Reviews by Karl Subscribe

(9 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (3) | Views (248)

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

DoraSo I had to look up what Warcraft actually was, as opposed to being that MMORPG you play if you're not still putting around Ultima Online and too invested to quit. I wanted to feel like I was at least a little qualified to even look at Blizzard Entertainment's card-based strategy game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, available free for iPad, Windows, and Mac. (Free account registration required.) With the release of their new single-player expansion, The Curse of Naxxramas, it seemed like a good time to dive in and see what all the fuss has been about, though I was more than a little apprehensive about it. Though the first act of the new expansion is free, you'll need to pay for the others, but even if you aren't willing to crack open your wallet, you can still play practice missions or against other players online without paying a penny. Any game that offers multiplayer with microtransactions is automatically a little suspicious... free-to-play can easily turn into pay-to-win, after all. Fortunately, Hearthstone manages to provide some seriously addictive and strategic gameplay without ever feeling like it's leaning on your wallet. Unlike other free-to-play games, there are no timers or other restrictions placed on how often you play, either against others or by yourself, so you can play the game as much as you want.

Weekday Escape

elleWhen you unwrap your Weekday Escape delivery this week, you're in for a bit of a variety. These three escape games have little in common but one thing: pure puzzling entertainment. You could dig into our weekly package of fun in any order you choose, or try it omakase-style, starting with a fruity dish of whimsy in a grapefruit dressing from FunkyLand, a mental palate cleansing course of puzzles from Yomino Kagura, then a No1Game and Sneedle fusion geared toward the more adventuresome minded. They come with a money-back guarantee to please while you look forward to next week's escapers' curation...

  • Currently 4.2/5
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Rating: 4.2/5 (28 votes)
| Comments (3) | Views (599)

ReactionLab 2

DoraFor everyone who ever got in trouble during science class for mixing things to see what would happen and wound up singeing their eyebrows off, H.F. Games' sandbox puzzle simulation ReactionLab for Android was basically a dream come true. With 42 different elements like fire, water, hydrogen, and radon to experiment with, you could draw onscreen and simply make explosions, discover the way certain elements interacted, or even build. Now the game is back with more mayhem in ReactionLab 2. Sporting twelve new elements, rewind and zoom functions, a save feature, and more, it's an infinitely more healthy way to get the destructive scientific genius in you the opportunity to experiment... which is what we're going to call it to be polite when you cackle softly to yourself while playing this in public and people begin edging away.

  • Currently 4.1/5
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Rating: 4.1/5 (22 votes)
| Comments (4) | Views (594)


Lori.hYou've been thrown out of your home and on your birthday too! You're going to have to go through Hell to get back. And I mean that as literally as possible, seeing as you're a demon and you sort of live there. Escape to Hell is from both Rob Donkin and Jay Armstrong, the latter of whom did Bearbarians so you know you're in for an action packed, dungeon-crawl brawl as you cross over the dimensional planes trying to get home. Traveling through, apparently, cost money but thankfully you can get jobs along the way. Smashing important statues, collecting magical items, saving little demons who were taken by the larger demons, or just the good old slaughter rewards you stars you can then use to cross onto the next area where new monsters await. This game makes use of both the keyboard and the mouse, and while doable with a track pad, its probably best if you have the real thing for the later levels.

  • Currently 4.1/5
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Rating: 4/5 (66 votes)
| Comments (13) | Views (2,370)

Nautilus Escape

AllySomething has gone horribly wrong aboard the Nautilus. All the power on the submarine is out. The great Captain Nemo is deceased. And you've come to a dead stop on the sea floor. It seems like a nearly impossible situation to escape from. But where there's a will, and ingenuity, there's a way. In Nautilus Escape, from Just Pine Games, you will not go down with this ship, as you endeavor to get the sub back in working order and find your way back to dry land. You'll have to make use of both the items in your surroundings and unravel the puzzle-like mechanical workings of the ship to get back to the surface. Just click around your environment to investigate; the cursor changes to indicate clickable objects, and the game even helpfully explains what you're hovering your mouse cursor over before you even click on it. When you've built up an inventory, just click on the items you're carrying to use them; although you can't zoom in on them, you can still combine them by clicking in succession on the two items you want to put together. Stay strong, sailor... Even if there is something kind of creepily atmospheric and fun about being trapped 20,000 leagues under the sea!

(3 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (0) | Views (389)

Space Trading Profiteer

kyhEver wanted to live in the world of Joss Whedon's Firefly but in bright colors and the lording government replaced by a loan shark? Well RokSoft has you covered in their new, Android game, Space Trading Profiteer. A turn-based strategy game of trading and hauling cargo, you'll get the vague feeling that you're playing Pocket Planes in space. With a single goal of rising to domination over the eight other traders, who will be the first to garner 1 million Chings and corner the transportation of black market goods? Or the less exciting legal stuffs, if you don't like the excitement of running from the cops.

  • Currently 3.8/5
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Rating: 3.8/5 (32 votes)
| Comments (1) | Views (1,010)


Johnny123 Chilled out, smart, and difficult without being frustrating, TacTicTos Studios' Quebrix is everything a puzzle game should be. The game offers you thirty levels of picture sliding puzzles set to a smooth jazz soundtrack that could play in only the classiest of elevators. Simply slide each segment of the picture to try and assemble a recognizable image. Take your time. There are more points for fewer tries, and you get rewarded with a deep inspirational quote from one of history's great thinkers when you succeed. It's like an interactive motivational poster, perfect for any mid-workday break. Also, the hint system won't solve the puzzle for you. You have a limited number of hints you can play that only move the puzzle one move towards completion, so if you run out and remain stuck, you're stuck for good until you earn more by solving puzzles with the minimum moves.

(14 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (7) | Views (2,202)


elleFrom the very first time 58Works placed us in front of a door and said, "Go ahead, go on through... if you can figure out how," we were charmed. Straightening our shoulders, grinning widely, we sauntered over to it and it opened. The next one wasn't as simple as that: a key was to be found before any door was to be got past. After that, the machinations involved in door opening continued to evolve. "Alright," we thought, "so we're playing games here, are we?" But from that moment on, the fixation was irrevocably set. Which is why we're so happy to see DOOORS 4, a surprisingly inventive endless escape escape game available to play on your iOS or Android mobile device. As usual in these matters, your goal in DOOORS 4 boils down to finding what needs doing to unlock and exit the door. This can mean a lot of things, though—tapping to move obstacles or using helpful tools, swiping to push things out of the way or operating a dial, tilting and shaking your device for... well, various reasons in puzzle purposes.

NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the iPad 2. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.

  • Currently 3.2/5
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Rating: 3.3/5 (51 votes)
| Comments (9) | Views (1,144)

Kick the Critter

AllyYou know, I wouldn't exactly call myself a Biblical scholar, but I really don't remember the part in the story of Noah where God called down fleets of giant robots along with the rains. But if Berzerk Studios' Kick the Critter is to be believed, this is but one of the many trials faced by poor Noah in addition to his sudden acquisition of beachfront property. Or rather, faced by one small, unassuming beastie whom the perhaps not-so-poor Noah unceremoniously voted off the boat. Since he's kind of into the whole "perpetuation of his species" thing, you'll have to help launch him to get him onto the ark. Just click to set the angle and power of your kick, and watch him fly! You can click again when he's airborne to send him dashing forward, and if the type of kicker you're using has any "Smash" shots, you can press the [spacebar] when he gets close to the ground for additional kicks. Oh, did we mention that you can buy a wide range range of alternate kicking machines with different stats, so you can tailor your critter-kicking experience to your liking? Because you can totally do that. You can also upgrade your critter, and even the various obstacles and objects scattered around the field have their own power levels. And did we mention that you can even play a variety of amusing minigames in-between your punting sessions? While it starts off with the simple arcade formula that makes launch games so addictive, Kick the Critter brings with it a wealth of extra content.

(11 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (4) | Views (996)


Lori.hThey say an artist puts their soul into their works of art. Apparently, it also happens when restoring paintings too; quite literally in the case of Painted Hearts, a free indie RPG. A young acolyte named Corbin, who is training to be a Pictomancer, is called in to restore a very historical painting, but it's not the paint cracking or fading on this piece that's the problem. Pestilence, a strange mysterious monster, is actively destroying the grand image and Corbin must stop it before the prominent picture is lost forever. It is not an easy journey to take, especially for such a young boy still in training, but with the help of his own creations they will fight through till the end and destroy the Pestilence before it conquers them. With stunning artwork, fantastic vocals, and a unique fighting system that is a puzzle in itself, this is one game you're going to want to see through to the end. And did I mention it's free? Because it's totally free.

  • Currently 4.7/5
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Rating: 4.7/5 (124 votes)
| Comments (74) | Views (5,484)

Matryoshka (New Edition)

elleNOTE: the online Flash version of the new edition of Matryoshka is available to play from July 19 - July 27 only.

You're in a room that appears to be round; this is confirmed as you tap the arrows at the sides or swipe left and right on the screen, inspecting your surroundings. It's a pleasant enough room, painted in a pastel palate of blues and whites, a fashionably modern yet comfortable looking sofa, plant, desk, picture... but no door! As pretty as this room may be, eventually one has to eat, breath the fresh air, go to work. But how? To do that, investigate your surroundings, look for hints to help you solve the visual riddles nestled all about the room. Maybe then you can peel back the layers of this deceptively congenial trap and make your way out of Matryoshka (New Edition), available for iOS and Android, as well as on your browser for a limited time. The appeal of this cleverly inventive escape game by Kotorinosu, like the Russian nesting dolls it's named after, is in its many layers and surprises held within. Besides the satisfaction that comes from having your mental prowess challenged—and succeeding—there is much to enjoy in Matryoshka's design with very cool visuals and fun animations to reward your progress.

NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the iPad 2. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.

(17 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (3) | Views (886)


Lori.hFree indie horror adventure Somnium is the kind of game Salvador Dali would frame on his wall and Freud would weep with giddiness to play, so you know you're in for a mind melting experience. Play as a boy named Thomas who is too scared to venture outside of his room and thereby does what we all wish we could do every time our alarm goes off. He lays around all day in bed and dreams. But if you had the dreams Thomas has you'd probably never want to lay down again. Each dream is more surreal than the last and the deeper you venture in the dream and the longer you play, the creepier they can become. In the dreams, however, are memories for Thomas to collect and while each dream has four of them, you can only gain one from each. Your choice is take a quick way out to find your assumed safe and peaceful harbor of reality, or dig deeper, treading the darkness to find the memories that really matter.

(12 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (1) | Views (2,990)

Divinity: Original Sin

DoraLet's get one thing straight early on... Larian Studios' turn-based RPG Divinity: Original Sin is not cheap, but it is huge, clever, entertaining, challenging, and packed with replay value. Set well before the events in Divine Divinity, you control two characters you'll create from scratch who are Source Hunters. Typically tasked with tracking down people who use magic for evil, you find yourselves sent to a remote seaside town to solve a murder, but quickly realize something big is happening. It's up to you and a group of rag-tag companions to save the world... but you'll have to do a lot to get there. Like join a pyramid scheme. Dig up graves. Unlock a portal dimension. Settle a blood feud. Help a cat find true love. Decide the fate of a lovestruck orc. And that's just before you leave the town! Sporting a new turn-based battle system that makes use of the elements in creative (and devastating ways), stunning visuals, party members, and all the piles of sidequests, humour, and exploration fans of the series have come to expect, Divinity: Original Sin is both massive, and massively fun for fans of classic computer RPGs and newcomers alike.

(4 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (0) | Views (317)

Dead Reckoning: Silvermoon Isle

Starchild Step aside, Hercule Poirot, there's a new kid in town. And this one solves crimes without a fancy waxed moustache, so take that, you pompous Belgian snoop! (Disclaimer: the author of this article actually thinks Poirot is awesome) Now get your trench coat and your fedora, detective, we have a case to crack! In Eipix's newest hidden-object adventure, Dead Reckoning: Silvermoon Isle, our victim du jour is Veronica West, your stereotypically perfect red-dress-blonde-hair Hollywood star. She was having herself a little birthday party on a secluded island when things took a sinister turn and the dame took a tumble from the top of the lighthouse. I guess birthdays just bring some people down. I'm terrible at puns. All the suspects are still on the island, and there is a huge mansion to be combed through. You've got your work cut out for you, detective. And put that swimsuit back, there ain't no time for sunbathing.

(15 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (6) | Views (724)

Cut the Monster 2

Johnny123 We're not even sure what these monsters did that makes them so horrible. Poor fashion choices? Body odor? It's not our place to judge. What we do know is that it's fun chopping them to pieces with a laser gun and watching the bits fly hither and thither across quirky, creative maps. That's just what the team at Best Physics Games have given us in Cut the Monster 2, a physics-based puzzle game that marries Rube Goldberg contraptions with a hefty dose of schadenfreude. Simply aim the laser cannon with the [mouse] at various reflector plates, buttons, levers and ropes, and watch the monsters tumble and slide into firing range. Slicing them up is a joy, even if the path to get them there is fraught with trial and error.

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