Physics Games and Physics-Based Game Downloads



Jupiter Brutally Beaten, Pluto Still at Large

Sunday, January 21st, 2007 by Matthew in Physics Games
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (Rate this game! 103 votes, average: 3.88 out of 5)
Loading...

Pluto Strikes Back is a great solo project by Petri Purho, who has been rapidly prototyping games in the spirit of the Experimental Gameplay Project. This title was created in seven days, and the concept is awesome: Pluto, angry at being reclassified as a “dwarf planet”, takes a bat to the rest of the Solar System to act out his jealous revenge.

Beauty in Simplicity

I’m impressed with the elegant minimalism of Pluto Strikes Back’s design. It may seem, at first glance, that designing a simple game would be easier than producing a feature-laden one. In my experience, though, the opposite is true: It’s really hard to create a tight, simple design. And once you have that core game built, it’s pleasantly easy to start adding on top of it (Petri does mention on his blog that destructible planets and a few other features were planned but scrapped for time).

Feature-wise, Pluto Strike Back is in dire need of a high score table. The game is based on arcade scoring–you keep racking up points until you inevitably die. Sure, you could write down your scores and share them with friends, but the game should really be doing that for you. In-game high score lists would really give the game some legs.

Planetary Physics

Pluto Strikes Back utilizes a simple planetary gravity physics model. As the asteroids get closer to the planets, gravity’s influence exponentially increases. It takes a few minutes to adjust to the sudden boost of speed the asteroids get as they approach the baseball bat-wielding Pluto. Asteroids will orbit around planets and swing back around if they’re moving slow enough.

The one thing I would’ve liked to see in the gameplay is more dynamic objects. All of the planets are essentially anchored via springs to their starting locations. They behave a bit like really sluggish pinball bumpers, moving back to their initial position after taking a hit. It would be nice to have the ability to knock them lose, clearing the Solar System of planetary swine.

Pluto Strikes Back Screenshot Screenshot of Physics Games
(Pluto Strikes Back Game Screenshots)

And, Hey, It’s Free!

Pluto Strikes Back does a lot of things really well: an obvious scoring system, a clever concept, and solid production quality (especially considering it was a week-long solo project!). The game presents a short 5-minute distraction, rather than a deep world to explore, but it never claimed to be. It’s free, too, so you really don’t have an excuse not to sink five minutes into it. I recommend you do so now!

Download Pluto Strikes Back Game (4.36 MB)

Make sure you visit Petri’s blog for his other, also excellent, experimental games.

Related Posts:

Both Waxy and Delicious: Crayon Physics

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007 by Ancil in Physics Games
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (Rate this game! 331 votes, average: 4.08 out of 5)
Loading...

Petri Purho’s Crayon Physics, like the previously-reviewed Pluto Strikes Back, was created as part of his ongoing Kloonigames experimental game project. Purho tries to put out a new game each month, allowing himself no more than seven days to create each. Crayon Physics was done in five. As a bare-bones prototype, it doesn’t quite have the depth of a finished title. It compensates for a lack of polish with a layer of kindergarten charm and a loop of soothing licensed music. As a proof of concept, the game plays fine.

So what’s the concept?

Drawing Physical Objects

Each of the game’s drawing paper screens contains one or more bouncing yellow stars and a small ball of red crayon wax. The puzzle is solved when the ball has touched each of the stars. Obstacles and contraptions – walls, see-saws, bottomless pits – are sketched onto the path in bright, primary crayon colors. But the player can draw too.

Anything the player scrawls with the mouse on the drawing paper screen is instantly imbued with weight and volume. Draw a box in the sky and it plummets to the ground. Draw one over a see-saw, and it sends what’s on the other end into the air. A well-placed block will flip the ball over the see-saw and to its destination. Solve physical problems by drawing objects into existence: that’s the premise of Purho’s prototype.

You Can Draw Anything You Want, as Long as it’s Square

Unfortunately, Purho’s five-day coding exercise just isn’t as robust as my imagination. Though I’m given this big canvas to draw on, I’m only allowed to sketch squares. Anything I draw, no matter what it looks like, will have the properties of a rectangle when brought to life by the game. A drawing that’s too far off the mark will simply be transformed into a perfect rectangle. It’s often unclear exactly what the dimensions of a new object will be, especially when trying to draw something long and thin.

The game would be much more interesting if it allowed me to draw a round ball and a slope to roll it down, but curves are beyond the game’s shape recognition. And while I can play with see-saws the game provides, sketching my own is out of the question. The ball just doesn’t have enough vertical motion – it doesn’t bounce – to do anything but bump the side of anything I draw. Interacting with the ball usually comes down to dropping a box on it and hoping it rolls in the right direction. It just seems like a sloppy and imprecise way of interacting with the world, especially considering my ability to draw right on the screen.

Crayon Physics Screenshot Screenshot of Physics Games
(Crayon Physics Game Screenshots)

Crayon Basics

Crayon Physics is a very limited game, despite a premise that calls to mind lots of possibilities. That’s because it was built as a prototype. It’s the most basic implementation of a drawing-based physics game, created to demonstrate how the concept might work. And what’s there does work – it’s playable from start to finish, if a little elementary. It’s also free and won’t take longer than fifteen minutes to play through. For anyone curious about what a game that combines physics with player-created shapes might look like, it’s time worth investing.

Download Crayon Physics (5.63 MB)

Visit Petri’s Kloonigames blog for more great experimental games.

Related Posts:

List of Physics Games

Monday, February 13th, 2006 by Matthew in
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (Rate this game! 2 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
Loading...

So far, we’ve reviewed the following physics games (81 games):

  1. Amoeball by Flashbang Studios[ratings14]

    Read review
  2. And Yet It Moves by Christoph Binder et al.[ratings168]

    Read review
  3. Armadillo Run by Peter Stock[ratings60]

    Read review
  4. Barrel Mania by CGS Software[ratings153]

    Read review
  5. Blast Miner by Cryptic Sea[ratings103]

    Read review

  6. Bloboats by Markus “MakeGho” Kettunen[ratings85]

    Read review
  7. Bounce Symphony by Sprout Games[ratings53]

    Read review
  8. BreakQuest by Nurium Games[ratings29]

    Read review
  9. Bridge Builder by Chronic Logic[ratings15]

    Read review
  10. Caramba Deluxe by Zylom[ratings16]

    Read review
  11. Coaster Rider by [email protected]@rk[ratings154]

    Read review
  12. Crayon Physics by Petri Purho[ratings146]

    Read review
  13. Cat Sledding by d_of_i[ratings17]

    Read review
  14. De Blob by Jasper Koning et al.[ratings80]

    Read review
  15. Dodge That Anvil by Rabidlab[ratings122]

    Read review
  16. Double Wires by d_of_i[ratings120]

    Read review
  17. Factory Pinball by XZM productions[ratings87]

    Read review
  18. Fantasy Roller Coaster by Red Lynx[ratings19]

    Read review
  19. FlatOut 2 by Bugbear Entertainment[ratings79]

    Read review
  20. Flyhard by Stephen Downey[ratings134]

    Read review
  21. Garry’s Mod by Garry’s Newman[ratings150]

    Read review
  22. Gish by Chronic Logic[ratings74]

    Read review
  23. Globulos by GlobZ[ratings140]

    Read review
  24. Golf? by Chronic Logic[ratings166]

    Read review
  25. Gumboy Crazy Adventures by CINEMAX[ratings95]

    Read review
  26. Hammerfall by GKosh[ratings155]

    Read review
  27. Hamsterball by Raptisoft[ratings121]

    Read review
  28. Ichor by Soylent Software[ratings105]

    Read review
  29. I Hate Clowns by Flashbang Studios[ratings41]

    Read review
  30. I Hate Clowns: Operation Pie Gones by Flashbang Studios[ratings123]

    Read review
  31. Kumoon by Mayoneez and the Boyz[ratings46]

    Read review
  32. Lugaru by Wolfire Software[ratings31]

    Read review
  33. Momentum Missile Mayhem by DimonZerg [ratings156]

    Read review
  34. Motorama by IPlayAllday Studio[ratings64]

    Read review
  35. Mu-cade by ABA Games[ratings42]

    Read review
  36. NekoFight by Kaneko[ratings165]

    Read review
  37. Obulis by Ionfx[ratings175]

    Read review

  38. Odyssey: Winds of Athena by Liquid Dragon[ratings71]

    Read review
  39. Operation Cleaner 2 by Jan Nyman[ratings56]

    Read review
  40. Peggle by PopCap Games[ratings131]

    Read review
  41. Plasma Pong by Steve Taylor[ratings44]

    Read review
  42. + | – (Plus or Minus) by rale[ratings149]

    Read review
  43. Pluto Strikes Back by Petri Purho[ratings119]

    Read review
  44. Pogo Sticker by Jetro Lauha[ratings36]

    Read review
  45. Powder Game by DAN-BALL[ratings157]

    Read review
  46. Power Shovel by Taito[ratings164]

    Read review
  47. Rag Doll Kung Fu by Mark Healey[ratings118]

    Read review
  48. Ragdoll Masters by Rag Doll Software[ratings18]

    Read review
  49. Ragdoll Matrix Reloaded by R-Tsa Games[ratings49]

    Read review
  50. Red by Case[ratings147]

    Read review
  51. RoboBlitz by Naked Sky Entertainment[ratings111]

    Read review
  52. Rocky the Monkey by Rag Doll Software[ratings83]

    Read review
  53. Rolling Assault by Creath Carter / Matthew Wegner[ratings54]

    Read review
  54. Rubber Ninjas by Rag Doll Software[ratings191]

    Read review
  55. Ski Stunt Extreme by Michiel van de Panne / Matthew Wegner[ratings40]

    Read review
  56. Ski Stunt Simulator by Michiel van de Panne[ratings24]

    Read review
  57. Solid Balance by Solid Games[ratings26]

    Read review
  58. Soup du Jour by Digital Eel[ratings173]

    Read review
  59. Sprinky by Matthew Wegner / Creath Carter[ratings69]

    Read review
  60. Stair Dismount by Jetro Lauha[ratings25]

    Read review
  61. Steam Brigade by Pedestrian Entertainment[ratings43]

    Read review
  62. Strange Attractors by Ominous Development[ratings35]

    Read review
  63. String Theory by Dillon Cower[ratings96]

    Read review
  64. Stunt Hamsters by Casey Muratori with Ryan Ellis[ratings47]

    Read review
  65. Squishy the Starfish by Team Crunkasaurus Rex[ratings106]

    Read review
  66. Sumotori Dreams by Peter Sotesz[ratings136]

    Read review
  67. Super Stealball by Rag Doll Software[ratings51]

    Read review
  68. Switchball by Atomic Elbow[ratings28]

    Read review
  69. Teenage Mutant Ninja Puppets by Hikey[ratings152]

    Read review
  70. TG Motocross 2 by Teagames[ratings86]

    Read review
  71. Toribash by Hampa[ratings88]

    Read review
  72. Tower of Goo by Kyle Gabler[ratings50]

    Read review
  73. Toybox by Souptoys[ratings45]

    Read review
  74. Trackmania Nations by Nadeo[ratings27]

    Read review
  75. Trials by RedLynx[ratings30]

    Read review
  76. Trials 2: Second Edition by RedLynx[ratings178]

    Read review
  77. Triptych by Chronic Logic[ratings32]

    Read review
  78. Truck Dismount by Jetro Lauha[ratings52]

    Read review
  79. TubeTwist by 21-6 Productions[ratings55]

    Read review
  80. Walaber’s Trampoline by Walaber (Tim FitzRandolph)[ratings98]

    Read review
  81. Zen Bondage by Moppi Productions[ratings58]

    Read review

Related Posts: