Robert Hornbek

Game Development & Exploration

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Posted by rHornbek on November 5, 2009

Thought I would jump on again and see what I could find.  While I am not a huge fan of Pac-Man, I found this little spin off to be really fun.


PacXon quickly tries to collect blue squares!

The objective in PacXon is simple, turn at least 80% of the stage into blue blocks.  You do this by moving through the dark areas turning them into blue blocks.  Any dark blocks fully surrounded by blue blocks will instantly become blue, encouraging you to get greedy and try and grab more at a time.  If you happen to surround a ghost the interior blocks will not change color, but at least it keeps a ghost under some control.

The ghosts themselves have different movement patterns, some can only move in the dark space where other can only move in the blue.  The large red ghosts will actually turn your hard earned blue blocks back into dark ones, so it is a constant race for time.  There are a few power-ups that appear that will increase your speed or reduce the ghost’s speed and they seem to help allot!  If a ghost connects with your trail of blue squares they will turn red and kill you.  You can avoid this by moving back into the blue blocks you have already captured.


Getting owned by the ghost.

All in all PacXon is a fun little game that delivers.  It doesn’t last all that long but I feel it is a good example of how simple can be effective.  I would love to see the game re-skinned with unique characters and a little better music would be nice.  Check it out.


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Red Remover

Posted by rHornbek on October 15, 2009

Every now and then I stop by and wade through a sea of mindless designs and crappy clones.  Time to time on this barren sea I will find a nice little island to explore and in this case I found an oasis called Red Remover.

Red Remover 01

Red Remover

The objectives are simple; remove all of the Angry Red Blocks without losing any of the Happy Green Blocks.  Light colored blocks can be clicked on and instantly removed, where other blocks with faces will fall in the direction they are looking.  This means removing blocks can result in red or green blocks falling off the screen.  Once all of the Angry Red Blocks are gone and the Happy Green Blocks are safe the stage ends in cheer!

The gameplay is as strait forward as the objectives described above.  There are three different colored blocks, Angry Red, Happy Green and Neutral Blue.  Some time the Red and Blue blocks can be simply clicked on to remove them, where blocks with faces, including the Green, will have physics applied to them.  The blocks with faces will always fall in the direction they are looking, sometime creating four different gravitational pulls.  By clicking on some blocks, to make them vanish, others will fall or collide creating various chain reactions, what ever it takes to reach the objective.  Some blocks will even come in different shapes, adding a whole other level of challenge.  It is a simple but well execute use of basic physics to create challenging and above all challenging gameplay.

Once you have completed each stage you will unlock new difficulty settings.  The first requires you to replay each stage without going over a specified number of actions, in other words a par.  Then you are challenged to complete the stages with a limited view of the stage itself, until finally five additional stages are unlocked.

There is a stage creator option that allows users to create their own stages and I found it to be rather well done.  Once you have created and save a stage you can share it on the official Red Remover forum and play other user created stages as well.

Overall this was an excellent experience and a great game that I would recommend to anyone.  I give Red Remover an 8 out of 10!

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