I have some exciting news to share. Or rather, exciting news for Tricky fans. Both of you. (Hi, Mom!) I've been offered the opportunity by our benevolent JiG overlords to be the regular writer of our weekly Vault feature! Hopefully, before I become inevitably corrupted from this first taste of real power, we'll be able to, together, rediscover both massive hits and hidden gems from our archives. So let's get started, with puzzles, adventure, and action in this week's JayIsGames Vault!
- Poco Parco - While the Grow concept is, of course, well and truly the provenance of Eyezmaze, one of the best tributes to the style, Poco Parco, was released in 2007 by Gung Ho Games. As you may expect, the goal is to click buttons in the correct order, and watch as charming animations evolve into a sprawling colorful world. Since the effects of the buttons in Poco Parco are not as immediately obvious as in other's of its ilk, careful observation will be required to suss out the solution. However, trying and re-trying is half the fun of these sorts of games, and since Poco Parco is filled to the brink with hidden bonuses, clickables, and easter eggs, it succeeds as being as much of a marvelous webtoy as a clever puzzle.
- The Day - When a game says it has two endings, usually it means that three seconds from the end you probably will probably be making a decision, like either shooting that guy who burned down your village or, instead, giving him a hug. I have to believe, though, that no other two-pathed game diverges quite so much as The Day, a 2010 adventure from the master of experimental gaming, Gregory Weir. Discovering and interpreting the events of the plot for yourself is the work's great joy, but suffice to say, it might be the only work that successfully integrates both children's card games and dystopian political intrigue as major thematic elements. (...okay, there's Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's, but still.) It inspired much interesting discussion, both on the reviewer discussion list and in its comment section, and anything that provocative is worth playing indeed.
- Tower of Greed - Tower of Greed, by Epic Shadow, is frenetic fun, certainly. Racing up a tower, collecting treasure, bopping enemies, and avoiding spikes, always keeping pace with the deadly void creeping up from the bottom of the screen to swallow you: it would fit in perfectly alongside any row of retro arcade cabinets. However, it does add one layer that makes it truly nail-biting: gambling. Oh sure, all you are wagering are achievements and a high score, but the risk keeps things interesting. You can leave the tower, missing out on all the good stuff you know is just a couple floors away. You can choose to keep going, knowing that one mistimed jump will force you to start again from the bottom. But like a slot machine, Tower of Greed's simple, attractive presentation will keep you playing. It's a good thing it doesn't require any quarters though. My pockets would be empty in minutes.
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!