LOWREZJAM 2017 – Part 2
Welcome back to my peek at the exciting, pixelly world of LOWREZJAM 2017. Last time I covered 10 of the browser-playable entries offered, and this time I’ll be looking at another 10 that you can play from the comfort of Chrome or Firefox or whatever you’re on right now. I’ve been very impressed with the creative spread these games form, from RPGs to management sims to simple concepts taken to entertaining extremes. Be sure to take a look at the many bite-sized games on tap and let me know if you find any quality creations I missed!
RELOAD (Quickly, Now) – A reloading simulator probably sounds like the worst case of blueballs ever but this one keeps it quick and entertaining. Monsters are coming and you need to reload your many bizarrely-shaped pistols before they devour you. Each pistol can have buttons, switches, levers, or cylinders to click before pulling the trigger, and finding them all can be a harrying adventure.
Fail Faster – This clever little puzzle platformer works best when you do exactly what the name implies. As a skeleton you need to get to the exit, but spikes or fireballs will reduce you to a pile of bones. Then the next skeleton gets to try, using your previous corpse(s) as platforms or barriers against danger. As you might expect, you’ll be building bridges and towers of bones by the time you reach the end of this one.
Big Sky Farm – I kind of expected to come across at least one farming sim, but not one that expected me to study soil composition and pH levels. There’s not a whole lot to interact with besides your crops and the market stand but it’ll take you some time to work out how best to nurture your pixelated crops. Add some charming instrumental music to it and you’ve got a great way to spend half an hour.
Surf Gods – A surfing game is good fun, but one where you’re contending against Poseidon, lord of the sea, is something else entirely. The controls take a little getting used to but once you do, you’ll be skimming along the waves weaving between sharks like a pro. The detailed graphics and actual effort in crafting a story here seal the deal.
URDL – It took me way too long to figure out that name. Here’s a hint: You have to use the directional keys to match arrows before the weird blobby things eat you. It would be a pretty unremarkable reflex puzzler, if not for the keen graphics and one really clever twist to the arrow prompts. Give this one a try if you want to tease your brain and flex your fingers.
Escape from Zone 64 – We all remember the little grid puzzlers like Chip’s Challenge, and this one captures that magic in a tiny little window. Most of the challenge is in timing out your moves between the enemies seeking you and your turn limit, and the introduction of special powers helps complicate this. There are quite a few levels to test your wits against, too.
Super Dead Mall – I love the way this one looks, but know up front that it is hard. One challenge of doing a 64×64 game is leaving enough space to notice enemies before you get wrecked by them, and this one doesn’t really have a good solution to that problem. What it does have is a beautiful little game world and some tight controls that make it quite pleasant to explore.
Le Chat Fonce: Petite Adventure – I admire this one for sending you on a collect-a-thon without much threat of you getting lost. The game is broken up into distinct areas with plenty to find, and the layouts make it easy to reckon your way back or into new places. The moody evening graphics do a lot to keep your attention, and I have a particular fondness for your adorable little shadow critter there.
Space Cave – How fondly do you recall Flappy Bird? If you’ve been missing that kind of wobbly action, or thought it would be better if you could shoot things, this is the entry for you. I had plenty of trouble bumping my ship into the right angle to blast things but it sure was gratifying when I did. The high-speed effects and pyrotechnics when you land hits certainly help there as well.
Nomad – I love the concept of this one, guiding a tribe of people across a world in search of sustenance. The graphics really make it, with the ever-turning, ever-changing globe to contend with and some tough choices about where to lead your group. It can be tough depending on how your planet is laid out, but the presentation is so pleasantly chill that I had to give it a bunch of tries.
That’s probably going to do it for the browser-playable entries! In the next few days I’ll start poking around the downloadable ones and seeing what they have to offer. There are already a few I’m pretty excited to try just from their screenshots. Until then, thanks for reading!