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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

Friday Free Game: StarCraft Flash Action III

Is it unethical to promote a game which is violating another game's copyright? StarCraft Flash Action III is a stand-alone Flash game that closely mimics the Blizzard classic RTS in a new and interesting way. FA3's creator stole a heap of sprites and sounds from the original and recreated a small subset of its gameplay to produce a fun, interesting mini-game that, while reminiscent of the original StarCraft, is a unique experience unto itself.

This game was an instant hit with me, since it focused on an area of the game that I was always heavily invested in. You see, I usually played the Protoss, who built slowly but had the strongest units, man-for-man. As a result, you had to tenaciously defend your base in the early game to give yourself the opportunity to come back and crush your opponents later on. As a result, the Proton Cannon was your friend. But using it wisely was difficult: where do you place your cannons to best defend your base? With some experience, you would analyze the board, decide on the opponent's most likely vectors of attack and then try to set them up in a crossfire so that you can build your Carriers and Archons in peace.

I'll bet the creator of SCFA3 enjoyed this part of the original StarCraft, too, because that's what the game is all about. The object is simple: keep the onrushing Zerg from destroying your (off-screen) base by placing units on either side of a canyon. Simple enough, right? Not really: each type of unit has its strengths and weaknesses, and sometimes you need to take manual control over them in order to destroy your enemies in time. Plus, you have limits on how many of each type of unit you can place and restrictions on how close together they can be. I found more than once I was kicking myself for putting that Yamato Cannon in the wrong spot.

It seems like it should be so easy, and yet you end up trying to shift your units around in a frantic attempt to keep that last, pesky hydralisk from sneaking through. So far, every time that damned Ultralisk shows up, I lose. But I'm enjoying the game quite a bit and would recommend it to any StarCraft fan.

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Comments on Friday Free Game: StarCraft Flash Action III
  Comment from Blogger gnome at Saturday, July 22, 2006 5:49:00 AM
Brilliant and almost heart-attack inducing... It's Starcraft (well, in a way) and newly released at the same time...

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.