They say laughter is the best medicine, but I don't believe that. Medicine, naturally, is the best medicine, but it's closely followed by creative expression, a sprinkling of adventure, and intellectual stimulation. And Hawaiian pizza. And '80s music. And Bugs Bunny cartoons. All of these things keep life interesting and worth living, so it's no surprise that this week's installment of the Vault takes a look back on some of the best examples we've featured.
- Click Drag Type 3 - Are you go with puzzles? How about visual riddles? Unless your response was "Awwwwww yissss, lemme at dat biz-niz," then you might not be prepared to take on Simple Andy's collection of obscure, mind-bending stages. The instructions are right there in the title. All you need to do is figure out how to implement them and not eat your keyboard in frustration. I've always been a sucker for unusual puzzles, especially the ones that get your brain churning with minimal in-game direction, and Click Drag Type more than fits the bill, and packages them all up with a clean design and interface as well. All of this sort of makes me wonder if Simple Andy isn't going to wind up a more family-friendly (but more infuriating) version of Saw's Jigsaw... it's going to be a dark day for me if it happens, because I promise you that without a walkthrough I am never, ever getting out of one of his traps.
- Time Raider - Lara Croft is a small fry. The hero of Rey Gazu's clever puzzle-platformer raids time. Do you know how hard that is? It's all wibbley-wobbley and junk! Created for our 3rd Casual Gameplay Design Competition where the theme was "replay", this quirky, morbid little game puts you in control of three heroes (well, technically just one) attempting to traverse a deadly tomb filled with traps, each moving along a different section of the screen. You can only control one hero at a time, and figuring out how to proceed, in what order, and avoid all the many fatalities that potentially await you is often as darkly funny as it is occasionally frustrating. It requires a lot of trial-and-error and a lot of patience, and yet it engages and makes you grin far more than it makes you rage quit... which isn't to say it isn't challenging, of course. Because it is, seriously. But if, like me, you blurt out a single, shameful laugh when someone hurts themselves in front of you before you can get it under control, you'll enjoy this.
- A Break in the Road - I don't have a musical bone in my body, unless you count the cacophony I subject the car to when Lady GaGa comes on the radio and nobody is around to hear me mess up the lyrics. Despite this, I was instantly smitten with Luke Whittaker's brilliant and stylish musical creativity game/webtoy/experience when I first encountered it in 2006, and remain so to this day. Your goal is to explore the different urban environments in the game, searching for bits of sound, be it drops of water on metal or snippets of an argument, that you can use to edit together into a musical sensation that'll make the crowd go wild at a popular club. More than just being a superbly well made piece of experimental melody making, from its striking art design to its unusual concept, it's a game that reminds us all to pay a little more attention to what's going on around us and take pleasure in unexpected ways.
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!