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Game Maker Games - The Birthday
The Birthday by cactus
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Review by edenb
“New” is a feeling most developers strive for, the feeling of discovery when a gamer finds a game that is different from anything they’ve played before, a game that breaks through the stale boundaries imposed by “the establishment”, a game that creates a surge of excitement rippling through the veins, as if your jumping off a tower. A feeling of exhilaration.
This is what “The Birthday” captures, a feeling of “new”.

Playing The Birthday is a bit like looking at a Volkswagen. It’s curves are unique and different, although you either like them or hate them, and it’s incredibly noticeable.
Visually, this game's graphics fall under the Volkswagen description. They’re that cocktail that you just got at the bar, complete with little brightly coloured umbrella. The cocktail’s a classic of course, just like the graphics, which are very retro and ever so slightly pixelated - they might have been used in a game made in the early 90’s.

Just like quite a few games in the 90’s, The Birthday is a point and click adventure, and quite short at that. I can’t say the gameplay was what made this game; in fact it’s a pretty minor element with all things considered. Working things out is key here - and I can’t say any more than that.
Gameplay is arguably The Birthday’s weakest element, but that is made up by the overriding experience and “feel” of the game.

In games there is two main types of music: those with melody and those without. This game’s music thankfully falls into the first category. It’s only a bit tune, so it’s not a hugely developed piece, with only one line of melody and a bit of harmonizing. To be honest it’s a bit annoying, it feels all the same, and doesn’t really create the atmosphere that the graphics superbly did. What it does do is make me nostalgic for the games of the past. It ushers in pacman, space invaders and many other classics. All while making me feel a bit sick. Don’t get me wrong, you may like the music; but it is too repetitive and most of all doesn’t create emotion, something that every developer should strive for.

The Birthday was made in a short time for PoppenKast’s birthday, and when you consider the time that was put into it, it’s a pretty good effort from cactus. The experience and atmosphere is what makes this game; you may not play it more than once, but you’ll be glad that you did. Certainly a birthday present worthy of the great PoppenKast.

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The creator said:This is a short point and click adventure about a guy who's having a seriously troubling birthday.

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Comments (Add your own):
2007.07.21 The Third Man
Rating: --

It was certainly interesting, but simply too frustrating for me. For example, why the hell can't I hit that damn seagull with the rock?

Sorry. As you can see, though, it's pretty addictive.
2007.01.18 flamozoid gaming
Rating: --

I beat it... but still, after playing this it messed up the music in all of my gm games, and a few others. Any idea on how to fix, or what caused it. And if anyone else has issues after playing jbf mod using games?
2007.01.13 AkiraTT
Rating: 6

I found also that when youre close to your brother and you can click him and theres something buried beneath him. Very odd...
2007.01.11 flamozoid gaming
Rating: --

Hmmm, after playing this it messed up the music in all of my gm games, and a few others.
2007.01.06 twizko
Rating: 2

kinda a let down, weirdly interesting but yes a let down. Q1) what do u do? i don't get it at all. i got annoyed after like 2 minutes.
2007.01.05 dr-doctor
Rating: --

what's the controls for this?
2007.01.04 Venom
Rating: 7

5/10 doesn't mean crappy. It means average. But I wouldn't even call this a game, really. If you were rating it on the scale of other games, yeah, it deserves a score like this, if not lower. But if you're rating it on the scale of interesting or fun, I'd give it more a 7. It's really fun and interesting and stylish, but it's too short to really be considered a game.
2007.01.04 cactus
Rating: --

@Ergo: The objective of the game is to save the exploding guy. Of course there's a way to do it.
2007.01.04 Jabberwock
Rating: 7

I like this game. It's very clever, like all of the things you make, plus I've always had a thing for point-and-click.
2007.01.04 warrior
Rating: 3

It looked alright but overall it was pretty bad, it doesn't really deserve a review, its more like a birthday card and a pretty pointless one that is, it didn't make sense.
2007.01.04 flamozoid gaming
Rating: 6

Its interesting, but I cant find anything more to use in the room, except the rock and the hat, the cake, the stream, the nest, and the bird. Itd be nice at least if I could get a little advice, or someone can tell me if Im missing one. Not very much instruction.
2007.01.03 fusehead11
Rating: --

that was uh... kinda pointless...
2007.01.02 Ergo
Rating: --

Ok, so, is there any way to not die?
2007.01.01 Petethegoat
Rating: 8

It was shorter than I expected, but it was very enjoyable.
2007.01.01 cactus
Rating: --

@Hubert: The game has to be extracted before playing, because it uses a dll to play the music. So if you try again, and put the executable in a folder, then it'll definitely work just fine ;)

@The rest of y'all: Thanks for the kind ratings and comments. And thanks to edenb for writing a nice review.
2006.12.31 Nobody
Rating: 7

Aw that's underrated. Something with a 5/10 should be a crappy game. This isn't a crappy game.
2006.12.31 Chaucer Games2
Rating: 9

It was... odd... but I liked it!
2006.12.31 Hubert
Rating: 1

It didn't work- It said something about the create event for the character object.
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