Best of 2012 (Top 5):
We've waited a long, long, long time, but the follow-up to Cliff Johnson's seminal puzzle game The Fool's Errand has finally been released: The Fool and His Money. Packed with logic and word puzzles of all kinds, and the whimsically confounding prose that made the original so enjoyable, The Fool and His Money is just the thing for players looking for a mental challenge.
Kairo is a first person puzzle adventure game from Richard Perrin, creator of The White Chamber. Set in a minimalist, somewhat abstract world of temples and stones, floating pathways and mysterious mechanisms, you'll be given no clues as to what you need to do to complete the game. Instead, you'll wander through room after room, using your keen powers of observation to figure out where the puzzles are and how to solve them. It's a game design choice rarely seen since the days of Myst, and it brings with it a satisfying gaming experience that has become increasingly rare in the age of tutorials and online cheat codes.
Created by Colin Northway (Fantastic Contraption) and Sarah Northway (Rebuild) with art by Thomas Shahan, this gorgeous physics game feels like a vertebrate version of World of Goo with the building-centric gameplay of Fantastic Contraption. Using the simple tools of legs and muscles, you must help Quozzle on her quest to find her family as she attempts to traverse terrain as twisted and diverse as you can imagine. How are you going to make it over the next hill? Maybe by attaching two dozen legs to Quozzle's eye and strapping them all together with muscles? Why not, let's give it a shot!
Baby it's cold outside, but with your Little Inferno fireplace, you can stay warm and entertained forever... as long as you don't run out of things to burn. The Tomorrow Corporation brings a unique, quirky, and gorgeously addictive indie game that's part physics puzzle, and part adventure, all without leaving your hearth. Who really needs the world outdoors anyway? What could it possibly have to offer... ?
It was supposed to be a quick and easy heist. Break in to the museum, snag the Lupine Twine Amulet, sneak out. Profit! But then, something unfortunate happened: Lucas MacGuffin put the amulet on. With the amulet permanently attached to him, Lucas now had the unfortunate ability to turn into a werewolf whenever he was exposed to moonlight. On top of that, the entire city went into lockdown as a result of his bungled theft. Making delicious lemonade out of those lemons, though, Lucas turned his misfortune into a boon, using his lupine skills to work his way through town in a sokoban-style adventure. MacGuffin's Curse is one of those light-hearted, funny, challenging and visually gorgeous games you won't be able to put down.