With Flash being the big, dreamy muscular beefcake of choice for most developers these days, it's easy to forget that there was a time when it was just another whippersnapper trying to get by. The internet once belonged to Shockwave, and this week's installment of the Vault looks back at some of our favourite Shockwave games of the past.
- Gel Gel Panic - Sometimes it doesn't take a lot of flashy gimmicks and innovation to make a game fabulously addictive, and this Japanese arcade action game proves that a panda with a laser gun is all you really need. (Take that, The Beatles!) Click and fire to help repel a goopy alien invasion and try to hold off the swarm as long as you can so that your score climbs higher and higher. Combining cute visuals and perfectly matched, snappy sounds and music, despite its relative simplicity Gel Gel Panic manages to effortlessly recreate the "just one more quarter" experience you'd expect to find in an arcade somewhere, right in your browser where it's expertly poised to toy deviously with your productivity.
- The Machine - Part puzzle, part interactive art, Tilman's game from 2005 is all unique. In a nutshell, there's something wrong with a computer of sorts, and you're the one who has to fix it... even if figuring out how to do so involves a bit of trial and error. Each stage of this surprisingly eerie little game offers no instructions, so it's up to you to experiment and figure out both the rules and requirements. It's short, and the actual workings are probably about as far from actually repairing a computer as you can get, but it's stylish, weird, and oh-so-satisfying... especially for those of us who have always shunned instruction manuals (even when we shouldn't) anyway.
- Og Og Alive - Pressures of modern life got you down? Then take a stroll back in time to the stoneage with this point-and-click puzzle adventure starring the boy or girl Og Og of your choice. On each of the three stages, you're given an objective, and then simply left to guide your goggle-eyed neanderthal to victory by... well, probably a lot of experimentation. The cartoonish style and sound-effects are great, and players who don't mind a lack of direction will find a lot to enjoy as they rise to the occasion to become cavemen MacGuyvers and try to cobble together solutions out of what they find laying around. That's right; real caveheroes don't need no changing cursors!
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!