Also free for iOS and Android, Pine Games' Hacker's Escape is, as the title would imply, an escape game that looks like it's set within what one of those primetime cop dramas think a hacker's room actually looks like. You know. Where they hack your firewalls and plugin your interwebs. But then, that campy aesthetic is sort of the point, as you see from the various homages to classic technothrillers around the room. To play, just click to interact. The text that appears at the top of the screen will tell you what you're looking at when it's interactive, and also show you if you're about to change orientation by moving around the room. The, ahem, fist you start out with in your inventory at the bottom of the screen is actually "force", so you can use it on objects that require a little bit of exertion to move or use. To combine items, or use one item on another, click them both in your inventory one at a time. Not only are codes hidden around the room, but you'll find a lot of electronic equipment you'll need to put to good use if you ever want to find your way out. So get cracking, and get hacking!
Lovely, dreamy, and "look, Ma, I made a bunny!" are just a few of the words you could use to describe Triada Studios' iOS puzzle game Shadowmatic, a title that combines the shifting perspectives of Starlight with shadow puppets and tchotchkes. In each level, your goal is simply to figure out how to twist and align whatever object(s) you have so that the shadow cast on the wall creates something. Well, something specific, anyway. Just press and hold on the screen and drag your finger around to rotate. If there's more than one object, you can swap between them by tapping the button in the lower-left corner, or hold down the button with one finger and swipe with another to move them both relative to one another. At the bottom of the screen you'll see a progression of dots that will slowly light up depending on how close you are to figuring out what you're supposed to be making. No special skills or ambigous "gamer" cred required here... just an appreciate for eye and ear candy, and a willingness to, like, relax, maaaaaaaaan.
Part RPG, part match-3, and liberally dosed with unexpected sass and strategy, HeatPot Games' Hero Emblems for iOS is a fun and silly but also surprisingly clever spin on an increasingly crowded genre. When the princess is kidnapped by monsters, it's up to a band of four heroes to get her back, and then to save the ailing king, presumably while the entire rest of the kingdom's army sits around picking its nose or something. As you travel around the world map, you'll naturally have to contend with enemies through battles that play out like a high-stakes Bejeweled match. Each hero has a different token that, when matched, will activate their attack or ability, and your goal is to kill all your enemies before they reduce your hit points to zero. Matching the red tokens allows your priestess to heal you, for example, while the blue tokens will return a portion of your defense points (which reduce incoming damage), or cause your guardian to attack if they're full. Every time you swap tokens, it counts as a turn, and when the number of turns above each enemy's head reaches zero, they get to attack. Here's the kicker, though... while you can just make matches willy-nilly, you're not going to get combo bonuses to damage unlike, say, Puzzle Quest. Instead, there are certain match numbers and even a formation that yields powerful bonuses that you'll really need to create in order to take your foes down... especially the bosses! Match more than three tokens to create a super-powered token you can then combine for a stronger attack, for instance, or match five or more to create a massively powerful token that, when swapped with any other token, will unleash a strong spell or special ability from the corresponding hero. Toss in wrinkles like enemies being able to poison or lock tiles, and you have a game that's just smart enough to keep you on your toes, with a serious dollop of whimsical charm on top.
Bearface Games' Merchant, the new simulation game for Android, is a combination of crafting, RPG, incremental and resource management elements all deftly shuffled together into one neat release. It plays a bit like an incarnation of Recettear's formula for your phone: As a merchant, you hire heroes to go off to slay nifferous creatures and then use the materials gleaned to make items you can either sell or equip for your heroes to improve their mighty-deed-doing, as it's known in the biz. Critters generally yield their own resource types, along with the occasional rare, and these become important when you decide you want to craft specific items. Unlike many games you have five different crafters with their own specialty and plenty hero slots, each of whom can do their thing independently and noticeably level for it. Crafting merchandise not only requires specific resources to produce, but also varying amounts of gold as well. Selling merchandise typically garners about twice the manufacturing cost, which is where the resource management aspect comes in. Do you churn out mass quantities of the same low-level items for steady profiteering, or do you make a few pieces of high-quality equipment for your heroes to enable sojourns into more dangerous territories to enable you to put better and more profitable wares on offer back at the shop?
Michel Gerard's Boomerang Chang is a fast-paced, simple-but-not-easy arcade game where all you can do is throw and jump as you stand atop a spire, constantly assaulted by enemies from both sides. Tap the up [arrow] to jump, and the right [arrow] to throw. The catch is that all you have is boomerangs, and you can only through them to the right, so if you want to hit something on the left, you'll need to time your throw to be able to jump over your boomerang as it flies back at you so it passes underneath. A single hit from an enemy will kill you, and, oh, guess what? You can also be decapitated by your own boomerang if it hits you, so pay attention to where it is! Also available free for Android, Boomerang Chang is a simple but also simply addictive little arcade game. It's got a great style with nice, subtle details in its itty-bitty artwork, and the way you can never tell what enemies will show up, or when, means you can't just "learn" the game's order straight to a high score. How many enemies out of an endless tide of them can you take down before they get you... especially when your own weaponry can be turned against you?
Choice of Robots, from Kevin Gold and the inestimable Choice of Games, playable as a download, paid browser purchase, or for iOS and Android, is a meathy and philosophical sci-fi-esque text adventure presented "Choose Your Own Adventure" style that takes you through thirty years in the life of, well, you. Though of course here "you" means "a young man or woman building their first robotic intelligence and deciding both what that means for them, the world, and what will become of them". You'll literally design your robot from the ground up, and its purpose, personality, and ultimate destiny comes down to the choices you make. Virtually everything you do has an impact on your robot's system in the form of stats like Grace and Autonomy, while other decisions can impact your personal wealth, reputation, or even your relationships with the many characters you'll meet. Make the right connections and you could end up running your own robotics company, falling in love, or developing important friendships that could help you in the future... after all, you never know who's going to turn out to be President. Your path can branch in a truly enormous number of ways, and the world will change drastically over those three decades... will you fade into obscurity? Become a tyrant who crushes the world with a merciless army of your own? Find the person of your dreams... or build them? Thoughtfully written with warmth, humour, and intrigue, Choice of Games is an intensely satisfying text adventure that will keep you coming back for more with its myriad of endings and decisions that let you play the game how you want to, making for one of the most compelling text games in a long time.
Originally available as DLC for Harebrained Schemes' lovely indie turn-based strategy RPG Shadowrun Returns, Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut is a polished, standalone version of the stellar cyberpunk campaign that improved on its predecessor in all the very best ways, and also available for iPad and Android Tablets to boot. Taking place in 2054 Berlin, in a world where shamans, orks, elves, "deckers" and street samurai work alongside humans, trolls, and dwarves, you find yourself on what should be a simple job with your old friend Monika and her team. When things suddenly go very, very wrong, you not only find yourself trying to unravel a deadly mystery before it gets you first, but you're also now in control of a group of Runners who, frankly, don't know or respect you very well. You'll need to prove yourself to them and the city, but now that it's clear you have the attention of some very big powers, you might not even survive. With snappy writing, an engaging story, memorable characters and even more choice and freedom than before, Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut is a top-notch RPG that addresses nearly every complaint about Shadowrun Returns without losing the things that fans loved.
Love to play games? Of course you do. Want to play games and earn sweet rewards doing it? Of course you do, and take that, mom, for saying games never get you anything! Playfire Rewards BETA is a free program that allows you to link your Steam account (get a free mystery game your first time!) and earn cool rewards like store credit through our affiliate partner, Greenman Gaming, just for playing! Check out the F.A.Q. to learn more, or sign up to start earning!
I wonder why we so eagerly enjoy the division of the color of shapes. What makes the red in Red Removers worse than that soft blue? Or how we are ordered to put them on their platforms of their own color and not with any other shapes of another hue as in Cyclops Physics and do so without question. There seems to be some horrifying level of hierarchy that takes place in theses physic tumbledrop games that we mere human players are unaware of. But oh well! They are sure a blast to play and the 'evil' ones always look grumpy, so we're probably all good. Transblockies, by OZDY, is next to join this frenzy of these puzzlers. Click to change the shape to alter its body into a new configuration in order to bump, slide, and/or roll the purple enemy shapes off the screen while leaving the happier ones intact. It's fun for the whole family and the whole family of gadgets (It's a mobile game for Android and Amazon, for a little fee, and iOS is coming soon) that is, if you don't get involved in the moral dilemmas of anthropomorphic shapes.
Nitrome has graced us once more with a wonderful fantastic platform game better than all the rest. What could make it better than all the rest? It's endless platforms, to start with. It's also not only for browser but your iOS and Android devices alike. The goal of Platform Panic is to gather up coins in order to unlock the other platform heroes and find out which is the best... can you guess who they all represent? The biggest issue is every hero seems to be in a panic and won't stop moving. They are always on the run either out of fear or maybe just an eagerness to show what an amazing hero they can be, which makes them a little harder to control. The left and right [arrow] keys make them change direction, while tapping up makes them jump, and you'll need to be quick to help them evade dangers through the randomized order of levels, where spikes, robots, bouncy pads and more lurk. Use the coins you collect to unlock different characters to play as!
The story behind Alpinist Escape, by Pine Studios (formerly Just Pine Games) and also free for iOS and Android, is you and your friends go skiing for the first time and your group discovers a cabin. As you walk in you hear the door lock behind you and then presumably the giggles and snorts of your friends as they run off into the cold darkness that is the winter night. Long story short, you need some new friends. If you enjoy solving puzzles and escaping then they are the most thoughtful friends on the earth, because that is exactly what you need to do. The pleasant, soft music and the witty things said when you pick up items are kind of pushing the more happier story where in the end instead of calling the cops or getting in a large fist fight, it will more likely be laughter all around and pats on the back. Alpinist Escape is simple, short, but cheery enough to keep you warm no matter what room you've been locked in.
In Victorian London, famed (well, sort of) explorator Bertram Fiddle is sorely in need of a new adventure if he wants to avoid having any sort of regular old boring employment. He and his trusted cyclops Gavin go searching for a job in Episode 1: A Dreadly Business, a point-and-click adventure from Rumpus Animation, currently out for iOS devices (with android and PC versions in the works.) When he gets bumped into by a mysterious stranger, Fiddle unexpectedly ends up on the case of the elusive serial killer Geoff the Murderer. But how far can he get when he's up against Sherlock Holmes?
If you've never played any of Ninja Kiwi's Bloons games, you're missing out. The dart throwing monkeys have been around for years now, and in the latest twist combine city building with the tower defense goodness you've come to love. In Bloons Monkey City (available in your browser or for iOS) you go behind the scenes to train, upgrade, and build a city for your monkey army to inhabit, all the while battling back the evil bloons from your lands. Why are the bloons so vicious? Nobody's sure, but I think it must have something to do with their association with clowns.
What's a great sliding block puzzle game that involves charming little robots? Botiada? Oh. Well, yes that does fill the bill, but no! This one has even cuter robots and a name that looks like a preteen texted it to her BFF, Slydrs! Also free for iOS and Android, this new adorable game by the Oliver Pearl team is too cute to be frustrated by, but the challenge of the levels themselves will contest to that. The whole goal is to put the bright orange robot on equally bright buttons to make their antennas glow. Of course the robots weren't built with any sort of braking system so they slide across the screen until they hit something as solid as them. But these delightful little piles of hardware and circuit boards know how to work as a team. Help them use each other to make sure all the button are pressed down. It doesn't matter if they all get a spot or not, they can share in each others victory and so can you.
Created in about two months, action RPG/crafting sim Rogue Legend by Lance Knifehand (Help I Made a Game!) is meant to be a delicioush mish-mash of a lot of things... Harvest Moon, Minecraft, and The Legend of Zelda, for instance. If that made your mouth water a little but also your eyebrows raise with tempered skepticism, well, read on. As the game opens, you, our hero, are awoken one night by a commotion outside your home, and when a huge black knight bursts in, your mother drags you out of bed and shoves you down a secret escape path they had conveniently built in their fireplace along with an integrated tutorial because reasons. Your hometown in flames and your family murdered, you escape, and one year later you've finally settled down on a farm of your own... so, uh, guess you didn't get any serious childhood trauma or anything. Use [WASD] to move, or just click to make the character follow your cursor. From your inventory at the bottom of the screen, you can just click to equip something, and then anywhere onscreen you want to use it. Select the hammer, for instance, and then click on rocks to break them down. Doing so, and in fact busting up other resources, grants you things you can use to craft... you can make furniture and tools, as you'd expect, but you can also make blocks to build with. If you find yourself at a chasm, just craft some stone blocks, for example, and plop them down to make a bridge! Or more importantly... build a house! Had enough of crafting? Then get out there and start stabbing the hostile wildlife, ya filthy animal! Despite some bumps and kinks, with crafting, gardening, livestock, and adventuring Rogue Legend has a lot of promise, and with some patience, could really prove addictive.
[Disclosure: Bubble Dreams was recently bought by the owner of this site.]
Bubble Dreams, free for iOS and Android, is the sort of colourful, no-frills, classic-styled match-3 puzzle game you reach for when you need something light to fill your free time. Chances are you're familiar with the concept... shoot coloured bubbles to make matches of three or more, which will clear matching, adjacent bubbles away, and try to clear the screen before it fills up. To play, all you do is tap, and the top-most bubble Chompy, our flinging alligator, is holding will fly towards the place you indicated. If it's a wall, the bubble will ricochet off, but if it touches another bubble, at any angle, they'll stick together. Chompy holds two bubbles at any time, and while the bubble on the bottom is the one you'll fire after the one on top, if you tap him, the bubbles will swap places. Complete one island's requirements to unlock the next, or, if you prefer, you can optionally pay via an in-app purchase to unlock an island immediately. As you play, you'll also unlock power-ups that can help bust through tricky situations, and while you can choose to buy more of them if you wish, they're completely optional.
Since Chompy fires where you tap without hesitation, aiming is fairly precise, though you need to be able to plan and predict where the bubble will go on your own, which can be really difficult when it comes to off-the-wall bouncing. The downside is that where similar games often take colours you have cleared from the screen out of rotation for you to shoot, making the format distinctly more puzzle-like, Bubble Dreams does not, so levels can wind up taking longer than they should. At the same time, swapping between whatever two bubbles Chompy is carrying helps this, so careful planning and aiming goes a long way. Bubble Dreams doesn't really do anything new, but it takes a familiar game and puts it in your pocket in a simple-to-pick up, vibrant style. If you want something deep or with more complex mechanics, Bubble Dreams might be a little too simple, but with a whopping free 250 levels to play, relatively sparse use of ads, and completely optional social integration and in-app purchases, it's a simply solid match-3 title with classic gameplay.
Bubble Dreams (iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone)
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