Your entire young life has been building up to this. You were born to it, your maternal line. You, Lalu, are the Usher, charged with guiding the queen's soul to the afterlife, a task of great splendor and nobility. But that doesn't change how you feel now. All you can think is that you've been raised to die. If only there were some way out. The Usher is a game of interactive fiction, an entry into our first ever interactive fiction competition, Casual Gameplay Design Competition #7. As such, you use a text parser to interact with the game.
Make a choice; disobey or not. Loved is a short piece of interactive art disguised as a platformer, and intended to make you think about the decisions you make. Is it successful? What meaning do you take from it? And is there a right way or a wrong way to feel about something?
When's the last time you saw a plague like this? In this short, atmospheric little platformer, control a nameless "Pale Man" who answers a kingdom's call for help and finds that this particular problem is... actually pretty big. Despite not offering a lot of variety, Heir's three short chapters provide an interesting tale and that all important "something different" for your day.
Dan Efran's title Ka, an entry in our interactive fiction and escape themed Casual Gameplay Design Competition #7, starts in decidedly close quarters, with your royal spirit crammed in next to your corpse. Most text adventures struggle to some degree with pacing, but in Ka, at least, your initial goal is clear: leave. After that? Well, you're dead. You have to come to terms with it sometime.
Sometimes games are just there for us when we want to have some fun, blow up the princess, and save the zombies, or something like that. Other times, we want to explore more difficult and painful stories. Grace's Diary manages to seamlessly integrate the theme of a relationship abuse into a sensitive and moving visual novel.
A fire engulfs a small church, which leads to the discovery of a staggering amount of weapons in the basement... and something more sinister. As D.E.A. agent Hank Shrader, you're given the task of interrogating a suspect, and it's up to you to figure out the right things to say (and how to say them) to reveal the evidence you need to bring the case to a close in this interactive comic.
From the creator of The Company of Myself comes an arena shooter with a surprisingly deep message at its core, offering food for thought alongside fast-paced gameplay. EXADI is a highly advanced artificial intelligence who needs your help to recover her systems after the assault of a particularly nasty virus. But where did the virus come from? And just what makes someone human anyway?
You're dangling from a chimney on a rooftop six stories above ground, looking for spider silk. Your brother's making sure the door to the stairs back down stays open. When he appears below you looking nonchalant, you get a deep sinking feeling. Roofed is an offbeat interactive fiction title with a clever narrative that'll leave you wanting more.
Step into the shoes of the greatest naval hero of all time... you! In this sister-sequel to the popular "Choice of Dragon" text RPG, Choice of Broadsides lets you embark on a high seas adventure ascending through the ranks of the Royal Navy and dealing with whatever life throws at you. Think carefully about your choices as they could be the difference between death and promotion.
A long time ago, your friend dove into a deep pool and never came back. In this experimental little game, you explore a series of underwater caverns in search of him, uncovering notes left behind to guide you. You can only hold your breath for ten seconds at a time, so you'll need to move fast and keep an eye out for air pockets or your search will come to an abrupt end.
It's another great day for the end of the world! Oh, wait, I forgot... that was yesterday! Dead Frontier: Outbreak 2 is a text adventure about trying to survive in an undead world. Having survived the events of the first game, you set out in search of much needed medical supplies. Making the right choices is important if you want to see the end of the day.
I don't suppose you've ever felt trapped at a really tedious party, wishing you could throw off the shackles of social convention and impale your host on a cocktail weenie toothpick, make a rope out of your own hair to escape out the bathroom window, beat yourself unconscious with the cheese tray--anything to avoid listening to some guy tell you another story about his golfing ability? In real life it's the opposite of entertaining, but in Party Foul, it makes for a hilarious puzzle to test all your escaping power
Experience the world from the point of view of an alien who only wanted to help and ended up paying the price for it.
What happens when infatuation becomes complacency? Or dependence? You take on the role of a young man having doubts about his current relationship, and whether it really is what he wants out of his life. Air Pressure, a visual novel by Bento Smile, might be a simple story about falling out of love... or something else entirely.
Enter into the experience of visualizing visualizing (whoa, meta!) in the CGDC7 award-winning interactive fiction title Dual Transform by Andrew Plotkin. Take on the role of a virtual engineer, of sorts, feeling the pressure of really making this project something to remember... something that really feels real.
All Jonah wants is to be happy. He's courageous, loyal to friends, and kind even to strangers. Unfortunately, Jonah is one of "the malformed", rejected by society because of his hunched back. He lives at a fair with the other outcasts. Then one day the wind blows him a handbill advertising a celebration in glittering Loondon. Could this be the answer to Jonah's dreams? You'll need your point-and-click skills to find out.
Lost. In space. Alone. On a badly damaged ship. It's a bad day for anyone, and it's even worse for you since you can't remember how you got into this predicament. Fragile Shells is a clever, clean bit of interactive fiction from Stephen Granade, and a runner-up in Casual Gameplay Design Competition 7.
"Hero" is such a broad term. Don't you think, cowboy? You were just liberating that silver after all. Before you can ride off into the sunset, you'll need to get out of this jail cell. Hoosegow is a tongue-in-cheek bit of interactive fiction set in the wild west, and the proud winner of CGDC7.
Choice of the Dragon is a choose your own adventure browser game where you live the life of a dragon, moving from decision to decision and being as docile or cruel as you want. It emphasizes character and story interaction, not puzzles, allowing you to grow into the game's world like few modern titles allow you to do.
Where We Remain is a quiet game. It is also an action adventure game of exploration in a randomly generated world. You're a lost youth stranded on a haunted island in the Aegean Sea, searching for your lost love among the ruins of a wasted civilization stalked by mysterious spirits. Find 10 possible power-ups to help you complete your quest while avoiding the mysterious spirits that populate the island. You'll also discover that there's more to the island than initially appears.
First Love is an escape-type game, though there is no real escaping to be done. It's a nice combination of Robamimi's sentiment and Bianco-Bianco's quirkiness. This is not a tense nail-biter, nor a pure cold logic puzzle. Instead, it is a warm and fuzzy nostalgia trip that is perfect for a short break from the holiday madness.
A strange and even unsettling little experimental game about every day in the life of a faceless, unnamed man, Every Day the Same Dream somehow manages to be oddly affecting despite its grim and dark presentation. Is there anything at all that can break him out of his cycle? It won't take you long to play, but it may stay with you well after you've shut down the browser.
Make It Good is a dark, noir-esque detective mystery from Fail-Safe author Jon Ingold. You are cast in the role of a down-on-his-luck detective struggling to solve a murder case or risk losing his job. Moving about a complete, living world, you'll turn over every potted plant, scrutinize every room, and question every character as you attempt to stitch together shards of information to discover just what happened.
Roses are red, violets are blue, this little point-and-click adventure is just for you! Learn the language of love to help one confused fellow win back his sweetheart after taking her for granted. Short, sweet, and silly, Finding My Heart is a clever take on the genre where hunting for words and actions instead of objects is what you'll need to do to win the day.
The first part of a trilogy, The Freewill Cycle: Volume 1 is in essence a simple point-and-click escape game created in classic adventure game style. You awake in a room. Could be in a spaceship, could be in a space station, could be just a strange building in East Podunk, Michigan. As you explore the story unfolds, giving, in a few short clues, a vivid account of what may have happened and the personalities of the people involved. Who, by the way, are mysteriously missing.
How do you raise a dragon? As you progress through this unique interactive story adventure from Gregory Weir, you'll find it's more complicated than strapping on a pair of fireproof gloves and stocking up on cattle. The choices you make can have unexpected consequences, and multiple endings based on the path you take will have you coming back to this one again and again.
At first glance, Scarygirl comes at you blazing on all cylinders like a triumph in Flash game production values. From the very start of the introductory cinematic sequence, the player is offered a glimpse at what appears to be one of the most fantastic Flash games to ever appear on the Web. In the end, the good outweighs the bad. Players can put up with loose controls, slipping and sliding their way through levels, when the brilliance of the rest of the game is so appealing. Every element combines to lift Scarygirl above the competition, serving to create one of the most exasperating yet fulfilling Flash games available today.
Slouching Towards Bedlam is a work of interactive fiction created by Daniel Ravipinto and Star Foster. Set in the Bedlam Hospital insane asylum in a steampunk-style 1885 London, you begin in an office with a brass-laden phonograph playing a demented soliloquy. It's a subtly disturbing game that draws you into a rich, elusive world of intrigue and allows you to react to the story however you see fit, carving out five unique endings based upon your interpretation of the plot.
Fail-Safe is a work of interactive fiction created by Jon Ingold. It could be one of the strangest text-based games you've ever seen (in a simple, subdued kind of way), as Ingold removes all meta-commands from the parser, forbidding you do to things like saving your progress. But there's a good reason for this. Fail-Safe immerses you so deeply in the world that even the conventions of playing a game would snap you out of it. And when you start playing, you'll see why that's a crucial part of the experience.
What if Mario, instead of instantly reappearing at the beginning of the level after he died, had to earn his reincarnation by traveling the realms of Diyu, being judged by the kings of Yama? This is a game about that from Yoshio Ishii of Nekogames.
With nothing onscreen but a few blocky characters and a short poem, Today I Die carves a slice out of an existential nightmare and serves it to you raw. You could classify it as an adventure game or a puzzle game, but it doesn't feel like it should be pigeon-holed with anything. The solutions are so well-integrated, applied with such holistic grace. You won't even realize how many puzzle pieces are displaced until you see how they fit together.
Scarygirl is a huge (hours long) and absolutely stunning platform game just released today by a collaboration of companies, including art direction by concept creator, Nathan Jurevicius, an Australian-born artist now living in Toronto, Ontario. Although currently marred by gameplay issues causing player frustration, it is without a doubt one of the most visually appealing browser-based experiences we have ever seen.
Don't Look Back is a modern retelling of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, although there are subtle differences. For one, the mythical greek poet favored a harp over a handgun, and for another, he didn't need your platforming skills to guide him on his journey.
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.
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 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!
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.
More an interactive piece of fiction than a traditional game, Inanimate Alice: Episode 4 continues the story of the young game animator as she leaves her home in Russia and travels abroad. Inanimate Alice serves as both entertainment and a peek into the future of literature as a fusion of multimedia technologies. The haunting images and accompanying music and text weave a remarkably gripping tale that must be experienced to be believed.
Coil is a game unlike any other; it may confuse you, it may offend you, or it might mystify and move you. Coil is a game about discovery. It is also a series of mini-games involving the gestation of what appears to be an alien fetus, from initial insemination through adulthood when a murky twilight leaves its fate in question and the cycle starts anew.
The Asylum: Psychiatric Clinic for Abused Cuddly Toys finally has another cute little patient to treat: Dub the Turtle. Just like the previous toys, Dub has a problem and can't be his normal cuddly self. It seems something happened to him with his previous owner, and now the poor turtle can't stop exercising!
Bodilies combines beautiful graphics and animation, and haunting, melodic music with a story that actually works and feels right. Help Neil in his quest for freedom and self-actualization; it leads you through an interesting point-and-click adventure you won't soon forget!
Detective Grimoire is a point-and-click carnival murder mystery in which you play the title character, a hatless (but not hapless) crime-solver assigned to track down the murderer of Hugh Everton, ineffective caretaker of the carnival funhouse. It contains a higher-than-average level of cheese, but what good cheesy mystery doesn't?
Something Amiss is an online adventure game created by Tucker Bowen to promote his book of the same name. It has a distinctly classic Lucas Arts adventure game flair with surprisingly good visuals and plenty of mystery surrounding the main character, Alice.
In Gateway 2 you again guide a robot, through a dream-like setting, in order to solve numerous and varied mini-puzzles for a seemingly unknown purpose (though a purpose there is, as you soon discover). Using well-placed musical cues and subtle environmental sound the author has created a virtual world that draws you in from the moment you launch the game. The setting and aesthetics are so enticing and mysterious, it doesn't matter at first that you don't know what your ultimate goal is (or indeed if you have one).
Months in the making, the latest installment of Inanimate Alice—Episode 3: Russia—is now available through an exclusive arrangement with the Guardian in the UK. Follow Alice as she deals with life and times, at age 13, in Russia with her parents through this rich interactive narrative.
Rabbits are blue and red, seals enjoy sea shells, and foxes make successful hotel owners. Those are just a few of the lessons we learn from BR's Climate Chaos, a gorgeous adventure game set on a group of small islands. The main character is Blue Rabbit, who, like your average rabbit, equipped with a digital camera, sets out on a quest to help the natives of the various islands to solve their problems with the local weather.
Purgatorium is a short and creepy point-and-click escape-the-room game with some rather horrific graphic visuals nestled inside. If you have played either of Ben's other horror-genre interactive narratives, Exmortis and Exmortis 2, then you may already know what to expect. Created especially for Casual Gameplay.
Nimian Flyer Legends is a 3D action adventure game by Protopop Games. You play the role of a young dragon named Salamond on a quest to defeat seven legendary beasts. Armed with fire-breath and the ability to pick up many objects, you'll have to use your speed and wits to battle each unique foe. Nimian Flyer Legends has a remarkably full 3D world to explore coupled with a grand soundtrack. It's a surprisingly lengthy game that feels more like an epic journey than a pick-up-and-play flash title.
Just launched by the BBC History team along with the design and technical prowess of those amazing Preloaded folks (wasn't I just pining for something new from them?), CDX is a brand new multi-episode adventure game that uses real actors and video segments to spin a tale of mystery and intrigue around an ancient Roman sacrificial blade.
Gateway is an impressive and delightful 3D puzzle game from Anders Gustafsson, awarded Honorable Mention and the coveted Audience Award in our first game design competition. The game has a very simple premise: guide a robot through a series of rooms; but you will have to solve a mini-puzzle within each room to advance.
A flash design project by Phillip Reagan of Texas, USA, Thief weaves a cryptic atmosphere with captivating puzzles to pull you into a story you didn't even realize you were participating in. Thief is a well-deserving runner-up in our very first Casual Gameplay Design Competition.
Created by Robert Kabwe of Montreal, Nimian Hunter makes use of an engine that creates the illusion of 3D in Flash, and it's very, very good. Play as a hunter on a mission to feed the beast that commands you. There is a narrative that unfolds as you play, with at least two different endings. Altogether a unique and unusual game.
L'expresso Empoisonné (The Poisoned Coffee) is a superb point-and-click mystery game created by Anode and Cathode, the authors of The Museum, The Casino and others. Paintings and other artwork have been stolen from a museum gallery. All of the evidence points to Damien Bestieu, one of the featured painters.
The Privacy is another Flash point-and-click adventure from the stellar Gotmail team that gave us The Bar, Il Destino, The Salon and others. The game is set in a high-tech, big-brother world where even the watchers are watched and elaborate security systems are commonplace.
Pricilla Gone Missing is a Flash point-and-click adventure from Johan Törnkvist, a talented design and technology student at Hyper Island in Kariskrona, Sweden. The game begins with the player learning of the disappearance of Pricilla (Aunt "Prissy") and that warrants an investigation. From there a charming little adventure unfolds in which the player must look for items and clues to progress through the story.
From Ben Leffler of Australia comes this dark and foreboding tale of the macabre that will surely send chills down your spine. One part Flash point-and-click adventure and one part interactive narrative, Exmortis 2 is the sequel to the 2004 game of the same name. It continues the story one year after the events of the first tale came to fruition.
Alice is a game animator. She likes to draw and create games on her ba-xi, a small handheld device that both entertains and consoles her in times of need. Even her friends affectionately call her "the animator," due in part to the animations that she draws of Brad, her imaginary friend. Alice is 8 years old. Don't miss this excellent and award-winning interactive narrative experience.
In the last century, an extraordinary man called Tulse Luper archived his entire life in 92 suitcases. It seems he was a witness to several key events in the 20th century. The Tulse Luper Journey is a game that is part of an ambitious series of multi-media projects initiated by film director Peter Greenaway and based on the adventures of this mysterious lead character. Discover new research material that appears each week.
This second game of the Samorost series lives up to the lofty expectations set by the first. It is every bit a sequel that includes all of the best qualities that made the first game remarkable, and then adds more environments, more puzzles, and more sound and music. The result is a game that continues the reputation set by the first as being one of the finest, compelling interactive experiences available on the Web today. It is altogether an exceptional work of interactive art.
Kafkamesto is an unusual and dark interactive narrative that will at first seem familiar to those acquainted with point-and-click adventures, but beware the futility in store. The over-arching narrative seems to be as much a statement about Kafka's own life as it is the themes he often wrote about.
Penance is an escape-the-room type point-and-click adventure set in a purgatorial train station. The object of the game is to figure out why you are there and how to leave. It is a critical thinking person's game about suffering and atonement, and one in which your answers will ultimately affect the outcome.
This gorgeous, interactive narrative and detective drama is set in the late 1920's and produced by the award-winning creative team at Preloaded in the UK. Death in Sakkara is an Egyptian adventure game that offers a rich immersing narrative experience peppered with historical content, puzzles, mystery and intrigue. All four (4) episodes available to play.
The Stone of Anamara is a creepy point-and-click adventure game, created by Gabriel Rodriguez, that spans multiple chapters. In this first chapter, you uncover the story behind the asylum doctor, Alexander Graves, and the mysterious illness of one of his patients.
Hosted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) as part of the Game On initiative, Kelman to the Rescue was a previous winner of the "Best Game" category at the Flash-in-the-Can festival, held each year in Toronto.
A good movie is worth watching. Spin is a good movie. Well, it is not really a movie. It is more like a short film, but that is not the point. Just go watch it.
Probably one of the greatest Flash games ever created and made available for free on the Web, The Asylum is a surprisingly rich interactive narrative experience and it continues to surprise and delight gamers of all ages from all over the world. Won't you help these adorable cuddly toys overcome a distressing past?
I have point-and-click happiness to spread throughout the world today in the form of a cube. Not so much a puzzle as it is an interactive narrative that unfolds with each click of the mouse in the appropriate place. See what happens when a mysterious cube falls out of the sky and lands on the ground in the middle of a very round town filled with round things.
A very creepy, very scary Flash adventure game from Ben Leffler of Australia. Exmortis begins with you waking up in the woods with a lump on your head and unable to recall how you got there. All you recall are the dreams. Regaining focus, you see a house up ahead and decide that shelter there is better than freezing to death in the woods. Think of the house at the end of Blair Witch and you'll be right at home.
Craziest is the story of a girl in love with Scrabble, and how it influenced her life, her beliefs, and her destiny. The Flash movie tells the tale of her brush with fate and the mother-of-all Scrabble scores. Engaging, creative, entertaining, humorous and original, and possibly only slightly disturbing. Wow, that's a lot of adjectives for an 8-minute movie.
The Asylum: Psychiatric Clinic for Abused Cuddly Toys, that's the extended name of this very odd Flash game. And the gameplay is just as strange: through various therapeutic methods, attempt to lead the cuddly toy patients to resolve their traumatic past experiences. If you have ever wondered if someone would ever make a game for therapists, it's time to stop wondering.