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Date: 4 November, 2003
a difference a goat makes! Learn the realities of African village
life, as you help Josephat to milk Lucky the goat, to collect
Lucky's poo, and finally to use the poo to fertilise crops.'
No theme this month, just ten excellent
games. Some of these are games that defy categorisation but which
we couldn't leave alone. Be warned, this month includes the most
joyously bizarre game yet to be featured in this column.
Some games require your browser to
have a plug in for Shockwave. You can download this
for free here
The latest offering from Christian Aid's
Global Gang. What a difference a goat makes! Learn the realities
of African village life, as you help Josephat to milk Lucky the
goat, to collect Lucky's poo, and finally to use the poo to fertilise
crops. The three separate stages of this game link together well
(your performance each one influencing how well you are able to
do in the next). Ethically aware, and good fun too. And I never
thought the editor would let me include a game so intrinsically
linked to poo. (I'm a fan of Mr. Hankey - Ed)
Manoeuvre your insects around the board and into your jar. Play
cleverly to catch your opponent's bugs and make sure that most of
the insects end up in your control. Three different skill levels
make this tactically satisfying. For the biggest challenge, let
the computer play first on level three.
Oh my word - a game unlike anything else we've brought you! A homage
to BBC football pundit Mark Lawrenson, whose rash dismissal of Bolton
Wanderers' chances of staying in the Premiership a couple of years
ago led to him having to shave off his moustache. In this game,
you control a laser-guided pair of tweezers (yes, really) and try
to stop the unwanted facial hair from growing back. Later levels
feature corner flags in Lawro's ears and other surprises. Wonderful,
and deeply, deeply strange.
An online card game, but a very good one. Aptly named, beware of
playing several 'just one more' games. Fill the gaps to arrange
the cards in the correct order before you run out of moves and reshuffles.
Simple - or so it seems. Very difficult to win, but it can be done.
Adventures in a Lego themed world. To complete your missions you
will need to collect the instructions and parts to make different
Lego vehicles. Build and rebuild yourself to get across different
terrain. Starts out simply enough, but builds (apologies for the
pun) in complexity. Satisfying.
Wordsearch on the web. The grid partially changes each time you
find a word, and to score the most points you have to move quickly
to spot your target word. A simple idea, but delivered very nicely.
A traditional eastern board game for 2 to 4 players. You can play
on your own against one or more computer opponents, or set things
up for multiple human players. Get your counters round the table
and home before anyone else, and make sure that you don't get knocked
off and sent back to the start.
A simple Othello/Reversi-like game, Play against the computer, taking
it in turns to put pieces on the board. Once a square exceeds a
certain number of pieces (limits differ depending on whereabouts
on the board the square is) a chain reaction occurs, causing other
neighbouring squares to change colour. Keep your wits about you,
or you can go from almost total domination to defeat in just one
move. Simple to play, but more complex strategy is required to master
the chain reactions. Engrossing.
Another strange one. You control a UFO, and your mission is to abduct
humans to take back to the mother ship. It's a slow moving game,
but there is a certain sense of satisfaction when you master the
tractor beam. On later levels, enemy spaceships harry you, and the
need to defend yourself enters the equation. Good fun.
Manipulate a maze of fuses and fire off
all your fireworks before dawn breaks. A simple mouse-driven game,
but compulsively moreish. Get bonus points for setting off more
than one rocket at a time, and upgrade your rockets at the end of
each level. The basic premise of the game doesn't change, but there
is enough variety and additional power-ups from level to level to
give a sense of progression. As the points rack up you advance in
rank, and some of the rank titles are gloriously obscure - have
you got what it takes to be a curious badger? There's only one way
to find out!