For all its gruesome acts of rhythm violence, maybe Hotline Miami's lasting impact will instead be one of trippy visual distortion and ace tunes. That's a damn fine legacy to leave. Hotline Trail doesn't feature brutal murder, ruminations on the nature of violence as entertainment, or a stupid stealth section. Instead, it's got a wibbly camera, some cool electronica, and endlessly twisty top-down roads. You can play it for free in your browser. And you should.
I'm not sure how I feel about getting emails from Neptune's Pride. Dirty, I guess? It was a game responsible for some pretty reprehensible behaviour, as part of a month-long campaign of stress, plotting and backstabbing. After it was over, I swore never to play it again. Then Neptune's Pride 2: Triton appeared, so naturally I played it again. Now it's emailing me, seemingly for no reason other reason than to taunt me with a reminder of its existence, and to reveal that its developers are testing out 64-player games of mammoth machination and mental manoeuvring.
If you've always wanted to roll a metal ball around on a 3D version of your favourite PC games website, then I truly hope you're seeking professional help. Also: you can now do that thing I just said, thanks to this weird, cool experiment from Google Chrome. Ignore the bit where it tells you to hook up your phone, and persevere through the frequent dropped connections, because this nifty little game is totally worth it. Not so much for the game itself, which is a sort of Marble Madness/Monkey Ball mash-up, but for the chance to interact with your favourite websites - you can use this on any site - in a new and bizarre way. Thanks to World Wide Maze, I now know what it feels like to roll around on a multi-tiered environment generated from my own words. It feels strange.
Spare a thought for your poor browser tabs, the oft-neglected part of the Internet experience. Do you think your email account wants to rub shoulders with that GIF of a surprised cat, or your ongoing Facebook chat with one of your enemies from school? Best keep them separated with a good old-fashioned webgame, preferably of the 'free' variety. As it happens we've harvested the cream of this week's browser-based crop, and presented them below for your consideration. Read on for fear, gravity, puzzles and swoooords, probably actually in that order.
Codemasters’ free-to-play web-based racer F1 Online has opened for closed beta registration ahead of its launch in the first quarter of next year. The Unity-powered top-down racer includes assets from F1 2011, and includes the requisite team management on top of the driving.
From what we’ve seen it’s rather entertaining, pleasingly recalling Codemasters’ own long-lost Micro Machines franchise, albeit in a shinier package. The top-down single-button controls aren’t going to please those who’ve spent thousands on recreating the interior of an F1 car in front of their monitors, but the low system requirements could make it a lunch-break hit.
Sign up for the closed beta here (warning: requires stupidly complicated password and the drop-down boxes are tiny), watch the brand-spankin’-new trailer above, and see the brand-spankin'-new beta screenshots below.
I’ve never driven a forklift truck, so when Toyota releases a forklift truck simulator, I assume it’s exactly what being a forklift truck driver would be like. Apparently, forklift truck drivers don’t have faces or hair. Their job involves driving their forklift trucks around a racecourse-like track and delivering crates with demonic purple teddy bears sitting on them. They have to listen to awful music that immediately clashes with whatever they're listening to. And every now and then they must stop and calibrate their forklift trucks using the most stupid mini-game in the world.
It reminds me of the bit in Shenmue where you have to get a job driving forklift trucks, which made me feel better about my life because I didn’t have a mundane job driving forklift trucks. Are there any forklift truck drivers out there? What’s your favourite forklift truck simulator? Does this Toyota game do a good job of modelling the physics of the three and four-wheeled variants of the Toyota Traigo 48?
Channel Four are no strangers to game making, having previously funded The Curfew and Privates and now Eurogamer let us know they've launched a Murderball webgame on their Paralympics Games site. Murderball, for those that aren't familiar with it, is more commonly (but less awesomely) known as Wheelchair Rugby, or Quad Rugby. Teams of four pass the ball between them and try and get in into the opposing endzone. What makes awesome is that it's a full contact sport, and the main way to win possession is to slam your wheelchair into your opponent so hard it knocks him over.
You'll probably spend the first few minutes accidentally throwing the ball out of bounds while you get used to the different movement, but when you get the hang of things, the game becomes surprisingly fun. Impacts between chairs feel really brutal, and particularly hard ones will leave little blood spatters along the ground. There's a tactical aspect too; like real Murderball, each player is rated on the severity of their disability from 0.5 to 3.5, and you can't field more than 8 points of players at once. The result is a careful balancing act as you decide whether to drop points on one star player or go for a more even, team based approach.
It's a fun little game, and a good way to while away a some time if you're bored this evening. It makes me wonder why no-one has ever tried to make a proper Murderball game. While the sport doesn't have a lot of mainstream exposure, it's fun, violent, tactical and it's called Murderball. How can that not sell?