07. 21. 2006
I am in love with a little Armadillo
Peter Stock quit his job to try his hand at independent game development, and nine months later he released Armadillo Run. This home grown hit that's surprised the video game industry, and made Peter a hero in the homebrew video game scene. Though weighing in at less than two megabytes this game is hands down the most gaming fun I've had since watching Ben Kuchera play Guitar hero.
Armadillo Run is a great little game that uses goal oriented Rube Goldberg contraptions to move a rolling armadillo towards a goal. The machines built in the game respond to real world physics, but professional structural engineers won't have an advantage. The scenarios involved in moving that cute little ball are just too crazy to come from a textbook. The learning process involved in building amazing machines to accomplish mechanical tasks brings a great sense of self satisfaction as trial and error teaches the relationships between space, velocity, and strength.
The amount of fun pulled from building a gigantic rubber hammer to play croquet with a rolled up armadillo is staggering. Some levels require elaborate contraptions to circumvent pre-built obstacles that block our intrepid Armadillo, while others levels have nothing in them and require a framework and propulsion systems. I've built some crazy machines using rockets and elastic and girders and sheet metal. To be honest, I feel like Macguyver every time I sit down to play.
The game is available solely from Peter's website for $20. There's a full featured demo that features a ten level tutorial, and six levels of full game play. Fair warning: Don't download the demo if you need to get work done today.