Play It: Orange Roulette and Last Guardian

On this edition of Play It, we look at two static shooter games that are worth a try for online gamers looking for something a little out of the norm. First up is Orange Roulette. This is a dark and disturbing static shooter about an anthropomorphic orange forced to play a series of Russian Roulette games to earn his freedom from jail. The style of the game is undeniable. The content is questionable but surprisingly engaging.

Orange RouletteWhat sells the game is the level of suspense. You only have three possible moves in a turn: spin the wheel, shoot yourself, or shoot your opponent. The entire time, the two competing oranges are eyeing each other up, grimacing, or losing their minds. One of them will be pulp on the walls of the jail. The other might get to walk out alive. I never thought I could empathize with a piece of fruit. Now I know I just hadn't been forced in the right circumstances.

The downside to the game is the randomly generated stages. The constantly shifting story--each time you lose, you basically get a new identical orange with a variant storyline--is intriguing. The inability to know for sure what the pace of the match is becomes frustrating. It's not like you can memorize the sequence of events and play to the end. It changes every time.

It's a tense and quick diversion that's worth a look if you can handle the subject matter.

The second game is Last Guardian. This is a bit more traditional only in its framing as a tower defense game. You are an archer defending the castle from wave after wave of mythical beasts.

Last GuardianThe novelty comes in the mechanics. This is not a "close enough" shooting game. Placement and power will are the difference between a high scoring headshot against a flying dragon or losing the kingdom. Though you only use the mouse, the combination of power and angle seems unlimited in the game.

Then you start to upgrade your arsenal. Will you focus on better arrows for stronger attacks? Faster reloads so you can take more shots? Or will you spend your experience on magical spells that call upon mythological creatures to defend the gate while you aim for trickier shots?

There is no right or wrong strategy because no method is easier than any other. That's the novelty of the game. You can't go wrong unless you don't experiment with how to shoot the arrow. Everything else is at the mercy of a very tight and balanced game design.

What do you think? Will you be giving either game a shot? Orange Roulette is a bigger draw for me, but I do like dark content. Share your opinions below.

The Link Rally: 31 May 2012

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