Outside, the snow's been falling all day. My parents are attempting to re-enter the country from Egypt, but have been trapped in, of all places, Newcastle. Heathrow's nigh-on closed, diggers scraping the surface of the runways and weird crane contraptions spraying green de-icing gunk all over planes. So, with one eye on News 24 and their constant weather updates that all say the same thing, the natural thing to do is to tuck into a hot roasted gaming dinner comprised of a festive menu of free titles, hopefully served with dollops of fun.
As a starter, why not help a rabbit feast on some carrots by dragging dogs away from it? Carrot Track is a simple little thing that is just about dodging a group of pooches that are attempting to prevent his progress.
You click and drag to 'leash' a dog out of the way, allowing your bunny to move forward, and if you do it right, you can get more than one dog to move at once. The music is all whistle-y and cute, and power-ups make your task easier. One lets Flopsy float along over the dogs, while another freezes all the normal ones, leaving only the 'special' canines moving.
Problem is it's only really worth playing once, or maybe twice, unless you happen to find someone who's willing to compete for high scores with you. Otherwise, you'll try this and then never go back. The creator seems to have a thing for bunnies too, as he also created the cloud-bouncing cute-'em-up Winterbells.
Once you've polished off the starter, the main course is served up in the form of the intriguing One Chance, a game that, just as it suggests, only gives you one attempt to complete it. You'd have to close the window and reload the game to get another go.
The plot is that you, scientist John Pilgrim, and chums have brought a terminal plague down on the world. It was meant to be a cure for cancer, but it turned out to be actually be deadly to all mankind. You've got 6 game days to solve the problem. If you don't find a cure, that's it. The world is destroyed and you've blown your... well, you know.
Perhaps skipping work on the first day to go for a drink with an office flirt wasn't the best idea. Or having sex with her in my car instead of helping create the cure. That perhaps wasn't the right thing for humanity.
So yeah, the ending I got was dying in the park with my daughter. I think. It just stopped, so I assumed it had finished. There are a number of other endings to get other than the dying peacefully one. Let us know which one you get.
The main was tasty, so the dessert has a lot to live up to. Pipedreamz is a fruity little number that is all about a Beef Patty Dispenser (a burger joint guy) who daydreams about surfing the waves with Whopper-related combos to achieve.
Falling off the board too much snaps our Big Mac salesman out of his reverie and back into his real world life. If this happens too much, our Hamburger Hero gets his marching orders and he has to go back to his old job of cleaning out public lavatories (maybe).
Sadly, despite having a pig as your boss, this really is a triumph of crazy, whacked-out style over substance. It's just not fun to play, despite it's strange ideas. It's quirky for the sake of quirky, hoping to get noticed because of this rather than because it's a great game. Feel free to check it out to say you played it, but don't ever go recommending it to anyone for any other reason.
Finally, the wine and cheese at the end to cleanse the palate. Haxball is a sort of five-a-side foot-to-ball game that's only playable against other humans. That means it's multiplayer, in case you hadn't got that. Like you were playing it in the park, you're not locked into position, meaning you can be in goal or out on the field, depending on whatever you fancy doing. Not sure if there's a “furthest player back gets to use his hands” rule though.
It's very simple, with arrow keys to move and X to boot the ball up the field. It's difficult to get a grip on how to control the ball or effective aiming, but it's surprisingly good fun and takes virtually no time to load up, which is always a bonus. The lobby system is effective, showing you how far you are away from the server and quickly entering you into matches if you do join.
There are also plenty of people playing and, with it still being in beta, there's plenty of time to add new features and expand upon the basic subject matter. Different colours? Leagues? All sorts of things could happen. Very much worth getting involved with this.
And with that, I'm stuffed and am going to settle into the couch to watch Friends repeats against my will. I'm just too full to move and escape. Ah well, that's the season we're in, I suppose.