Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Blogging Excavations: No Power to Play PowerPlay Games

Ah, the glory of downloadable games known as shareware games. Games that you could play for one hour (the so-called "60-minute trial"), and, when the trial was over, you had to pay 10 to 15 dollars or even more if the game was high-profile enough. I was one of them. I had... RealArcade. And they offered us this little gizmo. A gizmo known as... the Game Guide.

Anyway, the year is 2003. Cartoon Network, my favorite channel, made a step into the shareware industry, combining my CN imaginary and the downloadable games world with a revolutionary service. And that service... was known as... PowerPlay Games.

/|\This is the title card that appeared before every game. It had it's little sound effect. PPG needed some marketing, though. They even had their own slogan!

Now let's go to the games!

Alright, let's start with BEEBOs, the first of the initial four games offered on that service. Beebos was a version of QBz, and even noted the similarities for it when I was 5 (it read "Game development by Skunk Studios" in the title card), minus Bfamily's music. You know the concept of QBz: click on two or more of the same color and you can see a cartoon, involving wacky stuff, such as a QB (singular of QBz) jumping into a glass of water. BEEBOs had them as well. It had ten trials. I remember the frustration when the trials ended...

Cartoon Cove: Mini-Golf. How kind of them to put it on CN's website in 2009, so that we could play it for free. It''s a ridiculously short game, with only 9 courses and you can finish it in five minutes. Unfortunately, they knew that the game was short: the trial lasted only two minutes! 

Alas, the tyranny starts here. Cartoon Network finally allowed us to PAY for formerly free games. The first case scenario: turn To The Eds-Treme into a pay game, add more stunts, more quality, and more extremeness. The trial only lasted ten minutes. One sixth of the average RealArcade trial.
As for Dexter's Labyrinth, they decided to make a version with three times the levels of the original (the original had 20 levels), passwords (the only one I remember was "MOLECULE") and full-screen ness. Trial: ten minutes again.
Later, they expanded their range of "Super Fun Games-n-Such":
Fast and Flurrious was another game which was available on the Internet. The downloadable version added Mojo Jojo and his purple and black snowboard, but that's all that I can remember.

BOWL-ED OVER!!! It was a version of Gutterball and I even noticed the similarities with it. Anyway...
Kids Next Door, DOWNHILL DERBY!!! The Kids Next Door are just going down a hill with the finest in 2X4 technology. There is a limited web version of it.
Not sure if I played Freaky Freezeday. According to a video, it had 50 levels, so I'm unsure if it's any good or not.
Some more games that I never played:
Calling All Titans, a game that predicted the invention of New Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go. It was just Mario Party Teen Titans Edition.
Appetite for Demolition is based more on Megas XLR, but I haven't played it... It was developed by Skyworks.
Buggin' Out... Yes...
KND Sweets Ahoy was themed after Stickybeard and Numbuh 1, so I don't recall playing it.
Triple Threat Pinball? This looks interesting. Never played it.
Dropple is Splashback, they added backgrounds and videos. Never played it.
Mucha Lucha: Masks of Legend: not interested.
Halls of Injustice: not interested.
Tag Team Titans: Similar to Calling All Titans, but different.
And that... I think... is that. I believe that I mentioned EVERY single PowerPlay Games game in existence.
HOLD EVERYTHING! Back in 2004, the creators of this attended a conference:

Also, four of the games (Triple Threat Pinball, Cartoon Cove, Dropple and Fast and Flurrious) were released as part of a compilation known as "Cartoon Network All-Stars":

Well, that's that. Nowadays we live in a world of 5000+ Flash game sites which actually have tons of games. Many of these sites don't reach the footsteps of Kongregate. Shareware is a thing of the past now.

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