The Backlog #2: Bookworm, Guilty Gear, Luftrausers

This week my randomly chosen games included some titles that I found to be quick plays, so it gave me a chance to burn through a few different things.  I know that most weeks won’t be this way, as I have a lot more long-form type games in my library than I do short-form stuff, but it was nice to check a few off the list.

Bookworm Deluxe

Let’s be honest, there’s not a lot that needs to be said about Bookworm.  There is a very good chance that you’ve already played this game and are currently thinking about which iOS word game this one is.  Here’s a hint, it’s the one with the worm.  Also, there is a picture above, silly!  Regardless of whether or not you’re familiar with the game already, it’s a pretty straightforward little word game.  You use adjacent letters to form words, and each letter has a point value.  You want to score as many points as possible.  It’s fun…for about 30 minutes.  I’m sure there are a few diehard Bookworm fans out there somewhere, but I’m not one.  This is a game I own because it came as part of a $10 Popcap collection that included Peggle, a game I really enjoy.  That’s really the only reason this is in my library, and now I can say I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of it.

Guilty Gear X2 #Reload

I don’t remember quite when I bought Guilty Gear X2 #Reload but I’m almost positive it was one of those 80% off Steam sale type buys.  I like fighting games in as much as I like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat.  I was kind of excited when this game popped up though because I know that the Guilty Gear series is known for being beautiful.  I was not disappointed.  For a game released in 2002 in standard def, the art is really striking.  After a little research I learned that the series is also known for its soundtrack, which didn’t really strike a chord (pun intended) with me, but that’s ok.  The characters are all really flamboyant and fun to play, and there are many modes in this game, including a story mode that seems to be unique to each character.  I played a good two or three hours of Guilty Gear X2 #Reload and I’d say that I had a lot of fun with the game.  It didn’t convince me that I should drop everything and become a Japanese fighting game aficionado or anything, but I certainly have a deeper appreciation for the series.  As a side note, I learned that BlazBlue is made by the same developer and is the spiritual successor to the Guilty Gear franchise, so if you like the Guilty Gear style but you’re looking for more, BlazBlue is probably a good bet.  As a second side note, Guilty Gear X2 #Reload is 50% off on Steam at the time of writing this, so for $5, this game is well worth the money.

Luftrausers

When Luftrausers popped up I got all giddy.  A game that I bought at launch but then lost track of, I was excited to sit down and see what this much talked about title was about.  Spoiler alert, it’s about planes.  And it’s about blowing stuff up.  And it’s awesome.  The sepia toned, monochromatic visuals of the game definitely give it a lot of style, and the gameplay is as tight as any game in the genre.  Speaking of genre, I’d describe Luftrausers as a throwback to arcade style games.  You start the game, you play for a bit of time, typically under a minute, and you see how good your score was.  Luftrausers core gameplay loop is simple but satisfying.  You fly your plane around and you shoot or fly into other planes and boats.  You do this for as long as you can, until your plane has taken enough damage that it blows up.  What makes the game so much fun are the different upgrades you can make to your plane.  There are several engines, bodies, and weapons that you can mix and match, and each different setup yields a different playstyle.  Some planes are fast and agile, but weak.  Others are slow, lumbering beasts capable of sustaining heavy damage while simply flying right through enemy ships.  The customizable parts add a lot of depth to the gameplay, but it doesn’t end there.  Every possible combination was given a unique name by the designers, so it’s fun to see the name of the ship you’ve created. In addition to that, the game has one core song that plays while you’re in the plane, but each different plane part changes the song slightly.  Choose the big fat body and the song will have more bass.  For such a simple game, there is a lot of fun to be had here.  It’s currently $10 on Steam, which I think is a reasonable price for a game this good.  You probably won’t play the game for 20+ hours, but for the few hours you do spend with it, you’ll really enjoy yourself.

So that’s 3 more off the list!  I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m happy with my early progress.  I wonder what my magical random game picker will have for me next week.

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