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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, One-Button Edition: Twin Spin

Last week's game was Air Monkey, a game that managed to do a lot with just a single button. In Helicopter, the obstacles were moving automatically. In Air Monkey, both the environment and the the player avatar itself (the monkey) moved automatically. If you noticed, the monkey shifted as he swung on the vine. And the way it did so was entirely predictable. Assuming you grab the vine on the right side at the very bottom, the monkey shifts around to six different positions, moving after the vine reaches its highest point on either side:

  1. Bottom right
  2. Bottom left
  3. Middle right
  4. Middle left
  5. Top right
  6. Top left
Then, he'd shift back down the vine, going from top left to middle right, middle right to middle left, then down to the bottom. This, of course, is the trick to managing the distance the monkey jumps. Sometimes you have to wait for the monkey to shift into the right spot before you click to reach the next vine.

This works well for Air Monkey and it's a fun game. But waiting for your monkey to do his six-position-shimmy on the vine can get a bit tiresome; it felt to me like the game would have benefitted overall if you were able to control this movement yourself. Making it automatic made the user interface very simple, but it slowed down gameplay. This week's game utilizes this same idea of automating avatar movement in a much more elegant way. It's called Twin Spin, and it's probably the best one-button game I've been able to find so far. Simply click to anchor the spinning "baloon" and move around the board. Odd instructions, right? It may sound confusing, but give it a try. It's easy, intuitive, and still provides a challenge. Twin Spin manages to provide a number of different goals and obstacles while still remaining very simple. The trick is learning how to make your spinning globes walk around the board. See how many times you play level 11 before you beat it. Next week, we'll review.


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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.