Best of 2012 Nominations...
Take one color-coded multipurpose vehicle, add a variety of shapes scattered all about, then throw in the ability to mess with gravity in just about every way possible. The result? Colour Bind, a brand new physics-based indie puzzle game from Finn Morgan. Controlling a simple little car (two wheels on a chasis, basically), you have the pleasure of working through dozens of levels as you flip switches and change gravity so you can reach the exit. Best of all, Colour Bind was built with old school sensibilities in mind, meaning you'll be rewarded for exploration and challenged with difficult levels from beginning to end. Hooray!
What springs to mind when someone says the word "maze"? Probably not an image of a butterfly dancing along a series of colored tiles to the sound of piano keys. Sergey Mohov, on the other hand, envisioned exactly that, turning the butterfly and piano vision into a gorgeously styled maze puzzle game by the name of Dedale. With music provided by Fractures, it is up to you to brave 100 levels of tile coloring, butterfly leading, maze escaping fun.
Dinos in Space is, apart from being a very cool thing to draw in your notebook while ignoring the math lecture going on in your class, a cerebral flow-based logic puzzle game from John Saba. Using arrows, switches and teleporters, your goal is to send dinosaurs from their dispensers into the appropriately colored satellite elsewhere on the grid. Sure, it sounds simple on the surface, but get your head wrapped in this game, and when you take a break, you'll still be solving puzzles in your brain.
Originally developed by Kepuli Games for the 7 Day FPS Challenge, then polished up to win 2nd in the Assembly GameDev Competition, Force: Leashed is a first-person gravity-based physics puzzle game. It combines the structure of the Quake engine with the mechanics of Auditorium and the overall design sense of Portal (if GLaDOS never spoke and handed out gravity guns). And despite the title, Jar Jar doesn't show up once. That's gotta be worth half a point right there.
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!
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.
Explore a world of tiny gardens, shady parks, and secret glades. Grow gardens and enjoy soothing sounds as you travel through this happy little block-fitting puzzle game from Michael Todd. Just click to pick up pieces, use space to rotate, and drag into place. Enchanting and sweet, Little Gardens has that bit of magic and heart that makes a good game a true delight to play.
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.
Across the universe, no matter the time period or location, delivering the mail is a rough job. Take the poor sap in charge of the space-based mail delivery station Meteor Mail, for example. (It's you, by the way.) That lonely technician has to fire packages from one end, then tweak the exact position of gravity orbs to thread each delivery through worm holes, asteroids, roving pirates, and other obstacles. But, if it were easy, we wouldn't have the delightfully challenging puzzle game that is Meteor Mail, so from adversity comes entertainment!
Some people lie. Some people tell the truth. Others tell lies every other sentence, while still others tell things that are part truth, but part lie. Then there are robots, vampires, philosophers, and rabid sheep to contend with! Professor McLogic Saves the Day is a creative game of logic puzzles that is a rare gem in a sea of lookalike games. Play it, puzzle over it, and then figure out which part of the first paragraph of our review is a lie!
Are they conveyor belts? Are they fallen trees? To be completely honest, we can't figure out what those strange laser-emitting bricks in increpare's aptly-named Puzzles are supposed to be. All we know is that they cause trouble if you touch them, but yet that danger might be the key to solving the eight enigmas in this game.
In Cipher Prime's new puzzler Splice, you've got to rearrange cells in a strand to match the given pattern. Your moves are limited, so you've got to plan each step carefully to succeed. It's kinda like making a dangling chain of coathangers, except with MORE SCIENCE. (And an awesome soundtrack and sweet graphics.)
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.
Science has proven that water physics are some of the most entertaining gameplay mechanisms ever created. Forget things like realistic friction models, voxels, endlessly generating worlds, and being able to rewind time. Capturing, deploying, and just messing around with gooey water is where it's at. Vessel, a new steampunk puzzle platformer from Strange Loop Games, builds most of its gameplay around liquids, using them as both mindlessly flowing matter and as something you probably never expected water to do: become semi-intelligent!
You've heard of "The Long Arm of the Law," but have you ever heard of "The Long Arm of Postal Deliveries?" In What's In The Box?, you have a package to deliver, a dangerous maze of spikes and traps, and a reeeeeally long arm with which to get from start to finish. You've got to solve each room's puzzles of gates and traps in order to reach the exit with box in hand, but can you make it through the entire game without damaging your precious parcel?