Monday, May 30, 2011

NEWS: Demo Gamer Hiatus

Thanks for visiting my site! I've had a fun few months playing demos and writing about them, but family circumstances force me to abandon the Demo Gamer (for now). I hope to be able to return in a few months. In the meantime, keep playing and having fun. Thanks for your support.

--Demo Gamer

Friday, May 27, 2011

OPINION: The Demo Filter

Having read this great article on Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I started thinking about my relationship with video/computer games in general and demos in particular. It was only recently that I started getting into demos, and only then because I was gaming-funds poor and did not have access to free video games like I did as a kid.

Monday, May 23, 2011

DEMO: Lead the Meerkats (Wii Ware)

Lead the Meerkats for Wii (Wii Ware)

Genre: Strategy/Adventure
Full Game Price: $10.00
No. of Players: 1

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

DEMO: LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars

LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars for Xbox 360 (Xbox Live)

Genre: Jedi Action Platformer
Full Game Price: MSRP $40
No. of Players: 1-2 (simultaneous co-op)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

OPINION: My Journey to Dell Hell and Back

(A big hello to everyone visiting from The Consumerist! If you're unfamiliar with The Consumerist, it's a consumer advocacy blog that's both fun and informative. Check it out!)

Recently, I tweeted about my Dell Vostro 1400 laptop that had a defective NVIDIA 8400M graphics chip. I would like to share the story of my successful journey to Dell Hell and back, getting a 3.5-year-old out-of-warranty laptop fixed for free.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


BIT.TRIP CORE for Wii (Wii Ware)

Genre: Musical Puzzler
Full Game Price: $6.00
No. of Players: 1-2 (simultaneous co-op)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


BIT.TRIP RUNNER for Wii (Wii Ware)

Genre: Musical Platformer
Full Game Price: $8.00
No. of Players: 1

Monday, May 2, 2011

OPINION: Wii 2 Will Be More iPad Than Xbox

When I first heard about Project Revolution, I was very excited. With its combination of motion and infrared control, I really felt like Nintendo was onto something special. Many of my friends had different feelings, especially as the Wii’s 2007 launch date neared. They were either cautiously optimistic or outright derisive, but I felt from the get-go that Nintendo had a created a game changer.

I was right. With over 80 million consoles sold (and money made on each one, to boot), Nintendo’s Wii is the undisputed commercial success of the last generation of game consoles, and interestingly so. The Wii was not a direct frontal assault on the already-released Xbox 360 or the forthcoming PS3: sub-par graphics, no DVD or Blu-ray playback, and other lacking features made it pale in comparison to its technically heavyweight competition, and yet, Nintendo created and exploited a new market basically overnight by simplifying the way gamers interacted with their games. Nintendo, while leaving a presence in the hardcore-gamer sandbox that Mario built, began to focus on this entirely new sandbox it had created. What Nintendo didn’t know was that it was not alone.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

DEMO: Hoard (Steam: Windows/Mac)

Hoard for Steam (Windows/Mac)

Genre: RTS/Action
Full Game Price: $9.99
No. of Players: 1-4

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wii Demo Roundup - 04/11/11

Howdy, Wiifolk! It's time for another Wii Demo Roundup, although I'm beginning to wonder if I should change the name of this weekly feature because "rounding up" a single demo seems kind of silly. But no matter, hope springs eternal as I wait for Nintendo's eShop. Interestingly enough, this week's demo feels right at home in a wild west roundup. Bring your hat, chaps, and holster, it's time to draw!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Freebie Flashback Friday - The Incredible Machine

All images courtesy
It's Friday, almost Saturday, and if you're short on funds you've come to the right place. It's time again for a freebie flashback highlighting a classic game that's been abandoned to freedom. This week, Rube Goldberg smiles.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

DEMO: Slam Bolt Scrappers (PS3)

Slam Bolt Scrappers on PSN for PS3

All images courtesy
Genre: Combat Puzzler
Full Game Price: $14.99
No. of Players: 1-4

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wii Demo Roundup - 04/04/11

New day, new demo! Nintendo dropped a strange demo yesterday, and I'm here to tell you all about it. Also, a long-time resident of the Wii Ware demo list gets reviewed. Click on through to read more!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Freebie Flashback Friday - Command & Conquer

It's Friday, and it's time for a freebie flashback. This week, we're going to talk about the dangers of tiberium.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

DEMO: Total War: SHOGUN 2 (Windows)

Total War: SHOGUN 2 on Steam for Windows

Genre: Historical Strategy (real-time and turn-based)
Full Game Price: $50.00
No. of Players: 1, with online multiplayer

In 5 words: complex, eye-candy, historical, epic, difficult

It's been awhile since I posted a demo review for PC and this demo is the reason why. Total War: SHOGUN 2, released this month, features a robust and rewarding demo that every strategy fan should try. It's kept me tied up for weeks.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wii Demo Roundup - 03/28/11

Welcome back, and giddyup! It's time for this week's Wii demo roundup! We have two new demos on tap this week, something Nintendo has not deigned to deliver since February. But are they worth it? Head past the break to find out.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Freebie Flashback Friday - Scorched Earth

You're hunkered down in a nuked-out crater, hoping your enemies don't have any napalm. A variable wind besets your best attempts at ballistic bombardment and your shield is failing. What to do? What to do.

You admire the jagged landscape while evaluating your options. You could MIRV the guy on the ridge over there, or even better, if you place your shot right, you might be able to Death's Head your way straight to victory. Assuming you don't frag yourself in the process. Decisions, decisions. Welcome to Scorched Earth, my friend.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wii Demo Roundup - 03/21/11

Monday means more free fun in Wii Ware land. This week, go to an alien world in search of fortune and fame in Dive: the Medes Islands Secret.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Freebie Flashback Friday - Wing Commander

It's that time again, time to step back to an era of mediocre graphics, launching games from the command line, and having a blast. That's right, it's Freebie Flashback Friday, and today's game is a space combat sim classic.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

REVIEW: Fludity (Wii Ware)

Jaded. Tired. Bored. That was me a few months ago. My apathy for video games was complete and a year of dust covered my Wii. Then Nintendo restarted its Wii Ware demo program in November of last year. The first wave of demos was alright, but then the Fluidity demo arrived. It quickly captured my attention and deftly liberated me of a few hard-earned dollars.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wii Demo Roundup - 03/14/11

A new week means a new demo in Wii Ware land. This week, it's time to make some music in the Mix Superstar demo.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Freebie Flashback Friday - Transport Tycoon Deluxe

It's almost-Saturday, and that means I have a new old free game for you to check out! This week, I'm talking about Transport Tycoon Deluxe.

OPINION: The Future of Gaming


(big /SARC /SATIRE tags here)

REDWOOD CITY, CA - Electronic Arts announced today its "Future of Gaming" initiative, aimed at helping its customers to understand their roles and places in the gaming market. As part of the new initiative, EA will no longer be selling games, but rather the opportunity for customers to audition for the right to play them. The auditions will occur through the EA forums and a minimum of 72 business hours will pass from purchase to approval to play.

"We haven't been selling games for awhile now, we've just been selling licenses, you know, so this was just the next step," a business manager at EA said, asking not to be identified. "We feel that people must agree with us in order to play our super-awesome games. If your opinion, or even sarcasm, is too much for us to handle, you don't deserve our high-quality titles. Oh, and the sale of the right to audition is non-refundable."

Some gamers, expressing disbelief in the new initiative, received the following official response from EA: "It's in the EULA, dudes."

--Demo Gamer

Sound ridiculous? Check this out.

UPDATE: it gets worse.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wii Demo Roundup - 03/07/11

Saddle up, it's time for this week's Wii Demo Roundup! Nintendo keeps it simple (and cheap) this week: a single demo called "Soccer Bashi" that previews a $5.00 game.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Freebie Flashback Friday - Star Control 2

This week, I introduce (or reintroduce) you to the only game worthy of being abbreviated as SC2.


OPINION: Fluidity Deserves Better

Since its introduction in November 2006, Nintendo’s Wii has been the undisputed commercial success story of the latest video game console generation, primarily because it is (well, was) so revolutionary. Unfortunately, not all of Nintendo’s innovations with the Wii have been positive for consumers. I write specifically of the Digital Rights Management (DRM) with which Nintendo afflicts controls its Wii Ware and Virtual Console services.

Nintendo is the only company I am aware of that limits digital downloads to a single machine, and rightly so: using such a restrictive brand of DRM is bad for consumers and therefore bad for business. Why would Nintendo do this?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

NEWS: SpaceChem's on Steam!

Click here to get the demo or download the game on Steam. Here's my review of the demo. SpaceChem's awesome!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Wii Demo Roundup - 02/28/11

Time to round-em-up, and this week we have a winner and a whaaaat!? I'm talking about Wii Ware demos for "Pong Toss Pro - Frat Party Games" and "Gods vs. Humans". Guess which one's which.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Freebie Flashback Friday - Dune II

I'm happy to announce a new weekly feature I'll be offering here at the Demo Gamer: Freebie Flashback Friday! I grew up playing many games on x86 systems, starting at age five. These games are well past their expiration dates when it comes to graphics and what not, but sometimes, I fire them up because they are still fun! Another nice thing about these vintage games is many of them are available for free on the internet.

This week's game is a one that is near and dear to my heart, a game that defined the genre known as Real-Time Strategy (RTS). I have spent many hours playing "Dune II" and other RTS games. Probably too many. But I always remember playing "Dune II" and how I never could beat the game unless I played as the "evil Harkonnen". The nuclear missile fired by their Palace building is particularly effective, you see.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Heads Up: Wii Ware Games Non-Transferable


Hey there, I know I've been inviting you to buy Wii Ware titles, but I just discovered something last night that has got me bothered: you can only play a Wii Ware title on the Wii to which it was downloaded. In other words,  you cannot copy a Wii Ware title to an SD card and play it on your friend's Wii. Same for Virtual Console. Even worse, it appears as though Nintendo is hesitant to replace these games in case of hardware malfunction or upgrade.

I have reached out to some developers and Nintendo to get some more information, so watch here for a more detailed write up. In the meantime, please remember this important information before you download anything from the Wii Shop Channel.

Anyone had an experience with Nintendo regarding this issue? Sound of in the comments!

--Demo Gamer

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NEWS: SpaceChem discounted!

SpaceChem, my favorite PC puzzler as of late, has been marked down 25%! Get it here! You can read my review of the demo here. Don't miss out!

--Demo Gamer

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wii Demo Roundup - 02/21/11

Welcome back, Demo Gamer faithful. This week, we have a new pair of demos up on Wii Ware: "Rage of the Gladiator" and "Learning with the PooYoos: Episode 1". Yeah, about that.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

DEMO: Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World (Steam/Windows & Mac)

Kaptain Brawe for Steam: Windows and Mac

Genre: Adventure
Full Game Price: $20.00
No. of Players: 1

In 5 words: Dated, Humorous, Short, Customizable, Eye-Candy

This week's demo is "Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World". It's been awhile since I played an adventure game like "Kaptain Brawe", but it took little time to get into this demo.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wii Demo Roundup - 02/15/11

This week's new releases, the "Chronos Twins DX" and "Chick Chick Boom" demos prove that you don't have to stray far from simplicity while keeping things fun, and that trying (too) new ideas can be risky.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Wii Demo Roundup - Postponed!

I guess today is some special day or something, so the Wii Demo Roundup is being supplanted by romantic movie night. Blame Cupid!

I'll be rounding up the demos tomorrow, so check back then. In the meantime, enjoy your day!

--Demo Gamer

Saturday, February 12, 2011

DEMO: Guardians of Graxia (Windows/Steam)

Guardians of Graxia for Windows/Steam

Genre: Turn-based Card Strategy
Full Game Price: $10.00
No. of Players: 1

In 5 words: Complex, Fun, Fantasy, Magic, Deep

Steam is an awesome service. If you've used it, you know this. If you haven't, and you play on Windows or Mac, you should get to know it. They have an entire section of their store dedicated to demos, with hundreds available. "Guardians of Graxia" is one of the latest demos released on Steam, and it is fun!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Wii Demo Roundup - 02/07/11

This week, Nintendo released a new pair of demos. Both are 3/4 top-down games, although they have very different styles. "Urbanix" and "Lit" round out this week's Wii demo roundup.

Friday, February 4, 2011

DEMO: NightSky (Windows)

NightSky for Windows

Genre: Puzzle Platformer
Full Game Price: $10.00
No. of Players: 1

In 5 Words: Art, Tranquil, Robust, Challenging, Spartan

A friend of mine recommended that I try this demo out, so I did. Having finished the demo, I have a hard time considering NightSky to be a simple game. The amount of style and art put into this "game" is impressive.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Wii Demo Roundup - 01/31/11

New Wii demos are released every Monday, and I round 'em up. This weeks releases are "Racers' Islands: Crazy Racers" and "Zombie Panic in Wonderland". One of them is very fun; the other, not so much.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Word on Wii Ware Demos


Just a heads up: new Wii Ware demos are released each Monday and they are available only for a limited time. That could mean anywhere from a week to several months. I will check each Monday and update my reviews to show if a demo is no longer available.

Another item of note: if you plan on downloading many demos, it would probably be a good idea to invest in an SD card for your Wii because you can only have around 5 demos at a time in the internal system memory.

Happy gaming!

--Demo Gamer

Monday, January 24, 2011

DEMO: SpaceChem (PC, Mac, Linux) UPDATE

SpaceChem for PC, Mac, and Linux

Genre: Puzzle/Strategy
Full Game Price: $20.00
No. of Players: 1

UPDATE: I looked for system requirements on the SpaceChem website and could not find any. I was able to contact Zach, the creator of SpaceChem, and here's what he had to say: "The only spec I recommend having is a video card that supports FBOs (Frame Buffer Objects), as that enables a lot of our neat rendering features (previews, video upload, and "quick alt-tab" fullscreen)." Thanks, Zach!

In 5 Words: Crazy, Challenging, Rewarding, Cerebral, Engrossing

I saw a link to this game on a game comic website, so I checked it out. I watched the youtube video and downloaded the free demo. Then I started playing SpaceChem. I've had a hard time thinking about playing anything else since (yes, even Fluidity).

In SpaceChem, you play as a chemical engineer designing and executing chemical reactions in order to meet company objectives. Does that sound fun to you? Are you an engineer, a chemist, or programmer? If so, please, by all means go and get the demo. If that doesn't sound fun to you, well, I would encourage you to take the time to download the demo and try it out for 5-10 minutes. If it hasn't hooked you by then, move on. If it has, well...buckle up.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

DEMO: Fluidity (Wii Ware)

Fluidity for Nintendo Wii (Free Demo on Wii Shop Channel)

Genre: Puzzler/Platformer
Full Game Price: $12.00
No. of Players: 1
Required Controllers: Wii Remote

In 5 Words: Whimsical, Innovative, Fun, Challenging, and Gratifying

One of the first Wii Ware demos I ever downloaded was Jett Rocket. My son loved to play and watch me play that demo. I say "loved" because his new favorite demo is "that water game", also known as Fluidity. Interesting thing is, where I quickly tired of Jett Rocket, I have played through the Fluidity demo four times now and it has not gotten old.

Welcome to the Demo Gamer

Welcome to the Demo Gamer! Allow me to introduce myself. I am a gamer. Sometimes. I used to game a lot more than I do now. Then something happened.

I got married to a (kind and understanding) non-gamer. And I became a father. The getting married part wasn't too bad for my gaming. My wife used to work a few nights a week, and more often than not, I would just plug in for a few hours and get my fix. Everything changed when we had kids. Being a father, husband, full time student and full time employee decimated my time and money for gaming.

Having graduated from college (finally!), I find myself gaming a little more. I have two toddlers now, one of which bowls almost as well as I do in Wii Sports. The way I game now is very different from the way I used to. I now game in smaller units of time and money. What you'll find here are reviews of demos, and occasionally, a review of a full game, if I find the demo worthy of the jump to buy. I hope to help other time/money-challenged gamers to find games worth their valuable/limited attention. In doing so, I also hope to help some developers that also have little time for money and gaming.

So please click and comment away, I hope you enjoy your visit.

--Demo Gamer