Minigore is a game from , originally released 31st December, 1969

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Minigore Review

In Minigore, you play a gruff, Legoman-looking character named John Gore, who is inexplicably wandering the forest alone in the middle of the night. An endless horde of baddies also happens to be in the area, and they begin a ruthless, blood-thirsty assault on our poor hero. Luckily, John has a gun equipped with unlimited ammo, and he can shape-shift into an invincible monster. Does any of this make sense? Not in the least. Do we mind? Heck no, because this game delivers action and style in spades.

Behold the rampaging Gore-beast!

In the grand tradition of Smash TV and iDracula, you run around a limited playing field and blast the enemies coming at you from all directions. The goal is to rack up as many points as possible before your inevitable death. Two analog sticks sit in the bottom corners of the screen: the left one controls movement, the right one directs your bullets.

Your enemies are the unfortunately-named furries. They come in four flavors: Minifurry, Furry, Giant Furry, and Firefurry. Minis die with one shot. Furries take several bullets and spawn a mini every time they’re hit. Giants can take a heap of damage before they turn to three regular Furries. And Firefurries are just speedier Minifurries on fire. You’ll want to take out firefurries first, because unlike the rest of the beasts, they can outrun you.

The creepy forest environment looks stunning. Three-dimensional trees, rocks, and bushes populate the landscape and provide cover for your attackers. Splashes of light and pools of shadow add not only to the atmosphere, but also to the gameplay. We found it safest to stay in well-lit, vegetation-sparse areas.

When you take your first hit of damage, you start to look cut-up and haggard. You also receive a temporary speed boost, which is a good thing, because it allows you to escape the danger area and dispatch the horde. One more hit and you’re a goner. That’s right, you can only take two hits, so caution is key.

Occasionally a furry will drop a crate containing a shotgun. You can pick it up for several rounds of powerful three-bullet blasts, or you can unload on the crate to make it explode, sending shrapnel in all directions.

Not good.

Aside from the shotgun crates, the only other items dropped by the furries are clovers. Collect three, and you turn into an invincible monster, capable of destroying all baddies in your path. This turning of tables adds a fun dimension to the game, but you’ll want to watch your dwindling clover icons, because when you turn back to normal you’ll want to be far away from your foes.

Your iTunes library is available in-game, but at first you’ll want to stick with the awesome, cinematic score. It matches the tone of the game perfectly, with a quirky, dark mood that wouldn’t be out of place in the Danny Elfman songbook.

The included leaderboards are a welcome feature for a high-score game like this. They’re provided by OpenFeint, a social networking platform where you can track your scores, keep a friends list, and participate in insipid chat room discussions with strangers.

Our only real complaint about Minigore is its limited scope. You only get one map, two weapons, and four similar types of enemies. We want more of everything. We would also love to see health power-ups and a multiplayer mode.

Developer Mountain Sheep promises additional content in future updates, including a co-op mode, radar, additional maps, and, mind-bendingly, Enviro-Bear as a playable character.

It speaks to the game’s quality that the worst thing we have to say about Minigore is that we want more. As is, this is a stylishly fun diversion, definitely worth your buck. If the updates come through as advertised, the game may leap to “must-have” status. As always, we’ll keep you posted.

More stories on Minigore

New Minigore Character Revealed

We’ve got the first actual screenshot of the newest guest star character to join the Minigore family for episode 4. Minigore’s developers love to bring in guest stars from other games, but for a clue to who this guy is, all they’ve said is that he wears a green cap (which you can see here in a TA teaser). We can only think of one video game character who wears a green cap, and the Minigore guest pictured above doesn’t look like he’d be searching for pieces of the Triforce anytime soon.

Dual wielding weapons will be another addition for Episode 4, which is sure to add a lot to the already intense pace of the popular series. Developer Timo Vihola explained to us that after releasing their popular first episode, they needed to go back and do a major revamping of their programming.

What had been developed for the sole character of John Gore, they now wanted to expand and be able to contain much more. “We had to figure out a system that wouldn’t break even if we add 60 characters, 40 guns, 30 items,” says Timo. “The new system is that and then some. We can change items on one hand while changing weapon on the other hand– regardless of the character.”

This new character with the green cap will join Lizzy and Ninja Man from the iPhone game Sway, also making their guest appearances in episode 4. But hey, if you can’t wait that long, check out this hilariously badassed trailer for the soon to be released episode 3, featuring Santa! Meanwhile, let us know in the comments if you can figure out who the green-capped guest star is.

Thursday Twitter Giveaway: Minigore, Pipe Mania, and Enviro-Bear 2010

Since you all did such a great job on Tuesday, we’re having another Twitter giveaway today. We’ve got copies of the just-released Minigore, the Must Have game Pipe Mania, and one-of-a-kind bear driving sim Enviro-Bear 2010 to give away. Click ahead for instructions.

Enviro-Bear isn’t in Minigore just yet, but you can win either game in our contest.

OK, here are the rules. This time, instead of just retweeting a message, we want you to follow and then respond to @SlideToPlay, and tell us your answer to this question: Which iPhone game have you spent the most time playing? If you can, tell us what makes it so compelling to you as well. Also, include the link back to this contest page:

We’ll pick three winners tomorrow around 2pm PST, and DM you to find out which game you want to claim as your prize. First place gets first pick, second place gets second pick, and third place gets the remaining prize. As before, these codes only work in the US App Store, and you should only submit your entry once.

Good luck!

Minigore Hands-On

We recently got our hands on a preview build of Minigore, an upcoming dual-stick survival shooter from Chillingo and Mountain Sheep. From what we saw, the game is coming along nicely, with what may just be the right formula for success.

The first thing that stands out is the art style. You play as the block-headed John Gore, who fights off equally block-shaped enemies called the Furry. Everything is rendered in a grassy 2D environment, full of 3D objects such as rocks, brush and trees. These don’t act as obstacles in the sense that you can walk through them, but they do cover up your vision, making for hairy encounters with Furries.

The Furries come in all shapes and sizes. There is the tiny Minifurry, Furry, Giant Furry and a faster-than-light Firefurry. John’s gun shoots laser-like bullets at them, which divide larger Furries into Minifurries so they can be killed. To say the least, these enemies are formidable foes.

The game includes three distinct weapons. You start off using a machine gun with unlimited ammo. Furries can drop crates that hold either exploding booby traps or shotguns, which give you a little extra kick but have limited ammo.

However, there is also another way to plow through the Furries, quite literally. If you collect three of the four-leaf clovers dropped by Furries, you turn into a flaming beast that squishes Furries of all sizes like ants. Add in some sweet banjo music, and you have got yourself one hardcore package. Now it just needs more cowbell.

Instead of using the classic health bar to show how much life Mr. Gore has left, this is shown instead through his physical state. For example, at the start of the game he is fully intact with his hat on, but as the Furries get to him, he gradually gets bloodier until he dies. Yes, the game is full of gore (pun intended).

Some other features of Minigore that we did not get a chance to try out were online scoring provided by OpenFeint, and expert mode, which will allow those hunting for high scores to jump into the heat of things quicker. iPod library access will be supported, and an in-game messaging system will be implemented that will allow you to challenge other players to beat your score, just like ngmoco’s Plus+ network. There is also apparently voice acting for John Gore as well.

But all this is just ‘episode one’. After speaking with Timo Vihola, create director of the project, we got a first look at what is coming in the second episode and beyond.

Episode two will include ‘more of everything,’ Vihola said. For example, Mr. Gore will speak more, health will be shown in three stages (currently there are only two) with the additional one being Gore with a headband on, and levels will include a fence to show the boundaries. Vihola also hinted at a new gameplay mechanic: ‘The mysterious transforming mushroom makes its appearance in the second episode…’

Beyond this second update, which is already in the works, there will be a wide range of other features (many of which can be previewed in the trailer of the game). First and foremost, there will be co-op where one player is John Gore and another is his 9-year-old daughter. New snow and desert areas are scheduled, each with a special costume for Gore such as a fur cap and cowboy hat.

As far as enemies go, there a whole slew of them. These include King Furry, Wormwolf, Old Man Tackle, Lumberjacks, Cossacks and Green Grunts. Vihola said each enemy will be unique in the way they play, and we are curious to see how they come out. As expected, you will need new ways of crushing these enemies, so there will be new weapons, including the sheep cannon, dual-wielding machine guns and an assault helicopter.

Now, you may ask when the feature of most interest to you is coming. What if we told you it was all in your hands? Vihola said they are going to let the users vote on what feature they want to see. There will be a poll after each episode, and the most popular of them will get implemented in the next update. They already did something like this with the game’s tagline, ‘Tiny Creatures, Giant Adventure.’

We also asked Vihola how Minigore will tie into Hardgore, the tower defense-style sequel. While he could not tell us too much at this point, he said there is a larger backstory that will be revealed at a later point and that both games would feature John Gore as the protagonist. It will also be a much larger game, which will be reflected in the price. One of the things Vihola said that really grabbed our attention was that ‘the genre is not literally ‘Tower defense’ and I think ‘Village defense’ might be a more fitting description. Oh, and it has Santa and penguins!’

If all of these features come through, Minigore will not be so tiny after all. The first episode has been completed with a likely price of $0.99.