#783 Quadradius

Posted: 21st March 2011 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , ,

40th game played so far

Genre: Strategy
Platform: Internet
Year of Release: 2007
Developer: Jimmi Heiserman and Brad Kayal

For whatever reason we have been doing less games per week so it’s time for us to deal with a game available online which has a short completion time. We will also be increasing the gaps between game write-ups since there are a few weekends coming up where we are unable to cover new computer games due to either a trip to Oxford to see Derren Brown or a very Dutch homecoming for Jeroen.

Quadradius fit the bill of what we needed perfectly and is all the more stunning since it (alongside games like Line Rider, Audiosurf and De Blob) found life as the pet projects of students either in high school or university. It really does make us wish we had done more with our time in education rather than, well, study.

Our Thoughts

Here we have a great discovery of a game that neither of us would have even heard of without the book… and probably no played if not for our challenge. I am very thankful for this since Quadradius is fantastic. Yeah. Our basic discovery process was Peter saying “Hey, this sounds interesting”, me saying “We do need another strategy game, and it’s easily available online” and then us deciding to give it a try. The fact that it was available to play for free as a guest only sweetened the detail even more. Note that paying for it opens up more options… something our gut-based attempt didn’t let us do, and the free experience is already great.

Quadradius is probably best described as draughts, or checkers, with powerups  (and no kings). These powerups are extremely varied and includes shuffling, side-switching, smart bombs and spy gadgetry. And possibly the prettiest, raising or lowering the squares on the board so you can’t reach certain places as easily. This helps change the game to a very three dimensional experience which resembles the multi-level games of chess played by Kirk and Spock on the original episodes of Star Trek. This is complicated even more by certain powerups like the acid one which burn holes in the floor and render certain paths completely unnavigable, something which happened to my final piece in our last game due to bad luck involving the shuffle power. Indeed, although you were slowly being hunted at the same time, as I had the harder to reach higher ground.

In the end, a lot of the play does some down to how the powerups work out. It helps to successfully tow the line between luck and stategy since, in the end, if you have a mind capable of thinking multiple moves ahead you will be able to master this. However, considering both the amount of powerups available and how the balance of power in single game to change dramatically at sporadic intervals you can not just rely on strategic smarts. Yeah, working ahead means you can make the best use of the powerups, but without some luck, you’ll just be getting things you can’t use. But while playing, you don’t get the feeling your luck is that important most of the time. Absolutely, you only pray to the gods of luck when you use an air strike that targets random squares and end up killing more of your guys than your opponents’. Yeah, the Bombs really change the game around in that sense, but not something you’re sure of. It’s can be a real gamble. Yet if it pays off, it can change the game around in your favourite.

Aside from the well executred gameplay something which wowed me somewhat was the graphics. Yeah, the graphics are gorgeous.  They’re not overly detailed, but they look great. The 3D effects on the field are especially gorgeous. Despite being a seemingly simple Flash game, you look through holes in the squares and it literally gives it an extra dimension. Your ‘squad members’, the guys you play with, are simple, but because of this they can add on many more effects depending on the powerups you add. Everything is done in an industrial style which is a staple of most action-RPGs. Of course this is turn-based rather than being dependant on reaction time. It’s the futuristic style that we still have and love.

Final Thoughts

I think you can all guess that we both loved this game. We spent just over 2 hours playing 3 head-to-head games where I (Peter) came out on top 2-1. Please give this game a go (by clicking here) with some friends and you will see why it is such fun.

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