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Game Maker Games - AirDoo
 AirDoo by Darthlupi
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Review by Joewoof
AirDoo is a strange & wonderful arcade game that distinguishes itself by its therapeutic, dreamy experience. You feel as if you flow into and around the game, never really entering or exiting it. Everything is seamless right to the very last detail, creating a smooth, continuous feeling of dipping yourself into a warm, scented bath. Games are often refreshing or exciting. Few offers the calm, soothing satisfaction AirDoo provides, and even less (probably none) of them are action-based arcade games.

In AirDoo, you play as a chubby blue spacecraft with stubby little wings. This serves as the "missionary of friendship", bringing happiness to spherical, rolling emoticon-like creatures called "AirDoo", with its "friendship beam". "AirDoo" are troubled little creatures, floating through the abstract dimension called the "nonspace", without any apparent reason for existing. With your ship, you give happiness and make friends with these creatures. You then release them towards their friends, spreading happiness throughout their kind. The more happiness you spread, the longer you and your ship can stay in this "nonspace".

= Target Appeal =


The soft, cozy experience is one that many people will like. After coming back from work or school, all tired, exhausted and stressed out, this is definitely the game to play to calm your nerves and have great, casual fun at the same time. When you lose, the game does not say "Game Over", but says "You did real good. It is over." instead, using waving text. It does a great job of encouraging you to continue.

The "AirDoo" creatures themselves are incredibly lovable. They look ridiculous, rolling around with their frowns. And when you shower one with your "friendship beam", they give you a wacky grin. You sometimes can't help but smile along with them. The happiness spreads outwards to you too!

= Immersion =


This game uses solid graphical effects alongside simple-but-attractive-looking sprites. When the "AirDoo" are released, hit each other and burst, the effects are very fluid and fit perfectly in the theme of the game.

Most notable is the seamless transition between the splash screen, each level to the next, and to the game over screen. You never feel that there is a transition. As said before, everything in this game flows around each other.

The music is the heart of the soothing effect. It truly captures your spirit.

Sounds effects are well-applied. Every impact emits an echoing "clang" that differs with each kind of "AirDoo". In a chain effect, each additional hit raises the pitch of the sound. Combined with getting bonus points, every chain-sound is immediately recognizable and rewarding.

Unfortunately, there are a number of obvious little flaws. The spacecraft looks excessively rough on the edges, compared to other graphics and effects. The "friendship beam" is sometimes created a little off from the ship itself. The worst problem, however, is the quality of the sound effects. Although they add much to the game, a number of them are coarse. This conflicts with the overall atmosphere of the game. This problem can easily be fixed with a decent audio-editing software.

= Polish =


There are no technical errors except for one instance where the game crashed. That was probably due to my computer though. Besides, it happened only once.

= Originality =


The "AirDoo" creature is obviously drawn directly from the emoticon, which are often used in many games. The difference is that these emoticons realistically roll around in an abstract universe and have an original context built around them.

Where this game really shines is in its gameplay concept. Flying around using a "friendship beam" to catch and release ball-like creatures, trying to make chain reactions, is a fresh new experience. How the creatures behave after being thrown makes the game even more interesting. All of them have a limited "magnetic ability" that draws them to their friends. This means that less precision is needed, but it also adds a massive amount of unpredictability.

= Smooth Learning Curve =


There is no in-game documentation, which is pretty serious. Instructions are included in the Readme text file. Fortunately, the gameplay isn't very complex, but this may be a big source of frustration for some players.

= Variety =


There are many kinds of "AirDoo" creatures, each with different behaviors. For example, the yellow "AirDoo" often changes direction and tends to attach themselves to other creatures, while the brown "AirDoo" is highly aggressive in seeking out its friends when released, but is otherwise docile. Each kind of "AirDoo" has to be dealt with differently. The more dangerous ones, such as the yellow "AirDoo", should be taken care off before the other colors.

The abstract background is randomly chosen with each and every level. They are interesting to look at. Gameplay-wise, some backgrounds actually make the levels harder. For example, when you get a red background, the red "AirDoo" is much more difficult to spot.

Another interesting part about this game is the unpredictability of the thrown "AirDoo", as mentioned earlier. You never know what to expect. Some long chains may even bounce erratically and crash into your ship! Another notable aspect is how the rolling "AirDoo" creatures interact with each other. Once in a while, some of them may orbit around each other. The large purple "AirDoo" has a fearsome habit of swinging its tiny counterpart at incredibly high speeds! Sometimes, you have to quickly release your befriended "AirDoo", because another "AirDoo" decides to attach itself to your one. If you hold on to your "AirDoo" for a fraction of a second longer, the other "AirDoo" will rotate around yours and eventually collide into your ship. The yellow "AirDoo" is notorious for doing that.

On the other hand, there isn't much variety in actually controlling your ship. The addition of powerups can greatly boost the level of variety.

= Challenge =


The game starts out slow and very easy, allowing you to warm up and get used to the controls. It gets a little harder for a while, until the difficulty begins to rise exponentially. The difficulty scale in this game is very well designed.

= Depth =


There is not much to this game other than what is already presented. The story context is original, but minimalistic. There is a good deal of variety, but there is little strategy involved.

= Overall =


AirDoo is a highly original game with an incredibly distinctive, "therapeutic" feel. There are some problems, but they do little to taint the evocative, trance-inducing experience.

Relax and enjoy. Spread happiness and receive it in return.

~ Joewoof

= Author's Descriptions =

A simple arcade game. Match the colored balls by sucking them up with your tractor beam and firing them.

Casual fun.

Download AirDoo (EXE, ~2.4 MB , Suitable for everyone )

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Recommendations: The 5 people who like AirDoo also like the following games.
Comments (Add your own):
2007.07.18 The Third Man
Rating: 9

This is the kind of game where you start playing thinking it will get boring after a while, and then an hour or two later, you realize it won't. Ever.

Perhaps the best arcade-style Game Maker game ever made. It blows the tremendously overrated Lock-On out of the water, and even manages to inch past the tremendously underrated Valence. A real gem.
2007.05.28 miky
Rating: 10

A very fun game. Everything fit seamlessly. Even though it seems like it would get boring after a while, it didn't.
The only thing I wish it had was an online highscore list.
2006.06.10 jmanjman47
Rating: --

Yeah, I think 6.8 is correct. This game is repetative
2006.06.07 Minipizza
Rating: 8

Good game, nice graphics.
My high score is now 436 and I like the different balls wich all behave different.
2006.06.07 nota1ot
Rating: 10

SIX POINT EIGHT?????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2006.06.01 ShrooboidJr.
Rating: 8

Fun. Relitively easy. It dosent get boring, exactly, you just get tired of the same old thing, over and over. Make a sequel, and add more stuff and an exiting story line!
(P.S., my high score is now 100. Is that the highest?, cuz i died abruptly afterwards, and I don't think I was out of time...)
2006.05.31 Kafeithekeaton
Rating: 9

Nice, clean game that ticks me off because those blasted emo balls attack me when I'm trying to make them happy! >:O
2006.05.30 jmanjman47
Rating: 7

Very good game, has some nice original ideas. I thought it needed more depth as the reviewer said though.
2006.05.30 Strange Studios
Rating: --

I got an error. I didn't get to the menu! The errors are variables: unknown variable interval and unknown variable game_start. I'd like to try it, so please fix it.
2006.05.14 Stargate
Rating: 8

Very nice gameplay, i congratulate you.
2006.05.04 MDS-Games
Rating: 7

Beautiful graphical style and original gameplay. The music and sound effects fit the game well.
My only problem with the game is that it gets boring rather quickly and it seemed a bit easy.
Besides that, I enjoyed the game very much.
2006.05.03 Mr. Wiggles
Rating: 7

It`s a cool little game. The faces on the balls were cool. It has pretty good graphics and backgrounds and is very original but gets boring after awhile.
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