Sunday, October 5, 2008

Flash Game: LUT!'s Straw Hat Samurai

I was visiting one of the local blog aggregators and came across this website with a game nominated for Golden Joystick. The local game developer LUT! has done up a couple of games on his own, and the nominated game is 'Straw Hat Samurai' for the category of 'E4 Grand Master Flash Award'.

Out of curiosity, I decided to try the game out. I managed to finish it, and here's a couple of screenshots about the game. In the game, the player control a samurai character in his quest to 'beat' the enemy chief. It's basically a 2D scroll game with very simple control. The samurai has his sword as a main weapon, with option of bows and arrows. This is the general overall screen, where the samurai (guy in white with a straw hat) can 'move' about.

In the game itself, the player presses the mouse left button and 'draws' lines across the screen to use his sword. If the player is using bows and arrows, the control is via the shift key and mouse button. The health level of the samurai is shown as a green bar located at the bottom of the screen.

Once the last 'enemy' is killed, the screen turns red. Enemies come in different forms, including knife welding types (easiest), archers, and spearmen. Spearmen may try to rush the samurai, and thus a bit tricky. The more tricky enemies are those with shield. Since the shield could block any fronter attack, the trick is to 'slash' low, i.e. below shield level when the enemy is walking, or slash from behind when the shield bearers squat down.

Along the way, the player could pick up items boosting health or increase the chance to dodge. Locations with treasures are marked with a mini-treasure box.

There is a second phase to the game where the player could 'deploy' troops (in blue) to help him break thru enemy grounds. So the trick is to slowly make the way towards the main enemy camp. The game mechanics for this part is not well explained, but generally if the blue number is bigger, it is easier to win over the red area. Seems a little bit like the board game of 'Risk'.

Here's another picture. The player could move the samurai into red area, which will trigger another fight, similar to the first phase, i.e. 2D scrolling with mouse button as 'slash'.

Once the player reaches the centre camp where the big boss is located, it will trigger a big fight between the two. Killing the boss ends the game, where general statistics will be shown. Generally this game is worth a try. The gaming experience is alright, with short learning curve. Needs a bit of intuition to figure out some of the game play though. My only complain is the game music, which lacks variety. I guess that could be improved in due time.

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