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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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Primary Max> Lori.h Play around in Max's clone lab and test out his new machine by solving puzzles. Use your clones as stepping stools and button pushers but make sure they get back, as you find your exit, to prevent a time paradox.  ...
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Manor Memoirs> starchild Scarlett has just moved into an old, decrepit manor, looking for inspiration for her new book. But who can write in a house that's falling apart? That's where you come in. As a seasoned interior decorator/garage sale organiser, you will do your best to raise money to renovate the old place. Manor Memoirs is a wonderfully sweet hidden-object/time management hybrid that's guaranteed to make you smile.  ...
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History Museum Escape> Dora Trapped overnight in the history museum, if you want to escape you'll need to solve puzzles and craft some pretty darned clever tools in this short but sweet game also available free for iOS and Android.  ...
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Letter Monsters> JoelyBean Building off the success of games like Triple Town, Threes!, and 2048, Letter Monsters puts a cute (and fuzzy) new face on combine-three grid games. Re-learn your A-B-C's across over sixty levels of strategic sliding, and use eight unique boosters to help yourself out on iOS, Android, and in your browser!  ...

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