From the study halls of Digipen, whose alum include parts of the teams behind Portal and Portal 2, comes an epic tale of digging, rigging, and more digging. Sounds as exciting as bathwater, right? But I'll bet you a load of rare minerals that once you get started in Dig-N-Rig, you'll lose your evening. Maybe more!
Your life takes a drastic change when you discover that you're no ordinary teenage girl; you're a witch, and there's a place at the secretive Iris Academy waiting for you! Will you bury your nose in your schoolbooks and become the next great magical prodigy? Develop friendships (and rivalries) to last a lifetime? Or maybe you'll find... someone special? This latest visual novel RPG simulation from Hanako Games and Spiky Caterpillar is not only tremendously addictive and engrossing, it's packed full of charm, replay value, and a magic all its own.
After the end of the world, we're all dead... but that doesn't mean we aren't still leading productive unlives! Dem, grumpy skeleton hero extraordinaire, doesn't have much interest in the past, but that all changes when bouncy, just-a-little-bit-crazy magical ghost Sara forcibly ropes him into an adventure to explore the ruins of days gone by. Breath of Death VII is a short but sweet classic RPG parody chock full of strategic combat, gaming references, technologically hip vampires, usurpers and more, it's a great funny treat for anyone who remembers what it was like to be a magically animated skeleton with barely contained loathing for his party members.
In each level of Robot Unlock, your goal is to program a path for your Executor robot to travel around a series of command tiles that alter the robot's stored memory. It's very much like SpaceChem and similar logic/programming puzzle games, only in this little game, you'll be using math more than you'd expect!
Rosslyn: The Templar Mystery is a captivating first person adventure game that is packed so densely with riddles, a dozen of them are staring you in the face from the very beginning and you'll barely even realize it. Taking place inside the Rosslyn Chapel (made popular by The Da Vinci Code), you have nothing but your grandfather's cryptic notes to leaf through as you wander around the chamber looking for clues. It's a challenging experience perfect for anyone who likes a good riddle!
Robots, man. They're the worst. Always pulling you out of your workplace and forcing you to battle them in a series of psychedelic levels, blowing you up, killing your cows. It's ridiculous. Luckily, we have Deepak, representing the everyman in the daily struggle against robo-baddies. Deepak Fights Robots, from Run-Man: Race Around the World creator Tom Sennett, is loaded with mind-bending levels, quick arcade action, more colors than a rainbow drowning in a crayon factory.
You like Dino Run SE, right? And Nanotube? Well, imagine a game that's nothing like either of those games but co-created by the makers of each. Imagining that? Now stop and check out Super Space Rubbish, a game that satisfies the wildest fantasies you've had since starting this review, and does so with a fantastic retro style. Super Space Rubbish looks a lot like the classic Asteroids game on the surface, but really it's a mining/upgrading sort of experience where you customize your ship using materials extracted from asteroids smashed with your turret.
Serve the Pact, serve Avadon, serve Redbeard. So it goes for you, a new recruit to the fabled Black Fortress, eager to make a name for yourself and help uphold the ideals of your land. But all is not as it seems; Redbeard, Avadon's commander, seems to inspire as much fear as he does loyalty in his followers, and murmurs of dissent ripple through the ranks while rumours of traitors both unnerve and intrigue you. Decide for yourself what path you will follow in this massive, engrossing turn-based fantasy RPG from Spiderweb Software. Just remember to watch your back so someone doesn't stick a dagger into it. Who can you trust?
Terraria, a new action/adventure/creativity game from Re-Logic, is perfect for a sand emperor like myself. It offers the thrill of discovery mixed with the chance to meticulously construct your own little village, city or empire. And before you think it: yes, it's a lot like Minecraft, only in 2D!
Lume is a new puzzle adventure game from State of Play, creators of a few browser games you might know, such as A Short History of the World and A Break in the Road. The visual style is by far the game's most standout feature, as everything you see was created out of paper and cardboard before getting filmed in high definition. The awesomeness doesn't end with the graphics, though. Lume features some solidly challenging point-and-click puzzles that will cause even seasoned room escape veterans to stop and think on more than one occasion.
Ready for a rhythm game that will make you feel like a musical mastermind while potentially sending your synapses into a frenzy? Pulse: Volume One has that power, and this iPad-exclusive from Cipher Prime, creator of Fractal and Auditorium, has both the visual package and musical variety to lull you into a brilliant trance of dot tapping and circle watching.
When Amanita Design's Samorost or Machinarium meets a smart, non-formulatic hidden object game, The Tiny Bang Story is the beautiful result. A point-and-click puzzle game at heart, this charming release from Colibri Games will hook you from the start, keeping your eyes busy and your cursor mobile from the opening screen all the way to the very end. It's a stunning and very memorable game that will make you wish more games followed its careful design concepts.
A space ship. An explosion. An escape pod. A crash. It's just you and an alien planet replete with jungle creatures who aggressively attack you, lone guy in a well-equipped spacesuit. Capsized drops you in an unfamiliar world and gives you just a few tools to survive. Fortunately, a grappling hook and a number of guns happens to be amongst these tools, the former of which is handy not only for swinging around and pulling yourself up ledges, but for grabbing and moving obstacles. Other than that, you really have to rely on your wits in this gorgeously-illustrated but challenging physics/action game.
As the name would suggest, Digital: A Love Story by Don't Take it Personally, Babe, It Just Ain't Your Story author Christine Love, is a downloadable romance/mystery set against the backdrop of 1980s online technology. Part interactive fiction, part Uplink-style hacker game, and part nostalgic pastiche of a time of low-res graphics and crackling dial-ups that many current gamers never got to experience (which, for the record, this includes me, and, presumably, the author herself!). Digital: A Love Story offers a short, sweet and occasionally heart-wrenching trip back in time.
John's got problems of his own, but those will have to wait while he tackles his job as a new 11th grade English Literature teacher at a school conducting a very unusual experiment. In this smart visual novel, you'll watch the lives of your students unfold through personal and private conversations you're not meant to see, and have to decide how to help them when they come to you for advice. A surprisingly fun, funny, and touching story that deals with everything from sex and sexuality to self-confidence, love, and, of course, privacy.
Don't be replaced by a robot! Just learn to program robots! Then send them on tasks involving crates, bombs, explosions and junk food in this free logic/programming puzzle game. Pragmatica is a smart game in the vein of SpaceChem and The Codex of Alchemical Engineering.
The first time I saw my velociraptor avatar trying desperately to outrun the scary wall of doom, I was completely sold. Three years have passed since the release of that Pixeljam racing platformer, and I find myself returning to its charms again and again. However, with time comes change, modification, upgrading, evolution. So is the potent rationale for the release of Dino Run: SE... And from what I've seen so far, it won't be going extinct from my hard drive any time soon.
BIT.TRIP RUNNER is the latest in a series of loosely-related retro-styled arcade games from Gaijin. You take on the role of CommanderVideo, a blocky little guy who can run, slide, and kick like nobody's business. Work your way through over 50 stages, using rhythm-based platforming as you nail every jump, grab every pile of gold, and avoid every obstacle in your path. Because you're just that awesome.
The world is in your hands in Red Redemption's sequel to 2007's Climate Challenge. Assume control of the newly formed GEO in this complex and challenging strategy simulation game that forces you to cope with the needs of not only the environment but the people who live in it in order to change the future, dealing with the issues afflicting each country throughout the world as you try to bring about change. Real science and research guides your decisions, and Fate of the World offers up a challenging, complex experience that might get you thinking in more ways than one.
Life in the Gemini galaxy isn't easy; war has left its mark on the lives of the people within it, but most of them are more concerned with the all-seeing eyes of the Boryokuden, a crime syndicate that seems to operate outside the law and swiftly deals with any opposition. In this top-notch adventure game, you play as Azriel Odin, a detective on the streets of New Pittsburgh, and Delta-Six, an amnesiac test subject stuck in a sinister training facility, and attempt to stay alive while you uncover a conspiracy that might hit closer to home than you suspect.
You Don't Know Jack, the "irreverent party trivia game", features hundreds of hilarious questions in a fast-paced game show format, complete with cash and prizes, a wise-cracking host, and ample carpentry hardware. While released on multiple platforms last week, we're taking a look at the Steam release.
It's more than an action game meeting a role playing game. It's more than an amazing co-op experience. It's more than a collection of hilarious dialogue and geek culture references. It's Magicka, and it's the next game that will claim hours of your life. From Arrowhead Game Studios comes a hybrid title that emphasizes teamwork, alchemy-like spellcasting, and gaining an invincible knowledge of how elements work in relation to each other and the environment. Oh, and there are moose. Lots of moose.
Atom Zombie Smasher is a game about zombies. It is not, however, your typical game about zombies. Where other games about zombies might have you playing as the heroic survivor who somehow escaped infection via genetic anomaly or dumb luck, Blendo Games' latest release does not. Instead, this ridiculously innovative tower defense-like real-time strategy game will put you in the role of faceless commander charged with the evacuation of his fellow citizens. This time, you get to be the one who orders the orbital nukes!
Following in the tradition of the classic sandbox games (Sand Sand Sand and Powder Game), The Powder Toy by HardWIRED is a small download which stretches the boundaries of what is possible with a few simple elements. In fact, you can do almost anything with it, the only limit is your imagination.
A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda is a new platform shooter from Extend Studio that's heavy on the fantastic sci-fi art as well as the action. Its gameplay is reminiscent of classic sidescrolling arcade shooters mixed with a little modern-knowhow and Metroidvania-style level design and progression. While it may feel old school in concept, the game is anything but outdated, and the heavy dose of action and exploration you'll receive will keep you in a trance for many hours.
In spite of my overwhelming lack of talent for the platform genre, I'm completely smitten with Nyxquest: Kindred Spirits, a side-scrolling platformer by Over the Top Games that proves lovely visuals do not always have to come with over-the-top full-motion videos.
At long, long last, Jordan Mechner's (creator of the original Prince of Persia game) adventure gaming masterpiece The Last Express is available as a digital download! The game was first released in 1997 where, despite being an amazing interactive experience, it failed to gain much commercial traction. Its cult status survived the turn of the century largely due to the unique nature of the gameplay, the incredible writing, and a visual style that's more like an animated television show than a video game. No more tracking down rate copies of the original CD-ROM. Just download, install, and enjoy!
Being born to a destiny of studying at the local Aztec temple isn't the most exciting of fates. But when a sacred artifact is stolen, a grand adventure quickly ensues. Our hero Huitzilo is up for the job in Aztaka, an indie action/RPG platform game from Citeremis.
Ready for another game of ambiance and intrigue from Nifflas? NightSky is the latest release from the designer/artist known for creating enchanting atmospheric settings in his games, and this one certainly doesn't disappoint. It's simpler and more streamlined than Knytt Stories, but there's no shortage of challenge or variety to be had!
The creator of The Codex of Alchemical Engineering and Bureau of Steam Engineering (not to mention the grandaddy of Minecraft, Infiniminer) is back with a full-fledged indie game ready to provide a serious logic puzzle challenge. SpaceChem is anything but simple, anything but easy, and one of the most satisfying puzzle games released. If you can solve its challenges, that is. SpaceChem is a game you'll spend a few minutes learning but weeks trying to master, and its 50+ levels are more than enough to strain your poor brain matter more than it's been strained in quite some time.
Virtual Villagers 5: New Believers is a brilliant addition to the genre and ramps up everything that is fun about the series. The puzzles are tougher as are the challenges, which is a good thing for those who love this series of village sims. The story has a darker, more sinister edge as you explore what the destruction and grief have done to the original inhabitants of Isola. There's much to love and recommend in this fantastic new adventure. Go explore!
Immortal Souls puts you in the role of John Turner, a street racer-turned vampire who out to protect New Haven from the forces of darkness. This comic-book like, turn-based RPG has detailed art and animation to go with its numerous epic battles. Can you help the forces of light overcome the forces of darkness?
Puzzle Dimension is a great-looking and extremely well-made 3D puzzle game from Doctor Entertainment. Your goal is to collect the sunflowers on each level. Roll the satisfyingly-solid stone block across the floating tiles, leaping over single-spaced gaps when necessary, and touch each flower to nab it. Now, factor in ice, vanishing blocks, and loads of other ingenious puzzle contraptions and you've got a satisfying and challenging game that never seems to get old!
Lylian Episode One: Paranoid Friendship is a new horror-themed platform adventure from Pixelpickle Games. You play as the titular Lylian, a girl who may or may not be completely unhinged, as she tries to escape the mental institution she's being held in. Unfortunately for her, it seems like something much more sinister is going on, as nurses, other patients, and even the janitor are working to thwart her moves. Using Lylian's "imagination", you can change the scenery to make your way through the dark and disturbing passageways in and around the twisted hospital.
Meat Boy is back in his first commercial release! When the evil Dr Fetus absconds with Meat Boy's beloved Bandage Girl, he leaps to the rescue across more than 300 levels, braving saw blades, syringes, mutant blood clots, toxic waste, and much, much more. As twisted as it is charming and devious, Super Meat Boy is a fantastic and fantastically hard platformer that is tremendous fun.
The Journey Down: Over the Edge is a classic-style point and click adventure game released by SkyGoblin. Bwana and Kito, longtime friends and mechanics in Kingsport Bay, are having a bit of a cash problem. The all-powerful and evil electric company is demanding massive payments from everyone, and to top it off, they've made it a punishable offense to visit the area known as "The Edge". Couple that with a woman loaded with cash who's asking questions about Bwana's missing friend, and you've got a great start to what is guaranteed to be a strange and intriguing adventure!
Mark your calendars and set your bookmarks, Mission in Snowdriftland is back to entertain us once again with its joy-inducing classic-style platforming gameplay set against the backdrop of a cheerful holiday advent calendar. Beginning today and continuing right up through Christmas Eve, a new level will be unlocked to play each day as we march closer to that most joyous of holidays filled with presents, friends and family gatherings.
A shoot-em-up game without guns is like a library without books, or an office chair without wheels. Sure they might have some other purpose, but what fun are they without these essential little elements? Fortunately, Super Crate Box is a retro-styled platform shooter that has more guns than you can shake a stick at in the time it takes to play. (Or a katana.)
In The Ball, a first person 3D adventure/puzzle game, you play an unnamed archaeologist who accidentally falls into an ancient system of ruins during a dig. You discover a gigantic metallic orb that you must use to solve puzzles and destroy underworld enemies, all while working through ancient temples trying to find a way out!
The Machine is a simple-looking but intricate building puzzle game created by Bumpkin Brothers. Just like The Incredible Machine, The Codex of Alchemical Engineering, Armadillo Run and countless other "assembly line" titles, The Machine charges you with fulfilling certain orders using machinery, moving parts, and bits and bobs that change the size or color of the product being manufactured. Things start off simple enough, but as any great puzzle game, before long you'll have plenty to contend with.
Escape from the Underworld is a short exploration platformer that shares some design elements with some of the most successful indie games in recent history: Knytt, Iji, Seiklus, Cave Story, and, well, we could probably go on. In short, Escape from Underworld is a Metroidvania and it's really, really good.
Oh, brains. You are as delicious (to zombies) as you are useful (to anyone running from zombies). You're also apparently quite explodable, as evidenced in this colorful cartoon-like physics game BrainSplode!. Created by Rust Red Games, all you've got is a cannon, some highly-useful missiles, and a few mid-air power-ups that help you control things. Oh, and an inexplicable hatred of squishy pink brains.
Winter Voices: Avalanche is a quiet, slow-paced, and very different kind of tactical role playing game. You play a young girl living in a snowy village whose father has just passed away. Dealing with the emotions that follow is difficult, and the mysteries surrounding her father's past makes it even more challenging. Avalanche is the first in a series of episodes telling the story of Winter Voices, and if you're looking for a game that's heavy on emotion, character, and storytelling, this one won't disappoint.
For some reason, everyone loves collecting things that are smaller than they are. We're not so much interesting in gathering buildings as we are looking at them, but if buildings were pint-sized, you can bet they'd fill our pockets like lint-covered jellybeans. Tasty Planet: Back for Seconds plays on this compulsion and puts you in control of a blob of gray goo that can eat anything smaller than it is. As you can guess, this is a dangerous thing to let loose on the Earth, but give it a time machine and all of the past and future could be in quite a pickle.
What Makes You Tick: A Stitch in Time is a handsome, evocative adventure game from Lassie Games. It features an excellent presentation, puzzles that are solid and never illogical, and a rich storyline. I continue to be entranced by the world of Ravenhallow and vicinity. One novel feature of A Stitch in Time is the ability to play every scene in both day and night. The differences between Ravenhallow in the day and nighttime are not only crucial to solving certain puzzles, but give you nearly twice as much game to explore. Ravenhallow becomes an entirely different world at night.
And Yet It Moves, the simple but marvelous indie release from Broken Rules, will reignite your love for video games. That, or it will cause you to shake with anger as you replay the same part of the game for the tenth time. It might even do both! The physics-centric platform adventure employs the familiar "world tilting" mechanic that allows you to rotate the entire game environment in 90 degree increments. And Yet It Moves then proceeds to do crazy and wonderful things with this, allowing you to explore a universe as strange as it is satisfying.
Two years after your victory in the first game, Eschalon Book II finds you living a quiet life... perhaps too quiet, since your skills are beginning to erode, and you find yourself forgetting important details, but troubled by strange dreams. When you awake to find a note on your doorstep from a stranger who claims to know who you really are, you find that the adventure has only just begun in this turn-based isometric RPG featuring open world gameplay.
Instead of playing the usual part of "hero who saves the world", Recettear fits you in behind the scenes as shopkeeper, the thankless job of providing an endless supply of items. You'll haggle with customers, make smart purchases as the guild, and even hire adventurers to strike out on your own, looting dungeons in true action/RPG form!
Daniel wakes up on the floor of an ancient castle, unable to remember anything but his name... unfortunate for him since his past might be out to get them. Frictional Games delivers one of the most tense and frightening horror titles in a long time, using superb atmosphere and physics controls to plunge you into a story you won't soon forget... assuming you survive.
The road to magical greatness is difficult, littered with dragons, enchantments, adventure... not to mention test scores, rival students, detentions, and trying to keep your ghostly familiar in check. This incredibly ambitious text adventure from Black Chicken Studios is one part life simulator, one part fantasy RPG, and a whole lot of fun if you have the patience to let yourself become immersed in the tale of the making of the greatest mage of all time... you.
Sam and Max cap off the final episode of their new season of adventure games with The City That Dares Not Sleep.
With his egg-bound siblings scattered all over the level, Toki Tori has to harness the powers of bridge building, block drops, ghost traps freeze rays, teleportation and waddling to rescue them all in the return of this brilliant puzzle/platform game.
Today, Carrion is struggling to hold off an enemy attack long enough to allow civilians to escape while his country burns around him. But how did he get there? As a respected soldier, Carrion has lived in his father's shadow his entire life, and keeps butting heads with the new regent. When he and his adopted brother Maric are assigned a task by the prince, Carrion has no idea it will start him on a long path that will threaten the fate of the realm and cause him to question not only those closest to him, but himself. Will he make it out alive? Find out in this high quality retro RPG that will keep you adventuring for a long time.
Originally released in Japan back in 2007, Recettear is the story of an item shop, a girl, and a fairy. Recette's father took out a loan and then skipped town, leaving her to pay off the debt. Soon, she meets Tear, a fairy who is as persistent as she is... well, persistent. She teaches Recette to run an item shop out of her house, purchasing stock for adventurers who head out into the world to slay monsters. Buy and sell swords, shields, food products and more, haggling with each customer and placing items in ideal locations to attract business.
The platform adventure will never die. And that's a good thing! Frogatto & Friends injects a little more life into the classic genre, placing great-looking pixel art and a satisfying action/exploration game in front of your eyes for the low low price of free!
REVENGE. That's the only thing on sixteen-year-old Merui's mind when a valuable item is stolen from her... inside a popular online game, that is. The thief, Alistair, offers her a deal; if she can figure out his identity before a month is up, he'll return the stolen item. Of course, that's easier said than done when Merui's schoolwork and personal life keep getting in the way of this polished, charming visual novel from developers Sake Visual.
The Silver Lining is a fan-created King's Quest adventure game that got the unlikeliest support: the backing of publishing giant Activision. This ten-year old project has nearly been shut down twice by lawyers, but it has finally seen the light of day in the form of its first episode, What Is Decreed Must Be. But is it what fans of the series wanted? And what about people who never donned Graham's cap?
Gaius James Rover is really having a bad day; first the ship he was escorting to the governor was captured by pirates, and when he finally manages to escape he finds out that not everything is on the up-and-up. Also, he's a dog. Jolly Rover is a weird and funny point-and-click adventure with some of the scurviest dogs and cheekiest humour you could ever hope to see.
The Oil Blue is a clever mixture of a time management game and a tycoon simulation where you lead a crew of workers who strike out into the sea to discover new locations to drill for oil. Each island you reclaim opens the way for your employer, United Oil of Oceania, to establish a permanent operation there. All you have to do is manage the drills, sell the oil, and do everything as efficiently as you can.
There's something hidden in a mine deep beneath the ice in remote Greenland. Phillip follows a map to the location despite a letter from his missing father begging him to burn the documents he discovers. Phillip wants to find out what obsession could have taken his father from his family all those years ago. Instead, he may find more than he could ever be prepared for in Frictional Games' survival horror series about dark and secrets. What you can't see can hurt you.
In Fractal, a puzzle game by the authors of Auditorium, your goal is to create "blooms" which are composed of six hexagons of the same color. On the surface it sounds like a simple matching puzzle, but the web-like nature of the gameplay and the gorgeous presentation makes it so very much more.
Emberwind is an adventure-themed platform game from indie dev TimeTrap. The city of Grendale has been overrun by gremlins commanded by the evil CandleFinger. As the short, stout gnome Kindle Elderwood, it's your job to comb through the villages and dispatch the evil little buggers from every nook and cranny. Along the way you'll get to learn new abilities and collect a whole lot of loot!
Strap on your point-and-click shoes, because these robots are assembled and ready for adventure! In this latest from Wadjet Eye games take control of a group of newly invented miniature robots with unconventional abilities who unwittingly cause trouble for their human creators when they stumble across a villain's strange secret. Fun, funny, and cheerful, Puzzle Bots is a quality adventure that, while short, is great for everyone.
Have you ever wanted to tell a story about a kitten? Or an alien? Or a mummy, or a genius, or a demon, or a block of cheese, or a little girl with the magical ability to talk to soap? Well, a little bit of time and effort with Sleep is Death will let you do just that, all in the form of a playable experience for you and a friend.
Sam and Max are back in another season of episodic adventure games! Expanding upon the established point-and-click formula explored in Sam & Max - Culture Shock and following episodes, the first game in The Devil's Playhouse season, The Penal Zone, lets you see things through the warped perspective of Max. Yes, it's as crazy as you think, if not moreso. But it's still a lot of adventuring goodness with the duo's characteristic sense of humor slapped on every object and situation.
Return to the underworld of Avernum one last time in the conclusion to Spiderweb Software's iconic RPG series. When a blight brings famine down upon the people of Avernum during a war, four soldiers are called to become heroes from unlikely beginnings. Create your party and set out into a dark world full of adventure, betrayal, and, most importantly, hidden treasure!
Caster is a third-person action-shooter with distinct influences from the glory days of console gaming; it cooks up some of the most-enticing features of high-energy, super-powered shooter action and serves it up on a silver platter.
It's time to travel back to Isola! Yes, that magical island paradise with the odd wildlife and mysterious ruins is back in Virtual Villagers 4: The Tree of Life, the latest installment in the Virtual Villagers casual sim series by Last Day of Work. The powerhouse of the field, the game by which all other village simulations are measured, is back to delve deeper into the secrets of the island!
All it takes is one stranger on the road on one dark night to unwittingly set in motion a chain of events that could change the world. Choose your party members from nine distinct personalities and set off on a side-scrolling free RPG adventure through lush environments full of strange characters. Featuring nine chapters, a complex battle scheme, and more, it's a stunning linear adventure that will delight fans of the genre.
Galcon Fusion is the latest in the growing line of casual strategy games from Phil Hassey. Following Galcon Classic, the original desktop version of the series, and borrowing a ton of tricks from the iPhone incarnations Galcon and Galcon Labs, Fusion pits you against the rest of the galaxy as you fight for dominance. Featuring high-definition visuals, loads of interesting modes of play, and several fun bells and whistles, Galcon Fusion is a respectable successor in the Galcon line and a captivating casual Risk-like strategy game.
If you're a fan of first person skydiving games with lots of vowels in the title, Aaaaa! A Reckless Disregard for Gravity by Dejobaan Games is right up your alley. Your goal is to make it from Point A (generally assumed to be somewhere above you) to Point B (somewhere below point A) without crushing every bone in your body. Unfortunately the skies are littered with airborne buildings and architectural oddities. And birds. And cars. And large glass plates with numbers on them.
In the mood for a seriously intense turn-based strategy game? Solium Infernum is about as non-casual as you can get, featuring no in-game tutorial and a 30+ page instruction manual. But it rewards players with superb open-ended gameplay that has as many paths to victory as you can conjure.
Terry Cavanagh's ambitious and charming little game of platformer-esque exploration contains a lot of fun, but may demand too much from your reflexes for some players. Seek out your missing crew across a sprawling map packed with secrets, symbolism, and a whole lot of challenge that will put all your skills to the test. Buckle up, Captain.
One the surface, Gratuitous Space Battles, from Kudos developer Positech Games, looks like your run-of-the-mill space RTS, something in the vein of the Homeworld series or Star Wars: Empire at War. But when that glance turns into a longing stare, you'll realize it's very different from both of those series and isn't really, in fact, a real time strategy game at all. Gratuitious Space Battles has a whole new system of gameplay going for it that, in many ways, feels more like a tower defense game than anything else.
Once upon a time, an exceptional game designer decided to put his hands to making a 'cool' game. It worked. The result was Excitebike, a fast-paced and challenging motorbike racing game. Released this year is the strikingly similar debut game from Turborilla, the aptly titled Mad Skills Motocross. While there are obvious differences between the latter and former games, the general idea of "move right using a motorbike while making jumps and going fast" is here, and that's what we like to see.
Kiss your free time and your loved ones goodbye. Torchlight is here. The indie rogue-like/action/RPG title has been highly anticipated, but is it worth all the hype? Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Stop talking to me, I'm trying to play. With randomly generated dungeons, an obscene amount of treasure and monsters to hunt, and a faithful animal companion at your side, Torchlight is a stellar example of indie gaming at its finest.
Eufloria, formerly known as Dyson, is a real-time strategy game built around the concepts of simplicity, ambience, and gentle pacing. It plays like an evolved version of Risk or Galcon, where sheer numbers and a good strategy are all you need to dominate. Eufloria isn't about warriors battling over blood-soaked soil. It's a slow, organic game that uses plants as its inspiration, challenging you to expand a seedling empire one asteroid at a time.
On the list of things that are more useful in video games than they are in the real world, grappling hooks are certainly near the top. Acquiring a grappling hook in the real world is positively thrilling, until you start thinking of ways you can actually (and legally) use it. Fortunately, the aptly-titled Grappling Hook isn't grounded in reality. The puzzle platformer from SpeedRunGames is filled with 22 levels of quick-thinking grappling goodness that is sure to keep you zooming around for hours.
From Amanita Design, creator of the famously brilliant Samorost series, comes Machinarium, a game so well-conceived and implemented it can confidently launch as one of the best point-and-click adventures of all time. Machinarium is nothing short of a playable piece of art. Similar to Samorost in style and gameplay, you play a lone robot thrown out of the city working his way through desolate mechanical slums. Solve puzzles, find and combine items, and encounter loads of creative characters in your quest. Machinarium is one of those rare games you can't praise enough.
Gridrunner Revolution is a frantic, visually-intense shooter from Llamasoft. You play an unnamed little spaceman, alone and braving the neon, explosion filled depths of space. Suddenly, enemy ships approach. Do they want your ship? Your knowledge? A key piece of technology you have? Nobody knows. All that we can be sure of is if you blow enough of them up, space sheep wander on to the screen — and you can collect them.
RunMan: Race Around the World, by Tom Sennett and Matt Thorson, is a full-fledged follow-up to the RunMan series of speed-centric platform games. You control the titular RunMan who's really, really good at running. He's so good, in fact, he's entered a race to run around the world. Too bad everybody else quit when he showed up. RunMan is also an HonorableMan, however, and before he'll accept the winner's crown, he's going to earn it by running around the world on his own two little yellow feet.
Man-eating plants! Skeletons! Giant spiders! Falling boulders! What do these things have in common? They're all very, very deadly. And they, along with a host of other unpleasantness hungry for your demise, are waiting for you in Spelunky, an incredibly addictive roguelike platformer from Derek Yu. Explore, descend, discover... just remember to watch your back and keep one hand on your whip!
Ben Leffler continues his popular horror point-and-click series in Exmortis 3, when your time for revenge may come too late to do mankind any good. Introducing new abilities, new locations, and dripping with atmosphere, Exmortis 3 is exceptionally well made, but may be over too soon for some players.
The main goal in Osmos is simple: you, an amoeba-esque organism known as a "mote," must absorb smaller motes to become bigger. As your size increases, you are able to absorb more and more motes until you are the largest one in the area. This seems like a simple objective, and at its core it is. But, in order to propel yourself around to capture motes, you must expel a part of your own mass, which in turn decreases your size. It's a beautiful and unique game of calm strategy and intense thought.
Lyle in Cube Sector is a relatively old Metroidesque platformer in traditional NES style. You play as Lyle, who adventures through Cube Sector, using cubes for everything from attacking enemies to playing basketball to feeding a dog, with the ultimate goal of retrieving his cat Keddums.
Developed back in 2003 by Moonpod Games, Starscape may be considered an "oldie" by the gamer crowd, but it's a goodie. Launched as a shareware game without the distribution support that it has today, Starscape flew under the radar, gathering a respectable following slowly but surely. Today, it's been finally starting to hit the major distro sites and people are either discovering or taking a second glance at this little space shooter/strategy game created half a decade ago.
Eschalon: Book 1, the debut title from Basilisk Games, will take you back to the nostalgic days of Ultima and Might and Magic. It's a turn-based, tile-designed RPG, a system that many fans of the genre are familiar with. Eschalon offers a rich, engaging and open-ended world to explore, with a similarly deep storyline. It's a modern-day tribute to the old CRPG's that fans grew up on, at a time when storytelling, adventuring and honing your character's skill took precedence over shiny graphics and cutting-edge mechanics.
Stardrone is a genre mashup download game, featuring a mix of elements including arcade action, pinball, breakout, gravitational physics and collect-the-objects. Although it might sound a little confusing, the game simply boils down to you (a ball) lighting up stars to reach an objective, and it's remarkably fun to play!
Virtual Villagers is back, and we're so excited we couldn't wait until the weekend to tell you! With Virtual Villagers 3: The Secret City, the surprisingly addictive real-time simulation game sticks with its proven formula and makes a few minor tweaks to freshen up gameplay. With new secrets to uncover, new technologies, real-time weather effects and a whole new island to explore, Virtual Villagers 3 has all the ingredients that made the first games so compelling, plus more.
Two heavy-hitting adventure games hit the casual scene this weekend, one a re-release of a classic point-and-click title, the other an exclusive from a seasoned adventure development studio. Each one spins an unforgettable tale using famous crime novel monikers everyone should recognize. Although the titles take strikingly different gameplay approaches, each one offers a deep mystery experience wrought with hidden agendas, misleading clues, and plenty of riddles to solve.
It's here! The next chapter in the captivating virtual island village sim is available to download. The follow-up to the monumentally successful Virtual Villagers game keeps the same formula as the original but adds all new puzzles, events, collectibles and more. It's the perfect follow-up to one of the most amazing casual games ever released.
Guxt is an original shooter created by Pixel, author of Cave Story, This work-in-progress download doesn't attempt to be revolutionary or even particularly modern, but Pixel's original music, sound effects and pixel-perfect sprites come together beautifully in this difficult but fair shooter.
Virtual Villagers is a downloadable real-time simulation game developed by Last Day of Work, the creators of Fish Tycoon and a number of other casual sim games. Take charge of a village of crash survivors and help them carve out a living on a jungle island. Teach them to farm, help them research scientific advancements and expand their population. It's a remarkably addictive game that's easy to play but impossible to stay away from!