Weekend Play: Time Surfer, Soda Drinker Pro, Joe Danger Touch

Yay, promises kept! So far, anyways; I can’t guarantee anything for next week, so don’t get your hopes up. I can’t stand disappointing your adorable little faces. But aside from that little weird interaction we just had, here are some games for you to try out over the weekend as you dread returning to work on Monday!

Time Surfer

“A game about time + surfing and the end of the universe.” That sums Time Surfer up pretty well, but you might be just as well off to know that it’s basically Tiny Wings with a Braid-like rewind mechanic. That’s severely and unfortunately reductive, but at least now you know what more specifically you’re getting into. It’s an inspiration that Kumobius developer James Greenaway says came from his brother Ivan Greenaway becoming convinced that every game should have a rewind mechanic instead of player death after playing through Super Mario Bros. 3 on an emulator. And you know what? I can’t really disagree.

You should also know that it’s a total blast to play. It’s got a great art style (with all the hidden goodies playing into the retro appeal) and plays like someone strapped a rocket engine to the back of the Tiny Wings bird. As peaceful and almost calming that game is, Time Surfer is on the opposite end of the spectrum with spikes and asteroids and crazy. And unlike other games of a similar ilk, Greenaway at least recognizes his influences in Tiny Wings and Braid. In fact, he’s afraid of being perceived solely as a rip-off of those two hits of yesteryear, but I don’t think he has anything to worry about. Time Surfer is familiar while still being totally unique and totally fun.

Soda Drinker Pro

I’m not entirely sure you can call Soda Drink Pro a game, but it’s still something you should play. The Facebook page describes it as an FPS, though in this case that stands for “First Person Soda.” And while initially you would want to dismiss any connections you may have already formed with first-person shooter tropes and this game, you shouldn’t. Not immediately, anyways. You are in first-person and you control with WASD + mouse, but you also almost operate the drinking like a shooter. You left-click to hold the soda to your mouth and right-click to drink it, a process analogous (if backwards) to aiming and firing in Call of Duty.

You’ll wander around several sparse environments doing nothing but drinking sodas and collecting bonus sodas (“Collect Bonus Sodas for Bonus Sodas”). You’ll have to get over a lot of prejudices to find the pleasure in Soda Drink Pro: there’s little to no lighting, the sky dome is actually just four walls that you can walk to and touch, and there’s pretty much zero ambiance. But when you go from drinking on a beach to a forest to a “weird room,” it becomes interesting enough to spend 20 minutes on this strange little nugget.

Joe Danger Touch

I’m already a fan of the Joe Danger games. I mean, yeah, the first one was better than the second, but both were just the right amount of silliness, challenge, and fun. Hello Games, in a strange twist of fate, has now brought Joe Danger to iOS devices. Joe Danger 2: The Movie was supposed to be where the series ended, but after Hello Games founder Sean Murray poured enough time into the touch version as a little side project to escape the pressure of business development and got some warm reception after unofficially showing it off at PAX East last year, Murray decided to move it into full production.

And what a great decision that was. Joe Danger Touch very much in the vein of the traditional endless runner (except really, when was the last time you played one that was actually endless?); you move forward automatically and you do things to keep that going. You jump, drop, and stunt but you can also affect obstacles and pop coin bubbles and switch depth lanes, not to mention there’s a pretty fantastic multiplayer component. It’s a seriously complex and robust set of mechanics but it totally works with a touchscreen because everything is more or less contextualized and based around three simple gestures. And this is while it still maintains the same great Joe Danger aesthetics and humor. Really, give this one a whirl and you won’t be disappointed.

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