game. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to play much of this game, but it’s a really fun and challenging game to get through. World of Goo (WoG) is a puzzle game that centers around building large structures (such as bridges) using balls of goo. There are 5 chapters, each containing various levels, to get through in the single player mode. Put simply, the object of the game is to get the required amount of goo balls to a pipe (the exit) in order to complete the level. This is done by using the goo balls to build various structures such as bridges and towers to overcome the obstacles and terrain difficulties in your way. There are several different types of goo balls in the game, each having their own unique properties and uses. You are required to use these goo balls in various combinations to progress through each puzzle. This pretty much sums up the gameplay, but one more thing that deserves a mention are the awesome and realistic (in a gooey sort of way) goo physics, as you’ll see your structures wobble, sway, break and basically react to the changes in weight and balance as you add or remove more goo balls to alter your structures.
I can’t say much more on this one as I lack the experience in it, but what I can say is that World of Goo is a highly addictive and fun game to play and, if you’re the right person for it, it will definitely keep you occupied for the duration of the game.
Name: Plants VS Zombies
Genre: [Tower Defense]Action/Strategy
I’ll put forward the verdict now, Plants VS Zombies is tower defense game that is as amusing as it is awesome. Basically, the point of the game is to build towers (plants) to stop the incoming zombies. As you can see in the top-left of the screenshot, you need money (sunlight) to build the various towers. Sunlight accumulates over time, but the process is greatly sped up by building sunflowers, which generate income. Different plants have their own unique abilities and uses, such as the blue plant which damages and slows down zombies with its projectile, so you’ll need to utilise your plants as effectively as possible. During the course of the game you will unlock more plants to use (as the game progressively increases in difficulty) which adds a nice sense of progression to the game. Be warned though that you may only select a limited amount of plants to use for each level (in the above screenshot it shows 6) so you’ll have to think carefully on what you’ll be needing.
Plants VS Zombies is a great game, but unfortunately like many of these “mini” games it’s highly addictive. I would advise you, especially if you enjoy tower defense games, to get this and play it. The downside is that the full game costs money, about R185, but you can download the free trial in the link below to see if you like the game or not.
Link to official website (can download free trial demo here): Popgames/PVZ
In closing, all of the above games are awesome fun to play and, if you’re in need or in the mood, you should really check them out and see what they have to offer. I’m sure that there are a lot of other great games in this category, so if there are any mini games that you know of feel free to suggest them in the comments section.