Gas Games has been around a while now, and I often get requests and suggestions to review one or more of their games. Unfortunately, there exists material on the site that may not be appropriate for all age groups, which is why I have avoided posting anything from there up to now. Consider yourself warned.
As far as casual game design is concerned, I find much to celebrate about Gas Games. Most of the games on the site have been created with a consistent appearance and style, they are easy to pick-up and play, and many of them feature gameplay that is unique and addictive. A few of my favorites are Fulfillment, Gravity, and Centrifuge.
Fulfillment is a puzzle game against the clock. Use the mouse to drag and drop each puzzle piece into place.
Arrange all of the blocks together to form a square for each increasingly more difficult level. No turning or flipping of the blocks is required or permitted, just fit all of the pieces together within the time limit to continue. A time bonus is awarded based on how long it took you to complete a puzzle, and added to your total score. Click.
Gravity is a puzzle game with a strategic element. The object is to position an atom with the mouse so that it will remain in play without colliding with any of the 'planets' for the time period prescribed.
Click the mouse to fire the atom. As the atom moves, gravitational fields created by the various planets will affect the path of the atom, as well as the planets themselves. The game is delightful to watch and simple to pick-up and play. Click.
Centrifuge is a one-button action arcade game in which the object is to survive as long as possible. Use the mouse button to fire projectiles, from the spinning centrifuge, at power-ups and approaching enemies. Projectiles move in a straight line out from the center, timing becomes critical for aiming your shots. Excellent fun, though frustrating and highly addictive. Click.
Analysis: There are many creative ideas in casual game design expressed in the offerings at Gas Games. The consistency in the look and feel of each game provides a comfortable environment within which to play and to explore. Random level design ensures that each game is fresh and offers a new challenge.
Gas Games offers a unique take on casual games as illustrated by its creativity in game design and aesthetics. Although registration is not required to play any of the games on the site, registering allows you to compete for high scores that are saved for each game. Not all games are gems, and yet there are many that are worthy of spending what little time you have over a lunch hour break.