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King’s Smith: A Review


King’s Smith:

Level progress

Installation:

The downloaded zip file is 59.7Mb, so if you are on dial-up it may take a while to download. Once unpacked you will find a read me with the conditions of use and a dual activation/set up module. Installation is simple – click on the set up/activation file, and then select the path you wish your game to be installed to. The default path is C:\Program files\KingsSmith.

The installed file is 128Mb in size and shortcuts are installed to both the desktop and start menu programs list. There is no shortcut to the uninstaller, but you can find one within the installed game. You can create a shortcut to that if you wish. You’ll find details of how to create a shortcut HERE for the start menu/programs list.

Introduction:

Can you fulfil your dreams? Will you become a King’s personal smith? There can be only one! Prepare for a challenge!

King’s Smith is a airly new time management game from Running Pillow (released Dec 2009), the developer who gave us Galatron a few weeks ago.

Quote from developers introduction to the game:

Who says a woman can’t be a blacksmith? Well, pretty much everyone, except your grandfather. He’s a master smith, and is willing to take you on as an apprentice in King’s Smith. As a young apprentice blacksmith of your grandpa you are slowly learning how to become a master blacksmith. Through your journey around a kingdom, meeting new challenges, you will encounter many strangers and learn many new abilities that will help you to upgrade your armours and equipment, which you can then sell to make a nice profit. Make a name for yourself, and you may just find yourself working as the King’s Smith!

(Slightly edited

)

Goldsmith created

The Game:

King’s Smith is a time management game which is simple and straightforward to pick up the game play easily. When you first start an account (you can set up multiple accounts, so this game is ideal for the whole family) there is a simple tutorial that walks you through the stages of the game. I’ve taken screenshots of all of the early stages which you can see via the link below under images. The graphics are cartoon like and well done though not as crisp as games like farm frenzy. The game is fully mouse controlled and will save your progress up to the last completed game. It will not save progress part way through a level. The game is timed, but only for the purposes of awarding you either gold silver or Bronze stars. The game will always at least award you a bronze star, even if you take more than the allocated time to complete each level.

As the blacksmith you must buy rusty, old equipment from the vendor in the wagon. He will offer many types of wares at different prices. You will be able to tell whether the price is good or not by the thumbs up and down. If you turn down the price another wagon soon appears. Occasionally there is also a blackmarketeer, who will sell you improved goods for a good price. After you buy from the vendor, you place your rusty part on a stone platform where it will create revenue for you, or alternatively put it in your workplace. (the building with the outdoor fireplace), a worker will leave the home and work on your piece. Once completed, you hang your ware either back on the stone platform or sell it at the bottom right. People will come look at your goods and offer money for them. You can haggle with the price. To help you a thumbs up or down will appear telling you whether the price is good or not. Do remember to move any equipment that you placed in the smithy once it has been repaired otherwise you’ll be losing valuable income. As you progress new selling platforms become available and new types of buildings for making gold or jewel encrusted wares available. The more you process a an item you’ve purchased, the more profit you will make. try to get the most expensive items on the stone platforms as they will create more revenue for you at regular intervals. there is an indicator that will let you know when revenue is going to be credited to you.

Bartering

Like other simulation games, the stats are all on the bottom and you will get audio confirmation for many actions taking place. As the play progresses, more items will be offered for you to repair or improve then sell on or earn cash by keeping the equipment. In addition, you will need to buy raw materials that are on sale often, and build more buildings to expand your business. Blueprints for new buildings will become available throughout the game. Occasionally the raw materials can be purchased at sale prices. this is the best time to purchase your raw materials. Later in the game you can purchase power ups that improve the amount of discount you can get. It will get quite busy as you progress, but upgrades from the shop will help ease the work load occasionally. Once you meet your goals, which are listed to the top left of the screen, you go on to the next level. The end of level stats board will count up all your resources. these are allocated points which are then converted to gold coins, which can then be used to purchase upgrades or new items to buy. You can also upgrade the vendors wagons so that they sell more items to you each visit. There are more options to choose from like gold swords, more buildings to erect and employees to hire. There are five areas to complete each with several stages, so there’s lots to accomplish in this cute looking time management game

Later Stages in the game

Images:

You can see general in game screenshots HERE and tutorial images and level progress to level 6 {over 100 images} HERE

Features:

• Manage your own smithy

• Buy new patterns, upgrades and bonuses

• Travel through exotic countries

• Repair unique pieces of equipment

• Become a master blacksmith

Plus much more…

The Diary

PC System requirements:

• Windows XP/Vista or Mac OS Leopard
• 900 MHz processor
• 3D graphic accelerator
• 512 MB RAM

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Conclusion:

Don’t let the quaint graphic fool you into thinking this is a simple game. Initially the game starts off quite slow. slow enough for me to enjoy playing this game. (I rarely enjoy time management games as I like to play at my own pace). I liked the ability to be able to haggle with your vendors and clients for a better price. The game reminded me a lot of the Farm Frenzy series which is about the only time management game other than this one that I really like.

The game was easy to learn and play thanks to the straightforward tutorial that is devoted to the first level, though it continues whenever something new is introduced into the game. I managed to capture all the screens up to level six. I wasn’t able to play anymore with the demo i used to write up this review. The game started off a little slow initially, but soon speeds up. I found the game play was quite addictive. The cartoon characters and background were entertaining and the music appropriate, though as mentioned below, you can change this to whatever you fancy if you wish. The easy going speed and the graphics are ideal for the family game and I think you’ll have lots of fun playing together with this game. It’s worth a good 7.5 out of 10 or even maybe an 8 for family orientated game play and a riveting game plan. (I rarely give games 8 or more, so this being from a genre I don’t usually play would indicate that I think it’s a worthwhile game to keep in your games library. I’ll definitely be keeping this one. Thank you to Running Pillow and the game giveaway team for giving and finding this little gem of a game.

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Additional Information:

Music:

If you don’t like the in game music, or feel like a change (changing the music to some of your favourite music can help towards the enjoyment of playing the game) you can easily change the music by swapping the music files for ones of your own. You will need to rename your music files to the ones found within the installed games music folder because they are in the .ogg format. This is easily done by using one of the many freely available converters. There are several audio converters to be found in the freeware library. I would back up the original music just in case you run into problems; but, if you forget you can always install the demo and use the music from that if required.

You’ll find the music files by following the path:

C:\Program files\KingsSmith\resources\audio\music

You can find free audio converters HERE

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Other similar games:

You can download several time management games from Gametop called Lovely Kitchen, Apple Pie, Wendy’s Wellness, Travel Agency and Cake Queen.

You can download any one of the above free games HERE

You can get loads of time management games from MyPlayCity now. Just look at the titles available totally for free:

Cake Shop 2, Fashion Craze, Nanny Mania, Beach Party Craze, Magic Farm: Ultimate flower, Cake Shop, Wendy’s Wellness, Jenny’s fish Shop, Lovely kitchen and Farm Frenzy 1 & 2. All of the MyPlayCity games are available HERE

N.B.

Please do remember that the games from both sites will open up your browser when you close the game down, but it is totally innocuous. You may also find that during the installation process check boxes will appear indicating tool bars and even your home page may be changed, but you can stop this by un-checking the box. Gametop are increasingly resorting to pop ups as well, so ensure your pop up blocker is primed. All that said, the games from both sites are safe and of a good quality, so if you’re looking for more time management games for free, they are the places to visit.

Game Giveaway: Sandbox of God Revamped


Sandbox of God Revamped

Installation:

The downloaded zip file is 15.9Mb in side and unpacks to a dual activation and set up module (the file with the key image) and a read me document. To install and activate the game just click on the file with the key symbol which is orange in colour, (may look light green if you’re colour blind). By default the game installs to:

C:\Program files\The Sandbox of God Remastered

but this can be changed if you wish. The final installation size is 17.9Mb. A shortcut is installed to the desktop and the Start Menu program list. You can uninstall the game via the Start menu shortcut or directly from the installed folder.

Opening page

The following are reviews and information from various sources. I’ve had such a busy week, that I though I’d save time by posting this information rather than write a full review of my own. I apologise for this, but I just didn’t have the time to write one, (which is a pity because I really like this game). I’ve played the original freeware version of The Sandbox of God loads of times and loved it, so when the developer decided to re-master the original I was ready to purchase it just as soon as it was released. The game as stated by the developer is DRM free, which is great (and for those who don’t know what that means, there is no online registration required for the purchased version).

In my opinion it’s a great indie game that’s well worth the paltry sum of $3.95. However, today you don’t even have to pay for it. 🙂

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The Game:

Today’s remastered version of the game is built on the updated 2004 release of The Sandbox of God. The main differences between the freeware version (v1.52) and the commercial version (v1.56) are the latter remastered version has two new game play modes called ‘Warfare’ and the ‘Simulated Boardgame’ Modes. The game also includes all the updates made to the original freeware version such as using the latest Game Maker 8 engine instead of Game Maker 5; which basically means faster processing. There’s also a new save system and you can play the game in a slightly larger resolution than from the original; though when you consider the size of the average flat screen monitor now, the retro screen resolution of 800 x 600 seems rather absurd, but this is because the new version is just a remastered version of the original. You can play the game in full screen via the toggle in the options menu, but there will be a large black border filling in the area not covered by the game. If you wanted the game area to look larger, with a smaller black border you would have to temporarily reduce the size of your screen resolution via the properties window.

The options menu contains a music toggle, the windowed/full screen toggle, an erase data button, which enables you to restart the level and a go back button that takes you to the main menu. The main menu gives you access to news and updates as well as any patches that may be available.

I’m not sure whether the giveaway version will qualify you for updates due to the giveaway clauses that you can find in the read me that accompany the game in the zipped download file, but I don’t see how that function can be omitted from the giveaway version. The best thing to do is contact the developer if and when an update has been made to see if it is possible. Choosing ‘New Game’ from the main menu opens up a new screen that gives you access to all three available modes, that is Classic ModeSimulated Boardgame Mode and Warfare Mode. The news and updates button also gives you access to a spoiler free hints guide that is very useful for those new to the game.

Ingame help screen

.
.

Simulated Boardgame Mode:

You can still play The Sandbox of God: Remastered (SOG:R[/em]) in it’s classic style or switch to the new ‘Simulated Boardgame’ mode. In this new style, SOG:R simulates how one might play a board game version of the Sandbox of God in their basement using light gels, clay figures, blocks and cards, and Christmas lights. Switching between the classic style and the board game style can be done between rounds.

For help click on the question mark that’s situated next to the in game score card to the bottom right of the playing area. You will be prompted to go there when you first start the game.

[i]Boardgame mode

The Sandbox of God Warfare Mode

Quote by the developer:

As man sits atop the world, enjoying the fruits of his labour, evil rabbits plot revenge. Defend man’s civilization as you purchase new defences and upgrades, and prepare to do battle with the ever-multiplying civilization of rabbits. Use your godly powers of lighting and destruction to destroy rabbit armies and huts…provided that you have enough cash, of course. Unlock new cards by beating Sandbox mode and see how far into the future you can survive!

Warfare Mode

When you choose the Warfare mode you can follow the online guide (via the menu once you choose the Warfare mode) by clicking on the online guide button, which explains what the Warfare mode is and lists all the different cards such as Lightning, Wind, Man, Earthquakes, Medicinal, Seedlings, Plagues , Comets, Explosives plus several more (see the three images below for the full list and explanations).

The objective of this game is to survive wave after wave of rabbits over the course of many eras, until man cannot defend themselves any more. There are many tools at your disposal to help you in this quest, so let’s break it down!

Warfare Mode

You’ll notice the store at the beginning of the game. You can buy powers from here and add them to your inventory. You can hold up to ten cards in a single battle round, assuming you have the game cash to purchase them. Any cards left over at the end of a round will carry over to the next round.

Your main city’s health is displayed over itself by a bar graph; you cannot place any items within the dotted radius, or move any units within those boundaries, (see the images above and below).

Warfare Mode

As you progress through each era, you’ll notice that you’ll unlock new cards. As your technology improves, so do the rabbits, so plan accordingly. You win money with every rabbit defeated along with a nice bonus for destroying their huts and cities.

Here are all the cards available in the store:

Cards available in-game

Simulated Boardgame Mode:

You can still play The Sandbox of God: Remastered (SOG:R) in it’s classic style or switch to the new ‘Simulated Boardgame’ mode. In this new style, SOG:R simulates how one might play a board game version of the Sandbox of God in their basement using light gels, clay figures, blocks and cards, and Christmas lights. Switching between the classic style and the board game style can be done between rounds.

For help click on the question mark that’s situated next to the ‘in game’ score card to the bottom right of the playing area. You will be prompted to go there when you first start the game.

Boardgame mode
The Sandbox of God Warfare Mode

Quote by the developer:

As man sits atop the world, enjoying the fruits of his labour, evil rabbits plot revenge. Defend man’s civilization as you purchase new defences and upgrades, and prepare to do battle with the ever-multiplying civilization of rabbits. Use your godly powers of lighting and destruction to destroy rabbit armies and huts…provided that you have enough cash, of course. Unlock new cards by beating Sandbox mode and see how far into the future you can survive!

Warfare Mode

When you choose the Warfare mode you can follow the online guide (via the menu once you choose the Warfare mode) by clicking on the online guide button, which explains what the Warfare mode is and lists all the different cards such as Lightning, Wind, Man, Earthquakes, Medicinal, Seedlings, Plagues , Comets, Explosives plus several more (see the three images below for the full list and explanations).

The objective of this game is to survive wave after wave of rabbits over the course of many eras, until man cannot defend themselves any more. There are many tools at your disposal to help you in this quest, so let’s break it down!

Warfare Mode

You’ll notice the store at the beginning of the game. You can buy powers from here and add them to your inventory. You can hold up to ten cards in a single battle round, assuming you have the game cash to purchase them. Any cards left over at the end of a round will carry over to the next round.

Your main city’s health is displayed over itself by a bar graph; you cannot place any items within the dotted radius, or move any units within those boundaries, (see the images above and below).

Warfare Mode

As you progress through each era, you’ll notice that you’ll unlock new cards. As your technology improves, so do the rabbits, so plan accordingly. You win money with every rabbit defeated along with a nice bonus for destroying their huts and cities.

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Additional Information:

The original Sandbox of God was freeware. You can download that version ERE . Just look to the top left of the page for the download link.

According to Felix Atagong’s unfinished project the freeware version seem to have had the hidden Easter Eggs removed, plus despite the update there has been no new content added. This means the original walkthroughs are still valid for the Remastered classic mode and freeware version all of which can be found via the following links:

Walkthroughs

Sandbox of God Walkthrough Part 1:
Walking through the Valley of Eden

Sandbox of God Walkthrough Part 2:

Bad Moon Rising

Sandbox of God Walkthrough Part 3:

Under the Vulcano

Sandbox of God Walkthrough Part 4:

I want to be a Little Fishy

Sandbox of God Walkthrough Part 5:

It’s the Final Countdown

Walkthroughs for the Remastered Version:

Spoiler Walkthrough by John of Jayisgames.com

Non Spoiler Mini Strategy and Hint guide by chubigans

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Music:

It is possible to change the in game music if you find it annoying. Just follow the path detailed below:

C:\Program Files\The Sandbox of God Remastered\oggmusic

You’ll need to rename and convert the music you wish to use before changing it.

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Alternative Games:

Vertigo games are offering several games for free. Acid bomb and Acid bomb 2which are precursors to today’s giveaway are a couple of them. Wizzard of Ozz actually posted some of the freeware Vertigo games a while back as part of our ongoing free games for the weekdays project. You can find download links those games below:

Prisms of Light 1 & 2

You have to guide light using prisms (really!):

You can download Prisms of Light 1 & 2 HERE

Sandbox of God:

This game was recently upgraded and has been released as a commercial game for less than $5. The original version is still available as freeware though. I purchased the updated version and apart from some minor graphic enhancements I found little difference between the freeware and commercial version. You can find details of the freeware version via the following link:

You can find details of the freeware version HERE and a download link for the freeware version of the Sandbox of God from the developer HERE

Vivid Conceptions:

A great platformer.

You can download Vivid conceptions HERE

The original version of Shellblastcalled Acidbonmb and its sequel Acidbomb 2can be downloaded from the following links. I’ve quoted the information found on the Vertigo gaming website for each of the games :

Acidbomb:

You can download Acidbomb HERE

Acidbomb is a fifty level puzzle game where you must find the pistons used to trigger a bomb and defuse them before time runs out. There are many bombs scattered around the world, from biological bombs that have hair-sensitive triggers to napalm bombs that are exploding at the seams, to nuclear warheads that have challenged even the highest trained bomb disposal agent.

Along with this game you get the Virtual Bomb Simulator which allows you to make your own bombs, and a mini-game called Acidrop that is completely different from the rest of the game…but you’ll see that for yourself.

Given that all the bombs in the game have random pistons, you will never EVER solve a bomb the same way twice. Ever.

Acidbomb 2: Rearmed:

You can download Acidbomb 2: Rearmed HERE

Quote:

Acidbomb 2: Rearmed is the sequel to the acclaimed Acidbomb (noted by such sites as Gamespy.com and in the Top 100 Free Games of 2006 on 1up.com) that takes the original and gives it a complete overhaul. If you thought the first game was too easy or unbalanced…you’re in for a treat. This game is for the casual and hardcore puzzle fanatic alike.

The objective: secure the world by defusing bombs from criminals and terrorists alike. As you crack down on this new and dangerous threat, the technology improves with both the Homeland Security team (new weapons) and the terrorists (new bomb types, such as Biological, Oxidation and more). We also have reason to believe that there are several nuclear bombs hidden in major public areas in the United States, Europe and Japan…and the clock is ticking…

With over fifty levels, unlockable content and mini-games and more, you’ll be busy fighting the terrorist threat for quite a while.

There are several more free games from the Vertigo site, which have been posted in the free games for the weekdays project, so I’m not going to mention them here

Week 102: Games from CactuSquid


  • Here’s a selection of simple but interesting games from Cactusquid. You’ll find a nice collection of arcade games in the first download called Cactus Arcade most of which I’ve also posted as separate downloads, then there’s a whole pile of games rated ‘cold’ to ‘on fire’, cold being not very popular to on fire being the best games. I’ve only selected warm to on fire games plus maybe a few that interested me, but there are loads more to check out. What’s cold to some may be hot to others. I was going to separate the games into single posts, so that I could add the genre to the title, but decided not to. I’d really appreciate comments as to your thoughts on the ones you found really interesting. All the downloads can be found HERE though I’ve also added alternative download links to most of the games. Several of the games did have online high score availability, but the site that hosted those scores has been closed.

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Week 102: 7th Legion


7th Legion (33.4Mb)

7th Legion… well, this game is somewhat similar to Command & Conquer. “Yes, another C&C clone,” you may think, but this game is somewhat unique in a way.
The story is about two factions, the 7th Legion and The Chosen. It takes place in a future in which the Earth has been overpopulated and its precious natural resources are running out! Many scientists broadcast warnings of impending doom! The governments of Earth enact the PEP – the Planetary Evacuation Program – to safely get everyone off Earth into space on massive Colony ships, thus giving the planet a chance to heal.

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Week 102: Magic Carpet


Magic Carpet: (75.2Mb)

Magic Carpet is about exactly what it sounds like: a magic carpet. And you’re sitting on it. You fly around an Arabian landscape with water, hills, and trees. The story of the game is simple: there was a great war between wizards. The wizards used more and more destructive spells and ended up summoning monsters which often turned against them. There was one wizard who wanted to end everything with an all-powerful spell. Instead, the worlds shattered.

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Weekday Steam Deal: Nation Red


This weeks midweek madness sale is 50% off Nation Red for 3.99 pounds (approx $6) instead of 7.99 pounds. Nation Red is an indie zombie shooter akin to the old alien shooters, but with much better graphics. I found this game hard at first as it feels open ended (that is it never seemed to end, but that was only because it was so manic, with zombies coming from all directions). You have to survive a particular amount of time to progress to the next level. It took me many attempts before I finally got to the second level, but once you get the hang of it it does become easier. There’s a massive array of weapons to pick up throughout the game. You can check the game out via the following link. ther’s a video and several images, or you can check one of the videos I’ve posted below.

If you like fast action, then this game will appeal. If your reactions are slow, i’d give this one a miss:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/39800/

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Week 101: Gemstonia [Alpha]


I felt like trying my hand at posting a free game, so here it is.

Gemstonia

Gemstonia is  a game that’s sort of like Bejeweled, except with a twist, literally. Instead of swapping two adjacent gems, you rotate three gems, clockwise or counterclockwise. It’s like combining Bejeweled and Hexic together. It’s an interesting concept, but the developer, Lopens (who gave away Trio last Saturday), have released the game as unfinished (hence free). It’s not very polished, and there are no sounds, but this game is still very interesting for demonstrating a concept.

PicDepict.com

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