Stunt Dive – Are you a real stunt man?

Jumping is fun. Jumping into water is more fun. Jumping into water from an enormous height is dangerous, but the most fun as well. A game developing company called Agens had a similar thought when creating Stunt Dive.

The name says it all: it is a game about stunt diving. You have three jumps in which your task is to get as many points possible. Each jump is scored separately and the sum of all three jumps gives the end score. Each jump has three segments which are scored: tricks, style and air. If two same types of stunts are used in the same game, the second one will be scored with 0. The jury values innovation, which means that a different style of jump will give you more points than similar jumps. Another important aspect is the landing. If you enter the water vertically, as is the norm, you will be awarded more points and any other landing (for example, flat on your belly) will lower your score. After three jumps the game offers to upload your score and see how you ranked.

There are five different stunt types to perform: Type A means no flips, Type B stands for front flips, Type C for back flips, Type D means side flips and Type E stands for the hardest of all: twisted side flips. Player controls the diver with SPACE for jumping, UP arrow for spin, DOWN arrow for side flip, LEFT arrow for back flip and RIGHT arrow for front flip.

All in all, Stunt Dive is a small and simple game with no new, innovating mechanics. It may be too simple for its own good, however. With repetitive design, it is bound to make you bored fast and search for a new way to spend your free time, maybe try StrikeForce Kitty 2.

Gemcraft: Chasing Shadows

Shadows are part of us, as well as we are a part of our shadow. But what happens when shadows get a mind of their own? GemCraft: Chasing Shadows, made by Game in a Bottle, offers a fresh perspective to that question.

GemCraft: Chasing Shadows is a tower defense game with an interesting concept. Instead of placing different types of towers in order to destroy wave after wave of creepy, shady monsters, GemCraft players place tower shells in which gems are placed. There are several gem types, each providing a different bonus or attack. What makes this game stand out above the competition is the possibility of crafting gems. Only few gem types can be used on a single level but those gems can be crafted, upgraded and swapped between towers at any time. Additionally, two gems can be combined and create a single gem with two or more attacks and bonuses. The game has an option of placing walls on the path, prolonging the monster’s time spent on the map. Another advantage is an option of placing the towers onto walls, greatly increasing their damage. Further in the game, walls become a crucial difference between winning or losing.

The game uses skill points allowing different types of upgrades. Furthermore, talismans can randomly be acquired during the fight and used on the talisman page to get various bonuses. What fascinated me the most was the achievements page which lists over four hundred available achievements to complete.

Beautiful graphics are focused mainly on the darker tones of the colour spectre, setting a mood that fits the story. Altogether, GemCraft: Chasing Shadows is a genuinely unique tower defense game, with enough challenges and maps to keep you playing for a while.

Play Gemcraft: Chasing Shadows here!

Car Eats Car 3

They say we shouldn’t judge the book by its cover. The same goes with video games. Although the title implies an automobile version of a cannibalistic feast, Car Eats Car 3, made by Smokoko game developing team, is a side-scrolling platform game with nothing new to offer.

The mission is simple, get to the other side of the level and collect as many gems and bonuses as you can while evading or destroying cars that are chasing you. As you drive you have no control of the gun mounted on the roof of your car, however you can release bombs behind you and leave your chasers in a pile of metal and ashes. Boosting can get you flying which can help collect even more of those pesky collectibles needed to upgrade your vehicle. In addition, there is an achievement system which awards you gears, another currency needed to buy more upgrades.

The controls are uncommon, with the UP arrow for moving forward, DOWN for backward and LEFT and RIGHT to balance the car while flying. It is kind of funny to watch your car roll over and over in place when you start playing the game, but it gets annoying quite fast.

Background and item design is beautiful but car design has its flaws. The car you play with is similar to Lightning McQueen, a main character of Cars (cartoon made by Disney and Pixar). Other cars you meet through the game also show strong resemblance to the cartoon, which had me questioning the creative aspect of Smokoko.

With no impressive features and a repetitive soundtrack, Car Eats Car 3 gives nothing to keep you interested and play more than a few levels. It is a sequel that didn’t live up to its expectations.