First, an update on the JayIsGames Startkicker campaign to fund the new JiG Arcade Megaplex. Well, the outlook isn't good. Despite some neat backer awards like an autographed picture of Jay or a personal invite to Dora's weekly Pot Luck Dinner/Poetry Slam, so far we've only raised $7.50 of our $2,000,000 goal. And I think that pledge might have been made by accident. Oh well, at least there's all the wonderful games in the archives to console me. Today in the Vault, we have a bit of cryptically challenging wordplay, a demonically delicious piece of platforming, and some super sliding Sokoban ripe for the solving.
- Cryptograma - Some games are made exquisite just by taking a simple concept and presenting it well. Take Cryptograma by Alicia Ramirez. It is nothing more and nothing less than an appealing presentation of substitution cipher cryptography puzzles. What sets it apart is the use of symbols instead of other letters, making it a bit approachable to those who'd find walls of jumbled text intimidating.The wisdom you'll receive from the game's nice selection of quotes to decode is all the motivation you'll need to play for hours. Plus, I hear a few dozen new quotes have been submitted and added at the suggestion of a certain friendly neighborhood Vault writer. And man, they ain't gonna decipher themselves, y'know.
- Bill the Demon - The Mac wasn't exactly the premiere gaming platform of the nineties. Still, Apple users could always rest assure that they could rub PC gamers noses in the fact that the Mac had Marathon and James Burton's retro puzzle platformer, Bill the Demon. Y'know, until Microsoft acquired Bungie, and Apple decided to no longer support older applications. But at least the latter rose from the ashes in a flash remake by the original author. If that means that more people can enjoy scurrying around, devouring souls, and screaming at monsters, all in pursuit of Satan's autograph, well, who can complain? The levels are well-designed and the graphics are equal parts horrific and adorable. And who can resist playing a game where, Bill, you are the demons?
- Puzzle Boy - Puzzle Boy, what is the secret of your power? Well, if we're talking about the Sokoban-styled game put together by Blawars, then the answer is "An obscure Gameboy Game made by Atlas in 1989 then re-released and re-titled Kwirk, so the graphics could be made much more Totally Radical in order to appeal to the US gaming crowd, and also to transform the protagonist into a mohawk-wearing tomato, for some reason." Again, it was the nineties. What's timeless though is the pushing of blocks into their proper place as you guide a cute lil' blob to an exit staircase. Puzzle Boy is a true classic, with mind-taxing puzzles that feel impossible until that glorious moment of A-Ha! Oh, and remember, the game won't start till you click the Blawars logo. Don't worry if you have trouble, we've all been there.
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!