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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Lost Marbles

Or What started as a random Google search...

I was wondering the other day what ever happened to the old game Marble Madness? I saw a free game in CGW's most recent free games section that was lauded as a new version of Marble Madness with better graphics. Hmm.. that sounds intreguing. So, I followed the link to the website which was supposed to have the free game: Crazy Ball.

Crazy Ball screenshots from the atomic elbow website:

Well, initially I was disappointed because the so-called "game" is only a demo with 6 levels. But, I decided to try it anyway. When I loaded it up, I was less disappointed because the graphics are beautiful and the music is not too shabby. Unfortunately, you have to supply your own "wheee!" sound if you fall into the abyss. The physics seemed convincing, if difficult at times. Thankfully, boxes and planks regenerate if you accidentally knock them off, but the "game" crashed when I hit the Windows key to check my email.

More disappointment followed when I was only able to get through the first 5 levels. The last level has a couple of fans that blow you off the ledge immediately, I tried about a hundred times to get past them with different strategies. Finally, I wanted to know what the deal with these fans was and went to the "game's" help page. Here, I read that the creators of the demo know that it has some flaws, and that they aren't going to fix them because they are already working on a better game demo "Switchball". So, what started in disappointment ended again in more disappointment. I'll never get to finish the 6th level, but the help guide seems to suggest that I get over it and get a life. So, in an effort to move on, I downloaded the Switchball demo to see what was so great about it. It has nice graphics, but would only run at 15 fps, so it was basically useless.

The point: don't call a demo a free game.

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