|A few months ago, the owner/operator of Longbow Digital Arts, Sir James McNally,
sent us a few copies of the company's newest release, Tread
Marks. I investigated the official
site and uncovered the very suspicious fact that Longbow is entirely staffed by McNally's relatives. This
makes him the Scottish/Canadian Tony DeFranco of programming, the staff the DeFranco
family of staffs, and Longbow Digital Arts the Tony DeFranco and the DeFranco Family of
gaming. I naturally assumed that Tread Marks was the "Heartbeat,
It's a Lovebeat" of tank racing games, and promptly but carefully placed
it high atop the teetering pile of crap we call Mount Ignore. A few minutes later, I
forgot all about McNally, his family, and their stupid tank game. "It's not my
problem," I said while I made exaggerated hand wiping motions. And that was
Or so I thought. Like everyone else, I downloaded Napster so that I wouldn't
ever have to pay The Man for my jams again. After making impressive inroads into
acquiring every copyrighted piece of music ever created by anyone, I realized that I now
owned the entire Tony DeFranco and The DeFranco Family catalog, including Heartbeat, It's
a Lovebeat. I listened to it, and was delighted by its infectious pop grooves.
"If I was wrong about this, could I be wrong about Tread Marks too?" I
asked my reflection as I made muscles in front of the mirror. Then I noticed my
foot, and I started looking at that and forgot about Tread Marks.
Later, I read an interview
with the lovely and scary Anna Kang in which she raved about Tread Marks. I wondered
again whether I might have been wrong about the game. Then I noticed that Kang's new
company is called Fountainhead Entertainment,
which made me think about Ayn Rand. "Who the hell does Anna Kang think will
take care of the retardeds in an objectivist universe?" I wondered.
"They'll be put to death!" I screeched using the high-pitched girl imitation
I've been working on. It's easy to be smug when you're such a buff natural genius
like John Carmack or Anna Kang or any one of their inner-circle other than Paul
Steed. But what about the fucking idiots of the world? And what about the lazy
fucking idiots, like me? Where do we fit in to Ayna Kang's master plan? For
the secret answer, hover your mouse over the picture of Ayna Rand above. Amid all
the confused outrage, the first thing to scale Mount Ignore was common sense, closely
followed by my rekindled interest in Tread Marks.
McNally must have wondered why we never acknowledged the giant box of games he sent us or
any of the follow-up emails he sent asking if we'd received the box. Anyway, cutting
to the happy ending, he eventually wised up and managed to get our attention by writing a
game specifically for us. It's called CrateMaster. And although clan McNally
originally had some plans to market it, we've decided to give it away for free. No
need to thank us, it's our nature. We're the only website that really likes you, and
Longbow Digital Arts is the only game
company that gives a poopy rat's ass about you either.
In an unprecedented move, the version of CrateMaster we're giving away is both a
compatibility test and the final build. In other words, if it doesn't work, tough.
We're currently engaged in a heated contest with Longbow for the coveted title of
"Who Cares Least About Your Problems With CrateMaster".
We did eventually get around to playing Tread Marks.
It's no CrateMaster, but it's pretty good. Not that if you like combat tank
racing games, you have a lot of choices anyway. But still, it's an underground
sensation: a fun, solid game made by the biggest little name in non-Croatian gaming: clan McNally.
Classic-Feel Insert Coin Screen!
Bottomless virtual magical coin pocket included.
Streamlined Tetris-Style Action!
Easy for kids from six to sixty-six! No complicated shapes.
Bloodless Theme Will Not Inspire Teens to Massacre Peers!
As with all no-massacre guarantees, your mileage may vary.
Forthcoming patch will add pallets.
No extra peripherals needed.
Every level cleared is counted on-screen. No more wondering what level
No Bothersome Pause Button!
No more accidentally-stopped play. Get in the zone and stay there,
No Hi-Score Save!
Every day is a new opportunity to forget the past!
Single Player Only!
MPlayer will fuck up your computer permanently! It's true. It
happened to Chet.
Difficulty Increases As Game Progresses!
"Can't stand the heat? Get out of the crate and go
|To celebrate Longbow's latest release, we're
holding a contest. It's an old-fashioned "send us your High Score screenshot or
doctored High Score screenshot and win" tournament. Since everyone has a
warezed copy of Photoshop, we're sure this will quickly become a game of liar's
poker. What is the high score limit? Can you really get 999,999,999?
What level would give you what high score? Only we know the answers, because we made
Here are some examples to get you started:
Still Wrong, But
Send your screenshot to firstname.lastname@example.org
Two winners will receive a copy of Tread Marks. To share. We're kidding -
LOL! Each of you bloodsuckers will get your own copy of Tread Marks. For more
information about Tread Marks, download the demo.