I know you. You're a classy sort of person. Unless you're not. You're a rough-and-tumble person. A... frosty nerdenheimer? A dog enthusiast? Two small children stacked atop one another in a trenchcoat?... alright, so maybe I don't know that much about you. Let's play some games together and change that, shall we? First, you'll need to investigate a manor to discover the truth behind your friend's death. Then, you'll take an old-school, low-rez dungeon crawl. Next, you'll unleash the mighty powers of your glowing green bean against a red one. And finally, well, there's something seriously weird going on in this basement... !
New Free Online Games
Read More Play Now
Read More Play Now
Read More Play Now
Read More Play Now
Read More Play Now
Read More Play Now
Read More Play Now
Read More Play Now
Read More Play Now
In Technocrat Games new retro point-and-click adventure Technobabylon, you are thrust into a cyberpunk city of the future, where an AI called Central runs the city of Newton, genetic engineering is the norm, and you can link to the net with your mind. Regis and Lao are partners on the case of a serial killer, a so called mindjacker who hacks into people's brains, steals their knowledge, and leaves only a body behind. Throw blackmail, synthetic humans, and a young girl named Latha who'd rather spend her days connected to the virtual world and who seems to be the mindjacker's next target into the mix, and you've got one interesting web of a story to navigate.
Persistence is a virtue. Even in the face of overwhelming odds, it's important to buckle down and climb that next hill. It's especially important to remain persistent when a sadistic robot is forcing you to compete in some twisted, deadly obstacle course for his own amusement. Yes, the action platform game that is Massive Monster and Tasselfoot's Give Up 2 is all about plugging forward through each increasingly dangerous room, avoiding spikes, lasers, missiles, invisible walls, and the constant nagging of your robotic tormenter. Use the [WASD] or [arrow] keys to move and jump from your entry tube to the exit door. Reflexes are key. And remember, death is no release, if you bite it you're starting the level again. There's a big shiny "Give Up" button on the bottom of the screen just begging you to press it. But you're not a quitter, are you?
SMKS's new title, Blue Karma, is a point-and-click game that's big on ambition. Descend, if you will, into the dystopian sci-fi world of New Vale City, a decaying urban center being fought over by rebellious gangs and fascist police. You play as one such agent, a dour-faced man named Riley, tasked with leaving his luxurious apartment to go nab an undesirable down in the slums on the bad part of town. In order to get there, you'll need to explore a truly impressive amount of detail in the game world, clicking to interact with just about everything in each scene, and absorbing an exhaustive amount of voice acting. Creator Shaun Michael K. Stone promises a novel based on the game's universe is expected in November of this year, so you know he's got some high hopes for this series. And frankly, he's off to a darn good start. Seriously, how often do you see a free online game put on such airs?
Legend has it that if you're pure of heart and dazzling of smile, Neutral will leave you an escape game... and why, would you look at this, it's Elements! You're locked in a lovely room and, as always, your goal is to try to find a way out, but, also as always, the way is filled with Neutral's cunning puzzles, secrets, locks, and objects. To play, just click around to explore, but since the cursor doesn't change even if it passes over something you can use, you'll want to try to interact with everything, and every nook and cranny. Click the magnifying glass that pops up when you mouse over items you're carrying to view items up close and maybe interact with them more, and use the save function if you need a break. Pay attention to your surroundings, and maybe take some notes if you come across anything that looks particularly puzzle solutions-y, but don't expect a lot of hand-holding. And just because you've finally opened the lock doesn't mean you're out of the woods yet...
Whew, I'm back! Although I'd like to ramble on endlessly about my adventures fighting off sharks (not really) and share everything I learned at escape-the-room camp (I didn't go), it's for the best we just jump to the real reason I'm writing to you today: Weekday Escape. Another episode of our mid-week get-away-from-whatever-you're-doing and play-some-escape-games break means three more games to play together. They're good ones, too. First, start off slightly easy with Vitamin Hana, a cartoon-drawn room that's quite packed with puzzles. Then, another bout of interior minimalism inside three very like-looking rooms from Hottategoya, which follows a familiar concept yet might surprise you with some cleverness. Lastly, don't miss this recent Ichima creation; it has a bit of a Tesshi-e vibe even as it maintains a style all its own...
If you like visually striking puzzle-based indie adventures, HandMade Game's Rooms and its sequel Rooms: The Main Building, have been coquettishly making eyes at you. Now with an extra dash of lightly spooky whimsy comes Rooms: The Unsolvable Puzzle, where you play a little girl trapped in a mansion with a big secret. The strange structure appears out of nowhere late one night, and when Anne can't resist investigating, she finds herself trapped inside... though not alone, since her lantern's started talking to her! Inside this place, the rooms don't behave as they should... they're broken up into pieces that can be slid and shuffled around, and locked doors, ladders, and more can help or impede Anne's progress. With a whopping 144 levels strewn across four different mansions, Rooms: The Unsolvable Puzzle delivers a casual, storybook-styled, puzzle-centric adventure that's fun for pretty much everyone that unfolds its tale as you go,
If you've ever said to yourself, "Self, I love Carmel Games' point-and-click adventures, but why don't they have more singing gold diggers?"... then Luke Deluxe is for you. Luke winds up getting entangled with a woman and her disturbingly clingy son who believe he's rich, and unless he can figure out a way to get rid of them, he's getting hitched tomorrow, because we all know getting tricked into blurting the words "marry me" in a fast food restaurant by a woman who then threatens to murder you gruesomely in front of witnesses if you don't follow through is legally binding. The cursor will change when it passes over something or someone you can interact with, and all you need to do is click on things to play. To say Luke Deluxe is weird is a bit of an understatement, with perhaps an over reliance on certain tropes, and it's also a little gross... don't think too much about that burger. The whole thing is very tongue in cheek, and if you don't mind its sense of humour, or its off-the-wall puzzles, or the fact that it makes you dial a rotary phone, there's something very early 1990s Saturday morning cartoon about the whole thing. It's goofy and campy and wacky and a whole bunch of other adjectives that mean it doesn't take itself seriously, and with a passel of oddball puzzles to solve, makes for a cheekily cartoonish adventure that fits inside a lunch break.
When your sister, Bubble, falls ill, it's up to you to go seek out the only cure that is lost in a deep mine. Why you and you alone? Well, you're pretty darn good at cat puns and that's what every true neko hero needs. Iridescent by Osias Bantug, Kristoffer Lirazan, and Nicecream, is a platform game that dabbles a bit with puzzles and action. Your goal is to simply get to the door that leads to the next area, and all you have with you is your slingshot and trusty aim. You shot glowing gems, or spectrite stones, that are found laying around, but the gems only interact with things that are glowing the same color. Moving over a stone, with the [arrow] or [WASD] keys (and pressing [shift] lets you dash a short distance), you automatically pick it up as long as you're not holding anything else. Later when you find the statue of the goddess, Catnella, you can have the spectrite stones blessed by pressing [E] (controls can be seen in game by pressing [TAB]). When the blessed gem is shot, by holding down the left mouse button to build power, it activates its special ability. While most of the time the stones are for activating buttons and so forth, there are enemies along the way that sadly can't be hurt by your purrfect puns, but are less keen to rocks in the face.
[Note: This game is available in Pay What You Want format, including free. If you enjoy the game, show your support for the developer who made it by paying what you think is fair!]
In Woodsy Studios' indie visual novel adventure Serafina's Saga, also free for Android, the titular heroine has spent her entire life in the jungle until the day she leaves to rescue her kidnapped surrogate father. She's been raised to believe that all humans are dangerous and untrustworthy, but faced with the possibility that her father might not be who she thought he was, and might not even be human, as she finds herself lost in a world very unlike the one she grew up in, Serafina's got no choice but to reluctantly trust those around her for help and guidance. Especially since, surprise surprise, it turns out her heritage is a lot more complicated than she ever imagined. With ten different endings, customiseable character appearances, and multiple options for romance, including one female/female choice, Serafina's Saga is one seriously impressive work of interactive fiction... especially considering the art, music, coding, and writing was all done by one person, and there's a sequel due out later this year!
It's bigger. It's better. But most importantly... it's back! Firebeast has generously given us a sequel to the hit action brawler game Mighty Knight with Mighty Knight 2! There is no curt note from the king this time, but a mystic woman calling you on another adventurous quest, so at least things have gotten a bit more personal, if even it's much more vague. While you start off alone, just as in the original, you don't have to be the knight right off the bat. Who you are depends on how you answer the mysterious woman's call to action. You gain heroes as you go, letting you have the chance to be (or work alongside) a rogue, ranger, knight, wizard and a few more... as long as you unlock them. There are plenty of levels, a gaggle of special abilities, and a hodgepodge of achievements to keep anyone fully interested for the whole ride.
One thing I've learned while studying various religious mythologies is that you should really try your best not to anger a god. Odds are if you do, if you don't wind up dead, you'll at least be needing some help. You are that help in Tilting Point Spotlight's unique blend of match-3 and word game Languinis: Match and Spell for your mobile device. After hours of fun naming all the things they come upon in the world, the bemasked Languinis get tired and start to laze around. Their phoenix god decides to punish them for slacking off by locking them in cages spread around various islands. It's your job to save them by using your superior matching and word finding skills. Swipe to match tiles of of the same color. When you do, they turn into letters. If you manage to match more than three, you'll get a bonus tile which when matched, will explode, or clear a line. When you have enough letters available, you can start to make words. Spell the word you want, then tap the green check mark to submit the word.
If you ever rolled a dice, attacked the darkness, or hollered for Mountain Dew in your life, then strategic RPG Knights of Pen & Paper was probably right up your alley. It was a loving parody of tabletop gameplay, as you guided a party of heroes through adventures while they were playing the game. Now Knights of Pen & Paper 2, helmed by developer KYY Games, is here for iOS and Android, and it's time to take up your character sheets and roll for initiative once more. This time around, your heroes find themselves dealing with a new threat to the Kingdom... a dastardly Paper Knight who doesn't approve of the ruleset you're using, and is causing all sorts of havoc. After creating your first two characters, you set out to set things right... assuming you can roll a natural 20 or two on the way. With new character classes and creation options like being able to play as human, dwarf, or elf, tweaked combat mechanics and spells, dungeons to explore, and all the pop-culture jokes and loving genre mockery you've come to expect, Knights of Pen & Paper 2 is a fun and faithful sequel that brings a ton of charm and content to the table and keeps the spirit of the original intact.
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the HTC One S.. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.
"Oh Roberto," croons Lucia, "I know that together we can face any danger, and you can always count on me!" Until they can't, and he can't, when Roberto is stabbed right in front of his beloved's eyes a few moments later, and then whisked away by dark magic. Way to drop the ball, Lucia. To make things even more ironic, Roberto was in the middle of writing a letter to you for help... he was, after all, your student in magic before he became the duke of Florence, but recently he's become concerned someone might come after him for his work. Looks like he was right, and unless you can prove her innocence, Lucia's going to be executed at midnight in ERS Game Studios' hidden-object adventure Haunted Legends: The Dark Wishes. Lucia is actually convinced Roberto is still alive, and it turns out he might have gotten wrapped up in some serious magic indeed, as one of the Fates themselves is here on Earth looking for the Philosopher's Stone. She doesn't say it was stolen by the creepy little guy who keeps making threatening messages appear at you, but, well, c'mon. Now you're in a race to find the Philosopher's Stone before he can figure out where it is and how to harness its power without killing him, and you'll need to travel the world, solving puzzles, finding items, and, yes, rooting through hidden-object scenes to thwart him... with the help of a little magic of your own. And I guess the floating, skeletal goddess of fate. She's probably a little helpful too.
SeethingSwarm, Valerofond, TinyStuffz, and ZStriefel have flexed their muscles and combined their considerable talent to create retro-tastic point-and-click adventure Theropods in just 14 days for Adventure Jam. In it, you play a cavewoman whose fireside relaxation with her friend one night is disrupted by the arrival of some voracious dinosaurs. Even once you've figured out how to deal with the one menacing you, you'll still need to rescue your friend! To play, just click on the screen... your cursor will gain a white border when you can interact with someone, though our heroine will shake her head if she can't do anything with it right now. Click the arrow in the upper-right corner to access your inventory, and then click on items to pick them up to use them. Theropods is on the short side, which is understandable given its small development window and how polished its presentation looks (and sounds!), making it feel like an animated short you might see before a movie. For the most part, it's fairly straightforward despite a smattering of adventure game logic that requires you to make leaps of deduction in using your items that you may not immediately think of. Still, with its lack of dialogue and bright, beautifully rendered world, Theropods still manages to tell an engaging story (albeit one that feels like it just sort of... ends), and is a concept that would make a fantastic fleshed-out adventure later on down the road. Spare a few minutes to give it a try, and then make sure to vote for it on the competition page if you enjoyed it!
The first time you get your driver's license it's exciting and freeing, but by the time you're an adult and you need to renew it, it's just forms, forms, forms. In no1game's Find the Escape-Men Part 151: Driver's License Office, you're trapped at the DMV after showing up when you get your renewal letter, and you decide to go about the process of getting your new license while you figure out a way to escape... and find the series' signature ten little green men, of course. To play, just click to explore and interact, and click the question mark below items in your inventory to view and manipulate them up close. As usual for no1game, there's a bit of pixel-hunting to be had, with things hidden in places that aren't differentiated visually to stand out from the environment, so if you're stuck, you'll likely want to fall back on clicking the edges and undersides of furniture, walls... everything, really. Still, Driver's License Office is appealingly cute and quirky, incorporating its concept into the gameplay cleverly, and provides a break from daily drudgery by taking you on a brief field trip to the magical land of adult responsibility, fees, and filling out forms in triplicate. I hear Disney's planning a ride based on it!
I'm sort of over this whole "work week" thing. In fact, I'm really feeling more of an "it's almost the weekend, suckers!" vibe. How about you? This week we've got a physics-based supermarket defense simulator, a game where you're the world's most questionable door-to-door saleswoman, a dungeon where the glitches are part of the appeal, and a whole universe at your fingertips... at least until people come along and ruin it.
For MayMay's point-and-click puzzle game The Roof, you need to get in touch with your inner handyperson. You've been locked inside a gated house by the world's least threatening kidnapper, and they want you to repair the missing tile on top of the house before you can escape, a task made harder by how many puzzle locks there are scattered around the place. There's no changing cursor, but there's also not much pixel hunting to speak of, so just click around to interact with things and search. Click on an item in your inventory, then on the "About Item" button to view it up close, which can often let you fiddle with the object further. MayMay seems to specializes in short, smart, and cute escapes, and The Roof is no exception. It's not a particularly difficult game, though at least one item's function might not be immediately clear, and several of the puzzles are actually implemented in clever ways that'll make you smack your forehead when you crack them. The game could use a little more feedback to help you figure out what you're look at from time to time, but on the whole, The Roof is a fun, snack-sized escape game that's sure to brighten your day.
[Note: This game is available in Pay What You Want format, including free. If you enjoy this game, please support the developer who made it by paying them what you think is fair!]
Asher Vollmer's Royals, a retro indie sim/rags-to-hopefully-riches story, stars you as a lowly, dirty serf who has aspirations of becoming royalty... easier said than done considering all you have is your puny farmland and no skills, followers, or other resources whatsoever. Your goal is to explore the surrounding lands and figure out how to gain the people, power, and everything else you need to eventually become a royal yourself. The game is turn-based, with each turn costing you a year of your life and a part of your remaining health. Use the [arrow] keys to move around the screen, [Z] to select and confirm, and [X] to cancel. The symbols at the bottom of the screen represent, from left to right, your health, might, charisma, resources, money, followers, and held lands. Various actions can change these statistics accordingly... meditating on a mountain, for example, can raise your charisma, which in turn raises your chances of potentially converting followers or otherwise swaying people to your following. Each game's map is randomly generated, and it's a matter of trial-and-error to figure out how things work and how to best go about your rise to power. Will you die in obscurity with your dreams unrealized? Be struck down for reaching too high above your station by the current rulers? Or maybe, just maybe... get a throne of your own? Be warned, there is no save function, and if you close the game and come back later, you'll start over with a new map!
If Iconic Games and Placeable's surreal horror action adventure Coldgrip feels familiar, it's because it's essentially a remake of Snowdrift. In it, you play the only man left alive at the end of the world, where snow covers everything and darkness brings fear and danger. You live in a tiny cabin and must survive as long as you can, hunting for food and water in the nearby frozen forest, and making sure to keep enough wood on hand to keep your fire going at night. Use the [arrow] keys to move, [Z] to interact or confirm, and [X] to open your inventory. Keep an eye on your stamina, water, food, and lamp fuel meters in the upper left corner of the screen, as well as on the constantly ticking clock. Sadly, there's no pause to be found, and indeed Coldgrip suffers from an overall lack of polish that makes the game buggy and laggy in several places. Like its predecessor, it has a great concept and atmosphere, but is held back by a lack of direction and some repetition that take the chill out of the game's eerier moments, like the whispers in the woods, or knocks on the door at night. It's a shame, because a survival simulation in a cold, dark world where you had to unravel your own past and stay alive against shadowy horrors is such a great idea, and Coldgrip's moody atmosphere and creepy moments show glimpses of a tremendous amount of potential. Coldgrip is a compelling concept held back by its flaws that horror fans may still want to check out, and hopefully gets more polish somewhere down the line to make it shine.
Blink and you'll miss it, but as the first part of a planned episodic sci-fi adventure series, CosmicGhost's SARCO: Episode 1 still manages to snag the attention and the imagination despite some rough edges. You're stranded on an alien world where you don't understand the people and the customs, and if the locals aren't afraid of you, they don't seem to have any time to help you either. Use the [arrow] keys to move side to side and up and down, and hold [CTRL] to move faster. While largely a straight shot and fairly straight-forward, SARCO suffers a little from its lack of story setup and a bigger lack of direction that can leave you hung up on how to proceed past some places. It's also possible to get stuck in one or two places if you move too quickly without giving some events a chance to trigger, but for a first solo effort from its developer and being made for StencylJam2015, it's still got an amazing style and atmosphere that hooks your attention and makes you want to know more. Hopefully with feedback and a bit of polish, future episodes will be even bigger and better, as SARCO's potential and future is bright.
What-ho, beleaguered weekday warriors! It's Wednesday and you're looking a bit peckish for, well, non-weekday work/school/drudgery. Might I interest you in a fine free escape game Apéritif or three? This week we've got some cuddly yellow babies from Yuuri, a tropical paradise from Vitamin Hana, and, uh... well, a whole mess of buttons scattered all over the place by Tototo Room. If you are what you eat, what are you once you've devoured these short and sweet escape games? Why, someone with impeccable taste, of course!
Aaaah! After ten thousand years I'm free! It's time to review Chroma Squad, the parody-tastic indie strategy RPG from Behold Studios that pays loving homage to certain "teenagers with attitude"-flavoured sentai shows from our youth. Well, my youth. Maybe not yours. Kids these days. As the game begins, you find yourself in control of a disgruntled group of stunt people who are sick of just going through the motions in their work on the set of a super ranger TV show. They do all the hard work while the actors sit around, the director couldn't care less about making the show, y'know, good, and it's the same ol', same ol' every single day... until they get the bright idea to start their own studio! Of course, the actual running of it is up to you. You'll need to hire actors, of course, and make episodes to fill the contracts you sign, upgrade and craft new gear to make truly spectacular storylines, and of course, handle your crew during battle! It's a retro-fied send up to all the glory and goofiness of pop culture wrapped around an easy to pick up and engaging turn-based strategy RPG system. What more could you need, apart from some sort of giant brain in a jarOH WAIT WE GOT THAT TOO.
For seven years, indie developers Game in a Bottle's GemCraft series of free tower defense games has been a wildly popular hit with browser gamers, and now GemCraft: Chasing Shadows is now on Steam. With improved visuals, a pile of extra stages, and a new Iron Wizard mode to test your mettle, it's an upgrade of the original free browser version, and a great way for fans to show their support for developers who have given so much so freely for nearly a decade. Never played Gem Craft? In it, you repel waves of enormous bugs by planting gems in towers along a path. Different towers have different abilities, like green poisoning gems, and can be made in various powerful tiers. Towers attack anything within range, but gems can also be socked into traps to damage anything that passes over them, flung as explosive bombs, or even combined with gems of different colours to create hybrids with multiple affects. Survive the stage with your base intact, and you'll gain experience towards leveling up, which unlocks points for you to spend in skill trees. You'll also earn shadow cores you can use to upgrade your talisman for new bonuses and challenges, like traits you can unlock for stages to make them more rewarding... extra speedy bugs, anyone? With complexity and strategy aplenty, GemCraft is one of the most beloved and respected tower defense games around, and offers something for every fan of the genre, from the newcomer to the veteran alike.
Thanks to everyone who entered our contest! The winners, chosen by RANDOM.ORG, are: Undine, MeowMeowMan, Portikk, Crystalis, and Jamz159! Please check your e-mails for your Steam code later today!
In the weirdly hilarious opening scene of Carmel Games' point-and-click adventure Alyssa's Quest, Alyssa, a young elf heroine whose pink cape and purple makeup surely help her blend in when stalking through the woods, arrives at the castle only to find King Nathaniel frozen solid, and deduces that the culprit is... are you ready?... Doctor Secret Nightowl. To play, and hopefully save the day from your amazingly named nemesis, click around to explore and interact. The cursor will change whenever it passes over something you can use, and Alyssa will visit several different locations from the main map. Click on first one item in your inventory and then another to try to combine them. Alyssa's Quest is, like a lot of Carmel Games' titles, very silly in a good way, so Alyssa finds herself stymied by things like a royal advisor who refuses to take orders from anyone other than the frozen king, a sensitive dragon, and a whole bunch of zaps from a booby-trapped cauldron. It's not particularly complex, and the overly epic soundtrack tends to overwhelm the voice acting, but its light-hearted tone and sense of humour makes it a welcome diversion to your day.
In no1game's Bored Guard, you're not so much the person who wants to escape as you are trying to find the escapee. See, you're in charge of standing guard outside the princess' room, and one day you realize that she's taken advantage of your inattention and slipped away, something that's probably not going to go over well with the royal family. Search the manor and try to find out where she's gone by clicking around to explore and interact with things, although in typical no1game design, the cursor won't change whether you can click on something or not. This series of games all following royals and those around them, like Bored Prince and Bored White Horse, have all been appealingly cute diversions from no1game's usual fare, though on the easy side, and just the right size for a break. Finding the princess involves cracking a lot of codes, and presumably sweating bullets and hoping nobody notices she's gone before you can track her down. Good luck!
Shark Jump Studios' innocuous looking little indie puzzle game Test Chamber, also available on Android and iOS with a free demo, wants to break your brain in the cutest way possible. You control a tiny little block-headed fellow in a world where the laws of reality have begun to unravel, causing the world to wrap around itself... which, uh, is technically what the world does, but is a little weirder here when you can walk to the bottom of the screen and pop out the top, or see another version of yourself mirroring your movements. You're off to try to find the infinite world, even if few others believe it exists, but what's going on with that dark stranger who follows you in silence? Use [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to move around, use the [spacebar] to interact with people, and hold or tap [Q] to undo or rewind your actions. For the most part, you'll be pushing blocks around to help you reach the exit in each stage, though blocks connect and react in different ways. If you just push a block off the side of the world, it'll fall into the void, but if it's used to bridge a gap that it can touch on the other side, it'll plop neatly in place. Some blocks may be connected by bars that will lock them together, while others will be in unbreakable stacks. What you need to do is figure out how to make them, and the unique properties of the world, work for you in order to get you where you want to go. You'll be awarded a medal based on how many steps/moves it takes you to complete a stage, but you can use as many as you need if you don't care about fancy achievements. Once the game starts throwing in things like the moving terrain, you'll have your hands full just getting to the end, nevermind the amount of steps it takes you to get there.
Potato-Tan and Raiyumi's Crayon Poke is a short and adorable platformer about bouncing on charging pigs, avoiding spikes, and throwing crayons, which I think all of us have fond memories of doing as children. Move with the [arrow] keys, jump with [S], and, once gained, fling crayons with [D]. You can only carry a limited amount of them, refillable at certain points, and these are some handy tools... when they land in a wall, they'll stick, and you can use them to hop up to places you couldn't reach before. Just make sure to watch your step and activate the red checkpoint structures by tapping the up [arrow] in front of them, since a single hit or misstep into water or spikes will knock you down for the count! Crayon Poke's fantastic Gameboy-esque style and soundtrack make it a pleasure to experience, even if it feels more like a concept than a full game, and its limit on crayons can be a little frustrating since placement needs to be exact to reach certain areas. It's still a great idea with a wonderful presentation, and one we'd love to see fleshed out even more in the future.
Down is Up, except when down is down of course. And left can be right, but only when it's not left. Confused? Don't be. Things are rather simple in Inversion's gravity-twisting puzzle platform game. Using [WASD] or the [arrow] keys, it's your goal to get to the floating black square of mystery to get on to the next level. Leaping through one side of the screen has you jumping through on the other side, and any arrow you see when touched will change the direction of gravity. There are also blocks that effected by gravity, and you can also push them to give you an extra step up to get to those hard to reach places. Blocks can also fall through the thin bars outlined in white, but your little guy can't. When gravity changes, so does your sense of direction, and you'll have to adjust to which way is left, and which way is actually right.
Studio Cime's hacking simulation/puzzle game/secret cyberpunk dream machine Mu Complex: Episode One delighted us with its text-based tale of espionage as you hacked your way from one computer to the next. Now, Mu Complex: Episode 2 is here, and it's time for you to blow the dust from another set of keyboards and dive deeper into the mysterious building hiding its secrets from you. To play, and you really should play the first episode before this one, just type commands and hit enter to execute them. Type "help" for a list of commands to get you started, but don't expect much hand-holding here, since Mu Complex is very much all on you when it comes to figuring things out. Its minimalistic presentation and somber atmosphere keep you hooked as you work your way through files and e-mails, and figuring out what you're supposed to do is always a thrill. The Mu Complex games aren't for players who prefer a lot of direction and hints, but if the thought of having to rely on your wits and (simulated) hacking abilities thrills you, this next installment is right up your alley.
Ilmfinity's Pokemon-alike RPG adventure for iOS EvoCreo is, bluntly put, a ridiculously good deal at its puny price of 0.99USD, despite suffering from some rough edges and a bit of clone-itis. As the game opens, your father has gone missing, the mysterious group known as Shadow Hive are kidnapping people, and a new group is pushing for genetic modification of Creo, the creatures originally used to fight wars and now used as companions by the trainers known as Evokers. In your search to rescue your dad (and, whaddaya know, maybe save the world along the way), you'll compete in arenas and defeat champions, capture and train up to 130 different Creo, and uncover a fair amount of secrets. It's a handheld-quality adventure boasting dozens of hours of play time, held back by a handful of issues that are frustrating, though not game-breaking. With more content coming later on in an update and enough right now for dozens of hours of gameplay EvoCreo is well worth the price of admission for anyone looking for a bright, engaging casual RPG to pick up, with an Android version on the way in the coming weeks.
"Welcome to BALANZZE," croons the soothing robotic voice at the start of this physics-based puzzle game from Synthek Design. (Also available for Android and iOS, though not free!) She's going to be your guide through this little experiment and trust us, you're going to need her. BALANZZE is about "moving green onto blue" through a series of strategic clicks. The screen is populated by circles and squares, each with various behaviors indicated by their color. You have to get the green shapes onto the blue shapes by deleting, launching, or dropping the various blocks hither and thither. The red ones disappear when you click them, the yellow ones fly in one direction, the grey ones obscure you, seriously, these blocks do everything except pay your taxes. Some levels also feature wind, adding another layer of complication to the whole affair. Add to that an infectiously groovy backing track and you've got a winning time waster.
Sorry folks. This week's Link Dump Friday was delayed by a severe case of "you would not believe the week I just had and also I forgot this was a thing we were doing whoops"-itis. Better late than never, right? This week! A point-and-click adventure whereupon you rescue your hat, an itty-bitty magician on an itty-bitty adventure that includes an itty-bitty pit of flames, a day in the life of a totally respected and not at all scapegoated writer for a high profile game, and seat of your pants style barbering! It's a bizarre potpurri of free indie games, and that's just the way we like it. GAME ON.
So you've just woken up outside your body. No reason to panic, happens to the best of us. no1game's Find the Escape-Men Part 150: Astral Projection will show you the ropes, which naturally involves solving point-and-click puzzles and escaping with the help of ten little green men hidden around your person. Look, are you a spirit medium? Then don't question it! To play, just click to interact, though as usual the cursor won't change when it passes over something useable so you'll want to click on everything you can to leave no stone unturned. The game is on the easy side since you're mostly stuck staring at your own dorky face apart from a few other views around the bed, and as with most no1game titles, there's a fair amount of "puzzles" solved that involve fiddling with something multiple times until something happens, or just waiting around on a particular scene. Still, it's a cute and appealingly weird little escape idea that will hopefully prepare you for the next time you're stuck outside your own body and need to troll yourself in order to get back into it.
In Eyesteam's funky puzzle platformer Mr Splibox 2, as in the original, the titular hero's friends have been abducted by the wily Smoking Astronaut (naturally), and it's up to you to help get them back. Move with the [WASD] or the [arrow] keys and try to make it safely to the exit in each stage. Instead of jumping, you spawn cheerful little boxes beneath you by pressing the up key, and reabsorb them by pressing the up key... the number of boxes you can spawn is indicated by dots in the bottom right corner. These perky pals will stack beneath you and allow Mr Spilbox to reach higher places, and can also be used to help him cross gaps by tipping over the abyss and dropping him on the other side. Be careful, as they don't last forever, and will vanish after a few seconds whether you've moved or not. Don't worry if any little boxes fall, they just get added to the number you can spawn again. Just make sure to avoid or outwit enemies, since a single hit and you're toast! Mr Splibox 2 is more of a buff and shine job of the original than a drastic change, though the physics feel a lot less wobbly and more reliably controllable, and the whole thing just looks a wee bit more polished. The game is a little harder earlier on, though most elements will be familiar to those who played the original even if they look different. It's fun, cute, and with a retro-tastic soundtrack, you can't go wrong.
So the kingdom of Avalon has managed to repel the goblin invaders, but was nearly razed to the ground in the process, and now the king gathers his knights to march into the mountain and slay the goblin king to end the threat once and for all. While you stay behind and do all the grunt work, of course. In Anawiki's casual card game Avalon Legends Solitaire 2, you're a druid who's been left holding the bag while the king is off being heroic, and in that bag is a deck of magical cards that allows you to gather the resources needed to rebuild the kingdom when you play solitaire... ssssssssssomehow. Look, it's magic, kid, I ain't gotta explain anything. With the help of the townsfolk who will generate income and resources for you as you rebuild the kingdom, and your extremely passive-aggressive royal engineer, you'll crack ice and stone, purchase helpful upgrades from Merlin (hey, just because the land is burnin' doesn't mean a wizard ain't gonna get paid), and play a whopping 300 levels in your quest to restore the land to its former glory. It's simple, satisfying, Fairway Solitaire-esque gameplay without all the bells and whistles.
Despite what my past review history might have led you to believe, jumpscares are actually my least favourite horror game mechanic. It's not that I don't appreciate them... in the right hands, jumpscares can be extremely effective. But when you have nerves of glass and a tendency to stay wide awake at night after reading creepypastas, jumpscares make gaming... less than relaxing. So I was a little hesitant to check out Lag Studio's free indie action adventure Spooky's House of Jumpscares, because, well... it's right there in the title. The jist of things is that you've come to a house with a bad reputation to discover if the rumours are true and learn all of its history you can, but when you arrive, you find yourself instead greeted by a cute and harmless looking ghost girl named Spooky. She tells you that this is her house, and challenges you to make it through all 1000 rooms (though only 760 are currently available in its playable Early Access state), and at first, it seems like a walk in the park. After all, most of the rooms are small and empty, and it seems like the worse thing you have to deal with is a "spoopy" cardboard cut-out of a wee slime monster or other beastie popping out from the wall every now and again. But the notes you begin to find soon make you realize something more sinister is going on, and soon things begin to go very, very wrong. There's nowhere to go but down... how long can you last?
Falcom's Ys series of RPGs has been around since 1987, ported to a variety of platforms and multiple titles being remade or enhanced a dozen times over. Now, one of the first makes its way to Android and iOS with DotEmu's Ys Chronicles 1, an action RPG about a young man named Adol who washes ashore an isolated island and finds himself the only one who can save the world from the forces of evil thanks to his determination to seek out the ancient Books of Ys, and his incredibly ability to defeat enemies by smashing into them really, really fast. The game is played simply enough by moving your finger around the screen, with an on-screen directional pad appearing and following wherever you go. You can tap the pause icon or your inventory slots at the top of the screen to take you to the save or equipment menus, but everything else is handled by running into things. Bump into doors and they open. Run face-first into people to initiate a friendly chat. Barrel into an enemy from the sides like a shrieking ginger of fury to attack. If you attack an enemy head-on, you'll both take damage, so your goal is always to bash them from the rear or sides. Slain foes automatically grant you cash and experience, and gain enough of the latter and you'll level up, while the former can be used to purchase better equipment or consumables such as potions that restore your health. Ys Chronicles 1 is a fast-paced, easy to pick up but hard to put down very classic RPG that will feel like a warm, nostalgia-scented bath for fans and players looking for something casual.
So another week has passed, another seven days have just whooshed into nonexistence, a mere memory that's now fading from thought even as we speak. Yet no need to harsh that chill. It's all good because we have another episode of Hump Day Hidden Object. Oh wait. That's not a thing apparently. I meant: Welcome back to Midweek Metroidvania. Yes! Awesome. What? No? Also not a thing? Well, shoot, someone going to help a girl out here? Because I've got a room full of folks waiting to hear what's happening and... Ah! Yes, this is just in. Apparently we've had a bit of a mix-up in the production room but all is well and good now, as they say. Yes, hello folks! Welcome back to another wonderful and not at all unplanned episode of the world's only, quite spectacular spectacle—yes, it is Weekday Escape, everyone! Can I get a round of applause? Oh, no, you're just staring at me, probably wondering what I'm getting on about. Alright then. Here it is: Three very fun escape games from the very talented game designing talents of FunkyLand and No1Game. I do hope you enjoy and please come around next week for more...
When we last left Tetrobot in Swing Swing Submarine's indie hit Blocks That Matter, he was navigating levels, mastering elements, solving puzzles and saving a couple of indie game developers. Fifteen years later on in Tetrobot and Co., also available for iOS and Android in addition to PC, Mac, and Linux, we find him a bit run-down and several of his memory chips fragmented into pieces. A savvy young Technobot repair technician named Maya is ready to sort all this out and get our Tetrobot (among plenty of others) restored back to full working order again, and as always the answer is more 'bots! She wires together the circuitry for an even smaller model, Psychobot, and sends our intrepid miniscule hero into Tetrobot's hardware to clear out the obstruction and reassemble his memory chips. If you haven't played the original, the sequel features more inimitable puzzle-y goodness with elements some have likened to games as diverse as Tetris, Minecraft, Dig Dug and Boulder Dash with a fascinating style all its own.
Alexey Davydov, Sergei Marchenko, Denis Vasilev, and Alexandr Ahura prove you can't keep a good bear down. Or, uh. A bad bear when there are badder bears invading your planet. In quirky upgrade-centric shooter Ruthless Pandas, the brown bear aliens are invading, and you, a very hardcore Snake Plissken-sy type panda, have gotten a pardon from prison to bring them down the only way you know how... in a giant floating missile-equipped death machine! To play, just use your mouse to click on the missiles when they're charged and draw a path to your targets. Click the button on the side of the ship to vacuum up any of the red gems dropped by destroyed enemies and use them when you're destroyed to upgrade and enhance your ship with new abilities and better statistics. Ruthless Pandas is actually a little bit more like an endless runner or launch game in the emphasis it places on grinding to get farther, which means not every player will enjoy its fail-til-you-succeed style gameplay. If you don't mind a bit of an uphill struggle, however, Ruthless Panda's silly premise and clever twist on the formula is a neat idea that's fun to play around with.
When we last left our heroine, she had just finished a fruitless search of half the park, looking for her mother's expensive pendant that was lost when she snuck it out to wear. No in no1game's point-and-click puzzle game Find the Escape-Men Part 148: In the Park Part 2, you'll need to search the rest of the area and hopefully find the pendant before dark, when you'll get in trouble for sure!... oh, and you'll need to find the ten hidden green Escape-Men too, of course! Just click to interact and move around the map, and click the question mark beneath items you're carrying to view and interact with them up close. As with the first half of this game, some of the places you'll see on the map just won't be available, though this time it's because they've already been searched. It goes without saying that finding the pendant is going to involve more than simply asking around or looking under playground equipment, and there's a variety of puzzles both logical and strange, often made even stranger by the lack of a changing cursor, so sometimes being stuck is less about not knowing what to do and more a matter of something being hidden in an odd place. Still, no matter who you are or where you come from, we've all been in this situation before... messing up as a kid, especially when you were doing something you know you weren't supposed to, and trying to fix it before anyone finds out, is a rite of passage. Though... typically for most of us it involves less gold teeth, nets, and tiny green dudes. At least, I hope.
[Note: This game is available in Pay What You Want format, including free. If you enjoy this game, please support the developer who made it by paying them what you think is fair!]
Now is your final chance, Space Cadet, to become the space hero you've always wanted to be. All you have to do is pass the Captain's test and impress the most daring, heroic, and critical instructor in all the known galaxy, Captain Dirk Parsec. Kobayanshi Marooned, available in Pay What You Want format by Phil Hornshaw and Nick Hurwitch, is a sci-fi interactive fiction adventure that will have you attempting to pass the hardest test known to man to prove that you would be the phenomenal Star Captain you secretly always knew you would be. Well, more that likely what will happen in this Twine game, is you finding one horrific death after another while you laugh, because even though some of these deaths are quite gruesome they are spectacularly told in some of the most humorous ways, with nearly 30,000 words and 26 different endings, this is one space adventure you won't be forgetting any time soon.
As we go about our busy lives we don't always have reason to stop and appreciate the constant things we rely on that make those lives possible. Gravity, for instance. Without it we'd all be flung off into space, and that's just the sort of thing that would put a damper on all our important posting activities on the social networks. In Mobius Digital's new puzzle roleplaying game for iOS and Android Terra Chroma, the people in the land of Sunyata have to think about it. The fundamental mystic elemental forces that hold their world together have come unglued and are now tearing it apart. Blue water Eidolons roam the frozen tundra of Fraust, melting the land away into ocean. Harsh light plays balefully across desert wastes of Dekku, fusing them into unpassable labyrinths of yellow glass. Green earth Eidolons wander across the gentle verdant plains, turning them into savage lands choked thick with brambles. Red volcanic Eidolons pour a trail of molten lava wantonly across Kabuzan. Something has put the metaphysical energies behind the Eidolons out of alignment and naturally ['unnaturally,'] tourism is at a bit of a low point. Fortunately there are the Alchromists, scholars of the underlying metaphysical forces with the ability to bring the elements back into alignment, which is absolutely great news if you happen to own property in Sunyata. By tracing tetrominos, those four-square shape patterns we all remember from Tetris, over the landscape, water can be frozen back into tundra for example and the terrain can resume its regularly-scheduled programming.
[Note: Please be warned that these games contain content some may find disturbing.]
Things aren't what they seem in Rusty Lake's deceptively serene and surreal escape game Cube Escape: Seasons, also free for iOS and Android, and the start of a new series alongside Cube Escape: The Lake. In Seasons, you'll take a trip through your memories in a small, quiet house that holds a lot more secrets than you expect. In The Lake, the water is calm outside your little fishing hut, which doesn't seem to have very much in it apart from some old cabinets, a fishing rod... and a knife. Click around to interact and pick things up, though be warned that the cursor won't change if it passes over something you can use, so you'll need to be diligent. Items with a magnifying glass in your inventory can be clicked to view close up, while others can be used where you like by clicking them once to pick them up, and then again wherever you want to try to use them. Some items can be used more than once... occasionally in the same fashion. The small arrows at the edges of the screen will let you move and look around the room, and the white arrows on the right side of the screen will let you scroll up and down through your inventory. You may want to play Seasons first, as there's something you can find (and make a note of) there that will change the ending of The Lake.
Ready for a new dungeon crawl? Slashwear Interactive greets us with Ananias, a fantasy turn based rogue-like game with randomly generated maps. This game is so great they wanted to make sure it reached as many people as possible, so not only is there a free download version (as well as a premium one with extra classes) but a mobile app for Android (iPhone coming soon!) for people who don't want to play in their browser, and even an online version that you can play with friends. Once you try Ananias you'll be happy for so much choice on how to play. This adventure doesn't start off with a story or full instructions but it's not hard to figure out. Click to move to that location, or to hurry through an area without an enemy click on an arrow and you'll zip through to the other side. You also get to pick a companion in the beginning, such as a dire wolf, a lynx, or a gray little pony that helps you carry more but can still give a good jab here and there. Upgrade yourself when you pass each level, collect statues for your collection, and above all, slaughter the monsters and get the treasure.
Elio Landa is rapidly becoming the name to look for if you like simple, elegant puzzle games, and Sum Points is all about subtraction-based math with a seriously swanky style. The goal is to get your target number to reduce all the way to zero by placing different coloured subtraction amounts on the grid around it. Blue sums impact everything in a diagonal line from their location, while red sums affect numbers horizontally and vertically from where you place them. It's important to note that sums will impact all numbers in a line, not just the first one their power encounters. You can see the sums you have available for each level at the bottom of the screen, and next to that is the undo button if you make any mistakes. Not that you would, you mathematical genius, you. Sum Point doesn't really offer a whole lot of variety to its gameplay, and focuses on making each level a neat little brain teaser, though it takes a while for it to have any sort of difficulty thanks to what might be a prolonged series of levels with training wheels on. With a soundtrack that makes it sound like you should be solving these while kicked back on a tropical island somewhere, Sum Points is a straightforward and casual experience for puzzle fans to relax with.
I don't know about you fine and fancy folks, but where I am, the sun is shining, there's a beautiful breeze blowing, and my hair looks extra cute. Which means it's time to close the windows, ignore all our social calls, and play free indie games in our pajamas. For our three courses this week, we have a visual novel where you may not even be able to trust yourself, an RPG adventure about a world of dolls where not everything is sunshine and smiles, and a platformer where the only source of light you have comes from your very limited weaponry.
[Note: This game was originally reviewed in December of 2008, but while thinking on the best casual games I've ever played, I immediately thought of this one, and wanted to spotlight it again. Enjoy this Flashback Friday, my fellow foodies.]
The world of professional cooking is ugly, friends. Forget your Martha Stewarts, your Rachel Rays, your semi-homemade with matching-table-decor. It's hard, it's hot, and it is really, really competitive. Top Chef is based on Bravo Channel's reality program of the same name, which takes a batch of fifteen confident up-and-coming chefs and eliminates them through a series of culinary challenges each week until only one remains. The game puts you in the shoes of one such aspiring chef and, with your help, she's going to chop, saute, and julienne her way to the top through fifteen episodes and a whopping forty-five challenges. Along the way she'll have to deal with sneaky behavior, backstabbing, and some furious competition, but trust me; that's the easy part about being a Top Chef in this charming and creative time management sim.
In Hit-Point's super simple sim, the Japanese-only (but perfectly playable without being able to read the lingo!) Neko Atsume, free for iOS and Android, is all about cats. You put food out in your backyard, along with some toys (and since they're cats, "toys" can also mean "boxes and bags"), and cats come to play with them. You watch the cats relaxing or playing. You take photos of the cats. The cats, when they leave, leave you some fish in return for their fun and food, which can be then spent on buying more enhancements for the play area. If you're lucky, they'll leave golden fish, which can be spent on expanding the area or even better items, though if you're impatient you can buy more golden fish for optional in-app purchases. And that's it. It's essentially Sea Monkeys, only, you know, better because it's cats, and they have cute little cat bums. Though it is all in Japanese, a little experimentation with the buttons will help you figure things out quickly. There are different types and colours of cats, some who parody pop culture, and your goal is simply to see and entice as many as you can. All you need to do is check back in with the app periodically to refill their food dish, which is free, although different food types can be bought with fish, and snap new photos if you like, and after a cat has visited you enough to take a liking to you, they may leave you a special item trophy as an achievement. Neko Atsume isn't really something you "play" so much as it is a simple pocketful of virtual pets you check in on once in a while, and if you want something absolutely adorable and low key to put a smile on your face, this is definitely it.
Neko Atsume (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)
Get Neko Atsume
Pencilkids have been making players and monkeys smile with their Monkey GO Happy games for a whopping seven years now, and Monkey GO Happy Treasure is fifteen stages of "turn that frown upside-down" point-and-click puzzle-solving goodness. Each stage is its own unique conundrum, and it's up to you to figure out what will make your chosen monkey cheer up by clicking around to interact with things... not that hard to do since the cursor changes when it passes something over useable. If you've picked up an item, just drag it from your inventory to wherever you want to use it onscreen. The limited amount of things to click on in each stage means most of them will go by fairly quickly, but the variety of settings, characters, puzzles and more keeps the whole thing feeling fresh throughout. Crack a code in an ancient temple. Help a giant monster get rid of an annoying helicopter. Help a small child circumvent the safety measures on a roller coaster that are only in place because engineers know someone that size can't safely ride anyway. You know... the usual! It's cute, weird, and quirky... just the way we like it, and sure to please fans of the series.
What up, Friday friends? Whether you're kicking your weekend off now or are stuck sticking it out with the man until Saturday, Link Dump Friday is here to bring a little bit of electronic fun into your week. First I thought we'd hang out at this cabin, which totally doesn't have any unspeakable secrets in it or anything (when was the last time a cabin in the woods did you wrong?), then I figured we'd volunteer at this local clinic (even though I'm not too sure about some of those patients), and then... well, you'll see!
Here at JayisGames, we get a lot of e-mails, tweets, and bricks thrown through our windows about various crowdfunding campaigns. Like, a lot a lot. Mostly for good reason, since, despite not being without risks to both the developer and investors, crowdfunding offers an opportunity for many creators to make things they simply couldn't before. So with that in mind, welcome to our new twice-monthly feature Greenlights and Kickstarts, where we'll feature a few promising projects and shine a little attention onto developers looking to get on arguably the biggest digital gaming retailer in the world... Steam.
This first edition we'll take a look at a game that aims to mess with your head and get you good and twitchy, an Oculus-compatible "look-and-click" adventure about the way the choices we make change our lives, stealthy hotel-based vampire warfare, and a mysterious cage that holds an ocean, a lighthouse, a submarine... and you!
Please note that we cannot guarantee any projects posted will be completed and delivered. As with any investment, please make sure you do your own research into the project and its developer. Even a successfully funded project can never see release for a variety of reasons, so always use your best judgement, and only fund what you are willing and able to part with.
[Mac user? Try freeware tool RPG Hub]
In Epidemic Games' free indie horror game COATS, you're Randal, the Chief of Staff at one of the last surviving research centers in the country, working with scientists to try to develop a cure for the creatures everyone calls "Skins". The center is filled with the best technology and is supposed to be entirely self-sufficient... which is a good thing since things have taken a turn for the worse outside, and now all you can do is try to keep your people alive and research a cure. With multiple endings and choices, each day is up to you as you decide how to manage your people and your supplies, sending out scavengers or trying to bring back "test subjects" to experiment on.
Not everything is about you, y'know. In Vitamin Hana's cute, micro-sized escape game Free the Birds, you're actually trying to help some feathered friends fly free from f... hm. No word for "cage" that starts with an "F". Regardless of my foiled alliteration streak, you'll need to hunt around the area for a few items to crack codes and solve puzzles. There's no changing cursor for interactive objects, so you'll want to click around everywhere... not that it's that big of an area to search. Free the Birds is very much a mini-sized escape game, with an emphasis on finding codes and plunking them into the right places, so players looking for something more filling may not find it enough of a challenge. If what you want is something light and fun with a sweet objective, however, Free the Birds is more proof Vitamin Hana games can always be counted on for a smile.
Taylor's dream comes true when the science student's number comes up in the lottery. No, not to win millions of dollars, but to fly aboard the space ship Varia, while performing experiments in space. The dream suddenly turns nightmarish when the ship crashes on a desolate, uninhabited moon, with no other apparent survivors. 3 Minute Games brings us a thrilling sci-fi interactive story Lifeline, written by Dave Justus. This choose your own adventure game for your iOS device (including the recently released Apple Watch) deliberately leaves gender out of the narrative, which allows the player's imagination to conjure up whatever image of stranded astronaut Taylor they want. (In my mind, Taylor ended up as a guy, something to do with the sarcastic humor reminding me very much of a friend of mine.) The interface is simple. Imagine you've got some futuristic data pad like they have in Star Trek, or, you know, an iPad, and you get an unfamiliar signal trying to hail you. There's no video, only text which scrolls down the touch screen. As your day suddenly gets entwined with Taylor's, the unlucky astronaut will frequently ask you for advice. When it's your turn to intervene in the story, just tap on the choice you want to make and read what happens next. Choose carefully, because your advice can drastically affect the outcome of the adventure.
There is a killer on the loose and soon he's going to find his mark... or at least you better hope so because you're him. A contract killer hired by a large company to get rid of an evil villain so, hey, that makes you a hero right? But you're not ordinary assassin-for-hire, no, you specialize in deaths that look like an accident. You are the Allergy Assassin, killing people by food-or-air-based allergies, and you're good at it. Things aren't so easy as they first appear in this logic puzzle of a game, by Ash K, Rev. Lord Dr. Lorin Grieve, and Brandon L for the Ludum Dare 32: "An Unconventional Weapon". You are serving five different people from five different companies, and must gather clues to decide which one is from Dastardly Holdings LLC, and what they are allergic to. You're going to need pen and paper for this one, and more than likely a logic grid to solve all five different scenarios.
Well, would you look at that! It seems the escape game fairy has been here again. Maybe you're saying to yourself, "Uh, escape game fairy?" It's true, though. The ol' EGF as I like to call her is as real as anything. Oh now, lose that skeptical scowl. It's not a flattering look (although, honestly, if anyone can get away with it, you can). But since you want proof, I'll give it to you: These three lovely creations from FunkyLand, Vitamin Hana and Primera. You need just spend a few moments poking around a whimsy-lush kitchen, viewing the starry sky from a puzzle-filled bedroom, or gathering colorful marbles in a single-scened room and you'll be convinced—the escape game fairy is truly real! You don't want to hurt her feelings and scare her away by doubting, do you? Like the magic that makes Santa's reindeer fly, you only have to believe...
Things are pretty hoity toity in Pine Studio's latest escape game King's Escape, also free for iOS and Android, where you find yourself locked into a very fancy schmancy room indeed. I mean... regular people don't just have pudding sitting right out there whenever they want it, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't actually be allowed to touch any of this future. You, though, you get to touch whatever you want by clicking around to explore. The cursor will change and the game will display text at the top of the screen whenever you can interact with something, while you can try to combine items in your inventory by clicking on first one, and then the other. Despite its refined appearance, there's a fair amount of weirdness in this escape game, with some MacGyvery when it comes to your inventory and creative (though strange) puzzles and mechanisms hidden everywhere. It's not always clear exactly what you're supposed to be doing, though it definitely earns points for inventiveness. One thing's for sure, when you do finally escape the room after the state you leave it in, you're probably not going to be welcomed back!
King's Escape (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)
Get King's Escape
no1game expects you to jump through a few hoops for fashion in Tailor, where the only way to escape is through the liberal use of a sewing machine. To play, just use the transparent black bars at the edges of the screen to move around the room, and click on things to interact. There's no changing cursor, as usual with no1game's titles, so leave no stone unturned as you hunt for the items you'll need to solve problems. To view an item up close, click the little rectangular button beneath its icon in your inventory at the top of the screen, and drag it anywhere you'd like to try using it. Tailor is actually a little fiddly about how it accepts this, requiring some items to be used in juuuuust the right place. It's a clunky little bit of pickiness, but not one that detracts too much from the overall experience... which, by the way, I feel confident in saying, is probably exactly like being on Project Runway. You'll practically be a fashion maven once you sew your way out of this one! Rarity would approve, darling.
RoseKey's escape game Pass*Word is all about flowers, stars, and alarming musical flourishes as you try to find your way out of a cute room with a locked door and some cryptic decor. To play, just click on things around the room... your cursor will change when you can interact with something, and arrows will pop up when you mouse over the left and right sides of the screen so you can move around the room. To view items you're carrying up close, click what you want to peep at, then click the "about item" button. Pass*Word is on the short side, and probably a little simple as well, with most of the clues and their corresponding puzzles fairly obvious. It feels more like a warmup than anything else, and a bit of extra fleshing out would have made it a real winner. As it is, if you're looking for an escape game you can play before you've rubbed all the sleepies from your eyes, along with some musical riffs that will shock you awake if you, oh, were playing unaware with your volume all the way up, Pass*Word is a good choice.
Man the cannons and warm up those fingers, because Bubble Shooter Archibald the Pirate has been released! It's a match-3 marble popper game from Akkad and Avox Games with a unique physics twist. Archibald needs you to help fire the colorblind friendly marbles to clear the screen before you run out of ammo. If you notice Archibald looks a little familiar, then you've probably played the hit game also from Avox, Frozen Candy. While a lot of things are similar, with some levels having the balls frozen into place until the temperature rises, Bubble Shooter Archibald the Pirate has new surprises of its own. Special cannonballs you can buy to help when you're in a tight spot, plenty of levels each with their own challenge, and probably the best, a mobile version, both iOS and Android compatible so you can enjoy even on the go. Oh and it's all free, with no impossible levels that make you pull out your wallet to beat. and ads that are rare enough and so non-intrusive you'll forget the game even has them. Throw in the beautiful backgrounds and an adorable pirate with his own personality and you've got yourself one fantastic game.
It liiiiiiiiiiiives! Weekend Download is back for more, and we're kicking off the first new installment with an assortment of games so rag-tag and different they're just some exposition and mana potions away from starring in a JRPG to save the world. Find out whodunnit in a murder trial following a disastrous wedding, search for a way to separate yourself from a mummified corpse (and its nagging former owner), and indulge in some artsy black and white platforming with a very unusual lantern. Remember, folks, just like friendship, free indie games are magic.
Originally free for iOS and Android and now available in your browser, Nitrome's high-difficulty arcade game Silly Sausage in Meatland is all about stretching your weiner dog as far as you can, nabbing gems along the way, while avoiding all sorts of deadly hazards. Use the [arrow] keys to begin moving... your sausage pup's hindquarters will stay planted while the rest of him stretches out in any direction, even wrapping around things, until he touches a surface he'll stick to and the rest of him will snap forward to catch up. If anything touches you, including anywhere on your stretched-out sausage body, you'll be snapped back either to the very beginning, or the last checkpoint you spent your gems at to activate. Though it starts out easy with a few innocuous floating spike balls, soon you'll have to deal with whirring, moving sawblades, treacherous pipe tunnels, locked doors, and more. Think you have what it takes to make it through?
[Note: This is the first installment of a planned series, with other episodes planning to be paid downloads!]
You know, you wouldn't think death would be so complicated, but Doris finds herself having a right bit of trouble as she tries to pass on in the afterlife. Apparently, she didn't get the leaflet on her way into this odd limbo-like world, but after befriending a dragon named Norb and having a trusty trolley with her, things are looking up. In Arrogant Pixel's new point and click adventure game, The Tale of Doris and the Dragon: Episode 1, Doris only wants to find her husband and move on into the eternities, but a mysterious group is attempting to use this aged adventurer for something far more sinister. Click and hold on people or objects to view a menu to choose "look at" or "interact", and just click anywhere to make Doris walk to it, with your inventory dropping down from the top of the screen when you mouse over it. This retro pixel art game will have you remembering the fond days of games like King's Quest and Quest for Glory, and if you don't have those memories... well, The Tale of Doris and the Dragon will help you get a feel for what you missed. If you're interested in more, check out the official site for news on upcoming episodes!
Did you miss me? I missed you! After over a year, Link Dump Friday rises from the grave, probably because I didn't bury it all that deeply anyway. (I had things to do. Things like organizing my My Little Ponies and Farscape figures. Don't judge me.) So while we shake off the grave dirt and pick the worms from our hair, let's kick things off with four fine and free online games for your pleasure. We've got a seedy cyberpunk adventure, an episodic Twine tale about a magical land and the woman who barely tolerates it, take a very unsafe moonlit drive with one weird ending, and try to satisfy one seriously petulant prince as the proprietress of one unusual shop.
Mediocre's Does Not Commute, free for iOS and Android minus a single in-app purchase that unlocks checkpoints, is an unexpected delight. It's a game of traffic jams and speeding cars, as you direct the various residents to their destinations in each level. Just tap the left and right sides of the screen to steer, and watch out for obstacles, since the car will slow down if it's damaged. Though you only drive each of them one at a time, the catch is that not only are you on a timer that persists throughout the stage, the game replays your other completed driving records, forcing you to dodge and drive around, well, yourself essentially. This means that the better you drive, without crashing into things and zipping across lawns like a maniac, the easier time you'll have, though with upwards of a dozen cars winding up onscreen, all following their own routes, it still gets hectic, and you'll need to try for the bonus time tokens that pop up as well. If you really don't like the driving you're doing with the current car, you can choose to rewind and start again with it, though you'll lose a second off the timer. Run out of time, and you'll have to start all over, either from the start of the current area you're on, or the very beginning of the game if you didn't buy the premium version. You can unlock various upgrades like better traction or turbo boost as you play, but by far the biggest incentive to play is finding out what strange secrets and lives the townsfolk you're ferrying around are hiding, because there's a lot of profoundly weird and funny things happening here.
In Psychoz Interactive's classic-styled survival horror adventure Forgotten Memories: Alternate Realities, the first in a planned series of self-contained yet interconnected stories, Rose's search for a missing girl named Eden took her to an abandoned asylum, but the last thing she can remember is a man pointing a gun at her. When she wakes up, she finds an unlikely ally in the form of Noah, a strange girl who keeps company with mannequins and only ever communicates by recordings even when she's right in front of you, and Rose must explore the asylum to learn the truth about where the missing girl is, and what happened long ago. A limited and very restrictive save system as well as clunky combat mean it isn't entirely smooth sailing, but a fantastically creepy setting with stunning visuals and otherworldly, surreal imagery makes Forgotten Memories: Alternate Realities a fantastic alternative to games that go for gore and violence in abundance.
[Note: This game is available in Pay What You Want format, including free! If you enjoy the game, please consider paying the developer an amount you think is fair for their hard work.]
Short but definitely sweet, Carter Lodwick and Ian Endsley's Little Party is a pay-what-you-want indie interactive art piece about the night your daughter decides to throw a party for a few of her "arty" friends. As her mom, you don't really mind... you're happy to help however you can. But she doesn't seem to need much from you... she's not a little girl anymore, after all. Use the [WASD] or [arrow] keys to move around the house, and hold the [spacebar] to look or tap it to interact when blue text appears. In general, once you've found and interacted with all the kids, their locations will change as the night progresses and you can look for them again, though occasionally you'll be given a more specific objective... though even that is sort of a grand word for the actions you take. Most often you simply watch, puttering around the house or taking the dog for a walk, and though your daughter and her friends are always polite and welcoming, they often don't even seem to notice you're there. It won't take you long to play through, but Little Party is a warm slice-of-life story that might make you better appreciate and understand the people who look after you.
Deep in the bowels of a secrative facility, something stirs. Long-dormant processors whir to life. Keys click on a keyboard as someone types furtively. And a digital computer voice rings out: Welcome to Mu Complex, Bruce Dayton. Only it's not Mr. Dayton behind the keys, but you, as you step into the shoes of a hacker, in this enthralling game from Studio Cime, which is part text adventure, part riddle game, and part one in a projected series. Dive deep into the intranet of the secretive Mu Complex, virtually hopping from machine to machine, rifling through the files of its employees as you hunt for the links and the passwords that will lead you to more mysterious, more sensitive machines hidden in the heart of the facility. And there's no pointing and clicking here... You'll do it oldschool, by entering command prompts and toggling power supplies. Each file you uncover will tell you a little bit more about what Mu Complex is, and why you're hacking into it, but you won't be satisfied until you've uncovered the secret lying at its very heart. Seriously, you probably won't... Mu Complex is an absorbing and engaging adventure that will work your brain and hold you in its thrall until the very end.
[Note: This game is available in a "Pay What You Want" format, including free. If you like the game, please show your appreciation to the developer by paying them what you think is fair!]
Everything seemed to be going normally for Nigel. He has his own business with his two best friends, and taking care of 6 year old Alicia is more like having a playmate around than having to feel like a legal guardian. The only thing on Nigel's to-do list is to find a new tenant, and when an odd woman named Morwenna pops up out of nowhere, it seems that Nigel's problems are solved. But Morwenna is a strange girl, with strange things, and she starts stirring up Nigel's calm life... not to mention there are some odd disappearances happening around that are leaving the police baffled. Three Guys That Paint is a pay-what-you-want indie visual novel with a dollop of romance and mystery by Jasmin Osler that has you in the shoes of Nigel, a hard working house painter. Read along with him, clicking anywhere to pass the text, until the occasional choice pops-up. There doesn't seem to be a bad ending, but the story is weird and fun in a way that feels like one of your childhood fantasies coming to life.
Kurechii's real-time strategy tower defense hybrid Tiny Guardians for iOS and Android is an almost aggressively adorable and unexpectedly challenging little game that plays like a cross between Kingdom Rush and Defender's Quest. In it, little would-be sorceress Lunalie wakes up one morning to find her home ransacked and her powerful mentor missing, so naturally the only thing to do is gather up her summoning cards and set out on a journey to save the day! With her magical deck, she can call powerful heroes into battle to defend her against all the monsters and enemies she faces along the way, which is a good thing since Lunalie is... well, I don't know if she's a lover, but she's certainly not much of a fighter. Tiny Guardians is a fast-paced and surprisingly difficult little game that's packed with beautiful visuals, too-cute-to-be-killing-you foes, and simple to pick up, yet hard to master gameplay. For fans of tower defense looking for something different, Tiny Guardians is polished, professional, and a ton of fun.
So. Another week has passed. A lot has happened this week, too. But that's not what we're here to talk about, are we? Although, if I'm going to be honest, I'm going to say I've missed you since our last get together. I sometimes wonder what you're doing, where you've been, if you're, for whatever reason, you know, having fun without me? Eh, not that I'm checking up on you or anything but I noticed that you've been a little quiet lately. Let's talk about these escape games then, ya? Before things get too awkward with silent pauses and all that. Luckily for us escape-the-room aficionados, production of escape games has been bustling this spring. It's more than possible you haven't even finished playing the past week's worth that were reviewed here on JIG. Be that as it may be, tell me what you think of these next three games, chosen from Hottategoya, MayMay and No1Game...
Browser-based RPG games tend to be a bit of a click-fest. You're always clicking here to launch a fire spell and clicking there to use a health potion. Clicking, clicking, clicking, JEEZ where does it end?! Well Happy Ghost Studio has got your back with this epic new keyboard-only fantasy adventure game, Primal Champions, which plops you and your party into an action-packed adventure with no mouse required. Select your party of two adventurers and set out on your quest, moving to each dot on the map to do battle with hordes of goblins, pigs and general monstrosities. The game operates on a real-time combat system, having you choose targets with the [arrow] keys and press [Q] or [A] to launch your party members' basic attacks whenever their cool down counter reaches zero. Reflexes are essential, the tides of battle can turn quickly. A strong leveling system and some epic magic spell combos add to the frenetic joy.
The game of golf is many things to many people. It's an ancient game with a diverse legacy, with variations spanning different nations and empires all throughout history. It's a favorite sport of business professionals looking to blow off steam. Its fans clap really daintily. But if there's one thing everyone agrees on, it's that it's really hard. And Dakina Games wants to bring some of that challenge on home to you with their puzzle game, appropriately enough entitled Golf is Hard. (And if you don't want it brought on home, but rather to restaurants and workplaces, it's also available on iOS and Android devices.) Although we get the feeling that these particular links miiiight be a bit more challenging than usual. Because on this course, walking on all of that brilliant green, perfectly trimmed grass is strictly verboten... if your ball doesn't make it into the hole from your first shot, you'll have to fire off from the tee again and again until you make it. This is also the only golf course we know of where you'll have to hit balls up cliffs or onto tiny islands in the middle of water hazards. Just click or tap to choose the angle of your shot and your power, and if you aren't too thwarted by the challenges and perils of the green, maybe you'll get the ball in the hole! Golf is Hard is a silly, irreverent, one-button take on the game of golf, and while it may, indeed, be hard, it's that special kind of hard that encourages you to just keep trying.
[Note: This game deals with physical abuse and other subject matter players may find upsetting.]
While many visual novels tend to focus on romance, Yucie's free indie game Those Without Names focuses on the close relationship two siblings can share. Eight awakens, confused and disoriented, inside the Building, which sits on a hill beneath the glow of Earth high above. She doesn't remember her name, just a series of numbers that are used to identify her and the few other residents, and while she also doesn't remember much about her life, she's relieved to see her brother, Zero, here as well. In this place, your memories come back to you in bits and pieces, and if you find enough, you'll also remember your name and awake. Eight is convinced it's some sort of bizarre lucid dream, but Zero isn't so sure, and as Eight's surfacing memories turn from sweet and simple to something more troubling and hard to watch, finding the truth might be more painful than she's willing to admit. With four different endings depending on your choices, Those Without Names is a short and bittersweet story about family, and how simultaneously simple and complicated it can be at the same time. To play, just click the dialogue choice you want when it appears, and right-click to open the save and load menus whenever you like.
TapirGames' minimalistic sliding block puzzler Push Out Fans is actually more of a browser demo of their iOS and Android game Rect Pushers, which has even more levels and other game modes. In Push Out Fans, you're... well, you're pushing the fans out of the playing field by dragging blocks around the area. The twist is that different blocks can each only move in their specific way, such as horizontally or vertically, and you can click the arrows to either side of the move counter to undo or re-do your most recent move. Lacking anything even so fancified as a soundtrack, Push Out Fans is a very bare bones approach to a puzzle game, and yet there's something satisfying about its simple concept and trying to finish each level in as few moves as possible. It's a very clean little game, with nothing wasted about its design, and is perfect for players who want something quiet, thoughtful, and smart to puzzle their way through a few dozen levels with. Bells and whistles? Who needs 'em!
The year is 1983. Space is being conquered by man. However Xanadu, a research space ship that was searching the far edge of the explored universe has sent out a distress signal. Called in to help them fix their engines and get them back home you are the first one to find out what happened to the three man crew. You soon discover there is a lot more happening on the Xanadu than just mere mechanical issues. Spirits of Xanadu, by Night Dive Studios, is a, indie first person horror adventure game where you must explore the ship and fight off the ship's security system while you solve nonlinear puzzles. With four types of robots, all ready to kill you on sight, you need to blow most of them to pieces or use their own systems against them by shutting them down sneakily. If a shoot 'em up game doesn't pique your interest, you can actually change the game to make the robots passive and get lost in the mystery and swallowed up in the creepy atmosphere. While this game doesn't have creepy monsters after you, it's going to definitely get your heart rate up and your adrenalin pumping with the immersive environment. You'll also be grateful for the multiple endings so you can go back and play it again.
History is written by the victors.Take for example... our favorite Italian plumber. Oh wait, did you think that was just a classic tale of hero saving a princess from a dragon... turtle.... dinosaur-thing and his army of mushrooms? Well, think again. Kill the Plumber by Keybol and Izzy Aminov, has you playing as the little round goons enemies trying to kill the player plumber character. In this puzzle platform game, you can move the little "goons" with [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to try and bump the overall-clad human and send him falling off the screen to his death. He has his ways of fighting back, of course, with his jumping ability, fire shots, and er... again, he jumps really well. If he reaches the flag or kills you before time runs out he wins. But you don't just have the little goons to help you you also get to visit some of your old-timey favorites such as shy ghosts and thwomping not-thwomps. It's a great blast of nostalgia that is challenging enough that you'll hate your childhood hero and cheer on some of the most weakest video game enemies ever.
Vitamin Hana serves up an escape with amenities in Terrace View, and continues their tradition of making cute, simple-seeming games that offer more than meets the eye. There isn't much around you... a locked door, a painting, a TV, and a few pieces of furniture that are all locked up tight with various coded puzzles. There's no changing cursor to help you see what you can interact with, but there's also not really any pixel hunting to make that a problem... just a whole bunch of cryptic clues for a room with enough puzzle locks to belong in an early Resident Evil game. It won't take you long to play, but it also doesn't feel like it's too short either, the proverbial juuuuuust right with a few puzzles that'll kick your brain into gear and require you to connect the dots without going overboard on difficulty. Sometimes you want something heavy and perplexing, and sometimes you want something light, fun, and clever, and Terrace View fits the latter perfectly well.
In no1game's mouthful of a title Find the Escape-Men Part 147: At the Park Part 1, you're a dirty rotten thief... or, well, at least a girl who can't resist sneaking her mom's expensive pendant to wear while she's out at the park. No blood no foul, right? At least not until you're ready to head home and you realize it's missing! Now you have to search the whole place (or at least the places you've been while you wore the necklace, since some locations are mysteriously unavailable, and of course find the iconic ten little green men hidden throughout the park along the way. Just click to interact, and make sure you hunt everywhere, since no changing cursor means you'll need to shake, scrounge, and dig wherever you can. While it's annoying to have more than half of the available map locations locked off for (presumably) part two, At the Park Part 1 is still a seriously cute and quirky game. It has a tendency to make you go back and forth between locations with indication something has changed, though it ups the weird factor considerably over some previous installments in largely good ways. Needless to say, as indicated by the title, it ends with a big, fat, "to be continued", so you'll have to wait for the conclusion another day, but for now, there's searching to be done!
Your life seems like it's about as perfect as it can get. You're engaged to a handsome jazz pianist in New Orleans, just putting the final touches on your wedding plans. But when your sweetie's former band mates start turning up dead, and mysterious smoking men are slinking about, it's time to take action before it's too late. You play as Ella in Mad Head Games hidden-object adventure Cadenza: The Kiss of Death. With nothing but a black lipstick stain as your lead, you're going to have to use all your skills, and maybe even learn some new ones (unless picking locks and diffusing bombs are already part of your skill set. Who are you, MacGyver?), as you do everything you can do to save your future husband's life.
So it has happened again, has it? You have ended up trapped in a strange room. Obvious methods to escape from this room elude you. No keys, crowbars or climbing out the window will work. On hand instead: various puzzles to be solved, done by searching the room for essential objects and various clues, using your ingenuity to decipher the riddles throughout. What's that you ask? Why not just break down the door with your brute force? Because this door is not simply locked, it's guarded by a secret code that, should you fail, threatens to dismantle the entire room—you right along with it. Which is just one of the reasons Gam.eBB's mobile game Room Escape [Secret Code] is such a kick to play!
The horse in no1game's Bored White Horse is actually a very special horse since he's the prince's noble steed, and when he hears that the prince has finally managed to slip away from his bodyguards, the horse decides to go to him for adventure... though he'll need your help escaping from the stables first... no small task considering the horse's handlers think so highly of his cognitive abilities that you'll have to bypass multiple locks and puzzles from within to get out. To play, just click to interact, though your cursor won't change when it passes over something useable, so you'll need to be diligent in your exploring. Bored White Horse isn't a particularly long game, or even a difficult one, though some of its puzzles are tricky enough that you'll need to really examine them in order to figure out the solution. It's a light, whimsical treat for escape fans who want to engage their brains without breaking them, and reunite two dear friends in the process.
Much like its predecessor, Bikas.net's latest puzzle game, Shape Fold Animals, is best described as 2D origami. This game, which is available for both browser and mobile platforms, has you folding polygonal shapes that are connected by hinges to form something that sort of resembles an animal. The resulting shape is not always clear - it could be a turtle, a chimp, a giraffe or some kind of bird, leaving you to use your best judgement about which direction each chunk needs to get folded. The game falls pretty squarely under the casual banner, since there's no lose condition and no real urgency to win, but it's still fun and extremely well-made, a fun treat for any casual puzzler on a coffee break.
Lines. Squares. Lines and squares. These are the tools you will be using in GooDMage's new puzzle game, Glow Path, available for your browser or Android device. The game is as minimalist as they come, featuring white backgrounds, simple designs, and puzzles that are quick to solve but immensely satisfying nonetheless. Simply click on the block you wish to slide in order to connect one glowing box to it s non-illuminated partner. You only have a limited number of clicks, usually only two or three, so plan things out beforehand. This is a game about perfection, not experimentation.
In his last adventure, Eyesteam's humble hero Pajama Boy braved the depths of a dark, spooky, sawblade-ridden forest and overcame his fear of the dark. With his newfound courage, he decides to leave the forest and head on home to the city... only to find out that it's been destroyed and been conquered by mechanical monstrosities. Welp. At least he chose a good time for his little foray into personal growth! Now, in Pajama Boy 3, he must save the citizens of his city from their robotic imprisonment in yet another challenging platform game. Run, jump, slide, and even wall-kick with the [arrow] keys or [WASD], and collect the shiny gold keys that will free the humans from their cages. But the metallic invaders have worked themselves into the very fabric of the city itself... They even control the rebar! For Pajama Boy, that means ever-shifting levels that are constantly morphing and changing, pushing your reflexes to the very limit. Pajama Boy's third outing is perhaps his trickiest yet, and it brings with it a healthy helping of creative level design to delight you, even as you die repeatedly on that same patch of thorns, over and over again.
Murder, kidnapping, explosions. The life of a cop is not a dull one. You play as Baltimore detective Sam Pearce in Relentless Software's latest 3D mystery release for iOS, The Trace. The proprietor of a local business is found dead, and foul play is suspected. It's your job to figure out what happened. At the beginning of the game, your lab helper Alex sets you up with a new high tech remote forensics system that allows you to instantly run fingerprints and test blood samples, which turns out to be quite handy during the investigation. Tap on objects of interest to get a description, or perhaps zoom into an important spot. Hold and swipe to look around the room. Some items you tap on will go into your inventory which you can access on the left of the screen. When you find a piece of evidence, it will fill your screen. Sometimes you can push buttons or otherwise manipulate the item and you can always deploy your forensic scanner to look for clues. Tap the scanner icon on the right to activate it and tap and hold over the evidence to scan it. When you find something of import it creates a lead for you on the investigation screen.
TomaTea is known for one thing... serene colour palettes. And mellow instrumental soundtracks. And "I have no clue how to solve this!" And... okay, so for a lot of things, basically. Let's just say they make great escape games and move on to talking about Spring Celebration, which combines puzzles and pastels all in one pretty package. To play, just watch for the tip of your cursor to glow as it passes over things you can interact with, and carefully examine your environment for sneaky hidden clues you'll need to crack the puzzles on the various locks. Don't let the lute-ish soundtrack fool you... there're no castles and courts here, but there are a whole lot of sunny Easter-themed decorations, as if any of us needed a specific date as incentive to bite the ears off a chocolate bunny. Some objects you may find a little fiddly or unintuitive to interact with, as some of them have extra functions that aren't immediately apparent unless you click on them in a certain location, and you might likewise find yourself stymied at a point that doesn't make it obvious you need to drag something rather than merely click it. Still, TomaTea's talent for crafty puzzles whose clues take a little puzzling themselves is in fine form here, and apart from a few mildly awkward implementations, they offer a great variety in difficulty and concept, and the sweet presentation is just the cherry on top. If you love escape games that seem to invite you to relax even as they make you think, TomaTea's Spring Celebration is sunny and satisfying despite a few bumps along the way.
In Alex and Eugene Plotnikov's point-and-click adventure Aldo and Gus: The Skeleton Key, you play a cat in an enchanted flying tea-kettle (no, you're ridiculous) who's trying to rescue their dear wizard who was locked up in a dungeon for, well, wizardry. You'll need to hunt for a key to help him escape, which is easier said than done given the propensity for puzzles this jail and the surrounding area appear to have. To play, just click, and your cursor will highlight yellow when it passes over something you can interact with. You can use items in your inventory by clicking them to pick them up, then clicking again wherever you think they should go. There are a surprising amount of scenes to explore here, so it's easy to get overwhelmed at first, though once you know where everything is, things start to become clearer. Most of the puzzles are fairly straight-forward, requiring you to use the proper item in the right place, or unlock doors by spotting the proper codes for them, though not every object has an immediately obvious use. What makes Aldo and Gus so charming, however, is its wonderful surreal style, using simple shapes and bright colours to create imaginative environments that feel like something out of a Tim Burton film. It's weird in an eye-catching way that makes you want to explore it, though with so much going on in some scenes, it isn't often clear at a glance what's useful, so you'll want to waggle your cursor everywhere in case you missed something. That, combined with the way the cursor's colour can get washed out in some places making the highlight hard to see, makes the game feel a little rough around the edges, but Aldo and Gus: The Skeleton Key is still a wonderfully strange little game that makes us hope we see more of this pair down the road.
Contrary to a rumor started around the JIG office espresso machine, I do not spend all my evenings huddled up around the blue-white illumination of my laptop, empty take-out boxes strewn along the counter and a meowing band of cats my only company. I mean, alright, maybe in theory it's possible that could have happened. In the realm of possibilities, anything could be possible yet it's best to remember: Rumors spread rapidly on social networks. Even if it sounds like a good idea or goes viral, getting bunches of likes, snoop around a bit before assuming its verity. But shoot, I won't get all rhetorical with ya when there are escape games waiting to be played. Since there's also much to be said for ignoring cynicism and letting your heart wear a great big smile for all the world to see. Having some fun and playing games always makes sense, and this Weekday Escape game trio is an actual thing happening right now...
By now you're no doubt well-acquainted with the dungeon crawler format. Hero goes in, steamrolls through various monsters, and pops out the other end with a princess and/or box of treasure in hand. Well Jinmann Kim and Jaewon Yoo's Dungeon Warfare, currently playable in Alpha and still in development, flips that formula on its head, casting you as the world's most insidious interior decorator tasked with designing all manner of traps to keep the hordes of greedy heroes at bay. This defense game has you using the mouse to place various spike traps, dart shooters, blockades, snares and other fiendish obstacles in the path of the heroes as they march towards their goal. Copious amounts of retro-style slaughter ensue as the crowds of treasure-seekers march blindly into each trap. These little guys aren't big on self-preservation, it seems.
Wacky Pirate is a new reflex game for both browser and mobile platforms. You're the titular wacky pirate, as described to you by an adorable bit of voice over narration, who's fallen on hard times and needs to fill up the old coffers with as much booty as possible. This is accomplished through the expedient use of clicks. Here's the breakdown of the operation: you need to click the bombs at the bottom of the screen to release them so that they connect with the boats that come whizzing by. Pirate ships will also pass along your coast line, and for them you need to destroy the ice bergs that crop up before them with a few good clicks. Tokens also appear that give you money after a few good clicks, as do treasure barges that leave tons of clickable gold just laying out in the open where anyone can click them. There's a lot of clicking going on is the point, so you'd better get good at it fast. Things are going to get frantic really quickly in Wacky Pirate.
Cloak and Dagger Games have served up some supremely creepy point-and-click adventures before, but now they're paying homage to one of the masters with spooky short The Terrible Old Man, an indie freeware homage to H.P. Lovecraft's classic tale made in just 30 days. A group of shady characters are getting ready to leave town and take their gang elsewhere, when they hear about an old man living alone in town who's supposedly sitting on a fortune. They aren't put off by the strangeness surrounding the stories the townsfolk tell about him... all they know is he's frail, isolated, and apparently packing gold dubloons in a time where most people can't even scrape together the money for a drink or three. Are they about to bite off more trouble they can handle? Well, let's just say Lovecraft isn't known for stories where everything turns out sunny and all parties are merely involved in harmless misunderstandings. To play, just click to interact with something or someone, and right-click to merely look. Move your cursor way, way up to the top of the screen to have your inventory drop down, and click an item to pick it up so you can try to use it somewhere. You can also save your game from the inventory drop down, in case you need to take a break... you know, in case the ten minutes this game should take is too much.Everything about The Terrible Old Man's atmosphere drips unease and subtle wrongness, much like the work of the iconic writer it was adapted from, and the big reveal is executed cringingly creepily. Don't expect any real answers, as The Terrible Old Man sticks to the original's plot like glue, and most of the puzzles are a simple matter of talking to the only people available and then giving them or saying what they want. While it isn't particularly long or challenging, however, it's still a fine interactive adaptation that's a nice fit for an eerie evening when you want to give yourself the shivers without devoting too much time to it.
Get the free full version
Pudding, marbles, fingerprints, and soda are just a few of the things you'll need to escape Yonashi's weird but cool Yonashi Escape 17, where you'll definitely need to think outside the box and experiment a little if you want to make any progress. The cursor will change whenever it passes over something you can interact with, but otherwise you'll be given no real help at all, so it's up to you to figure out how to use the frequently very odd assortment of items in each room in order to open the doors to move forward. As strange as Yonashi Escape 17 is, however, a lot of it actually makes its own sort of sense in context, so nothing is ever really unintuitive or illogical. It's still not particularly long or difficult, but it still manages to capture that feeling of tactile exploration and wonder in a way that more straightforward and "serious" escapes don't really have, making the "ah-ha!" moments rewarding. It's silly, sweet, and more than a little cute, make it a great break-sized escape for players who like their games whimsical and weird.
The Calm Room Escape by Tesshi-e definitely lives up to its name, as you find yourself trapped in this soothingly soundtrack'd room after being invited there via letter by someone who hasn't shown up herself. Naturally you want to escape, but there are far worse atmospheres for you to solve puzzles in, don't you think? To play, after of course making sure to choose "English" when you start the game unless you read Japanese, just click to interact with things, though there's no changing cursor to help you figure out what's useable and what isn't. In addition to cryptic clues everywhere, you'll find your fair share of inventory items you can use or examine for further secrets with the "About Item" function, though you'll need to pay careful attention to your surroundings, exercise a little patience, know how to combine information... and, of course, fight the urge to just follow the instructions on the bed for an hour or three...
Idengames proved their talent with Royal Warfare, a truly exceptional defense strategy game that managed to cram all the thrills of real time combat in. Well the sequel, Royal Squad, is where the studio really gets to test their mettle. Simply put, the game is a stellar little adventure in arrow-shooting, goblin-stomping, magic-casting goodness. You select your roster of soldiers before each encounter and watch them chop down some truly impressive hordes of enemies as they march towards you in waves. For some added micromanagement, simply click to command your archers to rain arrows on a specific spot, or deploy some lightning bolts, bear traps, or swordsman onto the field for maximum effect. Chopping through the masses of necromancers, soldiers, and goblins as they come pouring towards you is supremely satisfying but be warned: this game isn't afraid to throw some curve-balls when you least expect them.
Did you notice that sudden chill in the air? A cat just yowled in the background and all the cockroaches suddenly seem more nervous. Yes, that's right, Drawmaneater is back with Nekra Psaria 3. Johnny Boy's train comes to a stop and he's told to "go back home," but to get there you must help him travel through this surreal world. This point-and-click escape game keeps its creepy vibe right up to the end, and also keeps the story going from the first and second games of Johnny Boy trying to find his way around this blue-tinted world. If you haven't played those, you'll be a little more confused than those who have, but just a little. Even though this installment feels a little rushed compared to its predecessors, the twisted art work and creepy feel is still alive and pulsing in this unsettling adventure.
Two feuding Louisiana towns. A mysterious mythical owl man. Creepy swamps. A missing boy. Crocodiles. All in a days work if you're a Mystery Tracker detective. When sightings of the local legend are at a peak and young boy goes missing, the townsfolk don't know what to believe. Piece together clues, question suspects, and find the link between things in Mystery Trackers: Nightsville Horror, a hidden-object adventure from Elephant Games. Use your sleuthing, your brave little dog Elf, and your puzzle solving skills to track down the missing boy Oliver before it's too late.
Rose Engine's eerie platformer ascend features a silent girl trying desperately to make it to the top of a dark and deadly maze, where moving platforms, pits of spikes, and crushing traps await around every corner, and mysterious text dogs her steps. Use [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to move, and the [spacebar] to jump, while hitting any key will make you respawn back at the last brazier you lit when you die. You can respawn forever, essentially, though if you want to see the alternate ending, you'll need to make it to the top with more than one life, as evidenced by the bars in the bottom left corner. You get another life every time you find a new flower, but once a flower has been drained, it's gone forever, so don't get too cocky. The hardest part about ascend might be that the controls seem a little too responsive, so that every jump and movement has a little extra zip in it that can easily make you overshoot what you were aiming for if you don't account for it, and since when you fall, you can fall far depending on where you are, working your way back up can be frustrating... you can't just die and respawn back up, after all, if you want that alternate ending. You're also left to your own devices to figure out where to go other than, as the title implies, up. If you have the patience for the climb, however, and you love subtle storytelling and a great, uneasy atmosphere, ascend is still worth checking out.
no1game's Find the Escape-Men Part 146: Fully Packed Train is less an escape game, at least at first, than it is about you desperately trying to find your way onto a train that's already been (literally) pushed way, way past capacity... and of course finding the ten little green men in the process. To play, just click to interact, though since your cursor won't change you'll need to sleuth around on your own for things to click on. As usual for a no1game, you might find yourself needing to click on things more than once, sometimes a lot more, or even hang around on some screens waiting for something to happen. Most of the puzzles are logical, and there are a few surprises in store, and your expected dose of silliness makes this a perfect example of why so many people love this series... it's campy, creative, and doesn't take anything too seriously, on top of being the perfect size for a short break from the daily grind. Give it a play, and then give thanks if your daily commute doesn't look anything like that.
Need a good brain work out? How about one you can take on the go with your iOS or Android? It's time to put your thinking caps on and start stretching out the only organ that named itself, because N4games' Brain Builder is here to, well help you build your brain! With eight different puzzles you'll need to think logically in this brain-training game. It starts off easy and grows harder the more questions you get right. After cycling through the eight levels you then arrive at the 'pro' versions of them, and try again but with higher difficulty. The puzzles range from simple math, to reaction testing, to not-very-colorblind-friendly logic puzzles, and while the idea of each one sounds simple enough you'll be surprised how difficult it gets. Sixty seconds to click on as many correct answers as possible is a much shorter time than you'd expect, especially since very wrong answer takes off a couple of seconds. Brain Builder is all about helping you get your mind into shape and keeps track of your daily scores and lets you improve today you by comparing against yesterday you to let you see your brain is building.
Feeling like your wordsmithing skills need a workout? Look no further and try out Lettercraft, a fun new word game for iOS by developer Marco Torretta. The first five levels are free to try, and the rest of the game is unlockable via an in-app purchase. The goal is to make as many three or more letter words as you can before the game ends or the timer runs out. The letters you use don't have to be adjacent; you can use any letter on the board. Tap a letter and it will appear at the top of the screen. When you've spelled your word, swipe to submit it. If it's a valid word, you'll get points depending on length. The first letter of your word gets underlined, so if you determine you need to trash the word you were working on, just tap the first tile and it will disappear. Sounds easy, right? Well let me get to the twist: As you play the letters begin to heat up, eventually burning up so you can't use them. However, if you use the letters in a word, it cools them back down. But if you submit a misspelled or imaginary word, the tiles used will go up one heat level. If your board burns down to just three tiles left, it's game over.
While some thought Krutovig's Abandoned was a wee bit too Submachine-sy, others adored the clean design and air of mystery, and now the series has a spin-off in the form of escape game Abandoned: The Cube Chambers, which sees you waking up confused and disoriented in a maze-like series of rooms filled with puzzles. To play, just click... your cursor will change when it passes over something you can interact with (but not ALL the things you can interact with), and you'll want to pay seriously close attention to your surroundings, because the game issssss... ambigious. Perhaps far too much so, given the vague nature of the puzzles that lack a lot of the direction of the original game. The Cube Chambers might be even more obviously Skutnik influenced than the first game, from the user interface to the premise, which is similar to Submachine 3: The LooP. The atmosphere is largely excellent, with a a sleek design and ominous audio, and if you don't mind a game that neither holds your hand nor even so much glances in your direction reassuringly, you might find it a welcome challenge, but others might find it a little too obtuse to conquer.
Please note that Flight Rising requires a free account to play. Due to capacity issues, account registration for new players is only available during certain periods of time. Registration is currently closed.
Stormlight Workshop's Flight Rising, a free online blend of MMO adventure and dragon-breeding simulation, has been recommended to us several times over the years, but due to their limited registration periods, we never really felt comfortable writing about it. With their current registration open, however, we thought we would take the time to bring it up now for new players to register while they can and discuss the game. Due to the fact that we had to wait until, well, now to register an account of our own, please do not regard this as a comprehensive review. We will update this article at a later date.
As to the game itself, well, Flight Rising revolves around founding a clan after pledging your allegiance to one of the elemental dragon gods, and then running your lair and managing your dragons and their offspring. The focus of the game is arguably on the breeding system, which allows you to breed different dragons together for various qualities and genes, some of which you may have to work for, or trade with other players to get. At your lair, you'll need to choose the dragons you wish to breed (getting a peek at potential future offspring), and then have them lay eggs (anywhere from one to five) in a nest you'll have to incubate over the course of five real days. Not enough for you? Well, like a bigger, radder Neopets (whoa... early 2000s flashback...), you'll get to play, hunt, and even fight with your dragons, though you have a limited amount of turns per day to do so. You'll also, of course, need various resources to care for and feed your dragons, and the coins you earn from minigames and other activities can be spend on everything from expanding your lair to hold more dragons, or buying new equipment to enhance them for battles in the Coliseum. Flight Rising also has an optional currency called Gems, bought using real money or earned as a bonus if you keep your dragons happy with high energy, and these can be used to buy items as well, even those from other players. It's a surprisingly deep and engaging game, perfect for playing in short bursts, with gorgeous artwork and fun mythology, and we'll report back once we have more experience ourselves! Have you played Flight Rising?
[The following is a reader review by Aidan Randle-Conde, used with permission. Want to submit your own review for a game we haven't covered? Use our submission form!]
91 (free log-in required to save) is a community funded turn-based RPG adventure game that is still in Beta. You wake up in an alley to find that you've been mugged and the ID from your wallet has been taken. Strangely enough your money has not been touched. As you stagger to your feet and try to get your ID back you find that there are much deeper mysteries to solve and much bigger problems to face. You're in the city of Flauston in 1991 and the outlook is bleak. It's been years since the "ascent" where huge columns rose out of the ground in major cities across the world, and the psychological damage they have caused is evident everywhere. Cities are abandoned, left to the criminal underworld, and the police forces struggle to keep control. The further you venture into Flauston the more unsavory characters you encounter and realise that there's a lot more happening than just someone taking your ID.
You'd never know it to look at its perplexingly Minecraft-sy icon, but Naquatic's CivCrafter, free for iOS and Android, is actually an Odd Couple mashup of incremental clicker games and a simplified version of the Playver Versus Player of Clash of Clans. In the beginning, it's just you and three icons to tap on... the apple collects fruit, while the log and rock collect wood and stone respectively. Tapping on each icon gains you a single unit of that resource, and eventually you'll have enough you can spend on building things, though these resources can also be spent on upgrades down the road. When you've built enough houses to start a population, you'll need to employ your civilians to work... farmers are important for making food, of course, since the more people you have, the more food depletes, while loggers and miners gather what you'd expect autonomously. Note that unlike similar games, CivCrafter does not gather resources while you're not playing. It's simple to start off, but as you play, you'll realize things get a little more complex... farmers, for instance, can find skins, which you'll need to build a tannery for and employ someone at to convert them into leather. Eventually, you'll need this and other "secondary" resources like metal from refined ore in great quantities, both to unlock more powerful upgrades, but also to outfit your army. Yeah, that's right. You'll need to pillage and defend yourself from being pillage, and maybe even join a Clan, if you want to get all the trophies and skulls you can. Because who doesn't like trophies and skulls?
Before we get started on that thing you came here to do, you know, playing free online escape games, I thought we could spend a few minutes shooting the breeze. I'll start. The other day, a friend called and invited me to play hide-and-seek. Maybe it's silly but that's why it's so fun. "Sure!" I said and began to walk over there. Suddenly aliens attacked! All was pandemonium, panic and mayhem until a mystery figure stepped out of nowhere with some oddly pieced together rocket. Huzzah! Loves to heroism! Because I needed to unwind after so much excitement, I entered a relaxing little green room where a pink frog served tea and played a tune on her miniature piano. After relating my story, she suggested I go into the study, sit at a desk and write it all down. Which I started to do but, well, really now, writing is kind of hard. I stared at the windowpane lined with colorful pots contemplating how best to capture my strange experiences in words. I think this is how it all began. My eyelids grew heavy, the world grew dim and, when I woke up, I was locked in a room I'd never seen before...
Welcome to indie multiplaying exploration-based adventure with KWAAN, currently playable in Steam's Early Access, a beautiful and persistent online world steeped in tribal myth, natural balance, and co-operative gameplay. KWAAN is a dynamic environment where keeping the spirit of the world vibrant and alive on a daily basis is of paramount importance, and players must collaborate to do this if they want the world on their server to continue. Nurturing the living pixel environment, contributing their unique artistic touch to the branches of the world tree, hand-crafting flowers, bringing the stars together into constellations, solving puzzles, crafting offerings, exploring the realm, and summoning animals like penguins, platypi and ducks are just some of the things that will keep KWAAN, the sentient tree and spirit of the world, healthy and alive. This is a harmonious and gentle world in which aesthetics, myth and imagination reign supreme. Blue glowing maana crystals glisten overhead, bright spirits of animals waft across the sky, and ice-block jellyfish appear briefly to form oceanic platforms for safe passage. Deftly bringing together a special blend of elements from genres like role-playing and adventure games, KWAAN is perhaps best regarded as a fantastic and mystic co-operative multiplayer platformer provided by David Calvo and Maxime Plantady.
Carmel Games' Creepo is back for another ghoulishly goofy tale of mildly macabre escapery with Creepo's Tales: Friday the 13th. Pedro, a hiker, finds himself trapped in a national park and hunted by a crazed ranger who's turned into a psychotic killer after falling off a cliff... you know, as you do. To help Pedro find a way out, just click around to explore. The cursor will change when you can interact with something, and you can either combine items in your inventory by clicking first one then the other, or pick it up to use it elsewhere. Don't be too scared... despite some great atmosphere thanks to the wonderful ambient colouring and creepy backgrounds, this isn't much of a horror game. In fact, the scariest thing might be how short the game is, though by and large most of the puzzles tend to be logical, which has been an issue with some Carmel Games titles in the past. Will Pedro escape "crazy Mason"? And even if he does, well, he's not out of the woods yet! Hopefully the next installment is a little meatier... you know, something to really sink your fangs into.
[Note: This game is available in "Pay What You Want" format, including free. If you enjoy this game, support your indie developers and consider paying them what you can for it!]
[Note: Please note The Blind Griffin deals with some subject matter some people may find upsetting.
Made for NaNoReNo 2015, Asphodel Quartet's free indie otome visual novel The Blind Griffin starts off in San Francisco during the roaring twenties, and your parents would really rather you, the youngest daughter of a large Chinese family, settled down and got yourself married. That's not the life you wanted for yourself, but with few job opportunities, you're running low on funds and choices... until strange signs lead you to a candy shop that happens to be a front for a very special speakeasy. You start off bartending, but you quickly discover there's something a little magical afoot, not just about your bewitching coworkers, and soon you find yourself with a surprising challenge... prove you have what it takes to be a magician, something you had no idea you were until that night, and take the exam administered by the Grand Council, or have your memory, and your newfound magic, stripped away. You'll need to choose a mentor from three of your fellow coworkers (who all happen to be eligible bachelors, of course), and work hard to take your exam in a few months time. With snappy writing, gorgeous visuals, and welcome diversity (though unfortunately all romantic options are hetero only), The Blind Griffin is cheeky good fun with polish that belies its short development time.
Way, waaaaaaay back in the ancient annals of time known as 2012, Kotorinosu released a challenging little escape game called Sphinx. Now, apparently, it's time to revisit that classic with Sphinx (2015) (Android and iOS versions coming soon!), which keeps the Egyptian setting but provides you with an entirely new place to explore and set of puzzles to crack. There's no changing cursor, so if you want to find everything you need to interact with, you'll have to put on your Sherlock hat and scour every dusty inch of this place, and if you expect the game to give you any hints and direction, well... looks like you're going to be entombed for quite some time. This update of the original game concept strikes a solid balance between simple "use item X on space Y" style puzzles and more complex offerings that require a lot of logic and attention to detail. Whereas the original kept you facing a single direction, not counting any close up examinations, this one lets you move around a lot more, and thus feels complex in a different way. Pixel hunting isn't really an issue, but some puzzles require more thinking than others, and with some inventory items needing to be combined or used more than once, you have your work cut out for you. As of this writing, I'm unsure if this web version will vanish after a while as happened with Kotorinosu's last update of a classic and subsequent mobile release, but for the moment, it's freely available for all to attempt to unlock. B Y O Explorer Hat, and maybe give Brendan Fraser a call... he was always good with ancient temples.
Sure, frantic action arcade mobile games have their place, but sometimes you just don't feel like competing to see how fast your fingers can fly across the touchscreen. You know you're on to something different when you find a game that's a delight to look at and listen too, is relaxing yet at the same time makes you think. Many Monkeys zen like puzzle game Breath of Light, with a soundtrack from Winterpark, is all of this for your iOS device, and more. Each level has light emanating from one blossom. The goal is to manipulate the light with different objects until it hits all of the flowers, causing them to bloom. This is mostly done with various rocks, which of course every good zen garden has.
Steven Universe is one of those cartoons people keep recommending to me, and it turns out, it's for a good reason. The series, which follows the superpowered guardians of Earth, the Crystal Gems known as Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl, as well as their half-human charge/bestie/party-starter Steven, is not only ruthlessly adorable and nostalgic, it's also brilliantly plotted with fantastic character development and a lot of heart and much needed diversity and representation. So, naturally, the release of Grumpy Face Studios' Attack the Light as a turn-based strategy RPG for iOS and Android with a Mario RPG-sy flair, has a lot of fans very happy. At the start of the game, Steven accidentally unleashes a swarm of powerful enemies from an ancient Gem weapon, and tags along to provide support and Hambuger Backpack-ery for the others while they travel the world trying to return the corrupting light to the prism Steven accidentally released it from. Though it focuses mainly on dungeon-crawling combat with an eye on strategy, Attack the Light does so with all the style, charm, and heart that fans of the series have come to love.
In Denis Vasilev's cute but very grindy action game The Power of Love, a knight and a princess are smitten with one another, but the king isn't having any of it. So what's a lovestruck knight to do? Why, beat down the castle, using the coins the king hurls in distaste to buy new upgrades to further increase your punching prowess. Just click and hold to swing your weapon (initially just the very lute you used to serenade your lady love), and move the cursor to move the knight, walking over coins to pick them up. Move alllllll the way to the left to enter the shop and purchase speed and power improvements. Cute and simple? Sure. Fast? Not so much, as initially the knight moves so painfully slowly you'd be forgiven for getting frustrated before your first speed upgrades. Your goal is to eventually destroy the castle, thus freeing the princess to love as she wishes, though one could argue maybe the princess should get off her frilly butt and do something herself if she were really in love. Still, while it could definitely have been streamlined, once you start unlocking new equipment and thus the king starts hurling more types of treasure, things get a lot faster.
Awww....who's the cute widdle headless zombie? You are? Why, yes you are, in Zombonarium, a super-cuddly zombie physics puzzler from Bite Lemon Games. Your zombie loses his head at the beginning and it will take you 30 levels, including a boss level, to finally keep that thing in place. Using your shovel cursor, you aim the zombie head at a key, a bone or a sticky platform and click to launch your head, all the while trying to avoid killer falls or fire traps. Friendly rotating skulls can help you along the path, and bats can help or hinder.
MayMay's name is quickly becoming synonymous with fast, cute, and fun escape games, and Fixed Unfixed Escape is no different, though sadly this time there are no baked goods to devour. Instead, you're trapped in a small room with a bed, a balloon (we all float down here), a door that opens onto a tiny balcony, and not much else... y'know, aside from a bunch of puzzle locks. The cursor won't change as it passes over things, so you'll need to click around and figure out what's interactive for yourself, and remember to use "About Item" to view and play around with the items you're carrying up close. One of which will be a dirty and torn piece of laundry, for those of you who have been desperately wishing for more games about complicated solutions to household chores. The biggest challenge here will definitely be trying not to overthink things, as Fixed Unfixed Escape is definitely a straightforward game, but while it might last less time than it takes to drink a cup of coffee/iced tea/ginger ale/the tears of your enemies, it's still cute and fun in a way that makes it perfect for a little nibblet of an escape game.
Lo.Nyan is playing around a bit with their latest escape game Lo.Nyan's Room Escape 14, although if you think being trapped in a colourful, soothing room filled with toys, crayons to colour with, and a place to nap peacefully is a bad thing, you clearly overestimate my maturity. There's no changing cursor, so you'll have to click on everything if you want to find all the items and clues needed to solve the game's many puzzles, though bars will appear at the edges of the screen when you mouse over them if you can change direction. Remember to check out your inventory with the "About Item" feature if you want to view it up close to see if you can manipulate it, and go ahead and use the save function if you want to take a break. Perhaps more usefully, however, you can use the camera you find early on to take photos of pertinent clues so you don't need to constantly run back and refer to them as you play, though you should note some clues need to be photographed in some fiddly ways. Though the descriptive text is in Japanese, you don't need to know the lingo in order to play.
These days, it seems like everyone is getting into the high-difficulty smartphone arcade game genre, and Bart Bonte's tap tap tap, free for iOS and Android, takes things in a very Bop It! direction with all the quirky, clean style you've come to expect. All you have to do is follow the directions of the voice... tap on some circles, double-tap others, drag coloured circles to matching outlines, and more. The twist, of course, is that the game keeps adding new elements and speeding up as you play, and you have a narrower and narrower window of time to execute each action before you lose. It's a simple concept that sounds easy, but can you keep your eyes, brain, and hands all working together long enough to beat your high score?
A long time ago six great heroes saved the land, so when they're called for again, it puts them in a bit of a sticky situation, since one of them very recently had an unfortunate run-in with a dragon, and now they're one member short. Luckily for them in Dragonfly Studios' free indie visual novel April Was A Fool, you just happen to bear a striking resemblance to their dearly departed party member, April. Too bad you're just a local server who really has no business running around with high-level legendary heroes, and while they assure you all you need to do is show up at the castle to fool the king into thinking all six of them are still around, you've always wanted to be a hero anyway despite lacking the qualifications, and thus begins a tale of magic, romance, adventure, and a bunch of screw-ups who can barely get their acts together and aren't as close as they once were. With a fantastic, polished presentation, eleven endings, five unique plot lines, and a loveable cast of quirky, heroic maniacs, April Was A Fool is a fun, funny, and engaging visual novel that's an absolute joy and worth replaying again and again despite many points of the narrative feeling rushed.
When you're that special sort of blue that only one hundred brightly coloured eggs will cure, Pencilkids' perpetually pouting primates know how you feel, and in the latest installment of their point-and-click puzzle series, Monkey GO Happy Eggs, you'll have to turn every leaf, stone, and suspicious part of the scenery upside-down if you want to find all the eggs you need. The yellow arrows transition you from one area to the next, and your cursor will change when it passes over something you can click on to interact with. Want to try using something from your inventory at the top of the screen? Just drag it where you want it to go. While one hundred eggs seems like the sort of thing that would keep you busy hunting for a long time, especially if you were like me when you were little and were bad enough at finding a half dozen or so, Monkey GO Happy Eggs is definitely not that gargantuan a task. Like the rest of the Monkey GO Happy games, it's designed to be a short break, and it's as weirdly whimsical as you've come to expect with its candy-coated environments and creepy-cute characters. Its puzzles are fairly logical, but you'll need to pay attention to your surroundings to crack them, so keep your eyes peeled and hop to it!
Thanks to Nicosite for sending this one in!
You've been dreading this. It's really not that you've been putting it off: in fact you saw your mom before you went to sleep yesterday. But now that you've moved home, it's like it's expected that follow all the rules you had as a kid. As if letting her know where you are at all hours of the day will help you get back on your feet as an independent adult. Sometimes, even when you don't have anywhere to go, you just need to get away. Not even away from anything. Not like, from Dad or Mom or Ben. Just... away. You even found this cool guitar pick. Maybe David will like it. But now, one of those classic Nebraska storms has burst open the sky and it's time to head back. But you'd can take this call while you drive. Three Fourths Home is a piece of indie interactive art by [Bracket] Games that's been newly re-released in an extended edition with some cool extras. In it, you play as Kelly, a part-girl part-woman driving the rural stretch between her grandparent's dilapidated barn and the old home that's recently become new again.. It's an interesting piece of narrative presented in quite the unique way
The escape game scene may be crowded nowadays, but there's always room for more. New developer SARAMEYA has entered the scene with Lodger, a curious white and black room the likes of which no ordinary house would contain. If the strangely patterned door, the pipes sticking out of the opposite wall, and the row of unusual paintings don't set the mood, the three eccentric characters waiting behind the three shutters certainly do. As delightful as your company may be, you'd really like to leave the room, so get your thinking cap on and keep an eye out for clues that could lead, directly or indirectly, to your egress.
At least some thieves go and make a name for themselves by stealing priceless artworks, legendary cultural relics, or jewels the size of fists. But the lowlife band of ruffians in Vitalii Zlotskii's Juicy Bazooka apparently have nothing better to do with their time than harass a poor, beleaguered homeowner by stealing his groceries. The nerve! Luckily for him, they didn't nab his watermelons... Or the specially-modified bazooka he fires them with! Shoot melons at felons and help him reclaim his stolen groceries in this puzzle shooter game. Just make sure no innocent bystanders get a face full of fruit! Gameplay-wise, it's a familiar song and dance, but it's hard to resist a game with such a good-naturedly goofy pretense... and such cute voice clips!
Dear loyal JIG readers, welcome to a very special edition of Weekday Escape today, with exclusive first coverage of a breaking story: Escape games, a multinational gaming obsession that has taken a worldwide audience captive and captured the attention of major corporations, legislators and research firms. As it was JIG that reported on escape games' humble beginnings, and it was here that certain celebrities would get their escape game fix, it is only fitting that we should report on new emerging data regarding the health benefits of playing these popular diversions. While this early on sources cannot be revealed or confirmed, when it's news this good, we don't want to lose precious moments not playing escape games through such time-consuming formalities as "fact checking" do we? Already the clock is ticking while we prattle on about details. All you really need to know is: This is a BIG DEAL. Already Google is inventing a new way to use self-driving cars in globalized escape games (an early prototype shows there's still much progress to be made). Rumors have surfaced on the streets of The Capitol, according to a witness who would only identify himself as "Bub", that lawmakers are now considering what, if any, limits should be put on escape game production. Our best advice: Stock up now...
R-LO is a very fuzzy escape game from no1game, and as usual, you're trapped somewhere and surrounded by cryptic clues and puzzling mechanisms. The cursor won't change if you can interact with something, so you need to go about it the old fashioned way and click everywhere to make sure you find everything you need, though pixel hunting is mostly non-existent. Instead, you'll be required to solve puzzles that need logic more than anything else, and know how to spot a clue when you see it. R-LO may be short, but it's also smart, with some appealingly sneaky puzzles and tidy (though, really, so fuzzy) design, making it an excellent warmup for escape fans of all kinds.
Ah, the gun. Versatile, loud, deadly. How many games have made use of the firearm for gameplay purposes? Seriously, how many? Our shooter game tag is getting dangerously full. Well, here's another title to add to that venerated list. The Gun Game Redux by Flashchaz and Marsh Games pares the genre down to its basics: you have a gun, targets exist, and it's time to introduce one to the other with as much efficiency as possible. Move your firearm through the air with the mouse, being sure to keep it within the green zone so you don't suffer a penalty, and start popping targets like targets insulted your mom. There are three main competition types... Defense, which has you blasting away targets before they can reach the green, Efficiency, in which you have to drop the target while aiming through a small hole, and Offense, which drops the targets altogether and puts you against an AI-controlled gun that's not shy about fighting back. A wide variety of unlockable guns keeps the game interesting as you blast your way to greatness.
The brothers from Meowbeast's puzzle platformer Money Movers may have busted out of the slammer once before, but in Money Movers 2 they're busting back in to rescue dear old dad who's also gotten himself locked up. As before, you'll control the two bros simultaneously with the [WASD] and the [arrow] keys, making them work together to flip switches, collect money bags, and deal with turrets, guards, locked doors and more to reach the exit together. The smaller brother can jump higher and fit into narrow places, while big brother might be too slow to avoid lasers or too heavy to jump high, but can make up for it in brute strength. The game might spend a bit too much time teaching you the basics from the original, so if you've played that, then you'd be forgiven for feeling like the sequel is dragging its feet. Eventually, however, they start getting more complicated and demanding more timing. It never really does anything significantly different from the first game, but it does up the complexity and challenge significantly, making it a great fit for fans looking for something a little meatier, all wrapped up in the bright colours, clean design, and swanky soundtrack that makes a Meowbeast game so polished and fun.
Akkad's Impossible Rush, free for iOS and Android, serves up the latest in addictive high-score arcade action for as long as your reflexes can handle it. To play, just tap the screen to rotate the square to the right, the goal being to catch the incoming coloured balls on the matching side of the square by having it face upwards. Miss even once, which gets a lot harder in a hurry since things start to speed up, and it's game over, but you can create "clans" to compete for top rankings in scores once you've logged in with Facebook, or join our clan under jayisgames. Don't want to compete online? You don't need to! Games like Flappy Bird, Atomas, Crossy Road and more have proven that many players love using their phone to play the sort of challenging games that ruled the arcade decades ago (you whippersnappers), and Impossible Rush's simple yet frantic gameplay makes it fit right in. Though it could use a few extras, like perhaps a snappy MIDI soundtrack that slowly speeds up with the gameplay, or a one-time in-app purchase to disable the occasional ads, Impossible Rush is still a great addition to the library of fast, fun-yet-frustrating high score endless games smartphones seem to be a perfect fit for, and hopefully gets expanded even more in the future. Just... don't blame it when you end up spiking the phone off the sidewalk the next time you're one tap away from beating your best score when you fail.
Impossible Rush (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)
Get Impossible Rush
There have been a lot of free-to-play games put out for big franchises, and to be frank, most of them tend to be muddled messes of shallow gameplay, timers, and in-app purchases, so I was a little concerned and skeptical about FINAL FANTASY Record Keeper, free for iOS and Android by DENA Games and Square Enix. In it, you play a young scribe who learns all of the records of the great heroes from the iconic Final Fantasy series are vanishing, being devoured by a strange darkness, and you're tasked with restoring them by your Moogle professor... a task which naturally involves going inside paintings representing battles from all of the classic games and stories, and recruiting a roster of all the characters you know and love along the way. Make no mistake, FINAL FANTASY Record Keeper is solely a turn-based RPG focused entirely on combat and party management, and the inclusion of timers and randomized loot that makes crafting slow going may give you pause. Despite this, it's a surprisingly satisfying little game with tons of fan-service and sufficiently strategic combat that's worth checking out... perhaps doubly so if you're the sort of person for whom party micromanagement is a great time.
It is generally agreed upon that puppets, much like clowns or doing your taxes, are creepy and scary no matter how many times you come across them. Luckily for ERS Game Studios, some of us hidden-object adventure lovers like to be spooked from time to time. This is why the PuppetShow series is so popular that it's celebrating its seventh birthday this year with a new installment, The Price of Immortality. You find yourself in the delightfully steampunky town of Immortale (the "e" is silent), looking for your friend, Enrique, who went there to investigate the disappearances of a number of journalists, all somehow connected to the Theater of Emotions. Now, the Theater of Emotions sounds like it puts on audience-participation productions where everyone ends up holding hands, weeping and going out for cupcakes afterwards. That alone would be a good reason to save Enrique, but the theater turns out to be a place where snoopy reporters come to die. Turns out the theater holds a sort of murder lottery, where townspeople lucky enough to have their number drawn get to throw knives at the unfortunate reporters. On top of that, Immortale used to be famous for its beautifully crafted puppets, but lately they have been as abused and tortured as the visiting reporters. Just what is going on in this twisted town?
If you've ever wondered where the three adorable cats who star in Choko-Chai's escape games come from, play the insanely cute The Three Bamboo Princesses and wonder no more, as it explains these beautiful kitty girls are in fact magical bamboo princesses, whose foster parents lock them up out of love to try to avoid losing their beloved cats. To help them escape, just click around to interact, keeping an eye out for certain twinkles and watching when your cursor changes if it passes over something you can click on. If you're really stuck, you might need to use one of the cats to help you... press the kitty icon in the lower-left corner while looking at what you're trying to interact with, and if she says "leave it to us", you can usually click a navigation arrow to back out of the current viewpoint to see the cats sitting in a row. Just click all three of them until you find the one who tells you she can help, then click on whatever you were trying to interact with before. It's a little clunky, to say the least, but it's also super cute, as we may have mentioned. The Three Bamboo Princesses may be a little rough around the edges, but Choko-Chai's puzzles and sweet stories are always a welcome delight, and there are a few clever conundrums to conquer here as well. With two endings to find, The Three Bamboo Princesses will cure what ails you, provided what ails you is a serious deficiency in royal fairytale cats solving puzzles through teamwork.
You're a professional room escaper who just received a new challenge by mail. A helicopter air-lifts you to a remote island where the room is waiting, but getting in may prove to be as difficult as getting out! Such is the setup for Gatamari Escape 24 (by Gatamari, who else?). Navigate around the game world with the mouse, keep your brain in gear, and cross your fingers, because it's going to take luck and/or use of the game's save feature to get the best of the game's four endings.
Please be aware that this game contains graphic, heavy violence, as well as sexual violence some players may find upsetting.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number opens with a tutorial were you brutally slaughter everyone inside a house in the most graphic fashion possible and then assault a woman. If any part of that sentence made you wince, Devolver Digital and Dennation Games' follow-up to their 2012 ultra-violent, ultra-challenging indie action game probably isn't for you. That the whole scene turns out to be part of a movie's filming doesn't necessarily lessen the blow when the rest of the game is every bit as gut-wrenchingly gory, with all of it wrought by your own hands. In every level you're bashing, blasting, slicing, or otherwise decimating your way through places filled with people armed to the teeth, and even a single hit will take you down, forcing you to move fast and react faster. Kick the door down to knock the man behind it to the floor, grab his gun and blow away his partner and the reinforcements who come bursting in while dodging to the side to avoid the gunfire through the windows and then take out the first guy before he gets to his feet and comes after you. Fail, and you'll have to try, try again, and all of it happens in the space of a breath. It's fast, stressful, and, yes, incredibly, lavishly, unstoppably violent, but it's packaged around a challenging and rewarding combat system, and one of the trippiest stories, soundtracks, and visual styles you could ever encounter. Despite significantly increasing the premise and complexity of its story as you play multiple different characters over the course of the game, a significantly more structured approach to the way levels are designed removes enough of the need for quick-thinking versatility to make the game something more of an action-based puzzler... with levels of violence that might make Tarantino raise an eyebrow.
If you've ever wanted to be mayor, manager, and a master city planner of your very own town, you might want to give Cities: Skylines, a simulation game for your desktop by Colossal Order a look. When a map is chosen, you're presented with a blank slate, and it's up to you to connect yourself to the outside world and develop the city of your dreams. Most of the initial play is building a basic structure for your town by building roads and zoning them according to need for residential, industry, or business. Once zoned, buildings pop up on their own and citizens begin to move in. You also need to generate electricity and make sure your residents have clean water. Your choices start out limited, but grow as your town grows. If you want to pause while you build, hit the [spacebar]. Don't like what you built? Use the bulldozer tool. Eventually you will generate enough taxes to get in the green (or decide to take out a loan) so you can start expanding and adding other services such as health and death care, police protection, and garbage pick up, among other things. You've also got to be aware of pollution (both environmental and sound), traffic flow, and the happiness of your residents, all of which (and more) can be managed by using the pop-up menu that opens on the top left of the screen.
Please note that Lakeview Cabin Collection is an episodic game. As of this writing, only the first installment has been released. Purchasing the game gains you automatic access to all other episodes in the future.
Roope Tamminen's Lakeview Cabin was a surprise hit in 2013, a deceptive little browser game without dialogue or direction where you played a man at a peaceful lakeside cabin who discovers the place gets very different, and dangerous, when the sun goes down. Players adored not only the campy, old-school horror themes and styles, but the free-roaming gameplay... it was entirely up to you to figure out what to do, and there was a lot you could do just for the heck of it, like skinny-dipping. Now you can go back for more with Lakeview Cabin Collection, a paid indie download over at itch.io, which, as of this writing, contains the first of several planned "episodes". (You'll automatically gain access to the other three chapters when they release!) The premise is the same, though the set-up isn't, this time framed around a movie theater showing a variety of horror films you end up taking part in. Though you can explore the theater as different characters and find secrets there, the bulk of the game resides in the cinema showing Lakeview Cabin III, where you suddenly find yourself in control of a group of people partying it up lakeside at a sprawling campgrounds. They're actually the new counselors, ensuring everything is ready for guests, but there's just one small, murderous problem...
How low can you go? Roofdog Games' wildly successful action mining game is back and better than ever for iOS and Android! Tap to dig your way down as far as you can collecting increasingly-precious metal ores, gems and priceless artifacts, but don't let the game scroll you off the top of the screen! Redeem your loot for cash you can use to upgrade your pickaxe and get to the better goodies stashed further below, and complete your artifact collections for better upgrade cards. Pocket Mine 2 brings the frantic digging action with all the features of its predecessor -- bombs, exploding gas, crafting, and the crowd-pleasing Crate Radar -- along with new powerup crates like Chain Lightning, Explosive Drills, and Worm Crates. This time there are also new islands, each with their own artifacts, which you can unlock sequentially as you dig ever-deeper. But the biggest innovation in this double-your-fun installment has got to be the clothing and accessorizing feature! Y'see it's not just about looking your best while swinging your pickaxe around in tunnels a hundred meters below the earth's surface, although there is that. Whether it's Diamond Boots (chic and comfy!), Trainer Gloves, or a Brain Parasite hat many of these items grant you special mining abilities when you don them. You can mix and match, and even designate customized sets. It's time to play Princess Dress-Me-Up and get on down to the mines in your 16th-century powdered wig, boxing gloves and bunny slippers!
You Have 8 Bricks. That's it. That's all. Just eight. And with these eight bricks, at least one must make the daring climb up and out to the surface and to the world that awaits you there. Rarykos's avoidance platform game is a short, high difficulty, tower climber controlled by either the [arrow] keys or [WASD]. In the beginning, you must mash any key to break lose and start your climb by jumping up. Pressing the up [arrow] or [W] in the air lets you perform a double jump which helps as you climb the floating platforms. There are three ways for you to die, with blue lasers that shoot up from the bottom (they don't hurt until fully charged), and white squares shot straight up (a pink glow will show you where they are coming from), and of course rising lava wanting to claim all four of your corners. It doesn't seem too hard and the climb is short, but the path is narrow. It's easy to get knocked back to your doom. One hit kills and you'll soon find eight lives may not be enough.
Greenie 2 is a big fat liar. It claims to be "a sequel to a mediocre game, but with more levels..." which is a dirty lie. Greenie 2 shouldn't be anywhere near the word "mediocre", and Letmethink should be ashamed for making a platform game with such false conceptions of modesty. Much like its titular hero, Greenie 2 is a tight little bundle of fun and efficiency, a no-frills jumping game with a little puzzle sprinkled on top. Move with the [arrows] or [WASD] keys and press the [spacebar] or [Z] to shift those translucent blue blocks from solid to non-solid and back again. There's the odd spike patch, or button pushing puzzle, and occasionally there are short little color-coded enemies that can be manipulated into pushing switches for you. Call it spare, call it retro, call it more fun than a basket of kittens, but "mediocre" is one thing this series is not.
Mr Jump by 1Button SARL is the latest in a long line of those free brutal platformers iOS players apparently can't get enough of. In it, your goal is to navigate the titular character through levels were a single mistimed jump will force you to start again, since touching spikes, falling into water, hitting walls, or any other obstacle is considered a one-hit KO. Mr Jump runs forward automatically, and all you have to do is tap to jump... quick taps for light hops, and extended presses for bigger leaps. Unlike other games in this category, Mr Jump isn't randomly generated... all of the levels are predesigned, and they're finite as well, so finishing one unlocks another. Different levels even have other tricks in addition to a (mercifully) different soundtrack and style, such as tokens you need to nab in mid-air to perform an extra jump.
Things aren't going so well for the locals when a bunch of frost giants show up and take over, freezing everyone solid. Luckily, a group of vikings has returned home just in time, and with your help, you'll be able to free them all in Deqaf Studios' Frozen Islands, which combines action with light strategy and defense elements. You'll form your viking army out of the units you have available and then sally forth against an island under frost giant control. Your troops will fight automatically as they go, but you can help them out by triggering their special attacks and launching support from the ship when your timers are full. If they succeed, the island will come under your control, allowing you to tax its inhabitants (not too much or they'll riot!), as well as earn glory and cash to upgrade your army and its capabilities. Some islands are even holding your companions hostage, and by freeing them, you'll be able to add them (and thus their unit type) to your army. Though its mechanics are simple, knowing how to configure your army and when to activate their abilities are the difference between great victory and crushing loss... though even if you do lose, just try again, especially since you keep any gold you earned before you were killed. It's a fairly simple concept, though the different unit types and their abilities make it more than just a game of numbers, though it still might not have enough depth if you're looking for a really meaty strategy game to massage your brain. If you want something more casual, however, Frozen Islands might just be your cup of tea. ... do vikings drink tea? Mead?... eh, just drink it out of the skull of an enemy and you'll be fine.
Have you ever been so unhappy that only solving a bunch of point-and-click puzzles and finding 70 tiny monkeys dressed as ninjas would cheer you up? That's the problem in Pencilkids' Monkey GO Happy game, Monkey GO Happy Ninjas, so it's clear you have your work cut out for you if you want to turn this simpering simian's frown upside-down. The cursor will change when it passes over something you can interact with, so just click to move around, pick up items, and (literally) leave no stone unturned, because as is the norm for a Monkey GO Happy game that involves tracking down large numbers of something, those itty-bitty monkeys are everywhere. In addition to finding the little ninjas, most of the people in the area need help of some sort, and there are coded locks to crack. Finding seventy tiny monkeys sounds like an impossible task, but Monkey GO Happy Ninjas likely won't take you very long at all, and it's a lovely game with a ton of areas despite an apparently random mishmash of scenery and imagery, making for a light snack to start your day off right... everyone knows you need the proper amount of monkeys in your entertainment diet, after all!
There's a tornado heading your way in Pine Studios' Catastrophe Escape, but your car has broken down in the middle of nowhere next to a deserted gas station, and if you want to escape the incoming storm, you'll need to scavenge for repair supplies and everything you need for the road. To play, just click to interact... the cursor will change when you mouse over something interactive, and display the name of whatever you're touching at the top of the screen. Items in your inventory can also be combined by clicking on first one object, and then the other. Most of the puzzles you'll encounter revolve around simply figuring out which item to use where, which does take a little creative thinking, and at least one of the item uses could stand a little subtle prompting to clue you in to what the game wants you to do, as opposed to what you might, y'know, rationally do. The ending is a little anticlimactic, and once you figure out what the game wants you to do the whole thing won't take longer than a few minutes, but a great sense of style and atmosphere make this a bite-sized escape worth checking out... though you might want to deal with any oncoming tornadoes first.To Be or Not To Be (Android)
Clash of Clans has been played by more than 100 million people for iOS and Android! Check out our best tips in our top ten "Must Know" for advice on how to keep your resources safe from other players, how to make the most out of an army (for the least cost to you!), the advantages of joining a Clan, and much more! Have a tip YOU think is a "Must-Know"? Share it in the comments below!
It's good to appreciate the little things in life. Like dandelions, or the sound of rain, or the age-old story of spiky-haired young men with swords the size of their own bodies fighting to keep the world free of evil. Lethal RPG: War Begins is a bite-sized bubble of browser-based RPG goodness from EyeSpyda Games, full of all the classic RPG standbys: impossible hairdoes, impossibler weapons, giant rats, evil mushrooms, item crafting, and sidequests, sidequests, sidequests! War Begins is actually just a small snippet... a teaser, if you will... of the full Lethal RPG: War, which is available for Android devices via Google Play, iOS on the App Store, and PC via Desura. But War Begins is more than just a glorified demo. It's a meaty and deep browser RPG in its own right, with plenty of challenge, strategy, and sidequests for your monster-battling pleasure. Did we mention sidequests? Because there's loads of those. Lethal RPG: War Begins thrusts you directly into its world with only a modicum of introduction, which is both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because it's refreshing to see a fairly deep and complex browser-based game that doesn't insist on railroading you through its first fifteen minutes, but on the other hand...
Here we are again: Gathered together by this intangible connection through the interwebs and, although not something we can put a finger on, it's no less real nor is it insubstantial. I think (and forgive me if I'm being too forward but) we have something special between us—you, me, everyone. It's not just like. We don't simply like these escape games. This is a considerably more poetic, personally resonating and meaningful thing. We're not on the fringe of society, either. Escape games got the Hollywood spotlight, albeit with a bit of parody, in a recent episode of The Big Bang Theory. But to explain too much explains away part of the coolness of it, eh? Still, I don't want to march in here without preamble and just toss out a few games and say: "Uh, here. Give them a try." That'd be far too...what. Dismissive. Abrupt. Unappreciative of our unique bond. Right? Right. So, now we're all in symbiotic accord on the matter, let's skip formalities and get on to it: Everybody, here is this week's Weekday Escape...
We've briefly discussed Cornfox & Bros' lovely iOS action adventure Zelda-alike Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas before, but now that it's finally made the leap to PC on Steam, I thought it was time to take a little more in-depth look at it. The game follows you, a young lad in a world taken over by a vast sea, when your father goes missing while hunting the titular legendary monster. You quickly discover, through the influence of a magical pendant (as you do), that only you can stop the evil beast, but to do so you'll need to sail the ocean far and wide, finding magical crests, heart pieces, and more while solving puzzles with bombs and arrows... and pots. Stop me if any of that sounds familiar. But while Oceanhorn undoubtedly borrows very heavily from a lot of classic Zelda mechanics and themes, its beautiful style and breezy casual gameplay makes it a rock-solid addition to any action-adventure fan's library.
Ryan North and Tin Man Games' To Be or Not To Be, also available for iOS and Android, is Shakespeare's iconic "Hamlet" taken to glorious, chaotic extremes. Presented in the form of a Choose Your Own Adventure book, you're given the chance to not only play as someone other than Hamlet (why shouldn't Ophelia and Hamlet's dad get in on the action?), but also to take the story in directions the legendary playwright likely never even conceived. To play, all you need to do, once you've chosen who you want to play as, is just click to advance text and make choices whenever they become available to you, with the choices that follow the original tale marked with a very well known skull. Combining the talents of everyone from Kate Beaton and Anthony Clark and more, including an optional narration from Ryan North himself, To Be or Not To Be has piles of different endings, each stranger than the last, and a fantastic sense of humour and style, though some clunky mechanics mean the road isn't entirely a smooth one.
There's just something about a TomaTea escape game that calls to mind lazing around and being perfectly content with everything around you, and Spring Hotel is no different with its warm colour palette and mellow guitar soundtrack. The hotel room you find yourself trapped in is small but in a comfortably cozy way, albeit with puzzles and coded locks on every conceivable surface, which I hope was disclosed in the amenities list. The tip of your cursor will glow when it passes over something you can interact with, and as usual for TomaTea, if you're faced with a puzzle that has a clue to its solution you haven't seen, you'll be informed that you have no idea how to solve it. Don't forget to examine your items by clicking the tiny "i" icon that appears when you mouse over them! Doing so may let you manipulate them in a way that reveals more secrets.
Yikes! Goblins are amassing an army and attacking Asgard! The war has begun, but we have teleporters that can zap our troops right to the front lines for just a smattering of gold. Too bad the enemies have the Yetis on their side, and every other evil creature under the sun. But with plenty of upgrades and the strongest of gods on our side, surely the kingdom is in good hands. Asgard Attack, by AnnieandMark, is an action defense game where you need to deploy units to save the day. You can choose to summon in warriors, archers, mages, and healers, and direct them where to go with a simple click of a button to stop the fiends from following the path to your kingdom, marked by blue flags. You can select individual units or click and drag a box to gather them all up and send them all over the map. Each unit is upgraded individually, as is their armor, weapons, and special abilities. When all three are maxed out after four upgrades apiece, you can then choose what powerful god to change them into, unlocking more spells and powerups. Create buildings in town to get even more upgrades using stars earned by finishing levels in different modes.
Combat is hungry work. A full day of orc-slaughter can really bring on an appetite, you know? Well, Goody Gameworks' newest title, Sword & Spoon, gives some much needed respect to those unsung heroes of warfare: the cooks. This strategy game has you defending your castle from an encroaching horde of nasties, with able-bodied (and empty-bellied) men at your disposal. In addition to constructing ranged and melee units, you also need to build potato farms and create servants who deliver the delicious tubers to your men when they run out of health and come jogging back into the castle. You can control where your units stand on the battlefield, as well as deploy some cooldown-inducing powers like summoning spearmen or burying the enemy under potatoes (seriously, is there anything potatoes can't do?), but much of the game is spent managing your food production behind the scenes, giving everything a time management feel. Seriously, you can run a war, and you can run a kitchen, but can you do BOTH at the same time?!
There's been a murder! Yes, one of your simple, salt-of-the-earth kinfolk bit the big one last night and it's up to you all to find out who's responsible and bring him to justice. The problem? It could be your friend, or your neighbor, or the milkman, or the local drunk. This is how BlankMediaGames' new indie multiplayer strategy/puzzle title keeps the suspense ramping up. Town of Salem, free in your browser or as a paid indie download via Steam, is an electronic update of the popular "Werewolf/Mafia" party game, featuring cute little pilgrims trying to out-witchhunt each other while keeping their own sorry hides above suspicion. By day you bicker and argue with each other, hurling accusations in the chat box, trying to determine who's been doing the killings and put them on the gallows to stand trial by their peers. By night, you huddle in fear, waiting to see if you're on someone's hit list. Or maybe YOU are the one who's on the prowl, and you need to do some killing of your own. Things are about to get messy in Salem, that's for sure.
If you like your escape games short and sweet, Vitamin Hana's Hana's Room 1 definitely fits the bill, but while it doesn't present a head scratcher, it does present smart, intuitive puzzles wrapped up in a cute and cheery style. The cursor won't change when you pass over something you can interact with, but largely there's no pixel hunting to be had. To examine an item up close, first click it in your inventory to pick it up, then click the "About Item" button while holding it. For the most part, Hana's Room 1 is all about locks and codes, and all of it is logical, if not particularly difficult. Though it's very much a ten minute escape at most, it's an excellent warm-up for any fan, and its colourful style makes it something we hope is just the tip of the iceberg from its creator in the future.
Play Hana's Room 1
So you're an alien. Well, not just one alien. You're three aliens. In a temple. Filled with robots. Let's start over. Flashrush Games' latest title, Transmorpher 3, is an action platform game with just a bit of puzzle smattered on top. You're a green cycloptic blob of adorably moldable alien with a penchant for absorbing the locals and transforming (sorry, transMORPHING) into them at will. Move with the [arrow] or [WASD] keys and press the ]1], , or  keys to turn into two other shapes: that of a round blue orb that can roll and stick to walls, and a big orange bruiser-type who can't jump but can break through barriers and push blocks. Together the three of you (er, one of you?) must travel into the depths of this inexplicably tech-savvy ancient temple, dodging lasers and robot guards and solving door puzzles along the way. It makes sense when you're doing it. Trust us.
There probably aren't a lot of video game characters who deserve a vacation more than Emily, the non-stop restaurant managing dynamo of Gamehouse's beloved Delicious series of time management games. She and her new husband were expecting a low key honeymoon before her brother-in-law turned up with his newly acquired cruise ship and offered them the trip of a lifetime. But with Emily's entire family and circle of friends on board and her best friend forever Francois in charge of serving the ship's customers, will Emily really get a chance to relax? Delicious: Emily's Honeymoon Cruise is yet another gorgeous, funny, smart and lovingly polished gem that will delight fans and woo newcomers.
If you enjoy word puzzles and appreciate a good, clean design, then BorderLeap's Alpha Omega for iOS is coquettishly fluttering its eyelashes in your direction. It's a simple but oh so stylish spin on a crossword puzzle, where the goal is to swap tiles horizontally and vertically to unscramble the words in each level. Often the first and last letters of each word are already locked in place, but you'll need to suss out where the rest of them go, and remember that letters at crosspoints can be swapped horizontally or vertically. Rather than having clues for individual words, all of them are themed around a certain concept, like "the farm" or "cooking", with a few gameplay twists tossed in to spice things up. The first is that each letter can only be swapped once per level, and the second is that eventually even the level's theme will be obscured, filling in while you play, while later the game will even begin introducing spaces within certain words. If you're stuck, the game comes with a few hints, which will randomly swap two letters to their correct position, but unfortunately after you've spent the ones you're given, the only way to get more are through optional in-app purchases.
no1game's Find the Escape-Men Part 143: First Pitch is arguably more of a straight-up point-and-click puzzle game than it is an escape game, taking place at a ball game where the pitcher, one of the series' iconic Escape-Men, disappears, prompting you to go look for him. As usual, you'll also need to find ten of the little green men, too! Click everything and everywhere to explore and hunt for items... some objects may be hidden in places that don't give any indication you should click on them. Also remember that you can combine items (or use one on another) by examining the first one with the question mark below its icon, then clicking the item you want to use once to highlight it, and then again on the object you're checking out up close. Most of the puzzles here are fairly logical, with the biggest difficulty being finding all those unindicated interactive zones or area transitions no1game seems so fond of. Still, there are a few genuinely sneaky and clever ways of implementing codes, and the game's sense of humour makes Find the Escape-Men Part 143: First Pitch a welcome little diversion no matter what your favourite sport it.
If you know zillix's games at all, then the surreality of odd little puzzle game juxtapose isn't going to come as much of a surprise. In it, you control travelers stuck on opposite sides of a mirror world with only a few strange devices to interact with. The [arrow] keys moves you around the small area, while the [spacebar] interacts with things, and holding the down [arrow] will cause whatever character you're controlling to rest and the world to rotate back to the other. Doing so causes the world to change subtly depending on the things you have or haven't done, and to uncover all of the game's thirteen endings you'll need to do some serious creative thinking, especially since the game's narrative and setting are more than a little disorienting. What if I... what if I put this thing... on that thing? And then do the thing to the... hmmmmm.
OhNoo Studio's new indie point-and-click adventure game brings us a look into a dark unsettling world. With the art inspired by H.R. Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński, you know you're in for an unsettling ride. Tormentum: Dark Sorrow is a tale of a nameless hero trying to find redemption for a past he cannot remember. All he knows is the cage that is transporting him to the halls of torture and a faint dream of a female statue in between hands reaching towards the sky. Our hero must escape his prison and find this statue that haunts him so. Along the way there are puzzles to be solved, items to be gathered, and major moral decisions to make. Plus plenty of creepy people desiring you to solve their problems. He was told that his soul was filled with evil, will he clear his conscious or prove them right?
At first glance Dig a Way, a frantic puzzle game by Digi Ten for your iOS device, looks like it stepped out of an old Saturday morning cartoon, with it's cute mustachioed man with his helpful and loyal mustachioed dog. But things get real when you realized those adorable fluffy pink bunnies are actually foaming at the mouth and will pounce on you without hesitation. But treasure awaits, and with it, danger. Your goal is to collect gold and treasure chests from the caves. Once you choose your level, three arrows will appear near the bottom of the screen. Tap once on an arrow to move or dig in the direction you desire. Press and hold an arrow to continuously move in that direction, and double tap the left or right arrow to dash, which allows you to hop over a single tile sized hole. Tap, hold, then drag to scroll up ordown so you can plan your next move. You can dig any brown dirt tile, and keep in mind you can always go down, but there's no way back up. There are four maps, the first of which is free, with the option to purchase the rest for a very reasonable price.
In Rotten Mage's arcade tower-defense-bolstered shooter Spacejacked: Endless Mode, it's just you, your weapon, and whatever turrets you can build against the enemy aliens swarming your ship. You'll need to teleport from one area of the ship to another, making sure the defenses you craft from metal resources are holding off the aliens after vulnerable cores, and getting your hands dirty with your own weapon if need be. Use [WASD] (or one of the other control schemes) to move and invert gravity in lieu of jumping, while [K] interacts with things and [J] fires in the direction you're facing. You can only fire so much before your weapon needs to recharge, so blast in short bursts to make sure you're not caught without ammunition. Turrets automatically attack anything within range, and different turrets have different strengths and abilities, so keep that in mind when you're building or upgrading them. If any of the rooms has their core destroyed, it's game over, so it's up to you to last as long as you can! Spacejacked: Endless Mode is a sort of demo/prototype for a planned larger project, and what's there is pretty intriguing, blending tower-defense elements with the chaos of an arena shooter and gravity-swapping to boot. The controls might take a bit of getting used to until your muscle memory kicks in, and the gradual ramping up of difficulty will keep you on your toes. With its appealing retro style and fast-paced gameplay, Spacejacked has a lot of promise and potential, so make sure you check out its development blog and vote for it on Steam Greenlight if you want to see more!
S. Woodson's Magical Makeover is a short Twine text adventure about getting ready for a very fancy ball, where only the beautiful may attend... which is a bit of a problem for you, at least so you believe. With the help of a condescending magical mirror, you'll need to use the oddball assortment of cosmetics you have on hand to address each of your "problems" as the mirror points them out. Just click the dark bolded pink text to choose whichever you'd like, but beware... different combinations of items net vastly different results, and set you on unique paths once you leave home. Largely, all of the interaction in Magical Makeover takes place at the beginning, with the rest of the game unfolding as a story that follows whatever paths you triggered during your bathroom rituals. It was made as a sort of response to the "Girl Games" eating up so many portals these days... you know the ones, where you have to "fix" the ugly, dirty characters by cleaning them up for dates, school, and so forth, but here takes the basic concept and spins it into adventure. Very well written adventure at that, with wonderful bits of humour, strange creatures, and magic and even just the right amount of introspection to make for cozy reading. With seven very unique routes/endings to uncover, your night at the ball is likely to turn out far stranger than you could ever have imagined.
Let's face it: we just don't know why groups of archetypal anime-style characters keep deciding to get together for vacations at locations cut-off from the surrounding world, or, at least, why they always seem so friggin' shocked when someone ends up dead. If you ever show up at like, a secluded mountain cabin, and the first people you meet are a clumsy maid and the gregarious dad of a disaffected slacker, I would probably just hop back on your Ski-Doo. That having been said, even if The Misadventures of Detective Butler, a free indie mystery visual novel by Goldbar Games, sticks pretty close to the model perfected by Ryukishi07, it's still quite entertaining. In 1962, a popular cruise ship shuts down after the accidental deaths of two of its passengers. Now, a half-century later, the CEO of a wealthy company has purchased tickets for his closest employees and son Gilligan to sail on the first cruise of the relaunched and remodeled relaunched ship.. On board, Gilligan happens to meet the mysterious Detective Butler and, when the two of them delve deeper into the ship's history, another incident occurs. Will our sleuths crack the case of the Maiden Voyage Murder? And more importantly can you crack it before they do?
What ho, noble readers, it's time for another installment of your favourite grab-bag of random escape games and mine, Weekday Escape! I was, uh. Kind of tapped to write this thing at the last moment, so I'm not really sure what to say. Getting my head in a proper "escape game" mindset takes work, you know? But it's cool. I've got on my Scorpius sh