Bears with umbrellas

Bears with umbrellas
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First Published: Sat, Sep 06 2008. 01 15 AM IST

Pastel playing: This addictive flash game is deceptively simple.
Pastel playing: This addictive flash game is deceptively simple.
Updated: Sat, Sep 06 2008. 02 32 PM IST
If there’s one thing flash gaming needs more, it’s bears with umbrellas, flying strawberries and the internal combustion engine.
Of course, this is not to discount the plentiful raccoons, stick figures and zombies that populate the browser game universe — but the aforementioned combination is special.
They’re the only three elements of Orisinal.com’s latest flash game, Sunny Day Sky, and yet, it is, quite possibly, one of the most addictive flash games in existence.
Sunny Day Sky is flash gaming at its very best — simple addictive gameplay, an improbably surreal setting, and more pastel-coloured goodness than you can shake a box of crayons at.
Pastel playing: This addictive flash game is deceptively simple.
You control a pooh-like bear figure standing at the edge of a (pastel-coloured) bus, clutching an umbrella. Click, and he takes flight, Mary Poppins style, gliding across and over the perpetual line of vehicles. A power bar on the top left patiently fills up as you stay airborne. Fly over multiple cars and the score goes up. Click again and the umbrella snaps shut, dropping the little fellow down from the (pastel-coloured) sky.
Land on a vehicle and you’re safe, ready to jump again. Land on the road, and the game is over.
Occasionally, a (pastel-coloured) bird will fly across the sky — contact with it instantly snaps the umbrella shut. The airborne strawberries are the game’s bonus pickup — they recharge the power meter, allowing you to stay airborne longer.
That’s all there is to it but the brilliance of the gameplay is not just its simplicity, but how players slowly discover, through trial and error, the game’s mechanics.
I spent the first half hour cautiously skimming over the cars and buses, making little hops of 8-10 cars per jump. I even wondered what purpose the birds and strawberries served since I umbrella-ed nowhere near them. Then, almost by accident, I discovered how to really fly, after which 50 car hops and frantic leaps of faith became commonplace as did screams of agony after narrowly missing a vehicle after a marathon flight.
Orisinal is the personal playground of California-based designer Ferry Halim, who updates the site infrequently with little flash toys — all of which are pleasingly bizarre. Take The Crossing, where you help deer jump across a chasm, or Winterbells, the adventures of a rabbit jumping on levitating silver bells.
Sunny Day Sky: www.ferryhalim.com/orisinal/g3/sunny.htm
Type: Flash, in-browser.
Elsewhere on the Internet:
# A Murder of Scarecrows (www.mypetskeleton.com/blog/?p=30): latest game from MypetSkeleton.com features malevolent ravens, zombie scarecrows and the use of fruit as ammunition.
# Totem Destroyer (armorgames.com/play/1871/totem-destroyer): A game of balance physics, golden idols and wanton demolition from the ever reliable ArmorGames.
Tell us what games you want reviewed at krish.r@livemint.com
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First Published: Sat, Sep 06 2008. 01 15 AM IST
More Topics: Gaming | Sunny Day Sky | Winterbells | Play |