Life as a little green blob should be simple, shouldn't it? You're as cute as all get up, reside in the most charming cartoon world of colors and spunkiness, and have not a care in the world. Such laid back peace and quiet is nice and all, but rather boring, don't ya think? You just couldn't blame a little green blob like Filo if he started thinking existential thoughts and perhaps, along the way, tempting into being a malevolent force out the destroy the world. Filo's call to adventure wouldn't be the first to begin in this way. Yet little Filo isn't alone in his hero's quest; he has his ME and there's a lot of them. So Many Me, in fact, that Filo is well-equipped for any problem life throws in his path. And in this action-filled puzzle-solving platform adventure by Extend Studio, there are as many obstacles thrown in Filo's path as there are ways to circumvent them. Enemy fire, foes, spikes, unreachable heights and locked doors, to name a few, might at first appear insurmountable. But as Filo travels onward through his whimsical universe, you help him acquire new abilities to reach his goal in a creative twist on lemmings-style resource management. Available for both Windows and Mac on Steam, So Many Me is instantly engaging and filled to the core with enough content to absorb you for hours on end.
Realism is the name of the game in C&C Game Studio's new strategy game, Command & Control. The game blends tower defense mechanics with more free-form strategic planning in a way few browser games can match. Rather than simply marching single file down a corridor of death into the range of your artillery, the enemies will attack from multiple angles in increasing strength and speed. Tanks, trucks, and basic grunts will come parading down the dusty streets of these real-world warzones with nothing but you to stop them. Place riflemen and rocket launchers on the rooftops and be ready to call upon the chopper and bomber for some gloriously rendered retribution. It's modern warfare with a bird's eye view, always tense and thrilling.
What's a demon to do when the end of the shift is nearing and they haven't yet met their daily quota of stolen human souls? Fruit just isn't the temptation it used to be, and going down to Georgia is way too risky. Oh, and there happens to be a dangerous human wizard on the loose who wants to make your life He... erm... Heaven. But one small demon, specifically the one starring in Olip's Inner Demon: Soul Trader, is ready to become the villain Pandemonium deserves by possessing as many people as people as possible. In puzzle game fashion, no less. Mwahahaha. In fact, he's not merely content to tackle one type of puzzle; his delightfully dark adventure will see him both skidding around the room in a sliding block fashion when he's his demony self, and pushing objects in a more controlled, Sokoban-like manner when he's possessing some poor slob. Just use the [arrow] keys to make him zip along the floor until he hits something; preferably a tasty human. Once you've captured a terrified victim, you can walk them back to your portal to Hell in a more controlled fashion... if you don't need them to gather gems, push buttons, and break floors for you first. You'll have to combine you speedy sliding skills and your human-manipulating prowess to reach that wizard king and make things safe for demonkind! It's a simple idea, and it's the kind that works so nicely (or evilly) you have to wonder what took the world so long.
You wake to find yourself in a strange place. This bed is not your own; you've never even seen this house before. The small room is empty save for an old computer, desk and bookshelf. Warm light filters in through a foggy window, bathing everything in a pinkish hue. The clean hardwood floor is partly covered by a soft looking purple carpet. This place is beautiful, but unsettling. And this is the first view you'll have of the breathtaking world of Oneshot. Made for the 2014 Indie Game Maker contest and downloadable free for PC, Mac and Linux, Oneshot is a puzzle-based adventure which plays only in windowed mode, and yes, there is a reason for that. No, it's not a room escape, though the game's first few minutes would certainly have you believe so. It's not a horror game, but it is certainly atmospheric and has a few untraditionally "creepy" moments. The game's co-developers, Mathew Velasquez and Casey Gu, describe the experience as a mission to "guide a lost child through a strange world, utilizing items, characters, and the environment to progress." That could describe most any adventure game. With such an intentionally vague description, it is difficult for any player to have any idea what this game is really about—and that's the point. This is a game about exploration and mystery, the kind of experience you're meant to have with as little prior knowledge as possible. Don't even read any comments before you start, or it will be spoiled for you. All the information you need is the controls: move your character with the [arrow] keys, perform actions and use items with [Z] or [spacebar], and use [X] to open the menu. Now go play it. Oh, one last thing: put some time aside, because once you begin, you can't stop playing it for at least a little while. Luckily, this reviewer's hardware is sturdy enough that I was able to see everything through to the end, but other players have told horror stories of computers shutting off mid-game and losing everything. There are three moments throughout the game where you can save and quit safely, and you'll know them when you find them, but that's it.
In Mad Head Games' hidden-object adventure Nevertales: Shattered Image, you and your husband, Pierre, have your hands full with your daughter Alice. Only instead of normal pre-teen annoyances like pirating music or putting the milk back in the fridge empty, she's been opening portals to other worlds even though you expressly told her not to. See, although you and Pierre share the same ability, Alice can open these portals using mirrors alone, and though you've warned her these places she opens doors to aren't always safe, your worst fears come to pass when you find her in a coma on the floor next to a broken mirror. The night she finally awakes, however, a strange creature hauls her off through yet another mirror, and to bring her safely home, you'll need to discover the root behind the mysterious power your family can wield, and put a stop to an ancient evil, because it isn't a hidden-object adventure if there's no ancient evil threatening something. I think that's the number one sign you might one day become a protagonist in a casual game is if your day-to-day life involves a lot of stories and warnings about ancient evils. Search for clues, solve puzzles and hidden-object scenes, and travel to worlds beyond your own in a way that the nerdiest of us always knew was possible. Butterfly in the skyyyyyyy....
Playing DrawManEater's point-and-click adventure Nekra Psaria is weird, mostly because Nekra Psaria is really weird. And surreal. And sort of disturbing. It calls itself an escape game, though that might be only in the loosest sense. See, you're watching television when your generator quits on you, and you need to find fuel for it. You know this because your generator is an enormous talking head. It is at this point you might find yourself channeling Mabel Pines as you nervously chuckle to yourself, "What is haaaaappening here?", but you'll have to press on and explore one seriously strange city in order to win. To play, all you need to do is click on zones that highlight to show you can interact with them. If you need to use an item from your inventory, just click it at the top of the screen, and it'll automatically be used if you're in the correct location. In some cases you can find notes scattered around to help you figure out what to do, or a character might tell you what they want, but largely you're left to explore on your own. Search every scene and every angle, pay attention to your environment, and tell me I'm not the only one who suddenly feels like it's the nineties and we're watching MTV Animation again.
In Hypnotic Owl's turn-based puzzle The Wizard, titular magic maestro Kevin loses his most precious treasure... his face. That's right, someone has literally made off with his moneymaker, and he has no choice but to pursue the thief through the sewers and into a dangerous castle filled with tricks, traps, treasure, and beasties galore that would love to chew Kevin's non-existent face right off. The game is divided into levels, with the goal being to make it safely past any dangers and to the exit, casting spells to deal with anything that gets in your way. Click and drag on green tiles to make a path, but beware... monsters will come after you if they spot you. You can click a creature to see its range, which will be helpful in planning your method of attack. See, as you play, you'll unlock new spells for Kevin (how great a wizard can he be if he literally has no magic until you find it for him?) that need to be triggered by drawing specific patterns. When you find a spell, it'll go to his notebook in the upper-right corner of the screen for you to refer to. Click on Kevin, and then draw the spell's path around him to cast. As you incinerate monsters, you'll actually level up, which can earn you points to upgrade spells you've discovered. Sadly, no upgrade for the Magic Missile will allow you to attack the darkness. Hey, can I have a Mountain Dew?
iOS puzzle adventure game The Phantom PI: Mission Apparition by Rocket 5 Studios Inc manages to make dismemberment, stalking, haunting, and signing over your eternal soul absolutely adorable as you play Paranormal Investigator Cecil, who helps ghosts with their problems. The ghost with the most (issues, that is) here is Marshall Staxx, who's being bullied by a gluttonous demon named Baublebelly who keeps stealing important mementos from Staxx's rock-n-roll career. Once inside the strange mansion Staxx is, uh, "living" in, however, Cecile discovers this is no ordinary place... the doors don't seem to obey the laws of physics, spooks and danger lurk around every corner, and then there's Famke, the girl who used to be Staxx's number one fan and now just wants to make sure Cecil doesn't get in her way while she loots the place. Cecil has no choice but to keep following Baublebelly deeper into the mansion, learning the secrets behind the place and Staxx's bizarre demise, in this vibrant and funny point-and-click puzzle game aimed at players of all ages.
It ain't easy bein' freezy in Gameshot's physics puzzle game Freezy Mammoth. All your wooly little friends want to do is get inside their igloos, ideally nabbing all three stars on each level along the way, but they're frozen solid. Luckily for them, you can defrost, and refrost, both them and any other frozen elements on any stage with a click. Every mammoth needs to reach the exit safely, so if even one of them topples off into the icy abyss that apparently constitutes the rest of their world, you'll need to try again. As a result, you'll need both quick thinking and quick reflexes to get them home, taking into account the way freezing a moving object affects momentum and even the angle they might be falling. All of which sounds like a lot to ask an animal in order to ensure survival. Heck, I consider it a success if I remember to wear a jacket when the temperature starts dropping outside. I'm not actually sure I deserve my place at the top of the food chain, which basically means I'm constantly on the lookout for wolves.
So I had to look up what Warcraft actually was, as opposed to being that MMORPG you play if you're not still putting around Ultima Online and too invested to quit. I wanted to feel like I was at least a little qualified to even look at Blizzard Entertainment's card-based strategy game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, available free for iPad, Windows, and Mac. (Free account registration required.) With the release of their new single-player expansion, The Curse of Naxxramas, it seemed like a good time to dive in and see what all the fuss has been about, though I was more than a little apprehensive about it. Though the first act of the new expansion is free, you'll need to pay for the others, but even if you aren't willing to crack open your wallet, you can still play practice missions or against other players online without paying a penny. Any game that offers multiplayer with microtransactions is automatically a little suspicious... free-to-play can easily turn into pay-to-win, after all. Fortunately, Hearthstone manages to provide some seriously addictive and strategic gameplay without ever feeling like it's leaning on your wallet. Unlike other free-to-play games, there are no timers or other restrictions placed on how often you play, either against others or by yourself, so you can play the game as much as you want.
When you unwrap your Weekday Escape delivery this week, you're in for a bit of a variety. These three escape games have little in common but one thing: pure puzzling entertainment. You could dig into our weekly package of fun in any order you choose, or try it omakase-style, starting with a fruity dish of whimsy in a grapefruit dressing from FunkyLand, a mental palate cleansing course of puzzles from Yomino Kagura, then a No1Game and Sneedle fusion geared toward the more adventuresome minded. They come with a money-back guarantee to please while you look forward to next week's escapers' curation...
For everyone who ever got in trouble during science class for mixing things to see what would happen and wound up singeing their eyebrows off, H.F. Games' sandbox puzzle simulation ReactionLab for Android was basically a dream come true. With 42 different elements like fire, water, hydrogen, and radon to experiment with, you could draw onscreen and simply make explosions, discover the way certain elements interacted, or even build. Now the game is back with more mayhem in ReactionLab 2. Sporting twelve new elements, rewind and zoom functions, a save feature, and more, it's an infinitely more healthy way to get the destructive scientific genius in you the opportunity to experiment... which is what we're going to call it to be polite when you cackle softly to yourself while playing this in public and people begin edging away.
You've been thrown out of your home and on your birthday too! You're going to have to go through Hell to get back. And I mean that as literally as possible, seeing as you're a demon and you sort of live there. Escape to Hell is from both Rob Donkin and Jay Armstrong, the latter of whom did Bearbarians so you know you're in for an action packed, dungeon-crawl brawl as you cross over the dimensional planes trying to get home. Traveling through, apparently, cost money but thankfully you can get jobs along the way. Smashing important statues, collecting magical items, saving little demons who were taken by the larger demons, or just the good old slaughter rewards you stars you can then use to cross onto the next area where new monsters await. This game makes use of both the keyboard and the mouse, and while doable with a track pad, its probably best if you have the real thing for the later levels.
Something has gone horribly wrong aboard the Nautilus. All the power on the submarine is out. The great Captain Nemo is deceased. And you've come to a dead stop on the sea floor. It seems like a nearly impossible situation to escape from. But where there's a will, and ingenuity, there's a way. In Nautilus Escape, from Just Pine Games, you will not go down with this ship, as you endeavor to get the sub back in working order and find your way back to dry land. You'll have to make use of both the items in your surroundings and unravel the puzzle-like mechanical workings of the ship to get back to the surface. Just click around your environment to investigate; the cursor changes to indicate clickable objects, and the game even helpfully explains what you're hovering your mouse cursor over before you even click on it. When you've built up an inventory, just click on the items you're carrying to use them; although you can't zoom in on them, you can still combine them by clicking in succession on the two items you want to put together. Stay strong, sailor... Even if there is something kind of creepily atmospheric and fun about being trapped 20,000 leagues under the sea!
Ever wanted to live in the world of Joss Whedon's Firefly but in bright colors and the lording government replaced by a loan shark? Well RokSoft has you covered in their new, Android game, Space Trading Profiteer. A turn-based strategy game of trading and hauling cargo, you'll get the vague feeling that you're playing Pocket Planes in space. With a single goal of rising to domination over the eight other traders, who will be the first to garner 1 million Chings and corner the transportation of black market goods? Or the less exciting legal stuffs, if you don't like the excitement of running from the cops.