Two hours after I first popped the After Dark Games CD into my computer I was still sitting there, mesmerized. There are 11 games included, games that challenge the mind and even word and problem solving skills. The first game I played was "Hula Girl", a fabulous game of manual dexterity that challenges your ability to utilize the arrow keys. One simply must appreciate navigating a possessed-looking dancing child named Beluhla and her hula hoop on her journey to keep jumping as long as possible while eating ice cream sundaes, cupcakes and other high fat goodies. Heaven forbid she accidentally eat broccoli or bump into her evil twin Cruela, she'll lose her much needed hula hoop and score negative points on the yuckometer. I loved this game and if someone doesn't take it away from me soon there is a good chance I'll never go outside again.
"Fish Shtick" is a word scramble in which the player must attempt to create a word with the letters attached to swimming fish before they swim past the screen. Each correct word is rewarded with a point. It's like a swimming Wheel of Fortune without Vanna. Or Flipper on an acid trip. It's pretty neat.
"Roof Rats" was very amusing. People and rats are trapped on the roof of a building. Each room in the building is denoted by a color and when two rooms of the same color are beside each other, they can be removed with a mouse click and the tenants become that much closer to being saved. Musclemen can climb down a few floors, whereas the Granny needs to be lowered to the ground. When she is, she mutters "thank you" and toddles off. The rescued rats squeal and scamper along. Getting the people off the roof becomes an obsession. The need to save imaginary computer game people becomes almost overwhelming. And the three skill levels can really keep you on your toes.
When it's time to mellow out, a quiet game of "Solitaire" might be in order.
Then there's "Rodger Dodger", an arcade style game where the object is to snag as many green geometric pieces as possible and avoid the red balls that try to kill you. Picture Pac-man but without the cute yellow guy with the big mouth. No ghosts. It kind of lacks something, like a character or theme.
"Foggy Boxes" and "Mooshu Tiles" didn't wow me. These puzzle games might appeal to the younger crowd, though. I tried the highest level of these and just didn't feel challenged. I bet kids would like playing though.
If trivia is your calling, "Zapper" will be of interest. Score as many points as possible while answering yes or no questions before the clock runs out. The questions are strange and unusual enough that you probably won't know the answer, but hey, you've got a 50 percent chance of getting it right. This is a lot of fun, and pretty contagious.
Mowing the lawn can really suck, unless of course, it's on your computer screen. A guy on a tractor, "Mowin' Man" tries to mow the lawn while somehow managing to avoid dogs, gardeners and even zombies. Extra power is achieved by snagging wallets, flags, cups and the like. And like any disgruntled individual, he takes pride in being able to run over his opponents with his lawnmower during the few seconds of extra power received by acquiring the correct object. Heaven forbid he get offed by an angry gardener, he wont have to fret. He's got two more lives.
Feeling powerful? Wanna save a cartoon characters life? The object of the game is to make as many words as possible while playing the "Bad Dog 911" word game. This unfortunate fellow's dog has catapulted him onto the tower by releasing the winch level on the clock. It's up to you to create as many words as you can with the letters provided. Get enough words together and the clock cleaner is saved. Failure to come up with a sufficiency of words will only result in watching him fall and splatter. Do you really want that on your conscience?
"Toaster Run" has beautiful graphics of flying toasters, and if you are fortunate to be coordinated enough to navigate them around the game without flying into walls, refrigerators, doors then catching on fire, you're one step ahead of me. There are three levels, though I couldn't get more than five or 10 points on any given attempt before bursting into flames. The point is to not crash into things while trying to get the "Baby Guy" safely back to his crib. Maybe I'll go practice this one.
Overall, this is a pretty amusing and entertaining CD and you're sure to find something that appeals to everyone in the household. You can't say that about most games, can you?
People who downloaded After Dark Games have also downloaded:
Microsoft Entertainment Pack: The Puzzle Collection, After Dark 3, Bejeweled, Castle of Dr. Brain, Clue: Murder at Boddy Mansion, Lemmings, Game of Life, Monopoly (1999)
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