The Sparkle 2: Evo

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There is no such thing as “last week,” it’s a myth.

Hungry Hungry Wigglything is a casual action game by Forever Entertainment S.A. in which you start as this:

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I do, and I also know how to eat your entire family alive.

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Eat Stuff: The Game advertises itself by vaguely suggesting that the player has control over how their lifeform evolves. What actually happens is that when you level up, the game tallies which elements you ate the most (red, green, or blue), and turns you into an appropriate larger version of what you once were. That’s as much control as I have over the smell of my breath when I am faced with the possibility of having some garlic.

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So hippie, jock, or bland. Got it.

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Spore’s Uninteresting But Pretty Cell Stage drops you in puddles of life wherein you have to compete with a rival lifeform for food. That’s it, really. Eat more than the other guy and you win. There’s a non-competitive mode in which all you have to do is deplete one of the colors from the entire level. This becomes a sort of microscopic Where’s Waldo, except he’s constantly pinging you. As far as what you’re supposed to eat, what starts as nibbling at inanimate candy-plankton becomes full-on dismemberment and organ-harvesting murder.

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im in ur bellah, nommin ur kidz

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The visuals are beautiful. Everything glows as it floats about, and the ability to go up and down in levels of depth gives you a glimpse of what you can find below. You’re apparently immortal, however, and whenever you are damaged the game automatically makes you climb one “floor,” which only serves as a minor inconvenience. Nothing attacks you, either, you only get hurt by lunging at the wrong end of whatever it is you’re trying to rip to pieces.

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I am not your mother.

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The chill-out music fits the game well, as the most action you’ll experience is speeding through the water for a brief moment, and only if you happen to be a carnivore. The game is not without bugs, however, and although the collision system is strange at best, I found myself flung beyond the edge of a certain level after getting stuck inside some weird jellyfish inside a whirlpool. As for level 13, which I initially thought was incomplete, I only have this to say: No.

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It’s the first EULA I’ve ever read in its entirety.

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Nom Nom Nommin’ On Living Flesh can be finished in a few hours, and the credits were a nice touch. Although I wish I could say it does what it advertises, it’s not a waste of time either. The controls could be better, but they only need some getting used to, and as the game itself tells you, it’s there to fill your free time with something nice. As far as I’m concerned, the price should stay at the 75% off it is at permanently, and not just until the 16th of June.

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“Control the evolution” my DNAss.

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5/10

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Space Engine

Holy Shit Are You Serious is a space simulator by Vladimir Romanyuk, a.k.a. SpaceEngineer, in which you explore space. And… that’s it.

“That’s it?” I hear you say, “That’s it,” I answer. No pew-pew-pews, no aliens, no missions, nothing… yet. For now, it’s just for sightseeing. A planetarium, as it calls itself. Even so, I shat asteroids when I got my eyes on this.

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I swear I tried to come up with something funny to say.

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The universe in Light-Speed Is So Slow is a 10 gigaparsec cube centered on Earth, in which 99.999% of the content is procedurally generated, save for real objects from official star catalogs.

Let me break down that number for you: One parsec is about 3.26 light years; one light year is the distance light travels in one year, or 9,460,528,400,000 km (or 5,878,499,810,000 miles, for the backward weirdos); so, one parsec is 30,856,775,790,000 km (19,173,500,000,000 miles); 10 gigaparsecs are 10 billion parsecs, so every edge of the cube that comprises the universe generated by Space Engine is 308,567,757,900,000,000,000,000 km long (FuckYouGoLearnMetric miles). In case that was hard to read, it’s over 308 sextillion km.

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But wait! There’s more.

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That’s the length of the cube’s edges, how much is the actual volume of the cube? Why, just 308,567,757,900,000,000,000,000 times 308,567,757,900,000,000,000,000 times 308,567,757,900,000,000,000,000, which gives us 29,379,989,390,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 km3, or over 293 million vigintillion cubic kilometres (approximately 0.01 yourmoms).

But what does all this volume contain? Why, galaxies. Many, many, many galaxies, about 10 trillion, and EACH contains from a few billions to over 500 trillion stars. A very rough estimate would place the total number of stars in Unfathomable Size at around 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (one septillion). Knowing that most possess planets, that means- ah, fuck it.

So what are Vladimir’s thoughts on all this?

Too small.

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Theory: Vladimirs tend to have a poor notion of size.

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“I must make it a few billion times bigger in each dimension.”

He wants it to be “a few billion times bigger” than 29,379,989,390,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 km3, because that’s too small.

How can you not love this guy?

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I don’t think the couch will fit, honey.

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Too Small is the first game that made me understand how slow light-speed is. Set your velocity to 1c (light-speed), and watch the stars zoom- no. No, they don’t. In interstellar space, light-speed is like a snail on a highway. It’s borderline ridiculous.

The sights are amazing, scientifically-accurate, and despite several bugs and incomplete features (spaceship mode, for example), this shows tremendous promise. The music could be almost anything, honestly. Without a definitive mood set, whatever you wish to listen to while exploring ends up being adequate to your state of mind.

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The hills are on fire with the sound of melting.

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How far the development goes depends on the donations received. Now at beta version 0.9.7.1, and having recently reached the milestone that guarantees a finished 1.0 freeware planetarium version with things like “particle effects: accretion and protoplanetary disks, weather effects, volcanoes, and ship engines exhaust” in the future,  the donations keep coming in. The best part is that one of the next milestones is an actual single player space exploration game with shitloads of features, and I’ll let you read about the long-term goals yourself, because drool and keyboards don’t mix.

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This planet was dry before I read the long-term goals.

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I will become deeply disappointed in humanity if the funding for this ever stops. I’ll retreat into a remote cave and never speak to anyone again. I mean it. Go fund them. Now. You need me, I need you, we all need this.

8/10