The Vault №161


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The Vault

TrickyHey guys. I know that most of you are out remembering, remembering the fifth of November...ing, but that doesn't mean that you can forget your weekly trip to the JiG archives. We've got puzzle, adventure, and simulation games in this edition of The Vault, and I see no reason why they should ever be forgot.

  • ReMazeReMaze - Recent months have seen a nice resurgence of sokoban and sliding block puzzle games, so it seemed like a good time to feature this fun puzzler from the 3rd Casual Gaming Design Competition. 2007's ReMaze, by Felix Reidl, got an honorable mention in a strong field, and even now is one of the highest rated CGDC entries. It's a simple game of moving blocks into place on multiple screens, but its utterly addictive, especially once those evil red squares make an appearance. Play it, and prepare to be ReMazed!
  • Host Master and the Conquest of HumorHost Master and the Conquest of Humor - Double Fine's Host Master and the Conquest of Humor is many things: an inspired goof on the Lucas Arts brand of point-and-click adventures, an elegantly constructed example of how one-room games need not be bound to the escape genre, and a total dad-joke-a-thon. While a general knowledge of the state of gaming circa 2009 might help you get a few of the more esoteric shout-outs, but let's face it: any game with both a "turn on" command, and a developer willing to throw in a snarky response for each and every item in the game... well that kind of comedy is universal.
  • OiligarchyOiligarchy - Today is not all about gunpowder treason, of course. It's the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and that means it's Election Day in the US. Of course, being a non-even year, it's mainly going to be selectmen and school levies up for judgment, but I'll take any excuse to share a good ol' fashioned propagandic political game to really get the blood boiling. Oiligarchy, a 2008 simulation from Paolo Pedercini and la Molleindustria will definitely do that. Oiligarchy's message about the manipulation and intrigue in the world petroleum markets may be delivered with the subtlety of a sledgehammer, but the chance to play as the gaming equivalent of a Captain Planet villain is too fun an opportunity to pass up, even as you turn mother earth into a desiccated husk. Let's see Lemonade Stand let you do that!

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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Monsters &amp; Medicine> Satori Get the door, because it's a throng of monsters demanding your... medical treatment? Build your hospital while bringing life to the dying in this adorable turn-based strategy game from Clockwork Acorn that's good for what ails ya.  ...
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March> Dora Everyone needs money, fast cars, good grades... but what might you miss if you only focus on what you have in front of you? This short but sweet interactive art piece follows one man through his life and asks the same question.  ...
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Alexandria Escape> Johnny123 This escape game plops you into ancient Alexandria and has you muddle your way out. Bookshelves, statues, steam machines, and weapons all factor in to your daring point and click adventure.  ...
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Notebook Wars Saga> Tricky It's the famed shooter series that transforms "shock and awe!" into "shock and draw!" Francisco Ferreres' Notebook Wars returns with the first Unity installment of the series: Notebook Wars Saga. The transition to a new engine means losing a lot of the features fans of the series have grown used to, but those looking for a stripped-down throwback or fun on a mobile screen should enjoy this new iteration of shooty fun.  ...

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