The Vault №68


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The Vault

DoraWhat's red and blue and green and covered with bugs? This week's installment of the Vault! But don't do the "Squicky Bugs Ew" dance just yet. We're looking back at some of our favourite colourful (and in one case musical!) games that have kept us addicted for years. They all take simple concepts and find creative ways to make them seem fresh and brilliant. Also, in my case, it helps detract from the little twinge my heart gives whenever your American spelling software makes red wavy lines appear under "favourite" and "colourful". Are you there, Canada? It's me, Dora.

  • Magic PenMagic Pen - Remember Harold and the Purple Crayon? No? Well, you don't need to be to enjoy Alejandro Guillen's creative physics puzzler that introduced a slew of gamers to the magic properties of doodling a la Crayon Physics. It's a colourful little game that has you draw shapes that help you find solutions to the problem at hand, and once you get over the immature novelty of drawing obscene things and giggling like a three year old, you'll find it's actually a very competent little puzzle indeed, with a whimsical charm that still captivates today.
  • GemCraftGemCraft - Who would have thought Game in a Bottle would catch lightning in a bottle with their addictive, clever spin on the tower defense genre? Place towers and then create and combine colourful gems to unlock a variety of effects against the incoming swarm of nasty bugs. Combine that with the ability to level up and earn different skills to aid in your GemCraftery, and you have a recipe for addictive success that has been ensnaring defense fans for years, all the way up to 2011. It's a winning formula that can turn "just one more stage" into "just one more hour" if you aren't careful.
  • Music BounceMusic Bounce - Rowland Rose's surprisingly creative musical puzzle is a personal favourite, combining a simple concept with an absolutely delightful reward. Your goal is to destroy all the bricks in each level by setting a certain amount of projectiles to fire in different places, at different times, each of which comes with a tone that is part of the stage's melody. The simple presentation and concept may not seem like much, but make for a remarkably entrancing experience, and it's hard not to feel like you deserve a pat on the back when you get everything firing off properly and are rewarded with a little snippet of sound.

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!

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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.  ...
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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.  ...
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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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