Or with pictures: Link
Frank is a tetris platforming game created by Bjorn Morrison, and I must say it's a neat little game. The aim is to complete 20 various challenges by leading frank around a world of falling tetris blocks which your able to control while obtaining the various coins scattered around the level. This is compounded by the fact that you must stay alive and not become squashed under any of the blocks, and also the difficulty that comes from moving two objects at the same time.
There isn't a real story line in frank however the main goal is to stay alive, while it rains various blocks from the massively popular game Tetris. I would have to say this game is fairly complicated mainly because your actually playing two games at the same time, one obviously being Tetris and the other being collect the coins and avoid the "enemies" being the blocks falling from the sky. This is the reason I love it so much, you have to keep switching your attention from frank back to the blocks while trying to make rows of blocks. There was a similar idea on the popular T.v show "The Big Bang Theory" where the four friends play a game called Trestling which from their description: "combined the physical strength of arm wrestling with the mental agility of Tetris in the ultimate sport" which I believe had somethingto do with this great game being made.
Merging two games or two sets of controls if you like, which operate two objects its actually a very unique idea as it requires much more mental discipline than controlling just one character. This could also lead to the addition of a two player mode where one player must try to survive while the other launches blocks at them, although it would require a fair bit of thought to make it evenly matched for both players.
Back to the actual game however, the menu I thought was quite interesting with the Microsoft voice which guided you though the levels, I was particularly impressed with the different phrases depending on if you lost or won a level and what I thought were tips on improving your game, although at times it was hard to understand.
Over various levels the blocks begin to fall faster and it becomes more of a challenge to swap your brain processes between controlling frank and the blocks so they don't crush him. Shooting blocks was a great addition to the game, it allows you to escape if you've trapped yourself and allows you to create your own path up to the coins, although shooting upwards without a power-up would be awesome.
The graphics are adequate and very Tetris themed but the game would really benefit from a few tweaks to increase their "awe" factor, such as making them out of glass and adding a little more detail to frank so the game's a little more pleasing to look at. The background would also benefit from a few random changes over levels to give a change in scenery and keep players hooked longer.
I did find it fairly hard at times to get five rows while trying to get all the coins, mainly because the coins appeared in the blocks where I was unable to reach which made the rest of the level pointless so I just stacked blocks to the roof to restart. The blocks also fall pretty fast for level 4, I would give that a level 10-15 speed mainly because the players are still getting to know the levels and how the game works not to mention remembering to control frank as well as the blocks and putting them in rows. If I were you i'd recommend letting the player make one row at first them two and three and so on, otherwise players will be overcome by the speed and the challenge and just quit, they should be feeling accomplishment fairly often in the first few levels and obtaining it fairly easily.
I found a few errors throughout the game which caused the levels to be un-finishable which included if you alt-tabbed you weren't able to collect the last star to complete the level. You could also become stuck with four blocks around you in the earlier levels before shooting which became annoying as the game didn't tell you were stuck or restarted the game for you.
I really enjoyed this game, the game play was very well thought out and had lots of hints and tips for beginners as well as a singing slightly creepy yet helpful voice throughout the game. The game seems simple at the beginning but becomes more and more of a challenge over time as the blocks get faster and it adds new mechanics such as shooting blocks. I would have liked to hear some improved sound effects as well as some shiny, glassy looking blocks which would really make me want to play it more such those in the popular ipod game "Glass Tower". I'm looking forward to more levels for this game and maybe a two player mode if people really like it, but overall it's a nice little game you've got here and I must say you've got some natural skill in the interface and design aspects of game creation so keep it up!
"Game Designer, Programmer and Studier"