The Sandbox is a creative elemental puzzle game for iOS by Pixowl. It mixes puzzles and challenges with good old fashioned elemental interactions, exactly the kind you would find in classic browser games like Sand Sand Sand. Guiding the all-powerful element dropping utility that is your finger, you can mix dozens of unique elements to create fantastic reactions, functioning machines, crazy Rube Goldberg-like devices, or just paint pretty pictures on your screen. There's plenty of room for creativity, but also a fair amount of thoughtful challenge as well!
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!
This gratifyingly fun action-platformer by Page52 departs from typical at its very start as your screen fills with intricately interesting sketches and then it continues into the extraordinary, stopping to command: "Draw your own..." weapon, hat, enemy. Although dotted lines suggest the shape of such invention, in your Sketch Quest notebook, you're limited only by imagination.
Everybody Edits is a bare-bones platform game played on the backs of the very people who build it! In this charming retro-looking game, you are given basic tools to place blocks, lay gravity-altering objects, and craft mazes and traps of your own design. All of this happens in real-time, meaning you can move and build at the same time, all while people from around the world run around in your world!
Elemental Box is a brand new physics webtoy from our beloved sandbox game creator ha55ii. Unlike previous releases such as Powder Game or Irritation Stickman, Elemental Box is focused on the physical interaction of solid objects, not so much the elemental properties of them. It's a bit like a building game, complete with a start/stop timer device, that gives you full freedom to let your creativity run wild.
Isle of Tune is a fairly simple webtoy, with a mere six elements that you can control to create a variety of sounds. There's just enough tools available to let you create some rather intricate loops. The pre-made loops are a great way to get an island started, and the simple sharing system is good for spreading your island creations with everyone.
Bubble Tanks 3 takes the series to new heights by combining the best of the Bubble Tanks core gameplay with the customizing features from Bubble Tanks Arenas. The result is a solid sequel to a very popular Flash game series that's a lot of fun to play. The campaign is solid, the user-created tanks keep things fresh and the enemy editor is a ton of fun and will keep this version of the game living for a long time to come.
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.
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!
This week's You Are Games challenge leverages the awesome and unique opportunity being offered by Inexile Entertainment with its new Prius-branded version of a fan favorite here at JIG! Fans of physics puzzles and fuel efficiency, your time has come at last! Fantastic Contraption is back with a new look, new levels, and a chance to win $1,000!
Protonaut is best described as a platform physics puzzler: a platformer covered in a velvety layer of physics, served with a generous dosage of puzzler. The premise of the game is fairly simple: you are a small character (presumably the Protonaut), tasked with collecting all of the gaseous elements in each level. Run, jump, and shoot projectiles to solve each level's puzzle.
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.
In our inaugural entry for a brand new feature, You Are Games, we are highlighting the latest from Grubby Games: Incredibots 2! Now in open beta, we are leveraging the community and level sharing aspect of the game with a mini-competition instead of a review. Announcing the Jay is Games Incredibots 2 Mini-Brawl!
Shift 4 is now available to play and it brings with it a shiny new iPhone app of the original Shift experience to take with you on-the-go. If you're familiar with the Shift series so far, a lot of the elements in this game will seem very familiar. However, twists do come, as you will eventually find yourself having to control more than one silhouetted fellow. You've now got to use a team of folks to reach the exits and advance.
IncrediBots is a brand new physics-based webtoy from Grubby Games, creator of the Professor Fizzwizzle series. Much like Fantastic Contraption and Line Rider before it, IncrediBots gives you a handful of simple tools and sets you free to explore your creative impulses. Draw shapes, connect them with joints, and tweak their basic properties to create living, moving, and functioning 'bots that can perform any task. You can even make movies, complete with text, than can be shared with the IncrediBots community.
There's been an accident in the slime factory and now it's up to you to clean up the mess. In each level you must collect all of the puddles of goo and direct them down one of the available suction vents to make it all go away. To do so, you'll have to push boxes out of the way and mind the arrows which allow you to travel in one direction only.
This is Sand is a lovely little web toy, a nice, gentle way to ease your brain back to life after the weekend. It could hardly be simpler or more elegant: the program converts pixels into digital sand that falls, stacks and layers just like the real thing, providing an endless array of possible designs, landscapes and pictures.
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.
If you've played the original, or the even better update to that one, then you probably will be thrilled to know that Tony has just released a third game in this fantastic series that takes the concept of negative space and turns it upside-down. Shift 3 extends the familiar jump and run, puzzle-platformer formula by adding a few surprises.
Music Bounce is a bit like Breakout, but with an unlikely musical twist. Each level presents you with a different layout of colored bricks. Your job is to wipe them all out by striking them with ammunition from an array of gates on the left side of the screen. And if everything is running properly, Music Bounce can be magical.
Scorching Earth is an intriguing turn-based puzzle game in which you control the actions of an inferno as it seeks to devastate 50 levels worth of landscape. The levels are composed of square tiles, filled with various types of terrain—grasslands, water, trees, and so forth. Your goal on each puzzle is to destroy the required number of tiles. It's a good, solid, innovative puzzle game, and it's fun.
Blockoban is the latest from JP, who has just launched a new website that features user-created content, called Bonus Level, along with fellow game designers, Wouter and Tonypa. With names like that attached you can expect high quality, and Blockoban delivers. It's a game where you slide blocks around and try to match their colors to specific spaces. That simple mechanic is fleshed out with challenging level designs and high quality production values, delivering an experience that will keep you hooked.
Netshift is the Web-based successor to Blackshift, an action puzzle game download from Rob Allen, the man who brought us the Hapland series and many other excellent titles. Netshift, currently in beta, makes the original game more accessible, and it even includes a level editor with which to create and share levels with the Netshift community.
XSketch is a multiplayer Pictionary-style game with an interesting twist on gameplay and scoring. Players can jump right into any game already in progress and begin to have fun immediately. Points are earned by drawing and guessing successfully, and monthly competition leader boards give the game a real competitive feel.
This update still utilizes the same slick interface and near-flawless gameplay mechanics as before to create a serious action-puzzle challenge. If you didn't play Contour when it was first released, there's never been a better time to give it a spin. Since then, the community embraced the editor and set to work creating new levels. In fact, so many new levels were created that Sean hand-picked some of the best and updated the game.
The original Shift was an interesting platform game that used negative space as an entertaining hook, but it came with a few problems that ultimately made it feel unfinished and experimental. Now, Tony of Armor Games has released Shift 2, which is basically the game the first one should have been. It's not enough of a leap forward to warrant the "2" in its name, really, but it refines and expands upon the original concepts to deliver a smoother, more drinkable dose of run/jump/puzzle distraction.
Remember Line Rider? That was a pretty sweet webtoy made by a guy from Slovenia. But did you ever get the feeling that Line Rider could have been so much more amazing if there was more of a game to it? Fresh off the CandyStand, we have Line Golfer. It's like Line Rider, but you can golf your way through the mouse-drawn levels instead of watch a character sled through them. Frankly, it's money.
Contour is a clever re-imagining of Marble Madness by Sean Hawkes, creator of several games entered into previous competitions such as Orbit and Clack. An isometric grid is placed over the playing field that holds a ball and a white exit square. Click on individual tiles to raise the ground from that point, causing the marble to roll downhill. The goal is to move the marble to the exit tile by raising and lowering the floor, a feat that requires both intelligent planning and fast clicking.
If you're like me and suffer from "Funky-Chicken-itis" and are looking for a tool to help you shake yo' groove thang, might I recommend a little dance music? The Tony-b Machine is a cool techno-music webtoy to give you just the right beats. Simply slide the sliders and push the buttons to crank out your own thumping creation.
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.
From the award-winning Preloaded design team comes a new physics-based game designed for the Science Museum in London. Launchball is a fabulously produced take on the 'guide something to the goal' family of physics games. There is even a level editor with which to create puzzles and send them to your friends.
The Calamity Game is a web toy that combines the complex, physics-based building of Armadillo Run with the free-form creativity of Line Rider. The app lets you craft solid structures, draw, use anchor points, add directed force and connect everything up with springs. Calamity is forming a community of users who are creating and sharing some enormously creative scenes.
A soothing sound toy with which to bathe the aural senses, Pianolina is a beautifully designed and gorgeously sounding Flash application created to introduce you to the sounds of the Grotrian piano. Choose between several different compositions and see how the notes react to gravity as they bounce around the display.
Acrobots are little 3-legged acrobatic robots that hop and jump around and react to each other. Together they form an unsual webtoy that includes impressive physics as well as some very fluid animation. Very nicely done by the same Vector Park folks that brought us Levers, and Feed the Head.
Free Rider is a brand new take on the massively popular Line Rider, which you voted best web toy of 2006. Pete adds several interactive elements to the mix that actually serve to create an entirely different experience. It's more like Line Rider meets Teagames' BMX series, the result of which is a create-your-own-level style of game.
Paintball is a simple time waster that should prove a fun diversion for an hour or two. Or three. The playing field consists of: a ball, which drops under gravity and bounces; a square, which the ball is trying to reach; pre-set platforms which the ball will roll/bounce on; and custom-made platforms which you draw freehand on the screen. Simpler than some games with this feature, Paintball is unlikely to elicit gasps from its players with advanced physics, but what it does it does very well.
In this charming little game, you play the role of a bored tire manufacturing worker named Dink. Dink's tired of his pathetic day to day existence doing the same old thing. In fact, he'd quit his job were it not for his eight starving children and warehouse load of credit card debt. Today though, things are going to turn around for poor Dink as he discovers his inborn talent to make music from old factory machinery.
Personal Universe is a puzzle game that lets you play with physics. Using sets of colored blocks you must build moving machines that help you complete tasks. Just as the name implies, Personal Universe gives you the materials to let you build a living universe all your own. It's filled with possibilities and offers a surprising amount of freedom to explore and experiment at your leisure.
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.
Phase Toy is a simple Shockwave sequencer that allows you to create compositions using a point-and-click interface. Just click on a cell to have the sequencer play the corresponding tone when the 'play head' sweeps over it. Click and drag to add several tones at once. Phase Toy makes a nice little diversion that is as mesmerizing as it is relaxing.
This simple and strangely compelling toy was just released onto Web featuring a primitive drawing interface with which to create a track for a little character to slide upon. Save and load tracks and even try to attain objectives to increase the enjoyment from this creative little sandbox webtoy.
la Pâte à Son is an amazing sound toy created in France. This original musical piece and compositional tool was conceived to encourage musical experimentation, and its achievements surpass its goal. Not only is this toy fun to play and experiment with, it is also capable of creating some very beautiful music.
Monsterism.net, a website that Pete Fowler and his creative partner, Simon Pike, built to showcase Pete's outstanding and original monster art. With it you can create a bevy of creatures from the world of Monsterism, as well as mix and match any attributes to create entirely new monsters of your own design. Which monster are you?
Who hasn't enjoyed the simple pleasures of cutting paper into snowflakes on a cold winter day? With Make-a-Flake there is no mess to clean-up and you can even undo cuts gone wrong. This Flash toy is a fun way to express your creativity and get into the spirit of the holiday season.
iSketch is an online multiplayer Shockwave game similar to the drawing game Pictionary, and it works remarkably well on the Web. Players take turns drawing a word assigned by the game. When it's your turn, a basic and simple-to-use drawing interface appears with which to begin drawing. It's very well designed and loads of fun, though it can be terribly addictive so beware.
File this one under interactive Flash tools for creative expression. Scribbler is just one of many interactive "toys" available at Zefrank.com. This "generative illustration toy" allows you to draw with the mouse in the window, then Scribbler takes over and creates its own drawing on top of what you've drawn. There are even interactive controls that you can set and tweak to your heart's content.
This little Flash avatar creator is a versatile and has several options to help you create very unique characters. Create a face of your own that fits your unique personality, then do a PrintScrn and paste into your favorite bitmap graphics program.