The Vault №39

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The Vault

TrickyI read the mysterious scrap of paper my contact has just put in my hand... "MHCFRYM AV RGU VTW GHIYN!"... Let's see, if I rot13 that, I get "ZUPSELZ NI ETH IGJ TUVLA!". Unscramble and... "PUZZLES IN THE JIG VAULT!" And what type of puzzles do we have this week? Action starring a Lego-Robo, adventure with a cast of steady Teddies at the ready, and a styling tiling board game remix.

  • JunkbotJunkbot - Usually character design doesn't mean that much to me, but I absolutely love Junkbot. He's a a stomping, clomping, banging, clanging piece of metal, and he sounds genuinely happy whenever you've placed Legos to successfully guide him to his wastepaper reward. A Shockwave creation from gameLab, Junkbot is the epitome of what an action-puzzler should have: engaging visuals, consistent rules used to make clever challenges, new elements introduced at a proper pace, and a learning curve that's not too steep. Shockwave can be a bit wonky on modern machines, and you'll need to be signed in with a Lego Club Account to save your progress, but that's a small price to pay for the over 100 levels there are to complete in the two games. Now, if only there were a Junkbot kit for Mindstorms...
  • WarbearsWarbears - .Warbears. HUH! What are they good for? Well, for one, starring in Ioji's excellent puzzle-adventure series. Join Ryoh, Steve, Kla, and Lucas as they take on groundhog bank robbers, their intensive training sessions, subterfuge on the high seas, and Christmas shopping. You'll have to plan your point-and-click context-sensitive actions carefully and with proper timing if you want to please Da Commander and complete the mission. The make-a-mistake-then-restart difficulty is balanced by the adorable animations and gentle humor that are the hallmarks of the series... failure doesn't seem so bad when it's so fun to watch. There's something very chill about the experience that almost makes it the casual gaming equivalent of comfort food. We haven't seen a new installment since 2007, but the four missions and various spin-offs are as enjoyable as ever.
  • SlidonSlidon - For our final gem this week, we head to the east for a board game puzzle developed by Yoshio Ishii of Nekogames. Those who only know Ishii from his excellent work on the Hoshi Saga or Cursor10 series, should really take a look through the archives. This is a developer takes the most basic concepts and spin them in ways equally innovative and fun. Case in point: Slidon. Now, sliding puzzles often frustrate me and Mahjong confuses me, but Ishii has combined those concepts into a game I love. Gameplay is as simple as pushing matching tiles together on a slippery board to make them disappear, the ultimate goal being to clear them all. However the simple idea is executed superbly, to the extent that Slidon feels like it should be an adaptation of an ancient game, rather something cooked up in 2007... appropriate considering how Mahjong itself is only a late 19th century invention. Slidon, my wayward son!

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!


Warbears!! Ah, those games used to get so frustrating! Still, it's a shame they stopped making new ones. The Christmas Warbears was hilarious :P

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Warbears used to be my favorite flash game, but mission 4 is taking forever :(
Will it come out this year?

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C.M.O.T. Dibbler April 19, 2011 5:02 PM

Jjjunnkkkbbboottt... give me Junkbot...
And Warbears! Thank you for bringing back such classics!

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I remember playing Junkbot as a little child... I used to play a lot of Lego online games - I think they're worse now, though.
I'm going to play it again now.

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On the Edge of Earth: 5000> Tricky On the Edge of Earth: 5000 is a sci-fi adventure game by Roope Tamminen, originally developed for the Ludum Dare 48 game jam under the theme of "Connected Worlds". In it, you play as an astronaut attempting to terraform a world, using a whole bunch of sciencey stuff he doesn't quite remember how to use. While enjoyment will on the player's tolerance for tinkering, On the Edge of Earth: 5000 is a charming experience that rewards experimentation.  ...
Hero and Daughter> Dora Tongue firmly planted in cheek and, um, assets spilling out all over the place, this dungeoncrawling RPG translated by vgperson and created by Tachi follows Ralph, a hero busted back down to level one, as he summons powerful female companions to help defeat the Dark Lord.  ...
Aries Escape: Episode No.14> elle While browsing a new display at the fine arts museum one day, you wind up trapped inside a strange exhibition. The artwork here is quite puzzling—literally. To escape these rooms, to even find the door, you need to collect clues and useful items, then use them to solve a series of puzzles.  ...
Button Escape 24> Dora There are eleven buttons you need to find and click in order to escape from this challenge by Tototo Room, but first you need to get in touch with nature to solve the puzzles in your way...  ...

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