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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: Buggle

It's been a while since I featured a multiplayer gaming experience for the Friday Free Game. As a matter of fact, the last multiplayer game I recommended was KDice in December of 2006. So much has changed since then...! But one thing that hasn't changed is my love for games that are cleverly designed, and the need to share them with my faithful, if somewhat limited audience. And today I bring you Buggle, a very simple but surprisingly challenging game of area control and psychology.

At first glance, you might think that Buggle is like last week's game, Boomshine. When the game begins, you are presented with a field of sixty floating little Buggle-guys. After a few seconds, the motion stops and you have to click somewhere on the screen. Once all of the players have clicked, the motion resumes and those that float within a certain distance of the point you clicked will be stopped and linked to it. This can set up a chain reaction that links others nearby, and eventually, all of the little dudes are claimed for one of the players. Then, you must click again, and once again the Buggles are reclaimed. Players get points for each of the little critters they nabbed, and then play moves on to the next round. After ten rounds, the game is over, and if you're me, you curse your inability to ever win.

Buggles lacks some of the poetry that Boomshine has, but it has much more interesting gameplay because it's multiplayer. The way to rack up points is to click in a place that is far away from where everyone clicked. So then the game becomes about psychology... where will that anonymous person sitting elsewhere in front of his computer click? Should I try to click at that tempting cluster in the corner or try to hedge my bet by sticking closer to the middle? Honestly, I have yet to figure out the exact mechanics that determines who gets which buggle when two or more people are competing for them, but it's mostly as simple as picking the better strategic position on the field such that you limit the opportunities for your opponents while maximizing your own chances to create a large chain.

One thing to note is that in order to play the game, you first have to set up an account at the Casual Collective, the site that hosts the game. And you may have to wait around a bit to find players, but in my experience, one or two show up within a few minutes, so it's no big deal. Click here to play Buggle.

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Comments on Friday Free Game: Buggle
  Comment from Anonymous Fede at Saturday, January 26, 2008 10:27:00 AM
for high quality free games check www.gamesbravo.com!
  Comment from Anonymous Anonymous at Friday, April 25, 2008 11:27:00 AM
There is much more to buggles than you have posted... Buggles rocks!!!

come play me sometime...

hawlster25

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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.