We casual gamers tend to have a very close relationship with our mouse. Not only is it our only means of using our computers until we can all surf with elaborate gestures while wearing sunglasses and trenchcoats like we're in the Matrix, but it's also all you need to play a point-and-click game, which is arguably one of the most popular style of games around. Whether you're simply solving puzzles or going on an adventure, your mouse has got your back, and on this week's Vault it'll be your trusty steed through three very different point-and-click titles.
- Bars of Black and White - Gregory Weir has a reputation for being inventive, and this stark and somewhat unsettling little escape is one of the best examples. You find yourself in your apartment, though unable to really remember the last time you went outside, and when you discover an unusual device, you realise there might be something bigger going on than your own homebound boredom. Bars of Black and White plays on your emotions, evoking subtle paranoia more than actual fear, and the simple presentation works with the slowly unraveling story rather than against it as you search your apartment for clues and a way out. It's not difficult, but like all of Weir's work, it's well worth experiencing if you want to think a little about your life and what it means to you.
- Gretel and Hansel - Sometimes, when classic fairytales go wrong, it can be so very very right... presuming you're already a little twisted, that is. In Mako Pudding's reimagining of the classic tale, the star of the story is Gretel, who overhears her wicked stepmother's plans one evening and has to find a way to escape to safety with her dimwitted brother Hansel. As part of a planned trilogy, with chapter two now available, Gretel and Hansel is definitely a little out there and rife with black humour, gorgeous style, grim situations, and the sort of surreal, creepy stuff that makes old fairytales a little more freaky than their modern counterparts.
- The Great Kitchen Escape - Usually escape games are content to just lock you in a room with a few obscure puzzles and items and be done with it, but Pastel Games took things a step further by trapping you inside an entire house across a series of games that are each stranger than the last. As the first in the Great Escape series, you need to find a way out of the kitchen by hunting down clues and objects of use, which would be a lot easier if the place didn't seem like it was designed by a Saturday morning cartoon character. Played on its own, The Great Kitchen Escape is short and not particularly difficult, but chained together with the rest of the rooms it remains a vibrant, weird, and wonderful escape from your own 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!