Also free for iOS and Android, Homeworld Arts' Pixel Staff is a very classic feeling action-based adventure where you control a wizard who senses something is amiss one dark night... maybe not that impressive a feat since the skeletons shambling around outside should be enough to clue anyone in, but hey, maybe we shouldn't backtalk the guy with a magic bolt shooting staff. Use the left and right [arrow] keys or [A] and [D] to move left and right, [Z] or [O] to fire, and [X] or [P] to jump. If that sounds pretty simple, it's because it is, though you'll have to deal with enemies, bosses, find heart pieces, and more. Pixel Staff looks great and perfectly captures the feeling of retro console games in style and play, but might prove too easy for most players. Just be warned that while if you die, you'll restart at the beginning of the room you died in, but there is no save feature, and closing the game or exiting to the menu means you'll have to start from the beginning. So pick up this one when you're looking for a nostalgic trip down classic gaming lane, and take your time doing it... there's no need to rush. A wizard is never late.
In Tesshi-e's Escape to Mr. Y's Office Room, the titular Mr. Y, who as you know is a fan of both escape games and the Detective Conan anime, has sent you a letter inviting you to check out his newly renovated office. Turns out just getting in is a puzzle in itself, but would you expect any less? To play, just click to interact, and make sure you check everywhere and anything since there's no changing cursor to nudge you along. Check items you're carrying with the About Item function, just in case they have secrets to reveal, or use them by highlighting them with a click, and then clicking on the main game window. True to Mr. Y's passions, this escape game requires some good old fashioned deductive reasoning, making paying attention to your surroundings a necessity. There are some seriously cunning puzzles hidden throughout this game, with an emphasis on using your brain over your inventory, though the latter will present its own challenge in several places. If the swanky soundtrack doesn't make you feel like a detective, the challenges you'll need to overcome in this top-notch escape game will!
Welcome to Metro City, where streets are busy with gangs, vigilantes, cleaning droids, police drones and one very busy hitman who is just itching to get out of the city. With everyone having twitchy trigger fingers and cops shooting first then asking questions, you can't blame the assassin-for-hire for wanting to get in and out as fast as they can. Flatearthgames' Metrocide is a high difficulty, bird's-eye view, stealth game where you take on jobs, find the mark, and put them out of their misery without getting spotted by drones and humans. A normal civilian will rat on you to the cops and that's all, but other civilians think they are some sort of hero and start shooting at you to paint the streets with your blood. They have good aim too, because one shot and you're dead. Being a roguelike game, death results in a new, penniless you. It's a rough life, but every hitman has got to work to get food on the table or in this case, papers to travel to get far, far away from such a mess.
Love to play games? Of course you do. Want to play games and earn sweet rewards doing it? Of course you do, and take that, mom, for saying games never get you anything! Playfire Rewards BETA is a free program that allows you to link your Steam account and earn cool rewards like store credit through our affiliate partner, Greenman Gaming, just for playing! Check out the F.A.Q. to learn more, or sign up to start earning!
Note:This game contains flashing elements and intense movement which may trigger photosensitive seizures in people with epilepsy.
Don't do drugs kids, unless you're taking part of a trial study sanctioned by a doctor. Just prepare for the consequences... the mind melting, reality bending consequences. ViViD, by The Layabouts, seems like a relatively easy platform game, and starts off on such, until the pills kick in and everything gets distorted. Burt is the name of the little jumper whose only goal in mind is to get back to the doctor who told him to come in if the pills he's testing start showing negative symptoms, like nausea. Burt has every symptom but nausea, and the only thing he can keep in focus is getting back to that little medical sign to see what can be done. He'll have to get through spikes and bottomless pits with only his jump ability, [Z], and using the floating arrows that give him a boost in the direction they point. Add on top of this the jittery, reality twisting symptoms and that feat becomes something only the bravest will take on in this free indie game.
It doesn't matter if it's Christmas when you play TomaTea's One Holiday Scene, because any day with a TomaTea escape game is worth celebrating! With a festive tree, candies, and a whole lot of Christmas cheer, this is one cozy little room, but all the decor holds a sneaky secret... puzzles and codes! When the tip of your cursor glows when you pass it over something, it means you can click to interact, and if you're told you "have no clue how to solve this", it means whatever puzzle you're looking at has a clue you haven't yet seen. True to its title, One Holiday Scene is a little smaller in scope than you may be used to seeing from the developer, but no less smart and fun for any escape fan. Relax, put your feet up, and enjoy this seasonal offering no matter what time of year it is... just don't forget the batteries!
Long considered to be one of the greatest classic point-and-click adventure games ever created, LucasArts' Grim Fandango is the sort of funny, smart, wickedly creative game players deserve, though considering it was released in 1998 and often doesn't play nice with new systems, it's both difficult to track down and harder to play. Well, no longer! Thanks to Double Fine, Grim Fandango Remastered has arrived, with a new coat of polish and a lot more compatibility, allowing new players to experience the iconic hit for the first time, and old fans to revisit without the hassle. The game follows Manny Calavera, who's been stuck in his (literal) dead-end job trying to upsell travel packages to those who have just died and want to cross all the way over for quite some time. His boss wants him to sell more luxury packages, but it's not easy when he's constantly being outdone by his slimy coworker Domino Hurley. Manny used to be on top, but now he can barely keep himself from getting fired when he's stuck with crummy clients, and he can't even remember what sin he committed in life to find himself stuck in this afterlife holding zone. He thinks he's finally found his salvation when he winds up with a crack at a soul who should be bound for the greenest pastures possible, but something is rotten in the Land of the Dead. Will Manny ever get his final reward? Or has he stumbled across a mystery that could prove more dangerous than he ever imagined?
Also free for iOS and Android, Pine Games' Hacker's Escape is, as the title would imply, an escape game that looks like it's set within what one of those primetime cop dramas think a hacker's room actually looks like. You know. Where they hack your firewalls and plugin your interwebs. But then, that campy aesthetic is sort of the point, as you see from the various homages to classic technothrillers around the room. To play, just click to interact. The text that appears at the top of the screen will tell you what you're looking at when it's interactive, and also show you if you're about to change orientation by moving around the room. The, ahem, fist you start out with in your inventory at the bottom of the screen is actually "force", so you can use it on objects that require a little bit of exertion to move or use. To combine items, or use one item on another, click them both in your inventory one at a time. Not only are codes hidden around the room, but you'll find a lot of electronic equipment you'll need to put to good use if you ever want to find your way out. So get cracking, and get hacking!
Here in the Weekday Escape studios, things tend to be rather heavily biased toward free online escape games. Which is great: What's not to love about being able to turn on your computer, open your browser, and plug into fun puzzles all centered on the concept of escaping from your confinement? There's not only enjoyment in the actual mental stimulation, there is immense satisfaction in the symbolic escape from your surroundings. So this week, besides living up to expectations and presenting three typical escape games—brought to you by Hottategoya, No1Game and FunkyLand—I thought I'd break out of the mold and suggest a few things different. After all, if it's been a while since you've dug through the JayIsGames archives, perhaps this week's featured trio will be the inspiration to get you started...
[Please note that due to the fact that I did not receive my review copy until last night, and technical issues related to the game, this review should be considered ongoing and may be updated as I continue to play.]
Techland's Dying Light combines everyone's two favourite things... zombies and intense physical activity. At the start of the game, you're air-dropped into what is essentially a war zone... an entire city under lockdown for months after the spread of a plague that turns people into the mindless undead. You're there trying to retrieve a stolen file and tracking down a rogue agent, but the survivors who save you from turning into zombie chow don't know that. To them you're just Crane, a guy trying to get by and willing to pull his weight by helping them survive. They've even set you up with some Antizin following an unfortunate bite... the only thing capable of staving off the zombification process. It's safe to say they might not be so friendly and sympathetic if they knew why you were really there... especially since their doctor is working on a cure that your superiors are very interested in. By day you'll spend your time helping the other people living in The Tower, while also trying to accomplish your own objectives, but when night falls, well, something else joins the hordes roaming the city streets, and not even the rooftops will keep you safe. Dying Light combines rooftop, wall-climbing, parkour action in this thriller, along with crafting, skill trees, and sidequests galore, not to mention a "be the zombie" multiplayer mode, for a surprisingly immersive and definitely gorgeous adventure in a sprawling, dangerous city, but clunky combat and (as of this writing) serious performance issues are as ugly as the zombies themselves at times.
Lovely, dreamy, and "look, Ma, I made a bunny!" are just a few of the words you could use to describe Triada Studios' iOS puzzle game Shadowmatic, a title that combines the shifting perspectives of Starlight with shadow puppets and tchotchkes. In each level, your goal is simply to figure out how to twist and align whatever object(s) you have so that the shadow cast on the wall creates something. Well, something specific, anyway. Just press and hold on the screen and drag your finger around to rotate. If there's more than one object, you can swap between them by tapping the button in the lower-left corner, or hold down the button with one finger and swipe with another to move them both relative to one another. At the bottom of the screen you'll see a progression of dots that will slowly light up depending on how close you are to figuring out what you're supposed to be making. No special skills or ambigous "gamer" cred required here... just an appreciate for eye and ear candy, and a willingness to, like, relax, maaaaaaaaan.
Functu's bunny is back for another short but sweet and swanky point-and-click puzzle, neon-soaked trip in Easy Joe 3. To help Joe through each screen, it's your job to figure out what things to click, and in what order, to allow him to proceed safely through. The game lives up to its name for the most part due to a general amount of simplicity to the puzzles... most areas only have a few things to click on, making the hardest part forcing yourself to stop grooving in your chair long enough to play. Still, what the game lacks in complexity, it makes up for in sheer bizarro charm. Why don't you like the guy on that scaffolding? What's up with the (presumably) girl bunny and the bow? Who knows! Just help Joe get through it all, and everything will be okay.
Having your city transformed into a retro video game doesn't sound so bad, if you ask us. Having multiple lives is a sweet deal, and you could recover from a sprained ankle just by eating a roast chicken! And for that matter, you could eat an entire roast chicken in a single sitting! But when there are alien invasions involved, things have a tendency to get less fun. So it's up to the heroes of Retroacan, by Pixcomp, to save their home turf from the alien army that's pixellated their world. With an arsenal of corn chips, tamales, and even an NES Zapper, they'll have a platform-hopping, monster-exploding adventure inspired by classic shooter games such as Contra. Choose from one of two characters to start, with four more waiting to be unlocked. You'll move with the [arrow] keys, and just like in a proper retro game, you only need two other buttons: [X] or [S] to jump, and [Z] or [A] to shoot. But how many of those classic games can say they contain rabbits that turn into helicopters, top hat-wearing frogs, and wacky inflatable arm-flailing tubemen? Retroacan bills itself as 80's-game pastiche, sure. But it's also a joyously weird, whimsical, and surreal little platform adventure that looks and plays like an explosion in a third grader's imagination. In a good way.
Less an actual game and more a piece of lovingly rendered fanart wrapped in a somewhat interactive narrative, Ghostbusters: Bust In Peace is the pixel-tastic comic crafted by Francesco Muja. Created in three parts, this comedic story follows everyone's favourite iconic Ghostbusters on a series of the sort of jobs they're uniquely qualified for, though it quickly becomes apparent there's something bigger going on behind the scenes. All you need to do to play is click to advance the scene, and occasionally make a choice that determines the way the chapter plays out. Making the right decisions will impact how well you're graded on certain outcomes. So, yes, it's a lot of reading, and, yes, your enjoyment is going to depend on how much you love the hits '80s films, though even if you don't know what to do if someone asks you if you're a god, Bust in Peace is still funny and well made enough to be worth a view. Because it's made of a lot of different edited sprites, not all of the characters and scenery look as if they "go" together, but the panels unfold with great cinematic execution and an eye for detail that gives the scenes a lot of life. Ghostbusters: Bust in Peace is far more funny than freaky as its source material would seem to demand, and if you're in the mood for a satisfying supernatural yarn with a lot of yucks that pays homage to the series in an almost note-perfect fashion, it's well worth loading up for a read.
Note: This game deals with themes some may find upsetting
You wouldn't think there can be much to a game that takes place in a cell you can only move a foot in in three directions. Wertpol proves that wrong by giving us this, best described as a free indie visual novel, Presentable Liberty. You start off with no back story, and only know you are in a prison cell, trapped and locked away from the world. The only connection you have to any living person are letters that are somehow slipped under your door. There is no way for you to reply, so all you can do is click the letters to read them, and accept their gifts to you, which is done by using the number keys to select them, and then right-clicking to use. Through these letters a terrifying story unfolds, but all you can do about this is stand in your cell, watch your little pet bug run around, or play the games given to you by your Personal Buddy™ that is meant to keep you happy and non-suicidal... though the letters are really all you have left.
You might think you're starting out as an ordinary fruit farmer, harvesting normal tangerines til your heart's content, but then the ordinary tangerine doesn't grow a mustache nor sport a dapper hat, now does it. Inspired by the ever popular Cookie Clicker, Gaz Thomas, creator of the Red Remover series, brings us Tangerine Tycoon. In this silly incremental game, start by clicking the tangerine to produce more tangerines (I'm sure there's a scientific explanation for that somewhere), then use your earned tangerines as currency to buy fruit producing shrubs, trees, farms, and other... not so conventional things that produce tangerines automatically.
Ready to go boldly forth as a mighty shining paladin, braving untold legendary creatures, saving princesses from horrific fiends, proving your valor and saving the land by completing heroic quests, reaping huge treasures and gaining prestige and reknown? Wait... you know what? Hang on a sec. As any fan of RPGs can tell you, there are only so many times we can reuse those old gaming tropes. Just for once, could we do something different? What's that? We can? Righteous. I'll come in again.
Welcome to cozy Perlan Farm. Meet Farmer Jerrat as he tends the livestock early each morning, plays handyman around the farmstead, and dotes devotedly on his loving wife Meerla. Together they manage to keep the farm going and raise their newborn son, Pellan. It's not a glamorous or lucrative way of life by any means, but together they manage to get through it all with plenty of love and support to make up the difference and Jerrat considers himself the luckiest man in all the land. This humble yet fulfilling existence is brought to a sudden halt when Meerla and their son Pellan are brutally slain by a platoon of soldiers on the move, in urgent need of supplies and unwilling to leave any witnesses to their presence alive to tell the tale. Returning to find his farm and homestead pillaged and his family in an unspeakable condition, Jerrat finds he must bury them both himself and resolves to find whoever is responsible and avenge their deaths. So begins The Tale of a Common Man, the unconventional RPG by Aldorlea Games that presents a whole new take on what the genre can be. Though you'll still duke it out with enemies in classic turn-based combat, when you level up, you can allocate stat points to build your party as you wish, and craftable potions add another interesting wrinkle to the gameplay. With seven party members (including one more optional character!), secret rooms, sidequests, and more, The Tale of a Common Man is a satisfying whopper of a classic RPG with a very un-classic premise.
Sometimes you want a puzzle game that's brutally difficult, complicated, and full of flair. Sometimes you want a puzzle game that feels like your favourite person gently stroking your hair and murmuring soft reassurances to you on a lazy evening while a cup of your favourite hot beverage warms your palms. Elio's Invert Selection was definitely firmly in the latter's camp, and so of course so too now is Invert Selection Levels Pack. The premise is still the same... your goal is to make the grid image in the main play area look like the one shown in faded overlay by using tools that add, delete, or invert portions of the screen. Just click and drag to select what portion of the grid you want to transform, and then release to activate the change. You have limited turns to recreate the image, and you have to use the tools in the order in which they're presented to you. Throw in a beautiful soundtrack by PiperockArts and a clean and lovely user interface, and you've got a sleek and smart game to engage your brain... now with fifty additional levels!
Life's not easy for a cube. You're not the most aerodynamic shape, you can't exactly roll or squeeze through tight spaces. But you'd never guess it from the jovial little polygon at the center of Qubed: New Adventures. Your little avatar is always grinning... assuming you can avoid the spikes that it is. This physics platform game has you controlling the little square dude with the [WASD] or [arrow] keys to maneuver through all 20 levels of swimming, box-pushing, switch switching, and star-collecting. You can also split into smaller cubes with the [spacebar] which can be controlled individually, allowing for a little puzzle gameplay to work its way into the mix.
[Mac user? Try freeware tool RPG Hub]
Depths of Boatmurdered is a free indie, horror game that it a lot like a Zelda dungeon with its push puzzles and somewhat maze like layout. Only in this dungeon, there are plenty of creepy things that want to remove your face, and there isn't a master sword to save you. Steve Hayden's creepy adventure starts off with our bearded hero lost, alone, and confused. His first reasonable goal is to find shelter, but then continues to advance forward exploring the depths of darkness with nothing but his trusty lantern he found along the way. He still stays lost, but finds out rather quickly, that he's not alone anymore. The few items you can pick up are used with the [Z] button and the weapon you finally find is used with [X], but it doesn't kill the beasts. Swinging your lantern with [Z] on fire pits will cast some more light in the area, but you'll find these demons from below aren't scared of a little light. This game can also be controlled with a Xbox controller so there are two ways to lose yourself to this terrifying tale of survival.
Worry not, witch lovers of the world! No witches were harmed in the making of Godseed's new tower defense game, Witch Hunt. In fact, it's the witch herself doing the hunting! Saucy young sorceress Lucrea has discovered that the giant crystal obelisk she's defending contains a demonic entity of greed, and any living thing that dies in its presence gets immediately transformed into money. And if a bunch of common sense-challenged goblins happen to try attacking her to steal it, well, she's only making the best of a bad situation! Using her mystical powers of fire, ice, and lightning, she'll drive away the goblin army and make a literal killing doing it. Oh, and something about getting the crystal to a magical tower or something, but more importantly, money. Swap between her three elements with [Q], [W], and [E], and aim her attacks with the cursor. You can click to fire at will, or even enable automatic shots if your trigger finger isn't that itchy. Blast away everything that wants to get its mitts on your crystal, and reap the delicious rewards! It's an intense, high-action, almost shooter-like take on tower defense, and it also packs a killer sense of humor. How many other games let you summon fiery penguins to do your bidding?
[Please note that unfortunately this game displays ads while loading the interior of the cave at the very beginning of each reentry. This is not something we can control as it is a decision of the developers. The ads are short and automatically vanish when the cave loads, usually after a few seconds. These ads support the developer who created the game.]
In Dustin Auxier's The Enchanted Cave 2, the RPG roguelike sequel to the original 2010 game, you arrive in a village like everyone else to take advantage of the titular cave, a mysterious opening into the earth filled with monsters, treasure, and more that randomizes every time you go into it. The deeper you go, the more dangerous it is, though powerful equipment and riches can be found further in, and the only way out is to find and use the Escape Wings before you die. The catch? Whenever you leave, every item except gold-bordered artifacts and your coins are destroyed, though you'll keep any levels you've earned as long as you don't die. The locals view the cave as a valuable source of income, and adventurers come from miles around to seek its treasures. But more people go missing inside it every month. And who created it anyway? With crafting, secrets, monsters, and treasure galore, The Enchanted Cave 2 is simple to pick up, but seriously hard to put down.
Grozzler's puzzle platforming series of games, Fractured and Fractured 2, has always been both strangely intriguing and perplexing, as you guided children through a broken, topsy-turvy series of levels into what appeared to be the arms of a spectral mother or father figure while mysterious poetry was read throughout. Fractured 3 continues that tradition, though it ditches the level-based format and the spectral adults to send our two wayward tots staggering throughout a broken landscape filled with posters, platforms, and also lava. The controls are the same, with [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to move and jump, while trying to figure out which was is up since each area has been broken into pieces and jumbled every which way. As you move from piece to piece, the challenge is properly orienting yourself and adjusting your navigation accordingly whether you're upside-down or otherwise flipped around, made even more difficult by the fact that area pieces are often lain out in no particular order. Miss a step and land in the lava and... well... you'll see. Despite the soothing soundtrack and narration, some players may find Fractured 3's maze-like layout too much of a nightmare to navigate, especially given how little variation there is between areas, but if you want more mind-bending platforming with a dreamy atmosphere, you'll gird your loins and persevere.
Owls are kinda weird, what with all the hooting, the 270 degree neck rotation, and the constant thievery of my Tootsie Roll Pops. But according to Owls Ever After, a cute and puzzling piece of interactive art originally made by Mike and Tanya Mezhenin for Ludum Dare 31, they just want the same things that we do: a safe home, a loving family, food on the table, and a new game console every three to five years. Owls Ever After lets you take a peek into to the secret life of owls, one year at a time. And it's pretty friggin' adorable.
This is going to be hard to hear, so it's better if I come straight out and say it. So, you know, get prepared. Just squeeze eyes shut, focus mind on a happy place, and look away as the bandage's ripped off in one swoop. It's for the good—it's only by knowing the truth, and confronting the reality of it, that any positive progress can be made toward a solution. So...ready? It is Wednesday already! I mean, sheesh! We're already three weeks into 2015 and time continues rolling on as if ignoring our efforts to, like, hang onto precious moments and all that like. Alright. I didn't surprise you at all. Did I? Yeah, I can see that by how you're rolling your eyes and clucking your tongue. And I bet you think you know which three new escape games are spilling out of the Weekday Escape inbox on my desk, too? Ah, fine then. I won't be rambling on with details, repeating myself and having you think: "Here she goes on about that again." We'll just get directly to the matter at hand. Have a look...
Please note that this game features brief, non-explicit sexual situations, and alludes to both the implied threat of sexual assault, and of it having happened in the past.
In Aloners, the free indie post-apocalyptic visual novel from sonnet009, the last man in the world is pretty surprised when he comes home to find a naked girl passed out in his bed... and as the girl in question, you're pretty shocked yourself since the last thing you remember is the world very distinctly not being a wasteland. You have no idea how you got there, and the fact that decades apparently have passed since your last memory seems impossible, though the fella whose abode you find yourself in, "Trash" by name, at least seems to be inclined to let you stay... as soon as he realizes you're human, anyway. What happened nearly forty years ago? Why can't you remember it? To play, just click to select whatever choice you like when some are presented. You can save and load your game at any time, too. For the most part, your choices are cosmetic, largely there to drive the personality of the protagonist (you!), or to colour the way certain things play out, but still ultimately veering you to where the story wants to take you. In spite of feeling largely "on rails", Aloners is fantastically written with one of the most charming and relatable characters to come around in a long, long time, and more than worth the read for any fans of romance after the end of the world.
Bombocracker's twee puzzle platformer Shifter is a little bit Continuity, a little bit "tiny bearded trucker hat man adventures", and a lot bit cute. Your goal in each level is to get to the door, but the catch is that doing so literally requires shuffling the level around you. While [WASD] or the [arrow] keys are your standard move/climb controls, hitting the [spacebar] splits the level into several chunks which can then be swapped around with the movement keys, which moves the square our hero is currently residing in around, shuffling the others it passes through. Hit the [spacebar] again, and they'll all snapped together in whatever new configuration you like, though you'll want to make sure scenery and obstacles line up in such a way as to let our hero move around. Doing this will allow you to help our hero, who can't do anything so grand as jump, and has a fatal allergy to spikes, to bypass hazards and reach the exit... though of course sometimes you'll also need to figure out how to power the door with switches to keep it open.
Part RPG, part match-3, and liberally dosed with unexpected sass and strategy, HeatPot Games' Hero Emblems for iOS is a fun and silly but also surprisingly clever spin on an increasingly crowded genre. When the princess is kidnapped by monsters, it's up to a band of four heroes to get her back, and then to save the ailing king, presumably while the entire rest of the kingdom's army sits around picking its nose or something. As you travel around the world map, you'll naturally have to contend with enemies through battles that play out like a high-stakes Bejeweled match. Each hero has a different token that, when matched, will activate their attack or ability, and your goal is to kill all your enemies before they reduce your hit points to zero. Matching the red tokens allows your priestess to heal you, for example, while the blue tokens will return a portion of your defense points (which reduce incoming damage), or cause your guardian to attack if they're full. Every time you swap tokens, it counts as a turn, and when the number of turns above each enemy's head reaches zero, they get to attack. Here's the kicker, though... while you can just make matches willy-nilly, you're not going to get combo bonuses to damage unlike, say, Puzzle Quest. Instead, there are certain match numbers and even a formation that yields powerful bonuses that you'll really need to create in order to take your foes down... especially the bosses! Match more than three tokens to create a super-powered token you can then combine for a stronger attack, for instance, or match five or more to create a massively powerful token that, when swapped with any other token, will unleash a strong spell or special ability from the corresponding hero. Toss in wrinkles like enemies being able to poison or lock tiles, and you have a game that's just smart enough to keep you on your toes, with a serious dollop of whimsical charm on top.
In Carmel Games' point-and-click adventure Space on the Case, you are the galaxy's premier (or maybe only?) robot space detective, so naturally you're called in to help when a bunch of cows go missing. Space cows. From a space barn. In space. You get a tip-off that lets you know where they've probably been taken, but how can you prove it? Just click around to interact when the cursor changes, and hop around to different planets to gather items and solve puzzles. As you'd expect from a game with celery aliens, dinosaur bathrooms, and robot detectives, Space on the Case is more than a little weird, but in the sort of happy, delightfully silly sort of way that makes Carmel Games such a nice treat, apart from a somewhat meanspirited jab at a fat person that doesn't really fit the otherwise harmlessly goofy vibe. Will the great detective Space ever find the cows? Only one way to find out, but you can bet it involves poop!
Need a new rage fix? Switch is what you need for all your high difficulty, platform, puzzle game needs. Brought to us by Alberto A. Braga, Guarav Sharma, Daniel Wallner, Sven Waschk, and Vulcan Brimstone, Switch's goal is to reach the portal door exits. To do so you need to switch the light bulb your little bot uses for a face... pressing the down [arrow] or the [spacebar] swaps between red and blue, while the standard [WASD] or the [arrow] keys moves and jumps. When he is glowing blue, he can see and use blue platforms, while when the bulb is red, the only platforms he can use are red as well. We've seen this before in games like Color Theory, but what makes Switch stand out besides the snarkiness of our hero is the high challenging levels that take all the skill, wit, and luck you got.
Pinball isn't exactly a game of strategy. You launch the ball and watch it bounce here and there making noises, sipping a slushie and absently glancing at the claw machine in the corner. Well what if the formula got spruced up a little bit? Maybe with some action RPG fairy dust sprinkled over the top? The result is Spotcos' Ricochet Heroes, a Ludum Dare game which has you launching your merry band of spiky-haired heroes from town to town, pinball-style. Use the mouse to aim, charge, and release your little avatars and watch them bounce off mountains, trees, inns and gateways, doing battle with monsters along the way. Use the [arrow] or [WASD] keys to tilt your characters in a certain direction to give them a little bump. Keep an eye on health. Too much time spent in the field battling slimes and fox beasts will cause your heroes to die. If you want to save that princess at the end, you'll need all the help you can get.
You're trapped in a room with no memory of how you got there and must get out. Sound familiar? Well it's anything but. There isn't any screwdriver here. No puzzles and most importantly no door. All you can do is think. Storm Alligator brings us Break the Limits!, a game made in 48-hours and may I say, what a game! In the beginning of this experimental incremental game all you can do is think, which is done by clicking, and which nets you thoughts. As you gather more thoughts, you can open up to more possibilities and a whole range of human emotions by spending these thoughts to gain memories, or find loneliness and many other ideas and feelings. Break the Limits isn't a game you can lose or even one that makes you think hard about the gameplay, but it tells a beautiful story of one soul's struggles when they finds themselves lost, alone, confused and abandoned, but most importantly hope filled.
[Mac user? Try freeware tool RPG Hub]
In AtlasAtrium's free indie horror adventure Follow the Darkness, Rina's got a problem. I mean, more that she just woke up from a coma and can't remember anything that's happened in the last month. She's begun seeing a girl following her wearing a fox mask, a girl nobody else can see who vanishes at will, and according to local legend, Rina's running out of time. Because she's been targeted by the Fox, who will follow Rina for seven days and then kill her... unless Rina can atone for a great sin she's committed, which is sort of hard to do when you have no memory of what you might have done. But hey, at least she has seven days to figure out... what? What's that? This game starts on day four? That's it, I call shenanigans. But Rina's got no time for that, and there's something else she hasn't considered... just because she doesn't remember what she did, doesn't mean nobody else does, and she might not be able to trust everyone she meets, making the Fox only one potential threat. To play, use the [arrow] keys to move, [spacebar] to interact, and [ESC] to open the menu to view your notes and journal or items, or save your game. You can hold left [shift] to run, but doing so depletes your stamina, which regenerates slowly over time. Taking damage depletes your health, which also regenerates or can be recovered using certain items, but four hits and it's a big fat game over for Rina. Conserve stamina, move quickly, and save frequently and in different slots.
Please be aware that this game deals with themes and contains some scenes that some players may find upsetting.
In Cheritz's enormous indie otome visual novel adventure Nameless, Eri has been alone ever since her grandfather died, and it's made her throw herself even more into obsessively collecting expensive ball joint dolls and accessories from them. She knows a young woman her age is probably too old to play with dolls, so she's too embarrassed to tell even her close friends at school, even though she finds herself talking to the dolls as if they're real more and more often. So imagine her surprise when she wakes up early one morning to find them all cooking, bickering, and even using her beauty products in the kitchen one morning as full grown humans. All of them still consider her their owner (at least, for now), and since they don't really have anywhere else to go, they come up with an elaborate scheme to stay with her, even winding up going to the same school. Nameless is a massive, fun, funny and touching visual novel with many hours of content thanks to its multiple (and secret!) endings and extremely high production values. But be warned... despite how cute and sweet it often is, there's more going to Nameless than meets the eye, and there are some potentially troubling behaviours passed off as cute or romantic.
Phantasmat has bounced from developer to developer over the years, with Phantasmat: Crucible Peak after the original, and now it's Eipix is up to bat with the next installment of the horror-themed hidden-object adventure, Phantasmat: The Endless Night. Let's get one thing straight right away... if you're a school organizer and the prom falls on the 50th anniversary of the tragic accident that shook your town half a century ago, wouldn't you, I don't know, reschedule just to be safe? Especially when said tragic accident was actually the deaths of everyone who attended prom fifty years ago? I'm not saying the townsfolk headed to the prom are guaranteed to be run off the road by mysterious apparitions appearing in front of their cars, waking up only to find themselves back in the sixties and their child is missing and the town has suddenly turned dark and hostile, beset by forces beyond our understanding, just... y'know... why risk it? But because nobody ever listens to me, that's the predicament you find yourself in here, forced to hunt for your daughter in a town that seems to have gone back in time, with a whole lot of spirits who don't seem to know (or care) that they're dead, and one mysterious figure who seems to want to help you join them. Despite a somewhat low level of challenge and a struggle with its own pacing, Phantasmat: The Endless Night delivers a genuinely intriguing story, fantastically creepy atmosphere, and just the right amount of jumpscares to craft a stellar casual horror adventure.
In Carmel Games' point-and-click puzzle adventure Cap'n Marcela: Parrot Charmer, Cap'n Marcela finds herself dealing with the dread Puffy Shirt Morgan, who's going to burn her island and its tiny village to the ground at sunrise. She needs a solution, fast, but it seems like she's the only one around competent enough to get things done, so before anyone will help you, you'll need to find things for them and solve puzzles. Just click to interact, and click an item in your inventory to highlight it for use. You'll need to come up with some rather unorthodox solutions for some of your obstacles in order to foil Puffy Shirt's scheme, but hey... if anyone can soothe a surly tavern owner or inspire a wizard, Cap'n Marcela can!
Folks, we don't want to frighten you, but we felt you all needed to be warned. The kitties of the Internet... are in danger. Horrible beasties known as spiters are rising up out of the underworld and are taking kittens hostage. If you don't do something immediately, our favorite time-wasting videos and image macros might go away... forEVER! Luckily, Alex2Dio has provided us with the perfect vehicle for taking them on: Spiters Annihilation 2, a physics puzzle game loaded up with all the rocks, bombs, ice cubes, and pits of horrible fiery death you'll need to destroy those spiters. Sometimes you'll be clicking to drop stuff from a specific height, a la the Cover Orange series, to smush the spiters. Other times you'll be clicking to remove stuff, so the spiters fall into something unpleasant. However you do it, just make sure to bid "good riddance" to all those spiteful spiters... and don't hurt any kittehs along the way. It won't be an easy task. ...No, really, it won't. Spiters Annihiliation 2 is a surprisingly devious puzzler that wants to do to your brain what you do to the eponymous spiters! The game relies on a mishmash of well-known physics-puzzle tropes, so it treads familiar territory for those who have been around the physics-puzzling block. It's not quite "new", but the various elements do work together nicely, in a peanut-butter-and-jelly way. Rather than innovate in gameplay, this has put in real love and effort to make its levels truly fiendish.
Kelly just wants to prove that she's a good sister, without doing all the work, of course. So when her younger sister, Zoey, wants to go to a haunted house on Halloween night, after some pressure from their mother, Kelly agrees to take her. But not too far in this cult-themed spook house Zoey gets too scared and runs off only to turn up missing. With the help of a worker who seems to know more than he's letting on, Kelly must find her and along the way find out this pseudo-haunted house is a lot more real than she once thought. Created in just 48 hours, Saving Zoey, by Kaleidofish and his many teammates, (r-bit, Doran, Geckos, Auro-Cyanide, Chocojax, Railgun, Phrostylicious Productions, Nathan, Thestral, and Cirno) is a free indie visual novel with a horror theme that can let even those with weak hearts enjoy because it keeps itself creepy without the jump scares. It's the atmosphere that will really suck you in as you try to make the right decisions to save your little sister. With three endings and plenty of game over screens you'll have to tread lightly and find out the right steps to get a better ending.
Yea verily, forsooth, and any other pseudo-Medieval babblery I can think of, Little Giant World serves up more cute tycoon simulation goodness in Shop Empire 3... now with more dung, bards, and taxes! As before you're trying to build a profitable, towering mall filled with shops, staff members, and hopefully as little theft as possible, but unlike before you're doing it all in a ye olden time-y setting. Little Giant World basically wrote the book on how to make cute, teeny-tiny sims for your browser (since Kairosoft basically has the mobile market cornered), and not much has changed, with a lot of colour and personality packed into this curiously addictive game.
Who says vampires are always children of the night? Not Eyesteam! The plucky protagonist of The Sun for the Vampire is an adorable little wraith who's grown tired of the nightlife; he just wants to see the sun without worrying about a killer sunburn. And since his previous excursion in learning how to day-walk didn't work out so well, he's back for another platform game challenge in The Sun for the Vampire 2. At the behest of an old wizard, he's plumbing the depths of a brand-new dark and spooky castle in search of the secret to vampire sunblock, and this time, he'll be putting his noggin to the test! While his last adventure was a foray into high-difficulty platforming, this castle brings far more puzzle elements to the party. Use [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to move around. The vampire still can't jump; instead, he uses the up [arrow] or [W] to turn into a bat and fly around. But all the flying he did in the last game must have tired him out, because now, he can only go batty for a limited time! On the upside, he's been working out, and can now lift and throw boxes using [S] or the down [arrow]. He'll have to cleverly flip switches, toss crates, and even figure out how to use his deadly enemies to his advantage! So although there are still plenty of wooden stakes and silver knives in his path, this vampire's second outing feels like a surprisingly different game from his first.
We all have different schedules, different motivations and different ambitions, sure. But if you're reading this, I'm willing to bet we have certain things in common. It's that time during the week when our thoughts start drifting toward distant horizons. Dreams of "What if..." and "Maybe I should..." occupy thoughts as we start to tune out the current issues and responsibilities pressing in, demanding importance. There's no need to shamefully admit to feeling a little lazy—take a break. Enjoy it. And if anyone complains, send them the Google results to this phrase: "taking a break increases productivity". Because, it's true. It really does. Ergo, here are three escape games that are suitably break-proportioned to aid in your escape from the weekday...
Bearface Games' Merchant, the new simulation game for Android, is a combination of crafting, RPG, incremental and resource management elements all deftly shuffled together into one neat release. It plays a bit like an incarnation of Recettear's formula for your phone: As a merchant, you hire heroes to go off to slay nifferous creatures and then use the materials gleaned to make items you can either sell or equip for your heroes to improve their mighty-deed-doing, as it's known in the biz. Critters generally yield their own resource types, along with the occasional rare, and these become important when you decide you want to craft specific items. Unlike many games you have five different crafters with their own specialty and plenty hero slots, each of whom can do their thing independently and noticeably level for it. Crafting merchandise not only requires specific resources to produce, but also varying amounts of gold as well. Selling merchandise typically garners about twice the manufacturing cost, which is where the resource management aspect comes in. Do you churn out mass quantities of the same low-level items for steady profiteering, or do you make a few pieces of high-quality equipment for your heroes to enable sojourns into more dangerous territories to enable you to put better and more profitable wares on offer back at the shop?
In PencilKids' latest point-and-click puzzle game Monkey GO Happy Western, the monkeys are out West, and the only thing that will cheer them up is a visit from the Indian Chief. Click around to interact, dragging items from your inventory at the top of the screen to use them when needed, and put that devious monkey brain to work cracking the codes used to lock away many of the items you'll need. Fair warning... as a person of Native American descent, I did make a sound of mild consternation in the back of my throat at this one. "Indian" is always going to be one of those terms that people are going to fight over, with some Native Americans finding it distasteful even as others are ambivalent about it (no one person can speak for an entire race, after all), and the inclusion of "Indian Corner" and the squinty, big-nosed Indians in the game might be too much for some to ignore, so play mindfully, though it was doubtlessly made with no ill intent in mind. As usual, our monkeys have to contend with a series of puzzle locks that are just sneaky enough to make your brain perk up a little, as the solutions are usually hidden away in the backgrounds of the areas you'll visit. You never have to worry about pixel hunting or obnoxious, unintuitive puzzles... as long as you keep your eyes open, you'll most likely do fine. It's a coffee-or-whatever-your-favourite-beverage-is break sized game, a format PencilKids have basically perfected with their beloved series of monkey capers, and Monkey GO Happy Western is another rootin'-tootin' entry, even if there's no Will Smith to be seen.
Sweeping square environments are all the rage these days. It's no wonder that that eventually, someone would have to start hiring park rangers to keep track of all that breathtaking blocky wilderness. Luckily for us, said rangers just so happen to be awesome. Awesome Ranger, by Vladimir Nayata, is the platform-y story of one brave little keeper of the cubical wilds, who must save the local population of adorably kitty-like fairies from poachers. Like all good platform heroes, the Awesome Ranger can move and jump with the [arrow] keys. But the Ranger can only move left or right, and sometimes the imperiled fairies are trapped in, horror of horrors, the background! Good thing the entire world literally revolves around the Ranger! Press [Z] or [X], and Awesome Ranger's environment spins around them, giving you a new perspective (and a new dimension) on things. Flip between dimensions and points of view, rescue the fairies, and get safely back to your spaceship so you can both blast off! Previous games such as Fez have tackled the concept of moving two-dimensionally through a flippable 3D world, but it is, dare we say, awesome to see the idea move into the realm of free browser titles.
Michel Gerard's Boomerang Chang is a fast-paced, simple-but-not-easy arcade game where all you can do is throw and jump as you stand atop a spire, constantly assaulted by enemies from both sides. Tap the up [arrow] to jump, and the right [arrow] to throw. The catch is that all you have is boomerangs, and you can only through them to the right, so if you want to hit something on the left, you'll need to time your throw to be able to jump over your boomerang as it flies back at you so it passes underneath. A single hit from an enemy will kill you, and, oh, guess what? You can also be decapitated by your own boomerang if it hits you, so pay attention to where it is! Also available free for Android, Boomerang Chang is a simple but also simply addictive little arcade game. It's got a great style with nice, subtle details in its itty-bitty artwork, and the way you can never tell what enemies will show up, or when, means you can't just "learn" the game's order straight to a high score. How many enemies out of an endless tide of them can you take down before they get you... especially when your own weaponry can be turned against you?
Is no1game's Find the Escape-Men Part 133: New Year 2015 really an escape game if you're locked out of something? Coming home from the first shrine visit of the new year, you realize you can't find your house key, and nobody else is home to let you in! You'll want to click everywhere in this one, not just because of the lack of changing cursor, but because there's more to see than you might otherwise think with the "turn around" button in front of your door. Naturally, before you can get in, you also need to find ten little green men hidden around the area. It's cute, silly, and definitely as weird as you'd expect from no1game... just the way we like it! So go on and find a way inside... either before you catch a cold, or the garden comes after you!
U mad, bro? More like, U Mad Max, bro! Because that's what U will feel like while playing Road of Fury 2, a vehicular arcade rail-shooter by IriySoft. It's been but months since the bombs dropped, and with winter setting in, the quest for a safe haven has become all the more dire for our hero Cole. Pursued and ambushed at every turn by the Bloody Gear Gang (who, it must be admitted, was the party Cole lifted his sweet ride from), he must make his way across a post-apocalyptic hellscape, crashing and blasting everything in his way. Maybe he'll find allies. Maybe he'll find safety. No matter what though, he knows he's going to see a road full of fury. No really. That's what the opening narration says. Just roll with it.
Grey Alien Games' Regency Solitaire is as lovely and elegant as you'd expect an indie card game to be, which is quite lovely and elegant indeed. The game follows Bella, desperate to escape an arranged marriage to her less than desirable neighbour after her layabout brother gambles the family fortune away. Bella has dreams of marrying one very particular handsome suitor, but with the restrictions of regency society, that can't happen unless she restores her family wealth and reputation. Which you accomplish, naturally, by playing lots and lots of solitaire. Nothing weird about that. That's how we paid off our house. With 180 levels spread across 20 chapters, a beautiful, hand-drawn art style, and a few twists on the familiar solitaire formula, Regency Solitaire is an absolute pleasure for slow, relaxing card game strategy from start to finish.
Can't a bad guy leave anyone to enjoy a rainbow in peace? But then again, if they had, you wouldn't be about to play Keeper of the Grove 2, Booblyc's latest tower defense game. The team that brought you Incursion is back with another solid addition to the genre as you once again try to save magical gems from your attackers.You start out with three basic defenders... a long range guardian, a slowing ice magician, and an area of effect rock throwing monster. Your goal is to use these defenders to keep your treasures from being stolen. No time to dilly-dally under the lovely sky, you have a grove to protect!
Please be aware that this game is intended to be played with an XBOX Controller, though keyboard play is not impossible.
Guess what? I've battled an endless army of samurai ninjas to restore honor to my throne!... Alright so that last one was vicariously through Fowl Play Games new free indie game, Reign of Blades. Reign of Blades is a beautiful, well crafted hack and slash action game where you must avenge the death of your mother and take your rightful place on the throne. Using your Xbox controller, defeat all the enemies by hacking and slashing with [X] and using the special powers with [B], given to you by wearing the mystical helmets dropped by your fallen enemies. While the makers recommend the use of an Xbox controller, it should really be said that it's nearly impossible to play without one. There are keyboard controls, but no instructions for what button does what, as all information on how to play is directed for the controller. The mouse is the direction you turn, but it's a real workout just to turn around. It's such a shame for those who don't have an Xbox because this game is just plain fun to play. There is a blink ability that lets you pop up all over the screen and take your foes down from behind and it just doesn't work as smoothly with the keyboard. But if you have a controller then you're in for a wonderful treat.
What the dickens is this? (Just wait, that was clever, you'll see.) Charles Dickens (told you!) is in danger in Game Forest's hidden-object adventure Midnight Mysteries: Ghostwriting, and someone doesn't want you interfering. Seems he vanished after receiving a desperate call for help from his friend Washington Irving, and though his daughter Mary wants your help finding him, the super-fast and supernatural mysterious masked character lurking in the shadows really thinks you should mind your own business. This ain't your ordinary baddy either, since he can use books to travel to the locations described in them. Too bad for him, this ain't your first rodeo, and it's going to take more than magical book whirlwinds, forcefield green stink, a bunch of flaming jack-o-lanterns presumably filched from Norman Osborn, and an overload of vicious booby traps to throw you off the case. I got my own mansion, son! You'll use your foe's own bookery powers to hop from location to location, solving puzzles and hidden-object sequences, and getting a little help from your fine feathered friend along the way.
Terry Cavanagh and Stephen Lavelle's Moving Stories is part player-driven experimental narrative creation, and part packing simulator, as you control a young woman who's trying to figure out what to take with her as she moves out of her apartment. The catch is she's got limited space, and you can only take what will fit in her small suitcase, with different items being different sizes and shapes... and no, you can't rotate them. What you take and what you leave behind changes the dialogue and the reason you're moving... you could be leaving because she's moving in with someone, breaking up with someone, or, well, you'll see. You won't know until you finish packing your (occasionally strange or saucy) items and throw the rest out, and see who comes to the door after and why. Each time you replay, you'll also unlock new items to pack. It's a simple game on the surface, but also surprisingly addictive and clever as you discover what different combinations of items grant you.
David Surn's surreal roguelike-ish puzzle RPG-sy type game D.O.E.S. is weird, and I want to make sure you understand the irony of that coming from a woman who went to her most recent spin class in a Deadpool t-shirt and leopard print sweat pants. In it, you play U, a little creature searching the Dungeon Of Existential Surprise for all five Things in order to escape. To play, just click the tiles in the large grid... tiles can reveal anything from nothing at all to monsters (defeated in a simple fast click-fest that might make the game impossible for trackpad users), to "fun things". The latter are a series of random events, and you're given options as to how to deal with them. You'll notice these options rarely seem to make a lot of sense, and here's the kicker... your luck stat, represented by the four leaf clover to the left of the main screen, is then rolled dice-style against the evil dice roll, for each choice. Roll higher than the evil dice and get a good result, roll lower and lose, and some choices have a higher base dice number for disaster than others. So, yes, the game is kinda-sorta stacked against you, and there's a lot of trial-and-error involved in figuring out what does what, exactly, though you can uncover various power-ups that can make things easier, such as allowing you to see the numbers for each option on Fun Things. Die from your hit points running out, and you'll have to start all over, whereupon the board will scramble so you won't know where anything is. Unfair? Sure. Crass? Definitely. Potentially frustrating? Well, that all depends on you.
When their ship was attacked, the prisoners were grateful that each cell was also an escape pod. The pods were made to survive any landing and sure enough, the inmates awoke to find themselves buried far underground in what seems like an endless dungeon. Ironic, since they were being sent there to work off their prison sentence. Dungeon of the Endless by AMPLITUDE Studios is a roguelike, strategy sci-fi adventure RPG, with even more elements besides. The goal of the game is to get your team of heroes to find the exit, which leads into the next level. Not as easy as it sounds when you're in a mostly abandoned building filled with monsters. You only have so much "dust", which is converted into power to light the rooms, limited food to heal and upgrade, and also limited industry to build much needed defenses and mods to make more of the needed supplies. It is definitely a game of balance and one that will keep you busy trying to win for a long, long time.
Love to play games? Of course you do. Want to play games and earn sweet rewards doing it? Of course you do, and take that, mom, for saying games never get you anything! Playfire Rewards BETA is a free program that allows you to link your Steam account (get a free mystery game your first time!) and earn cool rewards like store credit through our affiliate partner, Greenman Gaming, just for playing! Check out the F.A.Q. to learn more, or sign up to start earning!
Please be advised there are themes in this game some people find upsetting.
I'm not sure I've heard of a more depressing game title than We Are All Going to Die. (Perhaps When the Bomb Goes Off?) But the premise isn't as depressing. You find on your spaceship someone has set a self-destruct to go off in one minute. One minute doesn't seem like a lot of time to explore this puzzle experimental game by Brwarner Studio, but due to [insert scifi space-y science talk here] you're trapped in a time loop. Ship blows up, you wake up in your bed. The timer doesn't start till you get out of the covers. Apparently you're the only one that can still retain the knowledge from the previous time, so it is up to you to find if you can save your crew. To do that you need to explore the ship (moving with the [WASD] keys only), find items that pick up as soon as you walk over them, and eavesdrop onto conversations your crew is having nearby. You'll have plenty of redos of the sixty seconds to solve this enigma. And an infinity of the same minute, if you can't.
Nothing's quite so thrilling as the Wild West. Open sky, hot sand, and an endless line of desperados in dire need of a bullet between the eyes. This is the world of Witchhunt's Smokin' Barrels 2, a duel-based shooter game where you need to be quick on the draw if you want to survive. Each round has you moving your cursor into the lower left corner to "holster" it for the countdown. When it's time to draw, drag the cursor to a target that appears somewhere on the screen and fire before your opponent does. Bonus damage is awarded for bullseyes but if your opponent is still standing you'll have to do it all over again. To the last man standing goes the loot, which can be spent in an upgrades shop for a variety of fun add-ons including armor, extra-damage bullets, and the odd belt of whiskey to get your cowboy back on his feet. Whatever you do, don't miss.
Even if you've tried only a handful, you know escape games come in a variety of wrappings and difficulty levels. Sometimes the best thing about a particular escape is the way it transports you to a scene of beauty and serenity, providing an affable assortment of tasks to amuse you while you soak in the surroundings. Other games are less about eye candy and more about putting your brain to work in one way or another. The main enjoyment in any Gatamari escape game comes from the pure logic of its puzzles. That's not to say that the art style, with static line drawings and a limited palate, is without its own charm. In fact, design and function line up perfectly here to become Gatamari's distinguishing characteristic which includes elements that will possibly remind you of Detarou. That is, minus the demented weirdness, and in a more abstract, less tangible sense; rather than an exact likeness, it's something about the way the puzzles are set up here. They'll keep you thinking, tease your brain in a good way, with some unexpected outcomes to amp up the fun factor. It's not the most difficult we've encountered by Gatamari, but it is sure to keep you busy for the next half hour or so...
This is the story of Wednesday. Wednesday, the little sister of Tuesday, sometimes got left behind. Everyone else seemed to have all the fun and, being a middle child, Wednesday often felt overlooked and under-appreciated. But Wednesday was clever—she had more than a few tricks up her sleeves. Everyone likes games, she thought, Especially escape games. So she devised a way to gather up all the escape games herself, be special, be unique, be attention-getting. This is how Weekday Escape came to be; it was Wednesday's master plan for popularity. Did it work? Well, you are here, aren't you? And you're not alone. Making an appearance this week, Selfdefiant presents a dragon cave from which you must escape along with two quickies from new guests, Pixel Kobo and Umi Escape...
When you think of thieves, what do you envision? A ski mask. Black, tight clothes. Sneaking around in the middle of the night. Well, Wonderstruck's indie stealth title for PC and Mac has little of them! In The Marvellous Miss Take, you go out on the prowl as cute and colorful Sophia as she attempts to steal back the collection that was wrongfully taken by Mr. Blackstone after her art-curating aunt passes away. It's a nonviolent trek you take through dozens of art galleries and personal collections to return your bequeathed paintings and sculptures. Cause who needs attorneys and lawful justice anyway? Take the law (and your expensive, fine art goods) into your own hands!
Love to play games? Of course you do. Want to play games and earn sweet rewards doing it? Of course you do, and take that, mom, for saying games never get you anything! Playfire Rewards BETA is a free program that allows you to link your Steam account (get a free mystery game your first time!) and earn cool rewards like store credit through our affiliate partner, Greenman Gaming, just for playing! Check out the F.A.Q. to learn more, or sign up to start earning!
Choice of Robots, from Kevin Gold and the inestimable Choice of Games, playable as a download, paid browser purchase, or for iOS and Android, is a meathy and philosophical sci-fi-esque text adventure presented "Choose Your Own Adventure" style that takes you through thirty years in the life of, well, you. Though of course here "you" means "a young man or woman building their first robotic intelligence and deciding both what that means for them, the world, and what will become of them". You'll literally design your robot from the ground up, and its purpose, personality, and ultimate destiny comes down to the choices you make. Virtually everything you do has an impact on your robot's system in the form of stats like Grace and Autonomy, while other decisions can impact your personal wealth, reputation, or even your relationships with the many characters you'll meet. Make the right connections and you could end up running your own robotics company, falling in love, or developing important friendships that could help you in the future... after all, you never know who's going to turn out to be President. Your path can branch in a truly enormous number of ways, and the world will change drastically over those three decades... will you fade into obscurity? Become a tyrant who crushes the world with a merciless army of your own? Find the person of your dreams... or build them? Thoughtfully written with warmth, humour, and intrigue, Choice of Games is an intensely satisfying text adventure that will keep you coming back for more with its myriad of endings and decisions that let you play the game how you want to, making for one of the most compelling text games in a long time.
no1game continues their quest to drag one little girl kicking and screaming into self-sufficiency with My First Recital, a cute escape game where you, a kindergartner who's used to having her mom help with everything, have to get ready for your hula recital all by yourself. To do so, you'll need to find all the items on your list and place them on the table in the middle of the room. There's no changing cursor, so click everywhere to interact and hunt for items! Like My First Christmas Tree Escape, this one is a little simpler than no1game's usual style, and almost seems intended to be a kid-centric escape game... which isn't necessarily a bad thing, since I've always said you've got to get your ankle biters started early on the good stuff if you want them to appreciate their genres! And hey, maybe this time they'll even learn to do things for themselves a little in the process... though we might offer if your kid's daily routine consists of solving multiple puzzles and tussling with squirrels, you might want to ease up a bit.
Neither rain nor snow nor really enormous vampire bat will keep William the Conqueror from rescuing the princess in this simple incremental game that plays a bit more like an "endless runner" arcade game, only with lots and lots of stabbing. And upgrades! William will move and automatically attack enemies as he walks, and all you have to do is spend the cash he earns from his slaying on upgrading his skills and abilities. Chances are he's going to need some help, however, so you'll also have to click on the screen to increase his damage, or on his fireball and freeze spells to use them. Make sure to check the Achievements tab to claim your rewards when you reach various milestones! If William is slain, well, it's right back to the beginning to keep on ploddin', but things will move much faster once you've upgraded several skills a few times. While William the Conqueror plays by itself, it does so very slowly, and the need to manually respawn means you can't just let the game run to rack up coin unattended, though the expense of upgrades tends to be balanced by increasingly higher bonuses. Coupled with its relatively simple, grind-y nature, that means it won't necessarily be for everyone, but once it gets rolling, the enemies, upgrades, and bright cartoon style makes this a solid little diversion to let you save the kingdom without lifting a finger. ... well, just the one, I guess.
Ninjadoodle's point-and-click puzzle game Lightybulb is just the sort of browser game you need now and again... just thinky enough, beautifully made, and ridiculously cute. In each level, your goal is to figure out how to turn on the lightbulb, but it's rarely as simple as flipping a switch. All you need to do to play is click to interact with things, but you'll need to experiment in each level to figure out what you need to do, since it often isn't obvious. Some levels are more clever than others, largely because Lightybulb is more satisfying when it relies on solutions that incorporate brainpower and ingenuity rather than simple reflexes, and some levels "repeat" by using the same puzzle style in others. Still, Lightybulb is smart, simple, and gorgeous, a testament to why Ninjadoodle makes some of the sweetest little point-and-click puzzle games around, and the perfect size to shed a little light into your day.
It shouldn't be much of a surprise that different developers, each creating a game called "Perspective", would approach the concept from their own unique... viewpoint, let's say. First there was a depiction of life from the experience of a pet in NFyre's 2D Perspective. Then there was the 3D platformer where the world around you changed depending on your point-of-view in DigiPen's Perspective. But now, Steve Warman and his team of students has given the world of casual gaming a whole new Perspective, and this time it's a puzzle platformer that straddles the second and third dimension like no other!... Okay, Super Paper Mario and Sky Island may take issue with that "like no other" part. But since those were fun games, it's no spoiler to say that this one is too!
Everyone knows when someone tells you they want you to bring them "the stars in the sky" to prove your love, you're supposed to bring them a bucket of water, but apparently nobody told the hero of Yuriy Votintsev's charming little physics puzzler Starry Knight because he's taken to flinging himself violent through the air via the use of an enormous elastic band to snag the stars for his lady fair. To play, all you need to do is click the knight or the tree his band is attached to, and he'll launch automatically... you need to nab all three stars and land on the princess in order to proceed to the next level. But because not everything is placed in a straight line, you'll also need to drag and rotate strategically placed wooden planks for our knight to bounce off of. It's a simple game, but surprisingly a lot harder than it looks, and its lovely pixel style and relaxing soundtrack make it a nice light treat to brighten your day.
Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Castle, the newest hidden-object adventure from Eipix Interactive and Big Fish Games, opens with a lady scientist in the 1800s having a science-like breakthrough. Hooray! But then of course her children ruin everything, with her Darwin Award-winning daughter gleefully wandering up to the dangerous electrical device to get sucked in, and the scientist destroys the device in a fit of despair, so it was nice while it lasted, I guess. Back in present day, you and your fellow H.E.L.P. agent are called to the Smithsonian Castle, the Smithsonian Institute's administration building, when a strange power outage reveals an intruder making a strange theft. It quickly becomes apparent this ain't your average burglary, however, and your thief ain't your average thief either. It's a wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey adventure as you uncover a love and a caper that spans centuries. You'll hunt for items through a variety of hidden-object scenes that change how they play, solve so many puzzles and minigames it's a wonder anyone at the Smithsonian can get anything done, and learn that the Smithsonian's insect cabinet was built in the 17th century and assembled from walnut, oak, and fruitwood, and... wait... I feel... weird. What's happening to me? Am I... learning? Is this an... educational game? NooooOOooOOoo! Someone fetch me some episodes of The Real Housewives of Wherever, STAT!
Originally available as DLC for Harebrained Schemes' lovely indie turn-based strategy RPG Shadowrun Returns, Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut is a polished, standalone version of the stellar cyberpunk campaign that improved on its predecessor in all the very best ways, and also available for iPad and Android Tablets to boot. Taking place in 2054 Berlin, in a world where shamans, orks, elves, "deckers" and street samurai work alongside humans, trolls, and dwarves, you find yourself on what should be a simple job with your old friend Monika and her team. When things suddenly go very, very wrong, you not only find yourself trying to unravel a deadly mystery before it gets you first, but you're also now in control of a group of Runners who, frankly, don't know or respect you very well. You'll need to prove yourself to them and the city, but now that it's clear you have the attention of some very big powers, you might not even survive. With snappy writing, an engaging story, memorable characters and even more choice and freedom than before, Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut is a top-notch RPG that addresses nearly every complaint about Shadowrun Returns without losing the things that fans loved.
Love to play games? Of course you do. Want to play games and earn sweet rewards doing it? Of course you do, and take that, mom, for saying games never get you anything! Playfire Rewards BETA is a free program that allows you to link your Steam account (get a free mystery game your first time!) and earn cool rewards like store credit through our affiliate partner, Greenman Gaming, just for playing! Check out the F.A.Q. to learn more, or sign up to start earning!
In Krutovig's point-and-click adventure Abandoned, everyone else in your family thought your brother was rather eccentric but harmless with his talk of doors to other worlds until he goes missing in what was presumably an epic fit of "I'll show them. I'll show them all!" Heading to Tibet where he was last known to be and armed with a letter from him, you quickly discover your brother maybe wasn't completely crazy after all, and you set out to follow his tracks. To play, just click the edges of the screen to navigate to other areas when available, and your cursor will change whenever it passes over something you can interact with. Items in you inventory can be used by clicking them to pick them up, or combined by clicking first one then the other whenever possible. When in doubt, retrace your steps! You may find that something you've done has revealed something else in a place you've already been before. Keep an eye out for secrets as well, as there are four hiding throughout the game.
It's the end of the world as we know it, and you feel fine. Of course, by "fine" I mean "You woke up confused, disoriented, and barely closed in some sort of dilapidated cryogenic facility being stalked by some sort of beast monster, and the world outside is hostile and in ruins where other bedraggled survivors will stab you with a broken bottle for a Twinkie, and you may die of hypothermia before you can even find out what that mysterious glow on the horizon is." But other than that, totally fine. Blue Bottle Games' NEO Scavenger is a brutal post-apocalyptic indie turn-based survival adventure, with a bit of a rogue-like flair. As you begin the game with nothing more than the hospital gown on your back, and a strange talisman around your neck, you're cold, weak, and very, very vulnerable. You don't know what's going on, or really even who you are, and the entire world is out to get you. You'll explore a huge, til-based world turn-based style, scavenging for supplies when you can, while at the same time coping with hunger, thirst, the elements, and the creatures and characters hunting this strange new land. You may get lucky and find a ratty old shirt and a single shoe in some ruins, or you may get stuck in a hole. You might be able to craft traps, weapons, and other useful items, or you might be attacked by a cultist and left to bleed out. Will you ever find out who you are and what happened in the world? Or will you die an unknown... or be manipulated by forces far greater than you? After years in development, NEO Scavenger is an impressive, deep, and engaging survival simulation adventure who rewards the patient and the clever... but also sometimes just caves your head in.
My Friend Pedro was a game about a talking banana encouraging you to do Matrix-style levels of acrobatic violence against a volatile gang, and because people really like twirling through the air in slow motion wielding dual pistols at the behest of a sociopathic piece of fruit, now there's My Friend Pedro: Arena from DeadToast, a shorter arena shooter style spin on the original bizarre concept. The controls are fairly simple... [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to move and jump, aim and shoot with the mouse, and of course, hold the [spacebar] to slow down time. You'll need to backflip off walls and other surfaces to reach higher ground, and you'll also want to keep an eye on your health to the right side of the screen. A single headshot will take out most enemies, but you're outnumbered, so watch out for health kits, and if an enemy drops their weapon, nabbing it will give you more ammo. You can spend the coupons you earn for how stylishly you fought each level on more weapons, but they're only good for one time for whatever level you purchased them on, so you'll need to buy them again if you die or complete the stage. But hey, waste not, want not, and if an enemy drops their weapon and you don't already have it, you'll gain access to it for the remainder of the level as well. My Friend Pedro: Arena is short, but action-packed and weird, and if you've ever dreamed of firing two guns into the air while going arrrrrrr, then this is probably the game for you, you glorious, bizarre banana, you.
Head for the hills! It's a headless undead... oh wait! It's just that Headless Zombie, Carl. Poor old Carl. Once a rich bloke with nothing to lose or so he thought 'til he lost his head. What? Too soon? Long story short, Carl is stuck in his undead form but with a little help from that wonderful electricity genius we all know and love maybe he can bring our charming little Carl back to life. That's right, Meowbeast brings us the second installment of this zombie platform puzzle, Headless Zombie 2, where Tesla is willing to help bring our hero back to life as long as he agrees to find the cogs Tesla needs strewn throughout levels. As before, Carl can pop off his head and use it to press switches and so forth, even if that head is a robotic substitute... though there's nothing like the real thing, so Carl still needs to have his head on his shoulders before he can go through a level's exit. That robot head has its own uses, however, and in addition to being a surrogate noggin, if it touches any electric orbs it'll be charged so that if it's placed on (or lands on!) a robot body, it'll move on its own, and can even be used to activate other electrical components like magnets... handy if you, say, have an anvil for a head, which you very well will. Sometimes Carl's head may land on a different body, and when that happens, both it and his headless body will move at the same time... just be careful, since a robot torso may be fireproof, thus allowing you to get through flames safely, but Carl's good old zombie body is not, and those electric balls can burn you up good too!
On the Moondrop website, Amphora is described as "a peculiar puzzle game that mixes story elements and physics." Now, when a developer claims that its own game is peculiar, that's something that makes me both intrigued and skeptical, like a movie poster that's made up its own adjectives to declare itself "Potter-riffic" or whatever. However, having played through Amphora, one has to agree that it is indeed peculiar. It is also magical, enjoyable, and strangely haunting in its own unique way. While its plot is generally shown rather than told, you play as a spirit who apparently resides in the titular Amphora... which, for the record, Webster's tells us is "a tall ancient Greek or Roman jar with two handles and a narrow neck." You act as a kind of guardian to a little girl as she grows, learns, loves, loses, and becomes a woman.
Mateusz Skutnik has already helped us ring in the New Year in years past, point-and-click puzzle style, and with Where is 2015? we go on a gorgeous, subtly animated photographic journey through the months of the year, reassembling a calendar and hopping from place to place. To play, just click when the cursor changes to show you can interact with something, and click on items in your inventory to pick them up to use, or view them up close. Where is 2015? is similar to the 10 Gnomes style of interaction, where you're exploring environments made up of beautifully detailed pictures and close-ups trying to find hidden items or mechanisms, though not every location or view has something for you to find. Just remember to look in every nook and cranny, examine your inventory, and revisit places you've been before!
It's the end of 2014 which means this is the last Weekday Escape of 2014. To mark the occasion, let's raise our glasses in a toast to a few of 2014's mostest. So cheers and brrrrs to you, Ice Bucket Challenge, for giving us laughter, a few tears, and awareness of a very good cause. The ante can only be upped from here, think: 2015 breath fire dare? Next, cheers to All About That Bass, for not only did you get us to shake it, but the spin-offs and mash-ups ensured it'll be well into 2016 before the tune fades into quietude. Cheers, Alex From Target, for making thousands of school girls swoon by doing nothing—no song, no video, no magazine cover, just a red shirt and a name tag—that's true ninja heart throb skill in action! Thusly, we should also toast Heart Emoji for taking less than three and turning it into that which makes the world go around; 143 could only watch in envy. But let's save our most ebullient cheers for the escape games that inspired and entertained us since Tesshi-e's Mr. K never let us down, Lo.Nyan's gorgeous interiors became free luxury vacations, Haretoki's strange contraptions let us play like kids again. Plus there was this by Mateusz Skutnik because of you, JIG community. As we're toasting and sharing memories, here's a few more to close out the year...
If you love Fallout, then you owe a lot to Wasteland, Interplay Productions' 1988 (!!) hit RPG that laid the groundwork for everyone's favourite post-apocalyptic saga. Now, over twenty-five years later, inXile Enertainment and about seventy thousand Kickstarter backers Wasteland 2. The story goes, explained in a surprisingly well-acted live-action opening cutscene full of people who are very dirty but all have beautiful flat-ironed hair, as that whole "end of the world" thing, the wasteland was rampant with murderers, gangs, cannibals... all of them turned loose on the terrified civilians who survived. Those who were willing to rise up and defend those who couldn't defend themselves became known as the Desert Rangers, of which your newly created party of four will be a part of. As the game opens, your group of Rangers are investigating the suspicious death of one of your own, someone whose body was found shortly after they went off to investigate a troubling radio transmission. Though you and your party (all four of whom you'll create from scratch) are still a little green around the gills, you're being sent out to investigate, and it goes without saying that there's a whole lot of big, dark danger waiting for you out there in the ruins of Arizona. Sporting brutal turn-based combat, complex character creation, and a pitch-black sense of humour, Wasteland 2 is a game that will fight you every step of the way, but will definitely be worth your time despite some rough edges if you're looking for a challenging strategy RPG with toasters, toads, carnivorous fungi, cannibals, and much, much more.
KamotoKamotoKamo is rapidly turning into one of those escape game developers whose name alone lets you know you're in for some surprises, and It's About Time does not prove the exception to the rule. Things seem relatively straightforward at first as you find yourself in a room with a obvious mechanisms and abstract design choices, but the more you explore, you'll realize very quickly that there's more here than meets the eye. The cursor will change when you pass it over something you can interact with, and most of your time should be spent paying very close attention to your environment for clues to solve puzzles. If you can't figure out what something you've just interacted with did, you'll probably want to take another look around every place you can get to, just in case something has changed. It's About Time may be sneaky, but as long as you keep perspective, you should be able to find your way home!
It's the classic story. Boy goes adventuring, boy gets trapped in a cube (nevermind how), boy faces danger and must use his wits and never-ending supply of crates to escape. Though really it's your cleverness that is needed to get the boy out in Box! an interesting and engaging puzzle platform game created by Jeremy Cytryn, Renchu Song, Sam Chen and Will Peck, with art by Kevin Ma and Natalie Diebold, and music from Brigid Choi. Use the [arrow] keys to walk and jump. Press [space bar] to deploy a box in the direction you are facing, and again to destroy a box you are looking at, including ones above and below you. Use [WASD] to look around the corners of the cube to see what's ahead, or to make sure you won't die a fiery death if you drop down.
Ask any six-year-old, or twenty-six-year-old who's been putting adulthood off for a couple of decades, and they'll give it to you straight: There's nothing in this world more awesome than a cardboard box. So obviously, a puzzle game based on the delightful properties of cubical cardstock must be really awesome, right? Worry not, for Hadyn Lander tests this theory with the whimsical This Way Up! Don't just play with a cardboard box, become one. Only instead of the limitless potential of the imagination, this box is filled with a limitless supply of magical purple pellets which it can fire at will with the [spacebar]... but only out of its top side. Since your boxy body can only move by turning over one side at a time, making sure your top end is actually facing what you want to shoot at isn't so easy! Using the [arrow] keys, tumble your way through a fanciful neighborhood in the sky... avoid malfunctioning fire hydrants, be careful around those icy patches, and carefully get into position to fire violet balls, ping lots of glowing tetrahedral switches, and open the way forward. The bubbly, content music, musical sound effects, and summery aesthetic give This Way Up a relaxing feel, but though chill, this puzzler still has a few teeth!
Alec Holowka, Scott Benson, and Bethany Hockenberry deliver a moody, lovely, and even frequently funny indie spin on folklore in Lost Constellation, a chilly ghost story based on a folk tale from their upcoming title, Night in the Woods. Framed as a bedtime story for a particularly spunky kitten, you find yourself in the snowy woods on a mission to keep a promise. It's strange and surreal and maybe even a little unsettling... everyone you meet seems convinced you're going to die, but you're determined to make it through no matter what you might see or hear. You're looking for the forest god, after all, and the frozen lake, and on this, the Longest Night, anything is possible. Use [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to move, [spacebar] to jump, and click on people and objects to interact. When dialogue balloons have little blue arrows on either side of their text, you can click those to cycle through different things to say. Keep your eyes peeled for objects in the trees... you can click and hold on the snow you're walking on to collect snowballs, then aim and fire with the mouse to throw them at things. Note that while Lost Constellation is available as "pay your own price", including free, if you enjoy it, please remember to support your indie developers!
At a quick glance, Eugene Karataev's Mustache Time, looked like another physics puzzler game. You need to prevent the mustachioed balls from falling off the screen while eliminating those who are clean shaven (the mustache rules all) by drawing endless amounts of stone blocks for them to fall on. While it already sounds like a great premise there is a new twist of reality being broken, and I'm not just talking about how gravity doesn't work 'til you start drawing in each level. In every level there is only one small area you are allowed to use your mouse in. Outside of that area is another you, or two other you, or more of you that mimic what you do but in their own way. While usually they lay out the stone just as you do, there are times when the screen they are on is mirrored from yours, or upside down. This isn't your average physics game, and it's going to take a lot more than your average solutions to make it through.
If you're at all into Western RPGs, then Bioware is probably a name that makes your heart go pitty-pat. They've been behind some of the most (rightfully) highly praised RPGs of all time, from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic to Baldur's Gate, and they're also responsible for two of the biggest RPG series in recent memories... Mass Effect, and Dragon Age. If you're a fantasy fan, it's the latter that held your heart, and Dragon Age: Inquisition has arrived to devour every scrap of your free time for the foreseeable future. As Inquisition begins, roughly ten years after Dragon Age: Origins, the world is already having its share of problems, when the mages, who have previously lived under lockdown, decide to buck the Templars' control. Things go from rocky to, well, apocalyptic when a massive rift opens in the sky and demons begin pouring out of it. In the middle of all that, literally, comes you. You appear out of nowhere, staggering out of a glowing portal, and suddenly you find yourself named the Herald of Andraste whether you like it or not. Admittedly, when you discover you've got the power to close the rifts opening up all over the realm, it does seem like you're destined for some pretty big things... too bad that means a lot of people want you dead, and you're suddenly saddled with the responsibility of leading the Inquisition to boot. Now you're leading an army, and all you have to do is close that enormous breach in the sky and everything will go back to normal... right? With a daunting amount of play time, huge, open maps filled with quests that span both Ferelden and Orlais, an epic quest with a diverse and fully realized cast, and a massive stronghold to oversee and grow, Dragon Age: Inquisition isn't without its flaws, but is formidable and fun in all the right ways.
When it comes to escape game creators, few developers are likely doodled in notebooks of their players with little hearts around them as often as Tesshi-e probably is, and so The Happy Escape 8 definitely lives up to its name. As the game opens (after you set the language to English if you can't read Japanese!), you're just about to close up your coffee shop at the end of a tiring day when Santa Claus magics you away. Christmas is finally over, and he wants nothing more than to relax with a cup of your famous coffee, which must get some seriously awesome Yelp reviews to kidnapping you to the North Pole. Santa, we seriously need to have a talk about boundaries, though considering all that "he knows when you're sleeping" stuff, that's probably a lost cause. There's no changing cursor, so just click everywhere to navigate and hunt for things to interact with. Items you're carrying can be viewed up close if you click them and then choose "about item", which can sometimes reveal hidden functions when you click on them again. If you want to get out, you'll need to brew Santa a cuppa, and don't forget about those Happy Coins either!
Goody Gameworks' Caravan Beast is basically a very Pokemon-esque RPG with a very literal carrot and stick, as you play a young boy named Arche who has big dreams of becoming a Beast Tamer. Beast Tamers, trained at the Academy, can hatch Beasts from eggs and train them as they travel around the world, visiting powerful Masters and defeating them to gain their trust and prove their own worth. No tiny metal balls for your beastly companions, however... as the name implies, your beasts follow along behind you as you walk, with a little encouragement from a dangling piece of bait. The game's in-depth tutorial will walk you through the basics, but they're pretty, well... basic. You'll click on locations on the map to travel there, and automatically begin the journey, which can take several days. As Arche and his Beasts walk along automatically, you click repeatedly on trees, rocks, and more to make them drop loot, and at the end of each day, your caravan will rest, letting you feed your Beasts and prepare for the next day. You may encounter wild Beasts, and your own will fight automatically, being helped or hindered by various types of terrain. (Be aware that if you choose to forfeit instead of fight, your current journey will end and you'll have to start from the beginning of your route!) Win, and your Beasts will not only gain experience to level up, but you may also find an egg to hatch a new one. It's a simple format that may be a little too automatic and clicky for some players, but the vibrant visuals, cheery mood, and piles of Beasts to raise and train will be just the hook for some to strap on their walking shoes and travel across the land, searching far and wide...
I like to think that somewhere in the current revised edition of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Detarou has a footnote all their own, only instead of "mostly harmless", it's just a bunch of question marks. Detemita Escape locks you up somewhere weird, but let's be honest... that's what we're all here for. If there weren't grown men in strange costumes doing vaguely unsettling things, we'd go home disappointed. The cursor will change whenever you mouse over something you can interact with, but that's the only help you're going to get. Clues are hidden everywhere, and even different viewpoints can be sneakily tucked away in odd locations, so pay attention to everything. Detarou delights at peppering puzzles that require codes to crack, but even the typical "use item X on object Y" point-and-click gameplay requires a little thinking outside the box. Double-click an item to view it up close, or click it once to "equip" it for use, and remember to save your game from time to time. There are three endings to find, after all, but not all of them are good.
The next time someone accuses you of being a crazy cat person, you can just give a patronizing little chuckle, secure in the knowledge that you're ready for the upcoming fox invasion with your well-trained (and adorable) attack force while your detractors will be crushed beneath the mecha-fox feet. Strikeforce Kitty 2 follows in the pawsteps of the original, serving up fast-paced arcade action as you lead and upgrade a fearsome foursome of felines through a series of levels to thwart the evil fox empire. It's a simple premise, and yet the formula is considerably different this time around. Your cats still run and attack automatically, and you can click to jump, and every level is literally overflowing with all sorts of armor and weapons that you can nab from fallen enemies to equip your kitties. Each enemy offers a unique set of equipment, often based on characters from pop culture, and every piece they drop can be equipped on any cat, in any configuration, offering bonuses and even new abilities that will allow you to access places in levels that were previously out of reach. When you have the required ability to bypass an obstacle (you'll need all pieces of the appropriate costume equipped on one cat), it'll activate automatically when needed. In the sequel, the game has moved to a level-based format, with each area being small and contained, gotten rid of the stamina bar, and instead of attacking continuously, both friends and foes will have a bar above their head that will slowly fill before they can act automatically. But wait! That's not all! Throw in locked doors and keys, switches and moving platforms, special powers, lottery tickets, training room, boss stages, and more, and Strikeforce Kitty 2 is remarkably more fleshed out than its predecessor... but does it all work?
The last we saw of Snail Bob he was traveling through a world of point-and-click puzzle fantasy. Now in the cold winter months he's moved on to a much better fantasy in my book... a warm tropical island. But nothing is a vacation for Bob, not with the Frog/Lizard snail-eating tribe after him. Snail Bob 8:Island Story, by Andrey Kovalishin starts with Snail Bob being literally cut away from his bearded elderly grandfather while ice-fishing and finding his way across the oceans back into the warm but dangerous jungle. Snail Bob is an ambitious little fella and is always wanting to move unless you put him back in his shell by clicking on him, or tapping the [spacebar]. You can also turn him around and speed him up, either by using the number buttons or clicking on the icon in the corner. It's your job to keep Snail Bob moving the right way, or stopping him to wait for the disasters to pass. Your other job is to push buttons, switch levers, chase away hungry creatures and much more by using clicking to interact with them. Otherwise it's just one slip that ends Snail Bob's life and that is no way to end a vacation.
I wonder why we so eagerly enjoy the division of the color of shapes. What makes the red in Red Removers worse than that soft blue? Or how we are ordered to put them on their platforms of their own color and not with any other shapes of another hue as in Cyclops Physics and do so without question. There seems to be some horrifying level of hierarchy that takes place in theses physic tumbledrop games that we mere human players are unaware of. But oh well! They are sure a blast to play and the 'evil' ones always look grumpy, so we're probably all good. Transblockies, by OZDY, is next to join this frenzy of these puzzlers. Click to change the shape to alter its body into a new configuration in order to bump, slide, and/or roll the purple enemy shapes off the screen while leaving the happier ones intact. It's fun for the whole family and the whole family of gadgets (It's a mobile game for Android and Amazon, for a little fee, and iOS is coming soon) that is, if you don't get involved in the moral dilemmas of anthropomorphic shapes.
Originally only available for Playstation 3 and now finally ported to PC, Sega's Valkyria Chronicles is a meaty turn-based strategy RPG that follows the brutal and bloody war between East Europan Imperial Alliance and the Empire, who have been clashing over the availability of a mineral called Ragnite, right before it involves the previously neutral Principality of Gallia. At the start of the game, a young man named Welkin is returning home to the tiny village of Bruhl in Gallia just as the Empire (it's always an evil empire) is about to declare war on Gallia to seize the Ragnite deposits. Neither Welkin nor his adoptive sister Isara are soldiers, despite both being descended from well-known war heroes, and new town watch captain Alicia has more experience baking bread than she does holding a rifle. They're about to learn, however, that sometimes you don't get to choose whether you get involved. Driven from their home and conscripted into the Gallian military, Welkin and his friends believe they'll be able to return home one day... but will they recognise the town or themselves when they do? With a deep story, likable, human characters, and compelling, challenging battles, Valkyria Chronicles is a cut above the rest in almost every conceivable way, with a PC port that doesn't cut corners. Also, I expect some sort of prize for going this entire review without once calling it Valkyrie Profile, which isn't easy to do when you're old. Where's my rocking chair? Get off my lawn!
Love to play games? Of course you do. Want to play games and earn sweet rewards doing it? Of course you do, and take that, mom, for saying games never get you anything! Playfire Rewards BETA is a free program that allows you to link your Steam account and earn cool rewards like store credit through our affiliate partner, Greenman Gaming, just for playing! Check out the F.A.Q. to learn more, or sign up to start earning!
How do you explain a game like Pizzamakesgames's Skullz? In the beginning it is described as a bad trip, but I'm not too sure if they meant the effects of some sort of hallucinogen or some adventure you went on before finding yourself lost, dazed, and confused. This surreal gamedoesn't just start like that, but carries that theme of "Whaaaa?" throughout it. Almost set up as a text adventure with images it gives you an illusion of choice as you go through the madness of this dark world, with your trusty sidekick, or perhaps arch nemesis, or annoying Navi style guide, or maybe... perhaps I should give up on trying to label him. He's a talking skull. At times he's not even too sure who he is. Confused? Great you're ready to start. There is a story here and your questions eventually get answered with a "Ohhhhh... wait... then... what?" It is an experience though. A dark, macabre tale similar to games like, Samantha Wins or the Nekra Psaria series, but with much less puzzle solving and a slightly clearer tale to tell.
It's the night before Christmas and we here at JayIsGames want to wish you merry merriment and festive festivities, whatever you might be doing. If you're here, though, that means you're playing more free online escape games. As well you should, being what a cold night it is in Yonashi's whimsical world. But, thanks to Flash512, Santa brought you a gift, and it's a nice gift, but only the most clever can get through the jolly one's test and leave with it. After that, help little Northan get into Jenny's house: she'll only let you in if you can solve all the puzzles because, well, that's what friends do for holiday fun...
Nitrome has graced us once more with a wonderful fantastic platform game better than all the rest. What could make it better than all the rest? It's endless platforms, to start with. It's also not only for browser but your iOS and Android devices alike. The goal of Platform Panic is to gather up coins in order to unlock the other platform heroes and find out which is the best... can you guess who they all represent? The biggest issue is every hero seems to be in a panic and won't stop moving. They are always on the run either out of fear or maybe just an eagerness to show what an amazing hero they can be, which makes them a little harder to control. The left and right [arrow] keys make them change direction, while tapping up makes them jump, and you'll need to be quick to help them evade dangers through the randomized order of levels, where spikes, robots, bouncy pads and more lurk. Use the coins you collect to unlock different characters to play as!
Ah, the holidays. Nothing says Santa like a ton of explosives, amirite? In Sos Sosowski's short but frantic point-and-click puzzle game McPixel Xmas Special, there's a bomb in each itty-bitty level, and our hero has only twenty seconds to find and somehow neutralize it, which would probably be a lot easier if he didn't operate on bizarro logic. To play, just click to interact. Chances are you'll need to experiment a whole lot before you win since the solutions and actions are deliberately silly, or even raunchy or often violent. When a level ends, it automatically cycles to the next one, which can be annoying if you just want to replay one in particular until you win, but them's the breaks. If you like this, be sure to support the developer and check out the original full game, which is available for iOS and Android as well as your computer, and has 100 levels plus free DLC!
[Note: A Postcard of Afthonia is free to download, but please consider picking up the Special Edition with commentary and additional content to support the creator!]
There's a war going on in Verena and Jonas Kyratzes' beloved Lands of Dream, and in this short indie point-and-click adventure, you've been summoned through a very small magical portal to help two people in need. A Postcard from Afthonia has you helping Kyon and Katerina, who have put aside the differences cats and dogs typically have as they've fallen in love, and are even expecting a child. They're a little nervous about the future, with the war going on and interbreeding not always looked upon favorably by certain people, so they want you to visit the Oracle on their behalf. To play, just click to interact in the large in-game window on the left side of the screen whenever the cursor changes. When talking to people, just click the different dialogue topics to change the discussion. On the right side of the screen, the top-most window will give you directional arrows to let you move around. Below that is Mrs Papyrus, who will keep track of your tasks, and below that is your map, which lets you travel to different locations. The last window at the bottom holds your inventory, but don't focus solely on grabbing everything you can and barreling through your objectives, because A Postcard from Afthonia is all about the journey and the people in it.
There's snow day like a Robamimi escape day, and Snow Dance 2 is the perfect festive treat to play curled up with your favourite Christmas beverage and get away from the chill. Click around to interact, and the cursor will change when you mouse over something you can use. Double-click an item in your inventory to view it up close, or click it once to highlight it for use. The hint button will give you a nudge in whatever direction you should be focused on next, but don't get complacent. You'll still need to be on the lookout for clues, and figure out how to interpret them when you spot 'em, which is easier said than done. Apparently Robamimi doesn't think Christmas is any excuse to slack off on your escape exercising, and you might find it more of a challenge than the original Snow Dance was.
Have yourself a merry little button game... Tototo Room gets Christmassy with Button Escape: Chapter Edition, where you'll need to find and click on eleven gray balls hidden throughout the scene in order to light up all the ornaments on the Christmas tree if you want to escape. This one definitely falls into the "blink and you'll miss it" category, with a decided emphasis on cracking codes and no inventory items whatsoever. But if you want something sweet and festive with just enough puzzle oomph to start your gears turning for give minutes, Button Escape: Chapter Edition is the perfect Christmas treat to whet your appetite without wearing you out... after all, you need to be in tip-top shape to stay up and catch Santa Claus, right?
Hey, everyone, Emily is back! What do you mean, Emily who? Only the owner of a beloved restaurant, a former cooking TV show star and a local superhero, always there when her hometown of Snuggford needs her. Of course, I'm talking about the Delicious time-management series by Zylom Game Studio, and its newest member, Delicious: Emily's New Beginning. In the recent past, Emily got married and went on a honeymoon cruise, and now she has given birth to a lovely baby girl. The problem is that Emily can't imagine her life without her cozy little restaurant, so she decides to reopen it and take care of her daughter Paige at the same time. Ever wondered what it would be like to juggle a baby and a bunch of full plates, while impatient customers tap their fingers on the tables? If so, step right this way, please, and try not to trip over the toys scattered all over the floor.
With Christmas right around the corner, you might be saying, "But Dora, this is the worst possible time to be spending money on a bunch of games!" To that I say, "WRONG! Foolish mortal, this is the best possible time to be spending money on a bunch of games!" Now's your chance to pick up a bunch of great games on the cheap you can use as digital stocking stuffers for the nerdy in your life... or, okay, yes, add to your growing library of electronic joy. This week has a little sumpin' sumpin' for everyone, from some huge classic indie RPGs, top-down space shooting action, visual novel rrrrrrrrrrrrromance, indie adventure, and much, much more.
In Funkyland's Alice House No. 9: Alice's Evidence, if you want to escape this red, red room, you'll have to find five items bearing the Knave of Hearts. There's no changing cursor, but the room is fairly small and limited to only a handful of views, so you should have no trouble finding the items and Knaves you need as long as you remember to look on and under absolutely everything... and provided you can crack a code or two of course. Like all of the Alice House escapes, Alice's Evidence is short and sweet, just the ticket for when you want a snack-sized game, complete with a snack itself if those tempting tarts on the table are anything to go by.
The story behind Alpinist Escape, by Pine Studios (formerly Just Pine Games) and also free for iOS and Android, is you and your friends go skiing for the first time and your group discovers a cabin. As you walk in you hear the door lock behind you and then presumably the giggles and snorts of your friends as they run off into the cold darkness that is the winter night. Long story short, you need some new friends. If you enjoy solving puzzles and escaping then they are the most thoughtful friends on the earth, because that is exactly what you need to do. The pleasant, soft music and the witty things said when you pick up items are kind of pushing the more happier story where in the end instead of calling the cops or getting in a large fist fight, it will more likely be laughter all around and pats on the back. Alpinist Escape is simple, short, but cheery enough to keep you warm no matter what room you've been locked in.
What it is with hotels? If it's not demons, it's curses or a war between evil, and some other evil. Or, well, maybe it's you, since you and your friend James (who you keep rather endearingly labeled in your scrapbook as "professional detective") seem to constantly find yourselves wrapped up in bed-and-breakfast themed trouble. In Elephant Games' hidden-object adventure Haunted Hotel: Death Sentence, James has kicked the bucket, taken a dirt nap, bought the farm, ridden the pale horse... he's totes dead, yo, and a note slipped under your door from him that was presumably written before that happen tells you the Holy Mountain Hotel is the cause of it all. You quickly discover there's nothing sacred about this place, and though it looks as if it's been abandoned for years, it's clear that the people who have visited it have all had one thing in common... guilt. If you want to survive the spectre meting out justice from beyond the grave, you'll need to hunt for clues and items to solve puzzles, and of course crack a few hidden-object scenes along the way. And you know what? Maybe the next time I need somewhere to stay while I'm traveling I'll just... I'll just couch surf a little.
Minding your own business is probably a good rule of thumb when traveling intergalactically. I mean, no one wants to answer a distress call and end up with an alien exploding out of their chest. But what do you do if you are minding your own business when suddenly you're attacked by a large tentacled being? Use your puzzle platforming skills and take A Stroll in Space, by Gameshot. Use the [arrow] keys to move and jump as you travel the length of your ship. Once you've rescued your monkey companion, you can press the [spacebar] to have him deactivate gravity to help you move crates and jump to otherwise inaccessible places. Can you make it to the escape pod unscathed?
When you think of Detarame Factory, you probably think about chic decor and cute, cuddly alpacas. Well, once you play Nightmare Escape you're going to be thinking of blood! And jumpscares! And The Ring! And BLEEEARGHBLE! That's right, it's a horror escape game from one of the last developers you'd expect, and though it's actually still plenty cute, it's also decently gory, and, as the opening warns you, you might want to turn your volume down. To find a way out (once you've found a way in), just click to interact when the cursor changes as you mouse over objects, keeping an eye on your environment for clues, and remember you can double-click things in your inventory to view them up close. While there's something inherently charming about the ghoulishness here, if you prefer to avoid blood and screamers, you may want to approach this one cautiously if at all. Some of the puzzles may be a little awkwardly implemented or unintuitive, but I guess if you want to get away from this creepy place, you'll figure it out, won't you?
In Victorian London, famed (well, sort of) explorator Bertram Fiddle is sorely in need of a new adventure if he wants to avoid having any sort of regular old boring employment. He and his trusted cyclops Gavin go searching for a job in Episode 1: A Dreadly Business, a point-and-click adventure from Rumpus Animation, currently out for iOS devices (with android and PC versions in the works.) When he gets bumped into by a mysterious stranger, Fiddle unexpectedly ends up on the case of the elusive serial killer Geoff the Murderer. But how far can he get when he's up against Sherlock Holmes?
We live in a world of invisible walls. Race, class, gender, religion. Sometimes it's important to remember that human beings can accomplish wonderful things when we find the fortitude to work together. Maybe that's what the new Unity-powered puzzle game Suddenly, Thousands, by Omiya Games, is trying to teach us. We might be pirates and samurai and wolf suit-wearing misfits, but with a little time and effort, there's no obstacle we can't overcome. In this extremely experimental platform game, you guide your little avatar with the [arrow] or [WASD] keys and use the [spacebar] to jump through some exquisitely rendered 3D environments, using the mouse to pick up stragglers and build a little crowd. It's sort of like Pikmin, or a 3D Oodlegobs, having you wrangle your expanding horde of followers past traps and over barriers. There's also a robust physics system. Everything's just so darn cool with this game.
Normally, when slimes and quests intersect, it's usually so that novice heroes have something harmless and cute to beat the snot out of (ahem) while they're still gaining their adventuring legs. But Letmethink's humble slime was not satisfied with this lot in life, and so, in celebration of Ludum Dare, he's set off on his own puzzle platformer adventure, appropriately enough entitled Slimey's Quest. His journey won't take him very far, as the theme of this Ludum Dare is "the entire game on one screen." But that doesn't mean he won't have plenty to see or do... Slimey's Quest, you see, is to push buttons, and every time he presses one down, his entire landscape changes! Using the [arrow] keys, hit every bright red button, squash a few baddies along the way, and navigate the ever-shifting landscape to prove you are the bravest slime to ever ooze your way along the trail! The screen might not move, but Slimey's ever-shifting world will keep you on your toes and him on his... droplets.
If you've never played any of Ninja Kiwi's Bloons games, you're missing out. The dart throwing monkeys have been around for years now, and in the latest twist combine city building with the tower defense goodness you've come to love. In Bloons Monkey City (available in your browser or for iOS) you go behind the scenes to train, upgrade, and build a city for your monkey army to inhabit, all the while battling back the evil bloons from your lands. Why are the bloons so vicious? Nobody's sure, but I think it must have something to do with their association with clowns.
In water, heat rises and cold sinks. That's the premise behind Thermo, the temperate and mercurial new platformer by Andrew Wolfers, Daniel Carpenter, Grace Ren, Joel Gross, Kelvin Jin, and Robyn Nason. (Did I leave anybody out?) In each of the 30 levels you need to first open the exit portal and then get to it... somehow! The activator and portals aren't necessarily where you can get to them, and that's where water comes in. Floating masses of water are strategically-placed throughout the levels allowing you to use your special abilities, if you have them. Passing between red contacts heats you up, enabling you to rise if you start out in water. You'll continue to rise until you hit an overhead surface at which point you'll fall just as you ordinarily would, though you can steer your descent. Blue contacts let you create an ice platform under you while in water. Yellow contacts enhance either ability... you can create up to three ice platforms in water if you're cold, and walk on the ceiling if you're hot! Dull grey contacts return your temperature to normal, but leave any platforms or ceiling-walking abilities if they're active.
It's beginning to look a lot like a standard hope-you're-happy and non-denominational time of year! If you don't celebrate Christmas, then all the themed games that come out around this time of year might be a little much to take. So with that in mind, this week's Weekday Escape is only going to feature one Santa-ridden title, while the other two are your standard "trapped in a room, oh noes!" affair without being seasonally tied. Besides, since when does it need to be a certain time of year to celebrate with no1game, Yamino Kagura, and Just Pine Games? MY REVELRIES WILL NOT BE CONSTRAINED BY YOUR PUNY CALENDAR.
For some people, Christmas is about togetherness and family. And I'm not saying it isn't, just, uh... well, be honest, what's Christmas without a little sugar? In Carmel Games' point-and-click puzzle The Way the Gingerbread Cookie Crumbles, George is throwing a Christmas party, and his friends aren't having any of his excuses as to why he hasn't ponied up any gingerbread, even if a broken oven and a blizzard are pretty valid reasons. Search the house for a way to appease George's ungrateful friends! You can click on anything to interact when your cursor changes to a hand, and if you want to try combining something you're carrying, click the first item in your inventory and then the next. You'll need some seriously silly solutions to some strange obstacles if you want to succeed, but this is still one cute, funny little game that'll only take a few minutes of your time.
If an escape game by TomaTea is on your Christmas list, well, Feliz Navidad dear friend because Ginger Joy is here! With a gentle seasonal soundtrack and some tasteful festive decor, this is one room you might want to linger in for a while, especially if you've got a sweet tooth. Santa will understand, right? But when you are ready to get out, playing is simple. Just click around, and the tip of your cursor will glow when you can interact with something. Click the "i" icon that appears when you mouse over inventory items to view them up close. As you'd expect, there are piles of puzzles, and many of them need various codes to solve. If you see a message that says "I have no clue how to solve this!" it means you haven't seen the clue that corresponds to whatever you're looking at yet. Keep your eyes peeled and your mind sharp, because this Christmas is clever and sneaky!
Indie puzzle adventure The Talos Principle, created by Croteam, Jonas Kyratzes and FTL: Faster Than Light's Tom Jubert, opens with a heavenly choir and roiling white clouds before you find yourself in a garden before a sprawling series of ruins. A great voice informs you its name is Elohim, your creator, and bids you find him in his temple, but first you must overcome the trials set before you, and find the Sigils hidden throughout. Then, you'll be fit to serve, and, he adds, attain eternal life. What do you think? After the trials, will there be cake? Use [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to move, hold [shift] to run, tap [spacebar] to jump, the mouse to look around, and click to pick up, put down, or interact with items. You'll start with Jammers, which can disable anything electronic as long as they're aimed at it, but you'll soon graduate to Connectors, which can be used to set up chains of lasers to activate different things, and more you'll unlock as you go. Threats can be things like the patrolling black orbs that explode if you get too close, or the wall-mounted turrets, but don't worry... if you die, you'll just be rewound back to the start of whatever area you entered. Each area is a contained puzzle, and completing it rewards you with a Sigil, which look like Tetrominoes, and multiple Sigils are needed to open the doors that allow you to proceed deeper in. As you explore, you discover the various worlds your creator has made for you, free for you to "subdue" as you please... but that great tower? That's the one place you're never allowed to go. It might seem like a perfectly reasonable restriction at first as you explore the various places crafted with challenges for you to master, but as you go farther, it quickly becomes apparent you're not the only one who has passed this way, and malfunctioning terminals filled with fragments of text hint that something very big has happened. And then there's the being who communicates with you through the terminals only when it sees fit...
To say T34 Studios' massive escape/point-and-click adventure game The Rosefinch Curse (originally only available in Chinese) is ambitious is sort of an understatement. How many escape games do you play that ask you to complete a lengthy tutorial before you start, that feature a quick-travel map because the place you're in is so big? As the game opens, you play student Tina Tang, who wakes up to find herself in an unfamiliar place with one heck of a headache, and the last thing she can remember is a truck barreling down on her as she crosses the street. So why does she seem to be in a school filled with strange mechanisms? And what's up with that strange girl? Playing the tutorial is definitely recommended, and with no changing cursor to mark interactive areas, you're in for a real challenge, though features like the minimap, which shows you not only where you are and where you're facing in addition to points of interest, are a nice touch. You can even click the camera icon at the top of the screen to take pictures of whatever you're facing, so you don't have to constantly write down clues. With multiple endings, a branching plot, party members, and more, despite some rough edges and a clunky interface, The Rosefinch Curse is still an impressive and formidable game, and well worth checking out if you have the time and patience needed to conquer it.
Whenever Ludum Dare comes around, you can expect piles of new games, and this one's theme was "Entire Game on One Screen". Here's a standout for you: Tightrope Theatre by Adventure Islands, a gleefully retro offering with challenge and charm to spare. You're a pixely little unicyclist tasked with performing death defying stunts before your enraptured crowd. Use the [arrow] or [WASD] keys to roll and jump from tightrope to tightrope, avoiding spikes, falling barrels, and fire along the way. Yeah, this particular circus doesn't mess around. And remember, you're on a unicycle and not your feet, so everything's just a little bit slippery up there. Patience, timing, and skill are essential if you want to make your bow at the end.
Look, I'm all about the sisterhood and female empowerment, but there are some chicks I just can't stand behind in solidarity. I mean, right around the time you earn the moniker of "most prolific female serial killer in history" is probably when I stop throwing up the horns to support you. O2D takes on what might be Hugary's most notorious historical figure with Vampire Legends: The Untold Story of Elizabeth Bathory, a hidden-object adventure where you, a gypsy woman, have been hired to find a young girl named Agnes. She was invited to stay with the Countess Bathory, along with a bunch of other young women, which totally isn't suspicious at all, and even though they've all been missing for months, the king is too busy with the war to concern himself with their disappearances. You know what they say. All that is required for evil to triumph is for nobody to think it's that weird to send their daughters off to stay with the sinister bourgeois. Using your ability to mix helpful potions that can give you an edge and psychic impressions, you must discover the truth behind the Countess and the disappearances, but it's pretty clear that despite a mysterious benefactor, something sinister it happening. As you play and solve puzzles, you'll gather herbs and ingredients for various potions, and the hidden-object scenes will have you track items down in various ways. Hopefully you haven't bitten off more than you can chew... ha! I slay me. HA! Get it? Slay? Vampire? I'm here all week, folks.
Hey kids and former kids! Welcome to our new weekly feature, where we post some of the best gaming bundles that pop up during the week. Personally, I love a deal, especially when it comes to games, and with the popularity of the Humble Bundle, these suckers are everywhere now. So while I was filling my game library up with more and more titles I may never play (because why would I actually play a new game when I could just replay Chrono Trigger or Azure Dreams for the ten thousandth time), it occurred to me that you fine folks might like to know about some of the bundles that cross our path. Each Sunday, we'll post a handful of some of the best bundles that have popped up, and you can feel free to share your own on the comments. To be clear, we don't get any sort of affiliate revenue from this, we're just making sure that if we don't have any productivity because we're playing games, neither do you! We'll initially be keeping these posts limited to a few bundles as we tweak our format. This week: a visual novel/RPG hybrid with romance (including options for M/M and F/F), a triple pack of one of DC's greatest heroes in action/adventure format, an eerie indie adventure loosely based on an old Swedish tradition, and much more!
From Jay Armstrong, the same guy who brought us Super Adventure Pals and Bearbarians, comes the next big adventure, Epic Time Pirates! Think you already know what to expect from this action arena game? I'll fill you in anyway. It's space pirates who travel through time to fight in an epic battle against zombies, monks, other pirates and more. What else is there to say? Well, okay there is a bit more than just expanding on the title. Apparently Time Pirates just don't plunder stuff in all different time zones. You and your crew are hunting down a foe who is causing time anomalies and putting a stop to it. Usually through death matches, securing crucial control points, and of course a bloody fight, capture-the-flag style. You can unlock new guns and even buy animal companions that give you an added boost. And one of those guns is a shark boomerang. Shark Boomerang. Seriously, what else do you need to hear before hitting that 'Play Now' button.
Ain't no party like a no1game party, 'cause a no1game party don't let you escape 'til you've found ten sneaky little green men! In Find the Escape-Men Part 129: Year-End Party, you're in charge of the New Year office party, but all your coworkers are getting rowdy, so it's time to round them all up. Too bad they're not ready to leave! Click around to interact, and remember to check everywhere since there's no changing cursor and there are a lot of sneaky things hidden about! Parents might want to be warned that unlike most no1game titles, Year-End Party features a lot of alcohol, some minor violence, and even a bit of blood and what I believe is either vomit or, um, number one, so player beware. You'll need to figure out how to get your coworkers back under control if you want to get home, so start clicking!
What's a great sliding block puzzle game that involves charming little robots? Botiada? Oh. Well, yes that does fill the bill, but no! This one has even cuter robots and a name that looks like a preteen texted it to her BFF, Slydrs! Also free for iOS and Android, this new adorable game by the Oliver Pearl team is too cute to be frustrated by, but the challenge of the levels themselves will contest to that. The whole goal is to put the bright orange robot on equally bright buttons to make their antennas glow. Of course the robots weren't built with any sort of braking system so they slide across the screen until they hit something as solid as them. But these delightful little piles of hardware and circuit boards know how to work as a team. Help them use each other to make sure all the button are pressed down. It doesn't matter if they all get a spot or not, they can share in each others victory and so can you.
No more battle cries. No more allies or foes. No more levels or epic loot. No dungeon crawls, or quest giving, or npcs repeating everything they say over and over again. The Empty Kingdom is coming to an end. Once the clock strikes midnight all the servers will be shut down. All that is left is a king, wandering around his empty kingdom in hopes of finding something; perhaps a new life to begin. This experimental visual novel by Daniel Merlin Goodbrey is a peaceful tale even though the King could be facing his untimely deletion. Though midnight approaches in the story, there's no timer, and you can take your time as you walk across the panels. If there ever was a game that was soothing and relaxing, this is it.
You know what they say about the weather re: it being delightful, right? Well, it may be snowing, but Pencil Kids' signature simians aren't very cheerful in their latest installment of the point-and-click puzzle series, Monkey GO Happy North Pole. Santa's workshop is a shambles, and obviously you can't have Christmas without a stranger bringing you lots of material items via breaking and entering! Click around to gather and use items, and keep an eye out for clues! As usual, this superbly seasonal game from Pencil Kids is short and sweet, enough for a coffee (or eggnog?) break. I'm not saying that if you don't play this game, Christmas won't come because Santa will still be stuck in his workshop... I'm just saying, why risk it?
Created in about two months, action RPG/crafting sim Rogue Legend by Lance Knifehand (Help I Made a Game!) is meant to be a delicioush mish-mash of a lot of things... Harvest Moon, Minecraft, and The Legend of Zelda, for instance. If that made your mouth water a little but also your eyebrows raise with tempered skepticism, well, read on. As the game opens, you, our hero, are awoken one night by a commotion outside your home, and when a huge black knight bursts in, your mother drags you out of bed and shoves you down a secret escape path they had conveniently built in their fireplace along with an integrated tutorial because reasons. Your hometown in flames and your family murdered, you escape, and one year later you've finally settled down on a farm of your own... so, uh, guess you didn't get any serious childhood trauma or anything. Use [WASD] to move, or just click to make the character follow your cursor. From your inventory at the bottom of the screen, you can just click to equip something, and then anywhere onscreen you want to use it. Select the hammer, for instance, and then click on rocks to break them down. Doing so, and in fact busting up other resources, grants you things you can use to craft... you can make furniture and tools, as you'd expect, but you can also make blocks to build with. If you find yourself at a chasm, just craft some stone blocks, for example, and plop them down to make a bridge! Or more importantly... build a house! Had enough of crafting? Then get out there and start stabbing the hostile wildlife, ya filthy animal! Despite some bumps and kinks, with crafting, gardening, livestock, and adventuring Rogue Legend has a lot of promise, and with some patience, could really prove addictive.
Kamotokamotokamo knows you work hard and deserve an escape from it all, so How About Taking a Break? After climbing a ladder at the bottom of a massive... thing... you find yourself in a room with some seriously adorable decorating and a whole lot of twee furniture. Click around to explore and interact, though there's no changing cursor so you'll have to poke around in every nook and cranny, and make sure to examine items you're carrying with "about item". A lot of your success depends on finding and deciphering (or even deducing!) codes, which can often come down to changing the way you look at things. It's weird. It's silly. It's even got a few surprises. So relax. Lean back. And take the game's advice for a while. ... though admittedly maybe you shouldn't be taking productivity tips from someone who wrote this as her job in novelty pajamas.
Waking up with no memory? Check. Underground abandoned facility? Check. Creepy mutant monsters wanting to nibble on your face while you have limited ammo? Check and check. Facility Z is ready to play. This action shooter, by Mina Ta may not have the most in depth or original story line, but the game play keeps up with everything you want in a zombie horror shooter. With eleven levels of nearly maze-like areas nothing is simple for poor Kyle even with the help of Dr. Greg Sanger who tries to guide him over the radio. The good doctor needs you to hurry to him while he's still alive and not being chased by anything greenish, but not before gathering up the data disk of research he has been conducting otherwise years and years of work will have been a waste. And since you're the only one apparently left functioning and able to fire a gun, it's up to you to help and escape with your life.
In Carmel Games' point-and-click puzzle Maplewood Junior High, your teacher wants you to do an assignment, but the problem is she expects you to do it on a bunch of ancient computers that haven't seen the light of day since 1996. Can you complete your homework despite the literally old school equipment... and the fact that you're woefully unprepared? To play, just click around to interact. The cursor will change to red if you can use something, and people you can talk to will display a mouth icon when you mouse over them. To use something you're carrying, just click it once to highlight it in your inventory, and then again wherever you'd like to use it onscreen. Then, if you're extra experienced, lay facedown on the floor for a while feeling the crushing weight of the years because computers that would still be more modern than the ones you learned to type on in school are considered to be relics. Anyone have a rocking chair I can borrow? I need to go sit on my porch and yell at clouds.
Once again we come to that time in the week that I like to call "Wednesday." You might have heard of it before? No? Okay then, sit right here beside me and let me explain: This is the day that men, women and children around the world everywhere gather to pay homage to an entity called The Escape Game. In this universally uplifting ritual, we play at being trapped inside a room (or a boat, mushroom, or any old such thing), forced to seek out employable objects and solve random puzzles all for the sake of regaining freedom. It's pretty cool. It may be that, someday, it will help save the world. Don't believe me? Well, here then, have a look at a few samples from Hottategoya, Tototo Room, and FunkyLand, then try to tell me you still hold doubts in your heart...
In 2008, Dmitry Zheltobriukhov's Caravaneer became a smash hit, putting you in the shoes of a traveling caravan owner in a post-apocalyptic world in the form of an RPG-style sim. Surprise surprise, seven years later we've been graced with Caravaneer 2, and it's even bigger and badder than the original. This time, you play someone who's grown up in an underground VaultER AH I MEAN bunker (totally different), who has been undergoing training to be a scout to the outside world. Your mentor, Olaf, vanished while you were gone on your last training mission, and you've been told you're to go out and bring him back... using physical force if necessary. Outside in the harsh, dangerous real world, you quickly discover that money talks, and to make it, you'll need to buy low and sell high as you travel from place to place, managing your inventory, supplies, and more. Caravaneer 2 places a huge emphasis on its enconomy and your trading, and combined with the huge amount of micromanagement, might be too slow or intimidating for some, but just as many will dive right in to the deep, thoughtful gameplay.
Isn't it always the way? You get into witchcraft for the love of communing with nature, dancing skyclad through the heather and magically-fresh laundry, and before you know it you're inevitably found out by the townsfolk, reanimating their ancestors to attack everyone, and your sister's assembling a strongly unfragrantly-scented abomination to avenge your execution and drive everyone from the village. It could happen to anyone and in Last Town, the time management defense game from Elliot Pace, your role is the heroic town Mayor determined to keep your community together and preferably alive during the onslaught of a Plants vs Zombies mishap brought on by, you guessed it, Too Much Magic. With plenty of upgrades, eight addable character classes to rock each with their own set of skills and upgradable abilities and a comprehensive storyline where your choices really do significantly affect the gameplay, Last Town brings a lot of what we learned to love from Plants vs. Zombies while remaining something all its own.
There are some people who believe that games should stay games and never deal with "real issues", but Parable of the Polygons, by Vi Hart and Nicky Case, shows just how great games can be about getting concepts and ideas across. Billed as a "playable post about the shape of society", Parable of the Polygons talks you through how small biases can have a bigger impact than people think by leading you through a series of puzzles where your job is to make the squares and triangles all happy by shuffling them around until their living conditions are diverse. But not too diverse. Different puzzles have different requirements to make the shapes happy, and over time you see how they grow more and more apart without really meaning to. By starting small and then working through larger puzzles and a few simulations, it talks earnestly and intelligently about how bias impacts society, without ever pointing the finger or addressing any one specific group or cause. Talking about things like this can be hard to do without people feeling as if they're being accused of something and going on the defensive, but Parable of the Polygons is well worth a read (and a play!), and a great example of the way games can get people talking and thinking.
I'm dreaming of a waterlogged Christmas... Hmm. Doesn't have quite the same ring to it. Still, there's room for every celebration, including the kind that involves torrents of water in Yoeri Staal's puzzle game Flooded Village: Xmas Eve 3. Like the original game and its previous seasonal spinoff, the goal is to get water (or ice!) when you need it by clicking to remove different squares on the board, with a limit placed on how many times you can do so. Different things, like pirates and trees, react in different ways to certain elements, and you're trying to make everything happy. Water makes the pirate ships float and trees sprout, while ice spread through any water it touches and freezes pirates solid (bad) but turns grown trees into Christmas trees (good!). If you've played the other games, then the vast majority of this one will feel very familiar, but if you've been itching for a little festive flooded puzzlery, then Flooded Village: Xmas Eve 3 is the perfect choice to kick back with some hot chocolate and your best tacky, itchy Christmas sweater.
None of my in-laws are gamers, so most of the time anything I'm telling them I reviewing sounds silly to them. My father-in-law, a retired serviceman who looks like Charlie Chaplin, chuckles bemusedly and half disbelievingly when I tell him I'm writing about human/pigeon romance, magical pony princess P.I.s, and amateur butterfingers open-heart surgery. Half the time I think they believe I'm making it up, so what am I supposed to do now that I've played I Am Bread, the latest bizarro indie game from Surgeon Simulator 2013 team Bossa Studios? Currently available in Early Access, it's the physics-driven tale of, yes, a slice of bread who desperately wants to become toast. You can move, sort of, via gripping with each corner in varying combinations, and using those corners as anchors when you flop around. If you're not using a controller, , , , and  each correspond to a different corner of the bread slice (is this really a real thing I'm describing?), while [Q], [W], [E], and [R] can toggle each corner's grip on and off (I guess it is), which will let you stick to things for as long as your grip meter, at the top of the screen, holds out. Don't worry, it regenerates when you're not using it. You click and drag with the mouse to move the bread around, but this only really works when one portion of it is anchored, otherwise all you can do is scoot around in itty-bitty increments face down. Your goal in each stage is to get yourself toasted, but be warned... if your edibility drops to zero, which decreases when you're touching the floor or any other dirty surface, you fail. Nobody wants to eat dirty toast, after all. And then? Once you're actually toasting? Why, then you have to stop toasting before you're burnt! Not hard enough for you? Well, sometimes you won't have access to a toaster... so you'll need to improvise.
Something cute this way comes, and since it's an escape game loaded with puppies, bunnies, angler fish and snakes (what? they're cute too!), you know it's got to be Detarame Factory, who's serving up sequel satisfaction with Mikke Escape 2. As in Mikke Escape, if you want out, because hanging out with cuddly critters and watching TV sounds sooooo awful, you need to find and click on ten circles hidden throughout the room. Just use the arrows at the edge of the screen to move around, and click to interact, with your handy changing cursor cutting out pixel hunting. Items you're carrying can be double-clicked to view up close, so don't forget to check them out if you're stuck! One colour-based puzzle might give you trouble if you have difficulty with colours, but on the whole, Mikke Escape 2 is both cute and clever. Not too hard, nor too easy, it's juuuuust right no matter what time of year it is.
Welcome to the jungle, we've got City Siege games! The Podge serves up another heaping helping of stages for City Siege 3 with City Siege 3: Jungle Siege FUBAR Pack. As before, you're leading your squad of soldiers into zones full of danger and destructible objects to rescue civilians and take out any baddies. Use [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to move and jump, with the mouse to aim and shoot. The stars you find can upgrade your heroes' health, while the cash is spent on buying more units to take with you. From spies to bombers, tanks to helicopters, it's all about figuring out who's best suited for the job. Get things done as cleanly as possible... and by cleanly we mean blowing up buildings, dropping enemies into lava, blasting through trees... whatever it takes! Or if you like, play it sneaky and try to get through without alerting anyone or, y'know, making something explode. With big levels packed full of destructibles and enemy soldiers, Jungle Siege FUBAR Pack is more of the familiar action City Siege fans crave.
It's beginning to look a lot like Neutral... one of the most popular escape game creators is back with a trio of seasonal titles, Chick Mini Games, beginning with Tower of Chicks, a simple puzzle game that requires you to swap cuddly birds between nests until they're stacked in proper order, and first followed up by Chick Room Escape and then Chick Room Escape Xmas ver. Make sure you play them in order... their stories are tied together! All you need to do to play is click. When playing either escape game, your cursor will change to show you're hovering over something you can interact with. If you want to use an item, click it in your inventory to highlight it, then click where you want to apply it. As the title implies, these games are short, but with Neutral's signature style and deft touch with puzzles, they definitely fall into the "short and sweet" end of things. What better way to celebrate the season than with a trio of cute and clever games?
Thanks to Martha for sending these in!
Ah, the holidays. It's just not Christmas if there isn't a jealous, grunting old man creeping outside your window, brandishing a disturbing knobby... branch... while you and your beloved share a tender moment. That beloved holiday tradition is the start of Elephant Games's entry into the Christmas Stories hidden-object adventure series,
Christmas Stories: Hans Christian Andersen's Tin Soldier. Charles and Nina have been turned into toys thanks to a curse and malfunctioning magic from their jealous voyeur, the Baron, and your friend Albert, who's also been transformed, has called you in to help. You'd think a fully grown human would be able to handle a bunch of toys, but the Baron has the surly box trolls on his side, and you have... uh... well, in his current form, Albert can crack you all the nuts you want, so bonus for snackies, I guess. Together with Albert, and Charles once you find him, you'll need to stop the Baron, who has an entire army of trolls on his side, and find Nina. To do so, you'll need to solve puzzles, enlist the aid of Albert and Charles to get past certain obstacles, hunt through hidden-object sequences, and of course, deal with the magical forces and other sneaky tricks of the Baron, who always seems to be one step ahead of you, despite not actually having feet anymore. With vibrant visuals, genuinely funny animation, and some unexpected heart, this Christmas casual should be on anyone's short list if you're looking for holiday cheer.
Consider the space marine. Grizzled, stoic, encased in enough metal to make a Buick. These sci-fi cowboys are invading every facet of pop culture, from the triple-A titles like Halo and Gears of War to films, books and everything in between. Well, the Raze games by Sky9 Games have brought the running and gunning action into the browser gaming universe, and Raze 3 offers more of the arena-based sci-fi shooting action you'd expect from the series. Use the [arrow] or [WASD] keys to move, the [F] or [Enter] key to use your rocket-repelling laser sword, and the mous] to aim and shoot your way through each of the fifteen levels in the main campaign. Or just settle into a quick match and start blasting away. Space marining is a tough job, but someone's got to do it.
In Choko-Chai's point-and-click puzzle game Christmas of the Mazy Forest, our three favourite felines are feeling a little festive, so when they get an invitation from the witch of the forest to attend her Christmas party, they're more than a little excited. All they have to do, of course, is find their way there... shouldn't be too hard, even if the forest is a maze, right? To play, just click to interact and move around. Your cursor will change when you can do so, and if you want to examine an item you're carrying more closely, click the item to give it a red border, then click on "About Item", which can let you interact with whatever it is further. Perhaps most importantly, however, you'll want to remember the cats are actually here to help! If you're stuck, try clicking on the happy cat in the bottom left corner... if the cats appear onscreen, one of them should be clicked to help you do something. With math codes, locks, and all manner of trickery in their way, escaping the maze might seem like something they'd need a Christmas miracle for... so good thing you're here to help!
Note: Elliot Quest contains narrative scenes involving suicide. Player discretion is advised.
You can't die. Well, I mean, you can. But it never lasts. You always just wake up again at the last one of those glowing stones you passed. It's amazing and it's terrifying. You're just a simple man with a power your don't understand, whose love has disappeared and who needs to find answers. It is your quest, Elliot: an Elliot Quest. Elliot Quest is an enjoyable indie retro platform adventure by Ansimuz Games inspired a bit by Metroidvanias in the La Mulana style, and a bit more by that oddball of its series, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
[Disclosure: Bubble Dreams was recently bought by the owner of this site.]
Bubble Dreams, free for iOS and Android, is the sort of colourful, no-frills, classic-styled match-3 puzzle game you reach for when you need something light to fill your free time. Chances are you're familiar with the concept... shoot coloured bubbles to make matches of three or more, which will clear matching, adjacent bubbles away, and try to clear the screen before it fills up. To play, all you do is tap, and the top-most bubble Chompy, our flinging alligator, is holding will fly towards the place you indicated. If it's a wall, the bubble will ricochet off, but if it touches another bubble, at any angle, they'll stick together. Chompy holds two bubbles at any time, and while the bubble on the bottom is the one you'll fire after the one on top, if you tap him, the bubbles will swap places. Complete one island's requirements to unlock the next, or, if you prefer, you can optionally pay via an in-app purchase to unlock an island immediately. As you play, you'll also unlock power-ups that can help bust through tricky situations, and while you can choose to buy more of them if you wish, they're completely optional.
Since Chompy fires where you tap without hesitation, aiming is fairly precise, though you need to be able to plan and predict where the bubble will go on your own, which can be really difficult when it comes to off-the-wall bouncing. The downside is that where similar games often take colours you have cleared from the screen out of rotation for you to shoot, making the format distinctly more puzzle-like, Bubble Dreams does not, so levels can wind up taking longer than they should. At the same time, swapping between whatever two bubbles Chompy is carrying helps this, so careful planning and aiming goes a long way. Bubble Dreams doesn't really do anything new, but it takes a familiar game and puts it in your pocket in a simple-to-pick up, vibrant style. If you want something deep or with more complex mechanics, Bubble Dreams might be a little too simple, but with a whopping free 250 levels to play, relatively sparse use of ads, and completely optional social integration and in-app purchases, it's a simply solid match-3 title with classic gameplay.
Bubble Dreams (iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone)
Get Bubble Dreams
Long ago, the mighty pirate Jack Treepwood discovered a magical compass. It had the power of pointing in the direction of the most wondrous hidden treasures imaginable. Soon, "Lucky Jack" became the richest pirate in the world, now apparently content to remain retired and mysteriously out of contact on Taoki island. Stachmou, a slightly less mighty, but still impressively-facial-haired pirate, figures that if the compass is just going to waste, then maybe "Lucky Jack" won't mind if he borrowed it for a bit. Of course, the first order of business is getting to Taoki, and we'll worry about step 2 when we get there. Stachmou and the Golden Compass is a humorous point-and-click adventure developed by Didier Guagliano. Or should that be point-and-click adventARR? It shouldn't? Oh. Alright then.
Sometimes in life with your significant other there's a need to go on a relaxing getaway with them. And these adorable dots chose to do just that. They travel through the deepest ocean, scale a highest mountain, cross the fiery landscape, and generally go to places that really wouldn't seem relaxing to most of us. But if the way to travel around was to connect dots of matching colors, well the simple answer would be, "When do we leave?" Two Dots, by Two Dots Inc, is a free mobile puzzle game about connecting; connecting the dots, connecting our two heroes closer together, and connecting you to one of the most charming, addictive games for iOS and Android we've seen in a long while. If the thrilling challenge of the levels isn't enough to win you over then the whimsical artwork and the snazzy music will. And fear not, this matching game of color is also friendly to the colorblind.
Have you tried other translucent fruit-spread based works like Jelly Escape or Jelly Blocks, and still feel, as of yet, insufficiently prepared for this jelly? Well, Jelly Lam, a simple idea physics puzzle game by Alexander Balabanovich could be just the solution! It the game, you play as a cute lil' jelly named Jelly, and you'll be stretching, swinging, slicing, and coloring him across a trio of themed worlds, grabbing keys and stars and hoping against hope that you'll make it to the exit in one piece.
For some, this time of year is filled with festivities. A lot of those festivities are meant to be merry and happy, filled with fun, good times, letting loose. It's the letting loose part to watch out for: it goes with the fun, and it might also go with the intake of liquids that might or might not be part of the fun. I think you know what I mean. Each one of us has heard those cautionary tales of what "too much fun" can result in. In the best of situations, the worst is a blushing chuckle and a "I can't believe I was so dumb." But dumb can have consequences. Heck, they even made a song about that sort of thing. Not only a song, but also a mobile game. Um, anyhow, I'm just gonna come right out and admit it: I kinda sorta love you guys. This is spoken straight from the heart. So be careful out there, okay? I want to see you here each week solving escape games with us, remarking about those pixel hunts or whimsy-topped scenarios and just generally being your lovable selves. As you digest that little thought, let's visit three new ways to play smart—Flash512's adorable rabbit house, No1Game's green guy's hiking excursion, and Yomino Kagura's rather large time piece...
[Please note that Game of Thrones is an episodic series. Purchasing the game grants you access to all episodes as they become available. Currently only the first episode has been released.]
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass... no, no. Wait. Sorry. Wrong epic. To say murder maestro George RR Martin's series of gritty fantasy books, A Song of Ice and Fire, have captivated their audience is a bit of an understatement. After all, while the success of the HBO show can't be denied, the books have been around for almost twenty years and aren't done yet. So who better to bring fans a taste of the intrigue, politics, dragons and murder than TellTale Games, and with the first installment of their episodic adventure series Game of Thrones - A TellTale Game Series now unleashed, it . Here, the story centers on the Forresters, a family who has been loyal to House Stark (central characters of the original books and show) for literally thousands of years, which means with the current war for the Iron Throne going on between all the would-be kings, the Forresters are obligated to rally. As the game opens on the eve of a, um, most joyous wedding, initially casting you in the shoes of squire and former pig farmer Gared Tuttle, who's about to see all his hard work for Gregor Forrester, Lord of Ironrath, pay off. At the same time, young Ethan Forrester suddenly finds himself the head of his House, struggling to measure up to the expectations of others who think he's too bookish and weak. In King's Landing, Ethan's sister Mira works as handmaiden to Margaery Tyrell, putting her in a unique position to help her family, but also in great danger when suspicion falls on anyone whose relatives raised the banner for Rob Stark. As the story moves through each character, they become more and more ensnared in the political manipulations and webs of deceit, because everyone has their own agenda, and you can never really be sure who you can trust.
When Uncle Vladimir's nephew accidentally flies his brand new remote-controlled airplane into the creepiest house on the block, Vladimir decides to get it back in Carmel Games' point-and-click more-quirky-than-creepy Yurius's House of Spooks. Too bad "Crazy Yurius" lives up to his name, and he's locked Vladimir in the basement to be used in an experiment! Of course, once Vladimir gets out (which is... surprisingly easy!) he's still not giving up on getting that toy airplane back. To play, just click around to interact, and your cursor will change whenever you pass over something that can be manipulated. Short and definitely silly, Yurius's House of Spooks proves that crazy men build crazy houses... and attract crazier houseguests!
Also free for iOS and Android, One More Line by SMG Studio is an addictive and challenging yet deceptively simple arcade game where the goal is to last as long as possible as you rocket down an endless corridor without crashing into the walls or the connector nodes. Click and hold to make your flinging... thingy... shoot out a line and latch onto the nearest node, which will cause you to swing around it in a circle until you let go and fly in whatever direction you were heading. Latching on to a node from farther away makes you swing in a big, wide circle, while grappling on closer yields tiny, tight, fast circles. While attached to a node you can pass through walls, but not other nodes! With its snappy soundtrack and vibrant colours, One More Line is easy on the eyes in addition to being lean and mean... just don't play it if you plan on relaxing.
One More Line (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)
Get One More Line
Lou is a happy-go-lucky guy that has had some bad luck but is ready to start anew after his parents died a year ago, by moving to the beautiful city of Lisbon. In the start of this free indie point-and-click adventure game (which might not be so happy-go-lucky), A Date in the Park by Cloak and Dagger Games, you find Lou, well, about to go on a date in the park with the woman of his dreams he just met the night before. Lou feels as if she is truly the one, and for those who have met a person in an unfamiliar bar and then plan the rest of their lives together, we know that this probably won't end the way he thinks it will. Lou is optimistic to a fault about his life and is rather a sappy gent himself that perhaps we can ignore the slight hints that something is off and join him in his haze of puppy love.
Warning: This game contains flashing elements which may trigger photosensitive seizures in people with epilepsy.
A walk in the woods is usually a peaceful time, one spent enjoying nature and enjoying the lovely quiet. Nothing usually goes wrong. I mean look at other games set in the woods, like Year Walk. ...wait. Uh. What about A False Saint, An Honest Rogue? No good either? Hm. Seeing as the only other 'walk in the woods' I can think of is Slender, I guess I have to retract my first statement. Stay out of the woods! Nothing good happens there! And it's no different for the surreal world of I Was on the Throne, by Disco Fish Games, where reality breaks and you find yourself in an alien-like world. It's a shorter surreal puzzle escape game where you explore the small scenes to find a way to the next one. While not as dark and creepy as a few other games I mentioned, it is definitely a world that will leave you in a state of wonder and probably equally disturbed.
It's Detarame Factory! But it's not an escape game... it's a point-and-click adventure with a serious heaping helping of weirdness. In Isamu Carre, you need to make a special dish to appease the king (no, not hossenfeffer), and to do so you need to travel around the tiny, strange kingdom, solving puzzles and gathering ingredients. There are two endings to uncover, so try your best to make the most delicious dish. The cursor will change when you can interact with something, and bars at the edges of the screen will let you move around areas with more than one location. Double click an item in your inventory to view it up close, but items that appear below your inventory are your equipment, and will be used automatically when needed. Expect to crack some seriously sneaky codes, and unfortunately if you only read English, you may feel a little lost not knowing what characters are saying or what feedback you're getting when something fails. Just make sure you search everywhere, revisit some locations and characters, and try looking at things differently!
[Mac user? Try freeware tool RPG Hub]
Please be aware that this game alludes to issues of sexual abuse some people may find upsetting. See comment for details.
In Sanada Makoto's free indie horror adventure Forest of Drizzling Rain, translated by Tosiaki, university student Shiori Kanzaki finds herself alone on her birthday after the tragic death of her parents, who cut off ties to the rest of their family long ago. While cleaning out her family home and handling the orders for the funeral, she's shocked to come across a photograph of a man who can only be her grandfather, and as the months pass and the loneliness doesn't go away, she finally decides to try to visit the village written on the back of the photo. As it happens, the village has some strange local legends, and to say some people are a little off is putting it mildly. But Shiori can't shake a feeling that she's been there before, and despite the odd behaviour of troublemaker teenager Sakuma and the odder behaviour of the surly museum manager, Suga, who communicates only in written notes and carries a fake sword, Shiori is determined to find out why her family fled this place and cut all contact years ago. Use the [arrow] keys to move, hold [shift] to run, the [spacebar] to interact, and hit [ESC] to open the menu and save your game at any time. While many items will be used automatically when needed, you may need to open your inventory and manually use some of them for them to be activated. There are five different endings, all of which depend on your actions towards the end of the game, but make sure you save often and in different slots!
Funkyland serves up another dose of tiny yet tasty Alice in Wonderland-themed whimsy with Alice House No. 8: Mock Turtle and Gryphon, where you need to find five objects with a gryphon on them in order to escape. To play, all you need to do is click to look around and interact, though the lack of a changing cursor means you need to search every nook and cranny. This eighth installment isn't likely to keep you wrapped up for very long, presumably because you're late, you're late for a very important date, but a little pinch of puzzles always brightens anyone's day.
Most everyone needs some time to unwind every day, especially if your day consists of slaving over a keyboard under the ever watchful eye of
Dora some nameless evil overlord. So when you're feeling overwhelmed, you might try picking up the very zen like experience of Let There Be Life, from Backward pieS for iOS and Android. Your goal is simple: zone out. Okay, there's a little bit more to it than that, but the game was made with that in mind, and they have achieved it wonderfully by immersing you in nature. You start out with a tree with few branches and no leaves. But trees need leaves to survive, and it's your job to restore the tree back to full health.