What...what the hell is going on up there?! All this question and more will be answered in this week's roundup, which also finds the time to dive into a box of old programming books, to see what shiny treasures can be found. Enjoy!
Usborne coding books
Speaking of which, Usborne has released a bunch of 1980s coding books for free, including the beauty above. They're aimed at kids, and each provides a free ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro, Commodore 64 etc game, with the sizable caveat being that you'll need to type in the code and build each game yourself. While you're typing them in to that ZX Spectrum you keep plugged into your TV at all times (alternatively, you could emulate), why not change a few of the details, a few names or item properties, and mod each game into your own thing? Usborne made some of my favourite books growing up, and this is a lovely gesture, if only so that we can gawp at a load of gorgeous artwork from the 1980s. (Via RPS)
Enliven by Patacorow
A holdover from Ludum Dare 34—themes: two button controls, growing—Enliven is a game that features two control buttons, and some growing. You're a cute little mushroom that plants seeds to reach new areas: seeds that immediately blossom into bouncy flowers, or vines you can direct with the cursor keys. A lovely little platformer with a neat central idea. (Via Warp Door)
The Story of the Elevator Operator who arrived at the Garden by PALGAL
Everyone loves annoying trial and error, of course, but if you push through the alien interface that either advances your cause or screws it up, maybe you'll learn enough to win this game consistently? I can't tell whether Elevator's various symbols conform to a fictional language, or whether they're completely random, but I'm leaning toward the former. You're trying to move people around to their destination, Crazy Taxi style, via a magic elevator you can only control by pressing buttons that seemingly shift it about at random. Your passenger tells you where they want to go, I think, but they tell you it in alienese, and I've not been abducted enough times to have picked that up.
BANISH by Vitasa
A two-player local multiplayer game where each player fights on behalf of an increasingly gigantic elemental monster. Kill the other player three times and your elemental will grow to an enormous size, before banishing your opponent "from all dimensions" via a gruesome display.
Shabby Home Designer by Todd Luke
Design a shitty, ugly room without having to visit IKEA first (I think IKEA is OK, but couldn't resist that joke). Using mismatched art cribbed from the internet, Todd Luke's deliberately garish new program lets you place objects in a tiny room, and to paint the wall and floor, in your quest to achieve perfect feng shui. How much crap can you fit into a boxy flat? And how many friends can you cram in afterwards?