The Vault №134


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The Vault

TrickyGet ready to be metagrobolized, lovers of ludo, by this week's collection of confounding complexities from the JayIsGames archives. That's right, in this installment, puzzles take the forefront, as The Vault features quality works from casual gaming past. Certainly it's a wide-open genre, but whether you like your puzzles with a side of strategy, adventure, or luck, the subsequent selection is sure to satisfy.

  • MagnetismMagnetism - It's always interesting to see where popular authors got their start, and doubly so if they secretly knocked it out of the park the first time. Tyler Glaeil may be best known these days for his work on Closure and Aether, but as a 14-year old he made his debut with 2005's Magnetism, an excellent ball-dropping blend of physics and strategy. Though a little rough around the edges graphically, Magnetism spotlights both Glaeil's talent for conceptualizing intriguing gaming ideas, and his skill at implementing them in his programming. It may have been a long road from "High-Difficulty Ball Bearing/Magnet Simulator" to "Experimental Metaphysical Shadowy Exploration Platformer", but clearly, the ride got off to a good start.
  • Industrial Place ThingyIndustrial Place Thingy - I tell ya, I'm just about always in the mood for a helping-a-hapless-stickdude-make-his-way-across-an--obstacle-filled-screen-by-clicking-the-various-objects-in-his-environment kinda game, and 2005's Industrial Place Thingy by James Trofe is a perfect way to satisfying that craving. Certainly, the debt it owes to the Hapland series is huge, but Industrial Place Thingy holds it own with clever puzzle design and a deliciously dark streak in its physical humor. Be sure to check out its sadly-incompete sequel too!
  • ReelzReeelz - Oh, slot machines! The flashing lights! The clanging sounds! The thrill of finally getting a "Nothing But Calories" or "Lunar Outpost" bonus combo! Okay, that last one is only a factor in Reeelz, released in 2010 by Game In A Bottle. Reeelz's gambling veneer hides a work of surprising strategic depth, as you nudge and lock the seven wheels to achieve the specific sets of icons needed to clear the board. As addictive as a real one-armed bandit, but with no cupfull of quarters required, Reeelz will win you over with its elegant simplicity. Jackpot!

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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Crossy Road> Dora Endless arcade action meets classic Frogger style gameplay in this free iOS game where you control a series of hapless unlockable creatures trying to cross some very busy and very deadly roads and rapids. With a sense of humor and vibrant voxel graphics, it's both charming and hard to put down.  ...
Find the Escape-Men Part 126: The Special Property> Dora The apartment in this escape game's rent is suspiciously low, and there's a weird smell here too... so it's probably not a good sign your realtor has locked you inside! Experience a whole lot of weirdness (and a jump scare or two) in this very silly game from no1game.  ...
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Natural Selection 2> Johnny123 Your cute little spider-ball is hungry. Use the mouse to shoot strands of webbing to pull him around each level, catching and ensaring flies and avoiding the angry bees that chase you through each level.  ...
9,937 Views
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This War of Mine> Dora In this compelling and grim indie simulation, you control a group of survivors struggling to get by day to day in an increasingly dangerous city that's turned into a war zone. As the days pass, you're forced to push the limits of what you're comfortable with in order to survive, and rather than glorifying war for heroics, This War of Mine humanizes it for its people.  ...

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