Monthly Archives: February 2015

Crazy Drake Platform category

Title screen from Crazy Drake

The platform game boom in the 90s begat an odd brand of artistically driven mascot games. Earthworm JimPlokZool, Cool Spot, and their ilk owed much of their success to their terrific cartoon stylings, especially if all else turned out poor or frustrating. There’s a lot to analyze about the balance those games struck between their visual accomplishments and their quality otherwise. That conversation deserves a greater breadth of games to scrutinize, and the first new name on the list should be Crazy Drake.

Not much distinguishes Crazy Drake from those other games, and it bears a suspiciously close resemblance to Earthworm Jim in particular. The similarity works in its benefit here. Like the rest of its breed, Crazy Drake is a pretty good action-platformer with the elastic panache of a Saturday morning cartoon. Another game in that vein doesn’t exactly break new ground, but it’s certainly a pleasant surprise.  Crazy Drake » Read more

3 in Three Macintosh categoryPuzzle category

Title screen from 3 in Three

3 in Three has some terrific world-building.

It feels weird to talk about a puzzle game in terms of its narrative achievements, but that’s why 3 in Three excels. From a gameplay standpoint, it’s roughly the digital equivalent of a big paperback Pennysaver puzzle book. There’s a grab-bag assortment of puzzles – some fiendishly enjoyable and some dully frustrating. But developer Cliff Johnson made the game special by wrapping the entire thing in a quirky story about computers, data, and language. It provides a fun context for puzzle-solving and props up some of the game’s inherent limitations.  3 in Three » Read more