Stumbling upon PC Gamer‘s Big 10 of 2011 list of the games they’re anticipating for this year, I was rather surprised. PCG is one of, if not the most respected gaming magazine in the industry, and I’m sure there’s more than a little bit of insider knowledge going into this particular article of theirs.

PC Gamer logoThat said, the reason for my surprise was twofold. They think that both Diablo 3 and Guild Wars 2 are going to be out this year! Whoooooaaa there, Nelly. As much as I’d be in RPG heaven were this to happen, I just really can’t see it… though of course there’s that leaked release schedule document which was all over the interwebz last month suggesting 2011 might be the year after all. Perhaps a combination of waiting this long and being generally cynical about everything has made me over-patient.

Anyhow, as I switched my brain into “lurk” mode in work today, I got to thinking about what games I’d like to play – if elephants could fly – this year. Daydreaming is fun! Keep reading after the jump to find out what I came up with.

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Eyewitnesses reported seeing several people fleeing from the Dedication Games Arena when a swarm of Coreplay-funded particles descended in their thousands and began causing significant brightness. All indications suggest that the surroundings quickly became too bright for the panicked arena patrons to tell what was going on, leading to overall confusion at the scene and complicating the task of emergency services once they arrived. ”The protective eyewear had no effect,” commented one disgruntled citizen shortly after being given a pair of sunglasses by a paramedic.

Ion Assault vs. Swarm Arena

Since they’ve been around since slightly before the dawn of time, particles aren’t especially a new phenomenon in gaming. However, over the last year or two, developers seem to have cottoned on to the fact that 3D graphics cards coupled with some clever coding can produce an environment where literally bazillions of the little devils can invade your screen at once – and what’s more, that they can actually be used as a proper gameplay element in their own right!

Enter the two most recent indie advocates of such thinking, Swarm Arena and Ion Assault. Both games wield an eye-watering amount of particles to make them look good and play good. But today, dear reader, I’m here to ask one thing: isn’t it all just a bit of a gimmick?

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Research is important whenever you’re going to write about something and I try my best to at least make a feeble effort of getting my facts straight before I start attacking my keyboard. Unfortunately my search for news about Work3‘s OokiBloks on Google wasn’t very helpful; it believed that I was wanting to find out about Pokéblocks from the Bulbapedia instead. Yee-es. Thanks for that. Since my fad of playing Pokémon is some distance in the past I thought it best to tell Google that for once I did actually type my search correctly. This helped massively – I now possessed a link to the OokiBloks homepage! But I already knew this because it’s in my darned Watch List… :evil:

Ookibloks logoInformation more recent than that on the game’s blog, dated 2009, is hard to come by. The game has great potential to be a colourful arcade action-puzzler with a prominent focus on catchy music (just watch this gameplay video and enjoy the nifty audio!), but for the last 18 months, it seems to be dead in the water. An iPhone port was talked about but got dropped, then a hint was dropped that the game may get finished after all – but there’s been nothing since then.

OokiBloks - yes, sir, we have no bananas...Although it was nominated for an Excellence in Audio award in 2008′s IGF the game came away with nothing for its troubles of travelling to San Francisco.

To a humble outsider it looks like this is a game whose developer has suffered the cruel side of Lady Luck’s scales. I certainly think that it deserves a chance to succeed in the increasingly-competitive indie market. It has a cute main character and a rare amount of charm; y’know what? I reckon it’d do quite well – so spread the word! Let’s get this game the attention it deserves and bring it back from the brink of the void!

Cake does not represent truth.

Honestly, I feel really bad about this horrendous lack of posts. After blatantly ignoring my own warning about the danger of gaps, it’s only fair that I offer a completely truthful explanation. You deserve nothing less for sticking around. It’s a long story, but what actually happened was this…

I was munching on a very tasty slice of cake whilst playing one of the last Assemblee games in order to piece together TAR part 16 when, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a flicker of movement. Glancing in that direction I saw nothing out of the ordinary. Assuming it was just the shadow of a flying pig, I resumed my keyboard wrestling match, but before I’d even had chance to type another word, POW! Something rugby-tackled me off my chair and barged me face-first into a pile of extremely uncomfortable cushions.

Choking and spluttering crumbs of cake everywhere, I was otherwise uninjured, and despite being momentarily stunned, it took mere nanoseconds for my secret ninja agent training to recover my senses. Rolling out of the accursed cushion pile and plucking a feather off my monocle to avoid scratches, I locked gazes with my assailant – a Greater-Speckled Commodore Marmot!

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