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)
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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)
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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.
Part of me wonders if Nitrome's Submolok is saying, "Don't quite hate your hands and keyboard yet? Ya will soon!" You're going to need some serious coordination to play this freaky action game that stars an alien who appears to be Krang's long lost relative on an underwater quest to find all the parts it needs to repair a satellite to call back home. The catch is that you move by firing thrusters located each corner of your square submersible, each one of which propels it in the opposite direction, so firing the upper right thruster will actually push you in a lower lefter-ly type direction. The key is figuring out how to use them in combinations to get where you want to go, which is easier said than done since our alien hero is naturally buoyant and wants to float upwards. The upper left thruster is tied to the [E] key, lower left to the [X], upper right to [I], and lower right to [M]. (Unfortunately, those are the only key options available, and you can't rebind them.) From the main hub where you'll return to add parts to your satellite, you can hop around to other areas, and in a mild flair, you'll find and unlock upgrades for your submersible as well, so if you can't reach something, you may need to come back later once you've found an upgrade that will help. Typically when you need another upgrade to proceed, the game will pop up with an icon in the upper left.
People like to joke about how some superheroes actually make things worse, but for Failman, star of PPLLAAYY's short and very silly point-and-click puzzle game, anything worth doing is worth doing in a way that makes everyone around him completely miserable. Each small level has a superhero-type problem, such as a bank robbery, and it's your job to figure out what to click, and in what order, to, ehhhh, save the day... sort of. Though on the (very) easy side, Failman's cheeky sense of humour and deliberately absurd style makes us hope we see a bigger adventure in the future.
In PencilKids' short and sweet point-and-click adventure Monkey GO Happy Thanksgiving, it might be cold outside, but our simpering simians know it isn't Turkey Day without, well, a turkey, and so they're out searching the snowy town trying to find one. Click around to interact and navigate, dragging items from your inventory at the top of the screen to try to use them. As usual, keep your eyes peeled for puzzle clues hiding in the scenery. After all, if a missing Thanksgiving feast isn't cause for full on crisis mode, I don't know what is!
Sugar Blossom Village looks like a little slice of paradise. Well, maybe not your particular corner of it: the farmhouse you've just bought is admittedly a bit of a fixer upper. But the people are friendly and hard-working, content with their lives far away from the bustle of the city, close to their loved ones but friendly to strangers. And yet, there does seem to be something missing: a warmth and a magic that some of the older townfolk, as happy as they are, seem to be yearn for, sad that their children do not feel the protection of nature as they once did. Perhaps it has something to do with Noah Hayseed. Even years after his death, townsfolk still talk of his life and secrets as if he was still around. Maybe you can find out more, but until then, there are crops to plant, fishes to fish, livestock to raise, members of your preferred sex to woo, and (mini) games of LockBall to wager on. That's what life is like at the World's Dawn. World's Dawn is an life/farming simulation by Wayward Prophet quite similar in nature to the Harvest Moon series, with a nice touch of fantasy RPG plotting to keep things interesting. Four seasons of the game, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter are in development, with the first two already released. Play as male or female, and engage in romances with men, women, or both if you wish!
"The only other sound's the sweep, of easy wind and downy flake. " There's something strange and wonderful about wandering the forest at night during a snowfall. The hiss of the flakes as they accumulate, the crunch of your footsteps as you perambulate, the howl of the wolves that are dogging your every step...On second thought, maybe wandering the woods at night in the midst of a snowstorm isn't a particularly good idea. Especially if the woods are the sacred Celtic area around the tiny town of Dire Grove in Elephant Games' latest addition to the Mystery Case Files adventure hybrid collection, Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove. This sequel brings you back to the chilly burg of Dire Grove, which is once again in the throes of an unseasonal deep freeze along with a severe case of "When Animals Attack". This time around you will actually meet some of the inhabitants of Dire Grove as you work to solve the mystery of what is causing the freak snowstorms and the wild animal problems. Does it have something to do with the Druids, the Mistwalkers, or did the locals manage to do something to trigger the whole thing? Point-and-click your way through the gorgeous winter scenery to solve the mystery with the help of a lot of puzzle solving and hidden object finding.
It's baa-aack. Nekra Psaria 2 is the sequel to DrawManEater's Nekra Psaria, and fans of the original will be pleased to note that it looks every bit like the horrifying baby of Dr. Seuss and your nightmares as the first one did. When we last left Johnny-boy, the protagonist of this surreal escape game series, he'd successfully fed his giant talking head of a generator and managed to get his power online for some quality vegetating in front of the TV... only to be suddenly surrounded by vegetation, in the heart of a mysterious forest, with ominous forces on his tail. Now he's woken up in an underground cell, and he'll have to traverse the eerie woods... and caverns... and dubious underground laboratories in order to find his way home. What's a guy gotta do to channel flip in peace, huh? Point-and-click his way through one of the most entertainingly unsettling worlds in escape games, apparently!
It's like pie. Is there ever such thing as too much pie? No, never. Or at least, I intend to find that out... tomorrow. What I do know for sure: there is no such thing as too much fun free online escape games. Or if a limit does exist, it's yet to be reached. Absolutely that is why they keep getting made, why we keep playing, and why Weekday Escape returns once again with four escapes for which to be thankful—Hottategoya's continuing saga of same-looking rooms, FunkyLand's 18th sugar-craving treat-seeking episode, Flash 512's glossy graphics returning in a dungeon, and Maroya's opening of another room in Marshmallow's house...
[Please note that Tales from the Borderlands 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.]
When I first heard TellTale Games were making an episodic adventure game based on Gearbox Software's beloved hyperviolent and totally cracked-in-the-head shooter series Borderlands, I was mildly concerned. Mainly because Borderlands is described by things like ramping a car that fires buzzsaws off a cliff into a group of bandits and guns that shoot bullets that are also on fire, while TellTale's adventure games are, um. Not. But surprise surprise, Tales from the Borderlands is here with its first installment, Zer0 Sum, and while you won't be running around shooting up the scenery, it's every bit as foul-mouthed, black-humoured, and perversely charismatic as the original games. Plus, Patrick Warburton is in it. What else do you want? If you haven't played Borderlands, Tales will get you up to speed on the basics at the beginning, which are fairly simple.Tales from the Borderlands takes place after the end of Borderlands 2 and follows Rhys and Fiona, not exactly your typical gun-toting heroes, who have very different motives. Rhys has been fighting tooth and nail for a promotion at super company Hyperion that his "nemesis" Vasquez has cheated him out of, while Fiona's out to pull one huge con that could set her, her little sister, and their surrogate father Felix up for life. To say not everything goes according to plan is an understatement, and Fiona and Rhys are going to have to work together to stay alive... even if each one blames the other for the whole mess. This first installment tells the story of how they wound up thrown together, though of course how they get there is mostly up to you. With excellent comedic timing, exciting action sequences, and all the perverse style and flair you expect from a Borderlands title, Tales from the Borderlands' first episode sets things off with a bang. Oh, and be prepared for a, um, special jump scare or two.
[Please note that this game deals with physical and emotional abuse.]
Havana24.net's puzzle platformer Mercurial Story is about a guy whose unpredictable and uncontrollable mood swings impact his life in a very big way. Each level is divided in half horizontally, and up top is the brighter, happier world, while below is the darker, more dangerous world that turns his life upside-down. Literally, since when you're below, everything is inverted! Use the [arrow] keys to move and jump, or [X] to jump, and you can double-jump while you're "happy" in the world above. Below, everything is more dangerous, but you'll still often find yourself needing to delve into it to pass through the level. Where the two "worlds" intersect, your character will bob back and forth between them like a cork, so you don't need to worry about falling and dying, and you can actually use this momentum to reach new heights. (Press [R] if you get stuck!) This can be fiddly to master on some stages, and combined with the optional (prescribed, presumably) pills to collect, which of course doesn't describe everyone's situation but can be one person's method of coping, Mercurial Story won't be for everyone. More concerning is actually the implication that the main character is both physically and emotionally abusive to those around him, and while this is clearly as a result of the character's uncontrollable problem, it still might be upsetting enough to some people that the ending may not ring quite as sweet, though the intent is clearly to show a difficult situation and attempt to give hope to anyone else experiencing it as well.
Mercurial Story (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch)
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[Mac user? Try freeware tool RPG Hub]
In massive free indie RPG Capella's Promise, created by PlainSoft and translated by vgperson, Velk and his sister Thiana aren't your typical heroes. In fact, they're not very nice people at all. They're slavers, to be precise, and one night Velk wakes up to overhear his sister making an unusual deal... all they have to do is watch over a young girl named Shena for six months in exchange for a large amount of cash. It's a strange request to make of someone who makes their living buying and selling people, but Thiana and Velk see it as easy money. At least until the night soldiers show up demanding Shena, who, having literally spent most of her life underground passed from one "master" to another, has no idea why she's so valuable. Now Thiana's been captured and Velk's on the run with a girl everyone wants to get their hands on, and they soon discover there are more people with bounties on their heads being snatched away in the night. What starts as a quest to rescue Velk's sister winds up being something much more when they stumble across something very rotten in the kingdom of Ilnacia. Clocking in at over twenty hours with sidequests, secrets, crafting, customisation and more, Capella's Promise might be a bit combat-heavy for some, but is one heavyweight freeware title well worth checking out.
Have you ever looked out into the clear night sky, churning and teeming with a myriad of twinkling stars, and wondered if there's life on other planets? Pondered your own infinitesimal smallness against the still backdrop of a cosmos much too vast for any sane person to reasonably comprehend, and wondered about your place in the grand scheme of things? If so, Galaxy Harvest, the realtime strategy game by Lev Simonov and Anna Maskaleva has your answer: Biomass. Yes, biomass. You see little Billy, it just so happens that keeping an advanced civilization humming along doesn't come cheaply and the yawning maws of those huge reactors that power it aren't going to feed themselves. That's where you come in. Biomass makes the perfect fuel source to keep a sophisticated, well-developed civilization thriving. Oceans rich in aquatic life, continents thick with musty pine forests, galloping herds of unsuspecting giraffe roaming innocently across the plain, generations of humans and yes even you, all of them have an important place in keeping a refined civilization ticking over. They're all just waiting to be scooped up and thrown to the reactors as biomass, and they're just the ticket. You can even seed nearby planets with life if you're the kind of civilization to plan ahead and you're willing to play the long (long, loooong) game and stop by again in a few billion years to reap what you've sown.
[Mac user? Try freeware tool RPG Hub]
Bedtime for most kids growing up is dreaded. It means stopping gaming or your favorite TV show, and trying to lay still in the dark when you'd rather be up and running around. But in this narrative the young eight year old you're playing as has much more reason to dread going to bed. There is something else in his room, just below him in the unoccupied bunk. Even though he is plagued by nightmares it is clear he'd much rather be sleeping than having to listen to that raspy breathing. It Moves is a free indie horror game based off a wonderful Creepypasta... which you shouldn't read until after you've played so you don't spoil the game! SnowOwl is not new to horror games, giving us Rust and Blood for one, and knows how to do justice to the original piece. The daily (nightly?) nightmares are where you are able to take control and explore the surreal mind of the young boy. There are a few puzzles to solve and mazes to be conquered but in the end this game is all about the story and the creepy atmosphere Snowowl masters.
Did you know Bobby Da Arrow once shot the wings off a fly a mile away? That Bobby can turn his eyes 180 degrees and see his own brain? That Bobby invented ducks?! If you did then you've probably already played Bitnest and FlashChaz's new physics projectile action game, named after the amazing hero himself, Bobby Da Arrow. After each level you get an amazing Bobby Da Arrow fact. Between each of these is a puzzling challenge of wit and speed as you kill off the evil goblin forces and stop them from invading the kingdom. Unlike most projectile games, the enemies don't just stand there and let you use up all your arrows. Your first shot lets you take your leisure to aim with your mouse, but after that the time starts and with each quick spin of the clock, the goblins get to move closer, attack, or even teleport out of the way. You're still able to fire whenever you like as long as you have arrows, but with their movements this could mean the perfect shot has turned into a dud, or that a weaker creature has just moved into the path of your arrow destined for a more efficient target. Now add that to a game with clever little puzzles and you got yourself a doozy of a game... that is, if you needed something more than just the clever little facts you get in between.
In Elephant Games' hidden-object adventure/Jumanji lookalike Surface: Game of Gods, you play Alice Russell, whose friends go missing when they take part in a strange game you yourself were supposed to be a part of. Turns out the game, played every three years, has some very serious rules, and the players are contractually bound to face the threats that pop up when they roll the dice or die, which is something I would have thought we'd all learned to avoid when Quark taught us what a terrible idea that is. With your friends in danger from tabletop gone wrong, you have no choice but to sign the contract presented to you by the man with the infinitely smug and punchable face and play yourself to save them, presumably absolving yourself of ever feeling obligated to drive one of them to the airport or pay for pizza ever again. As you play, you'll follow your friends into the scenes they've trapped themselves in, solving puzzles and hidden-object scenes, as well as helping free the many centuries' worth of souls trapped in the game. Surface: Game of Gods is an appealingly creative and beautifully presented hidden-object adventure perfect for players looking for something cinematic and just the right amount of creepy-cool for an evening's play.
If you're wanting a good time by stealing rubies and stabbing people in the back, and Styx: Master of Shadows is just not family friendly enough for you, then Sneaky Sneaky, by Naiad Entertainment, is the indie stealth game for you. Just look at his darling little face. If it wasn't for his red bandit mask you would have never guessed he just stole a large bag full of rubies from the Sultan. Sadly, as he had just made his escape some rude thugs stopped him short. No class, those thugs. To top it all off, a pesky bird carried away your bag full of all the Sultan's royal jewels. With the help of your partner Squeaky, a lovely rat, it's time to do what you do best... sneak, steal, and strike, namely when the backs are turned. Work your way through the fifteen levels of strategically planning your next move as you work to gather your dropped items and reclaim what wasn't really yours in the first place.
Hipster Whale's free iOS arcade game Crossy Road is the latest addictive game about chickens getting run over by speeding trains, in which you simply tap with proper timing to guide critters across unreasonably dangerous roads and raging rivers, for as long as you can without drowning, going over a waterfall, or, well, y'know... splat. You have to keep moving since the screen is slowly scrolling after you, and jumping into the side of a moving vehicle is as fatal as being run over. It is, essentially, Frogger, though as you play you can unlock a myriad of different characters to play as, from goats and frogs to vampires and celebrities. You need one hundred coins to unlock one at random, and coins at given out by picking them up one at a time during play, opting to watch a short advertisement video when the game offers it, or granted in varying quantities as one of the "free gifts" you get after a certain amount of time has passed. Of course, if you're impatient or you want a specific character, you can just pick one up via an in-app purchase, but all characters can be earned for free with a little patience and a lot of splatting.
Something fishy and kinda freaky is afoot in no1game's Find the Escape-Men Part 126: The Special Property, where you find yourself trapped when your would-be realtor locks you inside an apartment with a suspiciously cheap rent, and in addition to the disgusting smell, there's a lot of unsettling things included here in addition to the utilities. If you want to escape, you'll need to find the ten little green men hidden around the apartment, which is easier said than done given that there's something seriously weird going on here. Click around, look everywhere (and maybe dawdle in a place or two...), and click the question mark on an item in your inventory to view it up close. Despite some futzy clicking, the sheer weirdness here is a big part of the charm... just maybe brace for a jump scare or two.
In real life, spiders crawled straight out of our nightmares to hide in our showers and closets and pop out on us when we least expect it. In this universe, however, spiders are adorable. How else do you explain Spiderling or Gift Rush 3? Apparently there's something game developers know about spiders that we don't. Whatever the case, Alexander Fedoseev's Natural Selection 2 continues the rebranding of everyone's least favorite arachnid, doing so in a cutesy, fun little ball of a physics game. Use the mouse to shoot strands of webbing to pull yourself around the course, catching and ensaring the helpless flies that meander about the levels. Watch out for bees, one sting will kill you dead. Come to think of it, maybe this isn't so cute after all...
It's no secret that games like to glorify war, often simply by casting you as the hero who rappels down from the helicopter into the war-torn, bombed out town and blasting up the "bad guys" to save the day... which, naturally, makes you feel good. Who doesn't like to play the hero? But 11 Bit Studios are shifting the focus with indie survival sim This War of Mine, where instead of the gun toting hero, you control a group of three civilians in that war-town, bombed and dangerous town, struggling to survive. See, everyone thought the war would be over soon, but it's been several years, and three strangers who have banded together in the crumbling remains of a house they've taken for their base are barely able to get by day to day. Food is scarce, medicine even more so, and the only supplies you have are what you can find or make yourself. With no idea of knowing how far off an end to the fighting may be, how long will you last? And more importantly, what will you be willing to do when it seems like you have no other choice? This War of Mine illustrates an often overlooked and underexamined side of conflict, and despite some issues with repetition and simple mechanics, serves to humanize war rather than laud it.
There are few realtime strategy/tower defense games that achieved the sort of massive success of Ironhide Games' Kingdom Rush games. Kingdom Rush Origins, now available for iOS and Android, is still a Kingdom Rush game, which means a lot of tiny little heroes and monsters duking it out with adorable Adam West Batmen sound effects. You build and upgrade towers of different types at build sites along the pathway, trying to prevent enemies (who drop the loot you use to create your defenses) from reaching the opposite side of the screen. You've got your spells, which can unleash handy destruction but come with a cool down tiner, and your powerful hero unit, who can level up and learn new skills and always respawns after a time. How well you handle a stage you've won determines the number of stars you're awarded, which can be spent on permanent upgrades for tower types and abilities. Some enemies drop gems that can be spent on single-use power-ups, for when you need that extra bit of devastation. All of this should sound familiar to fans, and indeed if you've been with the series from the beginning, you'll feel right at home. But while the gameplay hasn't really shaken things up much, Kingdom Rush Origins is what you've come to love with its muscles oiled and polished until you can see yourself in them.
Yonashi's Gocha Gocha Room escape game is the very definition of cute and cozy, plunking you in a room with whimsical toys and puzzles, including a caterpillar, a chicken, donuts, coffee, a cat, and much, much more. Click around to interact with things when the cursor changes, and if a transparent bar appears when you mouse over the edges of the screen (don't forget the top!), you can click it to navigate to somewhere else. Click the magnifying glass next to an item in your inventory to scope it out up close, or click the item itself to ready it for use. Remember to. Search. Everywhere. You never know where another view or item might be hiding!
Do you ever feel like your dreams at night happen because a little part of you climbs into your alarm clock and flies into space? No? Hmm, maybe that's part of the dream. At any rate, come see what I mean in Bart Bonte's interstellar point-and-click puzzle game Sweet Drmzzz for your iOS or Android device. (Originally created as a much shorter and simpler online game, In Drmzzz.) Tap the screen to interact with your surroundings, and get ready to blast into your game-filled dreams. Or someone else's. Because I've never dreamed about cute, colorful space worms, but maybe that's just me.
Oh! Hey, um, you caught me a little by surprise. I guess I've just been real busy at the moment with... Well, never mind what. All will be explained. When the timing is right. But you don't want me yakking on endlessly about all this sort of stuff. You want some more fun free escape games, and it just so happens that I do have a couple of those...ah, um, yes. Here's one from Yomino Kagura, along the same lines of previous Yomino Kagura escape games, but that's a good thing since it's so enjoyably well put-together. More? What, you really want more already? Okay, fine. Here's also a game by Flash 512; it's the third in a series but you can jump right in mid-swing. It's all good. Or, you can play the other two first. This day, this Weekday Escape? Well it's all about you, babe, so go on ahead and dig in...
Do you love Zelda-like dungeons, with all those wonderful riddles and puzzles? Ever wanted a game just like, that only missing all the monsters and that incredibly annoying, worthless disembodied hand that sends you right back to the beginning? (I'm looking at you, Wallmaster!) Well, now there is a game just like that for your Android and iOS devices. Black Tower Enigma, by Ogre Pixel, contains eleven levels of mind puzzling problems your little green orc must solve in order to reach the top of the tower. He is not doing so because of the current war between humans and orcs. No, he has put all that aside because his wife, beautiful in her own orcish ways, was taken captive; tricked by a beautiful dress gifted by a mysterious giver. Now he will stop at nothing and enter the tower no one else has ever conquered to get her back. Aw, isn't true love so cute?
[Mac user? Try freeware tool RPG Hub]
Need a free indie adventure that's all sorts of sweet and adorable? Cloudhime's short but oh-so-sweet Starbot fits the bill and then some, starring a little robot who's just woken up, though he isn't yet completed. The engineers who made him still have some tweaking to do, and when they shut him down to finish, our little Starbot finds himself in a strange, dark world that happens to be home to plants that will one day grow into stars if they're fed stardust. It is, Starbot is told, the most important job in the universe, so when he finds one little plant off alone by itself, he makes an unlikely friend when he helps it grow. Together they'll have some very strange adventures indeed in both worlds, but the most important thing they'll discover might be a lot simpler than any big journey. Use the [arrow] keys to explore, the [spacebar] to interact, and [ESC] to open the menu and save at any time. Talk to people multiple times, and don't be afraid to dig through the trash.
It's murder most foul and random in Malcolm Brown's The Inquisitor, a procedurally generated murder mystery logic puzzle game made for Procedural Generation Jam 2014 in just nine days. Each time you play, your job is to find out whodunnit, with what, and why by investigating the murder scene, hunting for clues, and interrogating people... eventually you'll be able to accuse someone, but make sure you're right as you only get one chance! Move with [WASD] or the [arrow] keys, interact and confirm with [E] or [Z], and cancel with [Q] or [X]. [I] brings up your inventory, while [J] starts the accusation process, but you'll need at least one weapon to do so. As you explore and talk to people, you'll use the clues you glean from your investigations, such as time of death, to poke holes in alibis or get more information that could help you nail someone else. While you can explore and take as much time as you want, something to consider is that movement within the game takes time, which can help you figure out who's lying as to someone's whereabouts. Going from one room to another is considered to take five minutes, so if someone tells you they were in a particular room at a certain time, figuring it out how long it would take them to get from one place to another can help you catch them in a lie. You can search people for incriminating evidence a maximum of three times before everyone stops cooperating with you. The game won't keep track of the things people say, so if you're having trouble remembering everyone's statements, or even just need a map, you might want to jot things down. I mean, actually physically jot things down, like with a pen and paper. That's right. We're kicking it old school.
Fresh from tracking down the first ancient ruby needed to unlock a magic box in the first installment of Carmel Games' point-and-click adventure series, Dakota Winchester's Adventures Part 2: Cactus City brings our titular hero to the wild West on the hunt for the next gem. Click around the map to travel around town and help out the townsfolk, all of whom seem to have their own (strange) problems. If you want a short and straightforward adventure with a healthy dose of weirdness, Dakota Winchester, stopper of robbers and smusher of scorpions, is here to provide.
Turn that frown upside-down, and if you're not frowning, just turn your smile 360 degrees anyway for solidarity, because it's against the law to be unhappy when you're playing an adorable escape game from Detarame Factory. Mikke Escape plops you down in a place full of cuddly animals, cute decor, and a number of curious contraptions. To unlock the door, you actually need to find and click on ten circles, which will highlight briefly in red when you do so and let out what may be an alarming musical tone given the silence of the game, so just brace yourself. Click to interact, and use the arrows that appear on the green bands to the left and right of your view to navigate around the room. Click an item once to ready it for use, or double-click it to view it close up.
Lo.Nyan, Lo.Nyan, wherefore art thou, Lo.Nyan? We've been hankering for one of your escape games, so thank goodness you're here with Lo.Nyan's Room Escape 13. As usual, you're locked in a room somewhere, but also as usual, it's just a bit too stylish and cozy looking for you to want to realistically escape from. A hanging basket chair, a cup of your favourite beverage, a bright and airy view, and all the books you could want? Colour me hermited! Still, if you want to play, you have to try to find a way out, so it's time to ferret out all the puzzles and the items needed to solve them. Just click around to move and interact, using the directional arrows that appear and your changing cursor for guidance. To use an item, click it once so it highlights green, then click where you'd like to try to use it. Want to get a closer look at something? Click the object in your inventory, then the "about item" button, which will allow you to manipulate it up close and personal. Oh, and if you hate having to take screenshots of clues or write them down, don't worry... you can pick up a camera you can use to take photos of important things to carry with you!
[Mac user? Try freeware tool RPG Hub]
Fluffydud's short freeware indie adventure game The Stoneville Mystery stars little Johnny who wakes one dark and stormy night to find his dad has gone missing. Even though he's been told to stay at home no matter what, Johnny decides to venture out into the storm and bring his father home. Use the [WASD] keys to move, the [spacebar] to interact, and [ESC] to open the menu and save your game whenever you want. Which, you know, you might need to do since little boys and dangerous adventures don't always mix. Don't be fooled by the mild creepy elements, however... The Stoneville Mystery is a cozy little adventure game that's perfect for spending a relaxing half hour or so with, especially if you love fairytales.
Made in just one week, Igor Rashkuev's dark and frozen adventure game Hypothermia is eerie and lonely as you find yourself stranded on a snow-and-stormswept island with no memory and dwindling supplies. Move with [WASD] and interact with [E] when you get close enough to an item. Food restores health, pills restore sanity but cost you health, and in a pinch alcohol warms you up but costs both health and sanity, with each item bound to the , , and  keys respectively. Sadly, the game lacks a pause or even a restart function, though it's definitely on the (very) short side in a way that makes it feel more like a demo or proof-of-concept, and it's also easy despite some clunky controls and an over-reliance on "here, navigate this narrow beam in first person view, but you can't look down!" Still, excellent atmosphere and visual style, along with well executed mild horror elements make this a solid, if brief, surreal experience we hope makes good on its "to be continued" ending.
Zombie games are thick on the ground these days, shambling along in a great big horde through this cultural obsession like some sort of... undead monster-type creature. Some of them can get a little samey, but if it means getting more entries in the Decision series then we're more than willing to sift through the chaff. Flyanvil's latest entry, Decision 3, offers a visceral and deep experience. Use the mouse to aim and the [arrows] or [WASD] keys to move (AZERTY keyboards are also supported) as you blast and dash your way through each zombie infested area, collecting survivors and loot as you go. This is the gold standard here people, the kind of survival shooter that other survival shooters aspire to be.
Eipix Entertainment takes the reins for Dark Parables: The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide, the latest installment in Blue Tea Games' popular hidden-object adventure series, where you find yourself in Greece attempting to find the source of and stop a strange phenomenon flooding villages and killing off all the sea life. Turns out all of this is tied to the mysterious temple that's risen out of the sea, and a war fought long ago between two kingdoms, one of which had the brilliant idea to summon the Sea Goddess who promptly sank and cursed the kingdom to end the fighting in what might be the most epic fit of "I'll give you something to cry over" ever. Now the king, transformed into a hideous creature and sort of bitter about non-monstrous "Landwalkers" like yourself, is trying to use her power once more against the whole world, and it's up to you to stop him. You'll travel across one seriously big map, do battle with a persistent (and giant) poisonous eel, solve perplexing puzzles and fragmented hidden-object scenes, and fight the urge to make more fish based puns than anyone has any right to.
It's a brand new day. Mom is off to her job at the store. Dad is spending the day working in the garden. The neighbors are having their conversations and arguments, some friendly, some not. Also, the moon is falling from the sky. Until it does, though, there's an entire world to watch. And watching is something you're good at. Mike Salyh presents Moonkid, a haunting monochromatic piece of interactive art. Use the [arrow] keys to move around the neighborhood, pressing the down [arrow] to interact with objects and talk with people. Moonkid is set on a timer from 9:00 to 6:30 PM, and the characters within each have their narratives for you to follow as their paths meet, diverge and cross again, The Last Express style. Some are sad, some are bittersweet, and some are even darkly humorous in their own way. Altogether though, they are certainly affecting.
Some games are an ordeal to play, and Scott Cawthon's indie horror action/puzzle/why-would-you-make-something-like-this hybrid Five Nights at Freddy's definitely fits the bill. It was a runaway success, themed around a very unfortunate security guard struggling to keep some very creepy and very deadly animatronics at bay over the course of five nights using dwindling power, light switches, and a pair of doors... and, one would hope, a massive paycheck and benefits to compensate. It's a simple game, but its emphasis on a staggering amount of relentless jump scares earned it a devoted and probably mildly unhinged following, and while the developer was actively soliciting feedback for a beefier sequel, the sudden release of Five Nights at Freddy's 2 (Android version available, iOS on the way) mere months after the original still comes as a surprise. With more animatronics, substantially harder difficulty, and new gameplay mechanics, you'll need quick reflexes and nerves of steel to survive... but how much of a sequel is it really?
Martin Kool's 0h h1 (hosted here with generous permission) is a simple little logic puzzle, also available free for iOS and Android, that's really just simply delightful. Click a square once to fill it in with red, twice to make it blue. The goal is to fill in the board in each round with the proper number and placement of red and blue squares, following the rules that govern correct placement. You can't have three of the same colours in a row either horizontally or vertically, a full row must have as many red squares as it does blue, and no two rows can be exactly the same. Tap the eye icon to get a hint, and the arrow to undo as many moves as you want, while the X will return you to the main menu. You can play levels 4x4, 6x6, 8x8, or 10x10, allowing you to get your fix at varying levels of difficulty.
Exot Working's darkly humorous MURDER is a simple game of reflexes, cunning, and, you guessed it, murder most foul. In it, you play a slimy rogue out to nab the crown for himself, which apparently can be done simply by offing the current king. Choose the right moment to hit the [spacebar] to give His Royal Majesty a good old fashioned daggering, and the crown is yours! But the game is just beginning. After you've assumed the crown, you'll need to press the [spacebar] at the proper time to catch those other knaves out to do you in and toss them into the dungeon, and when the red bar at the top of the screen runs out, well... that's life when you're a murderous, untrusting old monarch, I suppose. How many bodies can you amass in your dungeon? And do they all deserve it?
Greetings, Space Cadets! Are you ready to protect and glork whatever darn small hunk of rock we at the academy send you out to protect? Are you ready to blast invaders of all shapes and sizes? Are you ready to collect enough crackers to pay off your tuition? Are you ready to have amusing conversations with your talking backpack following your inevitable demise at the hands of Braindeevils, Groinx, Blurstebeasts, and that stupid invincible magic robot? Well, then Glorkian Warrior: The Trials of Glork, also available for iOS, is the game for you! A James Kochalka/Pixeljam joint production, Glorkian Warrior gives you just the right mix of retro-shooter arcade action, platform stomping, and Saturday Morning Cartoon, now for your home Magnaglork computer screen terminal! Move with [A] and [D] or the left and right [arrow] keys, and jump with [X], [Z], [W], or the up [arrow]. Your backpack will automatically fire your standard weapon as you dodge enemy attacks, trying to keep your heart meter about zero. Watch out for slightly larger enemies in each wave: blasting them will drop new weapons and power-ups. Blasted creatures may also drop Space Crackers, which you will need to collect to unlock new features in the game. Also, watch out for the Slurkers traisping underfoot. They can't hurt you by touching, but their flames can cause quite the hot foot. It's best to give 'em the old hop-and-bop treatment when you can. Also, watch out for Zoe and Chloe, two battle-suited lady aliens, who will grant you Bonus Crackers for completing missions. Earn 20,000 crackers total and, well, we'll all be very impressed at your tenacity.
If you haven't played To the Moon, the hit indie adventure game from Freebird Games, well, I just don't know what to say other than that you're missing out on one of the best stories you'll ever experience. The sequel is still a ways off, but A Bird Story may help make the wait a little shorter... a very little bit considering it's only about an hour long and billed as an "interactive narrative adventure", but when it comes to Freebird Games, every little bit is a treasure, and this is no different. Acting as a lead in to the upcoming sequel, A Bird Story tells its tale entirely without any words at all, and yet still manages to be funny and moving with ease as you follow the slightly surreal story of a lonely little boy who has more daydreams than friends. Most of your time is spent watching events unfold, but the game will prompt you whenever you have control to move around, which can be done with either the mouse or the [arrow] keys. When possible, subtle sparkles around objects will let you know you can interact with them.
If the protagonist of the Fancy Pants series were any cooler he'd be a Popsicle. He's so laid back he doesn't even wear a shirt! Just jumps, slides, and stomps his way through a silky smooth platform universe evoking the quirky cartoon adventure games of yesteryear. Brad Borne's latest installment, Fancy Pants Adventures: World 1 Remix, continues this laid back tradition, giving the whole first entry a big tongue-in-cheek redo that's as fun to play as it is difficult to say. Use the [arrow] keys to run, duck and roll, and the [s] key to jump, stomping on spiders and mice and booting them off screen. Fans of the first entry will find the terrain familiar, but Mr. Borne's tossed more than a few surprises into the Fancy stew that will keep you invested. The addition of time trials and a plethora of extras and unlockables just seals the deal. Fancy's back and fancier than ever!
Right, I know you came by to play more escape games, of which Wednesdays have become rather well known here at JIG, and I'm not going to argue with that—there's nothing I love more than a smattering of thinky puzzles and creative clue solving to bridge the week. I also happen to think more places should take on the escape-the-room genre for reals: supermarkets (want that can of beans? then best decipher the bar code first), airports (a genuine step up from the current maze of TSA screenings and bumped flights), and schools (each day, a new series of "puzzles" to solve before that classroom door is unlocked), just to name a few. Then, perhaps, the idea will catch on? Instead of campaigning, debates and elections, politicians will show their mental prowess by escaping a series of issues-themed rooms: first candidate to earn the door key shall be deemed the winner. Wars? Pfft. Escape games. It could work. Until that day, though, try this week's selections: life's a bowl of cherries in FunkyLand's newest fruit kitchen, Amakuchi Game debuts on Weekday Escape with a mariner's dream room, and Sneedle entertains with eerily supernatural occurrences...
You know what? Ghosts get a bad rap. Everyone always assumes they are just there to scare the daylights out of you. Well ghost have other things on their agenda than just coaxing a scream out of you. In fact, some of them just want to get on with their day. Your piercing shrieks are annoying to them, you selfish jerk. Why don't you think about them? Well, thankfully ghosts are a lot more considerate than us selfish living humans, but now we can extend our help to them and ease them into eternal darkness away from our off key shrieks. In this physics based game, Colorful Ghosts, by Ozdy (who brought us Vampire Physics) your goal is to avoid any humans at all cost and push, roll, and fling the ghosts off the screen so they can enjoy their peaceful afterlife and you can feel good for doing such an charitable service.
The title of Rock Lou's ambitious RPG The Awakening is pretty apt, since the game begins with our amnesiac hero jolting awake in alone in a strange forest with one heckuva headache. What are the odds he's got a big destiny, do you think? With a character customization so deep you can choose your level of squint (though bizarrely not your gender) and battle system that adds some twists to the turn-based formula, The Awakening is a huge and ambitious RPG that is sadly still unpredictably buggy, so a full review will have to wait, though it's clear a massive amount of love and talent has gone into its creation.
Maulidan's Fishtopia Tycoon is just so many neat things combined into one. It's a tycoon game! It's an upgrade game! It's an avoidance minigame! It's also a breakfast cereal, a new brand of smart phone, a hip cult religion, and we understand there's a book deal in the works. Alright maybe not, but what it is is a whole lot of fun! You plays as a protagonist with a potentially unhealthy fascination with fish who's not only the sole proprietor of Fish World, a gigantic fish-themed aquatic amusement park, he's also the sole fisherman responsible for going out fishing each day to keep the place supplied with fish. Tourists show up each day to admire the aquarium exhibits, and there are merchant stalls there just in case they'd like to take home a lovely memento of their visit in the form of, say, a live Brown Trout or Tilapia or something. Like ya do. While we're relieved this hasn't caught on yet with the major cartoon-themed amusement parks ("Live mouse and duck in a bag for your small child, sir?"), it's a great model for pet and grocery stores. Catch, breed and sell diverse species of fish and grow your very own tourist attraction!
Button, button, who's got the button? Well, if you ever want to escape from Tototo Room's Button Escape 26, it better be you! To find a way out, you first need to find and click on the eleven gray buttons hidden throughout the room, turning them into more cheerful smiley ones. There's no changing cursor, but this is a bite-sized escape anyway, provided you can figure out what one of the few items you'll actually pick up is supposed to be! If you like them short, sweet, and just a little weird, Button Escape 26 is the perfect pick-me-up.
From the beginning of time man has been obsessed with collecting small objects and using them to fight to gain more of them. In not so ancient times marbles were the cat's pajamas, then the dope pogs, to, uh what ever those kids think are "hip" today. Pokemon? ....Bayblades? ...er... My Little Ponies? The point is we as a people enjoy gathering up things, and then risking them all to fight someone else in order to gain more. That's the name of the game in Coin Crypt, a indie rogue-like roleplaying game brought to us by Dumb and Fat Games. (I promise that's their name, I'm not being mean.) Finding a mysterious island you set out to explore, whereupon you find peculiar coins and discover you're a Lootmaster and can bring out the power of the coins. Apparently being a Lootmatster isn't that rare as the island is full of others using the coins and they want yours. Collect, battle, and risk it all to unlock new heroes, please the coin Gods, and become the master of the island.
Once upon a time there was a crocodile. He was a very hungry crocodile. He was also a very greedy crocodile. He wanted to eat as much as he could, but he also wanted to collect as much treasure as he could. In the end, he decided to split the difference and eat as much treasure as he could. There probably isn't a moral to this fable, but suffice to say, the crocodile is waiting for you to join him. He's hungry, he's greedy, and his name is Chompy. Chompy is a puzzle platform game by Wolve about a rambunctious reptile that loves running, jumping, and coins, and not necessarily in that order.
In Elephant Games' hidden-object adventure Grim Tales: Color of Fright, you're on your way to your annual family reunion, trying not to let the dramatic, threatening note that sounds like it was penned by an enthusiastic World of Darkness LARPer get to you. When you arrive at your family's castle, however, you find your family missing and some seriously freaky mojo going on. See, turns out the family's adopted little brother Thomas has some serious baggage and some potentially unhealthy attachments to his adoptive sister Luisa, who he believes "abandoned" him when she fell in love and had a family with someone else. While this might make for a slightly awkward family reunion, add to that Thomas has discovered he has the ability to make his art come to life, even to create whole worlds inside his drawings, and thanks to some epic sense of entitlement, he's using it to take revenge on the family he feels has ignored him. You'll need to use your own unique sixth sense to track him down while solving puzzles and hidden-object scenes and looking for items, but also a unique paint-by-the-magical-symbols kit you probably won't find in your typical craft store that can help you create things that will come to life and aid you.
The final installment of season one of The Game Kitchen's popular point-and-click horror adventure series has finally been made available to everyone, and The Last Door Chapter 4 races towards its unthinkable conclusion. In Chapter One a letter from a childhood friend brought you to their seemingly abandoned estate, and Chapter Two sent you back to a place you barely remembered to search for answers you might wish you never learned, while Chapter Three continued down a dark path into the woods. Now, it seems as if our hero Devitt has finally caught up with someone who can give him answers, but at what cost? To play, just click to interact, and the changing cursor will represent the action you can try to take. Click the magnifying glass to use it to examine items you're carrying, or just click the item itself to ready it for use. You can also try to combine things you're carrying by first clicking on one item, and then another... they'll automatically merge if they're supposed to. Once you've already been through a door or other area transition, the next time you want to go through it, just double-click it and you can immediately skip to the next area instead of needing to wait for Devitt to walk there. Just make sure you have played the first three chapters before you play this, or nothing will make any sense!
Eyes in the back of your head? Pfft. Amateurs. Wandering Eyes' little green protagonist can make a whole new set of eyeballs pop up anywhere he pleases in the world, meaning he can have eyes just about wherever he likes. What do you say to THAT, huh? If you say, "Well gee, that sounds like a neat idea for a puzzle game," then Anton Antsiferov and Darya Gavrilova agreed. Now this ocular alien must find his way home, and, in that curious way of puzzle games, only his eyeball generation skills can save him! Control the alien with the [arrow] keys or [WASD], and click on anything that's not nailed down to possess it with your eponymous wandering eyes... wandering feet included free of charge. Walk crates on top of buttons instead of pushing them there, load cannons with ambulatory cannonballs, hitch rides on top of safes, and make your way to the sweet freedom of the teleporter! And beneath its cheery exterior, Wandering Eyes has enough wacky gimmicks and simple-but-sweet levels to please puzzlers of all ages.
The end of the world comes not with a bang, but with a hex-based strategy board game in Space Games' Zombie Tactics, where it turns out the local prison has been conducting illegal experiments on its population in pursuit of eternal life. Do you want zombies? Because that's how you get zombies. The game is turn-based, and each of your characters can move around the map and attack enemies or support one another. Actions, including movement, take stamina, which regenerates slowly each turn, or more significantly if you choose to have a character "rest" instead of act. Killing zombies nets you not only experience, granting you skill points for each character and their abilities when you level up, but cash that can be spent on buying new items or upgrading the ones you have. Items can be equipped by any character and can bestow bonuses like increased evasion or health, or even passive abilities. After a while, you'll have the option to send party members off to scavenge... they won't take part in the next battle, but they'll return after it with coins or items. Initially the only party members you'll have are the Hunter, the Lumberjack, and the Nurse, but more will come to join your group. Of course, the same is true for the zombie forces, so you can expect to fight stronger, more varied foes as the game goes on.
Just what is it about matching tiles that inspires game designers to develop combat games? Whether it's anything from the hugely successful Puzzle Quest series to unique (and must-play!) innovators like Overhaul to anything in between, people just can't stop looking at identical tiles without deciding that something needs to go. As you might imagine for a genre with so many games, only the unique and the innovators need apply. Frantic tile-matching and combat collide for the ultimate elimination tournament in Gildedguy's Slush Tile Rush! Our heroes have saved the world, but now? They just want to get home. Too bad standing in their way is a long line of bruising baddies and even meaner bosses, who apparently aren't that intimidated by your heroic deeds. Tiles for your party members appear to the left and right of your opponent, and it's up to you to click on a matched pair from each side to take out the tiles — and your opponents! They'll be filling the boards up with attacks of their own and if the boards fill completely, you've just lost the match!
Firebeast's latest title, Zombo Buster Rising, is a zombie game with a difference. First of all, it's cute as a button. No nasty gore at work here, just cutesy PG sprays of ketchup. But don't let that fool you, this game can get rough when it needs to. Unlike the original Zombo Buster with its fussing with elevators, this game is a straight up defensive shooter with a strong upgrades system and odds just shy of overwhelming. Aim and fire your little upgradeable pea shooter with the mouse, and use the , , and  keys to deploy other weapons like bombs and time stoppers. It all adds up to a survival experience that's at the peak of what browser games can offer. It's also pretty funny to boot.
Word up! And down! Also, left, right, through, over, under and in all manner of combinations. It's Onomastica 2, a platforming puzzle/whimsical interactive art piece by mif2000. Like the original Onomastica (a title that incidentally refers to "the branch of lexicology that studies the forms and origins of proper names") you control a little everydude awash in a world where words don't just mean things: they are things. TREES stand tall, CLOUDS float, TROLLS block your path, and OLD rocks crumble beneath you. Naturally, completing the journey will require quite a bit of word play, but players who are good at minding their words will certainly be up to the task.
What's the deal with Wednesdays? I mean, they come in, the middle of the week, and there they sit. Hump day, Wednesday. You heard about that before? You know the jokes. I think Wednesday is a little too proud, though: "Hey, look at me. I'm two whole days closer to Friday than Monday. Yippee!" Meanwhile, Friday's just sitting back at the end of the week, feeling pretty dang good about itself as well. And you know what? I bet every day wishes it was Friday. Well, it's not a lie if you believe it. What I like, though? I like any day I can eat soup and play some free online escape games. And so I'm telling you, that's what I like about today. Here we go with another one of FunkyLand's Alice series, and it's truly wonderlandastic if I do say so myself. Next, you got your standard Yomino Kagura fare just to keep things moving and, finally, a little tea with newcomer, Ponpoko to wind things down. Speaking of soup, did I ever tell you about the time...
Edmund McMillen and Niclais Inc's The Binding of Isaac is a weird game to talk about in mixed company. Released in 2011, it's a top-down indie action roguelike packed with literally hundreds of hours of play, secrets, unlockables, and more across its randomly generated dungeons, but it's also (and here's the kicker) about a boy (Isaac) whose religious mother hears the voice of God telling her to kill him, and so Isaac flees into the depths of a labyrinthine basement to escape her, all while battling monstrous deformed entities with his tears, wading through poop, using pills, and finding special items like The Belt, which makes you run faster for fear of a beating. If that made you pull back, even a little, it definitely isn't the game for you, but that hasn't stopped others from embracing it. It's gross, gory to the extreme, and players loved it for its brand of dark humour, piles of secrets and replay value on top of a brutal difficulty, and now it's time to go back to the basement once more with The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. It's not a sequel or an expansion. As the title implies, it's a complete overhaul of the original game (and the Wrath of Lamb expansion) that more than doubles all the content with tons of new enemies, items, surprises and more, on top of a graphical revamp and a new soundtrack.
In Carmel Games' point-and-click adventure Vortex Point 5: Monster Movie, the other members of Kevin's supernatural investigation agency are out of town, leaving him alone on Halloween night. With nothing better to do, he decides to hit up the local cinema, which is airing a very special old monster movie. To play, just click around to interact when the cursor glows red, and click items in your inventory at the bottom of the screen to highlight them for use. There's something strange about this movie, and Kevin will need your help to get to the bottom of it, but hey, it's Vortex Point. "Strange" is practically their middle name.
Elio Landa's puzzle game Sum Tracks is simple, beautiful, mellow, and all about math, which would normally make me scrunch up my face like someone just brought up politics at a party, but here it's surprisingly... fun? I know, I know... I'm scared and confused too. We'll hold hands. See, the goal here is to take the starting sums you're presented with, which are numbers in black boxes, and drag them across the rows of numbers until their value reaches zero. A black number can move across any adjacent number with a lower value, but numbers you've passed over vanish, so they can't be used more than once, and you have to zero out your total exactly... so if you had a sum of five, for instance, you couldn't move onto a six or higher. Since you're usually working with multiple sums and the game eventually introduces special coloured numbers that can be passed over several times, the game is trickier than it seems and requires a bit of planning besides. Thanks to the "undo last" button in the lower left corner, however, it never gets stressful.
Every play a video game for too long, then all night you have game related dreams? Yeah, we've all been there, but what if it wasn't a dream. What if the baddies really were out for revenge on your helpless sleeping body? Wouldn't you want someone to give you a hand? Help out the monstrous gamer of Bad Seed's Sleep Attack TD by destroying the enemies before they destroy you. Unlike something like Desktop Tower Defense where you make your own path with towers, Sleep Attack has set paths and predetermined spots for towers. There is a twist, however. Each playing field is laid out in concentric circles which can be rotated to change the paths the creeps take.
In Stefanie Hartung's point-and-click escape horror game Scare Dare - The House, you go merrily barreling past the limits of good judgement and straight into Well-What-Did-You-Expectsville when you decide to enter a house that's been abandoned for years after its owners (and several other people who tried to explore it) mysteriously vanished. Shockingly, the door slams shut and locks behind you, and now if you ever want to find a way out, you'll need to find out what happened to the previous owners, as well as a way to thwart whatever force is keeping you prisoner. To play, just click when the cursor changes to show you can interact, and click an item in your inventory to use it. Keep your eyes peeled for clues, but don't be surprised if the jump scares come looking for you...
This game received a rating of R for reference to child molestation, frequent swearing and racial slurs, and depictions of violence and dead bodies. Please avoid this game if you are sensitive to any of these topics.
A nighttime, sparsely lit cityscape. Rain pattering the asphalt roads. A dead, bloodied body. A mystery to solve. This is a set of tropes that many good noir titles have, so it should be no surprise that they're all included in Rival Games' mystery adventure indie title, The Detail - Episode 1: Where the Dead Lie. You control the destiny of this this dark point-and-click game as you follow both Detective Moore and former police informant, Joe Miller, as they discover who's behind the murder of a Ukrainian mobster. It won't be an easy task with higher ups breathing down your neck and trigger-happy gunslingers around every corner. But you know that you can do it... you have to do it. No one else will save this city from the evil spiral of drug dealing and human trafficking in which it is finding itself.
Just how cute is Adventure Islands' Heart Star? So cute, it gives kittens serious self-esteem issues. So cute, just looking at the title screen gives you your daily recommended amount of sugar. So cute, it automatically removes your ability to enunciate "L's" and "R's," thereby making this puzzle game a tale of two widdle fwiends from diffwent wowds who need youh hewp to... hold on, let me look away for a second. Ahem. These two interuniversal buddies need your help in order to reach the one place where they can be together... Or more accurately, they need your help to help each other! They each live in their own, pink-and-blue color-coded universe, with its own obstacles and hazards, but while neither can see nor feel objects from each other's world, they can still touch... each other. D'awww. Run and jump with the [arrow] keys, and when one character can't go any further, swap over with the [spacebar] to give your partner a helping hand! You can carry them across spikes, push buttons to open their path, or just offer up your head as a platform so that the two of you can get to where you need to go. Originally developed for Ludum Dare 30, designer Jussi Simpanen has taken his original concept and expanded it into a full, ludicrously charming puzzle platformer, with a plethora of tight puzzles to compliment its cupcake-sweet looks.
Need a little creepy surrealism in your day? Silver Stitch Games, maker of the beloved "Colour My" series, has your back. Samantha Wins is a story driven interactive art game. Made in a month, this shorter game features some mind bending areas as you play as a nameless, faceless, very confused individual trying to figure out who they are and what is happening. You search for answers while wandering around what appears to be a discombobulated house with about five to six rooms. With such a small space, you'll be surprised how many answers you can find, but each simple answer births another question and when you think you've got things figured out, Samantha Wins sheds a little more light to make you realize you're still in the dark.
A new collection of levels for Pipkin Games' Crazy Digger 2? That's balderdash! Or Boulder Dash, rather, since that's what this arcade puzzle game essentially is. But as they say, if you build a level editor, players will come... and essentially build an expansion pack for you if you let them. And let's be glad they have, because the Crazy Digger 2 Level Pack is sure to satiate all the red-circle-chomping, gem-dropping, saw-blade spinning cravings we've all been having. Or maybe that was just me.
If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I'd like to do... Time is precious, time is money, and in ninjadoodle's latest addition to the ClickPLAY series, time is once again how you keep score. Yes, ClickPLAY Time 5 is here to test your brainpower, reflexes, and problem solving abilities. As with all of the other ClickPLAY games, the object is to find the play triangle and, well, click it. Finding the little bugger can involve puzzle solving, wordplay, and amazingly cute little point-and-click scenes. Some stages are pretty easy, some less so, but it all combines to yet another wonderful little time waster with its bouncy soundtrack and cutesy visuals, a perfect little snack at any time of day. Don't waste time, clickPLAY!
Nancy Drew isn't as well known or as popular these days as she's been in decades past, which is sort of a shame, since even though the gal is pushing ninety (the first books came out in the 1930s!), she's pretty rad. Nancy has solved hundreds of mysteries over the decades, from small town crime and murder to globe-trotting conspiracies, but there's always been one she's never solved... the death of her mother. In Her Interactive's point-and-click adventure game Nancy Drew: The Silent Spy, Nancy receives a letter telling her what she's always suspected all along... that her mother's fatal car accident eight years ago was no accident, and indeed that Kate Drew may have been killed by a group she was investigating. See, as it turns out, Kate helped thwart a biological terrorist attack nearly ten years ago, and while nobody knows what the ultimate goals of the group known as Revenant were, everyone in Glasgow is getting understandably nervous as the anniversary of the attack approaches. Now drawn in with the promise of finally finding out what happened to her mother, Nancy might get the answers she's always wanted... though figuring out who to trust, and how to stay alive, is another matter.
Short and sweet definitely describes Yonashi's escape game Yonashi Escape 12, that sees you locked in a room with a bunch of rat tchotchkes and seemingly little else. Click around to navigate your (tiny!) prison, and use the information you can find to crack codes in order to get out. Blink and you'll miss it, but if what you've been wanting is a light, tasty snack of a game, Yonashi Escape 12 has you covered.
Some readers may remember the days when you'd once pay $50 USD to play a turn-based fantasy adventure RPG like King's Bounty on your computer at home, and with good reason. The unique creative concepts prompted a plethora of remakes, and even the occasional boardgame. Flash's Bounty is a streamlined, pared-down approach to what has now become a franchise of games derived from a single classic title, which only shows how much there is to be said for developing an original gaming formula. In Flash's Bounty you play a knight of King Maximus, keeping West Liberon safe from monsters and keeping the barbarian attacks at bay so the average peasant can go about their ordinary lives in peace. Maximus has promised to give the King's Bounty to whomever can retrieve the Unicorn Sword, which provides a convenient pretext to adventure through the landscape putting down surreal critters, restoring civilization, building forces and generally living it up with honor and valor.
Sometimes all you want to do is kick back and relax with a disembodied, bikini-wearing torso, and in times like these, Aries Escape has you covered with Aries Escape: Episode No. 15. You find yourself in a cozy little woodland cabin, perhaps ready for one last summer fling judging by your wardrobe and the seasonal decor. But who can really relax with all these puzzles around them? You literally can't sit down without coming across a coded lock box, and if you ever want to escape, you'll need to find and correctly interpret the clues needed to open them. Just click around to move and interact, using the white arrows that appear at the edges of the screen to navigate, and double-click an item in your inventory to view it up close. The text is all in Japanese, but none of it will prevent you from finishing the game. Watch for the cursor to change to indicate interactive zones, and keep your eyes peeled for clues and codes. So many clues and codes. But hey, that's all in a day's work for an escape veteran, right? Especially if you want to get the Happy End...
The great world is tearing itself apart. Every living inhabitant is doomed to die with the planet. A small group, however, realizes they must find The Maker, of whom no one knows if it truly exists or not to plead it to help save their planet. So off our heroes go to find help and information so they can beg The Maker to save the planet. You'd think everyone would be ready to be on board with this plan to save everyone's lives, but apparently talking is done through the sword and fist. Prepare for battle on your iOS and Android devices, with Mistwalkers new mobile battle game, Terra Battle. This tactical puzzle roleplaying game, lets you strategically plan your party and crush your foes, all while enjoying beautiful artwork and a deep in-depth poetic story. Mysteries unfold while you add more and more powerful members to your planet saving group.
It seems that a video game generation cannot be truly labeled as "retro" until it becomes possible to accurately re-create it in a browser window. And while games like Dino Run and Super Mario Bros. Crossover have kept the pixel-art flowing online, the gloriously chunky polygons of the Nintendo 64 remain in short supply. At least now, though, there's Kiwi 64 by Marcus Horn, a Unity 3D platform game inspired by those "collect everything in sight" games of yore, and a certain one about a bear named Banjo and a bird named Kazooie, in particular. In it, you play as Kiwi, a cute little flightless bird who just wants to enjoy the sunshine. Unfortunately, the evil King Melon is high atop his mountain, and ready to ruin your day with taunting pieces of verse. But legends have foretold of five magical lamps that, if collected, would unlock power unimaginable! Or at least enough to kick that melon off that mountain! Which is probably just as good!
It's alive! Aliiiiiiiiiiive! Which is a good thing because a game about a bunch of dead monkeys would probably be too weird, even for me. In Pencil Kids' latest Monkey GO Happy point-and-click puzzle game Monkey GO Happy Halloween, the monkeys decide the only thing that will cheer them up is to craft a hideous mockery of life using body parts they find strewn around. Hey, we've all been there. That's why I'm no longer allowed within fifty yards of a cemetery. Just click around to interact, and drag items from your inventory at the top of the screen to use them, keeping your eyes peeled for puzzle clues hidden in the scenery. Despite its aggressively ominous soundtrack and ghoulish premise, Monkey GO Happy Halloween is sweet, silly, and simple Halloween fun for all ages, and won't keep you wrapped up for so long that you'll miss trick-or-treating.
It was a dark and stormy Wednesday in October, wind rattling the shutters and the dilapidated boards of the ersatz roof which offered no shelter inside the JIG offices from the elements threatening to ruin it all. Flicking the light switch repeatedly had no effect—dark loomed on all sides. In the corner, I could see the opening of Selfdefiant's scary dungeon, but knew already of the trap that lie there in wait. Tired from my travails through a minimalist maze of Hottategoya's making, I just wanted some candy. Sure, FunkyLand promised that once more, but my brain was in no shape for solving puzzles. Instead, I felt my way through the darkness until my hands touched on exactly what I needed: the smooth feel of a platinum blonde wig and the cool chiffon of a long, sparkling ice blue dress. Maybe I can't sing, but I can try looking the part. By the way, happy Trick-or-Treating, my ghoulies! Here's a handful of escape games to get you started...
Selfdefiant's Sneaky House of Mystery is a rare escape game in that in addition to puzzles and codes, you're actually trapped somewhere with all the creature comforts. A big fluffy bed. Kitchen. Bathroom. TV and sound system with cutting edge games from just a few years after I was born. But alas, you can't stay, so it's time to figure a way out of here by exploring and hunting down items you can use to get past obstacles. Though the interface is a little clunky, it's a satisfying length with a decent amount of substance for a coffee break, and hey, who can fault its taste in games... or background music?
If you're a master of hell runs in Spelunky and you're getting tired of eggplant for supper every night, you might be looking for a new challenge to shake up your straight-down trips. In Puzzle to the Center of the Earth, available free for iOS and Android, that challenge comes in the form of a match-3 puzzle. The colored blocks you break apart also form the platforms you have to have to traverse in this clever mashup by Foursaken Media. It's a long way down, so watch where you swing your pickaxe!
What do you do when hordes of monsters come a-knocking at your door? If you're a hospital you bring them inside, give them medical treatment and pray you have enough facilities to heal them all! Developers Leon and Francois van Niekerk and Hilgard Bell over at Clockwork Acorn bring us Monsters & Medicine, a turn-based strategy title that reminds us that even monsters need a little care and attention sometimes. Each turn different types of colorful monsters will appear at your door needing urgent treatment. You'll be dragging rooms and hallways onto your building to increase your ability to accommodate them all. Each monster type will need their own type of ward, and they'll also need to be able to get to it. Fortunately for all concerned, monsters will wait patiently outside in an orderly line, no pushing or shoving — in addition to drastically reducing your insurance premiums, your Orderly Conduct Policy has been the secret of your hospitals' success and made your treatment facilities an industry leader and the place for recuperation and healing.
What do you really need out of life? Instant gratification? Money? Fast cars? UncleBig2D's March is a short but beautifully executed little interactive art piece that plays like an arcade game and takes you through one boy's life in a series of short stages. All you have to do to play is click, and while there isn't a whole lot of replay value after the few minutes it'll take to play, and some may find the representation of the message a little too cookie-cutter, the core of it is heartfelt and earnest, not to mention presented in a simple but evocative retro style. It's less a "you need this specific thing" thing, and more "you might miss other things if you only focus on the material things" thing... thingy.
Just Pine Games' latest escape game, Alexandria Escape, also free for iOS and Android, plops you straight into ancient antiquity and demands you find your way out. You've gotten yourself trapped in some dusty library in the ancient Egyptian city of Alexandria and it's up to you to leap through a series of escape game puzzles to get free. The game's got an extremely attractive Greco-Roman style going on, with a fair amount of historical accuracy to boot. Sure, the game requires some suspension of disbelief through some of the wackier puzzles, but our hat's off to the art department for going the extra mile to give history buffs something to nod knowingly at. Click to navigate your way around the room, collecting the odd knickknacks that you'll combine and use in every possible way. Seriously, these Alexandrians had steam power, gears, and the written word, but they couldn't warp their brains around a Hide-A-Key?
It's the shooter series that turns "shock and awe!" into "shock and draw!" It's the arcade shoot-em-up where a lone pilot sets out to erase all of his foes... literally! It's Notebook Wars Saga, also available for Android and iOS, Francisco Ferreres' vertical-scrolling war game that shows us that the battlefield of the future will just as likely as not be some kid's fifth-period notebook (at least once he's finished covering it in ZOFOs and that Stussy S thing). After the conclusion of the Notebook Space Wars, we're back on terra firma, and while the engine is now Unity, the mission should be instantly familiar: shoot things and make them explode!
With the sages out of town for a convention, a little teleportation spell in their absence doesn't quite go as planned and now it's animals. Freaking. Everywhere. Chickens clucking in the castle hallways. Sheep on cliffs. Horses down wells, and cattle mooing in the throne room. Unless the last words you want to hear in your life are, "Why is animals?" from a council of outraged wizards, you'd better get everything sorted before their return. flapbat brings us this phenomenal free magickal animal rescue action puzzle adventure game that'll have you finding all the animals to bring them home. Farmyard Chronicle, Director's Cut is the beautifully-polished version of a game-in-a-week release centered on bouncing animals around the screen and into teleportation gates ("Fieeeld gooooal!") while getting bounced around yourself by sheep and kicked across pits by horses. No, really. It'll take plenty of artifacts to get everybody home, like rings that make you dash, teleportation wands to swap places with the critters, and even altering the flow of time itself.
We are living in the Age of Information. All the accumulated knowledge of the greatest minds of history are at your fingertips, any time of the day, instantaneously, for only the price of a Wifi connection. Sometimes this can be overwhelming. But developer Science Museum is here to teach us all a thing or two with Transmission, a game about the web of electronic synapses that makes our connected world possible, and also available free for iOS and Android. It's a puzzle game that has you connecting various receivers and transmitters with glistening streams of information via the mouse. Each circle can transmit and each square can only receive. It's up to you to juggle corrects amounts of information, represented with glowing cubes, between each circle and square. There are some optional objectives you can fulfill for some extra credit, like using the fewest connections possible or leaving info cubs on the right circle. All of it combines to create a brain teaser with a capital B.
Don't be afraid! Though we draw ever closer to that freakiest of holidays, Spoopy Saturday has three free indie horror games for everyone from the scaredy cats to those who giggle at even the goriest of ghosties. We've got a house you can't escape from (even though the developer is known for escapes... ), a disaster where a little girl goes missing and you seem to have some serious psychological trauma dogging your steps in addition to monsters, and finally, a masquerade party with a little bit of romance and a lot of really skimpy costumes.
Hotel Berkley is haunted, though I don't know what you'd expect from a place with more menacing statuary than rooms and peeling wallpaper, exposed wiring, and spiderwebs abound. While the guests have been fleeing in fear from apparitions and nightmares, including one woman whose husband is trapped inside when she bravely runs off to leave him to fend off the green ghostly stink fog himself, the hotel owner seems more mildly annoyed by it than anything else. Luckily, she's called you in, a journalist who knows that a leaf blower is the best answer to unruly spooks, and your uncanny ability to notice that the really obvious mechanisms around you might be worth fiddling with. Elefun Games' hidden-object adventure Fear for Sale: The 13 Keys might be more unintentionally funny than freaky as its characters react in really put-upon ways to the cosmic horrors after them, but is still a fun romp for fans of campy horror. As you soon discover, there's a reason for all the passive-aggressive haunting going on, and maybe that whiny hotel keeper knows a bit more than she's letting on. Maybe a good night's sleep will shed some light on things? Either that or pull you into a series of bizarre, distorted nightmares through the machinations of some creepy "hey gurl" looking specter who peeps in through windows at you wearing a top hat. Whichever.
When we last left our hero, the sole remaining practitioner of ninjitsu on a distant world, he had just finished annihilating an army of mutants in a mad scientist's lab in order to prevent them from overtaking the galaxy. Now all he wants to do is go home and kick up his footie pajamas for a while and unwind. But a ninja's work is never done, and in The Last Ninja From Another Planet 2, Dharmasta Adriwara Widhayaka's interstellar ninja finds himself in the depths of another puzzle adventure. This time, he's made a pit stop on his way to his home planet, in order to liberate another innocent world from the grasp of the mafia. (Seriously, ninjas vs. mafia. Why haven't MORE people jumped on this train?) Just like in his previous adventure, this anti-gravity assassin leaps from wall to wall with the [arrow] keys, moving straight forward until he hits something, much like in a sliding block game. He's out to exterminate every mafia goon he can, and while the minor minions provide no resistance to his blade, not all the mobsters will go down without a fight! It's a familiar formula for those who played the first game, but it's got plenty of new enemies, skills, and hazards to tempt them back for a second round.
Legends have told of the great warrior Kon, a cursed Enkian, who, with his strength and skill, saved the fair Princess Narya from the evil King Blazer, and saved the land of Naturia. Unfortunately for Kon, that life of ease he earned in the last game seems to have been revoked by the fates, as he has found himself shipwrecked on Drumdrum Island, where it just so happens that the evil ice witch Merody wishes to bring about an eternal winter, Kon is the only one who can stop her, and the local shopkeepers don't seem to be accepting his Hero of the Realm discount card. Isn't that always the case? But adventure calls, and there are baddies to fight, and treasure to swipe, so Kon had might as well enjoy himself. Land of Enki 2 is a retro-style action-platform game by VoidForce where players will travel to an engaging fantasy world, discover fascinating creatures, then slice them in half with a sword, because what else?
Being a ghost isn't half bad. Everything's comfortable when you can float just above it, the grocery bill is a lot smaller, it's always peaceful and quiet, and transportation goes a lot faster when you can just appear. Yep, life is easier as a phantom, until people start to invade your peace and quiet by moving into your homestead. Time to break out "Haunting for Dummies" and prep your hair-rising wails for Glitchy Pixels' new indie game, Poltergeist: A Pixelated Horror. Henry B. Knight, now dead and transparent, is a little obsessive over his house and the new tenants need to go. Plan your scares to chase everyone out of the house, work around bosses, and gain back your peace and quiet in this puzzle game. Quite similar to Haunt the House, Poltergeist: A Pixelated Horror has some of the charm and much more of the challenge to really test your strategic side.
Chances are you know Shimage from the addictive Megami Quest, in which case you may be interested in adorable simple strategy-lite RPG Village Guardians, also available free for Android. In it, your goal is to keep the town safe for thirty days by managing a party of heroes who automatically do battle with the monsters who show up. Heroes who take part in battle and live automatically gain experience and level up, though even if a party member gets trounced, they'll be revived the next day. Your involvement is mostly limited to Scouting, which tells you what monsters are coming next, and spending hard earned gold on new party members or equipment. Every few days, the things sold in shops change, so properly managing your cash in order to ensure your party is best equipped for the coming days is important. Do you buy up a bunch of low level warrior grunts? Save up for more powerful equipment even if it means struggling along with only a few heroes? Sadly, while the game will run in another tab or window, it only does so very slowly, so for the most part, you'll be better off watching the game run. (I know, I know... what is this, olden times?) Just save frequently and in different slots on different days, since if you fail a battle, it's game over.
So apparently as of this writing it's Chemistry Week! Awesome! But no matter what week it is, what better way to brush up on all those chemicals and formulas you slept through in high school than with Test Tube Games' new title, Bond Breaker! It's a puzzle game with a healthy dose of educational material woven in, subtly enough that it doesn't lecture you yet deeply enough that's completely fascinating. Control your proton by clicking to guide it through each level, pressing switches, avoiding spikes, and bonding with other particles for a variety of scientifically-accurate effects. There's a wealth of humor on display as well... who knew video game spikes were the proton's natural foe? You won't even notice you're learning. Seriously, why can't textbooks be this fun?
Soothing pastel palette? Mellow soundtrack? "I have no clue how to solve this"? Awww yeah, it's TomaTea time with the escape game Salvadoor, which is... uh... gosh that's pink. Surrounded by painted eggs, flower arrangements, and puzzles aplenty, in order to get out of the locked door, you'll have to hunt for clues to decipher the combinations to TomaTea's customary code locks. Just click around to navigate and interact, watching the tip of your cursor for a glow when you're passing it over something you can click on, and click the little "i" on an item's portrait in your inventory to view it up close. Doing so can allow you to manipulate them into different things when possible, or even combine them with other things you're carrying.
Pegas Games' Tiny King is short on stature but big on d'awwwww in this point-and-click puzzle game where our miniscule monarch cruelly awakens from a snuggly dream to find his cake has been stolen. As he travels in search of it, through a magical fanged blue door because reasons, you have to figure out what to click or otherwise manipulate in each level in order to proceed, usually by finding the key and dragging it to open the door's maw. Of course, just because you can see the key doesn't always mean you can get to it, so you'll have to click around and experiment with everything in each stage, be it sentient bookshelf, pile of worms, cow shelf... whatever. Don't expect it to make sense, just expect it to be cute and weird. Each level, apart from the first, also has a secret golden piece hidden in it, and if you want to find out what's behind that door on the stage select screen, you should probably track them down!
A most auspicious Wednesday to you, dearest, prettiest, best-pony-est, best-smelling readers! It's time for another installment of Weekday Escape, and we have a batch of fine, fresh, and of course free escape games to tickle your fancy. Elle is off taking her annual amateur piggy-back sabbatical, or at least that's what she's doing as long as I'm the one writing this and nobody is around to stop me, so this week you're stuck with me again. And Neatescape. And Yomino Kagura. And no1game. So I hope one of you remembered to bring snacks and board games, because it's getting crowded in here.
After his debut in Sweet Revenge, Carmel Games' Crazy Dad continues to live up to his name in his latest point-and-click adventure A Day at the Library. See, he's just started working there, and he's decided his first task is to clear out the kids breaking the rules, the rude ones, the ones being nuisances... basically everyone who annoys him. To clear out all the kids, click around to explore and gather items, and prepare to use what you find in rather... uh, unorthodox ways. All of which beg the question... what sort of lunatic actually bore Crazy Dad two equally unhinged children?
Birthdays are always stressful, never more so than for the harried parent. You've got to make sure all the kids get the right presents and keep everyone safe and be extra careful no one gets a bigger slice of cake. It's especially stressful in Alexander Fedoseev's physics puzzle game Gift Rush 3, since you're a tiny spider-ball-thing with a mess of sleepy kids who need their cake. Luckily, they're heavy sleepers. In the latest entry in the Gift Rush series, you click to shoot strands of web to swing around each of the 20 levels, trying to get the cake to your kid or your kid to the cake, which ever is easiest. You can grab the sleepy toddlers by pulling them close and you can press the [spacebar] to drop them. Just make sure you don't grab the cake by mistake. Your harried little spider person just can't help himself when he's too close to cake, and he'll scarf it down.
SCFWorks' Exit Fate is a massive free indie RPG that's got a bit of a bad reputation. Originally released in 2009, it sported an enormous playtime with hand-drawn artwork, an epic story, a huge cast of recruitable characters, and a story a lot of people felt was a pretty clear rip-off of Konami's 1999 Playstation release Suikoden 2. And, y'know, for the first few hours, it's hard not to see a comparison. Stop me if you've heard this one. A group of friends who grew up together and now find themselves in the army get caught up in the conflict between two rival countries and ultimately fall in with a rag-tag faction of rebels they'll need to lead to victory, which pits them against former friends and allies as they make hard choices and lose people they care about along the way... oh, and, uh, there's a battle with a wind monster early on, too. Though the plot specifics are actually very different, Exit Fate's format, mechanics, and even graphics and sound are so clearly taken from or "inspired by" Suikoden that it had a lot of people crying foul. Despite this, however, there's an undeniable amount of work, passion, and talent behind Exit Fate that makes it an ambitious game that succeeds more often than it fails in saluting the genre and source material. With hand-drawn artwork for every character, a whopping 75 party members to recruit for your growing castle, challenging turn-based battles, and a complex story that blends fantasy with political turnabout, Exit Fate is a huge achievement from a single developer that will keep JRPG fans busy for a long, long time.
Note: At this time, Episode Two is available only as an in-app purchase after installing Episode One, which is free.
One of our favorite average Joe heroes is back in House on Fire's point-and-click adventure The Silent Age: Episode Two for iOS and Android. If you're like me you might need a little memory jog on what happened in Episode One, so let me sum it up. Joe is just your average guy working as a janitor in a government facility until he's tasked by a dying man to use a time traveling device to save humanity from extinction. When last we left Joe, he was on his way to find this time traveler as a young man, hopefully to get some answers, and Episode Two picks up right where we left off. Swipe your finger around the screen to see what you can interact with, then tap on the object you'd like to learn more about. Tap to make Joe walk, or double tap to make him run. Your inventory runs along the bottom of the screen, just tap an item once to pick up, and tap again to make the object interact with any item on the screen. And, when available, tap the time machine to travel in time, a fun mechanic which is again integral to the story line as well as to solving puzzles.
Sometimes all we need is a little follow-through in life. Aspiring developer Amidos found that out when he created a game called Random RPG for a bi-annual Arabian game jam. Convinced that it was a total wash, he stuck with it for another week of overhauling anyway and came up with The Rogue Puzzle Game, a puzzle game deftly shuffling together the feel of a Sokoban title, a look reminiscent of Legend of Zelda, and some utterly killer NES-type soundtrack music. Result? The Rogue Puzzle Game was picked as one of only three finalists in the Game Nomad competition and is set to be presented at Gamer's Day, Arabia's largest gaming event. More importantly, fans became fascinated by the game's unique play experience. Find your way out of fifteen dungeon levels by attacking monsters with swords laying conveniently strewn around the dungeon floor. The swords re-orient as you move so they're always hilt-towards-you, and need to be pushed into monsters. Each sword does one point of damage to whichever immediately-adjacent monster you push it into, but monsters could have more than one hit point. Fortunately, their hit points are visibly displayed clearly on each monster.
The original Sentry Knight was basically everything you want a defensive shooter to be... addictive, vibrant, simple to master, and totes adorable to boot. So with Sentry Knight 2 here from Justin Wolf, Tyler Myers, Jason Coates and tunes provided by Kat "Dloot" Angeloni, we had our fingers crossed for more of the same... and luckily, it delivers in spades. As before, you control a brave, cute little knight cloistered in a tower and armed with a bow and arrow, while goblins, skeletons, spiders, and all other manner of nasties will try to get close enough to attack, though some do ranged damage. If they topple your tower by destroying all your hit points, you're done for, so mouse over any red potions dropped to bolster your health. Your knight aims where you point your cursor, and will automatically fire. You'll also have several spells at your disposal, which, when activated using the  to  number keys, will be cast at your cursor's location, ranging from fireballs to pools of poison and more. Enemies destroyed drop gold that can be spent on upgrades to your knight or the tower itself, but also experience points, and whenever you level up, you can spend talent points on enhancing and unlocking new spells. Monsters eat your face off? Well, if you find yourself getting trounced, you might have to replay a few earlier stages to earn more experience points and gold, 'cause it's all about that grind, 'bout that grind, and levels.
Things get a little mad in Funkyland's latest escape game Alice House No. 6: A Mad Tea-Party, where to find your way out of this festooned room you'll need to find five Mad Hatter-themed items. As usual, there's no changing cursor to show you what you can interact with, so you'll have to poke and prod while you explore. Once again it's on the short side, with a nice balance of deciphering clues and using items to get you through the puzzles, but if you want an escape that a little bit weird and a lot bit festive, pull up a chair and enjoy. Just don't sit on the Dormouse.
By the pricking of my thumbs, a bunch of free indie horror games this way come... s? Okay, so I didn't think that one out very well. But hey! Welcome back to Spoopy Saturday, where we post three free super scary freeware games every Saturday leading up to Halloween. This week, a young girl moves into a dusty old house and gets more than she bargained for, a late shift at the office turns terrifying when you discover you're not alone and the doors are locked, and you wake up confused and disoriented in a strange house filled with secrets someone is trying to make you remember. Ghosts, cryptic messages, frantic chases, and of course jump scares await, so let's get started. Just remember not to look over your shoulder...
In Elephant Games' hidden-object adventure Riddles of Fate: Memento Mori, it turns out Death may be big and scary, but he also stinks at his job. There's a delicate balance between life and death, he tells you, and souls must die in order for the new ones to be born. Which, y'know, makes it sort of a big deal when a bunch of wicked souls decided to run from him rather than to go gently into that good night. Death claims he's afraid of accidentally punishing an innocent soul, so he needs your help as an expert detective to trot around the world and root out those who have gone to extremes to literally cheat Death. Not that that's apparently hard to do if running away takes you beyond the reach of his immortal powers. Using his magic ball (stop that snickering), you'll travel to different places around the world, each acting as its own contained story revolving around a different wayward soul. Periodically you'll also need to return to your home to make use of your tools to copy keys, decrypt writing, or develop photographs and so forth, but the bulk of your work is in solve puzzles, hidden-object scenes, and identifying suspects on the ground. The farther you go, the more it becomes apparent someone is actively meddling in Death's business, and yours.
Michael Brough's iOS action arcade game Helix is best described as Loop by way of Hotline Miami's brutal one-hit KO gameplay and all those really weird artsy sci-fi movies from the 70s. It may also be a conspiracy to get me to destroy my iPad in the most violent way possible, I haven't decided. In it, you control a flying... amoeba-looking thing whose only defense against the creatures who come after you is to encircle them, which destroys them, although some enemies need to be circled more than once, or in specific ways. Just put your finger on the screen, and the creature will follow your motions, though it won't stay "attached" to your fingertip. While you can encircle more than one enemy at once, backing off as you will often find yourself doing to avoid other foes will cause the line of your snare to "rewind" as it follows your movements. Since a single hit will end the game, it's all about seeing how long you can last, and in that regard Helix is a formidable challenge indeed.
With a title like Find the Escape-Men Part 121: Appetite for Fall Food, you might think no1game's latest escape game is all about Pumpkin Spice Lattes and roast turkey, but no, it's about someone getting trapped in a bathroom stall at a festival. To help them out, you need to click around, solve puzzles, and hunt for not only items, but the ten little green men hidden everywhere. As usual, the lack of changing cursor may trip you up a little if you're used to using it to spot interactive areas, but the festive theme (well, not so festive for your friend) and quirky puzzles make this one just the right size for you to escape from your day with.
Smilegate's iOS RPG sim game Faraway Kingdom - Dragon Raiders may be free-to-play with in-app purchases and timers, but before you hiss and recoil, hear me out, because this is one seriously adorable and addictive little game that never pushes you for money and manages to be generous enough with its timers and currency that you'll never feel pressured to spend. Best described as a combination between Tiny Tower and a simplified fantasy kingdom simulation, Faraway Kingdom tasks you with rebuilding the land after a great dragon destroyed it, and training up an army of heroes tough enough to take it down. This essentially splits the gameplay into three parts... the town, the dungeons, and the portal. The town is where your heroes stay, and as it grows, you can hold more of them, who pay you taxes as long as they're living in the houses you build. Beneath the town are the unlockable dungeons where monsters roam, and you can send parties of heroes to each level to slay enemies and earn you cash and minerals used to upgrade equipment. The portal allows you to send raiding parties to different areas using energy (which refills at one point for every five minutes), and this is where you'll actually accompany your heroes to duke it out. They'll fight on their own, but you'll need to pick up the coins that appear and the class power-up icons... nab a warrior sphere, for instance, and you can tap the icon to use a powerful attack, or stack multiples to make your attack more powerful. After a few battles in a row, your heroes will go up against a boss, and unless they defeat it before the timer runs out, the boss will become enraged and its damage will jump. Survive and you'll level up your heroes, as well as earning valuable equipment and other treasure. It's a simple formula, designed for multiple quick bouts throughout the day rather than marathon sessions, but a gorgeous art style and unobtrusive in-app purchase options that are truly optional makes this one feel like it might just get free-to-play right.
I could complain that Andy Brown's puzzle game Assembots undoes all the important psychological work of that episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Data was put on trial and we all learned a valuable lesson about humanity, but at the end of each level, the robots do a cute little dance where you live, and it turns out I'm just that shallow. The goal in each stage is to get the required number of factory made robots where you need them to be, and they require a lot of hand (metal appendage?) holding to make it happen, since on their own they'll just trundle forward until they hit an obstacle and then turn around and do it again. At the bottom of the screen you'll see a bank of commands that will affect a bot's behaviour. They can dig through blocks, climb walls, and more, but each command only has a limited amount available, so you need to think carefully about what bot you use them on, and when. Click a command's icon, then click the bot you want to apply it to onscreen. Some commands will last until you apply another, while others are only temporary, such as digging only lasting for a single obstacle. In the bottom left corner, you'll find buttons to speed things up or slow them down, as well as the button to restart the level without getting stuck. You might not need to use all the bots available to you to meet your goal, so try to finish the level using as little resources as possible, as fast as you can!
It's a crossover more exciting than the Flintstones meeting the Jetsons, or that one time Urkel showed up on Full House! The plots of two of Hyptosis' popular fantasy point-and-click adventure sagas join and continue in Kingdom of Liars: Stonepath, featuring characters from the Hood series. With plots and plans to unleash demon of all kind upon the mortal realm apace, a contingent of the Ashbane watch, joined by a group of allies (including a young witch in a familiar red cloak) has traveled to the ruins of Ardan to investigate the fiend activity in the area. Click the red navigation arrows to navigate yourself through ruins. Move the cursor onto items to get a description, or click to manipulate or add them to your inventory. Once in your inventory, items can be selected in order to "use" them on part of the scenery. If a character is present in an area, they will be listed in the upper left of the screen. Clicking their name will allow you to converse with them by asking various questions.
The Uncle Who Works For Nintendo (hosted here with kind permission... visit the official site of the author!) is the newest piece of creepy interactive horror fiction from Michael Lutz, creator of the stellar My Father's Long, Long Legs. Taking more of a Choose Your Own Adventure route this time around, in the game you're spending the night at your best friend's house, something you do all the time. Tonight, though, things are a little different. A little strange, even. And when midnight rolls around, you're going to be getting a very special visitor. See, your friend's uncle works for Nintendo, and while many a playground kid may make claims like that to get attention, this time there's actually some truth to it. So you should be excited when he shows up... right? Just click the bolded red text to make your choices, and once the game moves to the den in your friend's house, the things you do will have an impact on time as it passes. There are five different endings to unlock, and make sure to play with your sound on for the full effect. Occasionally you may need to wait a little for text to appear, and... things... might happen to your browser, but all of this is perfectly normal. Ish.
Ah yes, October joy: the seasons are changing, the weather is what it is, and the sound of cheering fills the stadiums. In some parts of the world, this month also brings beer fests, grueling marathons, busy costume shops and the newest of flavor trends, gingerbread spice. For gamers, the horror genre is never in short supply this time of year but looking here on the Jigasphere, there's even more creepy, spooky titles populating the review lists. Sure there's plenty of scary escape games to be found as well but that can wait for now; instead, if we were to name a theme for this week's escaper's showcase, it'd have to be "S'mores"—a sticky sweet treat of marshmallows and chocolate melted over scorching heat...
Tia Orisney's text-based game Following Me represents a very real fear as it follows two sisters, Kat and Aria, who get lost in the frozen woods one night and wind up stumbling across something they were never meant to see. Overpowered and alone, their survival depends on your choices as they try to outwit their captors in this tense and disturbing thriller. Just click the text links at the bottom of each page to make your choices or continue the story to the next page. You can't go back, so think about your decisions before you make them, especially since unlike other interactive fiction stories, you typically don't get to exhaust all your options... you get one chance, one action, and that's it. Though well written, some players may find the ending, however you arrive at it and whatever your choices, still leaves far too many questions to be really satisfying, and the inability save and load means to see the consequences of a different decision requires playing the entire thing from the beginning. Still, if you're looking for a creepy "what would you do" type of Choose Your Own Adventure tale, this one is for you.
Looking for a short and speedy point-and-click adventure with just a touch of spookiness? Self-Defiant's Alone on Raven Road may fit the bill, even if it's essentially an exercise in bad ideas. After all, when your car breaks down in the middle of the night on an abandoned road so deep into the woods the only the wolves and bats and a guy with a serious skin condition are around to keep you company, maybe strapping on a manky old pair of hiking boots and traipsing off into the wilderness isn't such a good idea. Just keep your eyes out for clues, use the green arrows to navigate, click when your cursor changes to interact, and click an item in your inventory to highlight it for use.