I'm afraid I haven't been able to join in the revelry held this week by most video game sites since, uh, I must confess that I've never played a Pokemon game. Unless Pokemon Snap counts. And I don't think it does. So instead, I'll bury the shame of my dearth of mythical-creature cockfighting training experience in this week's Vault selection of the very best adventure, platform, and action games from the JayIsGames archives. To play them is your rest test, to beat them is your cause!
- Deep Chalk: First Phase - Deep Chalk, a series of so-far four point and click adventure games created by Zack Livestone with the first being released in 2008, reminds one of what the world of Samorost would look like in the authors chose to indulge in eerily surreal pseudo-abstraction instead of twee organic mechanics. However, I happen to like eerily surreal pseudo-abstraction, and so I like Deep Chalk. Livestone creates a surprising amount of atmosphere in his stark monochromatic worlds using very little animation, and the sound design throughout is some of the best to be found in any casual game. The Deep Chalk series may be overshadowed a bit by similar, more-accessible works, but a playthrough definitely shows that the shadows is where it belongs.
- Zombies Took My Daughter - In 2010, long before The Last of Us, Nerdook knew that players would fight through any obstacle if you engaged their parental instinct. The result was Zombies Took My Daughter, an action platformer that packs a punch, even on your thirtieth playthrough. The undead are almost secondary to the threat of the ticking clock, as you search block by block for your missing child before the ferry leaves and the city is nuked by the army. The randomly generated cities of Zombies Took My Daughter are filled with intriguing hints and clues concerning the apocalypse you are fighting through, but wisely they are left at the periphery: in the end, its you, your weapons, and the search. Sometimes that's enough for a horror masterpiece.
- Four Second Firestorm - Perhaps it's the result of my extremely short attention span, but I've always had a soft place in my heart for microgames, and Four Second Firestorm, released in 2006 under the auspices of Jmtb02 as the third of the Four Second Series, is an excellent collection. 57 authors and 175 games show how well a collaboration can turn out when all the programmers and artists are firing on all cylinders. Whether you're dodging zeppelins, exploding balloons, catching flies or turning a baby into a hobo, you'll be enjoying yourself four seconds at a time.
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!