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Toaster Ovens, Squares, and Stinky Diapers

// reviews by Jeff

0h h1

Here's a game that's simultaneously addictive and frustrating. I'm actually pretty terrible at it, yet I cannot turn away without trying one more time to achieve success!

The rules of the game are quite simple. You are provided with a grid, the size having been chosen by you up to 10x10 (though it goes in even numbers, the others being 4x4, 6x6, and 8x8). It's up to you, brave wielder of a mouse, to determine which squares on this grid should be coloured red and which ones should be turned blue, following a few basic rules:

  1. The same colour cannot appear on three consecutive squares in any row or column.
  2. There must be the same number of red squares and blue squares in each row and column.
  3. Neither two rows nor two columns can have the same pattern.

Okay, sounds simple, doesn't it? So why in the name of Gabe Kaplan am I having so much difficulty with this? It's a logic game that requires the same level of concentration and perceptivity as in games such as Sudoku or the dreaded Picross (I certainly dread Picross, if my heated review of Picross 3D is anything to go by.) Maybe I'm lacking in that. The 4x4 and 6x6 puzzles seem quaint with relatively little challenge, as long as I'm not lacking in sleep.

But I didn't want to rely solely on my own questionable logic skills. I consulted with fellow staffer Beverley to get her reaction of 0hh1's mechanics. The conclusion of this little experiment? Well, let's just say we're still waiting for the lab results.

Still, I'm addicted to it. The game massages your brain like an egg beater handled by a lethargic cat, and that's probably better than any shooter or bird-tossing app out there.

Should you play it?

You can play this game by clicking here.


Cat Petting Simulator 2014

Speaking of both cats and lethargy, here's another browser game you can sink your claws into: Cat Petting Simulator. Yes, this truly is the age of ridiculous simulators, from Farming Simulator to Goat Simulator, from Fortune's Tavern (The Fantasy Tavern Simulator) to the awful Christmas Shopper Simulator. But now we've reached the peak, the apex of life simulation, with a cat petting simulator.

Except this one's worse because it's entirely text-based. I could get some joy out of using a mouse to gently stroke the fur of a loving feline buddy, but Cat Petting Simulator doesn't even go that far. It's like a Choose Your Own Adventure-style game, but the adventure is just petting a cat.

I'm in it to win it, though, so I'll give it a shot, though, under the pretense that I may actually be surprisingly entertained!

First thing's first: you have to name the cat. I named my cat "Felicia". Felicia is above all a cat name, not a people name. If your name is Felicia, I would quickly double-check to make sure you are not a cat. Next, I need to, obviously, pet the cat. Knowing how cats can be, I erred on the side of caution not to go for any particularly sensitive areas on the cat because quite frankly, I didn't want to get the worst ending: the one in a coffin!

The storyline is primarily about how the cat moves and reacts to being petted in different places, but occasionally life events get in the way. I was interrupted from my petting session by the need to flip fries baking in my toaster oven. A cat showed its disdain for how I apparently fail at maintaining a clean litterbox. One paragraph made a reference to a Tumblr about confused cats against feminism, linking directly to it, and making me waste valuable seconds having to rush and get the heck out of there. The text is a fairly digestible read, even if the all the lower-case Is look like lower-case Ls.

Depending on how much affection you get from the cat for your actions (or inactions, when it came to the litterbox fiasco), you get a unique ending and an overall affection score. I received 9 out of a possible 18 affection points for my conservatism.

But seriously, go pet a real cat. It's potentially much more rewarding.

Should you play it?

You can play this game by clicking here.


Terrible Triplets

Moving on with one more game, I figured I'd save the best for last. Oh, wait, did I say "best"? I should have said "worst". In fact, I will now: I've saved the worst for last.

This is Terrible Triplets, a game that basically places you in the role of an overwhelmed babysitter in charge of appeasing the needs of a pair of triplet babies. Doing this in real life is stressful enough, but to have a much shorter time limit before the mother returns to give you a mild scolding for not waggling a teddy bear in front of the middle one quickly enough is a bit depressing to say the least.

With each babysitting session (that happens one after the other, as though you are being punished by Lucifer himself with eternal damnation for once telling a five-year-old that they stink), each triplet will have a demand for you. Maybe they want a bottle, maybe they need to be wiped or changed, or maybe they need to be rocked. As you tend to a baby, its happiness meter increases until you satisfy their need. Fail to pay attention to one, and their happiness meter will decrease until they are, dare I say, UNhappy.

It would be great if you could just grab the necessary action icon, drag it over, drop it, and have a happy baby. But no, that's not how child care works now, is it? If you need to rock a baby, you literally have to drag your mouse back and forth until that baby has had enough of that jazz. Need to burp it? Same thing. Does the baby want his teddy bear? You STILL have to waggle that toy in front of his face until he giggles with the glee only a newborn can possibly muster.

Babysitting is frustrating work, and it doesn't get any more fun with this little browser gem. Plus, these babies have weird noses that made me pull a spit-take. Did someone shove earplugs up their nostrils? Of course, being surrounded by ads featuring buxom knightly women sure does little to keep me focused on what's important: digital infant care.

Should you play this?

You can play this game by clicking here.


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