Physics Games and Physics-Based Game Downloads

Undercooked but Great as an Appetizer

Monday, May 12th, 2008 by Matthew in Physics Games
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (Rate this game! 78 votes, average: 2.71 out of 5)

Soup du Jour is a small physics game from Digital Eel, an independent developer best known for their Infinite Space games. It’s worth mentioning that, although it’s not a physics game, Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space is a fantastic experience. I highly recommend it. So how does their foray into physics-based gameplay fare? Unfortunately, not as well…

Goals and Controls

Let’s start with the basics: You play Soup du Jour by clicking and dragging on springy physics objects to make matches. This becomes difficult as pieces spawn more quickly, get in the way of each other, and become more chaotic. It’s difficult to make a game about fast/accurate mouse movement. It tends to be a frustrating experience, and Soup du Jour is no exception. I crave some kind of stylus input.

Harsh Pacing

Soup du Jour starts off well. You make a few matches, push some of the ingredients around, and get a sense than you’re interacting in a highly physical environment. But it soon becomes very, very difficult. It’s like all of the thought put into design was brainstorming how to make things more difficult. And they’ve certainly succeeded. A slew of challenges await you: Large pieces, bombs, missiles, and more colors. You’re punished when pieces fall over the edge; a single bomb could knock half of your ingredients out if you aren’t careful.

My personal preference would have been to focus on variation, but along other axes besides difficult. What variations would make the game easier? Or simply different? In the current play experience all of the variations add difficultly, and the variations come pretty quickly and don’t let up. Before too long your defeat is inevitable and it just doesn’t feel very fun. A pacing that oscillated up and down would be more enjoyable. There are very few times where you feel on the brink of reversible defeat. It’s relentless.

Soup du Jour Screenshot Screenshot of Physics Games
(Soup du Jour Game Screenshots)

Worth the $10?

Soup du Jour is priced at a modest $10, which isn’t a bad value for a short play experience. For me, though, it’s a play experience I don’t really want to repeat. It isn’t the kind of game I can enjoy in short bursts. Highly competitive players may enjoy maximizing their score, but personally I’d rather enjoy something a little longer and more forgiving. There’s a free demo, though, so you be the judge!

Download Soup du Jour Demo (5.2 MB)

Or visit the Soup du Jour website for more information. The full version costs $10 USD.

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12 Responses to 'Undercooked but Great as an Appetizer'

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  1. Maltor124 said,

    on May 12th, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Looks unique, inspired, creative, and fun. Can’t wait to try it, and glad to see the front page is back in action! :D

    P.S. – First comment. :P

  2. on May 12th, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    YAY! Finally another post. It loks okay, but nothing that I would probably like.

  3. Gump919 said,

    on May 13th, 2008 at 7:00 am

    Oh god. this looks horrible.

    Great with updates though (:

  4. Cheroro said,

    on May 13th, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    meh wasn’t the greatest game ever, but okay.

  5. Matt said,

    on May 16th, 2008 at 4:50 am

    Matts not dead! However…the game is!

  6. Ben! said,

    on May 17th, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Surprisingly fun game. Perhaps some of you who bashed it should actually give it a shot. It’s certainly not “horrible,” although I agree that it becomes very, very hard very, very quickly.

  7. Dylan said,

    on May 20th, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Hey, beside this game, how come you didn’t tell us toribash was now free , matthew?

  8. Fardale said,

    on May 20th, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    Toribash has been free for months

  9. Dylan said,

    on May 31st, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    That just about proves my whole point, thanks Fardale.

  10. Ziger said,

    on June 3rd, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Hmmm…When are we getting an update…Im bored(again) to see the same thing everytime I go on…

  11. Fardale said,

    on June 3rd, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    Matt… one update every three months like we are getting now is probably worse than the site closing for good. so if the site is going to close please tell us.

  12. Matt Rix said,

    on June 18th, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Hey, the “Soup du Jour website” link isn’t working because it has an extra http in front of it.

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