What doesn't get mentioned often are games where the gameplay is the art, the thing of beauty. These games are often misunderstood, classified as boring by those who like a game to have such devices as characters and a story. Consider Pixel Grower, by Joey Betz. Visually, it's appealing, but not awe-inspiringly so. Likewise, the gameplay also appears simple, ...at least initially.
Neuron is an arena shooter battle between you and a multitude of evil, evil circles. Enemies spawn around the arena in waves, and your job is to kill them dead before they do the same to you. Kill or be killed, seems simple enough right? Now add in achievements, upgrades, perks, and particle effects a-plenty.
In Koi2, from the creators of Kissma, you play a man with blow-dried hair and a terrible sweater, sitting across from a woman who can best be described as "tolerant". The object of the game, as you both slide up and down on hydraulic lifts, is to poke her in the forehead with your finger as many times as you can in one minute. Yes, this is a game about forehead poking.
Arrrrr, it be another one o' dem games where ye be tryin' to fly as far as ye can to the right, matey. Thar be enough loot to make us all very rich pirates. We just need to be gettin' past the open water and the sharks, whales, and mines between us and it. Now go get me gold before I make ye walk the plank! Arrrr!
We added a new mini-game to the sidebar over the weekend. This one is named just "Tiny Game" and it was created exclusively for JIG by the Flash and casual game wizard, Tonypa. There are a number of features that make this little gem exceptional, besides the little gems that you must collect.
Star Beacons is a pachinko-style arcade game from Steel Panda Studios. When an evil space armada captures a planet of jolly water creatures who use a giant star as their source of light, it's up to you, an intrepid waterite in a cool spaceship, to scour the deepest depths of space to retrieve the pieces of your broken star/sun.
Reach for the stars — literally — in Casual Space, where treasure, danger, and secrets are sprawled across two enormous maps comprising over 40 levels of spacey action! Balancing a quirky, kid-friendly presentation with some genuinely challenging gameplay, Casual Space is good casual fun for all ages.
Polygonal Fury takes the basic chain reaction gameplay of Boomshine and adds a number of bells and whistles to it. Ultimately, it's a skill-based game, and the balance is perfect to keep you playing for just one more level, until you've finished them all.
A fast-paced, tightly-designed version of Breakout by the talented Taro Ito. Use a big round smiley-face paddle to knock out all the bricks before they advance past the dotted line. Collect hearts to earn extra balls and shoot them into play at any time. Cute, fun, and simple.
New features included in Stunt Pilot 2: A level editor. Bonus levels where you follow a curvy line that catches on fire if you're good enough. Cannons that shoot coins for you to catch in mid-air. Hollywood explosions that bring hot-air balloons and racing pylons crashing down around you. Yeah, this game rules.
Pizza City has so much in common with the first two Grand Theft Auto games it seems to fall somewhere between spoof and demake. Like the notorious crime sims from Rockstar Games, you roam a city with virtual free reign in your car via a bird's eye view. There is a main goal (delivering pizzas and working your way up the pizzeria career ladder), but there are also plenty of other side quests to undertake, too. Pizza City isn't for everyone and the relatively simple gameplay may turn some off, but there's more depth lurking here than meets the eye and it definitely rewards those who choose to stick with it.
If a three-year-old or a five-year-old were to make their own platform game, Androkids 2 is exactly what it would look like. If you never quite got over collecting coins and jumping on the bad guys, this is definitely right up your alley. Kid-tested and approved.
Planet Basher is a blast to play. It's like a gigantic, customizable pachinko machine in space. Your goal is to buy planets and position them so that your rockets bounce off of them long enough to collect the required 200 stars in one round. How many rounds will it take you?
Force your affections on total strangers in Party-Tencho's Kissma, best described as… a shooter? Music game? Experimental whatsit? Retro crazy-fest? Anyway, it's very colorful, and it might change your life for the better. Or for the worse.
In ooPixel's brilliant new action game Escape the Red Giant, the sun is about to die, and you have to keep yourself alive for as long as possible by jumping from one asteroid to the next. Between the detailed physics engine and the tight gameplay, you may find yourself addicted without realizing it.
The idea, as always, is simple. Get the red ball (or square) to touch all the flags by drawing physical objects directly onto the screen with your crayon-like cursor. This sequel to Magic Pen features 32 more puzzling levels, all selectable from the moment you start the game, mostly set in various crayon-rendered versions of historical locations. The level designs feel a bit more intricate this time, with more on-screen obstacles and even a few moving contraptions to cope with. There are no major improvements to the formula, but such a childlike, pure idea doesn't need them. This is a heap more Magic Pen for everyone who loved it the first time. Enjoy.
In a style reminiscent of Castle Crashers or classic games like Final Fight, Portal Defenders lets you take on the role of real-life Newgrounds head honchos Tom Fulp and Dan Paladin as they defend their Flash portal against hordes of cartoony parody villains. You might recognize some famous names from the Flash development world, like jmtb02 or Tyler Glaiel, right before you bash their heads in with your favorite kitchen utensil. There are enough in-jokes to keep any fan happy, and the production quality is top-notch. If you are not averse to ridiculous amounts of gratuitous violence, Portal Defenders is a blast!
Blush is a unique and beautiful, 3D rendered, underwater physics-based game by Flashbang Studios, in which you play a betentacled creature fighting your way through the ocean deep. It is also very addictive. Fight off other sea creatures, collect eggs and bring them to glowing orbs that increase your speed and extend your tentacles. Even earn achievements, too.
Your objective in Panda Star is to launch an ambitious panda into the night sky and light up all the stars you find there, which have gone dark because they apparently lack panda juice. This is a simple arcade-style game of skill that looks and sounds like a slow-paced mystical journey of spirit. It won't change the world, but it made us happy one evening in a simple, panda way, and maybe it will do the same for you.
Yoshio Ishii (Nekogames) has just released a sequel to his unique, if no frills, self-cooperative game, Cursor*10. The update, aptly named Cursor*10 2nd Session, offers a whole new set of levels with the premise and objective still the same: You're a cursor in a tower. You have to reach the 16th floor in 10 lives, but your lifespan is rather short. And not only that, all your previous lives are being replayed, in real time, at the same time as you play. You will have to think on your feet and use cunning and puzzle-solving prowess to get through all 16 levels before your lives (and time) run out.
Nitrome has released Twin Shot, a new platform adventure full of Roman architecture and archery, perfect for playing with a friend or taking a solo challenge. It's a beautiful platformer, with creative nods to Bubble Bobble. The sound effects and music also take somewhat of a retro cue, and the graphics are quite stunning, with very detailed character designs and backgrounds.
Godlaser, the opening salvo from new developer Pyew Pyew, is a vertically scrolling manic shooter, influenced by Treasure's Ikaruga. You can upgrade your ship with new skills and equipment between levels. Enemy bullets come in three different flavors, and you can render yourself invulnerable to them by switching your ship to the correct color. It's an incredibly ambitious and far-reaching shooter, especially for something playable in your browser.
Monolist, from Japanese developer (or possibly super-powered spy team) Polygon Gmen, is what you would get if you took classic Space Invaders gameplay, multiplied it by three, strained it through a net made of Arkanoid bonus drops, and then sprinkled in nine hundred million bullets. Like a recreational energy drink, it's cool, refreshing, burning sweet, and highly caffeinated.
A rhythm-based Wario Ware type of game from Nitrome, in which you play colorful mini-game levels with a musical timing element. Destroy attacking fighters and tanks as Godzilla! Stake vampires as they rise in their coffins! Um...eat...stuff. It's all here, with three difficulty levels across four distinct stages, a different song in each level, and a final "mix-tape" stage that surreally switches context between the stages over the course of the song.
Time 4 Cat is a mouse avoider game in which your movements also control the enemy, so you can make everyone stop and start, or go faster or slower. Your goal is to hustle through the big city and scoop up all the food that is dropped. Each piece of food has a count-down timer on it, the faster you collect the food the higher your score. What makes this game stand out is the fact that you can slow everything down and go at your own pace.
Chicken's Flying School is about preparing newborn chicks for a big flying tournament by throwing them into the sky and keeping them there with puffs of air until they learn to fly on their own. The consistently high level of involvement makes it fun, and the atmosphere is sugary-sweet enough to make your arms tingle.
Monkey sad. Make monkey happy! That's your simple goal in Monkey GO Happy, a puzzle/arcade-style hybrid from Robin Vencel at Pencil Kids. Pick mushrooms, find treasure, shoot toy ducks, set off fireworks, fire cannons and loads more, all in the name of big monkey smiles. It's a bit like the Four Second series of games, only without the intense speed and with more mammals.
Yoshio Ishii, of Nekogames, succeeds in the ambitious endeavor to redesign Breakout. And while the game is still about destroying bricks to clear the board, what's gone is the boredom the game usually suffers from when trying to get that last brick or two. Instead, what we have is more of a twitch game where reflexes rule the landscape of a simulated (and antiquated) vector graphics display.
It's like regular bowling, but it's on a volcano. And the ball is rolling down so fast it's on fire! And then the ball learns to fly! And then the ball gets really big and then it gets really little and then it rolls into a tree trunk and a raccoon throws it way up in the air! And the raccoon's brother rides the ball in the air because he can steer it because he is a smart raccoon. Shoot the ball out of a cannon! And that is how Downhill Bowling plays.
Nitrome creative duo Simon Hunter and Aaron Steed have been very busy being amazing, and Fat Cat is the strange hybrid product of their amazingitude. It wears the face of an exacting bullet-fest such as The Last Canopy or Pararalyzer, but underneath, its heart pumps the blood of a tightly choreographed puzzle game. We've never seen anything quite like it.
NASCAR fans and origami collectors unite! Grab your paper cranes and giant foam fingers, and prepare for one of the most beautiful races you've ever seen. Scenic elegantly combines digitally-rendered landscapes with F-Zero-style racing, and delivers it all in using an impressive 3D engine in Flash.
In a twist on the classic block stacking game, 99 Bricks challenges you to make a brick tower using standard Tetris play mechanics. The twist is that as the tetrominoes fall and stack, they don't disappear when lines form. This time, your goal is to make the tallest tower that you can. A higher tower means a higher spot on the leader board.
Ball Drop One, produced by Finnish developer Ville Helin, is an interesting blend of pachinko and pinball. Drop your ball into the playing field, trying to rack up as many points as possible. If your ball hits a skull ball or stops moving, it explodes and the round ends. Simple enough, right?
Bomba is a new arcade avoidance game from Nitrome. Look just beyond the surface and Bomba reveals itself to be much more than a simple "don't touch the walls" game. There's strategy, there's speed, there's planning, there's even backtracking and careful timing involved. Think of it as an adventure/avoider and you'll get an idea of what to expect.
Grey Matter is an anti-shooter, which means that you can't actually shoot. You are the bullet, and you attack by directly colliding with the exposed brain-meats of your enemies. It looks great and sounds even better. The gameplay has all the depth of a modern professional shoot-'em-up, thanks to the combo system. Grey-Matter is perfectly playable without using the Trinity Attacks, but if you do employ them, it becomes almost like a hyperactive, twitchy puzzle game.
Nion is a stylish arcade-style game that incorporates a number of gameplay modes, including puzzle, accuracy, speed, survival, and several combinations of the above. It's built around the simple mechanic of shooting shapes that hover around the top of the screen.
At first glance, Off Balance looks just like all those other maze games where you move your mouse from Point A to Point B without hitting any walls. And indeed, that's the general idea. You control a preternaturally cheerful ball of cotton on a mildly psychedelic quest through 25 stages full of obstacles. The trick is in the steering.
You are a plucky gun turret in the center of the screen that has to survive while bad guys attack you from all sides. Rotate the turret with your mouse and shoot the black-and-white enemies by clicking. If you see a coloured orb, do not shoot it. It's a power-up. The game is so very good in virtually every aspect of its design despite the lack of sound effects.
Talesworth Arena: Death Watch, by Mr. Jinx, is an RPG with a strong focus on one-on-one combat and a cool industrial fantasy setting. Choose one of three characters (Engineer, Psionic, or Juggernaut) and battle your way through 10 levels of deadly gladiators with a combat system familiar to anyone who has played a MMORPG.
An arena shooter even casual gamers can enjoy, a sort of mash-up between Asteroids and Space Invaders where you pilot a tiny craft against waves of incoming enemies (which happen to be aliens and geometric shapes). Power-ups appear from time to time to give you a hand, but otherwise its just you and your reflexes keeping you alive.
As the title implies the field before you is not empty, but hides balls. Your colored box along the edge of the playing field can fire a beam in the direction of your mouse, ricocheting off of any hidden balls and exposing them. Clicking the mouse will clear these balls from the screen, and the onslaught of balls will inch its way down the field.
Dogfight 2 is the newest entry into Rock Solid Arcade's quality series of arcade-style airplane fliers, which includes the first Dogfight and the previously-reviewed Stunt Pilot. Once again, they have based some nail-bitingly tough levels around the tricky but satisfying flight controls from classic DOS game Sopwith. All told, a difficult game with high production values worthy of your time investment.
Save Kaleidoscope Reef, from the team that brought us Anika's Odyssey, is a new arcade game with an environmentally friendly message embedded beneath its gorgeous exterior. A tropical reef thriving with aquatic life is in danger of being destroyed by pollution. Rebuild the underwater sanctuary one screen at a time by grabbing floating polyps, placing them on rocks, and feeding them until they bloom into lush coral.
Simplicity reminiscent of an Orisinal game but with visuals and sound you might expect to find in something more old-school. Backed by an enjoyable physics engine and a simple but well-executed concept and virtually no down-time, Gravity Hook is a simple, grappling hook arcade game that borders on clinically addictive.
There is something about Sid Woo's Bounceroid 2000 that makes it so completely JIG-like. Elegantly simple in design, modern, stylish and enjoyable.Bouncing balls against paddles have come a long way, and gone through all sorts of fancy incarnations. This game is back to the basics and has an original take that makes it unique.
Survive as long as you can in Rapid Wars, the new addictive arcade shooter by Jussi Kari of ooPixel. Borrowing the two-fisted Robotron mechanic, and with a nod to Geometry Wars, Jussi creates gameplay that is frenetic, addictive and fun.
A unique new anti-shooter game of collection and avoidance by Felix Reidl. You have two minutes to collect as many yellow squares as possible, while various gun turrets try to mow you down. Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, you should hit [Space], which instantly ends your game and adds up your score. If you don't hit the space bar in time—and this is important—you don't get any points. You have only one life, and if you die, your score is zero.
Ragdoll Cannon 2 is, rather logically, the sequel to Ragdoll Cannon (as teased by the release of Ragdoll Cannon 1.5). That's some no-nonsense naming, there. What designer Johnny_K might lack in titling, however, he more than compensates for in gameplay.
In this whiteboard strategy shooter, pilot a helicopter to defend against the red army's tanks, planes and other heavy artillery that shoot the crap out of you. Bomb the war factories for the sake of all markers of every color! There's something that takes off in the imagination when playing games like this that look like pen and paper—something has come to life that you're used to seeing static.
Amorphous+ is an overhead arena combat game that casts you in the role of a little bald human character with a ridiculously over-sized sword: the Splat-Master 9000. This weapon is tailor-made for fighting Glooples, which are basically man-sized soft-skinned green blobs of goop.
Amaaxla's Gravity 2 is a physics-based platform game of momentum and gravity. The objective is to collect crystals and reach the exit of each level. Collecting crystals is very important in that they allow you to purchase things in the shop and unlock other levels.
Curse you, Kable Monck, and the no-good game you rode in on. Evito Ball. PAH! There's a treacherous name if I ever heard one. Did you realize that it anagrams into A VILE BLOT? This evil little game comes with 80 treacherous levels that will have you climbing the walls before long. Trust me.
Ninja Kiwi have a sense for a great concept, and the courage to follow through on their own silly impulses. "Monkey Pops Balloons with Darts" is a fantastic tag line, and so is "Robot Smashes Pianos with Shovel". While most game-makers bend over backwards to create a consistent, recognizable environment (even when that environment is completely abstract), it's refreshing to play a game fueled by pure whimsy as you will see in Robomaro.
Cannons have a unique place in human history. Throughout the ages, they have served as an offensive weapon to knock down fortifications, an accentuation in pieces of classical music, and a rudimentary yet entertaining transport for clowns. Continuing in this rich tradition, let's launch stickmen at bricks to dignified tunes!
When I heard the newest Nitrome game since Sky Wire 2 was called Small Fry, I turned to my own "Small Fry", seven-year-old Roland to help me out with the review. Roland says this one is special because you get four different characters, and you have to get them all to the tree house at the end of the level.
When I heard the newest Nitrome game since Sky Wire 2 was called Small Fry, I turned to my own "Small Fry", seven-year-old Roland to help me out with the review. Roland says this one is special because you get four different characters, and you have to get them all to the tree house at the end of the level.
Hedgehog Launch puts you at the helm of a national space program with a singular goal: get off the planet! Unfortunately, you're expected to accomplish spaceflight with $50, a slingshot, and an infinite supply of hedgehogs. Luckily, Minovia Cay is the kind of place where money falls from the sky! Or at least hovers in the atmosphere just waiting for you to snatch it.
Immediately upon opening Ferry Halim's latest, Sunny Day Sky, you feel as if the sun has just come out, the birds are singing and all is right with the world. Grab your trusty umbrella and embark on a journey cross-country. Take a leap (by clicking the mouse) and sail as far as the winds (and your umbrella) will take you. But be sure not to land in traffic, land ON it! If you land between vehicles your journey is over, and so is the game.
Swinging Ball is a new, fun little flash title developed by Gimme5games. It's a fairly simple ball-physics game, much as we've seen before in which your goal is to guide the ball through a series of obstacles to the exit. What makes Swinging Ball noteworthy is the implementation of a grapple-like rope that you can use to latch onto surfaces and swing around like Tarzan.
Rollercoaster Rush puts you behind the "wheel" of a rollercoaster brake operator. Essentially, it's your job to ensure that passengers have the thrill of their life, while at the same time making sure it's not their last. Just as any seasoned operator will tell you, the first rule in rollercoaster school is to avoid sending your passengers flying off the track to the pavement a hundred feet below.
At first, Mr. Bounce seems like a simple Breakout-inspired game with a slight twist – you can control the height of your bounce by using the [up] and [down] arrows. But right about the your brain starts going on auto-pilot, Mr. Bounce delivers a hefty wake-up smack upside the head. From out of nowhere come walls, moving walls, disappearing walls, movable blocks, tracers, wind, lions, tigers and bears, oh my!
A sequel to Skywire by Nitrome is here and it exceeds the original in many ways, including 3 bosses across 30 all-new levels. Now with lots more enemies, enough for a new one in every level, and new track elements such as gaps, breakable track and areas where your cable car goes under water.
Fans might remember TBA as the ultra-fast-paced, eye-popping, ball-shooting game with an insane techno soundtrack, all of which blended together quite nicely to create a surprisingly simple and fun game. "TBA Two" grows from the same roots as its predecessor and surpasses it in many ways. If you're a fan of the original, it's a safe bet you're going to love this sequel. If you've never played the original, it's a game that's definitely worth checking out.
Arachnophilia is an arcade-style simulation of a night in the life of a spider. Your goal is to survive as long as possible, your venue is the empty midnight space between tree branches, and your method is to trap and devour the hapless insects who blunder into your web. It's a simple but sophisticated game, made with a deep love for both arachnids and early 80s arcade games like Tempest.
A simple jump-and-run platformer with style, Space Walker shows that a very simple concept paired with simple graphics can be made into an enjoyable and very pretty casual game experience. Variety in enemy type, enemy movement, and gravity for each level provides an increase in challenge, while a randomized color scheme provides something new to look forward to. Nothing earth-shattering or all that innovative here, just a well-designed package from tip to tail.
If you've been itching for a new, fun side-scrolling shooter, Postal Panic is a game you don't want to pass up. It takes the side-scrolling action of an arcade shooter and throws in some upgrading, a wacky story line and an even wackier set of enemies. Instead of the typical outer space setting, you play the role of a postal worker (in some crazy alternate dimension) who pilots a fully-armed, mail delivery ship.
A fast-paced, single-player mouse avoidance game where your only goal is to survive as long as possible. Dodge angry red buggles and collect mysterious blue boxes to obtain a high score. Catch the little green buggles to become the mighty devourer, destroyer of red buggles! Eat them all! Muhahaha!
The Flash-based Pararalyzer from Japanese developer, Heriet, is an adrenaline-based manic shooter if ever there was one. From the opening screen, there is action galore and soon enough amazing bullet patterns criss-cross the screen in a dazzling kaleidoscope of colour. Unleash a seemingly endless stream of bullets toward the equally endless droves of enemies who are bent on destroying you.
Alan Probe: Amateur Surgeon is a cartoonish and casually offensive entry into the simon-says-surgery genre made famous(ish) by Atlus' Trauma Center. Your job is to follow the exact requirements of each surgery as quickly and as accurately as possible. The game is blessed with the finest production values a second-tier television network can buy, with bright, detailed environments and an ever-present sense of self-conscious irony. The violence is so over-the-top that it's not really gross, but there's still plenty of comically intense moments to go around.
Alex must go to the cheese shop to buy some cheese for his mother. What a nice boy. But the cheese shop is high in the sky and is being defended by flying chickens and people with magnetic headphones. You must navigate past clouds and various enemies, while collecting coins and heart energy, on your way to the holy cheese place ...and back.
dRive is quite possibly the first calculus-themed game to get a review on this site, but don't go fleeing for the high country quite yet; you don't need to understand the math to play the game. At its core, dRive is a simple "catch the falling objects" game, but the unusual, calculus-based method of controlling three games at once turns dRive into an innovative, fascinating game.
Gride is an arcade-style action game in which the objective is to apply and remove abilities to an always-moving little pink sedan at just the right moments to make it as far as you can along the never-ending terrain. It was good enough to take 3rd place in our 5th game design competition, and it earned the coveted Viral award by receiving more than one million views more than the next most played game!
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.
Magic Pen is a physics-based puzzle playground created by Alejandro Guillen (Spin the Black Circle). It's easy to see the design, from visual style to overall concept, was taken from Crayon Physics, but because Magic Pen was done in Flash, it's much more accessible. Using the mouse, simply draw shapes to create bridges and guide the red ball to the flag. Making shapes and dropping them from the sky will set the ball in motion, and you can also craft structures with hinges (both fixed and movable) for more complex maneuvers.
Nanotube is a stylish action game that tasks you with preventing an army of colored orbs from escaping the center of a circle. You have control of a wall of segments at the perimeter of that circle, and you must block each orb with a wall segment of the same color. It is a satisfying treat on many levels, with orbs flying at you with a regular rhythm and popping with a musical sproing, so if you're playing well, the game will automatically play a random tune for you.
Trying to describe a game using splendiferous prose just seems so... right-brained-centric. How discriminatory! Thus, as a public service to all you left-brainers out there, I hereby present this mathematical description: Retroid = (Pong + Gravity - 1 player + Ball2 + 3Enemy) * 4 modes + Bob.
David Scott has just released a sequel to the stylish tower defense game, Vector TD, appropriately titled Vector TD 2. Using Vector TD, a computer simulation of Vectoid attack scenarios, deploy and upgrade towers to zap foes as they walk by, preventing them from reaching the end points on each map. Earn cash by defeating foes and keep your defenses strong to stave off the increasingly powerful hordes!
Control a ship in a miniature-yet-epic battle against undulating bubbles and their mindless minions. Weave in and out of the bubbles in a race against the clock, dodging drones and collecting enough energy to move on to the next stage. Another excellent and original game design entered into our 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition.
ShoOot 2: revenge of square, a cathartic circle extermination simulator, is more of a spiritual successor than a direct sequel, since you can now move in two dimensions and the gameplay focus has shifted from overwhelming rapid-fire madness to a more deliberate and unusual rhythm. The very latest from the casual game master: Tonypa.
One of the entries to our 4th game design competition, Particle Blaster is a simple yet intense space shooter. You play as a small, triangular space ship whose only goal is to destroy everything that moves. Although it starts easy, you'll be hard pressed to make it through all 14 levels, let alone obtain the coveted A ranking.
We're used to suspending a little bit of belief when it comes to the games we play. Off-Road Velociraptor Safari, however, really tests the limits. You play a raptor driving a jeep with a spiky ball and chain attached to the rear. Your goal is to chase down other raptors and throw them into a teleporter that sends them to the future. At this point it's a good idea to throw intellectual understanding out the window, because this game is all about hitting dinosaurs with cars for points.
Planet Cruncher lets you satisfy your appetite for destruction by casting you as an omnipotent exterminator of worlds. It doesn't exactly feel like a game about the deaths of billions, encased as it is in a shell of relaxing arcadey puzzle gameplay. But sometimes you have to play a game in your own way, and I choose to play this one while cackling maniacally and stroking an imaginary long-haired white star-cat named Lord Galaxathon.
Stunt Pilot is a challenging, high-quality game of precision acrobatics. It transcends the familiar trope of flying through rings with a sophisticated scoring system and singular control. The result is a simple but engaging test of skill that would fit comfortably in any 80s video arcade, although it would probably be the prettiest game there.
At first glance, TBA appears to be of a game of extreme simplicity. As you blast through the first level of this arcade action game, doing nothing but striking the space bar until the ball flies into the goal, you may wonder "What's the point?" But don't let any first impression fool you. Once you get going, the game really shows it's true colors.
Following in the well-trod footsteps of games like Geometry Wars and Robotron 2084, ZunderFury is a hardcore arena shooter that is happiest when it's overwhelming you with throngs of spiky blob-things. You can even spend money in between rounds to upgrade your ship, and the game comes with a full set of Xbox Live-style achievements, called "Feats", which is a smart way to personalize and flesh out the experience.
Paint Wars challenges you to fill in the outlines of different shapes using as little paint as possible, while an army of vehicles tries to destroy your masterpiece. It's an unusual game that incorporates a familiar draw mechanic in an interesting new way. But it's not as easy as it sounds.
It looks simple, like what computers experience when they practice zazen. And it is, my brothers and sisters, it is very simple. Therein lies the beauty of Avoid! (I bet that exclamation point was jarring), a compilation of short vignettes by Alex Miller that plays off the theme of avoidance.
As is easy to guess, the object of Filler is to fill the playing field with large white circles. Just click and hold the mouse to start a circle growing. It will stop growing either when you let go or when it collides with a circle already in play. If it collides with one of the small "atoms" bouncing around, not only will it stop growing, it will disappear completely and you'll lose a life!
An experimental game created in seven days, this arcade/pseudo-strategy game puts you in control of two robots marching through a dark city destroying everything with lasers. Pump up your machines to gigantic city-destroying monsters and crunch buildings and pitiful humans all day long!
The first Flash Element Tower Defense was a kind of revolution. It single- handedly brought tower defense games out of the realm of Warcraft mods and into the world of free online gaming, kick-starting a new genre practically overnight. Now that Dave has teamed with Paul Preece to create Novel Concepts, he has built Flash Element TD 2 according to the Casual Collective aesthetic — the audio/visual style pioneered by Desktop Tower Defense and perpetuated by Buggle. In other words, it's totally cute.
For our 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition, Brazilian game author Guilherme Töws has tapped the philosophy of yin and yang to bring us Bisection Dominion. Your charge is to defend a pristine river against a falling tide of poisonous bubbles, using a sword controlled by your gestural input. We often talk about the zen of gaming, but rarely does a game embrace the idea so whole-heartedly.
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.
The Caverns of Hammerfest, by French developer Motion Twin, is an expertly crafted love letter to classic arcade platformers like Bubble Bobble and Snow Bros. If you've ever wondered how the intensity and the heartbreak of those old arcade cabinets could be translated into online gaming, look no further.
It's official. D_of_I has gone off the deep end. His cat has gotten bored shooting his bow and poling himself about and wants to travel across the ocean, so he enlists the help of a dolphin to provide the locomotion, while he hangs on for the ride of his life in this excellent one-button game!
Hearken back to those adrenaline-happy days with Vector Runner, an arcade action game concerned purely with the sensation of speed. Control a humble blue cube on its journey down a futuristic highway, dodging deadly pyramids of various shapes and sizes. Wherever you need to be, you're going there fast.
Another simple game oozing with personality has just been released by Game-Pure, creator of Bound Bear and Oshidama. Samurai High Jump answers the age old question: if a samurai warrior had a big bamboo pole, how far and how high could he jump? It's up to you to find out in this Monkey Kick-Off-style arcade game.
Jack Frost, scowling star of the final game in Nitrome's informal 2007 winter trilogy (after Thin Ice and Snow Drift), is happiest when he is cold. Your job is to turn 40 levels of autumn-colored blocks and ladders into an arctic wonderland in this new arcade action game. Control Jack with the arrow keys: [up] to jump, [left] and [right] to walk, [up] and [down] to climb. Simply step on blocks or climb ladders to freeze them.
Pajatso is a Flash interpretation of a traditional Finnish gambling game that dates back to the early 1900s. The object is to flick a coin into one of the winning slots. If you succeed, the machine drops a few coins from the columns below. If you miss the coin rolls and adds itself to the stack. It's a fun and simple game perfect for frittering away a few minutes of your time.
Not to be confused with the classic adventure game, Monkey Island is an action-puzzler involving a monkey and not one but several islands. The game's controls are easy: just roll the mouse to change the direction the monkey faces, click to jump, and hold for a longer jump. Hop from island to island collecting bananas in this simple yet refreshing title.
The aptly named Absolute Awesome Ball Game is truly awesome because it manages to capture the thrill of discovery that we look for from pinball games and delivers that in an addictive, unique and appealing package. The game requires a bit of patience and perseverance before seeing any visible progress, but those that stick with it are in for a very pleasant and enjoyable ride.