Monday, September 10, 2012

Counter-Strike 2D

Genre: Shooter, Team-Based
System: Windows, Linux, Mac
# Players: 1 - 32
Filesize: 7MB

Game Overview

Counter-Strike 2D is a fan-made, top-down-perspective recreation of the famous LAN Party staple, Counter-Strike. The game features many of the same multiplayer game modes as the original, including Hostage Rescue, Bomb Defuse, and Assassination, and some new ones of its own. Fans of the original game will recognize many of the sound effects and weapons. The game also features a scripting system, allowing servers to run mods; bots for smaller LANs or single-player; and a map editor.

Those looking to play online will easily be able to find active servers, and the game has a fairly active community.


From what I've played so far, this seems like a solid game. Setting up a LAN server is easy using the built-in GUI, as is joining a game. The game itself is quite fun, although the sound effects can get quite annoying ("Fire in the Hole!").

Counter-Strike 2D Homepage
Counter-Strike 2D Free Game Downloads Page

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Farm Hands

Genre: Miscellaneous, Cooperative
System: Windows
# Players: 1 - 4
Filesize: 3.4MB
Watering my potatoes.

Game Overview

Farm Hands is a cooperative farming game. Players live on a farm and have to work together to earn money, with which they can buy new tools that allow them to explore new areas and perform new tasks. Players can farm (of course), fish, mine, and do other activities. Farm Hands includes a lot of easter eggs and special items to be discovered by the hard worker (many of them paying homage to Nintendo's classics). I've seen the game described as "Multiplayer Harvest Moon"--I've never played Harvest Moon, so I can't say for sure, but it seems an accurate description.

Also, since the game's original information thread seems to have disappeared, I'll have to tell you guys the basics. When you run the game, a simple menu comes up that lets you enter a name and pick a color, and gives the option of Server or Join. Select Server, and this creates a server and shows you a black status screen. To play, open up another instance of Farm Hands, and Join your own game ( is localhost, i.e. your own computer). Other players can connect by Joining to your IP address.

Your character can be controlled using the arrow keys. 'X' and 'C' are contextual action buttons, and 'Z' is used to run. In the top right you'll see what X and C will do if you press them at that time--for example, they may say "Take Tool" if you are standing next to one, or "Refill" if you are holding the watering can next to a water source.

At the top of the screen, you'll see an amount of money, shared by all players. You can spend money at the shop, which you'll find if you travel north. To earn money, you'll have to sell things. To do so, pick up the item you want to sell and bring it to the little doghouse-shaped structure next to the tool shed (in my screenshot, it's right below the blue 'X').

Also at the top of the screen is your stamina, which is needed to perform work. Each time you do something, a bit of stamina is lost. To restore stamina, you'll need to buy energy drinks at the shop (or, later in the game, make your own). If you ever run out of money and can't afford an energy drink, you can sell the mushrooms that are growing everywhere.

To get started, head north to the shop and buy some seeds (and likely an energy drink). Head into the tool shed and grab the hoe. Find a good spot in the farming area and till a spot until it turns into a square. Do this for each seed you want to plant (a bag from the shop contains 16 seeds). Then, head back to the tool shed and trade your hoe for your seeds and plant them in the freshly-tilled land. After planting, grab the watering can, fill it up at a watering hole, and water your seeds. Soon they will sprout, and you'll have to water them again. Once they are fully grown, they will yield whatever crop it was you planted, and you can sell them for a large profit!

That may sound like a lot of steps, and that's why it's important to work together!

Soon you'll have enough cash to buy some new tools. Be sure to explore the surrounding areas--there's a fishing hole to the east, and a mining area to the west (although this one takes some work to get to).

There's no goals built in to the game, just continued development. You can set your own goals, like "Try to earn $10000" or "Collect all the Spiritual Stones from Zelda."

Quick Review

Farms Hands is a fun multiplayer cooperative game. It's a good break from all the high-octane action games and FPSes you normally play at a LAN party. It's fun and interesting to manage your farm and try to earn money, and the varied tasks keeps the game interesting. However, it's not for everybody--if you're an action junkie, you may be bored; and for strategy nuts, there's no deep thinking involved. It's a calm and relaxing game ( a rarity indeed).

The game is enjoyable and well put-together, with many different things to find and collect.  However, it does have its flaws. For one, there's no way to save your game. Each time you restart the server, your farm is starting fresh. This can be rather disappointing if you had collected many things. Also, there are a few bugs--for example, if you try to connect to a non-existent server, the game does not handle that gracefully. Also, the area to be explored is rather small, and after a while you may get bored.

Overall, I found this game to be enjoyable, and I think it's a very unique in the world of LAN games. I think Farm Hands is a great game.

Farm Hands Free Game Download

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