The Vault №108

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The Vault

ElleRight about now, perhaps you're wondering if it's too late to order your Big Bird costume or if Costco still has 20 lbs bags of spooky-themed candy in stock or if your plan to bungee jump off a space shuttle isn't such a crazy idea like your friends all think it is. Or maybe you're just wondering where you can find good games to focus all your thoughts into some exploratory fun? While all the best games find their way to JIG no matter where they originated, here are three games that began life as Casual Gameplay Design Competition entries.

  • Full MoonFull Moon - Bart Bonte participated in several of our design competitions, and it's always a great pleasure to see how he'll spin the theme into his signature Bonte style. This point-and-click puzzle game, which won second place in CGDC#6, is all things good about a Bonte game and plays well on the theme of exploring by encouraging experimentation. Full Moon's graphical minimalism is completely without textual directives; see what the little bunny wants, then click around the screen for where it may be hidden. Most the challenge is in figuring out just which string of events will elicit the desired object. Here, as usual, Bonte is great at keeping it simple while still providing an engaging and entertaining game experience.
  • HoosegowHoosegow - Graphics are cool and all, but they are often so finite when your own speculative, imaginative mind can cook up nuances, connotations and inflections from words that a brush stroke or pixel bit cannot muster. Hoosegow, Ben Collins-Sussman and Jack Welch's winning entry in the escape-themed CGDC#7, is the proof that a textual western setting is just as rich and ripe for exploration as any picturesque adventure. Playing this piece of interactive fiction leads to a lot contemplation about the cleverly written narrative and plenty of challenge in finding just the right word to move further through the story. Your brain is more high res than any graphics card so, upon finishing, there is a greater sense of accomplishment when most the gameplay is happening up in your noggin.
  • The Fabulous ExplorationslandThe Fabulous Explorationsland - Although it didn't win any prizes, StefanT's entry into CGDC#6 was a big favorite with the audience and judges alike for the sheer amount of fun it contains. Taking the exploration theme to the literal hilt, this adventure fuses cornball wit into the dungeoncrawler-esque gameplay, gratifying your love of achievement through congratulating each new discovery you make. Just use the [arrow] keys and [space] to interact with your environment to find the long lost burrito shop of the ancients! Bring light to the dark depths of the Pharaoh's latrine! Learn the answer to mystifying riddles! All while exploring a world of secrets and adventures.

While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!

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Infinity Inc> Dora Get by with a little help from your friends... or yourself, anyway, in this dark puzzle platformer by The Shpufa. Use a cloning gun to make expendable buddies to trigger traps and press switches for you as you traverse an abandoned facility. It's harmless... right?  ...
Concrete Jungle> Dora You'll need a good head on your shoulders and deck in your hands to master this cunning indie game of cards and strategy! When you're called in to help rebuild a town and the surrounding area with the help of smart Laney Thompson, every tile counts, especially since different buildings you place have different effects that can negatively impact your total! With multiple game modes and a brilliant cartoony style, Concrete Jungle is addictive and clever in equal measure.  ...
Redemption Cemetery: Clock of Fate> Dora You thought your biggest problem was being late for your train, when suddenly you find yourself hurtling back through time. You're stuck in the 1940s unless you can help the troubled spirits you encounter right the wrongs in the pasts in this gorgeous but gruesome hidden-object adventure.  ...
Old City Escape> Dora You're in the slammer once again in this short but satisfying escape game from Pine Studio. But maybe with the help of a fine feathered friend, and a little heavy weaponry, you can escape the tower and sail away to freedom!  ...

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