Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Webnesday Games - Tumiki Fighters

Like most people, I'm an alright fan of free games. I'm an even bigger fan, however, of free games that are good. Sure, there are a ton of decent games out there on the web that are free, but with any form of entertainment you'll be sifting through a much larger percentage of ones that don't exactly reek of quality. In a more current and specific trend, those are the ones that involve clicking your crops to watch your free time disintegrate and sending invites to MAKE ME BLOCK YOU ON FACEBOOK. One such game that doesn't fit into that diseased latter category is a somewhat older shoot-em-up by the name of TUMIKI Fighters, and it's a game that still makes me smile today.

TUMIKI Fighters, from developer Kenta Cho, is a side-scrolling shmup with a pretty interesting concept. Any enemies you shoot, you can attach to your ship. I don't just mean one at a time like in G-Darius, another of my favorite shmups from back in the day. I mean however many you can attach to that tiny ship of yours without getting anything shot off. They absorb bullets, shoot things, and just earn a bunch of points for you while they're attached, though once they take a hit they fall off. Otherwise, your little vessel takes one hit and dies, so it's a mechanic that's important to use.

I recently loaded TUMIKI and, surprisingly, the 2004 game still looks decent. Probably due to the fact that it had an incredibly lighthearted, simple and colorful look to begin with, and that sort of thing ages well on a 2D game. More importantly, it still plays well. It's easy enough for anyone to start with, yet once you get going it becomes a challenging game that rewards and punishes appropriately. In short, it has everything a good shmup should.

These days, the download site for the game is still up and can be found here along with Kenta Cho's other games. Interestingly enough there IS a version of it out on consoles. Majesco's Blast Works for the Wii is a slightly updated version of TUMIKI Fighters, featuring co-op and an editor that lets you design, quite literally, everything in the game. You can also unlock the original TUMIKI Fighters and three other games (rRootage, Gunroar, and Torus Trooper) from Kenta Cho. If you're interested in the game, you can probably find it at a local retailer used for less than ten bucks, and some sites online have it for as little as four or five dollars and new for a few dollars more. I'm actually a little surprised we haven't seen some of these on the XBLIG Marketplace and would quickly pay five spacebucks to have a version of TUMIKI on the 360. For now, however, I'll enjoy it on the PC, and probably will continue to do so for years to come.

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