This Week's Waste of Time
Two free browser games zoom into playability
By James Renovitch,
4:42PM, Thu. Jan. 21, 2010
This installment of my weekly look into the world of internet browser games explores the concept of scale. Two titles alternate between big and small as an integral part of the gameplay. Continuity uses scale to combine the run-and-jump gaming with a puzzle game. An expanding viewpoint helps Small Worlds play like an 8-bit version of Lost.
Continuity looks like a puzzle game where you need to shift pieces around to complete the maze. Things aren't quite that simple though. Putting the piece together once isn't enough. Pieces need to be reused – often more than once – to get from point A to B. After you've shifted the pieces of the maze sufficiently you can zoom into your character and move him around the screen in an attempt to find keys and unlock doors. Reach a dead end. Zoom out again and move the pieces more. As you zoom back in for more running and jumping note that the music grows more intense as you approach the action portion of the game. A simple premise that is executed excellently.
Approaching the player from a more artistic standpoint, Small Worlds beings with a close-up of a pixilated character who, as he explores his environment gives the player a bigger picture. The fun is learning more about this abandoned missile silo (I think) that you appear to be marooned on. Small Worlds is short on plot and character – in fact, they are non-existant – but big on creating a mood through music, art design, and a few well-placed surprises.
Click here to play Continuity and here for Small Worlds.