The theme of The Vault this week is replay. There are so many games here at Jay is Games that we often get caught up in playing the latest, greatest, newest game. But some games get their own special place in our bookmarks or game folder and have us coming back to play again and again, year after year. Okay, well... maybe the theme should be obsession... ?
- Hanafuda from Taro Ito's GameDesign, is an online version of the lovely Japanese card game. The deck consists of 12 suits representing the months of the year, with 4 cards in each suit. By capturing sets of cards and special combinations, you try for the highest score and strategize how to prevent your opponent from capturing their sets. Click on your cards on the bottom row to match with the cards in the center. If you win, you have the option to call "Koi Koi" to continue the game and try for more points. The game has been updated since we first reviewed it with an English version! Hanafuda is the ultimate replay game, a relaxing game with just enough strategy to keep you coming back over and over.
- Flip Out! is a reflex game that's simple and addictive. The most impressive thing about this game is that it was made in just five days by Kyle Gray as part of Carnegie Mellon's Experimental Gameplay Project. Move your mouse over the white tiles to flip each one so it disappears within the time limit. On later levels the tiles not only get smaller, but some of them take multiple flips to disappear, and there are other obstacles to keep things interesting. Using your reflexes can be a little stressful, but in a get-your-mind-off-actual-stress kind of way. It's a great game to revisit every so often to see how your speedy eye-hand coordination is doing.
- Puzzle Pirates created by 3 Rings Design, is a massively multiplayer game where various piratey activities are represented by puzzles! It can be played online with Java or downloaded. The games revolve around Skills o' Piracy like sailing, Crafting puzzles like blacksmithing, and Carousing challenges like sword fighting. You can also play several card games including Spades and Poker. The mechanics range from the familiar match-3 type games, to some unique puzzles that have fantastic replay value. The more pirate booty you pillage, the more you can customize your avatar and living quarters, own ships, shops and maybe even an Island. You have flexibility in your involvement level or social interactions. You can join a crew or go it alone. Puzzle Pirates is great fun... and did we mention there's poker?
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!