Hardboiled, from Tom Vencel at Ninja Doodle, is a collection of mouse-controlled mini-games. You get 5 minutes and 7 lives to complete 45 intense tests of timing, observation, and pure twitching finger speed. When you run out of time or lives, you'll learn not only that you're a bad egg, but exactly what type of bad egg you are.
Cottage is an escape game that manages to successfully combine cleverness with a relatively low level of difficulty; while the puzzles may seem simple, they are still creative and inspired enough to delight even the veteran escape gamers among us. Fabulous graphics, fun puzzles, and an adorably surprising ending... it warms even my cold, grumpy New Yorker's heart.
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.
Eternal Red is, by its own admission, a cross between a platform arena style shooter and a real-time strategic defense game. No story, no dialogue, just you and the seemingly non-stop litany of enemies appearing from one door that try to make it to the second.
Aaaarrrrr you ready to push some crates and unlock millions of doors, matey? The next installment in the pirate-themed Phantom Mansion II series is here to satisfy your need to steal from the dead. This one has lots of ice, because it's about the North Sea. In the North. Where they keep the ice. That means you often get to sit back and watch Hector skate around helplessly, in between avoiding ghosts.
Viking Defense is a close cousin to Canyon Defense, a re-think of the tower defense genre that was released earlier this year. Game elements are introduced incrementally through a quest system. Once you build certain temples to the Norse gods, you get to use rechargeable powers, like the nuclear super-strike of the hammer Mjolnir. Fans of Canyon Defense will be happy that everything has been improved--the artwork, the map layouts, the weapon variety, and the overall game balance.
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.
Fishing Girl, the first game from developer Luna Drift, is the most tranquil, unhurried game about a life-or-death rescue operation you're ever likely to play. Rescue a boy stranded on an island, using only your humble powers of fishing! This game manages to capture the peacefulness and melancholy of fishing without bending to realism, and it's built on an emotional foundation of devotion and perseverance. What a neat little game.
The sequel to one of the best tactical battle games on the internet has finally arrived! Sonny 2 improves on the first game by offering three separate character classes, hundreds of new items, and a Player vs. Player mode. The turn-based combat flows like water and requires plenty of intense decision-making, while the incredible amount of character customization available right from the start opens up a world of interesting choices.
You might think that after escaping the kitchen only to find yourself locked in a living room, and then a bathroom, and then a basement, that we would learn not to get into tight situations such as these again. But then Mateusz Skutnik sends word of yet another installment in the Great Escape series and we're all lush with excitement. Somehow it just doesn't stand to reason. Or does it?
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.
For those who don't have the time to devote to those addicting match-3 games, Tonypa may have found the perfect alternative. Pushori pares things down to a much more simplified match-2 concept. It is a refreshing and simple new puzzle game from a game designer who has a knack for creating simply refreshing new ideas.
It's that most special time of year again. Time to get on your softest, most comfortable pajamas, and make a mug of peppermint hot chocolate. A crackling fire would be nice, accompanied by Bing Crosby crooning about white Christmases and silver bells...as you sit down, with a sigh of contentment, to play Neutral's newest holiday room escape game. Ah, that most special time of year, indeed.
New from the snowy peaks of Mt. Nitrome comes Frost Bite 2, a direct follow-up to last year's Frost Bite platforming game. Work your way up the snowy mountain peaks using a grappling hook that can latch onto almost anything. Stomp or harpoon enemies to clear them out of your way, move boxes to reach high spots, and collect bonus letters to unlock secret stages. A few new tricks can be found up Frost Bite 2's fuzzy parka, such as new enemies and new objects to grapple.
How close are you with your family? What if you received a letter from an uncle one night, asking for your help in investigating rumours of an ancient culture deep in the wilderness? Would you pack your bags and head out to help? You might. But the blood on the ground when you arrived might give you serious pause. How bad could things be, right? As befits the first chapter in a series of adventures, you're going to end this one with more questions than you started with, and maybe, just maybe, a prickling feeling of unease at the back of your neck.
Warfare 1917 is a rather excellent World War I strategy title from Armor Games that concentrates on the use of trenches as strategic choke points. The gung-ho cries of your troops make it hard to lose them, and if you waste too many lives, you run the risk of losing the battle to low morale. It's a real gem of a wargame that works on more levels than just pew pew pew KABOOM. Though certainly it provides that as well.
As the game begins, you've been ousted from your throne by the original game's hero, and you're forced to flee your own palace to seek a way to reclaim your seat of power. You will need to steal the four magic swords to make him disperse back into the darkness from whence he came, fighting and platforming all the way. As a departure from mainstream game design, Armed with Wings 2 is worth a look even if fighting games aren't necessarily your thing.
Lamb Rover 4x4 puts you, as Shaun the Sheep, in the driver's seat of a creaking rustbucket of a pick-up truck, as you complete tasks here and there on the farm, under the supervision of the long-suffering sheep dog Bitzer. It's all about off-kilter pluckiness, from the double-pun-dipped title to the roundabout approach to missions. This is also your only chance this week to stack six sheep in the back of a truck and bounce them around like a bleating slinky.
The Majesty of Colors is an expressive interactive story about choices and consequences. You play the part of a nightmarish Lovecraftian beast from the undiscovered ocean depths, as it creeps to the surface and encounters the human race for the first time. A first-person narrative provides context, and helps guide you through your emotional encounter with this confusing new world.
This version of Tetris is very friendly indeed. Bright, clear visual and sound effects accompany your every move. A three-tiered strategy guide and a basic history of the game are just a click away. Even if you think you're burned out on Tetris for life, give Tetris Friends a try. You might just re-discover what once made this your favorite game in the world.
From Jason Nelson comes a platformer wearing the Web's skin and laced with hidden passages. Those who have no stomach for cognitive dissonance will want to move on, but fans of Nelson's previous work will find it worthwhile. The gameplay is simple but that's alright, this is an aesthetic adventure and not as mind-blowing as the first time around, but worth drumming up a few wry smiles.
Charger Escape, from Pastel Games, is not simply an excellent escape game, it is also one that features ponies! And farm animals! And kittens!! It is a rare game that manages to soothe and relax you even as it challenges your mind. Although not particularly difficult, nor is it very long, Charger Escape contains puzzles that are well-executed and creative.
Meeblings is a fun and quirky new action puzzle game from NinjaKiwi. If the title makes you think "Lemmings" then you're on the right track, but Meeblings is something different still. The objective is to get the target number of little Meeblings to any of the "Way Out" signs present in the level. Some levels have only one "way out", others have more.
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.
The Esklavos series is a seventeen-chapter series about two outer-space delivery men named Ungo and Virop. One day they get distracted and crash into a planet called Akea, and as they find out after getting separated, it's in a state of war. With their help, the Akean population must face the Uros and defeat them to restore peace to the planet.
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.
It's sad to see Mateusz Skutnik's delightful hidden object series coming to an end. This penultimate installment of 10 Gnomes, titled "The Remains" takes place along a quiet village street, and might be one of the most charming and challenging yet. Can you find all the gnomes? Try for it yourself! Or, go and replay all the 10 Gnomes games.
You kids these days with your Halos and your Gear Wars and your Half Lifes... you don't appreciate what we had to work with! Back in my day, we didn't have no fancy-schmancy high-end graphics in our shooters! No complex storylines, neither. We didn't even have a jump! You know what we had? We had Doom.
A short and sweet old-fashioned adventure game from Videlectrix, the faux video game company of the animated Homestar Runner universe. For the Homestar un-hip, "Dangeresque" is the hard-boiled detective alter-ego of Strong Bad, who is the lead narrator and practical jokester at homestarrunner.com. Strong Bad/Dangeresque must solve a murder case from the confines of his office, because the chief thinks the case was solved months ago.
Reemus and Liam continue their journey to save the kingdom from the plague of death slugs that appeared from nowhere in the first chapter. Zeebarf is a fantastic animator and he uses his talents to tell an imaginative story full of interesting characters and fantastic situations. You will be entertained (and perhaps a little grossed out, too). The puzzles are not too difficult, but wacky enough to keep you from just breezing through the game.
Rodrigo Roesler is back with the third and final installment of his Trapped trilogy of point-and-click adventure games. Trapped Pt. 3: The Labyrinth puts you right back into familiar territory: you've just killed a man and now you must escape from a strange house. Oh, and it's about 18 years in the past.
Minions is a Flash version of the ridiculously popular Defense of the Ancients mod, but instead of medieval fantasy warriors, you control little tank-bots with powerful weaponry and big muppet-like googly eyes. Created by Flash tower defense gurus David Scott and Paul Preece.
Onamis seems to be a portmanteau of the French words for "friendly" and "one". As soon as you are trapped inside, you might start to wonder just how friendly people really are. There you are, with no map, no guide, and no inventory. You don't have the ability to turn around or look back. There's not even a clue. Well, except that scrap of paper on the floor. Maybe someone was being friendly, after all.
Nitrome's Toxic 2, baby. It's here. In a world where machines rule over humanity with a literally iron fist, a lone, slightly overweight, Hazmat-suited warrior must discover and destroy the robot overmind. That's right, it's Man Versus Mechanaloid: Rumble in the Nuclear Waste Processing Plant. If you liked the first game, you'll love this one; and if you had criticisms, they've mostly been addressed. Just brace yourself to take many an acid bath.
enDice is a puzzle game that is based on a very simple objective: move all blocks the number shown on each one to bring them all to rest on the dotted spaces. You will have to use your logic and reasoning skills to get through all 35 levels in this engaging and thought provoking new puzzle game.
Turning Burning, the third in Zibumi's Tom "Tucker" Crubucker series of games, picks up where the last one left off. Tom has just escaped the room he was trapped in, and confronts the mastermind behind it, a bizarre prince who asks him to rescue his rose, which has been stolen by a sheep...
Dark Cut 3 is the latest visceral surgery title in the Dark Cut series from Armor Games. This time we're treated to a sci-fi, time-traveling angle with the usual historical setting. The game brings you the same intense operations you've come to either love or cringe at. The production values and story are the best so far for the series and give context to gameplay that's been toned down to be less punishing.
Auditorium is a fantastic new puzzle game of music and light. Solve each level by manipulating the flow of light to create the perfect balance of music. The streams of light represent sound particles that you bend toward boxes until the audio levels are full. When the flow is correct, the audio levels fill up with the proper color and all the parts of the music will play. Delightful, brilliant and stunning.
Buggle Stars is a well-executed platformer with tight controls and over 15 interesting levels and 4 mini-games to unlock. Each level presents a sequence of stars that you must collect, in order, to advance. A variety of goals change up the gameplay just enough to keep each level interesting and addictive, and a bit intense at times.
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.
Escape from Test Kitchen 2 is a standard escape-the-room game from Japan, somewhat reminiscent of a game from the gotMail folks. Players must collect bottles and mixers, pieces of a map, safe combinations, and the like to find a solution and escape from what appears to be a small cozy restaurant.
Violet is a richly engaging one-room puzzle game from the annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2008). The problem? You're a graduate student working on your dissertation, but you haven't gotten any writing done in months. Your girlfriend Violet has put her life on hold, waiting for you to finish, and she's getting fed up. If you don't get a thousand words written today, your relationship is over and she flies home to Australia.
Spiky-haired Hector has returned in a new Phantom Mansion series, Treasures of the Seven Seas. Having found a map, complete with a glowing red X, Hector is sailing the first sea, the Black Sea, in search of treasure. Before he can get to the treasure, he must first find his way through a maze of locked doors, moats, and puzzles. The Black Sea offers 20 new and challenging levels and fun for all ages.
You are the CEO of a major international oil company, your job is to make money: Democracy, environment, and global economic health are irrelevant. Explore, drill, corrupt governments, hire mercenaries, engage in covert operations, fix elections (which are clearly broken without you) and most of all: have fun.
In this brand new point-and-click adventure, the King of Moronia has sent Retardo on a mission to defeat the Iron Golem and restore peace to the kingdom. In return he is promised the hand of the Princess of Moronia. It's up to you to ensure that he accomplishes his mission safely.
From The Fancy Pants Adventure creator Brad Borne comes a 2D re-imagining of the 3D action-adventure console game Mirror's Edge. Mirror's Edge 2D uses the Fancy Pants engine and adds a whole host of new acrobatic moves, allowing you to jump, climb, scramble and run across rooftops with surprising fluidity.
Escape from the Starship is an escape game that uses sound to convey the relative proximity of monsters that you must avoid. The starship is composed of a maze of rooms, each of which is composed of homogeneous grey dots. Each dot represents a floor tile on which you may land. The sound you hear, however, ultimately determines whether that tile is safe.
In Crypt Keeper, you find yourself plunked down in the middle of a truly spooktastic graveyard. How and why did you get there? Not important. It's the middle of the night, and there are creepy noises and big ominous tombstones and omigosh you need to get out right now!
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.
Your goal is to build stacks of animals as high as you can. Combine identical animals along with their favorite food and they begin to breed, multiplying their number and pushing your totem even higher. Each animal interacts differently with others, so learning their relationships is key to creating massive stacks of animals.
A pack of cuddly woodland creatures suddenly find themselves homeless at the hands of Big Brother and his menacing chainsaw. To escape to Paradise Meadows, they need to collect a golden acorn from each level (obviously). Regrettably, some of the adorable animals must be sacrificed along the way...
Tortuga Episode 1 is an escape-the-room game set on a pirate ship; the first installment of a series, from Mateusz Skutnik and Marek Frankowski, that promises to be adventuresome, if not epic. Parrots, treasure, peril and puzzle awaits those intrepid enough to brave the pirate ship.
A dice game of luck and strategy, race against the computer (or a friend) to 10,000 points. Earn points by rolling 1's and 5's, or by rolling 3 or more of a kind, or several other special configurations worth big points. Also known under a variety of different names, Zilch is definitely one of those games that's "easy to learn, hard to master."
When we last left the Tipping Point series, it wasn't clear if we were wandering through a surreal dream or being teleported around by satellites and villains with 1980's technology and bad intentions. Tipping Point: Chapter 4 takes over just where we left off, entering another unknown tropical destination with our strange, homemade device in hand.
This piece was submitted to the 2008 SBGames Independent Gaming Festival in Brazil and it pushed the envelope of gaming and received high initial reviews. Yet, on the surface, the game seemed like nothing more than an awkward, weakly executed platform game. So what has everyone thinking about Estamos Pensando? Play the game then read our review and find out!
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?
In Charisma, you play an orange-jumpsuited, blue-afroed dude who is trapped within what appears to be a combination living room/recording studio. There is a second gentleman inscrutably watching you from behind a glass partition, his hand poised above two buttons. He, for whatever reason, is not going to be of any help (and, in another departure from reality, smashing the glass and demanding he release you is not an option). So, it's up to you to explore the room, figure out what he wants and, eventually, set yourself free.
Hanna in a Choppa is a physics-based puzzle/action game where you fly around and do stuff in a helicopter. It's true! Across 21 levels you'll perform a handful of ordinary, challenging, and downright funny tasks such as bake a cake (even though it's a lie), pull down a tower of goo, herd sheep, and give a giant a haircut, all with the aid of your trusty winch. The game creates a fun sandbox-type atmosphere and encourages you to play with the environment as much as possible. And play you shall!
What irRegular Games has done is to take Conway's Game of Life and apply goals to it. On one level, you might have to maintain a constant number of living cells. On another, you might need to exterminate them all within a certain limit of turns. The reason this works as a game is that Conway's Life is an efficient factory for stories and characters. The winking Traffic Lights. The steadfast Boat. The expanding Bee Hive. And everyone's favorite, the sidewinding Glider... and his nemesis, the Block.
Splitter is an intriguing puzzle game that tasks you with moving a yellow smiley face to the exit. To get there, use the cursor (which is a knife!) to slice wooden blocks and cut strings to unleash the fury of physics!
StarShine 2 is the sequel to last year's celestial puzzler, and is the latest in a line of jewel-like games from Hero Interactive. You control a shooting star, positioning it somewhere on the circumference of a circle surrounding the play field with the mouse. Your goal is to set-up a chain reaction that hits and lights up every star.
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.
The 4th in a series of Great Escapes by Mateusz Skutnik and the Pastel Games crew, The Great Basement Escape is another short and fun room escape game in the same whimsical style that we have come to love and expect from the series.
A new Bart Bonte game has just been released, this one a sequel to an entry from our "ball physics" competition a year ago. Factory Balls 2 is a unique and original puzzle game in which you must match a target ball by adding elements from those given, one at a time. Order is important, and so you must plan your moves carefully.
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.
Ghostscape, a new escape game by Psionic, is just chock full of supernatural goodness. You play a veteran investigator of the occult who, upon hearing rumors of a haunted house, cannot stay away...and what a paranormal gold mine it turns out to be! Chairs and cups move as if grasped by some invisible hand, mysterious diary entries litter the floor, grotesque paintings adorn every room. And then, of course, there are the ghosts.
Boohbah Zone is a surreal journey-- wait, no, it's not really a journey. It's more of a... thing. A thing with lots of colors. Well, it's kind of like a webtoy, but you actually do stuff in some parts of it. Interactive art? You know what, forget classifying it, Boohbah Zone is an extremely bizarre collection of game-like scenes where you play with color, sound, and flobby-looking hippopotamus-like people things.
10 Gnomes episode 10: Seashore is the tenth installment of hunt-and-click gnome-finding from the indefatigable Mateusz Skutnik. That means if you've been following the series from the beginning, you've already ferreted out 100 gnomes. A hundred gnomes!
Thank you for your interest in the the Numbskull puzzle playset from Nitrome toys, the makers of the Twang construction set, Final Ninja combat gear, and In the Dog House sliding puzzle game. This manual will teach you how to use this playset, unleashed just in time for the Halloween season.
A follow-up to the original Draw Play, Draw Play 3 retains most of what made the original so interesting and introduces a more action-oriented approach to gaming. Like any platformer around, you control a little character who must jump and run to the flag at the end of each stage. The catch is that in Draw Play you create the platforms. Make stairs, hop from ledge to ledge, or use the pen and push yourself up as you move.
- • Tumbledrop
- • Off-Road Velociraptor Safari
- • Rasta Monkey
- • Mars Explorer
Now it's time to break the rules. A little. This edition of Weekend Download highlights winners of the 2008 Unity Awards, games created using the Unity plug-in that are playable right in your browser window. Technically they're browser games, but since you have to download and install something, they're downloads, too.
Tasha's Game is a whimsical platform adventure about a woman rescuing her friends and co-workers from evil black tentacles with the help of her magical flying cat Snoopy. Did I say "whimsical"? I meant "insane".
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.
An attractive, isometric block-shifting puzzle game about patience, spacial skills, and not getting your feet wet. All you have to do is position the wooden blocks so that they form an unbroken path from one bank to the other. There aren't a lot of tricks after you learn the basicsm, just pure, solid puzzle-solving.
Created by the Fox Network as a companion game to the Web series of the same name, The Cell is a lengthy, highly entertaining adventure through an elaborate dungeon complex. Our hero, Spence, must complete a series of increasingly bizarre and dangerous challenges as he ascends to the surface. And he needs your help to escape.
At long last, after a year and a half of waiting, Tucker Bowen has released Something Amiss Chapter 3, the final installment of his truly excellent point-and-click adventure saga. This chapter finds the intrepid escaped test subject Alice back in custody, awaiting her fate at the hands of persons unknown.
Grave Shift from Tangerine Pop Games provides all that plus a little puzzle solving, item collecting, door unlocking, and a dose of Halloween-esque spook for good measure. On the trail of the White Warlock who has covered the land in darkness and stolen the king's crown (it hides his bald spot, you see), you must trek through graveyard and tomb, keeping your health and courage up while avoiding snakes, zombies, spiders and plenty of other baddies.
Hunted Forever is a cool new action platforming game from Pixelante Game Studios. The plot is sort of like The Most Dangerous Game with the addition of a huge flying death machine armed with lasers, bombs, and swarming buzz-saw droids. Your job, as the silhouette of a man having an extremely bad day, is to escape from said death machine through forests, caves, and underground laboratories without getting turned into Fried Crispy Human Flakes. To put it mildly, the odds are against you.
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.
Neutral Halloween mini-game is what I'm calling this cute and easy escape game with a Halloween theme (well, it used to have a Halloween theme. The pumpkin has been replaced with a piggy bank now.) It features the same excellent implementation features of all the other Neutral games, along with simple yet appealing and effective graphics. I'm sure you will find this one worthwhile of your time!
It is a classic horror scenario: the car broken down in the middle of the road, the swirling snow and biting cold, the beckoning light visible just over the hill. A house! Oh, thank goodness. But what's this? The lights are on, cheery fireplaces crackle in every room, yet no one is there. You call out a hello, but your voice echoes unanswered through the hall. How strange.
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.
Karoshi is a platform/puzzle game where your goal is the exact opposite of most such entertainments: you have to die. Throw yourself onto spikes, zap yourself with electricity, smash yourself with a falling safe. It's like an extended version of the cathartic moment when you get finally get sick of Mario's empty-headed cheerleading and just hurl him off a cliff.
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.
Dr. Ichie's Room is a solid escape game experience from Japan with polished and appealing graphics, logical puzzles and no pixel hunts necessary. Although the game is from Japan, there are English translations included for all descriptions and explanations, making this Weekday Escape a worthy investment of your time.
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.
An anagram puzzle game from Martin Sears, presented with the distinct flavor of British educational programming. Don't be fooled by the charming hand-drawn appearance and the curiously twisted vignettes between levels; don't worry if the first few levels seem too basic. This turns into a serious brain-twister.
Meat Boy is a platform game that dares to ask the question "What if the main character from Knytt or N was made of bits of sticky, gooey raw meat?" And even though you never wanted to listen to the sound of meat slapping against solid blocks over and over again, when you're playing Meat Boy, you probably won't mind.
The fourth in the "Core" series of point-and-click adventure games created by John Feltham has just been released. Soul Core is similar to other games like this, and yet introduces a unique concept as well. Use your mouse to add items to your inventory; click on inventory items and drag them to the game view to use them. Try to complete the game with 100% "soul" rating.
Ticket is a brand new game from the talented room escape designers at Gotmail. Like so many of their games to come before, this one features the same highly detailed, gorgeous pre-rendered scenes and the same point-and-clickery puzzles one would expect to find in a game of this nature. The only downside? There is no English version, so that will surely turn off a few.
Monster Basement 2 is every bit as entertaining and well-made as the original; like the first game, it is extraordinary for its thought-provoking plot and tense, eerie ambiance. Patrick Majewski, from Godlimations, has spared nothing in bringing his tale of monster-against-man-against-monster to life.
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.
Matt Sandorf: Journey to Endless Entertainment is not just an artistic point-and-click game. It is an advergame—a promotion for the Sony empire from music to gadgets to games. It was created by Rodrigo Roesler, creator of the very popular Trapped series of games, and this one follows similar construction.
The Japanese Map Game (for lack of a better translation) is a Flash-based guessing game where you choose regions of Japan and add their population to a counter on the right. The goal is to fill the counter to the outlined squares without going over!
There is something oddly compelling about gnomes. They are cute, mythical creatures that spark the chemistry in our brains that control imagination and curiosity. Perhaps that's why when someone hides a bunch of them within a series of interactive images we jump to task of finding every one of them.
Worry not about secret codes or enigmatic messages; Lab Escape simply requires you to take stock of your surroundings and act accordingly. This isn't a bad thing, however; it's kinda nice to take a break from more fantastical situations.
The perfect escape for a coffee break: easy enough to be finished quickly, interesting enough to engage (and perhaps revive?) the mind. I do wish that the game had included some sort of music or soundtrack, but the graphics are well-designed and the overall package good enough to overlook such a minor flaw.