What do you call someone who believes that he is the only person in the world, and that the world is created slope by slope before him, so that he can tear up the landscape with rad tricks and daredevil speed skiing? Give up? Solipskier! It's a punchline of sorts, and it's also a fast-paced game from developers Mikengreg, in which you draw hills and dales for a fast-moving ski-sprite to slalom.
Command an array of soldiers and turrets in pursuit of various planet-conquering objections, being careful to defend your battery, because your battery is kind of important to your spaceship. Everyone knows nothing puts a damper on a day of planetary destruction like having to root around the still burning wrecks of your enemies for some jumper cables.
Raitendo's Action Turnip!!! definitely knows its roots. It has two modes: Run N' Gun mode, which is an interesting cross between Robot Unicorn Attack and shmups, and Turnabalt mode, which is like what you'd get if Canabalt and a movie's credit sequence had a baby. Except you can turn into a rainbow and fly around.
There are so many tossing and launching games that it takes something special to stand out from the rest of the pack. Meteor Launch, wherein you play a Polynesian boy trying to send a sad-looking fallen star back home into space, is special, and stands out with its method of control and its charming story.
Those crummy little ragdolls, always getting in the way, doing those things they always do, making us angry enough to fire them out of cannons. Really, you'd think they'd learn their lesson after three games. Ragdoll Cannon 3, Johnny_K's latest entry in the Ragdoll Cannon series, features more cannons and more of the floppy dolls that you'll use to solve dozens of physics-based puzzles.
Chubby Ninja is great for little snack-sized bits of platforming without ever feeling stale or repetitive. Plus it may help you remember bygone days at the ninja dojo. Try not to get too misty-eyed with nostalgia, or you'll miss that double-jump.
Exit Path is a non-stop, single-and-multiplayer feast for the senses. You'll be running and jumping the field, trying to make your way through a number of screens, each with its own set of challenges, tempted with freedom in a dystopian future, and dodging vicious death machines at every turn. John Cooney has proven himself more than capable of making a wide variety of games, but some of his best work seems to lie in creating fast-paced, action-packed games, and he certainly hasn't missed the mark with this one.
Robot's at it again; armed with a kitty perched atop his boxlike head, he's off to get himself a new friend in this follow up to the surprise smash-hit original retro platformer. Gather keys and unlock the mighty (mighty weird) abilities of your feline companion to eventually win the day and the puppy.
There are three things that distinguish Bullethead from the hundreds of other similar, Space Invaders styled vertical shooters. Number one, it's by Nitrome, so you know it will be a high-production affair, with happy music and sound, and cute, colorful, pixelated artwork. And that should be reason enough to stop reading this and give the game a try!
Even though it inherited the title from the original Tron, Space Paranoids is very aptly named. Because your advantage lies in speed, not firepower, the game encourages a lot of running away and waiting for enemies to come to you. Space Paranoids is not just a good advergame or a nice taste of nostalgia; It's also a fine game in its own right, and a great example of what the Unity engine can do when done well.
Give Up, Robot is designed to punish you in as many different ways as possible. And that is what makes it great. Players control a unicycling, pixelated robot with a grappling hook and a stoic tenacity, who must traverse elaborate gauntlets at the behest of a fractured, highly vocal, passive-aggressive computer overseer.
Rid the pixel kingdom from the evil hordes while getting the highest score possible in this action/platform game. For a true knight, a challenge always needs one more thing, doesn't it? In the sequel you'll probably be running on a barrel...
Need to shrink a planet? Apply your head to the problem and strap a drill to it. Just mind the local wildlife. In Nitrome's new action/puzzle game Chisel, get ready to tear through terra-firma like you have never done before - unless you are a moleman.
Dodge those pesky man-eating earthworms in the homage game that took two decades to appear! The town of Perfection is under siege from underground worms rearing out of their Hades abyss and chomping down on the surface dwellers! If not for the actions of two local repairmen, everyone could be mauled in this fitting homage.
From the creator of The Company of Myself comes an arena shooter with a surprisingly deep message at its core, offering food for thought alongside fast-paced gameplay. EXADI is a highly advanced artificial intelligence who needs your help to recover her systems after the assault of a particularly nasty virus. But where did the virus come from? And just what makes someone human anyway?
What do you do when you find yourself stranded on a lonely country road with no gas in the tank and a major zombie outbreak happening all about you? You pull out your trusty baseball bat and hand cannon and go to work. Shoot, hack, and slash your way through zombie hordes in this action packed arcade game.
Poto and Cabenga are minding their own business, riding along and collecting golden feathers, when a giant skybeast swoops down and swallows Poto whole! Now you need to control both characters, racing along on the top and bottom of the screen, to eventually reunite horse and rider under usual circumstances with this challenging one button game of reflexes and action.
For anyone who loves this type of retro platformer, Super Granny 5 is the game for you. With over 100 levels, the ability to go back and do each level again until you've done it perfectly (and earned one of several trophies), and even a level editor to create your own insane levels, there are hours and hours and hours of fun to be had. Granted, the game appears to be aimed at the younger set, but there's a lot of casual gameplay here that can be enjoyed by anyone.
Rock 'n' Risk is a unique game in which you jump on upwardly moving colored platforms. A sort of JumboTron in the background tells you which color to jump on next. So Simon meets platformer is not a bad way of thinking about it, though there is quite a bit more to it. Energy is the operative word for Rock 'n' Risk. The whole thing is built like an action game show, with cheering crowds and an upbeat, "dude" commentator praising your every excellent move.
When an artificial intelligence escapes from its laboratory and flies out against military forces in a fight to survive, Ghost Guidance inadvertently gives us something the world has never seen before: a SHMUP story that makes sense! Jump from ship to ship and avoid the military forces as you help an AI virus in its run to safety.
Help a dog not hit terra-firma by bouncing off the heads of green blobs and fat cats. Pay attention: this is serious! Last as long as you can and get as high a score as a plummeting canine can achieve, bouncing off the occasional fat (alien?) cat for a score bonus.
Tired of being the little guy? Then leap behind the controls of one of the massive boss battleships that used to steal all your quarters in classic arcade space shooters. Complete missions to prove your mastery of the skies, unlock new modes, and prove that it's not the size of the ship that counts... wait, no, it is. It totally is.
Cosmicube is one of those 'older games with a new twist' releases that you see every once in a while. The game uses the Unity engine to render a 3-D take on Marble Madness. The marble's track is made of red cubes mounted on a larger black cube. Your goal is to get a marble from its starting point onto the goal by moving your mouse to tilt the playing field. You're aided (and hampered) by an impressive physics simulation that feels very authentic and real, all while listening to a fast-paced soundtrack that fits the action and setting well.
Calling all tiny knights! The tiny princess has been captured by the tiny wizard and is being held in his tiny castle! We need someone to go on an itty-bitty platforming adventure to rescue her while avoiding monsters, traps, and a frequently changing environment. Think you've got what it takes? All of you who aren't knee-high on a grasshopper need not apply.
Enter The Dragon and face the Big Boss at the top of the Tower Of Death in this one-button game featuring a series of short mini-games. It's a challenge of concentration and timing, packaged with retro graphics and an air of simplicity. There is no doubt that sufficient practice will awaken the mouse-click Shinobi in you.
Some days, don't cute and furry animals just make you want to go all Ted Nugent on their...bums? Mushroom Madness 2 fulfills that inner madman in all of us who just wants to smack, smash, DESTROY! Play Mushroom Madness 2, animal control in the form of casual gameplay.
Genu is back and wants his revenge! Who's Genu? Who cares! It's another excuse to pilot overpowered, flashy spaceships against legions of enemies in this fast-paced shooter full of big bosses, big upgrades, and big fun. While not quite perfect, it's an enjoyable and challenging space adventure for every fan of lasers.
Man, don't you ever want to get off the launch treadmill? If only we could destroy this stupid car, we could forget about this whole getting-to-the-right business and get with that cute rabbit in the corner of the screen. Hey baby you so fine baby. Red Jet Rabbit puts you in the cartoonish driver's seat to destroy a mad scientist's car, which will win you a kiss... somehow.
Oh, Captain Bobulous! Why must you love the princess and not me?! I would never make you fend off intruders while avoiding spikes, snakes, meteors, and anything bigger than you are! A green alien is the unlikely hero of this fast paced arcade game of reflexes. Collect energy to grow bigger, just don't get too attached to your dashing green hero... not only is he rather fragile, but his heart belongs to another. *sniff!*
Take charge of natures number one predator and sort out all those people who dare enter the sea. Or sail on it. Or fly over it, for that matter... If Miami Shark from Mausland teaches us anything, it's that sharks are AWESOME. Providing you are the shark. And you can drag stealth bombers down. From the sky.
Despite the similarities to the other Farm Frenzy games (or, perhaps, because of it), Farm Frenzy 3: Ice Age is still a rollicking good time. With tons of trophies to win and lots of levels to conquer, you're still looking at hours and hours (and hours of casual gameplay and replay value that is fun for a wide range of ages. So enjoy the cute animals, and look out for an appearance from a very special guest star.
The steadfast knight in this latest game from Nitrome has decided that all that romping through dank dungeons and random-encounter-laden forests is overrated; instead, he launches himself out of a cannon through waves of enemies and sees how far he can get. Click your mouse to fire the cannon at the get-go, accounting for angle and power, and then hold the left mouse button down in a direction to give the airborne knight a general idea of where he should aim for.
When does science go too far? How advanced can an artificial intelligence get before it is too advanced? And at what point does an homage cease to be an homage? The answers to these questions and more can be found in Condition, a sci-fi platform shooter by abielins and Lycheesoup that's just a little reminiscent of Cave Story.
Martial artists have for centuries honed their bodies, minds, and souls to the very height of human potential. Entire lifetimes are dedicated to the understanding and perfecting of the human form and all for one very distinct purpose. If the new launch game, Mad Karate Man, is to be believed, then that purpose is to waylay cell phone yapping, briefcase lugging, penny-loafer on casual Friday wearing businessmen, and kick them so hard they actually go into orbit.
With a special ship and enough firepower to sort out the 100 year war in an hour, head to the skies and dodge bullets.For whatever reason and whichever tactical handbook involved, you are heading into space to shoot down a colourful variety of enemy spaceships, always culminating to fighting a huge boss ship at the end (Come to think of it, why does the boss always fight alone.. you know what? I don't care).
In Abduction!, the goal is to make your bloated overlords cold, hard cash by journeying to Earth and picking up a few (un)willing volunteers to be the supply for your demand. It's the perfect game for those of you who hate overalls and straw hats, and believe anyone who wears them should be punished. Sucking a fleshy creature aboard your ship causes horrible yet delicious things to happen to them as they're processed into Man-in-a-Can.
Have you ever wondered what ponies dream about? It's not hay or salt licks. They dream of racing with shiny dolphins across a purple landscape, leaping to avoid smashing into stars and racking up a high score. That's right, they dream of being a magical robot unicorn! And now, thanks to this weird yet addictive two-button game from Adult Swim, so will you. Neigh, my friend. Neigh like you've never neighed before!
M-Bot: The Game is a gorgeous, shiny, frenetic gem of a 2.5D shooter with style to spare, where you pilot M-Bot through the urban ruins of the Newgrounds community to disable spambots and make the world safe for friendly posters everywhere.
Go To Hell is a skill- and reflexes-oriented puzzle game by Metasauce, creator of Hex Empire. One part digging game, one part physics playground, the title welds the two elements together into a tightly-structured experience that's as intriguing to play around with as it is to beat.
If you're a fan of first person skydiving games with lots of vowels in the title, Aaaaa! A Reckless Disregard for Gravity by Dejobaan Games is right up your alley. Your goal is to make it from Point A (generally assumed to be somewhere above you) to Point B (somewhere below point A) without crushing every bone in your body. Unfortunately the skies are littered with airborne buildings and architectural oddities. And birds. And cars. And large glass plates with numbers on them.
Absorbing, engrossing, and hours and hours of fun await those who play Fiona Finch and the Finest Flower. Play as little or as much as you like, plan for efficiency or go nuts and create patterned, formal gardens. Enjoy the feeling of satisfaction from creating a lovely garden without the sunburn, dirt under your nails, or stinging insects.
Hostile Spawn is a top-down arcade shooter similar to Robokill in design. Move through a sci-fi setting grabbing weapons and taking out aliens with your mad skills. Although it's similar to other games in the genre, Hostile Spawn has a strong emphasis on exploration, carving itself a nice cozy niche amongst its brothers.
Take on the penguin menace facing the polar bears with a sled, a few well-placed bombs and a bit of help from physics in this cheeky cartoon game from Gameboltz.
If you like the Farm Frenzy series then get ready for lots more farming fun. Manage a farm, raise animals, ship goods to market, chase away angry bears, and get ready for a rocking good time. The stripped-down style takes nothing away from the basic gameplay, and what's left is very addicting and long-lasting. Especially if you go back and try to gold medal all the rounds, or earn all the side trophies, you are looking at days of gameplay with a high replay value. Now with 50% more robots!
Got a hankering for some exploration? Cluster Lander is an exploration game and workout for your reflexes that lets you wander through mysterious terrain, fighting turrets and finding keys, all in the hopes of picking up the coordinates that will let you continue your quest to explore the galaxy!
NinjaKiwi's follow-up to its first defense game is better in (almost) every way. Protect yourself from wave after wave of enemies by mixing potions and lobbing them across a wall. Each concoction will have a different affect, allowing you to mix and create your own recipes of doom.
Avalanche casts the player as a sled-bound penguin who is just trying to get home to his brood in the face of a relentlessly adversarial natural disaster. It's a running game that will test your agility and reaction as you pilot your little Antarctic hero to safety. It captures many of the features that made Dino Run and Canabalt great and presents them in its own unique way. It is a fine example in company with its worthy forebears.
Roly-Poly Monsters is the latest in a series of arcade games from Johnny K. Ghouls are roaming the neighborhood, and it's your job to destroy them! Drop bombs on the baddies' heads in the correct sequence and with the proper timing to send them back to whatever bad Halloween party they came from.
A unique blend of defense, action, arcade, and even physics genres results in this tasty new game from developer veteran Tyler Glaiel. Use the forces of attraction to protect your fledgling new world from incoming attackers by sending them hurtling towards one another. The action is fast, the gameplay is clever, and, perhaps best of all, you get to call yourself an environmentalist now. Congratulations!
A light touch and a lot of patience will get you far in this deceptively simple game of shapes and stars. Guide your smiling square to the exit of each level, gathering stars along the way, but beware... spikes, traps, and even time itself are all poised to wipe that grin off its face! Easy to pick up and play, Shape Shape is a light afternoon snack packed with all the square-pushin' action you can handle. And we bet that's a lot!
What happens when jmtb02's Elephant series and his Four Second series love each other very, very much? Control your elephantine avatar through a number of quick mini-games in rapid-fire succession. Microgame collections like this one tend to encourage the player to mash buttons, any buttons, so Obey the Game really innovates in the way that it requires the player to take a moment and wait for further instructions.
What's worse than a yeti? Something even bigger and meaner! In this tricky reflex game from Nitrome, help your mythical furry beast escape an unknown fate by swinging ever upwards from pole to pole, collecting points and avoiding enemies. Packed with Nitrome's signature charm, it's a tricky game of timing that is as frustrating as it is fun to play.
Destruction is fun! There's something to be said about games that let you take out all of your pent up anger, especially when you get to take it out on an unsuspecting village. And the pachinko-style gameplay as you're rolling a boulder down a mountain makes this latest game from PixelJam more than just a simple smash-and-destroy type of game.
The hams are on the loose! The cutlery is on the march! AND THE GIANT TURTLES ARE STORMING THE BEACH! No time to ask questions, every able-bodied sloth needs to load up his hot-air balloon with unsafe amounts of explosives and strike back! Super Sloth Bomber, from Megadev, is a short but relentlessly cheery, fasted-paced game of bombs and reflexes.
If you've got a few minutes to kill and can handle a few light tests on your reflexes, Cave Chaos is a great time waster! A "run and jump and avoid" kind of game, your goal is to make it through each level of the cave without falling into the dark abyss below. Problem is, you're on the bats' schedule, here, and the ground only exists in the narrow window between when they build it and when they carry it away!
Get ready for a robotic destruction derby of vast proportions, as you blast, shock, and, um, "tickle" your way through 23 levels of fleshy foes who'd love to take you apart for the scrap metal. Hold down the mouse button to activate your super-extendable tickling arms, redesigned with slightly less giggly purposes in mind, and let no man, machine, or anything else stand in your way.
RunMan: Race Around the World, by Tom Sennett and Matt Thorson, is a full-fledged follow-up to the RunMan series of speed-centric platform games. You control the titular RunMan who's really, really good at running. He's so good, in fact, he's entered a race to run around the world. Too bad everybody else quit when he showed up. RunMan is also an HonorableMan, however, and before he'll accept the winner's crown, he's going to earn it by running around the world on his own two little yellow feet.
Step into the cockpit of a flying hash mark tasked with collecting as many glowing dots as possible from its death-defying playgrounds of torment. You'll need sharp reflexes and an even sharper mind to get the highest of scores, or else become a victim of razor-sharp spikes, floating proximity bombs, or the nastiest lightning fences you ever did meet.
The series that made farming less of a "wake up at the crack of dawn, work 'til nightfall" chore and more of a "yay let's farm woo hoo!" form of entertainment is back! Farm Frenzy 3 doesn't mess with the proven formula from the first games, but it does bring a lot of variety into the series by moving you across five locations around the globe. Watch penguins eat fish in the arctic and fend off lions in Africa, all while harvesting eggs and turning them into a succession of better, more profitable products. And, as always, watch out for predators falling from the sky!
Adam Atomic's "minimalist" action/arcade side-scrolling game about a man fleeing the destruction of his city is both remarkably well presented, and fiendishly addictive. Vault over the obstacles in your path as you try to stay alive and get the high score. Those giant robots rampaging in the background? They're not there to play patty-cake, so we'd keep moving, if we were you.
To boldly go where no one-eyed, rocket-propelled cat has gone before, Rockitty needs your help in this bouncy, bizarre arcade space adventure from Nitrome! Explore the milky way, battle dangerous space squid, collect delicious fish, and more across 22 levels of space cat fun. It's a wondrously weird, frequently squishy game that plays like pinball. In space. With one-eyed green cats. Just as Mother Nature always intended.
What doesn't get mentioned often are games where the gameplay is the art, the thing of beauty. These games are often misunderstood, classified as boring by those who like a game to have such devices as characters and a story. Consider Pixel Grower, by Joey Betz. Visually, it's appealing, but not awe-inspiringly so. Likewise, the gameplay also appears simple, ...at least initially.
Neuron is an arena shooter battle between you and a multitude of evil, evil circles. Enemies spawn around the arena in waves, and your job is to kill them dead before they do the same to you. Kill or be killed, seems simple enough right? Now add in achievements, upgrades, perks, and particle effects a-plenty.
In Koi2, from the creators of Kissma, you play a man with blow-dried hair and a terrible sweater, sitting across from a woman who can best be described as "tolerant". The object of the game, as you both slide up and down on hydraulic lifts, is to poke her in the forehead with your finger as many times as you can in one minute. Yes, this is a game about forehead poking.
Arrrrr, it be another one o' dem games where ye be tryin' to fly as far as ye can to the right, matey. Thar be enough loot to make us all very rich pirates. We just need to be gettin' past the open water and the sharks, whales, and mines between us and it. Now go get me gold before I make ye walk the plank! Arrrr!
Star Beacons is a pachinko-style arcade game from Steel Panda Studios. When an evil space armada captures a planet of jolly water creatures who use a giant star as their source of light, it's up to you, an intrepid waterite in a cool spaceship, to scour the deepest depths of space to retrieve the pieces of your broken star/sun.
Reach for the stars — literally — in Casual Space, where treasure, danger, and secrets are sprawled across two enormous maps comprising over 40 levels of spacey action! Balancing a quirky, kid-friendly presentation with some genuinely challenging gameplay, Casual Space is good casual fun for all ages.
Best described as a cross between Teeworlds, Team Fortress 2, and an RPG, Altitude is a shockingly addictive online multiplayer game from indie studio Nimbly Games. Grab a plane and take to the skies as you compete (and co-operate) with other players and earn experience points bombing the enemy base and taking down foes with a variety of power-ups.
A fast-paced, tightly-designed version of Breakout by the talented Taro Ito. Use a big round smiley-face paddle to knock out all the bricks before they advance past the dotted line. Collect hearts to earn extra balls and shoot them into play at any time. Cute, fun, and simple.
Pew Pew Pew Thwak. Thwap Thwup Splat, Wheeee! The review of Platypus could end there, but in the interest of, you know, explaining things, I'll continue. Platypus is a wonderfully unique side scrolling shooter created by Anthony Flack. Everything in the game — from the enemies to the backgrounds and even the weapons fire — is made from plasticine. This playable claymation shooter is filled with action and quirky design choices that have made it an instant cult-classic.
New features included in Stunt Pilot 2: A level editor. Bonus levels where you follow a curvy line that catches on fire if you're good enough. Cannons that shoot coins for you to catch in mid-air. Hollywood explosions that bring hot-air balloons and racing pylons crashing down around you. Yeah, this game rules.
Pizza City has so much in common with the first two Grand Theft Auto games it seems to fall somewhere between spoof and demake. Like the notorious crime sims from Rockstar Games, you roam a city with virtual free reign in your car via a bird's eye view. There is a main goal (delivering pizzas and working your way up the pizzeria career ladder), but there are also plenty of other side quests to undertake, too. Pizza City isn't for everyone and the relatively simple gameplay may turn some off, but there's more depth lurking here than meets the eye and it definitely rewards those who choose to stick with it.
If a three-year-old or a five-year-old were to make their own platform game, Androkids 2 is exactly what it would look like. If you never quite got over collecting coins and jumping on the bad guys, this is definitely right up your alley. Kid-tested and approved.
Planet Basher is a blast to play. It's like a gigantic, customizable pachinko machine in space. Your goal is to buy planets and position them so that your rockets bounce off of them long enough to collect the required 200 stars in one round. How many rounds will it take you?
A little-known sequel to an even lesser-known original, UfoPilot 2: The Phadt Menace is a fun little action shooter that pays homage to the classic Defender, with gravity-based elements reminiscent of all those "moon lander" games that you've probably played throughout the last decade. You're tasked with leading rescue missions to save your fellow pilots, who are being held as prisoners-of-war by the Phadt Armada, a hostile alien enemy.
In ooPixel's brilliant new action game Escape the Red Giant, the sun is about to die, and you have to keep yourself alive for as long as possible by jumping from one asteroid to the next. Between the detailed physics engine and the tight gameplay, you may find yourself addicted without realizing it.
The well-received Farm Frenzy series of time management games has now expanded to include... pizza? HA! I'm joking. Wait, no I'm not. Even funnier than my little gag there is the fact that Farm Frenzy Pizza Party is actually a good game. It doesn't innovate much beyond what the first two titles layed out, but the addition of some new buildings and new products adds a decidedly more strategic twist to the experience.
In a style reminiscent of Castle Crashers or classic games like Final Fight, Portal Defenders lets you take on the role of real-life Newgrounds head honchos Tom Fulp and Dan Paladin as they defend their Flash portal against hordes of cartoony parody villains. You might recognize some famous names from the Flash development world, like jmtb02 or Tyler Glaiel, right before you bash their heads in with your favorite kitchen utensil. There are enough in-jokes to keep any fan happy, and the production quality is top-notch. If you are not averse to ridiculous amounts of gratuitous violence, Portal Defenders is a blast!
Blush is a unique and beautiful, 3D rendered, underwater physics-based game by Flashbang Studios, in which you play a betentacled creature fighting your way through the ocean deep. It is also very addictive. Fight off other sea creatures, collect eggs and bring them to glowing orbs that increase your speed and extend your tentacles. Even earn achievements, too.
Nitrome has released Twin Shot, a new platform adventure full of Roman architecture and archery, perfect for playing with a friend or taking a solo challenge. It's a beautiful platformer, with creative nods to Bubble Bobble. The sound effects and music also take somewhat of a retro cue, and the graphics are quite stunning, with very detailed character designs and backgrounds.
Godlaser, the opening salvo from new developer Pyew Pyew, is a vertically scrolling manic shooter, influenced by Treasure's Ikaruga. You can upgrade your ship with new skills and equipment between levels. Enemy bullets come in three different flavors, and you can render yourself invulnerable to them by switching your ship to the correct color. It's an incredibly ambitious and far-reaching shooter, especially for something playable in your browser.
Monolist, from Japanese developer (or possibly super-powered spy team) Polygon Gmen, is what you would get if you took classic Space Invaders gameplay, multiplied it by three, strained it through a net made of Arkanoid bonus drops, and then sprinkled in nine hundred million bullets. Like a recreational energy drink, it's cool, refreshing, burning sweet, and highly caffeinated.
Chicken's Flying School is about preparing newborn chicks for a big flying tournament by throwing them into the sky and keeping them there with puffs of air until they learn to fly on their own. The consistently high level of involvement makes it fun, and the atmosphere is sugary-sweet enough to make your arms tingle.
Yoshio Ishii, of Nekogames, succeeds in the ambitious endeavor to redesign Breakout. And while the game is still about destroying bricks to clear the board, what's gone is the boredom the game usually suffers from when trying to get that last brick or two. Instead, what we have is more of a twitch game where reflexes rule the landscape of a simulated (and antiquated) vector graphics display.
It's like regular bowling, but it's on a volcano. And the ball is rolling down so fast it's on fire! And then the ball learns to fly! And then the ball gets really big and then it gets really little and then it rolls into a tree trunk and a raccoon throws it way up in the air! And the raccoon's brother rides the ball in the air because he can steer it because he is a smart raccoon. Shoot the ball out of a cannon! And that is how Downhill Bowling plays.
Nitrome creative duo Simon Hunter and Aaron Steed have been very busy being amazing, and Fat Cat is the strange hybrid product of their amazingitude. It wears the face of an exacting bullet-fest such as The Last Canopy or Pararalyzer, but underneath, its heart pumps the blood of a tightly choreographed puzzle game. We've never seen anything quite like it.
NASCAR fans and origami collectors unite! Grab your paper cranes and giant foam fingers, and prepare for one of the most beautiful races you've ever seen. Scenic elegantly combines digitally-rendered landscapes with F-Zero-style racing, and delivers it all in using an impressive 3D engine in Flash.
Farming used to seem like a chore, then the casual game market took hold and turned caring for crops into a resource management experience. Farm Mania is the latest of those games, following a similar path as Farm Frenzy 2 but keeping things fresh and interesting. Yes, it's yet another game with "mania" in the title, but the experience underneath is subtly different and twice as rewarding. And much cuter, I have to admit.
Grey Matter is an anti-shooter, which means that you can't actually shoot. You are the bullet, and you attack by directly colliding with the exposed brain-meats of your enemies. It looks great and sounds even better. The gameplay has all the depth of a modern professional shoot-'em-up, thanks to the combo system. Grey-Matter is perfectly playable without using the Trinity Attacks, but if you do employ them, it becomes almost like a hyperactive, twitchy puzzle game.
At first glance, Off Balance looks just like all those other maze games where you move your mouse from Point A to Point B without hitting any walls. And indeed, that's the general idea. You control a preternaturally cheerful ball of cotton on a mildly psychedelic quest through 25 stages full of obstacles. The trick is in the steering.
You are a plucky gun turret in the center of the screen that has to survive while bad guys attack you from all sides. Rotate the turret with your mouse and shoot the black-and-white enemies by clicking. If you see a coloured orb, do not shoot it. It's a power-up. The game is so very good in virtually every aspect of its design despite the lack of sound effects.
An arena shooter even casual gamers can enjoy, a sort of mash-up between Asteroids and Space Invaders where you pilot a tiny craft against waves of incoming enemies (which happen to be aliens and geometric shapes). Power-ups appear from time to time to give you a hand, but otherwise its just you and your reflexes keeping you alive.
Swarm Gold is an update to, and replacement for, the original Swarm created by Reflexive Entertainment back in 1998. The new Swarm Gold features an impressive emulated 3D graphics system and realistic sound. You have free range to fly around the entire map just as we've seen in many modern top-down shooters.
Dogfight 2 is the newest entry into Rock Solid Arcade's quality series of arcade-style airplane fliers, which includes the first Dogfight and the previously-reviewed Stunt Pilot. Once again, they have based some nail-bitingly tough levels around the tricky but satisfying flight controls from classic DOS game Sopwith. All told, a difficult game with high production values worthy of your time investment.
For many casual gamers, the word Peggle has become almost magical in nature. Last year's pachinko-style title from PopCap caught us by complete surprise with its blend of deliciously simple gameplay and subtle strategy coated in the glossy paint of a stellar presentation. Now, Peggle Nights has arrived with all-new levels, a new setting, and a handful of other extras, all ready to steal your time like few other games can.
Save Kaleidoscope Reef, from the team that brought us Anika's Odyssey, is a new arcade game with an environmentally friendly message embedded beneath its gorgeous exterior. A tropical reef thriving with aquatic life is in danger of being destroyed by pollution. Rebuild the underwater sanctuary one screen at a time by grabbing floating polyps, placing them on rocks, and feeding them until they bloom into lush coral.
Farm Frenzy 2, the follow-up to last year's Farm Frenzy, takes the smell out of farming with a challenging and addictive resource management/arcade title. Keep your animals fed so they produce basic goods you can refine into more complex (and profitable) products. Then, load everything on a truck and send it to town, using the resulting cash to upgrade your buildings to be faster and more efficient. But uh, watch out for panda bears that drop from the sky. They don't play very nicely with your livestock.
There is something about Sid Woo's Bounceroid 2000 that makes it so completely JIG-like. Elegantly simple in design, modern, stylish and enjoyable.Bouncing balls against paddles have come a long way, and gone through all sorts of fancy incarnations. This game is back to the basics and has an original take that makes it unique.
Survive as long as you can in Rapid Wars, the new addictive arcade shooter by Jussi Kari of ooPixel. Borrowing the two-fisted Robotron mechanic, and with a nod to Geometry Wars, Jussi creates gameplay that is frenetic, addictive and fun.
A unique new anti-shooter game of collection and avoidance by Felix Reidl. You have two minutes to collect as many yellow squares as possible, while various gun turrets try to mow you down. Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, you should hit [Space], which instantly ends your game and adds up your score. If you don't hit the space bar in time—and this is important—you don't get any points. You have only one life, and if you die, your score is zero.