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Thursday, February 12: Twisted List: Alien Games

Lincoln's Birthday

Martin Sargent

I know they're out there. In psychotherapy this morning, I uncovered several repressed memories involving a cornfield, a UFO, and several little green men wearing big white coats.

I will never wear a kilt on the farm again.

Anyway, to help me work through the trauma, my therapist suggested I create a list about alien games.

  • Whack an Alien (http://download.com). This is a new take on the classic Whack a Mole, ingeniously renamed Whack an Alien. I feel kind of guilty because the aliens never even attack. They just wave their heads back and forth and writhe like hippies at a Dead show.

  • PetWings (http://download.com). How many times can we remake the arcade classic Galaga? Wasn't Galaxian enough? You can remake it at least one too many times, if PetWings is any indication. Again, you feel bad blasting the space critters—they're cute. That is, until you realize that their leaders are giant space bees that shoot fireball stingers at your head. Exterminate!

  • A-Blast 3D (http://www.shockwave.com). I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid, but then I found out they wouldn't take me because I have 20/400 vision, and if you lose a contact in zero gravity, you're hosed. Not to mention the mess the saline solution would make. A-Blast 3D lets you fly through space and shoot alien vessels. But, it's just not the same as the real thing. I've seen Battlestar Galactica, so I know.

  • Spacebar (http://download.com). Here's a funny premise for a game. You walk into a brew pub in another galaxy, and aliens offer you cocktails and frosty, delicious, refreshing mugs of beer. Your job? Destroy the drinks with a shotgun. The future has never looked so bleak. Rumor has it that the game was created by a Czechoslovakian company on a government mission to curb teenage drinking and, apparently, to encourage teenage shootings of bars with shotguns.

  • UFO III (http://download.com). We're so used to defending the Earth from aliens; wouldn't you like to experience the other side? In UFO III, you're the creature in the spaceship attacking Earth using advanced technology. Like most aliens, you mainly want to kill us for no good reason. All of your victims are driving Porsches, however, so you could be alleviating the unequal distribution of wealth in this country—unless you're a believer in Reaganomics and that whole supply-side thing, in which case you're really screwing up our economy.

Download of the Day: Alley Cat

Morgan Webb

Ah, the good old days, when the best sounds you could muster from your PC were blips and bleeps from your internal speaker and 256 colors seemed a dreamlike impossibility.

Now you can relive those simpler, halcyon days with Alley Cat (http://www.dosgamesarchive.com), a classic (and free!) DOS game written by Bill Williams in 1984.

The object of the game is to leap around the alley of an apartment building, collecting mice and other kitty delicacies while avoiding dogs and other perils of feline street life. Note: This game is definitely abandonware; our research indicates it's freeware, but download at your own risk.

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