As we all know, ice hockey was discovered accidentally in 1923 when Theodore Hockey attached two knives to his boots in an effort to make ice farming more efficient. He discovered that competing farmers would often attack each other and the sport of ice hockey was born. Almost a century later, we are thrilled to see that the sport has come a long way. And there’s now a videogame that remains faithful to Mr Hockey’s violent vision, full of blood, punching and goals.
Super Blood Hockey by Loren Lemcke
Violent ice hockey shenanigans. Face off on the ice against the dastardly national teams of your childhood. They are all there, even Finland. Plug in a controller, plug in two controllers, plug in four controllers. Bash your opponents to the slippery surface of the arena with the ‘B’ button, pass with ‘A’ and charge up your shot by holding ‘X’. A shouldering, punching mess of sports, in which you can reliably floor not only your own team members but also the referee, if you really want. I laughed out loud multiple times during my Canada v Russia playoff. I scored a goal by shooting it forcefully at one of my own players, who crumpled to the ground in a bloody mess but also acted as a kind of ricochet surface, sending the puck flying into the goal. Later, when both teams tried to exit the arena, the ice machine came rolling in and wordlessly battered them all out of the way. This gets two broken thumbs up and a toothless smile from me.
| by tak
It’s pronounced ‘Pipe’. Probably. A difficult title to explain but perhaps a little easier than the cat symbol of the creator’s previous game. Pipe is a speed-runny hover-platformer in which you play a sentient pipe who must escape the scientific facility in which you were created by hovering uncontrollably through the hallways. There are some turrets that want to keep you here and others that are malfunctioning and just like to watch you leave. It’s very short but the controls are mmm-mmm-MMMM. And once you complete it you can try for a better time, taking advantage of all the angular corners to speed up your escape, aided by the fact that, once you gain some momentum, the pipe moves tremendously fast. Off you go, bouncing off the walls and zooming down hallways like some sort of cracked-up ghost.
Karambola by holypangolin
You’re not going to believe this, but the dark bird-thoughts have struck again. They have harassed and belittled the fruit people into feeling down and lonely. Some of them have turned to drink, others to weeping on windy, isolated hillsides. It’s up to you as screen clicker to alieviate their troubles and make the fruiters happy again. There’s a distinct taste of Amanita’s bizarre point and click adventure games to it. Like Samarost and Botanicula, the solution to problems sometimes requires some silly thinking. One puzzle sees you clicking to remove the shadows from three glasses of liquid, for example. But each scene is also small and self-contained. A colourful collection of conundrums.
Sunward by Graeme Borland
I see you, creeping through the undergrowth with your spear, trying to hunt the red-eyed buffalo creatures and take their souls for your little spirit circle, or whatever it is. And frankly I’m disgusted. The whole plain is catching fire and night is closing in and what do you do? You go out to hunt and kill the herd. It’s typical, just typical. You go out there with your arrow keys, holding down ‘X’ to charge your spear and taking careful aim at just any old animal, don’t you? Well, I hope you’re happy. I hope you’re bloody well happy.
Ancient Warfare by JNI
Countrymen, friends, brothers! There have been those who have said the blue box people would perish! That the kingdom of the red box people would triumph and leave nothing but ruins and burning homes. But I ask you: are we not blue box people? And do we not stand before their forces, stronger than ever? Look at our champion, look at his shield, activated by pressing the right mouse button, and his sword, swung limply with the left mouse button. Perhaps there will come a day when our people disappear, when we enter paradise as warriors or marksmen. But it is not this day! Today we fight! Today we send That One Guy to battle! Today, the blue box people WILL PREVAIL.
Celusta by Alex, Katy, Miguel, Sebastian & Kim
Row, plebs. Press left and right in time with the swinging drumstick to make you go forward, or strike a double beat on one side to make the boat turn in the direction you want. Avoid the ice, get out of the storm, and do it quickly because there’s a shadow under the water and it wants to wreck your ship.