Christmas in Cairo.. Seriously!

Croteam‘s Serious Sam: BFE was half-price in the Steam Sales, so I got copies for Tim and myself, along with a copy of Serious Sam: The Second Encounter which was on for less than £2.

One of Steam’s Great Gift Pile objectives was to decorate the Christmas tree in the first level of the game: the achievement Christmas in Cairo, so the game got bumped on the playlist while I’m trying to get some of the objectives completed.

I expected Serious Sam: BFE to be much the same as the previous games in the series.. over the top shooting with lots of guns, more than enough ammo and silly numbers of enemies.  I didn’t expect it to look quite so good, though!

Doing my usual climbing around on stuff, I found some Parkour secrets.  Nothing huge.. a bit of extra ammo or armour.. a few extra enemy encounters, such as the two Kleers I met in a small alleyway.  I’ve played through the first level twice now, specifically looking for secret areas on the second run and even then, I didn’t find them all.

There’s a nod back to a previous Sam, with a single Kamikaze running at you, then Sam screaming back after he’s dealt with, then even more Kamikazes appearing..

I reloaded my save to get an extra couple of turns at this section.. one shot stalls the Kamikaze, with the second finishing him off, and you can get a nice Chain Explosion if you make him blow up his friends 😉

Decorating the tree turned out to be one of the last things to do on the level.. and when I got there, I realised I had to go back a little bit to collect some of the decorations.  I’d killed all the Rocketeers out in the open, clearing the area before running through to the museum.  However.. Christmas! 🙂

Blocks That Matter

Blocks That Matter is a platform puzzle game by Swing Swing Submarine, featuring a tiny robot, blocks and puzzles.. another game with blocks?  Minecraft really has set the trend.. 🙂

The adventure mode is called The Underground Rescue, and it starts with the story of Indie Game Devs in Trouble.  A pair of indie developers have been working on a secret project which their fans have been anticipating just a little too much.. they decide they don’t want to wait any more..

The devs are kidnapped and held hostage with instructions to complete their game overnight.. however, their secret project isn’t a game but a little robot, the Tetrobot, which is sitting de-activated in their office.  To help them, you need to get him up and running!

In the first level, you are only able to collect blocks by bashing into them with your head.  Once you have collected four blocks, the first upgrade station unlocks; going into it awards you the first upgrade.. the drill!

The drill allows collection of more blocks.. sand, wood and stone at this point, more types to come in later levels.

Your next upgrade teaches you to combine your blocks into Tetrominos, Tetris-blocks which you use to help you jump up to other parts of the map to gather other blocks, reach more upgrade points, or get to the exit portal.

Each portal moves you a little bit closer to the devs!

There are also a few enemies.. slimes!  The small ones can be jumped easily.. contact with them more than once will result in them triggering your nanoreset, and you start the level again.  You can trigger this yourself if stuck by holding down the W key: the first time you do this you get an achievement: Someone did it wrong!

The big one, though..

She chased me through one level.. a frantic dash for the exit portal, broken up by entering puzzle mode to create tetromino stairs and platforms to jump gaps.  Maybe she was mad with me because I killed some of the smaller slimes by dropping blocks on them 😉

Sand falls if there is nothing supporting it, so if you drill out the block underneath it, or explode a row of eight blocks, and the sand will fall onto whatever is underneath.  This can be used to kill slimes, to provide a step to climb on, or used in the construction of a tetromino where you don’t want all four blocks to stay put.. all depending on the puzzle you’re trying to solve.

I can see the game getting frustrating later, as any mistakes are punished with the need to nanoreset, and return to the start of the level.

In addition to the Adventure Mode, there is a set of chocolate-themed bonus levels, from the Chocolate Update.. starting with Chocolate Rain.  Many blocks have been switched out for chocolate, and the puzzles here involve having the chocolate blob enemies blow up the blocks 🙂

I found myself stuck after only a few levels, though..  I think I’ll come back to this after the main game!

While checking over the game’s website, I saw that Swing Swing Submarine have another game in the works: Seasons After Fall.  I actually noticed this game thanks to the early artwork, featuring a cute little fox sleeping under a tree..

Image by Djaoul..

Seasons After Fall will be more of a discovery-based puzzle game where you explore the countryside taking advantage of the changing seasons.  It looks as though this was meant to be out in 2011, but they now say it will be done when it’s done.. which at least means they’re concentrating on getting a properly working product together, rather than shipping something out full of bugs.. plus points to them!

More Silly Things

Tonight saw triumph in Grim Batol, on Heroic..this leaves The Stonecore and Halls of Origination to do, as well as the last patch’s Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman.  Getting there, slowly! 🙂

There was also another return to the Arena, this time with three of us, as Norfolk n Chance 😉

We didn’t do too badly, with enough wins to pick up some new PvP gear and get an achievement: “World Wide Winner”, for winning a ranked match in each arena.  I hope we’ll be doing more 3v3 as it was rather good fun 😉

Afterwards came the silly, with a couple more of Vorlak’s random trinkets..

He looks rather too big for the sidecar, as I look too small for the bike..

And from one extreme to the other.. the Voodoo Gnome.. am I allowed to call this cute?

Critter Gitter!

A friend just sent me some Critter Bites.. which allows me to turn critters into temporary pets!

I started grabbing all the critters I could find around Orgrimmar, until not only did I have the achievement “Critter Gitter”, I also had a large following of dung beetles, toads and other small critters.. wheeee! 🙂