Thursday, 27 November 2014

The Game With No Name - Dos


I have no idea who ART is.


ASCII, or the programmers guide to using characters instead of actually coming up with graphics, can be used to make some interesting games and with games like Jason Jupiter, Rogue and Kingdom of Kroz, it gives older games and programmers a chance to realise their games as whatever it is they wanted it to be, assuming that a big smiling face was acceptable for their main character (usually).
 
It's supposed to be a jungle I guess.

The Game With No Name, actually has a name and it's "The Game With No Name" so we're off to a confusing start already. It is a simple little platformer that uses a single screen to display each level and has the usual expected ticks on the platformers guide to making a platform game. Little character? Check. Enemies that move in predictable directions? Check. Collection of items to beat the level? Check. Password system for later levels? Check. Puzzle element that requires a little bit of thinking to make sure you don't get stuck? Double Check. Lifts and other traps? Check.

Level 1, filled with suspense and danger! Until you realise that there's no suspense, or danger.

Trapped somewhere (like it really matters) you're tasked with collecting fuel/diamonds (expensive isn't it but what fuel station isn't these days? Right??? nevermind...) by navigating your way through various surprisingly colourful levels in order to hop, collect and acquire the necessary fuel to escape from your location. Along the way you'll have to also find key items that will do various things from unlocking doors, illuminating your way etc. otherwise you will be unable to progress further in the game. (Which entirely negates the point of a password system to jump levels as it doesn't give you the items you will have missed by jumping ahead!)

Think fast! Or really really slowly given the speed your machine needs to run at.

Some tout this game as one of the hardest to play, in a way they're right. The game is broken in many versions in that the fifth level has 1 less diamond than the game is searching for and as such, is physically impossible to defeat it. On top of that, there's also the issue of multiple enemies that have to be navigated around and in some cases, used as stepping stones before they kill you in a shower of red blocks. Other regular traps include a fountain that has to be switched off in order to gain access to the rest of the level otherwise the falling water will kill you.

Yes, I AM running out of ideas for pictures at this point.

But the biggest problem in the game is being VERY careful in planning your route, getting a diamond removes it from play and as such, may have been serving as a stepping stone towards other diamonds that you will require to find within that level. Other traps include lifts/elevators that raise you up, into enemies or into the ceiling if you're not careful. That said, the design and innovation in the levels is interesting enough to encourage players to keep playing in order to get to the next level just to see the next challenge. The problem with this is that while you can resume play on a level by getting the password to it (and they’re all to do with computers and hardware), you will miss the key items you require to continue usually after those levels are over.

Game over? Thank fuck for that.

There's no sound in the game so nothing to talk about in that regard. But I imagine it would be beepy-boopy, but not in a dubstep way.

If you use your imagination, with these graphics, you can almost see, the bad ASCII being used.

It's a challenging little game that's presented rather well, all in all and for what it's worth, will keep people entertained for a short while in the least, but it's never going to be a long term game though can be worth a gander if you're curious to see how people have used the ASCII settings to create games.