Feeling a little down? People trampling on your serenity? Don't really think you're cool, much less 20% more? Well, that won't do at all, and that's why this week's edition of the Vault is all about games to make you feel awesome! What better way to get your mojo working than to master arcane forces, ride sea mammals in an irresponsible fashion, or completely decimate all your enemies? So check out these titles, get all pumped up, and then go out there and... uh... I dunno... conquer a small country or wrestle a bear or learn to walk in high heels or something!
- Final Ninja - Nitrome's action platformer took home top prize for 2008 four years ago and it's easy to see why. After all, when you take the developer's signature stunning pixel style and mix it with a suitably epic story and fast-paced action, how can you possibly be anything less than rad? While mastering the controls to be super effective takes a little practice, once you get into it Final Ninja's zippy, snappy gameplay through a rich neon Neo-Tokyo-esque environment is a wonder to behold and is guaranteed to make you come out of it feeling like you could flip-kick Chuck Norris in the face. (Oh God, please don't tell him I said that. Only Kenny Loggins can save me now.)
- Cat on a Dolphin - If you live near Sea World, as I do, you quickly get bored of dolphins. They're old news. So they can somersault out of the water backwards with a person on their nose. Big deal. But then D_of_I swoops down from the rafters in a dashing ensemble to show you just how amazing dolphins can be when you add cats and physics, and suddenly they're magical all over again. Your goal in this tricky but endlessly entertaining little game is to, as a dolphin, take the cat riding you to where he wants to go without drowning him or dropping him into the endless blue sea which is... harder than it sounds. It's a very simple little game, and yet the goofy premise combined with the breezy, physics gameplay makes it something that's more than a little special.
- The Alchemist's Apprentice - If you enjoyed Doodle God or its sequel, then Lars Andreas Doucet's 2006 puzzle game is definitely something you'll want to spend a little time with. You've got a cauldron, a whole bunch of ingredients, and a big tome jam-packed with all sorts of elements, items, animals, and more you can create... if you can figure out how to do so. The Alchemist's Apprentice draws a lot of its appeal from its charming style and sense of humour, while the mystical tome you need to consult with makes the game feel much more like a straight-up puzzle and less like a ton of random guesswork. It was created for the very first Casual Gameplay Design Competition and is still a lot of fun to this day.
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!