Blue Lacuna is one of those rare experiences that turns your set of assumptions about a medium on its head. Like Memento or The Usual Suspects or The Outsider, Aaron Reed's game transcends its medium to become more than the sum of its parts, an artwork that leaves a measurable change in the player. You might finish this game, but it may never leave you alone.
A Break in the Road is a unique game that puts you in the role of a DJ recording sounds throughout the city to mix into a one minute song. An amazingly well-produced cut scene, complete with top-notch voice acting talent, introduces the back story and drops you right into it.
The Dofi-Blog sand and zombie toys are making their way around the Web like a ??? explosion (inside joke), and for good reason: they are quite literally sand box games that allow for a seemingly infinite variety of creative play. And now the author, d_of_i, has released another sand world, Hell of Sand, which appears to be a combination of the previously reviewed War of the Hell and World of Sand.
On the surface, it's easy to put Thomas Was Alone in the puzzle platform genre, citing games like The Lost Vikings when you discuss the gameplay mechanics and mentioning VVVVVV as another possible source of lo-fi indie inspiration. But after you've spent some time with the game, you suddenly realize it's much more than just a platformer. Thomas Was Alone is an interactive, character-driven puzzle experience with a beautiful audio visual presentation and gameplay controls/physics that were no doubt fine-tuned with fastidious precision.
From mining basic raw resources to producing sci-fi hardware, this elaborate indie strategy sim with sandbox crafting and action elements has you single-handedly advancing an entire planet just to get home!
Mortimer is back with another hidden object adventure in Mortimer Beckett and the Lost King! In case you couldn't tell, this time around a king is missing, and even though Mortimer is still stranded in the Time Paradox, he hops to it to set things right. Beautiful cut-scenes, superb inventory puzzles, and a well-made game on every front!
Warning Forever is a downloadable 2D shooter written by Hikoza Ohkubo of Hikware software. You pilot a tiny green ship with a single versatile weapon and must face off against a constant stream of bosses. No stages, no obstacles, no power-ups, just epic fights with massive enemy ships. And the surprising thing is they learn from your patterns and fight back. Yikes.
Two years after your victory in the first game, Eschalon Book II finds you living a quiet life... perhaps too quiet, since your skills are beginning to erode, and you find yourself forgetting important details, but troubled by strange dreams. When you awake to find a note on your doorstep from a stranger who claims to know who you really are, you find that the adventure has only just begun in this turn-based isometric RPG featuring open world gameplay.
Set years after the game that won the community's vote for 2011 RPG of the Year, this turn-based RPG starts off with a literal bang as our dragon-boy hero falls from the sky like a meteorite on a quest to find an Oracle. But that's just the tip of the iceberg when he falls in with a certain mercenary group! With animated cutscenes, voice acting, and likable characters, this game offers a lot and is definitely worth a look.
John Cooney, author of TBA, TBA2, Grid16, and the Ball Revamped series, has unveiled his latest epic adventure. Along with timeless, classic platforming gameplay, Achievement Unlocked offers you the opportunity to earn no less than One. Hundred. Achievements. Holy bat farts on a bus.
Here's a game that needs no introduction around here, the next game in the amazing and wonderful Grow series from Eyezmaze has just released today. Grow Nano Vol. 3 has the same familiar gameplay, graphics, animation and soundtrack as the others, and it is sure to put a smile on your face.
It's here. The next installment in one of the most popular and critically acclaimed Flash point-and-click adventure series ever created. Submachine 5: The Root promises to take us to the very first (historically speaking) built submachine structure. At least as we know it.
Epic Battle Fantasy 3 has taken such a huge jump up from the first two games that it seems like a whole new series. Where the previous RPGs focused almost entirely on the turnbased "battle" portion of the title, kupo707's latest effort remembers the "epic" part--provided you're okay with a definition of epic that includes kitten slaying, shark battering rams, cow outfits, the shoop-da-woop face, and copious amounts of Comic Sans.
Choice of the Dragon is a choose your own adventure browser game where you live the life of a dragon, moving from decision to decision and being as docile or cruel as you want. It emphasizes character and story interaction, not puzzles, allowing you to grow into the game's world like few modern titles allow you to do.
Mamono Sweeper is very similar to its ancient ancestor with some key differences. The first is that instead of bombs concealed behind anonymous tiles, you're sweeping for monsters. And you can't just avoid them, eventually you're going to have to reveal and kill all of the monsters on the board if you want to win. Slay monsters, go up in levels, and relive the addiction that was once minesweeper in this reboot of one of the most well known classic casual games.
Bow Street Runner is a mystery adventure series commissioned by Channel 4 (UK). Set in London's Covent Garden in the 1750s, crime in the city has risen to such a level that local magistrates were forced to take action. The Bow Street Runners were born, created to instill order in the increasingly crime-ridden city. It's a dark and historically accurate journey through old London, presented with live actors, voice narration and full motion video for an impressive cinematic experience.
Travian is a browser-based, massively multiplayer, quasi-real-time strategy game, developed and maintained by a German team dedicated to its upkeep. The goal is to build up economic and military power through the development of land and construction of buildings and armies.
In Cortex Command, you assume the role of a disembodied brain (floating in a jar, actually) that's able to network with—and telepathically control—a variety of machines and soldiers. The basic premise is that you're setting up shop on hostile alien worlds to mine for resources, while your enemy is doing the same. Superficially, it sounds more like a real-time strategy game than a turn-based warfare game, which is one of the main reasons Cortex Command has so much potential; it's both.
The creator of The Codex of Alchemical Engineering and Bureau of Steam Engineering (not to mention the grandaddy of Minecraft, Infiniminer) is back with a full-fledged indie game ready to provide a serious logic puzzle challenge. SpaceChem is anything but simple, anything but easy, and one of the most satisfying puzzle games released. If you can solve its challenges, that is. SpaceChem is a game you'll spend a few minutes learning but weeks trying to master, and its 50+ levels are more than enough to strain your poor brain matter more than it's been strained in quite some time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Museum of Broken Memories is a beautifully woven interactive narrative that may even be considered a work of art. It is a point-and-click game, yes; and yet it is so much more than that. Like any work of art, personal interpretation plays an important role here, as there are many images and words to browse through and interact with, and an array of emotions that will be evoked.
Here's a beautifully crafted Flash multimedia piece by Drew Cope and Sam Lanyon Jones from their multi-award winning site called TokyoPlastic where they will be rolling out version two in May. Not new, I just think it's cool. Enjoy. Click....
Cook, Serve, Delicious! is a simulation and time management game from Vertigo Games, creator of the similarly spectacular The Oil Blue. If you see a restaurant game and immediately think "casual diversion", let Cook, Serve, Delicious! change your mind. This isn't a light and simple easy to win time management game. It's a full-on simulation that makes you work for your money, pushes you to play faster than you thought possible, and teaches you to strategically plan menus to maximize income without turning the ever-picky customer base away. It's not an easy game to excel at, but it's an easy game to get hooked on, and the challenge of building and running your own restaurant from front to back is going to captivate you for weeks on end.
In Burger Shop 2, you are once again tasked with combining ingredients coming from an ever-producing food machine to serve the constant stream of customers coming into the restaurant. In a nice twist on the time management genre, you don't control an actual character, so your speed is limited only by how good you are at clicking.
Think of the classic Space Invaders mixed with a dash of Galaga and you'd have a pretty good understanding of what Titan Attacks! is all about. The classic "aliens descending from above" scenario is showcased with a stylish, blocky pixel motif featuring a richer move-and-shoot routine than classic predecessors. Titan Attacks! took the golden age concept and loaded it with a variety of new action elements and ship upgrades.
A remarkably rich and highly detailed Shockwave game created for Lego by the folks at gameLab. This turn-based strategy game is a triple-A quality production set in a stunning high-tech universe. The developers have expertly combined story elements with engaging gameplay to create an extraordinary, satisfying and immersing experience.
This sequel to Lucas Paakh's William and Sly is a vast, richly layered feast for the eyes. While gameplay remains much the same, there are also marked changes (improvements as far as most players will be concerned): no more darklings or boss battles yet plenty of exploration, item gathering, and questing. Gaining helpful abilities involves your platforming and puzzle-solving skills to add just the right amount of gameplay into what is a sumptuous work of interactive art.
It's always great when Japanese developer, Yoshio Ishii, gets experimental, and his RPG, Parameters, is certainly that. It looks like an Excel Spreadsheet, and plays like a computer hacking scene from a 1980s action movie. Abstract, but very addictive, Parameters won't be for everyone, but those looking for something a little different should find it quite compelling.
Another brilliant room escape game from Neutral, the authors of the amazing Vision. Lights features inventive tough-but-fair puzzles, gorgeous rendered scenes, and enough charm to drown a dozen rubber duckies.
You've managed to make it to lunchtime. It's been a rough day but you are free for an hour and you'd love to spend it laying the smack down on some monsters RPG-style. However, it's going to be hard to install World of Warcraft on your puny work PC, and besides, you simply don't have time. What do you do? Fire up a game of DragonFable.
It is almost impossible to describe the joy created by wandering in the strange, surreal universe that Enu (Hanamushi) has created in Flower Insect. The synthesis of art, animation, game, and experience is nearly flawless, and will leave the casual gamer breathless as they wander deeper and deeper into the morass. Stunning beyond all belief, this is not necessarily a game to play all in one go. Rather, the Hanamushi game is something to consume in small bites, lest you find yourself deep in the abyss that is the imagination of an extremely talented individual.
The Animator vs. Animation Game takes the fun, desktop battlefield antics of the Animator vs. Animation episodes and turns it into a fully interactive fighting game! Control the animator or stickman animation and wage war against your opponent, grabbing common drawing tools and turning them into deadly weapons.
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.
Cursor*10 is a simple-looking puzzle game just released by Nekogames. You are a cursor in a tower trying to reach the top. Each of your ten lives is time-limited, and when one ends the next begins on the bottom floor. But you're not alone. As you start the next life your previous actions are replayed in real-time, creating a fun "cooperate with yourself" atmosphere.
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.
As a casual gamer, you have certainly come across titles that fall into the defend-your-castle category. BowMaster Prelude fits that description as well, but certain aspects elevate it above other candidates, such as earning experience points and gold to recruit an army, the ability to upgrade and buy different arrows, and a unique feature that lets the hero leave the castle.
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.
Robamimi serves up a challenge with this meaty escape game that traps you inside a maze that's packed with mystifying statuary and a whole lot of puzzles. You may want to keep a pen and paper ready if you plan on getting the best ending!
A clever world domination simulator, in the form of a humble real-time strategy game, in which you can test your schemes and stratagems without the nagging twinge of guilt that comes with executing legions of henchmen. The game has some of the highest production values you're likely to find in a Flash game, with some decent animation, a healthy dose of humor and a startling amount of high-quality voice acting.
A short demo of a larger point-and-click adventure to be released in April, this is the latest by Gateway series
creator Anders Gustafsson. It uses similar play mechanics to his previous games, and yet the graphical engine looks like it has received a complete makeover. A compelling teaser for the beautiful new world of adventure that Gustafsson has in store for us.
Remember the amazing, jaw-dropping, Shockwave 3D first person shooter (FPS) demo that surfaced last year just prior to GDC? The game was called Phosphor Alpha and it was created by Nick Kang of Rasterwerks. Well, he's done it again: Phosphor Beta 1 kicks the action into high gear by including multiplayer deathmatch functionality, with additional mods being added regularly.
Bloons Tower Defense takes the Bloons concept—popping balloons, preferably with monkeys involved—and spins it in a new and intriguing direction. It's your standard tower defense game but with monkeys popping balloons with darts and various other sharp instruments. It's a flawed but engaging title that is sure to please die-hard Bloons fans.
New to the iPad world is the tower defense game we all love to love, Kingdom Rush HD
from Ironhide Games, a port of Kingdom Rush for browsers released not too long ago. The team had a bit of a problem when an unauthorized clone appeared on the iTunes App Store weeks before release. The knockoff was spotted and eventually removed (whew), leaving space for this excellent port of an already excellent game to wow and surprise gamers in the iOS device realm!
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.
To be filed under the "simple but highly addictive" category is this latest game by Max Abernethy of flecko.net. Simplistic but challenging is Cubefield, a strangely beautiful dodge-the-obstacles type of game. The author of this 3D Flash game even offers an explanation of the technology behind it for those interested.
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.
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!
Floating Islands Game is a puzzle title, created by Hempuli, that plays a lot like Rob Allen's Hapland series with a distinct Lemmings slant to it. In each level you must guide the main character through the stage, collecting all of the gold stars before reaching the flag at the end. You can only affect his movements indirectly, however, by clicking and changing different parts of the environment at just the right time.
Pure Hidden is designed to be a hidden object game unlike any other. There is no story, no mystery to solve, no thinly-veiled plot designed to accommodate the endless locating of things that have nothing to do with the story, much less the surroundings. Pure Hidden takes a very zen-like approach to the hidden object genre. The games exist to be played, not to serve any external plot or characters. It makes the entire process of playing a relaxing, soothing experience.
ElectroCity is fun little Flash game intended "to spark an interest and lay an unbiased foundation for later learning" about the issues involved in power generation, cost, and environmental impact. It is obviously a very simplistic look at those issues, intended to give a broad overview and invite further research on the part of the player. It's also not a bad little town sim game to boot.
Quadradius is an online, multiplayer, turn-based Flash game that takes the skeleton of the board game checkers, and pumps it up with a massive list of power-ups and new strategies that turns the game into an addictive and very compelling new concept. In fact, calling it checkers is an oversimplification that does not do it any justice.
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.
Tontie is a remarkably accessible and addictive action game from On of Eyezmaze. This now classic Web game uses the numeric keypad for hammering enemies whack-a-mole style as they pop-up on the grid. Some enemies require more than one hit, others require hits with precision timing. Numerous power-ups and special features give its gameplay surprising depth.
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.
Delicious Emily's Holiday Season is a fantastic time management game from Zylom Game Studio. Much like the often-forgotten Miss Management, this game plays like a TV sitcom, complete with incidental music and cheesy sense of humor! The variety of gameplay is a welcome addition to the genre, and unlike most games that make the same attempt, it doesn't come across as forced innovation.
Protect your precious desktop from the invading enemies by placing towers throughout the screen. Choose fast-firing but weak turrets or slow-but-powerful ones to ensure no creeps cross your borders. Desktop TD features charming hand-drawn graphics and freeform gameplay that make it a winner in the tower defense genre.
Headcase is the latest platforming fiesta from Nitrome. Set in a world of lush pixel art where gravity is fickle and your head is huge, you play a superhero dream-avatar (yes, that's about right) with a big 'up' arrow on your helmet. You stick to walls, ceilings and floors, allowing you to move around platforms as if you were an insect. You also have the ability to jump/fly in a straight line, kind of like Superman.
Think you know ghosts? Think again. When they discover their dream house is host to a gaggle of unruly spirits, the only place a young couple has left to turn is the strange little man who shows up on their front step and seems to know a little too much about what's going on. Mishap: An Accidental Haunting represents a benchmark in quality for the hidden object genre by Namco. Featuring eight chapters, 32 hidden object scenes, riddles, minigames, and more ghosts than you'll know what to do with, it's a fun, beautiful romp through an out-of-this world location.
I stumbled across this flash game many months ago but only just recently noticed it bookmarked in my favorites. Created by a technology student named Arayh, Etherena Beta is an exceptionally good fighter featuring some of the creator's original characters.
ArmageTron Advanced is a free multiplayer game with simple, casual-oriented gameplay. You pilot a craft and race around an arena leaving solid trails in your wake. If a player runs into a wall they die, forcing you to both think about your path and watch out for everyone else. It's a fast-paced game of skill and reflexes and is available for download on all major operating systems.
If your business is flopping, don't flip. Unless we're talking about burgers. Journey across 48 states in this casual addictive culinary spin on the classic solitaire game, where dozens and dozens of levels await as our heroine cooks her way to success.
We are not alone. Life has been discovered on Mars, but it's nothing like we ever expected to encounter. In this gorgeous, one-of-a-kind moody action adventure game for iOS, you'll journey deep into the red planet and uncover the secrets buried within its soil. Discover new life forms and challenging puzzles that force you to use the environment to your advantage as you help the planet grow... and ultimately decide its fate.
The latest and, in my opinion, greatest of the Ball Revamped series has been released. John has returned to the original stationary playing field from his previous scrolling version in both parts of III, and added plenty of new obstacles and power-ups in 100 new levels to keep you satisfied for a good half an hour or so.
Hex Empire is a casual turn-based strategy war game, occupying a comfortable spot between the simplicity of Risk and the number crunching of the Avalon Hill-style board games that inspired the whole soldiers-on-hexagons thing. It lets you jump right into battle without much fuss, and offers enough tactical depth to be addictive even after several wars have ended. A bit of a treat, really.
Mateusz Skutnik's beloved and celebrated Submachine series returns for a vengeance in this meaty point-and-click adventure. You awaken on top of a strange, otherworldly temple with only a hammer and some seemingly broken electronics. Finding a way out will take both an eye for detail and a clever mind to solve the inventive puzzles in this stunning games.
With nothing onscreen but a few blocky characters and a short poem, Today I Die carves a slice out of an existential nightmare and serves it to you raw. You could classify it as an adventure game or a puzzle game, but it doesn't feel like it should be pigeon-holed with anything. The solutions are so well-integrated, applied with such holistic grace. You won't even realize how many puzzle pieces are displaced until you see how they fit together.
Factory Balls Christmas Edition has all of the fun and challenge of the regular series combined with a heartwarming and less stressful touch of the holiday season. In it you'll find Santa hats, belts, suspenders, earmuffs, and bobble hats (along with several colors of paint) to recreate various decorations on a Christmas tree. And for those who are not celebrating this particular holiday, it's still a fantastic, challenging, and amusing game to play
As with other tower defense games, you earn cash by obliterating the attackers that creep their way around any one of several maps available to play. With the cash you can purchase additional turrets or upgrade existing ones. But it is the Combos in Onslaught 2 that add a level of depth to this tower defense game not present in other games like it. The combinations are many, and the resulting strategy becomes deep.
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.
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!
Acting as a prequel to the original, Gemcraft Zero tells the story of a wizard who has become so entangled in his search for the fabled Gem of Eternity that his colleagues have cast him out. Any fan of tower defense games shouldn't miss this one, but even those who may not normally be interested in them should at least give it a try.
Hot on the heels of the original Bloons Tower Defense game comes a sequel that delivers more of the same explosive fun the original packed, and yet with 3 new difficulty levels and more tower types than ever before. Like the new Road Spikes that you can use to pop any remaining bloons if it looks like some will escape. And the update promises to provide a greater challenge than the first one did.
A good shoot'em-up is like a symphony. The enemies are the musicians, the bullets the notes. And the player is the soloist at center stage, riffing a melody over the chaos, flirting with death, performing miracles. The Last Canopy is a landmark Flash manic shoot'em-up that feels dramatic and entertaining from beginning to end, which is a testament to the level of detail and professionalism that Easy Only! Games is capable of.
This second game of the Samorost series lives up to the lofty expectations set by the first. It is every bit a sequel that includes all of the best qualities that made the first game remarkable, and then adds more environments, more puzzles, and more sound and music. The result is a game that continues the reputation set by the first as being one of the finest, compelling interactive experiences available on the Web today. It is altogether an exceptional work of interactive art.
Who doesn't love Trilby? All debonaire and gentlemanly in that pin-stripe suit, it's enough to melt even the chilliest of hearts. He's a fine character to introduce us to the Chzo Mythos, a series of four point-and-click games (Windows, freeware) in which the player is offered the chance to unravel the mystery of... well, that's really for you to find out.
Legend of Grimrock is a retro-styled first person dungeon crawling RPG that borrows liberally from the classic genre and updates everything for modern gamers to enjoy. From the visual overhaul to the lax but somehow intriguing storyline to the stripping of complex menu screens and stats, Legend of Grimrock will easily capture your attention and hold it for hours on end, whether you're an old school RPG master or a casual gamer looking for a little diversion.
Aquaria is a beautifully detailed game of exploration from independent developer Bit Blot. You control the restless young Naija, a curious underwater dweller who sets out to discover her world. The ocean is teeming with mysterious caverns to explore, strange sea creatures (some friendly, some otherwise), and troves of ancient secrets buried by time. Aquaria is as much about interacting with and exploring the environment as it is telling a story. And it does both with a level of beauty rarely seen in independent games.
From Popcap comes this cute, strange and addictive, action strategy Java game called Insaniquarium. Originally developed by Flying Bear Entertainment, Insaniquarium won the Innovation in Game Design award at the 2002 Independent Games Festival (IGF).
PMOG aims to capture the social dynamic of an MMORPG while remaining accessible to your everyday Joe Gamer. However, it wouldn't be much fun if you could just up and create a top-level character – there has to be some sort of dirty work, some progression by which you earn your stripes. This is the part of the game that usually keeps MMORPGs from staying casual. PMOG solves this problem by tying the leveling process directly to your web surfing.
It's word game meets RPG in the excellent release from PopCap, Bookworm Adventures Volume 2! Mother Goose leaps from the pages of her book when the Big Bad Wolf comes a-knockin', and our bespectacled hero Lex is the only one who can help. Spell words to damage each enemy as you work your way through 30 chapters, gaining levels and earning unique trophies along the way. It's everything the original Bookworm Adventures was with a little extra oomph.
A shoot-em-up game without guns is like a library without books, or an office chair without wheels. Sure they might have some other purpose, but what fun are they without these essential little elements? Fortunately, Super Crate Box is a retro-styled platform shooter that has more guns than you can shake a stick at in the time it takes to play. (Or a katana.)
Build-a-lot 2 is a real estate tycoon sim game where you must improve the value of different towns by meeting goals set by each area's mayor. Tasks range from building a number of houses/buildings to earning a set amount of cash or increasing rent income to a certain level. All the while you must manage three things: cash, workers, and materials. It's simple, extraordinarily fun, and could easily be one of the best casual games of 2008.
ZWoK! is a charming and addictive, multiplayer, turn-based strategy Flash game in which players engage in battles using projectile firing weapons. It's a fight to the finish where the team with the last Zwok standing wins. The game is essentially a simple version of multiplayer Worms, and yet its simplicity is one of the games most redeeming qualities. It easily surpasses most Flash multiplayer turn-based strategy games I have played.
Our 3rd Casual Gameplay Design Competition received a ton of great submissions from a number of talented game designers. Taking first place in that competition was Wouter Visser's Gimme Friction Baby, a strikingly simple arcade-style game of skill involving a moving turret and expanding orbs. Now, just over two years later, Bitforge has come and updated the game for iPhone and iPod Touch users. Orbital is the new incarnation of Gimme Friction Baby, adding some slick visuals, tweaking the physics a bit, and adding a new gameplay mode along with multiplayer support!
Castlewars is a Flash turn-based card battle against either a computer or live opponent where you try to build your castle up to 100 or blast your opponent's to rubble. The game is quick and easy to learn, and can be played against a friend anywhere in the world.
Almost twenty years old, Woody Pop isn't as visually stunning or innovative as recent titles such as BreakQuest, but the collision detection and level design is solid, and the bright, chunky pixels still look good.
Kudos 2 is a turn-based life-simulation game in which how you spend each day defining who your character becomes. Does she prefer to stay at home and watch TV all day, go to evening classes to improve job prospects, or hang out with buddies down at the local boozer? Kudos 2 packs more oomph than its predecessor with better artwork and more sophisticated... everything!
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!
One the surface, Gratuitous Space Battles, from Kudos developer Positech Games, looks like your run-of-the-mill space RTS, something in the vein of the Homeworld series or Star Wars: Empire at War. But when that glance turns into a longing stare, you'll realize it's very different from both of those series and isn't really, in fact, a real time strategy game at all. Gratuitious Space Battles has a whole new system of gameplay going for it that, in many ways, feels more like a tower defense game than anything else.
A blend of Virtual Villagers, Westward, and strategy games such as Warcraft and Tribal Trouble, Forgotten Lands: First Colony is a casual RTS game that hits the sweet spot between challenge, complexity, and captivating casual gameplay. The game puts you at the helm of a young civilization looking to strike out and settle new lands. Everything about Forgotten Lands is geared towards easing you into the experience, yet there's no shortage of depth or intrigue.
With the Minecraft and Terraria and other sandbox games going strong, Junk Jack X from Pixbits arrives with a lot of great ideas in tow. It's a sequel to the 2011 Junk Jack release that adds a number of new features and improvements, including multiplayer support for both online and offline play, creative and adventure modes, Retina graphics, and thousands of items to find, treasures to uncover, and objects to be built. It's one of the most full-featured sandbox games on any mobile device and will easily keep you glued to your iOS device for hours on end.
Back in 2005, Takumi Naramura released a retro-styled exploration game called La-Mulana. Starring an archaeologist professor named Lemeza, it introduced modern players to an aesthetic not seen since the days of the MSX home computer, bringing with it all the convoluted puzzles, items, and high level of difficulty retro gamers love. Fast forward to 2012 for the worldwide release of a graphically enhanced update to La-Mulana that carefully reworks the look and feel of the old game to spruce it up for a new audience. Nigoro has done a fantastic job with the new La-Mulana, and the translation to the slightly-less-retro modern version is almost flawless!
Musicovery is an interesting little web app that blurs the line between interactive toy and radio. Musicovery lets you choose and explore music by mood, style, genre, decade and much more. Mix and match filters and customize your internet radio experience to suit your tastes, even if that happens to be dark energetic pop or jazz from the 80s.
What do you do when you find yourself the owner of a big empty valley? Well, you could call in a bunch of real estate developers, I suppose, and file all the necessary paperwork to have the land appropriately zoned before calling in all the inspectors for wiring and so forth... OR you could just hire a bunch of teeny-tiny people to do it for you! In this adorable follow-up to Grow Island from Eyezmaze, puzzle out the correct order of things to make your valley grow and thrive as big as possible.
The latest in the Creeper World series of real-time strategy games, Creeper World: Evermore. With the same controls as the popular Creeper World: User Space, Evermore is easy to pick up and get to playing right away. The addition of a survival mode (in which you play out to Odin City's doom) makes this game really stand out and is sure to give you hours of fun!