Choo Choo Puzzles, the new simple idea dragging puzzle from a team led by Piotr Iwanicki, sounds like a cross between a candy bar and a maze you'd find in Highlights for Children... kind of inappropriate for a fun little game with only a tenuously abstract connection to railways. Fortunately, the simple mechanics of Choo Choo Puzzles present a worthy challenge for puzzle-lovers of all ages.
Though I am not usually a fan of turn-based strategy games, occasionally one comes along which is able to engage me with surface simplicity, and, before I know it, has me in the throes of complete addiction. Tic Tac Toe, a game created by Paul Neave as an apparent advertising tie-in for the popular breath-mint line, is one such game. A work that manages to reward cautious planning while retaining its power as a grim reflection on the nature of aggression, Tic Tac Toe presents an amusing challenge along with questions that cannot be easily dismissed.
A polished take on a puzzle favourite, this tricky game will have you coming back for more anr more as you try and get your blocks onto the red line. There are forty-nine stages to complete as well as a neat level editor to facilitate your own creations.
Art meets puzzles in Fernando Ramallo's simple but challenging title. Let the hypnotic colours and abstract animations soothe your brain as you shift and rotate portions of the image until everything snaps into place. Despite a lack of variety and one simple mechanic, Dependant offers a lovely respite from fast-paced twitch gaming and remains accessible to just about anyone to boot.
The winner of the 2011 Stanford Hackathon represents the theme of benevolence by putting you behind the wheel of a truck making deliveries for the local food bank. Stop in as many green areas as you can before time runs out to earn cash to upgrade your vehicle in simple ways. It's a simple but solid step in the right direction for new developer JacobG, and as his prize included a review by us, we talk about what was done right, and what could be improved.
It goes by many titles: sucrose, lactose, dextrose, fructose, glucose. By any other name though, it would taste just as sweet. It's sugar. Perhaps seeing a solid stream of it pour into his morning coffee tickled something in Bart Bonte's mind. Perhaps he's a designer who can find inspiration in anything. In any case, his new simple idea physics game Sugar, Sugar is all about directing those tiny delicious crystals into a multitude of mugs... and oh, honey, honey, I'm so happy I'm not a diabetic
It's a simple idea wrapped up in one great presentation for Interlocked, the 3D puzzle from We Create Stuff. Figure out how to take apart increasingly elaborate sliding block arrangements; the pieces are locked together, and it should be easy for you to puzzle out how to pull them all apart... right? The perfect treat to start your week off right.
There's something inherently soothing about sliding puzzles. No wait, hear me out. You're just thinking they're frustrating because so frequently they're the obstacle in your escape or hidden object game, the puzzle that rears its ugly mug when you just want to open up the safe or fix the breaker system. But if you distill it down to its essence and give it a relaxing ambiance, there's something pure and satisfying about sliding some blocks around, and that's just what this game from Ateta Games delivers.
Tonypa has once again given us cunningly executed casual gameplay exquisite in concept, design, and execution. Despite the difficulty Jorinapeka is a game that just begs you to play it over and over, striving to reach that ever elusive "end".
The randomly-generated protagonist of Void's new semi-roguelike semi-RPG Hack Slash Crawl, is often an engine: a perfect monster killing machine. All this machine can do is hack, slash and dungeon-crawl. But when you do only three things, you better bet that you can do them well. Likewise, while Hack Slash Crawl is kind of shallow, and could stand some polish, it makes for a fun little click-fest.
Icy Gifts has you freeing frozen presents using chain reaction explosions. It doesn't have a huge challenge or innovate in the genre, but it is a solid package. The visuals are slick and the soundtrack is pleasant. There's enough variety and objectives to keep a completionist busy and a causal gamer entertained. Consider this a late Christmas present.
How often do you find yourself playing a game and cackling: "Fools! You've only made me stronger now!"? Not often enough I'd say, but developer Dingo Games has set out to rectify this problem with its game, Tasty Planet. In this preview version of Tasty Planet you take control of a microscopic ball of grey goo. Designed by scientists to clean toilets, it soon becomes apparent that this goo can absorb anything and grow without stop.
Tealy & Orangey is a retro platformer with a twist. You use the arrow keys to navigate the two colored protagonists from start to finish in each of twenty hazard-filled levels. The thing is, you can't control just one or the other; you always control both characters, whether you like it or not.
While Dungeon Dice is in many ways a typical RPG, its twist on the genre is that instead of fighting monsters with sword and fang, you fight each other with dice, or "magical numeric cubes." In a way, this is no different from any other RPG, but moving a background mechanic to the forefront makes for a different experience.
A three phase fishing game from Vlambeer. First, cast your hook into the water, avoiding fish as you head deeper and deeper. Second, snag as much sea life as you can as you reel your hook in. Finally, fling them into the sky and use your weapons to blast them into sushi. An over-bloody and surreal, but quite addictive time.
Make friendz in this monstrous puzzle game that has you chaining unhappy monsterz together. Created by Jean Privat for the 9th Casual Gameplay Design Competition's theme of friends, Monsterz has a simple presentation but offers just enough challenge to really make you think.
Monomaze, by Diffusion Games, is a futuristic arcade puzzler based around a remixing of the game of Dots. Place lines to complete loops and gain points, while gaining extra turns and exploding bombs. A game that cries for a multi-player mode, but is very good by itself.
Just a quick update to say that we have been moving a lot of our bandwidth-heavy content (images, hosted games) during the past few days to a content delivery network to help the site load faster. We were hoping this would be completely transparent to you, the visitor, and that we wouldn't have to bother you with a note like this.
Control a paper plane bound for the North Pole in this launch game that combines fast-paced gameplay and a whole lot of charm with an extremely clean design. Catch shooting stars, paper cranes, and fight hazardous wind conditions to reach your destination. All one little girl wants for the holidays is to see her mother again, so she jots Santa a letter and tosses it out the window as a paper plane. When it winds up in the hands of different people who all want different things all over the world, will anyone get what they really want for Christmas?
Starlight Xmas is so sweet and uncomplicated. It offers us a moment to relax and unwind, gently reminding us of the meaning of Christmas while indulging our senses. So take a break from the everyday, immerse yourself in a simple yet magical game and maybe you'll emerge singing "Fa La La" like that happy little, sheep-herding Christmas pig.
Ferry Halim, in Orisinal's most recently released flash game, has recreated the pure enjoyment of an afternoon in the park, where puppies and bunnies frolic, in Carrot Track, a vertical scrolling, avoidance game delight.
In Flyde, you are trying to stay alive and earn points as you speed down a colorful, endless track. Move left and right to change lanes, running over special cells that zip you upside-down to the top of the screen while trying to avoid black cells that end your game. Try to get the highest score and be on top of the leaderboard.
Vanilla, jeans, thunderbolts - there have been many variations and 'improvements', but nothing that beats the original. That also goes for many puzzle games and while people are less inclined to meet an old favourite during an adventure game, on their own they hit the sweet spot. That, more or less, summarises my opinion of Bomboozle 2. It might not break new ground or usher in the new era of 'pop the colors' puzzle games, but this take on a classic isn't broken either!
Liquid Measure 2 mixes Pipe Mania, water collection puzzles and simple idea physics into a nice glass of flash gaming fun. The difficulty is perhaps overly easy, but the mechanics are clever and the professional presentation should quench your thirst for a half hour.
Adult Swim revisits their incredibly popular arcade game of robotic unicorns and falling stars in this heavy metal re-imagining. While it doesn't reinvent the gameplay, it does provide an alternative for those of you who were always secretly ashamed by how their heart skipped a beat whenever they heard Erasure, and offers up all the addictive play of the original. But how the heck are you supposed to play this and headbang at the same time?! My hair keeps getting in the way!
Bart Bonte's Me and the Key sent us all on a voyage of self- and key-discovery. But the hunt for the self/key is an eternal quest, is it not? Luckily, the journey has been lengthened by another 25 levels in Me and the Key 2. As you progress through this series of abstract thinking puzzles and mini-games, maybe you'll discover that the key that you were searching for was around your penguin-thing's neck the whole time.
For those of you thinking your prayers for a fantasy-themed game based on the classic novel and movie "Logan's Run" have been answered, you'll have to keep waiting. Wizard's Run is, however, based on the concept of wizards combined with the concept of movement towards things and with an overall killing things theme.
Control an adorable unibrowed cycloptic hero in this twist on the RPG genre, killing monsters, finding weapons, collecting loot and exploring dungeons. The twist is, all the inputs are controlled with the repeated clicks of a single mouse button. Quite entertaining, if a little bit repetitious, and yet addictive, too.
One of these things is just like the other. One of these things, oh it belongs. Can you tell me which thing is just like the other, before I finish this song? If you just had a flashback to a kinder, gentler time of your childhood spent in hypnotic rapture before a television, take For the Twin for a spin.
Flabby Physics, by Every Day the Same Dream creator Paolo Percini, is a short and simple one button physics puzzle game. The goal is pretty obvious: move the ball to the star. The method for doing this is generally pretty obvious, too: use the [spacebar] to switch positions of the various on-screen blobs. Making the magic happen, though, will take some practice.
Ready for some spelunking? Descend into the depths of this fiendishly difficult little isometric puzzler, where the goal is just to get to the exit... which only opens once all the floor tiles have fallen... and is usually behind some traps, switches, and unbreakable green crystals. All in a day's work!
Flock Together is the latest game from John Cooney. It tells the story of a little girl whose pet sheep, somehow, gets tied to a balloon and floats toward the sky. Your job is to follow after it by tethering yourself to different birds. You start off with only three ropes tied to one weak dove, but it won't be long until you'll be soaring.
Remember those choking-hazard-tastic plastic maze toys you would get as a kid, usually as a dinky prize for something? Relive those happy memories in Sand Trap, a puzzle where you rotate a box to pour the sand trapped within into a pail. It's another fine HTML5 game from Gopherwood Studios, and a runner up in our Casual Gameplay Design Competition #8.
Following in the footsteps of Bob, it's... King Arthur? Yes, the liberator of Excalibur and avid collector of round tables has his own 'one click' action game. How many click does it take you to finish his adventure? And can you beat the records in the comments?
No puzzles, no enemies, no action... just music. This simple and relaxing little webtoy from André Michelle lets you just click to create some lovely tinkling melodies that arise from expanding and contracting shapes.
Mamono Sweeper is very similar to its ancient ancestor with some key differences. The first is that instead of bombs concealed behind anonymous tiles, you're sweeping for monsters. And you can't just avoid them, eventually you're going to have to reveal and kill all of the monsters on the board if you want to win. Slay monsters, go up in levels, and relive the addiction that was once minesweeper in this reboot of one of the most well known classic casual games.
Simple rules, a nice balance between thoughtful and casual gameplay that tips toward the latter, and a bright, cheery presentation all come together in this variation of a classic card game. Easily squeezed into a coffee break, this card game may not have tapped into its full potential quite yet, but we definitely like what we see so far.
Point. Click. Point. Click. Point-p-point-p-point click click space. Drag drop. Drag drop. Drag drop click space space. Excellent, now you already know the words, so you can sing along! No, it's not Excel spreadsheet karaoke night, it's Klikwerk, a new music and reflex game by Bart Bonte.
Might makes right in this realtime strategy game where the goal is to overwhelm your opponent's base with your soldiers while protecting your own. And by soldiers, I mean pixels. And by pixels, I mean... no, no, I mean pixels. From Pixelante, as it would happen! A colourful, fast-paced action game where victory depends on the speed on your fingers.
What's black and white and red all over? Nothing yet, as we seem to be needing more red! Paint It Red 2 by MoonMana is an interactive art game disguised as a puzzle where your black canvas needs to be covered with red paint as quickly as possible. In each level, paint flows across the screen, following (or not following) the movements of your mouse. If you guide the paint to cover a certain percentage of the screen, you unlock the next level and have the opportunity to move on... or not.
After selling his soul in exchange for a successful career, an accomplished composer regrets his decision and sets out across a nightmare dreamscape to gather fragments of himself. A short but difficult rhythm game with a unique style, The Sound Walk is as challenging as it is beautiful.
Have you ever wished upon a star? How about wanted to keep one in your pocket? Then you have something in common with Tigsy in this cute, one-button arcade game. Help him leap from star to star, avoiding the ones he doesn't want, and make it through all thirty levels. Short, sweet, and simple; the best of the three ess'es!
Poto and Cabenga are minding their own business, riding along and collecting golden feathers, when a giant skybeast swoops down and swallows Poto whole! Now you need to control both characters, racing along on the top and bottom of the screen, to eventually reunite horse and rider under usual circumstances with this challenging one button game of reflexes and action.
Help a dog not hit terra-firma by bouncing off the heads of green blobs and fat cats. Pay attention: this is serious! Last as long as you can and get as high a score as a plummeting canine can achieve, bouncing off the occasional fat (alien?) cat for a score bonus.
Gear puzzles are popular fodder for games these days. If gears aren't the main feature, as in David Durham's Gear Puzzle, then they're a vital component of a switch box or piece of alien machinery in an adventure game. At first glance, Connect It seems like more of the same, but after exploring deeper, this seemingly simple gear puzzler reveals an entertaining and complex depth.
Cosmicube is one of those 'older games with a new twist' releases that you see every once in a while. The game uses the Unity engine to render a 3-D take on Marble Madness. The marble's track is made of red cubes mounted on a larger black cube. Your goal is to get a marble from its starting point onto the goal by moving your mouse to tilt the playing field. You're aided (and hampered) by an impressive physics simulation that feels very authentic and real, all while listening to a fast-paced soundtrack that fits the action and setting well.
Enter The Dragon and face the Big Boss at the top of the Tower Of Death in this one-button game featuring a series of short mini-games. It's a challenge of concentration and timing, packaged with retro graphics and an air of simplicity. There is no doubt that sufficient practice will awaken the mouse-click Shinobi in you.
If the fast pace of modern life is bogging you down man, just take a few minutes, listen to the sublime acoustic guitar tunes, and realign your inner peace with these balls of light, dude. Light up the clear spheres by removing balls until the lighted sphere touches them. It's that easy dude, no joke. I told you I would take care of you
An enticingly simple game of shifting dice, the challenge ramps up quickly in this exquisite puzzler from Ozzie Mercado. Each die can make a number of moves equivalent to the number on its face, and it's your job to make sure that every die ends up in one of the square-shaped "zones" by the time it's expended all of its moves. Click on a die to select it, then drag your mouse in a direction and release to slide the die in that direction.
Think you know games? Think you know games when their only representation is obscure and abstract imagery? Across decades and platforms, The Challenging Stage is a single screen test of puzzles and trivia where you have to guess the titles of 56 games, new and classic, from the weird images used on screen.
Turnellio is match-3 the way only Tonypa can do. All of the trademarks are here, from the exotic title and simple but attractive graphics to the infectious background track, all of which surrounds a unique twist on a classic casual gameplay genre. With beat poet like coolness, he offers up his own twists and garnishes them with his penchant for quiet elegance. The result is a game that keeps the heart and inherent fun of match-3 games while experimenting with new and intriguing territory.
Ever wonder what it's like to be a dragon? How about a Dragondot? Turns out, it's pretty much the same ol', same ol'. Defend your territory from ghosts, hobgoblins, and more, and bask in the adulation of your defenseless kobold followers. Simple and simply cute, Dragondot is a short but fun hack and slash romp.
The mystery of the ages has been solved! Today we can get a robot to move up a vertical plane using his grappling hook to attach to floating spheres! And it is terribly addictive too... How high can you go? The original game was fun, but hellish in its expectations and difficulty. Gravity Hook HD is MUCH easier to play. It is also prettier, has a better soundtrack and no doubt hides other gameplay enhancements.
A one-button jump and run game, G-Switch takes the formula that made Canabalt so successful and adds an eponymous gravity-switching mechanic to create a twitchy, fast-paced experience with surprisingly zen-like results. It's a flawed masterpiece of a game, which is a shame because when it shines it really shines. More than just a clever combination of two well-tread game ideas, G-Switch is a reinvention.
One Button Bob is a side-scrolling action-platformer that uses just the left mouse button for control. Click. Click and hold. Click to stop. Rapidly click. Click, hold, and release. You get the idea. Make it through each screen using a combination of trial-and-error and careful timing!
Have you ever wondered what ponies dream about? It's not hay or salt licks. They dream of racing with shiny dolphins across a purple landscape, leaping to avoid smashing into stars and racking up a high score. That's right, they dream of being a magical robot unicorn! And now, thanks to this weird yet addictive two-button game from Adult Swim, so will you. Neigh, my friend. Neigh like you've never neighed before!
Ivoryboy's gorgeous "spot the difference" game has returned with 4 Differences! Scrutinize the two pictures and click on each bit that doesn't match between the pictures. This game is miles above most other spot-the-difference games. Its visual presentation alone makes it worth a look. If you like the genre at all, you won't want to miss it.
Welcome to Pong's bizarro twin from the negaverse of gaming. [Up] and [Down] steer the ball, though, instead of the paddles. It's up to you to steer the fearless pixel around those persistent paddles, and into the next area, where a pair of smarter, more adroit defenders await your arrival.
A java demake of Terry Cavanagh's retro spacefaring platformer, VVVV is a challenging little gem sure to bring delight to your day as you set about rescuing six of your fellow crew mates across a dangerous map. And by "delight", we of course mean "difficulty designed to make your fingers snap like ineffectual little twigs". Yaaaaaay!
In a sketchy, notepad world, a doodled character moves with ninja-like precision over the landscape and deadly terrain. Under birds, over spikes, avoiding pitfalls and collecting floating clocks en route to the exit is a lot more difficult than it seems in this tricky one-button platformer.
Hold on to your socks, although they're probably about to be rocked right off anyway. Super Dress Up Morgan Freeman is here to bring rays of sunshine into your dreary life and forever ruin gaming for you. Because everything that comes after this is going to seem just a little bit worse in comparison to this sterling example of manly perfection.
Simple in its concept but stunning in its execution, Starlight is a puzzle where you manipulate the night sky to reveal images hidden in the constellations. Play on a timer or go as slow as you like and drink in the sights. Lovely, calming, and just the ticket at the end of a long day. Doesn't everyone need a bit of wonder in their lives now and again?
The title, Finding Friends, is apt for this short and simple game that packs a satisfying, emotional experience. You start the game wandering around in the darkness, a little black square (with cute little white eyes) against a black background, in a maze with black walls. It's with the help of the friends you find that you'll be able to find your way to the exit of the maze.
It's time to kick back, relax, and get ready to be wooed by the trademark soft visuals and simple, addictive casual gameplay of Ferry Halim's newest Orisinal flash game, Drifting Afternoon. Guide a kitten racing through a field on a windy day leaping from bubble to bubble as you try to rack up the highest score.
The end is just the beginning! Bring all the connectors into harmony in this simple puzzler from Veewen, but don't mistake its simplicity for lack of difficulty! After the first few levels, the difficulty ramps up rather quickly and stays high until the end. Luckily, the zen-like atmosphere helps to soothe frustration.
Short and sweet, Para Cute sends a teddy-bear out searching for a gift for his beloved the old fashioned way. Parachuting through a series of caves and warp points to collect as many hearts as he can! At only six levels, Donut Games has crafted a tasty little title suitable for your coffee break, or any other time you feel the need to go awwwww.
The incredibly simple goal of Higher! is to get, well, higher. An unassuming little house sits on the ground patiently, surrounded by a picket fence, next to some picturesque trees. Suddenly a balloon floats by and gets caught on the roof, pulling the house skyward, freeing it of its mundane existence. This pleases the house greatly, and when another passing balloon gets caught on the roof, an adventure is born.
Similar to a few puzzle games we've seen before, On the Edge is simple to understand and yet will challenge you to complete all 30 levels. Use the arrow keys to roll the little red block from the starting point to the red ending point, while traveling across and removing all the other tiles first.
Adam Atomic's "minimalist" action/arcade side-scrolling game about a man fleeing the destruction of his city is both remarkably well presented, and fiendishly addictive. Vault over the obstacles in your path as you try to stay alive and get the high score. Those giant robots rampaging in the background? They're not there to play patty-cake, so we'd keep moving, if we were you.
Tanaka is throwing a party. You help Tanaka invite all his friends to the party. They will show up, everyone loves Tanaka. Tanaka always tries his hardest. He will try his hardest to find all 72 of his friends to join his party. Can you help him find all 72 of his friends? Tanaka hopes so.
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.
On of Eyezmaze just released a mini-game 'hidden' within his Hatch Today series of illustrations. Purouty is the 28th illustration to appear in Hatch Today, and included with it is a mysterious "More" button. When clicked, you're treated to a unique puzzle game to solve in On's distinct and charming, delightful style.
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.
Tonypa has a well earned reputation for developing games that at once exhibit simple elegance and deceptively deep gameplay. Lacotipa, a tile-based puzzle with roots that extend back to Pipe Dreams, is yet another simple, beautiful, and addicting game for us to obsess over.
A gorgeous puzzle game with an impeccable user interface, Minim sets the standard for browser-based casual games. Minimize molecules to nothingness by combining atoms with digits on them, according to a few simple rules. Despite the references to chemistry and some light math, Minim isn't an educational game. It's more like a comforting hug followed by a knuckle sandwich.
We here at JIG don't endorse rampant butterfly carnage. But we do support true love. And when the object of your affections has eight legs and certain dietary requirements, well, you gotta do what you gotta do, right? Squash butterflies to keep your betrothed fed in this game of skill and balance!
Pariboro is Tonypa's latest endeavour into the world of tile-based games of skill and luck. Forty tiles of three colors lie on the grid before you, and your job is to clear as many tiles as you can, before the random domino-generator produces one you can't match. Bonus: having a Casual Gameplay account saves your progress!
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.
Bart Bonte knows that at the end of the day, sometimes the simplest rewards are the sweetest. Me and the Key is a series of mini-games that all have the same end — getting the titular key. That's right. There's no zombies, no spaceships, no power-ups. Just you and a slowly evolving set of puzzles designed to test your common sense, and your ability to think outside the box.
The latest wacky puzzle from Nitrome, Rustyard has you indirectly leading a junkyard robot with a striking resemblance to Wall-E. You cannot control the movements of the machine, but you can manipulate the environment with its buttons and switches and trolley tracks. Get the robot to the generator and charge up! Bzzzap!
Monochro Observer is a lovely little puzzle/platform game by Japanese game developer Tatsuya Koyama. Control two people, one who lives in dark and one who lives in light, as they cooperate to reach the exit together. Just look at those little munchkins, staring at each other across the impassable divide between worlds. Lonesome. Longing. The fire of passion smoldering in their eyes…okay, not that last part.
There's delicious candy out there for those brave enough to mine it. Spin a giant orb made of coloured candy blocks to make the incoming bullets strike the blocks of your choice. But be careful you don't accidentally let the bullets strike the candy core! There may not be a lot of replayability or depth in Gregory Weir's Sugarcore, but there is a surprising amount of charm and cheek, and plenty of fast-paced puzzle blasting. Treating yourself to this candy won't make you feel guilty.
Zachtronics Industries has come up with a new "Game for Engineers", and given its central concept you'd think playing it would blow up the space-time continuum. It's a computer game about programming computer chips. Though it may take some time to grasp its central concepts, Kohctpyktop: Engineer of the People is a rich and rewarding puzzle game.
Your job in Nosobow, the newest creation from Tonypa, is to eliminate the non-matching tiles from the screen, while clicking a member of a pair puts you in jeopardy of losing the game. Behind the brilliantly simple design lies a intricate psychological game of self-pacing and concentration that will have you groaning in anguish every time you have to start back at square one.
A sequel to Open Doors, one of the most interesting puzzle games of 2008, has arrived, with an arresting makeover and just the right amount of extra spice. Open Doors 2 features compact puzzles with just the right number of new doors and mechanical gizmos. With a sparkling presentation and superb level design, this is one of the best puzzlers we've seen so far this year.
Back to the basics again with Kagi Nochi Tobira 2, the simple and original puzzle game sequel to the very well-received Kagi Nochi Tobira from September of last year. There's not much else to say other than the raw creativity and sense of discovery in these simple puzzle games create an exceptionally engaging and appealing experience. Another example of why simple ideas are often among the most fun!
Music Catch 2 delivers everything you'd want from a sequel to Reflexive's surprise hit Music Catch, especially if what you want is more ways to collect thousands of shimmering doo-dads. You get three more lovely piano tunes by composer Isaac Shepherd, and a few different choices for how the collectibles will bloom and fade away. Some of the new movement patterns make the game dramatically easier than others, but Music Catch was never about challenge anyway. It's just an easy way to relax, scooping up armfuls of trinkets and grooving to the mellows.
Spin-n-Match, by Jess Hansen, is a simple puzzle game that will torque your brain to its limits. On the left, you see a grid of jumbled up balls. On the right, you see your target formation. Your task is simple: Make the left look like the right by rotating 2x2 clusters, similar to Bejeweled Twist. You can try to simply beat all 40 levels, or you can go for the developer's target scores. Either way, Spin-n-Match is a nifty little puzzler that'll keep your head spinning. (Fifty bucks says you saw that coming.)
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.
A game that is little like Pong, except that you've got four paddles, they're tethered to the walls by chains, and every eight hits produces a new ball to contend with. It's easy to play and aesthetically simple, with vector-like graphics and soothing sound effects, but the evil challenge is what keeps you coming back for more.
Yes, that's exactly what cerebral puzzler The Codex of Alchemical Engineering needed. A longer title. Anyway, there are fifteen new brain-teasers here, created by both the author of the original game and its fans. When Zach (the author) says that this expansion may destroy the minds of those who haven't finished the first game, do not take his words lightly.
It may feel like someone's pulling the old switcheroo on you, but don't be fooled. It's The New Switcheroo, a puzzle game based on the Lights Out template, where the object is to turn all the bulbs in a formation to the same color. Over the course of 30 tricky and creative levels, The New Switcheroo adds a handful of twists, both figurative and literal, to that formula. It's more than enough to keep you pondering for an hour or two.
Fighting robots plus brain-taxing logic-style puzzles? Sounds like a winner! Bureau of Steam Engineering, from the author of The Codex of Alchemical Engineering, is a visually stark game of planning, building, testing, tweaking, and building some more. You are an engineer outfitting robots who are about to go into battle with deadly weapons. Using pipes and valves you must connect each mechanical part to an engine and ensure it functions properly before unleashing the machine.
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.
Crossblock is a simple and rewarding puzzle game with a sublimely deceptive difficulty curve. Your goal is to eliminate all the blocks on a level by dragging a line across them, one horizontal or vertical group at a time. It's hard to believe that such straightforward, honest-looking piles of blocks can hold so many baffling complications.
A new retro-styled puzzle game from Ryan Chisholm and Bennett Foddy, Evacuation puts you in control of the fate of a space station invaded by aliens. Click on escape hatches to open them and evacuate the aliens to space without sacrificing any of the human inhabitants of the station. Randomly generated levels provide enough reason to keep coming back to this one.
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.
Despite being a relatively simple game, YHTBTR has earned quite a fanbase. It boasts a game manual, four walkthroughs (including one YouTube walkthrough and one in German), a speedrun posted on YouTube, a Spanish Wikipedia page, a text-adventure version, a novelization, and a fan-comic. Come see what all the hype is about.
DropSum is an elegant puzzle game by Nick Harper, who describes it as a cross between Tetris and Sudoku. Burst bubbles and form complicated chain reactions by forming groups that add up to 9. If you ever find yourself yearning to lay down some damage with the power of sums, this is as good as it gets.
The latest brilliant-yet-simple logic puzzle game to hit the Web goes by the intriguing title of The Codex of Alchemical Engineering. Called a "game for engineers" by its creator, your goal is to build machines out of mechanical arms that move and transform basic elements to create compounds required to pass each level. It's a cerebral puzzle game that tasks you with arranging and tweaking objects on both a small and grand scale, the final result of which is a burst of euphoric gaming bliss.