| Gaming |

Weekly Web Game: Island Survival

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As the city shut down last Friday for what turned out to be not much of a snowy day at all, Island Survival gave us some extra icy drama to keep our fingers warm. You play a inexplicably well-attired man stranded on various islands, trying, we're assuming, not to get your suit wet -- that is, falling off the islands will end in your defeat.

When we think of islands, we like to think of relaxing times, a perfect mixture of sun and sand, but not in this game. Here we try to frantically grab falling snow flakes, the only way to fortify the frigid terrain as it rapidly melts back into the ocean. And that's more or less the entirety of the game. Run and jump, try not to get trapped in crevasses, try not to miss your landings, and pray that the randomly plotted snowflakes drop nearby.

One nice feature of the game is that the levels don't progress in a linear fashion. Each island melts in a different way at a different speed, and the snowflakes act in different helpful (and not so helpful) ways. And while the game gets increasingly difficult, it's constantly asking you to hone a different skill or develop your strategy anew. And it's quick. You only have to survive a specified number of seconds, and while some levels go up to a full minute, most are 30 seconds or below -- one's only five. It's perfectly suited for the most meticulously-minded people who need a quick but measurable waste of their time. For the rest of us, the soundtrack of long-winded and wintry gusts just helps us to believe there really was a reason not to go into work last week.

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