There’s a reason why the 22nd is a special day of every month, and that’s because I get to annoy everyone with a rubbish bingo call out. “Two little ducks, twenty two. QUACK QUACK!” That’s what I pretty much go around saying to anyone I can annoy…all day. QUACK QUACK! Yes, I’m a child like that, and I only get to do it once a month, so it’s tolerable. I think.
What’s behind today’s door, though? Could it be two little ducks – that would be so perfect right now. Oh, I just had a peek; it’s not ducks. Though one of them is a bird. And oh, my gosh, they’re oh so very cute. Games, you spoil me sometimes!
Sugar Cube: Bittersweet Factory
Aww, today’s games are so bleedin’ sweet! This one especially for obvious reasons. But look at our two main characters – one of them is an adorable sugar cube and the other a recently hatched chick. Seriously, today we may be overloading you with cuteness, so if you pass out from it all we can do is apologize. I’m afraid it’s about to taken up a gear too. Sugar Cube, as outlined in our impressions of the game, is an odd being that claims that its tears are the world’s sugar. WHY IS THIS SO BEAUTIFUL?! Ahem. A sugar cube that cries sugar so the world can make their food taste a little sweeter – that’s a character right there.
So what I should be telling you about is the game that this tragic cube of sugar stars in. This is a game that won the Grand Prize at IGF China, nonetheless. Not too surprisingly considering we sit comfortably in the indie game sphere, this is a 2D puzzle platformer. Mechanically you’re getting everything you should expect from a game within the genre. You’ll be jumping and running to the side, coming across various obstacles that you’ll need your brain to be in the right gear for. As you travel, the square behind you flips around unless you hold a button down so that it doesn’t. Most the time empty space will be revealed, but sometimes you’ll get a platform that you can use.
The setting is important as it ties in with the character rather well, as you’d hope. Sugar Cube doesn’t want to become a cookie, or any other food product for that matter, so they’re trying to escape the factory that they find themselves in. As such, you might want to play the game after having just eaten; otherwise the sight of all the pastry and cakes will probably make you hungry and you’ll have to stop playing to go and grab a bite to eat.
“A cube of sugar escapes the factories to avoid the fate of being a cookie!”
Presuming you’re able to resist temptation, the game will provide you with plenty of puzzles across its 90 or so levels, and there are even a good few bosses chucked in there for good measure. Yes, the game is a little short and yes, it’s very sweet – that line has to be said in ever single article about the game; otherwise you get shot or something. It’s a glorious little game that is able to have its own little thing going on despite how saturated the genre it jumps around in is.
You know we need more of in this world? Superhero chickens. Why the hell not? Chickens already have the swagger, and they’re definitely good at pecking out the worms, i.e. the bad eggs of the group. They’re marvelous feathered creatures and watching them drink water is probably the easiest way to entertain yourself. Of course, if you want to appeal to the young’uns, then it’s best to make a superhero out of a chick rather than a fully grown hen or rooster. Such is the case with Toki Tori. Some of you may remember the not-so-indie release of Toki Tori on the Gameboy Color, and if you played that one then all you need to know is Two Tribes’ remake is largely the same, but with more plush 3D graphics and a smoothening out all around.
If you didn’t play the original, then let’s introduce you to the concept. Toki Tori, the game’s main chick, is quite happily sat in his egg not long from hatching with the rest of this siblings, when all of a sudden the eggs are all swept away. Luckily the one egg that isn’t swept away is, yep, you guessed it, Toki Tori! Instead he hatches to see the rest of the eggs disappear into the distance. So off you set to get them all back in a puzzle game built for bird brains.
Now, you remember I mentioned super powers, right? Toki Tori has plenty of these…okay, so they’re not ‘superpowers’ as such, but he is a little chick using various tools to overcome the situation he finds himself in. That, to me, is a superpower. It’s not like he has thumbs, remember! Anyway, across the game’s four worlds you’ll be using these tools to get paste obstacles or to remove the many enemies around each level. Freeze, telewarp, bubble, life, trap and suck your way through the game’s levels. What a lovely bunch of verbs. But don’t think that Toki Tori is a walk in the park – just because it’s family friendly and you have all of these tools, it doesn’t mean you’re going to have an easy time.
“Players will have to look and plan ahead carefully while using a variety of items, such as the Telewarp, Freeze-o-Matic and InstantRock™ to name but a few.”
If you should come into contact with an enemy just once, you have to restart the level. Those tools I’ve been hamming up? You have limited uses of them in each level, so you’re going to have to be careful, and if you should make a mistake your punishment is going to be to restart the level. This is a puzzle game and one that is cosmetically wonderful, but underneath that there’s plenty of content to keep your brain in overdrive. Toki Tori is a classic in its own right.
Want To Win One Of These?
Well as we’re getting very close to Xmas, and there might even be some snow around wherever you are, let’s try to find something fitting. Maybe something cute as well, although we have probably already gone over our quota over cuteness for today. Well, let’s just find something festive and fun; that seems to be the best thing! Challenging too, because we know how much you guys love a good challenge.
Here’s what you have to do to win:
Get a ascore 50,000 on Snowball. screenshot to prove it!
How to enter:
1. Play Snowball and get a score of 50,000 or more and then take a screenshot of it.
2. Send your screenshots to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Snowball” AND TELL US WHICH GAME YOU’D LIKE TO WIN!
Only those that are sent to that email address with that specified subject line and include the name of the game they want to win will be considered for the competition.
3. Then, make sure you then submit your screenshots in the comments section so that you can show off how well you did.
You have until December 22nd, 11pm PST / December 23rd, 2am EST / December 23rd, 7am GMT / December 23rd, 8am CET to submit your screenshots. Anything submitted after that time will not be considered for the code giveaway, but it can still be appreciated by the community, so make sure to drop it below!