Director, game designer and art director Fumito Ueda and producer Kenji Kaido, along with the rest of the development team behind ICO, have broken the mold and released, exclusively for the Playstation 2, what has become the single most original and awe-inspiring gaming experience of my life, Shadow of the Colossus...
Cooperate, or backstab? Build, or destroy? All for one and one for all, or every mouse for himself? That's the tension driving Transformice, a multiplayer puzzle platformer.
Battle for Wesnoth is a free, open-source turn-based strategy game originally designed by David White. It's similar to games like Fire Emblem, Advance Wars and Shining Force in that each player commands an army of units, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Battles take place on a hexagonal grid and layers take turns moving armies and issuing commands.
In the browser-based HTML game, Slave Hack, you take on the role of a vaguely tech-savvy Internet addict who has now decided to make a living out of his/her own talents. If your ethics do not prevent you from pretending to infiltrate other computers to use them as spam relays, warez-sharing nodes, or even as tools to bring down an enemy's computer with a massive DDoS attack, then you are excellent material for the world that is portrayed in Slave Hack.
The realm needs a hero skilled in the works of dream magic to stop Lord Nightmare! Too bad all they have is you, and you just crawled out of the bushes after a night of hard partying. Kingdom of Loathing creators Asymmetric Productions deliver a fun and dangerously addictive hybrid of word puzzle and RPG adventure in this indie hit.
Re-experience this classic, fantastic example of adventure gaming and storytelling at its finest, or discover the series for the very first time. Follow Nicole Collard and George Stobbart on a trilogy of adventures that take them across the globe. Uncover the secrets behind an ancient order, find out what a drug cartel has to do with a Mayan artifact, and escape from the depths of the jungle after a plane crash. The Broken Sword series mixes adventure, humour, mystery, and even a little romance, and the complex narratives and challenging puzzles will keep you busy for a long time.
Deadly Rooms of Death is a turn-based puzzle game; one turn being the amount of time it takes Beethro, the central character, to move one square or to swing his sword by 45 degrees. DROD is very much a puzzle game, but unlike any other you may have played before. It is actually the sequel to the critically acclaimed DROD: King Dugan's Dungeon, and both were created by Caravel Games.
The undead hordes are on the march, but your back yard is standing in the way, covered with fresh, fertilized topsoil. In this cheerfully absurd melding of resource management and tower defense, you must defend your delicious brains with an assortment of warrior plants. Plants vs. Zombies is the strangest, most original game from Popcap yet.
The fine folks at Pixeljam have really managed to outdo themselves, bringing us an outlandishly retro, high stakes, mad multiplayer dash for survival called Dino Run. Although there are three modes of play, the idea is basically the same: run as fast as you can! What we love most about Dino Run is neither the perfectly captured retro feel, nor the immense replay value, but the total interactivity your dino has with its surroundings.
When you think of what this medium is capable of it's easy to grab for lofty terms like "emergence" or even "organic beauty", but have nothing solid to hold onto. The Powder Game is a rare beacon of hope for those who dream of deep interactivity. It is a fondue of loose goals and free play; creation and destruction wrapped in a tumbling embrace. Oh yeah, this game is that good and will keep you engaged for hours.
As I enter Guano Junction inside the Bat Hole, I check my equipment. Chef's hat? Check. Rubber axe? Check. Frilly skirt? Check. Dirty hobo gloves? Check. Pine-Fresh air freshener? Check (well, one can never be too careful). I am ready for anything.
Auditorium is a fantastic new puzzle game of music and light. Solve each level by manipulating the flow of light to create the perfect balance of music. The streams of light represent sound particles that you bend toward boxes until the audio levels are full. When the flow is correct, the audio levels fill up with the proper color and all the parts of the music will play. Delightful, brilliant and stunning.
Cave Story, or Doukutsu Monogatari, is a superb 2D platformer reminiscent of early platform games for the NES. Created by Pixel, it is a well-made and highly polished game with a superb storyline and brilliant gameplay that is altogether very enjoyable to play. The game requires a download, for Mac or PC, and is most highly recommended!
Sometimes, a game goes through such a metamorphosis during its development cycle that it's practically a different product from its original release. Thus is the case with Minecraft, a little old building game, inspired by Infiniminer and Dwarf Fortress, and created by Markus Persson. Whether you can only play it for fifteen minutes at a time, or end up devoting hours at a stretch (often unintentionally) to it, Minecraft is intensely enjoyable, and an incredible bargain. Minecraft Beta will be out on December 20th, so this is your last opportunity to get the game at Alpha pricing and with the promise of all future updates for free
World of Goo is a phenomenally creative physics-based building game where you assemble bits of goo to form structures leading to an exit pipe in each stage. The visuals are stunning, the sense of humor wry, and there are gameplay innovations at every corner.
As odd as it may sound, Skyrates is a game about human-like animals flying biplanes between floating continents. Think Star Fox meets The Kingdom of Zeal from Chrono Trigger. You're a young pilot out to make an impact by trading, performing missions, and fighting pirates. Here's the catch: flying between islands takes at least an hour of real-time. The game was designed by a group of then-CMU grad-students to explore sporadic play, something you check like e-mail a few times a day. The result is not only interesting, its good enough to thread its way into your life.
Physics-heavy, sandbox-style webtoys are loads of fun to play with, and Ha55ii's Powder Game has always stood as one of the best and most feature-rich. Version 7 introduces several new elements to unleash on your screen of chaos/coolness!
Think open world platform adventure games like Knytt Stories are falling out of favor? Treasure Adventure Game is happy to prove you wrong. With its massive open world stocked from end to end with treasures, secrets, characters, quests, puzzles, and more, this old school throwback manages to combine adventure, RPG, and platforming genres into the kind of game you'll only have the honor of experiencing a few times in your life. Also: it's free!
Braid is a groundbreaking platform game created by Jonathan Blow. With a deep, intriguing storyline, gorgeous artwork, enchanting music, and the unique ability to manipulate time, Braid is built from dozens of unique puzzles (no filler material) that will challenge your ability to think laterally while inspiring your philosophical mind to search for meaning with every object you encounter.
In Iji you play as, well, Iji. Iji is a human who has been enhanced with nanotechnology after Earth is abruptly invaded by aliens. Her new nanotech field provides her with a kind of shield and also gives her the incredible weaponry that every action-platformer hero needs to survive.
One of Spore's most touted and talked about features is how it leverages user-created content to populate the countless planets within the Spore universe. The Spore team accomplishes this by putting powerful and easy-to-use tools to create elements of the Spore universe in the hands of the masses. One of those tools is being released today, the Spore Creature Creator.
We are big fans of the original Dolphin Olympics and this sequel does not disappoint. Although the mechanic and aim of the game are pretty much the same, this has a slightly different look to it, with significantly more detail added to the sea bed and background. Once again, the challenge is in chaining together strings of successive tricks to boost your multiplier and amass some impressive scores. And the trick to that is ensuring that your re-entry to the water is perfect every time. Now other sea creatures will interact with you. In fact, you can earn more points by getting other fish to follow your lead and jump out of the water. There are some new tricks and secrets to discover as you try to swim, leap and tail-slide yourself onto the high score board.
In 2007, Mardek set a new standard for flash RPG gaming. Now, fans of the series can rejoice as not only the latest installment finally sees the light of day, but the previous titles begin a significant overhaul. The turn-based fantasy themed tale centers around Mardek, a hero who starts off the series with the modest hero-type ambition of rescuing a princess from a dragon, and winds up... well, you'll see.
London is Fallen. It has something to do with the Traitor Empress... or perhaps Hell... or perhaps... No, too dangerous to even speculate. You've left the Surface and now make your home there, in the Neath. Why did you do so? Write your own answers in this fascinating multiplayer roleplaying browser game from Fail Better Games.
The main focus of Knytt Stories is atmosphere, environment and exploration, not complex gameplay and a barrage of media. With Knytt Stories you'll spend most of your time wandering around sparsely populated worlds looking for a few rare items, enjoying the beautiful visuals and ambient music the whole time. It's a unique experience in gaming and will pull you in from the moment you start playing.
Conceptis offers a variety of logical challenges at its website available to anyone. Eleven different puzzles await the intrepid solver, including familiar puzzles like Sudoku, Picross (here called "Pic-a-Pix"), Kakuro, Slitherlink, and a variety of puzzles that might even be new to logic puzzle lovers.
Meat Boy is back in his first commercial release! When the evil Dr Fetus absconds with Meat Boy's beloved Bandage Girl, he leaps to the rescue across more than 300 levels, braving saw blades, syringes, mutant blood clots, toxic waste, and much, much more. As twisted as it is charming and devious, Super Meat Boy is a fantastic and fantastically hard
platformer that is tremendous fun.
Kiss your free time and your loved ones goodbye. Torchlight is here. The indie rogue-like/action/RPG title has been highly anticipated, but is it worth all the hype? Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Stop talking to me, I'm trying to play. With randomly generated dungeons, an obscene amount of treasure and monsters to hunt, and a faithful animal companion at your side, Torchlight is a stellar example of indie gaming at its finest.
Striking a balance between highly tactical, challenging combat and one of the deepest, most engrossing stories of all time, Bioware's original real-time RPG series still holds up today, almost thirteen years after release. Create a character and discover the truth about yourself in this complex game filled with memorable characters, dangerous encounters, magic, plot twists, and much, much more. Enjoy this deep Dungeons and Dragons game "vanilla", or install one of the many fan-made mods from the robust community to give you even more reason to replay.
Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates is a massively multiplayer online game world in which players take to the high seas to compete for pirate booty all the while playing addictive casual games! Sounds like a blast, and it is! So, climb aboard and see what all the fuss is about, and play free! =)
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery is, in one sentence, a gorgeous piece of playable, explorable art with a phenomenal soundtrack and overall design that begs to be experienced. We'll call it a point-and-click adventure (a touch and touch again adventure?), but really Sword & Sworcery is all about satisfying your curiosity in a visually striking world and doing one-on-one battles with a few discontented beings. It's a game so stepped in atmosphere and setting you'll feel like it's as epic as The Lord of the Rings, all compactified into your mobile device.
If you like board games and you like playing against others over the Internet, give Conqueror! a try. This full-featured, multiplayer, turn-based strategy game is very similar to Risk, and yet its gameplay is a lot richer. An ingenious system of simultaneous turns means that you don't have to wait for other players to make their moves.
Play as the lovable cast of Mercenary, Inc. as they do their best to defeat the Evil Witch of the Evil Cave in the solid, entertaining RPG Crystal Story by Emmanuel Salva Cruz. The controls of Crystal Story should be familiar to regular players of RPGs, where your mouse is used to navigate the various menus. Crystal Story isn't innovative, it's just a good RPG with anime style graphics, epic battle music and a story to put a smile on your face.
A brand new point-and-click room escape game has just been released by Japanese developer neutral, creator of RGB and Sphere, titled Vision. For some unknown reason you're trapped in a room with no exit. Search the exquisitely rendered (and eerily silent) environment for items that can help you escape!
Bloons Tower Defense 3 has finally been released after months of anticipation from all the hardcore Bloons fans out there. Picking up where Bloons TD 2 left off, the new game features even more tracks (eight in all!), new monkeys (towers) and upgraded gameplay mechanics.
Minecraft is a sandbox game that lets you make your own world out of colorful building blocks. Construct a fortress, and then plant tulips on the parapets. Dig a vast network of subterranean tunnels, drop a colony of people down the rabbit hole, and watch them wander. Or, if you're in a particularly metacognitive mood, make a sandbox. Uncage your imagination, and let it take you where it will.
Go deeper into the subnet than ever before in the seventh installment of the wildly popular adventure game series from Mateusz Skutnik. Within the ruins of an otherworldly garden, will you finally find the answers you've been seeking, or will more questions arise to taunt you? The Core combines clean, beautiful visuals and top-notch atmosphere with some wonderfully tricky gameplay to create an experience that will draw you in and keep you guessing.
Fantastic Contraption is a physics puzzle game in which the objective in each level is to move all red objects into a rectangular goal area. To do this, you are given a blue rectangular building area and a few different materials in which you can build your device. Standing in your way, however, are a variety of obstacles, ranging from gaping gaps to a sea of circles bent on destroying your red-object-mover-apparatus.
The sequel to one of the best tactical battle games on the internet has finally arrived! Sonny 2 improves on the first game by offering three separate character classes, hundreds of new items, and a Player vs. Player mode. The turn-based combat flows like water and requires plenty of intense decision-making, while the incredible amount of character customization available right from the start opens up a world of interesting choices.
The ability to change size is an oft explored trope from our favorite stories, from Alice in Wonderland
to classic science-fiction films. But how many have asked what effects such an ability would have on the protagonist of classic sidescrolling platform games? That's the gist of the odd premise of Specter Spelunker Shrinks. Created by Ken Grafals, Specter Spelunker Shrinks is an experimental puzzle platformer where the ability to grow and shrink the main character is key to navigating a world of dangerous pink prisms and disparately sized passageways.
Robokill is an extremely well-polished shooter game that's as fun to play as it is easy to learn. You play the role of a mercenary robot hired to investigate and eradicate the hostile forces that have taken over Titan Prime, a space station orbiting Mars. On the order of Crimsonland, and if you've never heard of Crimsonland or the RIP series (top-down [WASD] shooters), you're in for a treat.
On of Eyezmaze has just released an updated 'remake' of his original Grow game, Grow (ver. 3), the game that inspired so many sequels and clones. It's one of the most unique and amazing Flash games ever produced, due mostly to its intricate animations and myriad combinations of possible outcomes. Now with 2 endings!
A wonderfully bizarre and strangely fun interactive narrative by Jakub Dvorský of Amanita Design. Samorost is the granddaddy of all Web Flash point-and-click adventure games. It is full of clicky puzzles and beautifully rendered scenes mixed with animations and various gadgetry. The number one game in the Best of 2004, and now it even has a sequel.
Just over two years ago from this day, a relatively unknown indie programmer called Notch posted about a work-in-progress version of a sandbox building game on the TIGSource forums. It was called Minecraft, and at the time, people thought it was really very cool. Fast forward to the present and Minecraft has sold over four million copies, been through extended alpha and beta phases, spawned the Mojang indie studio, and gained so much popularity, the launch of its official version took place at a Las Vegas convention dubbed MineCon. That's an impressive feat for any game, let alone one started by a single person. But now, Minecraft is officially out. No more beta, no more alpha, it's here. Time to lose yourself in a voxel world all over again!
A masters in fine arts thesis project created by Jenova Chen and Nicholas Clark of the University of Southern California, flOw is a mesmerizing game of primordial life, evolution and survival. Dive deep into the wild blue to seek out and consume other organisms on your path to simple cell nirvana.
Why are so many of the most difficult video games also the cutest? Maybe my brain just automatically forgets games that are both ugly and frustrating. Added to the "cute but evil" list comes Within a Deep Forest, a completely free downloadable game for Windows that casts you as a little blue ball, bouncing around a delightfully whimsical little world filled with the most frustrating jumping puzzles known to man.
An Untitled Story is a perfect blend of tough platforming challenges, intimidating boss fights, and cunning secrets, all wrapped up in a layer of childlike mysticism and rough-shorn beauty. It is a chilled-out hardcore wonderland of action discovery, plus an unidentifiable je ne sais quoi
that just makes you want to drink it down in one gulp and then spit out a rainbow.
Knytt is a downloadable game of exploration and atmosphere for Windows created by the author of Within a Deep Forest, Nifflas. The game emphasizes discovery and intrigue over everything and creates a massive world with varied environments and lots of places to explore. A spacecraft kidnapped the cat-like Knytt from his home but crashes on its way back, sending pieces of the ship across a mysterious planet. Your job is to traverse the barren world in search of the missing parts and try to get back home.
Instead of playing the usual part of "hero who saves the world", Recettear fits you in behind the scenes as shopkeeper, the thankless job of providing an endless supply of items. You'll haggle with customers, make smart purchases as the guild, and even hire adventurers to strike out on your own, looting dungeons in true action/RPG form!
One of our favorite Flash games of all time here at JIG has just received an update! The Asylum, for abused cuddly toys, has just received a new patient and your care and treatment is needed to cure it from its psychological ills. Dr. Wood joins the other adorable messed-up toys: Kroko, Lilo, Dolly, Dub and Sly, and each one is desperately in need of your help!
Making games is hard. But playing a game about making games is anything but. Game Dev Story is a lighthearted sim that's lets you run your very own game development studio, doing everything from negotiating licensing deals with console makers to choosing the genre and theme of the games you're going to make. It's the type of game that you pick up to play for a few minutes before realizing that a few hours have already passed. Fixing bugs in a game has never been so fun.
Frets on Fire is an open source clone of the ever-popular PlayStation 2 music/rhythm game, Guitar Hero. And just like Guitar Hero, Frets on Fire features a handful of songs and allows you to play the guitar sections by pressing just a few keys. Instead of using a separate controller to mimic the guitar, Frets on Fire lets you pick up the keyboard and jam in right front of your desk. Best of all, a built-in editor lets you tab any song, spawning a growing community of music-modders on the web.
Dwarf Complete is now available for iOS devices! And best of all it's FREE! For anyone who hasn't been around JIG for a few years, Dwarf Complete is an awesome dungeon escape adventure game from On of Eyezmaze. If you haven't already played the Flash version, or if you don't have an iOS device, you can play the game in your browser.
The original freeware platform adventure game Cave Story was released by Daisuke Amaya (Pixel) back in 2004. An English translation from Aeon Genesis followed just two months later, opening the game up to a much wider audience and allowing to vault to the top of the indie gaming world. Featuring amazing music, a well-written story, power-ups, upgrades, and a big world to explore, saying Cave Story was a hit is a gross understatement. Several years later, the game has been ported to half a dozen other systems and re-released with remastered music and updated HD graphics. Now, Cave Story+ is here, upgrading the freeware experience to something your eyes and ears can more fully appreciate!
Described as a "spaceship simulation roguelike-like" by its developers, Subset Games, you won't be doing a whole lot of boldly going where no one has gone before in FTL: Faster Than Light. In fact, most of your time will be spent directing crew members and putting out engine room fires. But scifi strategy fans will love every minute of it, even with the hardcore difficulty.
On the list of things that are more useful in video games than they are in the real world, grappling hooks are certainly near the top. Acquiring a grappling hook in the real world is positively thrilling, until you start thinking of ways you can actually (and legally) use it. Fortunately, the aptly-titled Grappling Hook isn't grounded in reality. The puzzle platformer from SpeedRunGames is filled with 22 levels of quick-thinking grappling goodness that is sure to keep you zooming around for hours.
Nethack is a classic singl-player (randomly generated) dungeon exploration game that runs on a wide variety of platforms, and yet each implementation uses the same game engine. But whether graphics or text-based, emphasis is on discovering dungeon detail rather than just killing everything in sight.
From Japanese developer Kairosoft, creator of Game Dev Story, comes another surprisingly deep simulation game for the mobile market. Grand Prix Story drops you in the shoes of a business owner trying to make it big in the world of grand prix racing. You manage everything from your mechanics and drivers to research, vehicle repairs, engine upgrades, and driver training regimens, all designed to vault you to the top of the leaderboards.
Undertale is a narrative RPG game currently in the works by Toby Fox. A demo has been released featuring 30-45 minutes of gameplay, and because it's such a unique experience, we couldn't wait to share it. Undertale is the story of a human girl who falls into the monster-controlled underworld where she encounters napping ghosts, mobile vegetables, malevolent flowers and a butterscotch pie. It's a little slice of Anodyne or Earthbound told through simple visuals and charming characters, and after playing the preview you won't be able to wait for the full version.
Probably one of the greatest Flash games ever created and made available for free on the Web, The Asylum is a surprisingly rich interactive narrative experience and it continues to surprise and delight gamers of all ages from all over the world. Won't you help these adorable cuddly toys overcome a distressing past?
Prepare yourself for an interactive fiction that peels back the truth in layers as you become more and more entwined in this tale of superscience and space exploration. The narrative begins with an itsy-bitsy clue that not all will be as it seems, followed by your character waking up in a fairly unadorned abode. From there, it's up to you as to what you do and how you go about it, but be wary of those who comment on your every move...
From Spiritonin, creator of Adult Swim's Death Vegas, comes Capoeira Fighter 3, a 2D fighting game with a free online demo and full-fledged downloadable version. Featuring more than two dozen playable characters and a refined, logical system of combos, it's one of the rare fighting games that captures the nostalgia from the genre's heyday while updating everything to fit in with a new generation of gamers.
Pangolin from Feed Tank is a physics-based arcade game that does a fantastic job straddling genres to create a very different, very entertaining sort of game. You indirectly control a bouncing orange critter by creating temporary trampoline platforms on the screen, guiding the little guy through some crazy stages filled with bumpers, tunnels, portals and more. Pangolin is almost like a game of vertical mini-golf. Except not. And it's way better!
Triglav is a single-player action RPG for IE browsers in which the object is to make it to the top of Triglav Tower, which is 50 floors high. It is an exquisitely detailed effort by SmokymonkeyS and composed in DHTML. Overall the game is an amazing accomplishment, and is truly one of the finest browser-based games I have ever seen.
Gemcraft brings a lot of innovation to the tower defense genre
, quite an accomplishment considering how crowded it already is. The new gameplay mechanics create a lot of strategic depth, and the game adds replay value by keeping track of your high score for each level, allowing you to go back and replay them for much higher scores once your wizard has leveled up and is more powerful.
When your spaceship crash-lands onto an unknown desert planet, you regain consciousness to find yourself one of the only survivors. Red Herring Games presents an incredibly polished point-and-click adventure game that has to be seen to be believed.
Super Smash Brothers Brawl: it has arrived. After multiple delays, countless stunning revelations, and years of speculation, the third edition of Nintendo's bizarre tribute to itself has hit store shelves. This isn't a review so much as a place for JIGsters who have Brawl to exchange friend codes
and hook up for online battles.
Sonny is most likely the best Flash RPG yet made. Imagine fluid battles that don't feel like a grind, complete with fluid animation and tactics that are actually interesting and fun. Now, imagine that you're a superhuman zombie. Yes, Sonny, this is it.
The Asylum: Psychiatric Clinic for Abused Cuddly Toys finally has another cute little patient to treat: Dub the Turtle. Just like the previous toys, Dub has a problem and can't be his normal cuddly self. It seems something happened to him with his previous owner, and now the poor turtle can't stop exercising!
The latest brilliant-yet-simple logic puzzle game to hit the Web goes by the intriguing title of The Codex of Alchemical Engineering. Called a "game for engineers" by its creator, your goal is to build machines out of mechanical arms that move and transform basic elements to create compounds required to pass each level. It's a cerebral puzzle game that tasks you with arranging and tweaking objects on both a small and grand scale, the final result of which is a burst of euphoric gaming bliss.
Step into the shoes of the greatest naval hero of all time... you! In this sister-sequel to the popular "Choice of Dragon" text RPG, Choice of Broadsides lets you embark on a high seas adventure ascending through the ranks of the Royal Navy and dealing with whatever life throws at you. Think carefully about your choices as they could be the difference between death and promotion.
Here is one of my all-time favorites and it will surely be one of your favorites, too: ZomboCom. Actually there is no other place quite like it that I know of. It's unique, it's original, and it's one-of-a-kind; truly a rare swedish fish in a sea of jujubes.
So what's your stance on twu wuv
? Does it make you sigh and set your little heart to pitty-patting, or are you currently walled off in your cootie-free-fort to ride out the epidemic? Regardless, there's more than just a pretty face to this latest text RPG adventure from Choice of Games. As the eldest son or daughter of a declining noble family, you are sent to Court for a Season to see and be seen. Will you find a suitable match? Wind up alone? Or become embroiled in dangerous political intrigue? The choice, as they say, is yours.
Combining some of the best parts of Animal Crossing and Virtual Villagers with a sprinkling role playing know-how, Wandering Willows is something so incredibly alluring you'll burn through a few hours of game time before you realize what hit you. It's a pet-raising recipe-collecting item-bartering friend-gaining character-customizing leveling-up collect-a-thon!
What can you build using only a straightedge and a compass? A lot, apparently, as illustrated in Ancient Greek Geometry, a webtoy where you're drawing abilities are limited to circles and lines made by points you create. If you want, you can try to solve mathematical puzzles such as making triangles, squares, and the elusive pentagon using only these tools. How complex your drawings can get is entirely up to you.
Point and click adventure games will never die, thanks in part to the efforts of Wadjet Eye Games, creator of the Blackwell series, The Shivah, and now, Emerald City Confidential. In the studio's latest title you are cast in the role of Petra, a young private eye trying to make a living in the strange Wizard of Oz-inspired world known as Emerald City. The handdrawn artwork is utterly captivating, the storytelling and writing top-notch, and the game itself is a package you won't be able to tear yourself away from.
Drawn: Dark Flight is the direct sequel to last year's hidden object/adventure hybrid Drawn: The Painted Tower, and it spins another intricate tale of dark mystery and intrigue. It pulls you in with a delicious atmosphere crafted by sublime visuals and strong storytelling, and its adventure-centric gameplay builds upon that by getting you to think about the environment, the items you find, and the puzzles in front of you. It's easily one of the best casual adventure games ever released.
Best described as a cross between Teeworlds, Team Fortress 2, and an RPG, Altitude is a shockingly addictive online multiplayer game from indie studio Nimbly Games. Grab a plane and take to the skies as you compete (and co-operate) with other players and earn experience points bombing the enemy base and taking down foes with a variety of power-ups.
Lucas Pope delivers a bleak dystopian thriller in the form of a simulation in this game where you play a newly assigned border agent to the first immigration checkpoint opened in your rigidly controlled country in years. As restrictions rise and tensions mount, checking documents for accuracy and forgery becomes harder... especially when you find yourself forced to juggle the health and well being of your family against your own humanity.
Ben There, Dan That! is an old-school adventure game in the classic sense. You know how this works. Right click to access the interactive menu. Interact with objects. Pick them up. Use them with other objects. In this game, you default to playing as Ben, but you can switch to being Dan when the occasion calls for it. It features some fairly witty writing with that rather unique British self-deprecating sense of humour.
Oh, Deadly Rooms of Death! Never has a redundant name heralded such awesomeness! The easy part of Beethro Budkin's quest to rid King Dugan's dungeon of terrorizing baddies is over, as he descends to floors 5 through 8. But even an expert smitemaster like Beethro may be stymied without a little guidance from you. So ready your Really Big Sword and enter DROD: King Dugan's Dungeon Lite - Episode 2, another great installment in Caravel Games' series of turn-based puzzle-strategy games.
The fashion business has changed quite a bit since Jojo Cruz took an early retirement a few decades back. So, now that her daughter, Rosalind, has convinced Jojo to make a comeback, is it any wonder that she needs your help? Grab your eye for style and get ready for Jojo's Fashion Show.
As the name would suggest, Digital: A Love Story by Don't Take it Personally, Babe, It Just Ain't Your Story
author Christine Love, is a downloadable romance/mystery set against the backdrop of 1980s online technology. Part interactive fiction, part Uplink-style hacker game, and part nostalgic pastiche of a time of low-res graphics and crackling dial-ups that many current gamers never got to experience (which, for the record, this includes me, and, presumably, the author herself!). Digital: A Love Story offers a short, sweet and occasionally heart-wrenching trip back in time.
Free Rider 2 is a sequel that continues the more interactive spin on the Line Rider formula. Using a large tool set you can sculpt, edit and decorate the environment any way you choose. When you're done, take to the arrow keys and drive your rider through the stage. It's webtoy-meets-level-editor kind of experience, and it's even better than the original.
Miss Management is, in fifteen words or less, one of the most entertaining, captivating and hilarious casual games I've played in months. Developer Gamelab has really gone out of its way to craft unique characters that fuel the game from beginning to end, making it play like an interactive sitcom rather than your typical time management game (such as Diner Dash or Nanny Mania).
The main goal in Osmos is simple: you, an amoeba-esque organism known as a "mote," must absorb smaller motes to become bigger. As your size increases, you are able to absorb more and more motes until you are the largest one in the area. This seems like a simple objective, and at its core it is. But, in order to propel yourself around to capture motes, you must expel a part of your own mass, which in turn decreases your size. It's a beautiful and unique game of calm strategy and intense thought.
Another World, or, as it's known in North America, Out of This World, is a stunning example of storytelling in a video game originally released in 1991 (and re-released with better visuals in 2006) by Eric Chahi. Built as a cinematic platform adventure, you take on the role of Lester Knight Chaykin, a young physicist who is teleported to a barren alien planet while running an experiment using a particle accelerator. You soon make friends with one of the humanoid aliens and together work your way through the subterranean environments trying to escape with your lives!
Following in the tradition of the classic sandbox games (Sand Sand Sand and Powder Game), The Powder Toy by HardWIRED is a small download which stretches the boundaries of what is possible with a few simple elements. In fact, you can do almost anything with it, the only limit is your imagination.
Drawn has returned. The third game in the series, Drawn: Trail of Shadows, dares to outdo its predecessors in what simply must be the most enchanting hidden object adventure game to date. The visuals have improved (if you can believe it!), the storytelling is even more intriguing, and the puzzles are as rich as before. Good hidden object games are hard to come by, so when you find a game this great, you'd best dive right in.
You're dead. But where normally that might mean Game Over, in this port of Capcom's gloriously quirky, surreal and imaginative puzzle adventure, it's only the beginning. As one very special newly dead soul, you have the ability to jump from object to object and change the course of someone's fate, hopping back in time four minutes before they died. Use your abilities to save their lives if you can figure out how to manipulate your environment, but don't dilly-dally; the clock is always ticking, and something big is going on tonight in this strange town. To say nothing of what'll happen to you when the sun comes up the next morning. You've got one night to make a difference and find out the truth... make the most of it.
Aah, the salt of the sea. Deadly waves threatening to drown passersby. Armed frigates firing on civilians. Mummies scuttling across the sandy beaches, infecting helpless folks with their embalmed charm. It's just an ordinary day for the citizens in Open Sea!, a satisfying and great-looking mobile arcade game by The Pixelizers. To get everyone to safety, you're going to need a little bit of luck and a whole lot of lightning bolts.
Airport Mania from South Winds Games is a time management sim that drops all the trite settings and food-related themes we've grown tired of in the genre. Instead of serving cake or pizza or sandwiches, your job is to direct airplanes, load passengers, and make sure everything runs smoothly. All of this is accomplished with a simple interface and airplanes that are too cute for their own good. And unlike real airports, you can actually have flights arrive on time or even early!
I. Love. Picross. It isn't as number-heavy as sudoku, doesn't rely on obscure trivia like a crossword puzzle, and the combination of left- and right-brained activity achieves a perfect harmony. Then along comes Armor Picross 2 with its shiny graphics, easy-to-use interface and countless sets of puzzles. In other words, a little slice of picross heaven.
Ever watched Flipper and were jealous about all the tricks he could do? Now you, too, can have the charm of a sea-based mammal with Dolphin Olympics. This flash game by Alan Rawkins puts you in the role of a dolphin in an infinite blue ocean. Build speed, leap from the water and perform tricks to rack up a high score and boost your speed for the next jump. It's a surprisingly simple idea that borrows elements from a number of games yet feels fresh each time you play.
From the developers of Delicious Emily's Holiday Season comes another gem of a time management game every casual gamer needs to experience. Heart's Medicine: Season One takes place in a hospital where the newly-arrived Allison Heart is just beginning her residency. Help sick patients by tending to their needs, shuffling them through the hospital as efficiently as you can, never forgetting to take good care of each person. The storyline is fantastic, the presentation is superb, and both the variety and the game's pacing are perfect. Heart's Medicine is simply one of the most well-balanced and entertaining time management games you can find!
Legend of the Green Dragon is a free, browser based homage to, and extension of, the Legend of the Red Dragon, an original and humorous RPG from the golden years of modems and BBSes. The creator, Eric Stevens, has done an excellent job preserving the style of the original while adding tons of new features, characters and monsters, as well as vastly enlarging the world to include multiple cities and an afterlife.
This Java applet game impressed me with the old-school charm of its scrolling tile-based worlds, its quirky characters and dialog, and its addictive gameplay. And yet the moment the game begins you realize that this is no ordinary Web game. Immediately you are teleporting back to the glory days of the SNES, and from there your task is to seek out the one last sprout, which is the one item you need to open the final gate.
Crayon Physics is one part Armadillo Run, one part Line Rider and tasks you with guiding a ball through a handful of stages by drawing shapes with a crayon-like cursor. Because of its rapid development time (five days), Crayon Physics is a bit rough around the edges. But this downloadable title is stuffed with creativity and shows that with a good idea, anything is possible.
Bugs is a gorgeous and enjoyable addition to Ferry Halim's Orisinal site, a sublime collection of casual Web games made in Flash, and it fits in perfectly with the others. Send bugs flying simply by jumping up and down. The game offers light-hearted gameplay that will tickle your funny bone with delight.
Toulouse is played with three to five human or computer players, and a well designed interface and beautiful presentation make this web-based version user friendly and highly enjoyable. The folks at AsoBrain.com have also recently added the option of playing with up to two expansions to the original board game, making this as involved a Carcassonne experience as one could hope for.