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David Brown's Free Play | UFOs, Sweatshops and SIN

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Features
Tags:
Browser games, Download games, Flash games, Free Play, PC games

David Brown's Free Play | UFOs, Sweatshops and SIN

The best way to get down to Sin City is obviously in the SIN Car, powered as it is by the evil thoughts and blasphemous deeds of its driver. That is, you. So if you've got the ladders and snakes, roll those loaded dice and and put the champagne on ice.

Enough AC/DC lyrics already. You get to drive a car and on the way you can collect tokens to boost your score. Simple stuff, except you control the movement of the vehicle by extending the track, which is formed like a sound wave.

Move the mouse up and the waves get longer, move the mouse down and they get shorter. Obstacles extend out from the sides of the course, so you've got to bend the waves to avoid them.

David Brown's Free Play | UFOs, Sweatshops and SIN

It's quite difficult to get to grips with it and it does get old fast, but it's a good concept that could be expanded into a more sophisticated product in the future, perhaps. One thing is certain: it wasn't worth the effort of looking up AC/DC lyrics for the intro.

Of more interest on the whole is Abduction Destruction, a game where you suck small animals into your flying saucer and then fire them at weather balloons and approaching stealth fighters. It's simple fare, but the mouse movement is fluid, it's easy to finish the levels but challenging to get a gold medal and so on.

It's not going to keep you glued to it for hours, but it'll pass a bit of time. Only problem is you need to download it, making it less accessible than if it were hosted on Kongregate or wherever.

David Brown's Free Play | UFOs, Sweatshops and SIN

Another you'll have to download is Vlambeer's ffflood which was apparently designed and created in less than two hours for a competition. It's a pseudo-tower defence game where you set up your counter-measures around your base and surrounding cores before the swarm of block enemies rush you.

You win a round by capturing enemies via good defensive placement and once you've got enough, you get a bit of time to spend some cash, do some research, build better defences, the usual.

It's a little tough to get into at first, but is rewarding when you do. Plus, it's only in an alpha state, so there's a lot of potential for improvement, if the developers see fit to go back to it, what with their Serious Sam and Super Crate Box projects doing so well. Again though, you've got to download it, so that could be an issue with you giving it a go.

David Brown's Free Play | UFOs, Sweatshops and SIN

Next up is a bike game that involves avoiding pixellated traffic, Ragmeg Alleycat. The object is to score points by collecting special packages, crossing red lights and doing other 'kwazee' stuff to rack up the numbers.

If you play it safe and skate on the pavement (sidewalk for our US readers) you'll be able to stay alive, but you also won't be getting any points either. Risk, reward etc.

There's also a hotseat mode if you like to compete with other humans, and you choose from two normal modes too, fixed gear and freewheel, which change the ways in which you can brake or accelerate.

Despite the rather rudimentary visuals, it's a good laugh. Again though, as is a running theme through this week's page, it's a download only title, so those at work will probably actually need to do some work for a change. Shame, that. Oh, and also, no idea what the name's about. What's a ragmeg anyway?

Finally, we've got a browser game about the joys of running a sweat shop in the third world. Simply titled Sweat Shop, it starts with an upbeat animated video that goes from idiots paying 70 quid for a shoe to the ruthlessly overworked and underpaid people actually making it.

David Brown's Free Play | UFOs, Sweatshops and SIN

The sound and music is really quite irritating and it's not the most sophisticated of management games, but it does make you think. Actually, no it doesn't, because the point it's making is an obvious one.

Anyway, you have to hire worked to get goods packaged up and ready to be sent to the corpulent West, and it's like a reverse tower defence game, where instead of destroying the automated enemies sent towards you, you create them instead.

Extra workers can be hired, as can child labourers, and your task is to do the job as quickly and cheaply as possible. Children don't work as fast but are cheap, while 'specialists' are more expensive, but take up more room on the assembly line and cost more.

One annoying thing is the amount of clicks it takes to get the boss to shut up (although you can just click skip, but then you might miss some info first time round).

Anyway, if you own a business, you'll know all about working your employees to death for as little money as possible, so this might be a useful to get some tips for how to bleed them a little bit more.

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