The good thing about scouting out games in the freeware community is that there are plenty out there with their own innovations, or simply ideas that you may never see happen commercially but can happen in the freeware realm. It is not always easy to be unique, but in this case with Chalk, you have a game that not only is distinct, but the game is also challenging, has its own unique and great looking art style, and finally, is plenty of fun to play. Chalk has its own appeal, from the different levels you encounter, to the different challenges you must do in the game. All around, it executes on so many levels, and still leaves you coming back for more.
When you load up the game for the first time, you will see a flashing panel under 'Help'. By clicking this, you will launch into the well-designed tutorial of the game, and it is highly advisable that you check it out. It will introduce you to the controls of the game, and the different obstacles that you will encounter. It will also introduce you to the different techniques you can use to combat the obstacles. The jest of the controls is using the w, a, s, d keys to move your character, or by clicking the right mouse button to move around the map, it is your choice. Your main weapon of choice in this game is chalk. Chalk, you might say? That sounds like quite the interesting weapon. Well once you see it in action, you will wonder why such an innocent object, can be so deadly.
The game could also be seen as the sort of title you would expect to see on the Nintendo DS. Using your mouse, you drag your piece of chalk across the level to defeat enemies, use in puzzles, drag and throw objects, and simply eliminate anything that will get in your way. All this is done via that piece of chalk, simply used by clicking the left mouse button. As you are using the chalk, there is a meter at the top of the screen that will decrease. This meter shows how much chalk you have remaining. By holding down the left mouse button, the meter will decrease quite quickly, and once the meter runs out, so does the chalk. This is not always the best strategy at times during the game, but sometimes it also is. You can use your chalk in sort bursts too, and is more advisable depending on the circumstances. Sometimes you may have to draw a series of lines to remove an object. Other times, you can use your chalk to bounce objects off of. You can even use the chalk to bounce a particular other piece of chalk against an enemy. There are different scenarios, and as the game progresses, the challenges get tougher.
There is no doubt that Chalk presents a unique style of gameplay, which is not only innovative, but also effective while you are playing the game. The different challenges and puzzles that have to be solved using chalk are quite interesting to see, as some are quite easy to spot, while others are a bit more challenging and require more effort to solve. Speed is another key element of the game. Not only in using your chalk in different situations, but also in controlling your character, other objects and enemies. If they happen to touch your character, they will damage it. At times, the pace of the game will be quite relaxing, while later on in the game, the pace will be almost deafening to see, as you have to not only need quick reflexes drawing, but also moving your character out of harms way. It never gets to the point of being unmanageable, and the pace of the game is just about right in terms of not being over the top tough.
The graphic style of the game is also quite impressive. The entire world is made up of chalk drawn environments and enemies. All the characters look great in this chalk style, and all around it looks quite nice to see such a unique graphic style that just adds so much to the game. It looks quite professional all around, and each level and character is of the quality you would see in a professional game. So props to Joakim on the excellent work in this area.
The music is quite awesome to listen to in the course of the game, it fits quite nicely with the action on screen. The different sound effects that are made, from the drawing of the chalk, to the destruction of the enemies, sounds great. The music never seems to be out of place or distracting from the action on screen, and is quite enjoyable to hear as you are solving the many challenges along the way.
Chalk is a challenging game from start to finish. The game eases you into the action on Level One, giving you the chance to get the feel of the different obstacles that are thrown your way, but as you play further along in the game, things get challenging quite quickly. It never does feel that it is too much, even with the increased speed and increase in enemies and different obstacles, but it is just enough to make sure you are paying attention and can react quickly. The bosses in the game also present their own unique challenge, and most also involve two phases to beat each of them. They combine a good combination of being tricky and challenging at the same time.
From the start of the game to the end, there is plenty of action, and quite a bit to experience in Chalk; Whether you are aiming for a high score, or simply want to lay the smack down with a piece of chalk as your weapon of choice. Chalk is an all around fun game, for anyone to try out, and I highly recommend that you do. If you are looking for the perfect blend of high-speed action, and a challenging game with a unique premise, Chalk is your game.
Review by: DeathDude
Safe for all ages