Physics puzzle games are in such abundance in the flash world that the time has long passed since the genre itself became drenched in faceless, generic titles with unremarkable gameplay and forgettable designs. This is why it’s such a remarkable event when games like Draka and its sequel, Draka 2: No More Christmas, make their way onto the scene.
These games aren’t new by any means, but their ghoulish style – these games are reminiscent of the gothic style of Tim Burton – and their Cut the Rope-like gameplay ensure that players are going to have the most amount of dark, twisted fun that’s possible to have in a physics puzzle game. Not only this, but the fact that there’s also an anti-Christmas-style Christmas special to be enjoyed makes things all the more delicious.
How it Works
Both the original Draka and its Christmas special possess physics-puzzle mechanics that exist towards the more creative end of the spectrum. If you’ve played Zeptolab’s Cut the Rope, then you’ll already be familiar with Draka’s gameplay mechanics. Bearing in mind the goal is to jump onto the human in each level in order to transform them into a sort of vampire/gothic spider-like creature, you’ll achieve this by utilising a series of grapple points arranged on the screen in each level. The play-through tutorial starts things of nice and easy, with a few anchor points on the screen that will get you from A to B in no time.
Inventive Puzzle Mechanics
Things soon progress to a full-blown brain-twisting puzzle sensation, however, when the mechanics of the game go beyond that of the original Cut the Rope game. The first Draka has 20 levels, but the difficulty shoots up rather quickly as you’re introduced to a number of puzzling variables in each level. Not only are you supposed to use the anchor points (by clicking on them) to cast a web-line on them, but you also use the mouse to cut these lines so that you can move around the level more freely. If you want to sever all of the webs at once, simply click on Draka himself. The goal is still, as it always has been, to transform the human in the level into a vampire arachnid like yourself. In this respect, the game bears high similarity to Toge Productions’ Infectonator Surivors, which incidentally also has a similarly-styled Christmas special to its name.
Moving anchor points are also introduced, such as balloons, as well as harmful obstacles that will diminish your lives extremely quickly if you give them the chance. One of the most frustrating and challenging of the obstacles in the game is the open flame, which quickly diminishes all three lives if you don’t use all of your physics-based puzzle skills to navigate safely around them. These mechanics and variables hold true for Draka 2: No More Christmas as well, only the Christmasy-sequel is a lot more festive in appearance – this includes Draka the spider wearing a hat with a red ribbon on it, among other things such as snow-capped landscapes.
For Fans of Tim Burton
Both Draka and Draka 2: No More Christmas possess the kind of art style that would alone be a reason to play the game to death. It’s very similar to Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, with dark and twisted surroundings yet some mild comedy in Draka’s appearance and a ragdoll-like design of the human characters typical of games from Ragdoll Planet who are yet to be transformed into vampire-arachnid form. Though Draka 2: No More Christmas isn’t exactly a standard warm and fuzzy affair in terms of the regular Christmas games you’re likely to stumble across, it is a macabre alternative to a lot of the often overly-sweet and positively sickening fluff-balls that most Christmas games attempt to be like, just take a look at Christmas Expansion for Bloons 2 for example.
Draka and its Christmassy sequel, therefore, offer players an alternative to the humanoid-vampire style that many vampire games go for. Playing as a vampire-spider is unique enough before you factor in the inventive gameplay mechanics and the hefty challenges that the 20 levels of each game provide.