The Ugly Monster
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The Ugly Monster

Playing Every Game in the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality

PEGBRJE: ‘Orbis — Throw them all!’ and ‘Karambola’

Browsers coming in clutch.

Pucks for days.

Orbis — Throw them all! is a mobile arcade game created by Madness Game Studio. Players will try to attain the highest of scores by working on their colour matching skills, all from the comfort of their phone (or browser).

The aim of the game is survival, as the tower of coloured pucks/disks slowly encroaches the top of the screen. Players tap the side of the screen that matches the top puck so that it slides over and assimilates with the rest. The tower then continues its march onwards, so players need to keep going back and forth to keep up.

This all fuels the meter at the top, which will eventually fill and ‘explode’ the tower, which will automatically send dozens of pucks to their correct side before switching the colours. This is by far the most mentally taxing aspect, for just as a rhythm has been established a new one must be forged. Players do not start with lives, so a single wrong puck will immediately send the players to a Game Over.

Things start to get interesting when the special disks get added, such as those with a heart imbedded that give an extra life. Different colours can appear as well, with black disks turning all those below it in to black disks that can go anywhere, allowing for super speedy points. White disks are the opposite, slowing down the stack’s growth to allow for players a brief moment of respite before the pace continues again. The coveted golden disk will appear to bless players with double the score, allowing for constant point explosions which can help a player beat their high score.

With different game modes to be unlocked as you play, Orbis — Throw them all! is the perfect example of a casual game that sucks you in with its simplicity. One moment you are enjoying the pretty colours, the next you are twenty minutes in to a single run eking out every possible second to ensure victory over the cursed colours. If you are looking for something to put on your phone to pass a commute or just for some ‘relaxation’, this is a great game to try.

Acquire Broccoli.

Karambola is a narrative puzzle game created by Holy Pangolin, an indie duo comprising of the_red_tree and dos1 in Poland. Players will be experiencing the tale of Karambola as he attempts to save his friends from villainous thought-birds. Oh, and they are all fruit people.

The game sets itself up immediately. Players will attempt to solve a puzzle before they are even given the context of what the game is. Puzzles are designed around the point-and-click genre, where clicking on an object will cause an action that may effect the world in a positive or negative way.

Once cleared, players are treated to Karambola’s quest to rescue his nine friends, each stuck in a different ‘window’ and troubled by dark thoughts brought on by dangerous birds. Each window’s puzzle is completely unique to that friend, from rotational puzzles to perception puzzles to logic and memory puzzles. It is a bit daunting when it is put like that, but the puzzles are all designed as bitesize events for the player to witness.

While that sounds somewhat vague, I can only say that it is because of the sheer surrealism that paints itself over every location. The people involved are fantastical creatures of fruit and human, and the birds are strange squares with windows and negative energy. It almost feels psychedelic at times, but soothed away thanks to the relaxing music choices and sound effects.

Some of the puzzles may feel impossible, but the solution is always in plain sight which is what makes Karambola so strangely hypnotizing. You won’t spend long playing it, but you’ll definitely leave feeling something.




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