no1game's Find the Escape-Men Part 143: First Pitch is arguably more of a straight-up point-and-click puzzle game than it is an escape game, taking place at a ball game where the pitcher, one of the series' iconic Escape-Men, disappears, prompting you to go look for him. As usual, you'll also need to find ten of the little green men, too! Click everything and everywhere to explore and hunt for items... some objects may be hidden in places that don't give any indication you should click on them. Also remember that you can combine items (or use one on another) by examining the first one with the question mark below its icon, then clicking the item you want to use once to highlight it, and then again on the object you're checking out up close. Most of the puzzles here are fairly logical, with the biggest difficulty being finding all those unindicated interactive zones or area transitions no1game seems so fond of. Still, there are a few genuinely sneaky and clever ways of implementing codes, and the game's sense of humour makes Find the Escape-Men Part 143: First Pitch a welcome little diversion no matter what your favourite sport it.
I've never gotten trapped in a bathroom before, but I guess that's because the ones I frequent are apparently low on the "complicated puzzle locks and little green men tucked into every nook and cranny front", unlike the commode in no1game's Find the Escape-Men Part 142: A Typical Bathroom. You're locked in, as you'd expect, and to get out you will, as usual, need to find the ten green Escape-Men hidden around the room. Also as usual, there is no changing cursor, so you'll need to really be diligent about searching everywhere (sometimes even after you've changed the environment) in order to succeed. This isn't as complex or lengthy as some of the entries in no1game's long and popular series have been, but it's just clever and tricky enough to make for the perfect break-sized game.
Buh-hwaaaaaaaaaaa? Unlike no1game's other cute point-and-click puzzle games, My First Flower Viewing stars a little boy instead of a girl, what madness is this? He and his mother want to go see the cherry blossoms, but before they can go, you need to help him find all the items they need for a relaxing picnic. To play, click around to hunt for clues and interact, keeping an eye out for the rather baffling amount of code clues for the locks peppering this apartment. (Is Mom trying to raise the next Professor Layton?) My First Flower Viewing definitely falls into the short and sweet category, with a handful of puzzles that all make sense and most of the difficulty coming down to finding the occasional item or clue in an odd spot. no1game's "My First" titles always feel like they might be mostly aimed at children with their cheery premises and simpler puzzles, but they're fun and light enough to be enjoyed by just about anyone... apart from the odd disparity of how whiny the little boy makes his little girl counterpart seem. My First Flower Viewing will kick your brain awake just enough to make a nice break, and maybe the next time you go on a picnic, you'll have a few things to add to your list, too!
Find the Escape-Men Part 140: Snow Shovel by no1game is yet another short and sweet escape game with a snowy theme as you try to find the ten little green men and clear your driveway in the process. In that sense, at least, it's actually less an escape game, and more of a simple puzzle, unless you count escaping from the cold! As usual for a no1game title, there's no changing cursor, so you'll need to hunt everywhere for interactive areas, including some that might not appear right away. This is one of those games that might not even fill up a coffee break, but uses some clever tricks for its few puzzles that will have you smacking your forehead once you figure at least one of them out, as well as a cute method of giving you a few hints. So finish it up, snuggle up somewhere warm if you aren't already, and then, well, what else? Play even more no1games titles, of course!
no1game's Find the Escape-Men Part 139: Convenience Store begins, unlike the rest of their escape games, with very little fanfare, as you find yourself in a convenience store exactly as the title suggests. You can't get out for some reason, but by now you should know the drill... find the ten little green men hiding around the store, and they'll open the way forward for you. While some of the escape men are simply hiding in places that may take a bit of clicking to find, even with its few puzzles Find the Escape-Men Part 139 is still the work of a shorter break than usual. Like your average convenience store pit stop, it's short and to the point, but still a pleasantly silly little game for any time of the day.
The little girl in no1game's cute point-and-click puzzle game My First Laundry Day may think she's too small to do laundry all by herself, but she's already several leagues ahead of a lot of people, some with decades on her, just by trying at all! Her mother's too busy to help, but she's written down some instructions, telling you what you need to gather, and then how to wash it all. To play, just click to explore the apartment, and click the question mark beneath items in your inventory to take a closer look at them. My First Laundry day is a little more elaborate than the other My First games no1game has created, taking place over multiple rooms and even consisting of multiple objectives beyond simply gathering a bunch of items in one place. Despite some finicky hotspots to find some items and angles, it's still as adorable as you'd expect, and a nice step up in complexity from other games in the series.
Martin Kool's 0h h1 was the very best kind of puzzle game... simple yet smart. 0h n0 has now arrived, also free for iOS and Android, and it's every bit as elegant and addictive as its cousin. The object of the game is to mark which circles on the board are blue, and which are red, using logic to figure out their positions. See, blue circles will tell you how many other circles they can "see" in their own row and column by displaying a number atop themselves, while red circles block their view. Click an empty circle once to make it blue, and again to mark it red, clicking the little arrow in the menu at the bottom of the screen if you need to undo something. The game can generate several different sizes of the puzzle for you, making sure you always have just the right amount to sate your appetite, and its clean, minimalist design and easy to pick up, Minesweeper-esque concept means it can be played by just about anyone... and, well, it probably should be!
It doesn't matter if you have a special someone because no1game choo-choo-chooses you with My First Valentine's Day, a cute point-and-click puzzle game about a little girl who desperately wants to give something to someone she likes. First, however, she's going to have to assemble all the ingredients to make a truly magnificent Valentine's chocolate box herself... even if she is just a kindergartner! To play, just click around to explore the room and interact with items, trying to find what you need from the list your mother left and solving the puzzles in your way. When I was little we just cut up red construction paper, but hey, I've always been a slacker. If you want something cute and light to make you smile, and maybe make you feel better about your own organizational skills (seriously, who puts chocolate there?), fire this up and prepare to be twitterpated.
Being royalty isn't necessarily hard, it's just tedious, as the protagonist of no1game's Bored Prince Escape can attest to. He's sick of never having a moment to himself, of having every minute of his day planned out, so one day he plans to escape during one of the brief times he isn't under watch. With bodyguards stationed outside the room, getting out is a little more complicated that sneaking out the door. To play, just click to interact, though keep your eyes peeled and search everywhere since the cursor won't change when you mouse over something even if you can use it. The prince's escorts aren't messing around with keeping him under his thumb... there are plenty of locks and codes, as well as a tricky hidden item or two. But hey, when you need some "you" time, you gotta go what you gotta do!
Ninjadoodle's point-and-click puzzle game Lightybulb is just the sort of browser game you need now and again... just thinky enough, beautifully made, and ridiculously cute. In each level, your goal is to figure out how to turn on the lightbulb, but it's rarely as simple as flipping a switch. All you need to do to play is click to interact with things, but you'll need to experiment in each level to figure out what you need to do, since it often isn't obvious. Some levels are more clever than others, largely because Lightybulb is more satisfying when it relies on solutions that incorporate brainpower and ingenuity rather than simple reflexes, and some levels "repeat" by using the same puzzle style in others. Still, Lightybulb is smart, simple, and gorgeous, a testament to why Ninjadoodle makes some of the sweetest little point-and-click puzzle games around, and the perfect size to shed a little light into your day.
There are some people who believe that games should stay games and never deal with "real issues", but Parable of the Polygons, by Vi Hart and Nicky Case, shows just how great games can be about getting concepts and ideas across. Billed as a "playable post about the shape of society", Parable of the Polygons talks you through how small biases can have a bigger impact than people think by leading you through a series of puzzles where your job is to make the squares and triangles all happy by shuffling them around until their living conditions are diverse. But not too diverse. Different puzzles have different requirements to make the shapes happy, and over time you see how they grow more and more apart without really meaning to. By starting small and then working through larger puzzles and a few simulations, it talks earnestly and intelligently about how bias impacts society, without ever pointing the finger or addressing any one specific group or cause. Talking about things like this can be hard to do without people feeling as if they're being accused of something and going on the defensive, but Parable of the Polygons is well worth a read (and a play!), and a great example of the way games can get people talking and thinking.
Martin Kool's 0h h1 (hosted here with generous permission) is a simple little logic puzzle, also available free for iOS and Android, that's really just simply delightful. Click a square once to fill it in with red, twice to make it blue. The goal is to fill in the board in each round with the proper number and placement of red and blue squares, following the rules that govern correct placement. You can't have three of the same colours in a row either horizontally or vertically, a full row must have as many red squares as it does blue, and no two rows can be exactly the same. Tap the eye icon to get a hint, and the arrow to undo as many moves as you want, while the X will return you to the main menu. You can play levels 4x4, 6x6, 8x8, or 10x10, allowing you to get your fix at varying levels of difficulty.
And here we have the adorable Chainy Chisai in its native habitat. This small creature, discovered by Amir "Nonamez" Shabarchin, prefers the safety of cardboard boxes to the outside world. But do not think it defenseless! Rather, this tiny animal has a whole host of protective mechanisms, from shooting lightning, to spitting acids, to even exploding! And you, dear reader, get to be the one to provoke them in this charming chain-reaction game! You have just one click with which to set off as many of the languidly-drifting Chisai as possible. They'll unleash their special abilities, which will in turn activate MORE Chisai, on and on in a frenetic reaction until no more Chisai remain... Unless a few manage to slip out of the bedlam. It's simple, it's pleasingly chaotic, and it provides a surprising amount of variety for a game where most levels can be passed with only one click... not surprising since tech support was provided by Silengames, who has made a plethora of popular chain-reaction games!
In conclusion, Firecaster's Tomorrow and Yesterday combines its simple and elegant presentation with clever and challenging timing puzzles, making it a great time at home or on the go. Wait. Sorry. Games that quantum leap me back and forth through time, like Chronotron or Cursor*10 always leave me a little muddled. But as your playing back and through this HTML5 simple idea puzzle game, your clock may get a little wound up, but you'll be having too much fun to notice. Using the [arrow] keys to move, guide the circle to the triangle exit in each level. Keys can be collected to unlock doors, and resting the circle upon an "X" can activate and deactivate walls. However, one circle can't pass all these tests by itself... or can it?
In Hypnotic Owl's turn-based puzzle The Wizard, titular magic maestro Kevin loses his most precious treasure... his face. That's right, someone has literally made off with his moneymaker, and he has no choice but to pursue the thief through the sewers and into a dangerous castle filled with tricks, traps, treasure, and beasties galore that would love to chew Kevin's non-existent face right off. The game is divided into levels, with the goal being to make it safely past any dangers and to the exit, casting spells to deal with anything that gets in your way. Click and drag on green tiles to make a path, but beware... monsters will come after you if they spot you. You can click a creature to see its range, which will be helpful in planning your method of attack. See, as you play, you'll unlock new spells for Kevin (how great a wizard can he be if he literally has no magic until you find it for him?) that need to be triggered by drawing specific patterns. When you find a spell, it'll go to his notebook in the upper-right corner of the screen for you to refer to. Click on Kevin, and then draw the spell's path around him to cast. As you incinerate monsters, you'll actually level up, which can earn you points to upgrade spells you've discovered. Sadly, no upgrade for the Magic Missile will allow you to attack the darkness. Hey, can I have a Mountain Dew?