Chalk

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Chalk came to me completely randomly. It was recommended by a friend at work, and I quickly became hooked on it.

Chalk is a relatively simple game, similar to a horizontal shooter in the dodging/destroying enemies aspects. However, the player also has the ability to use a piece of chalk to draw on the playing field. Using these chalkmarks, the player can remove incoming obstacles, destroy enemies and their projectiles, and protect the themselves from incoming threats. It's very simple to learn, as the WASD keys control the player, and the mouse draws the chalk. (The player can optionally be moved via the mouse.)

Box Art

And this is only the first level.

Although there's a lot that can be done with these controls, they're quite intuitive, and very easy to get the hang of. (There's an interactive tutorial that helps.) But don't mistake Chalk for being an easy game. Although the initial levels are pretty simple, later levels can become quite difficult. And once you've beaten the levels, there's the added challenge of pulling off special feats, such as chaining attacks and overkilling enemies.

The artwork is relatively simplistic, evoking a sort of retro feel, similar to Cave Story. However, it's also very stylized, as everything in the game, from the enemies and obstacles, up to the main character, all look like something you'd see doodled on a blackboard at school. The enemies even explode in a puff of chalkdust.

The music and sound effects also deserve a nod. The music has a simple, yet catchy feel to it, and the sound effects are quite . . . chalklike.

Screenshot 1

First boss fight.

Chalk was definitely a nice little find and an addictive casual game. It's also one of the few games I've encountered that uses the Multimedia Fusion engine without any issues. More often than not, games created with these "game maker" engines have issues with control, lag, and so forth. Chalk is one of the few that plays smoothly in all aspects, giving it a sense of professionalism.

Sadly, as with most Multimedia Fusion games, Chalk does have some issues running on Linux. But other than that minor inconvenience, the game is available free for everybody on the developer's website.
The website.
Direct download.

The developer also has some other games available. I'll definitely be trying these out soon, and hopefully some will make it to this page!

Rating:
Recommended