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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: Nano War

I've been playing a lot of games and haven't liked all that many, but this week's Friday Free Game is something pretty special: it's simple, it's challenging, and it offers pretty unique gameplay. The game is Nano War by Benoît Frelson. I ran across the game when I played it on Kongregate, the game-sharing web community driven by shared ad revenue where I recently posted S3QUENC3R.

Nano War is called a prototype by its creator, and there is a certain unfinished quality to the game, the core gameplay feels solid and tested, and even if it's a bit unusual.

The board consists of round cells with numbers in them. You are the red "entity" and the computer is green. The number in every red or green cell is slowly incrementing. You can select a cell by clicking on it (or dragging a box around several) and then click on another cell to fire off half the value of each selected cell in a little floating particle at the destination. It's an odd mechanic, and the interface felt pretty clunky, but it's not too hard once you get the hang of it. The level design is very nice. There's a solid, steady difficulty curve and you will have to start over a few times to be sure, but the tension this very simple game manages with such a bare-bones scheme is pretty remarkable. By level 10 or so, you're starting every board with a major disadvantage. You have to be quick, be persistent, and be aggressive to stay ahead of the computer.

Also, the designer has promised a multiplayer version at some point in the future, and I think that could be the best thing since KDice. I heartily recommend Nano War as a unique challenge.

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Comments on Friday Free Game: Nano War
  Comment from Blogger MacFurious at Tuesday, September 16, 2008 2:36:00 AM
I really, really, liked Nanowar. I spent about 2 hours playing it last night and still didn't beat it. :P

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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.