The Bell Brothers, who brought us Echo Genesis a few years ago, have a nifty little experimental game where you use the scroll wheel on your mouse to complete various tasks. Record Tripping is short, pretty, and a clever demonstration of a new sort of mechanic.
Yes, the game is unplayable without some means of tactile scrolling, but I did find that you can play it with a touchpad that allows for two-finger scrolling, a feature on many laptop computers. More people have the tech to play this game than who might realize it at first. The gameplay analogy, as shown in the practice level, is of a spinning record, which you can move forward by scrolling up and move back or rewind by scrolling down. Clicking and holding the mouse button slows motion down, like playing a record at the wrong speed. Despite the practice level and the game's title, nothing of the actual game involves spinning records. Instead, you use this record-spinning vocabulary to move barrels, windmills, and assembly lines; open safes, and even control the flow of time itself.
The levels are grouped into chapters, with each chapter featuring a different mini-game-like task. These mini-games are very short, and the whole game doesn't take very long to finish, so the project feels more like a proof-of-concept than a full-length game. As it happens, though, it's a very attractively presented proof-of-concept. The art direction and animation are superb, with cute little animals cavorting subtly about over colorful photo-realistic backdrops. The sound and music are great too, featuring pleasant, thematic music loops, some of which you may recognize; and a nice storybook reading of Alice in Wonderland, which reacts as an LP recording would to your mouse-scrolling, record-tripping machinations. The whole package is a cool little showcase of a neat idea with lovely trappings, well worth the short time it takes to complete.
Thanks to Duane, Alex and Chiktionary for sending this one in!