Greetings folks! Welcome to the January 23rd, 2011 edition of Three for the Road. This week we are taking a look at a once commercial--now freeware horizontal shoot'em up, the unofficial sequel to one the greatest C64 platform games ever made and a procedurally generated action/platform game that will have you spending hours exploring "just one more level" in a gigantic cave network.
Here is a real treat... I covered this yesterday on Shmuptacular, but I thought I'd give it a mention over here as well. Jochen Heizmann has recently decided to release his excellent horizonal shoot'em-up Absolute Blue as freeware. Absolute Blue is a great horizontal shooter that is very liberal with the amount of enemies thrown at you _and_ the weapons needed to take them out. The game features twelve levels spread out over four worlds, impressive 3D and particle effects, multi-level parallax scrolling, end bosses, and a great weapon/power-up system. If you are a fan of Gradius, do yourself a favor and download this game immediately. The game is available for download from Jochen's website and from my mirror.
Giana’s Return is an unofficial sequel to 1987's The Great Giana Sisters. The original game was designed by Time Warp Productions and was essentially the Commodore 64's answer to Super Mario Bros. This sequel holds true to the platforming lineage of the original game, and has over fifty levels of action for you to play through. The game is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, GP32/GP2X, Wiz, Caanoo, Dreamcast, Pandora, Amiga OS4, AROS, MorphOS and NetBSD... So i'm sure you can find a platform to play it on. ;)
The Windows build does set off a false-positive with a number of virus scanners--this is a known issue. It's something to do with their device detection routines for gamepads being flagged as a "critical action". Anyway, the file is actually clean and safe to play.
I'm not really sure why it's taken me so long to point this game out... a bit remiss on my part. Anyway, better late than never. Spelunky is a cave exploration action/platforming game created by Derek Yu of Aquaria fame. I like to think of the game as a slightly more modern version of Spelunker.
The game features procedurally generated levels (read: random) so there's many hours of gameplay to be had with this one. Also, there are quite a few gameplay mechanics to get familiar with, so be sure to play the tutorial level. And for those of you that would like to see the inner workings of the game; Derek has released the full source code for download on the site.