Casual Fridays – Sneak Attack Monday

Welcome to Casual Fridays!  This is your fun Friday post where you get reviews of flash games, mobiles games and anything else that’s quick, and fun around the net.  We’re moving to a bi-weekly format so that I can make sure to get them out in time, but that might mean there’s going to be a few more games on the review table rather than the standard two or three per post.  There are a sea of games out there, we’re hoping to provide you with a life raft to find the games you want to play.

This week we’re continue our moving away from strictly flash games, we’ve got games from all over the place.  We’ve got Atomic Zombie Smasher available on Steam, we’ve got a flash game in Space is Key and Haunt the House.  This is also being posted on Monday because HR got the days wrong and the Casual day for this week is a Monday.  We’ll be going back to Friday’s shortly. ^_^


Atomic Zombie Smasher

Casual Friday - Atomic Zombie Smasher

A city square with many pink cubes chasing yellow cubes. There are the words "Scientist Rescued" above the yellow circle in the middle of the screen and a timer that reads 18 above that.

I may have mentioned my love of horror games at some point in time.  I think maybe on this blog even.  The key thing for me is that it can’t just be a standard horror game, it needs to do something interesting.  Atomic Zombie Smasher is one of those games that does something fun with the standard “have to deal with the zombie outbreak.”  Blendo Games.  Here there is a zombie outbreak and you have a certain number of mercenaries that you can use in order to save as many civilians as possible.

That’s right, killing zombies is a fun diversion, but it’s just what you do to keep saving as many people as you can.

The game also keeps a tally of how many people you save against how many people the zombies have devoured and made into zombies.  It’s a race, you want to be the first one to get to whatever total you’ve set out, which is 10 000 in the basic standard game.  There are also certain benchmarks that if you hit them, you get extra good things like new weapons or a the chance to get some science upgrades.  The problem is that the zombies also have benchmarks and they get upgraded when they hit them too.  You need to make sure that you jump out ahead, because the zombies get bonuses for having control of territories and they spawn a lot faster than you can kill them.

There is a somewhat storyline to the game, I will be the first to admit that I really didn’t pay any attention to it.  My interest was on saving the people and smashing the zombies so I could tell you much about it one way or another.  The game doesn’t really need it, it’s really all about getting people to the chopper!  And getting them to the chopper is a wildly entertaining ride.

Completely Arbitrary Number Value Judgement: ◙◙◙◙◘ – 4 Zombie cubes chasing that last human cube!

Game Cost: 9.99$ on steam – 15.00$ on the developer’s website.


Space is Key

Three rows, two in purple with black text and boxes above and below with a black row with purple boxes in the middle. There is the leftover explosion of the cursor box as well as the words "Going for Doubles" in the top row.

There is something about simplicity that fascinates me.  When you’re able to take a single button and turn it into a game that simultaneously makes you want to finish it and yell at your screen in frustration I believe you have a pretty good game.  Space is Key is one of those games.  It’s a straight forward platform type game where you have to get your little square from one side of the screen to the other side of the screen, going through three levels per stage.  You only require the use of a single key, the space bar, which will make your little square jump.

You will jump, a lot.  You need to avoid the various boxes that are in your way.  Some of the jumps require precision timing which may frustrate some players, but there is that extra joyful reward of defeating a particularly hard jump.  There are some changes that happen over the course of the game, one where you have to deal with the fact that you’re moving faster and jump further and another one where you just jump higher than you’re used to.   The way the game scores your success is how often your little cube explodes itself on the boxes that you have to dodge.  I will say that I died a total of 365 times which means that my little cube had an entire year of explosions.

One complaint I have is that the colour choices leave something to be desired.  There are some levels that will certainly give some players difficulty with the almost tone on tone colours.  While a challenging game is frustrating, but in a wonderfully challenging way, a frustrating game because you can’t see the sprites isn’t entertaining in the least bit.

This is a game that you can spend about ten minute on before you feel that you should take a break.  It’s a great little time waster while you wait for something else to happen.

Completely Arbitrary Number Value Judgement: * * * *  [_] – 4 Explosions and 1 Box that made it through!

Haunt the House

Casual Friday - Haunt the House

Two rooms in a house. One is a dinning room done in orage with a large table and a chandelier without any candles. There is a bathroom upsairs done in blue with red furniture. There are people milling about both rooms.

Haunt the House is a quick, cute little game where you play a ghost who lives in a house where someone decided to throw a party and you want to get everyone out of your house.  You don’t want them dead, you don’t want them maimed, you just want to scare them by possessing the objects around them and spooking them so that they run out of your house.  I like this concept a lot.  It’s different from a “kill them all” kind of laziness that a lot of games suffer from.

Another big fun moment is figuring out what each object does when you haunt it, and then going back once the spooky meter has gone up enough to see what else they do.

What is also pleasing is that everyone scares in basically the same way.  While there are gendered characters in the game, they don’t have levels of difficulty when it comes to scaring them.  The game even lets you know how many people you scared out of the the house, and how many people you scared beyond belief.  I should warn you that when I played the game I didn’t notice when I scared people and then ended up dead.  I don’t know how they did it, so I would totally put a possible trigger warning on the game, despite its cuteness, for suicide.  Again, I’m not one hundred percent certain, but I figured I’d rather be safe and put that up there than have someone get triggered by this.

Completely Arbitrary Number Value Judgement: V V V V V- 5 sets of arms in the air as people flee the house in terror!


A quick comment on how I decide on what paid games to review.  First of all I think they have to be entertaining, that’s a given, but I understand that they need to be accessible.  Not just in the message of the game, or what the game does, but also in price.  Any game that you might have to pay for is going to be under 10.00$ if I can absolutely help it.  Just thought you’d like a heads up on that considering that I’m starting to get into paid games.

I’m still on the lookout for a good math mobile game, and if you have any requests for games you’d like to see reviewed just leave them in the comments!

About Jonathan

Jonathan is straight cis-white male parent who does his best to make sure the laundry's done every day, but usually fails miserably at it. He does the Border House's Casual Fridays, as well as any other review stuff that he gets his hand on. He also writes, and blogs about table top games as Firestorm Ink and The Gamish Designer.
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8 Responses to Casual Fridays – Sneak Attack Monday

  1. Maverynthia says:

    That Haunt the House game was fun :D …even though 8 people died on me.. I only saw one person i think.. jump out a window? It looked like he jumped into a book on the floor to me. Though my only complaint is that they gendered the ghost. Though could have left that ambiguous.

    • Jonathan says:

      See, totally missed that because I was zooming through the game to get some ideas to put down for the review. I totally think they could have left that ambiguous too, it isn’t needed at all.

  2. cupcake3ater says:

    I love Haunt the House! Just what I needed…. another distraction. :)

  3. Nezumi says:

    The rationale for deaths in Haunt the House is not suicide, but accidental death — they get so terrified they do stupid things and accidentally fall down the stairs or jump out windows to escape. Not sure if that matters.

    • I’d honestly think that might make it more problematic.

      I mean, I’ve been having panic attacks really badly recently and have had people threaten to try to have me forcibly institutionalized over this because they’re reading my behavior as dangerous. Which is. Um. A blatantly oppressive idea, and a game that has people accidentally killing themselves when they’re panicking is… a really blatant manifestation of this idea that I’m dangerous to myself and need to have outsiders force their way into my life to fix that.

      I may play the game anyway; it still sounds interesting.

      • Nezumi says:

        Your response is exactly why I said “I’m not sure if that matters.” I wasn’t being sarcastic — I honestly wasn’t sure if it made a difference or if it was problematic in other ways.

  4. Korva says:

    I just played Haunt the House, it was a cute diversion. :) Though I did scare one person to death. Did anyone else notice the cats can see you? They follow you with their eyes but stay cool no matter what.

  5. thegaygamer says:

    I just played Haunt the House thanks to this post. What a cute, fun game! Thanks for pointing it out :)

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