Ah, the cosmos. It contains the whole of everything that is, was and shall be. It is filled with the awe-inspiring beauty of the nebulae, the quasars and the familiar stars. Science cannot know how big the universe is, nor can it count the number of planets or star. Every time we get close to an exact figure, a giant space whale, dubbed Harmony Keeper, starts devouring celestial bodies. Or at least, that's what this latest action/arcade title from Mofunzone teaches us.
What do you do when you find yourself the owner of a big empty valley? Well, you could call in a bunch of real estate developers, I suppose, and file all the necessary paperwork to have the land appropriately zoned before calling in all the inspectors for wiring and so forth... OR you could just hire a bunch of teeny-tiny people to do it for you! In this adorable follow-up to Grow Island from Eyezmaze, puzzle out the correct order of things to make your valley grow and thrive as big as possible.
Ribbit is a fun time waster for anyone with good reflexes and an off-kilter sense of humor. Just track down that nasty scientist who created Something That Should Never Have Been Born in this tricky platformer and give him a good talking to.
Fault Line is a clever puzzle platformer that will have you creasing the fabric of the universe with every move. Each level brings a different challenge to the table, requiring you to push your mental folds in a new way. And if you find yourself stuck on a level, simply grab the nearest sheet of paper and experiment. (Just don't try to detach your arms.)
Physics-heavy, sandbox-style webtoys are loads of fun to play with, and Ha55ii's Powder Game has always stood as one of the best and most feature-rich. Version 7 introduces several new elements to unleash on your screen of chaos/coolness!
It's not often you come across a dice game that isn't like anything you've played before, and as such, you keep the deep "unlike anything you've seen before" movie trailer voice tucked away in the desk drawer. Tepiiku is one game that happens to deserve this sound bite, featuring a unique challenge of strategy, risk evaluation, and since we're dealing with dice, luck.
A remarkably fun and inventive puzzle game series we won't ever get tired of seeing new installments of, Hoshi Saga returns to give us more opportunities to find the hidden star in each of the 25 brand new levels. Yoshio Ishii of Nekogames has created more full-color artwork for Hoshi Saga Ringoame, the latest iteration of the popular and revered series. Why are you still reading this? Go play!
Rock 'n' Risk is a unique game in which you jump on upwardly moving colored platforms. A sort of JumboTron in the background tells you which color to jump on next. So Simon meets platformer is not a bad way of thinking about it, though there is quite a bit more to it. Energy is the operative word for Rock 'n' Risk. The whole thing is built like an action game show, with cheering crowds and an upbeat, "dude" commentator praising your every excellent move.
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.
In this unique offering, you dive into the dreams of sleeping babies only to find yourself taking on the guise of strange aliens in an even stranger universe. Through the dreams of infants you will explore the lives of each of these aliens, experience their hopes and help them attain their dreams. You will do this despite the encroaching darkness, and the ever growing warnings of a dying world.
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.
An experiment in concept, Record Tripping is a short game that you control using your mouse scroll wheel. Play a series of mini-games that take you through Alice in Wonderland with one very pretty presentation. The whole package is a cool little showcase of a neat idea with lovely trappings, well worth the short time it takes to complete.
What makes a game relaxing? Despite featuring a large quantity of whizzing, brightly-colored particles and a constantly counting down timer, Pulsus somehow manages to be a game I'd like to pick up and play at o'dark hundred while sipping a cup of herbal tea until I get sleepy again.
Four teenagers have awoken something very old and very, very dangerous in the bottom of an old well hidden in a house. A point-and-click horror mystery designed to be played alongside the BBC miniseries of the same name, The Well trips itself up with bland or occasionally confusing gameplay, but is worth a look if you're a fan of good stories and ancient Pagan ceremonies. Hey, aren't we all?
On the fifth day Peter Groeneweg finished his game and he saw that it was good. Then he decided to freeze himself into stone as a tribute to the next generation... in a manner of speaking. We The Giants is an experimental platform game about wisdom, its controls are very simple and it is very short. You should play it before reading the analysis and then come back to ponder a bit.
It is almost impossible to describe the joy created by wandering in the strange, surreal universe that Enu (Hanamushi) has created in Flower Insect. The synthesis of art, animation, game, and experience is nearly flawless, and will leave the casual gamer breathless as they wander deeper and deeper into the morass. Stunning beyond all belief, this is not necessarily a game to play all in one go. Rather, the Hanamushi game is something to consume in small bites, lest you find yourself deep in the abyss that is the imagination of an extremely talented individual.
Logica is a color and number based puzzler from Candystand. The goal is to follow the instructions each level provides, and sometimes the point of the puzzle is in figuring out what those instructions are. There are three tiers of difficulty with ten levels each, plus a useful five level tutorial. The theme is good, the concept well-conceived and usually the puzzles are clever and a solid application of the concept.
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.
Not quite a pipe puzzle and not quite a gear puzzle, Grayscale is a melding of the two genres into something both unique to play and easy on the eyes. The difficulty ramps up quite nicely and is enough to hold interest through the levels as you struggle to produce the black and white fireworks that denote success. Quite a lot of brain twisting, turning, and teasing bundled up into a beautiful little bow.
Just when you thought you had seen the last of the Hoshi Saga series, Yoshio Ishii of Nekogames returns, and in full color! Hoshi Saga Ringo is the fourth installment in the Hoshi Saga series, and while it might not be as difficult as its predecessors, Ishii-san brings new life to the game with his beautiful artwork and use of gradients.
Take another plunge into the signature weird and wonderful world of an Eyemaze creation, as you point and click to help a... thing... turn into... uh... another thing. Look, don't ask questions! You're on the clock, and if you don't act fast, that lion will do... something! Maybe!
Following Footsteps is a unique and oddly charming game created by Ming-Yee Iu for our recent Game Design Competition 6. While the game didn't win any prizes, it set itself apart through its creative take on the Explore theme and innovative gameplay. Follow in the footsteps of an intrepid explorer, hoping to get your grubby mitts on the gold he lost over a century ago!
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?
Taking home first prize in the Casual Gameplay Design Competition is no small feat, but David Shute's deceptively simple game of exploration does it with just a few small worlds. A short platformer that may stay with you a long time, Small Worlds offers detailed and surprising environments for you to reveal in your search for... a little peace and quiet.
Jason Nelson hits us with another simple movement game chock full of crazy texts and post-modern level design shenanigans. Are you ready to accept that things fall apart, the center cannot hold, and that doors can be opened by colliding with boxes? If so, prepare yourself for this mind boggling, stunningly austere experience.
An unnamed cubicle slave grinds his way through another day at work, his biggest worry being whether or not someone left the coffee pot dry. That is until the scream comes. Now you have to help him get home to his wife before zombies get her or you in this choose your own adventure style game.
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.
This platform puzzle game from Edmund McMillen brings to the platformer table multi-dimensional planes. Press the [A] key to switch planes and alter what is visible on the screen. Sometimes you can see the other planes while you are occupying the current one, but you can't see what overlaps between planes. This creates an interesting dynamic that involves a lot of guessing with your jumps, especially when movable blocks make their appearance.
A tiny world is at your fingertips, ready for you to shape it. Create a cavern teeming with life... provided you can discover all the creatures hiding inside. Using sandbox tools, manipulate the environment to coax each creature into the open, or how to create them. A charming little simulation tool that encourages experimentation.
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.
Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do. I'm half crazy, all for the love of you. It won't be a stylish marriage. I can't afford a carriage. But you'll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for avoiding the solid black lines of architectural blueprints as they whiz by at unsafe speeds while you struggle to stay upright on your bicycle built for DEATH.
The new game from Gregory Weir is an unabashedly highbrow and experimental platform game, where the ground is made up of literature. Try to touch as many words as you can, as prose by H.P. Lovecraft, T.S. Eliot and others stretches out before you. It's interesting enough just to be forced to read by a platform game, but the real treat is all the visual embellishments.
The source of BOXGAME's name is obvious: it's basically a puzzle platformer wrapped around a box. Perhaps by M. C. Escher. The direction of gravity changes depending on how you cross from face to face, turning walls into ceilings and pits into doorways. Jump and rotate your way to the exit in this unique game by Sophie Houlden. Don't forget your teddy bear!
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.
In the third episode in Zack Livetone's series of abstract point-and-click adventures, you once again accompany a floating crystal through a world of photographic landscapes and chalked-in plantlife, coaxing various bits and tibbles into place in order to solve puzzles. Some objects need to be pushed, some clicked, some nudged. Turn up your speakers for this.
You play a poor and homeless beggar in this piece of interactive art from Scott Brodie. You must figure out how and what to eat, and where to go and what to do. You must learn the laws of the land the hard way, and you must ultimately learn to subsist on the charity of strangers, lest you fade and wither away to nothingness.
Who could ever be satisfied just upgrading weapons systems and defensive towers? In Upgrade Complete, a shooter from Tony of Shift fame, you can upgrade practically anything you can think of. The title logo, the menu screen background, the user interface buttons... and oh yes, your weapons systems, too. How fast can you upgrade everything?
From developer Lucas Paakh comes a journey into the fantastic with William and Sly. Take on the role of an agile fox in a fantastic world, working to uncover all of it's secrets and find out the reason why a network of teleportation runes has suddenly stopped working. With a massive map to explore, achievements to earn, and powers to acquire, William and Sly is almost more experience than game.
Our hero is a cute little bunny with a cute little bunny crown, a newcomer to an island chain that recently experienced an "incident." As a result, its inhabitants and natural vegetation have been damaged, and like any good hero, you need to restore the land to its former glory. Along the way, find the girl, fall in love and marry her. Of course everybunny knows that the best way to a girl's heart is to gather rocks and wood so you can buy her things she likes, so get to it!
Forget your power-ups and your super-combos. It's time to do your best flat-foot impersonation and hit the street after your target in this unique typing game, where your wheels only turn as fast as your fingers fly. Featuring a snarky sense of humour and a noir atmosphere on top of some of the craziest dialogue around, The Red Herring Chase is a brilliant little gem of a game that may or may not break all your fingers.
In Koi2, from the creators of Kissma, you play a man with blow-dried hair and a terrible sweater, sitting across from a woman who can best be described as "tolerant". The object of the game, as you both slide up and down on hydraulic lifts, is to poke her in the forehead with your finger as many times as you can in one minute. Yes, this is a game about forehead poking.
We interrupt your internet viewing to bring you this important news bulletin: Rabbit Wants Cake. That is to say, one little remote-controlled rabbit needs to avoid spikes and furry monsters on the way to get cake. Program the rabbit by recording and tweaking its movements, in this odd little platformer by John Cooney.
Run and jump with one hand, warp reality with the other. Ian Snyder's Push is a platform game with an exciting and inventive twist that lets you reshape levels in real-time with an omnipotent force bubble. Plus you can make your own levels for others to tear asunder.
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.
In Greg Sergeant's aptly titled puzzle platformer, Use Boxmen, you, believe it or not, use boxmen to collect boxes. It sounds fairly simple and straightforward, but it's not, really. Some puzzles require you to think outside the box to reach their oftentimes very clever solution. Solving puzzles is only half the battle, however, as Use Boxmen takes its platforming element very seriously.
On of Eyezmaze has just released an updated 'remake' of his original Grow game, Grow (ver. 3), the game that inspired so many sequels and clones. It's one of the most unique and amazing Flash games ever produced, due mostly to its intricate animations and myriad combinations of possible outcomes. Now with 2 endings!
Shift 4 is now available to play and it brings with it a shiny new iPhone app of the original Shift experience to take with you on-the-go. If you're familiar with the Shift series so far, a lot of the elements in this game will seem very familiar. However, twists do come, as you will eventually find yourself having to control more than one silhouetted fellow. You've now got to use a team of folks to reach the exits and advance.
The bomb is going to go off in five seconds. This can't be changed. Your task is to guide a bunch of individuals through their final five seconds of life before the bomb does go off. Can you get 100% by helping all of the stick figures attain their goals before being vaporized by the big one? And will it matter?
Put Paper Mario and Tim Burton in a blender and you get Paper Moon, a smooth, sophisticated example of how to integrate design and mechanics into a masterful casual game. It's a platformer with a twist, and with enough style and depth to keep you coming back for more.
In the experimental game Gray, you are a white or black androgynous person in the midst of a rioting mob, filled with people of the opposite shade. Your goal is to talk to the people who are highlighted and attempt to convert them to your point of view. It's amazing how accurately such a simple little game can hold a mirror up to modern political discourse.
Windosill is the story of a toy car, a little blue box with wheels and a smokestack, who one day dares to journey outside of its confining storage shelf. You, armed with the power to touch, carry, poke, prod, and experiment, will lead the toy through a cool blue dream presented in stages, a series of shadow-boxes full of curious characters and structures, each with its own puzzle to be solved.
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.
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!
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.
Each day, for 219 days in a row, Chris DeLeon designed a game. Some began as imitations of classic arcade games, while others, which he calls "commucepts" or "spaquoids", are more experimental in nature. Some have a point to make, some are just good fun. Even with the occasional flop, this fantastic collection of odd and curious web toys can keep you busy for hours.
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.
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.
Blush is a unique and beautiful, 3D rendered, underwater physics-based game by Flashbang Studios, in which you play a betentacled creature fighting your way through the ocean deep. It is also very addictive. Fight off other sea creatures, collect eggs and bring them to glowing orbs that increase your speed and extend your tentacles. Even earn achievements, too.
The ray gun: time-honored weapon of choice for protection against baddies of all kinds. But if there's nothing to protect against, what good is it? Transmover, a puzzle platformer by Japanese game developers Polygon Gmen introduces a new function for your favorite hand-held emitter of energy: transmotion. In layman's terms, this simply means when you fire your gun at a block, you and the block switch places, a tactic that injects new life into the block-maneuvering platform genre.
A uniquely engaging, captivating and relaxing puzzle game that will be both fresh and familiar every time you play since all levels and even the music for each level is randomly generated. Author Dan Russell-Pinson set out to create a game with wider appeal than the Tipping Point series of adventure games he is known for, and the game's redeeming qualities certainly don't end there.
Welcome to Mirror Image 101. We're going to start with the most basic of teleportation spells, the Mirror Jump. Everyone spread out, please. It's a very simple spell to use. Just stand up and use your scepter to draw a straight line perpendicular to your line of vision in the direction you want to warp, and at half the distance. Poof! You'll warp to the other side of that line! It's the latest from Nitrome; it's unique and it's sure to please.
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.
The full version of Auditorium is out! The purchase price gets you over 70 levels divided between 15 acts. It's five times as long as the demo was, and features much more particle-manipulating, puzzle-driven gameplay. No saving the universe, no destroying some ancient heart of evil, just a chance to listen to some good classical music and watch a light show.
New from Gregory Weir, eternally inventive creator of The Majesty of Colors, comes the enigmatic and unsettling Bars of Black and White. It is an escape game, but the point is not to escape the room; it is a social commentary—or maybe it's really just an exploration of one person's mind? The possible interpretations are endless.
Grow Tower follows the standard formula that On created with the first Grow game over 5 years ago. Play by clicking on the icons, one-by-one, with the objective being to reach "level max" for each of the items. Order matters, and depending on the order you click, the items will combine and react with each other to reveal a wide array of fascinating outcomes.
Monolist, from Japanese developer (or possibly super-powered spy team) Polygon Gmen, is what you would get if you took classic Space Invaders gameplay, multiplied it by three, strained it through a net made of Arkanoid bonus drops, and then sprinkled in nine hundred million bullets. Like a recreational energy drink, it's cool, refreshing, burning sweet, and highly caffeinated.
Time 4 Cat is a mouse avoider game in which your movements also control the enemy, so you can make everyone stop and start, or go faster or slower. Your goal is to hustle through the big city and scoop up all the food that is dropped. Each piece of food has a count-down timer on it, the faster you collect the food the higher your score. What makes this game stand out is the fact that you can slow everything down and go at your own pace.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
"Z-Rox" is what happens when a punk music fanatic invents a startlingly pure and original puzzle game concept, but just can't help topping it off with a creamy dollop of vanilla Xtreme-ness. It won't throw you into a mosh pit, but it will test your visualization skills over the course of 100 devilishly simple levels.
If you're unfamiliar with the Hoshi Saga series, then you're in for a treat as there are now 3 full games for you to experience. For the uninitiated, Hoshi Saga is a simple game of discovery. One part point-and-click and one part puzzle game, the objective in each stage is to find the star. How you go about doing that is different for every level. The task is up to you to figure out how.
Find key, then find door—
Kagi Nochi Tobira—
How hard could it be?
Aether is a gloriously imaginative and atmospheric puzzle adventure game in which you swing through the stars to reach several different planets, each with a unique puzzle to solve. The designers have made a truly compelling experience, and it's a fantastic artistic endeavor. You can also just spend some time flying through space or the clouds, the music and movement are so relaxing.
Is anyone tired of Portal-inspired games about some faceless dude stuck in a sterile laboratory environment full of death traps yet? I know I'm not! Here's another one, comin' atcha! Control a smoothly animated silhouette of a man who is trapped in the middle of a giant maze full of spikes and shifting blocks. Alter gravity by rotating the entire room 90 degrees at a time!
A unique new anti-shooter game of collection and avoidance by Felix Reidl. You have two minutes to collect as many yellow squares as possible, while various gun turrets try to mow you down. Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, you should hit [Space], which instantly ends your game and adds up your score. If you don't hit the space bar in time—and this is important—you don't get any points. You have only one life, and if you die, your score is zero.
Blobink is a unique and original new game in which you have the power to restore colour and rescue the girlfriend you never knew you had and who doesn't appear in the game(!) Simply race around these levels, touching each item as you go, and the world will once again be saturated in beautiful R, G & B. Don't fall into the water! You're an ink blob!
If you've played the original, or the even better update to that one, then you probably will be thrilled to know that Tony has just released a third game in this fantastic series that takes the concept of negative space and turns it upside-down. Shift 3 extends the familiar jump and run, puzzle-platformer formula by adding a few surprises.
Gemcraft brings a lot of innovation to the tower defense genre, quite an accomplishment considering how crowded it already is. The new gameplay mechanics create a lot of strategic depth, and the game adds replay value by keeping track of your high score for each level, allowing you to go back and replay them for much higher scores once your wizard has leveled up and is more powerful.
At first, Mr. Bounce seems like a simple Breakout-inspired game with a slight twist – you can control the height of your bounce by using the [up] and [down] arrows. But right about the your brain starts going on auto-pilot, Mr. Bounce delivers a hefty wake-up smack upside the head. From out of nowhere come walls, moving walls, disappearing walls, movable blocks, tracers, wind, lions, tigers and bears, oh my!
Deep Chalk: Second Phase is the continuation of the journey of the crystal, the player character introduced in Zack's black and white world of the original Deep Chalk. The objective is the same: discover the secrets hiding beneath the surface and escape. While you're there, enjoy the quest; be inspired.
On has just released a brand new game over at his Eyezmaze blog, and it's a sign that he's feeling well and back to his usual self. Applicate Vol. 0 is a unique and original puzzle game with unusual rules. I won't spoil it by explaining it here since there are, at present, only 5 levels and the thrill of discovery is part of the fun with it. Thank you, On! Please give us more levels as soon as you can.
Music Catch is a game with a very simple mechanic set to a transcendent classical piano piece that could hold your attention single-handedly. The shapes appear in ebb and swell to the accompaniment, diving from foreground to background in a shifting aquamarine rainbow. You'll never catch them all; the most you can hope for is to ride the wave, soaking up as much as possible, darting for extra substance where it appears. In other words, the gameplay is much like listening to a enriching piece of music.
Knuckleheads is the latest pixel-licious platforming fiesta from Nitrome. This time, you guide a pair of grimacing heads wearing Mexican wrestling masks as they bash their way through 25 levels of bats, spikes, and deadly lava. Why are they so angry? Maybe it's because their only method of locomotion involves constant trauma to the skull. Why are they wearing Mexican wrestling masks? I ...don't know.
Music Bounce is a bit like Breakout, but with an unlikely musical twist. Each level presents you with a different layout of colored bricks. Your job is to wipe them all out by striking them with ammunition from an array of gates on the left side of the screen. And if everything is running properly, Music Bounce can be magical.
Scorching Earth is an intriguing turn-based puzzle game in which you control the actions of an inferno as it seeks to devastate 50 levels worth of landscape. The levels are composed of square tiles, filled with various types of terrain—grasslands, water, trees, and so forth. Your goal on each puzzle is to destroy the required number of tiles. It's a good, solid, innovative puzzle game, and it's fun.
Deep Chalk, from game author Zack Livestone, is a charming and interactive point-and-click, in which you clear the way for a powerful crystal to escape its confines, presumably to reach a higher plane of crystallinity. Its interactive Samorostian landscapes are augmented wonderfully by ethereal music clips to produce a deep, if slightly dry, experience.
The Hapland-meister strikes again with a wacky new puzzle game. Use your point-and-clicking skills to figure out what needs to be done (and when!) to reach a solution to this odd and very ...purple puzzle. I'm particularly loving the soundtrack.
Qink is an innovative puzzle game that is the unholy union of a Rubik's Cube and a Tangram. You might not think there's anything wrong with mixing those two ingredients. They are both puzzles, after all. But consider that one is a three-dimensional puzzle and one is a two-dimensional puzzle, and mating two entities that follow entirely different physical laws is wrong. The result is unusual and unique, scoring major points with us.
It's just not a proper week without a new jmtb02 game. But if you're expecting the usual jolt of hyperactive skull-smashery from John Cooney—like the previously reviewed TBA or Grid16—you'd better slow down, Miss Sally Brown. Compulse is John's attempt at a tightly packed zen experience, and it's 98% adrenaline-free, with extra soothing strategy flavor.
John Cooney (jmtb02) is back again. Less than a month after giving the world Grid 16, he brings us Elements, a high-tech cross between Breakout and his own Ball Revamped series. Control the game by rotating the level, and make your way to the "go down" brick on each of the game's 25 levels.
The original Shift was an interesting platform game that used negative space as an entertaining hook, but it came with a few problems that ultimately made it feel unfinished and experimental. Now, Tony of Armor Games has released Shift 2, which is basically the game the first one should have been. It's not enough of a leap forward to warrant the "2" in its name, really, but it refines and expands upon the original concepts to deliver a smoother, more drinkable dose of run/jump/puzzle distraction.