Happy Post-Easter slump, dear reader! I hope you're able to tear yourself away from microwaving your Marshmallow Peeps (my mother never forgave me for teaching my little sister about that one) for another installment of The Vault! I said to myself, "Self, what would Dear Reader enjoy?" And of course the obvious answer to that was dubious fashion sense, things jumping out at you and going AAAAA, and unlawful imprisonment. Do I know you or do I know you?
- Exmortis - Horror and I go back a long way, and good or bad, I love it all. Ben Leffler's point-and-click adventure horror game series, Exmortis, however, is very, very good... provided you don't have anything against JUMP scares, that is. In this first installment, you wake up in a cabin in the woods with a lump on your head and no memories. However, I would argue that you don't need memories to realise that sepia-toned environments with a soundtrack consisting solely of lonely, howling wind probably aren't a good thing. Despite some pixel-hunting and a bit of predictable cheesiness, Exmortis has still aged extremely well and provides some of the best atmosphere to be had in a Flash horror experience with just some photo-realistic backdrops and a keen eye for creating tension. It's the sort of thing that lulls you into a false sense of security until RAAAAGH!... did I get you? Hah, of course not, you're far too BA-LOOGA-LOOGA-LOO!... how about now?... okay, fine, I'll GWAAAAAAAAH! stop. Spoilsport.
- The Fancy Pants Adventure - Somewhere, deep inside all of us, is a fancy pants hero. Brad Borne's smash hit platformer has been wowing players for years with its fast-paced, runny-leapy gameplay, smooth animation, and fantastic sense of style. The controls in this first installment feel a little stiff, just a taste of the free-running atmosphere and oddball vibe will show you why it's still popular today. Neither too easy or button-mashingly difficult, perhaps more than any other title it really feels like a casual platformer, and I mean that in the best sense of the word possible. It's fun, accessible, stylish, and weird, and provides a great bit of cartoonish escapism from your day. I mean, unless your day already involves jumping on gun-toting mice, bright orange pants, and running upside-down on the ceiling. In which case, stop making the rest of us feel like underachievers!
- Chronon - This was the first Eyezmaze game I ever played, and without context, it was completely insane. Which is not to say that adding context completely boots it out of the realm of the surreal, of course. This bizarre little point-and-click puzzle game revolves around a tiny yellow fellow held prisoner by some hulking creature, and asks you to free him by manipulating various objects at various times of the day, clicking back and forth between different hours to see what your efforts yield. The logic is... uh... well, barely there unless you grew up in a Dr Seuss book, but that's part of what makes it great. I don't mind telling you I never managed to finish this without a walkthrough, but I also don't mind telling you I desperately need a rad doom clock like that one. You just know when it chimes something rad involving Jack Black, Alice Cooper, and Ozzy Osbourne is gonna happen. Rock!
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!