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feature: Following Freeware: March 2012 releases
This month you can be a caveman hunting for big game or a ninja searching for a way into a secure temple. Perhaps you’d prefer to visit strange creatures in their own fantasy realm, or be surrounded by odd beings in our own world. Alternatively, you can join a private investigator on a case of stolen antiquities, or find that the life of an assassin is rarely a simple one. All these await you in this month’s round-up of releases from the freeware scene.
Unga needs Mumba
Unga be good caveman. Hunt plenty tasty Kaffla for him woman, Nonga. But Nonga no want Kaffla, Nonga want Mumba. Hunt Mumba, no easy task for Unga. Him need companions on hunt. Him also need great sacrifice to mighty god Mota Raganu to win favour for hunt. Him speak to wise man, Araakalo. Seek knowledge of spirit world. Find what please Mota Raganu. Get god to help. Easier task than change mind of him woman.
As Mumba is a caveman hunting for a woolly elephant, players face a mammoth task in this game. Control is simple point-and-click, with a right-click to look and left-click to interact. The type of interaction available is shown on-screen when you point at a hotspot, including such actions as “worship” for the idol of Mota Raganu. Your first stop will be the village wise man, who will send you to the spirit world. Some surreal but simple puzzling gives you three abstract clues to the sacrifice needed to please the tribe’s god. After this you must travel to various locations, including a high cliff and the river separating you from a neighbouring tribe. Your aim is to locate objects that match the cryptic clues and persuade your fellow tribesmen to assist you in the hunt. Inventory use and dialogue both play their part, with obstacles including a fierce bird guarding its nest and a neighbouring tribesman on a similar quest. The whole adventure is presented in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, especially in the content and delivery of the dialogue.
Unga needs Mumba can be downloaded from the AGS website.
Sara & The Sarcastic Creatures: Episode 4 – Weirdos on a Train
For some time now, coffee shop owner Sara has seen strange creatures wherever she goes. Whilst they seem harmless, their odd sense of humour and tendency to keep her awake at night have proved most annoying. Then her cat, Wasabi, was stolen by goblins and the creatures finally provided some help, guiding her on the catnappers trail. Reunited with her feline companion, she was most surprised to find that it could talk. Now under its direction, Sara sets out on an odd train journey to meet a mysterious stranger. Possessing only a ticket for the cheapest carriage, however, ingenuity will be needed to reach the high-end compartment she seeks.
The over-arching quest is to reach the front of the train and the person you seek. Each carriage requires a different coloured ticket, with each carriage forming a largely self-contained puzzle to obtain the next ticket. Only occasionally is backtracking necessary, the need becoming obvious if the current carriage has been thoroughly inspected. Using simple point-and-click, you will gather and combine items, as well as perform tasks for others in exchange for the required pass. The various creatures sometimes give aid, including a hint for a lock combination, though they are more inclined to mock your efforts. They also form part of some puzzles, such as the musical band keeping a passenger awake. The game also includes a hint system in the form of your cat, who will provide a single clue to the current challenge.
Sara & The Sarcastic Creatures: Episode 4 – Weirdos on a Train can be played online at Addicting Games. Links to all episodes can be found at the developer’s website.
Anaksha Mini Adventures 2: A New Threat
In Santa Lina, Anaksha is a name to be feared among the criminal fraternity. She is an assassin for hire, determined to bring down the criminal scum that threaten the stability of the city. But success in the assassin business requires more than a gun and a scope. Reliable communication is a must, and her old cellphone just won’t cut it anymore. But getting a secure replacement is not as simple as it seems.
The previous two episodes, Sea of Fire and Quick Stop , represented experiments with the engine rather than full-fledged adventures, but this third episode provides a meaty experience. From simply acquiring a new secure phone, Anaksha will go on to investigate Pixie Dust, a new and deadly drug on the streets. Conversation, exploration and a healthy dose of inventory combination are required if her investigation is to bear fruit. At any given time you will have a single main quest, such as locating the supplier of your new phone. To achieve these you must accomplish a number of sub-quests, usually involving finding and assisting the various locals. Many of these objectives vary from game to game, providing a large amount of replay value. The online save system was not working correctly at time of writing, so I recommend using the manual alternative described in-game. Whilst having some humour, the overall tone of is dark. There is also significant adult content, making this game unsuitable for children.
Anaksha Mini Adventures 2: A New Threat can be played online at the developer’s website. The other episodes, as well as the shooting games in the same series, can be found on the same site.
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