For our 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition, Brazilian game author Guilherme Töws has tapped the philosophy of yin and yang to bring us Bisection Dominion. Your charge is to defend a pristine river against a falling tide of poisonous bubbles, using a sword controlled by your gestural input. We often talk about the zen of gaming, but rarely does a game embrace the idea so whole-heartedly.
The Caverns of Hammerfest, by French developer Motion Twin, is an expertly crafted love letter to classic arcade platformers like Bubble Bobble and Snow Bros. If you've ever wondered how the intensity and the heartbreak of those old arcade cabinets could be translated into online gaming, look no further.
Farm Frenzy weds an arcade title with a resource management sim for a game that's as much thought and planning as it is fast mouse clicking. Gameplay revolves around planting grass to feed animals which in turn drop goods for you to use. These goods can either be sold for cash to improve your farm or turned into higher-value products to rake in even more gold. As you progress through the game's 45 stages you can buy more animals, get new buildings and upgrade existing structures, all while keeping a lookout for bears that drop from the sky!
Hearken back to those adrenaline-happy days with Vector Runner, an arcade action game concerned purely with the sensation of speed. Control a humble blue cube on its journey down a futuristic highway, dodging deadly pyramids of various shapes and sizes. Wherever you need to be, you're going there fast.
Another simple game oozing with personality has just been released by Game-Pure, creator of Bound Bear and Oshidama. Samurai High Jump answers the age old question: if a samurai warrior had a big bamboo pole, how far and how high could he jump? It's up to you to find out in this Monkey Kick-Off-style arcade game.
Jack Frost, scowling star of the final game in Nitrome's informal 2007 winter trilogy (after Thin Ice and Snow Drift), is happiest when he is cold. Your job is to turn 40 levels of autumn-colored blocks and ladders into an arctic wonderland in this new arcade action game. Control Jack with the arrow keys: [up] to jump, [left] and [right] to walk, [up] and [down] to climb. Simply step on blocks or climb ladders to freeze them.
Not to be confused with the classic adventure game, Monkey Island is an action-puzzler involving a monkey and not one but several islands. The game's controls are easy: just roll the mouse to change the direction the monkey faces, click to jump, and hold for a longer jump. Hop from island to island collecting bananas in this simple yet refreshing title.
The aptly named Absolute Awesome Ball Game is truly awesome because it manages to capture the thrill of discovery that we look for from pinball games and delivers that in an addictive, unique and appealing package. The game requires a bit of patience and perseverance before seeing any visible progress, but those that stick with it are in for a very pleasant and enjoyable ride.
Ether Cannon is a new action shooter from Luke Paakh of Pop Ethos. You control a space ship which is the last hope of... Well it doesn't really say, but it seems urgent. It's a beautiful game, the particle effects in it are just brilliant, and the action it delivers is (mostly) smooth, polished, and pretty refreshing. The game does a great job of delivering lots of fast shoot-em-up fun without ever reaching a plateau.
In Ragdoll Invaders, the falling spikes are replaced with lasers and explosives, but lo and behold, your floppy ragdoll stickman is replaced with... another floppy ragdoll stickman. But wait, there's more! His arms, unlike the other stickman, have been replaced with DUAL CHAIN GUNS. Which have unlimited ammunition. This pretty much makes any game flipping hardcore.
Mr. MothBall 2: Cotton Carnage is a charming shooter from Polish artist Mateusz Skutnuk, author of both the Covert Front and Submachine point-and-click series of games. You control a white mothball trying to shoot down evil red mothballs in an adorable penciled world with pastel shading. The game is a spiritual sequel to Mr. MothBall platformer entered in our 4th game design competition.
IndestructoTank 2, to some the name might evoke feelings of dew eyed anticipation, the return of the indestructo-king. This is, in a manner similar to Pillage the Village, a refurbishment of an early Flash classic, back when Newgrounds was the only portal. You have at your disposal a nice smorgasbord of modes — three — for free, which is a way better deal than in Vegas.
New from Japanese developer Nigoro, creator of Rose & Camellia and Lonely House-Moving, comes physics-based action game Space Capstar II. Carefully pilot the ship through twisty passages that lead deep into planets' cores, avoiding obstacles and taking out lasers by bashing into them (carefully). It's a challenging action game with just enough space wackiness thrown in to make it worth trying.
Nanobots is the latest from the web-game nanofactory assembly line that is Nitrome. While not as inventive as some of its other releases, Nanobots takes your classic shoot-em-up, wraps it in a cool metaphor of nanomachines fighting inside a cell, and polishes it to a shiny finish. The result is one of the best Flash-based shmups on the internet.
The next entry to the 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition is from Daniel Vandali of Australia. Bounce is an arcade-style action game in which the "ball physics" theme is well represented by the ball objects in play. The objective is to activate all orange balls in play by knocking into them. Your means of control is a grappling hook, and a few different power-ups to aid you. Avoid the walls.
The next entry up is from Manuel Fallmann of Austria. If you're a regular visitor here, then it's likely you have played a variety of Manuel's games before. Bubbles 2 is an arcade-style action game of collection and avoidance that incorporates a bit of "ball physics" within the bubbles themselves. Please leave your kind feedback and constructive criticism for Manuel in the comments.
Just past the half-way point, the next entry to the 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition is from Derek Brandao of Washington (US). Break Into is an action arcade-style game in which you must hit balls into a goal to move on to the next level. The "ball physics" theme in this game is a straightforward implementation with a Gimme Friction Baby twist.
The next entry up is from David Durham of the UK. You may remember David from previous games featured here, the adorable Gear Puzzle from our first competition, and the exceptional Timebot game from our "replay" competition. In Backfire, David delivers an action-based arcade style game with "ball physics" integral to the gameplay. Please post your kind feedback and constructive criticisms in the comments for David.
The latest from Bloons creators, Stephen Harris and Ninja Kiwi, Hotcorn is a game about popping corn... with heat. You control a smiling sun avatar with the mouse, moving it over kernels of corn on a top-down game board to pop them into some kind of exploded corn substance. Pop enough corn before time runs out and you win the level, simple as that.
From Thor Gaming, creator of Thor Towers, comes Throw Me, a physics-based tossing game similar to Monkey Kick Off and Nanaca Crash. At the beginning of the stage you grab an orange eyeball and twirl it around with the mouse to build up momentum. When you're ready to toss, hit the spacebar to send it flying. Your only goal is to go as high and as far as you can!
Mountain Bike is a charming little 2D stunt biking game from Miniclip. Doing tricks will boost your score, but also make you crash a lot. Thankfully a trick tutorial is provided for those of us (myself included) who don't already know the difference between a toothpick grind and an icepick grind.
Our most recent competition has shown some seriously inventive interpretations of the theme "Replay", and one of the standouts in that category is Carl Foust's Super Earth Defense Game. It's a typical side-scrolling shooter on its face but, in a unique twist, really shines once your ship gets destroyed.
Avalanche is a fast-paced climbing game in which your goal is to scale the mountain of falling blocks, without being flattened or falling into the river rising from below. The flood of cascading blocks starts slowly, with only a few blocks to start. Before you know it, you'll be madly scrambling to avoid being turned into a marshmallow pancake.
From developer Sam Horton of Funface Games comes Oroboros, an action title that borrows from games such as flOw and Snake. You control Oroboros (the serpent forming a circle by swallowing its own tail) as you absorb energy clusters to unlock portals to new dimensions. As you progress, your tail grows to give you new abilities that let you combat the increasingly tough foes.
Lonely House-Moving is the latest social metaphor driven arcade game from the folks behind everyone's favorite slapping game, Rose and Camellia. You play a lonely shmuck who, after watching his girlfriend leave him in a moving truck, suddenly gets the inspiration to act. Leap over moles, avoid crows and jump over stuff flying out of the truck and try to catch your girl!
Zeta Flow is a Flash-based shmup in which you control an innocent little turret gun ship as you fight off giant mechanical enemies. Each level pits you against one evil ship, getting progressively bigger and badder from level to level. It's a fun game that plays great, and there's even a level editor, too!
Pillage The Village is the spiritual successor and prequel to Defend Your Castle, one of THE original web-game classics from back when there were only so many good web-games on the whole Internet. Made by XGen Studios, one of the first companies to dive into the Flash scene with gusto and not a look back. Now, years later, XGen is back with Pillage The Village, a smashmortion of click-tastic mayhem.
One part shooter, one part visual/audio toy, Cubex by RoboJAM is a stunning Flash game reminiscent of the Dreamcast/PS2 musical shooter Rez. The first person view sends you flying through a futuristic corridor defending yourself against polygonal enemies that appear in the distance. With the mouse, simply move the target around the screen and pelt your foes with weapons fire. The throbbing techno beat in the background keeps things running right along, and each time you fire and destroy an enemy you add to the music.
In Asteroids Revenge III, play the role of a blue-tinted asteroid up against all sorts of human enemies&8212;shooting ships, repelling fields, space mines, and many others. Your goal is to wipe out the treacherous human fleet by crashing into all the ships while avoiding getting hit by their fire. Apart from being a tad easy, this game is really fun to play!
I was skeptical and wasn't expecting much from Ricochet Infinity at first. There are a lot of Breakout clones out there, including a lot that use dynamic targets, the most impressive of which is Break Quest. And while Ricochet Infinity is no Break Quest, it is a highly engaging and addictive game that should satisfy both breakout and shmup fans alike.
Cute pixelly monsters? Plucky soundtrack? Arcade-style gameplay? It must be the latest release from Nitrome! Hooray! In Square Meal, you play a cute boxy monster trying to escape from a sinister dungeon filled with monsters, floor spikes, exploding blocks, slippery patches, and other hazards. Luckily you're armed with a hearty appetite.
After months of waiting, it's finally here! Nitrome has just rolled out Hot Air 2, the highly anticipated sequel to the balloon physics game Hot Air. The new incarnation is bigger, better, more intricate and more stylish than the original, proving it's possible to take an already polished game idea and turn it into something even better. Plus, you get to make your own balloons!
From the creator of Hot Air and Skywire comes Dangle, a physics-based action game where you control a spider hanging from a neon pink line of webbing. By swinging back and forth you must work your way down each stage, avoiding enemies and collecting coins along the way.
Venice is an arcade-style action puzzle game that takes some of the best elements of Peggle and Breakout and combines them into something new (and utterly fascinating). Various items appear atop your vessel floating on the waters of Venice, and it's your job to fire them into the empty slots hovering above. Fill all the gaps in the objects to cause them to vanish and continue your quest to save the sinking city.
In Rat Maze 2, you are a mouse in a maze and you must collect all the pieces of cheese in the shortest time possible. Use the arrow keys for movement to zip around the maze. Running over a cheese is as good as eating it, so no time is wasted collecting them all. Simple retro fun from the highly talented developers at PixelJam.
Juggler is a neat little diversion that I would categorize as a gravity-based game of mouse dexterity. The goal is simple: You control one paddle (ala breakout) while multiple balls bounce in sequence. You must maintain the balls in the air like a crazy one armed juggler.
The latest offering from the folks down at NinjaKiwi. The objective is to protect yourself from a 30-round onslaught of enemies. Your chief weapons are flasks of potions that you lob at your enemies. You can control the potency of the weapon and the type of damage inflicted by altering the composition of your potion flask.
We here at Casual Gameplay have been fans of the work Yoshio Ishii has been doing in Shockwave and Flash for several years now. He may be best known for his Neko series of games (neko means "cat" in Japanese), though he has also created some of the best Panzo games as well. His latest effort is this beautiful and delightful game that will give your brain some stimulation as you play.
Too often do we come across Flash games (especially shooters) that are either too brief or too repetitive. Luminara is a brilliant example of how to avoid those problems. It's simple enough: you are a dot and you fire bullets. And like any good game, the premise always stays exactly this simple. What gets more complex are the subsequent waves of enemies that come at you.
Sunday Lawn, a game from the creator of Castle Smasher, Donut Games, puts you in control of Charlie whose job is to cut the grass around his house. Unfortunately there are dogs, hedgehogs, and various other obstacles standing in the way of monocotyledonous perfection.
For a quick and addictive action game splurge, check out the recently released Angry Faic. Similar to Kill the Pacman, presented here way back a few years ago, Angry Faic is an arcade action game of skill that has you perpetually falling from the sky, constantly trying to land on tiny passing emoticons of a matching color.
A crowd pleaser from one of our Friday link dumps, Spikey's Bounce Around is an arcade action game of skill in which you are given 10 tries per level to release all the butterflies while accumulating points. Butterflies are sealed in jars that must be broken to release their contents. A jar will break if it reaches the ground, thereby setting the trapped butterfly free.
In Rapture Capture, take control of a ship with a tug wire attached by waving the mouse back and forth. The tug wire is your only defense against incoming enemies and munitions, use it as a whip to take out anything that comes at you. The tip of the tug wire is especially powerful, as you can even capture enemies with it and whip them around as a weapon. It's fantastic!
From shmup guru Kenta Cho, L.A.2 is similar to John Conway's game of Life but, well, just the opposite. Instead of creating cellular automata, your job is to destroy them. Swarms of cells grow and multiply around the edges of the screen with the occasional enemy craft hidden amongst them. Maneuver around the screen charging your glider weapon and releasing it to destroy advancing cubes.
Jardinains is an Arkanoid clone with a little something extra: the presence of 'nains—giggling little garden gnomes that will hurl potted plants at your bat, paralysing it and causing you to lose points. You can get your own back, though—if you can break the pot you win the points you would have lost, and if you can knock the giggling little brats off their perch, you can bounce them on your paddle to get points and power-ups.
Cannon Bods is a slick little action game where you must shoot falling pirates before they hit the water. The controls are easy and intuitive, and a nice touch is that as you hold down the mouse button for more power the trajectory line changes its shape to match your cannon's increased power, giving you an accurate look at exactly where your "ammo" will go.
Peggle is the latest arcade action game from PopCap, and currently available as a download for Windows or Mac. Think of a pachinko machine and an upside-down breakout game and you will be close to the unique and simple gameplay found in Peggle. It is a classic casual game: simple to understand, easy to pick-up and play, and difficult to master. Find yourself the nearest PC and download it now.
Bubble Tanks is a hypnotic and relaxing shooter if ever there was one. Man your bubble ship on an excursion through a vast bubble field seeking out hostiles to assimilate. The more bubbles you collect, the larger your ship and the greater your weapon become. But as you grow so do the enemies that you will find around you. It addictive and relaxing, a dangerous combination.
Tabuto is a fast-paced action game with a strangely mesmerizing concept. Cards fall from the top of the screen, and your job is to touch them with the cursor before they vanish. The more you collect in a row, the more points you get, but if you drop 20 it's game over.
Instead of simply moving one object around the screen to avoid the falling dots, in Formation you must control an entire setup of orbs that rotate and periodically change position. Touch one of the flashing white balls that fall from the top of the screen and it becomes part of your formation, thus forcing you to be mindful of yet another ball's position and causing your brain to hurt.
A brand new game from varStudios, the creators of Neon Wars 2, has recently graced the internet: Abstract Sea. Using simple but stylish visuals and a nice electronica soundtrack, the game puts you in control of an armed ship at sea fending off enemy attacks. The game has a very visceral feel to it with screen-shaking explosions and a few power-ups floating atop the deep blue sea.
FoolYoo is a well designed game with a good sense of humor and fluid gameplay. You are a samurai and you must defend yourself from attack by demons with your trusty katana. Three different types of demons will attack you, all requiring different tactics to defeat. In between rounds, demonstrate your l33t sushi ability by deftly slicing vegetables for soup.
Oshidama is an simple and elegant flash game by Game-Pure, the creators of Speed Cluster. The goal is to nudge a white orb to the exit point on each screen. Walls, pits and other obstacles stand in your way, forcing you plan your path and be ready for a last-second save at any moment. It's an interesting mix of strategy and fast-paced cursor shifting delivered in an astounding audio and visual atmosphere.
Often I think to myself what I would do if I was ever in a futuristic jet on a futuristic highway chasing tanker trucks, launching missiles at them, and all the while avoiding sentry and assault drones. With Damien Clarke's new game, Jet Speed, I no longer have to ponder this theoretical scenario in my head—I actually get to give it a try!
Snake Classic takes this simple game mechanic and gives it new life with catchy music, tons of gameplay options (how many dots to grab, sound effects, etc.) In addition you get to choose what colors your snakey protagonist will have using a grid of dots that looks like something out of a kid's dream box of marbles.
An absolutely gorgeously detailed 2D side-scrolling platform Flash game with production values that rival Nintendo's own offerings in the category. In fact, this one appears to have been commissioned by Nintendo as an advergame as it contains all sorts of delightful unlockable goodies—from screenshots and wallpapers to videos and ringtones—from several of Nintendo's latest DS handheld and Wii console offerings.
Winterbells is a very simple wintertime game with the same gorgeous art and music found in all of Ferry's games on Orisinal. In Winterbells you control a snow-white rabbit who hops onto falling bells as they drift down from the night sky. Use the mouse to move the bunny left and right and time your jumps to keep moving upwards. The longer you stay hopping the higher your score.
Dai Pai Dong is a free arcade-style flash game that takes several features from popular games such as Cake Mania and Cooking Mama and combines them in one simple title. You play the role of chef in a Hong Kong-style restaurant whose job is to cook and serve customers food as quickly as possible.
Have you ever had that weird feeling that you are a giant, controllable, seeker missile flying down a long tunnel avoiding obstacles? What?! You say you haven't? Then you must not have played The Missile Game 3D by Damien of DX Interactive. For a fun and simple game that's taken a simple concept of "avoid the object" and infused some life into it, look no further.
Fizzball is the latest game from Matt Parry and Ryan Clark of Grubby Games—who gave us the perfectly adorable Professor Fizzwizzle. It was described to me as "a combination between Breakout, Arkanoid, and Katamari Damacy," which pretty much makes it compulsory playing.
Nitrome does it again with its latest entry, Scribble. This drawing-based arcade action game is a little bit platformer and a whole lot of Lemmings. Use the mouse to draw paths to get your little "blots" from start to finish flag with the fewest of casualties. Each level's finish flag indicates how many blots must escape to unlock and move on to the next level.
Imagine being like Spiderman and able to shoot sticky strands of web out from your hands. Using those elastic strands you just might be able to attach to surfaces and propel yourself forward. Well, that is just what playing Double Wires is like.
Want a very quick diversion? Try Double Jeu. It's in French. The two words you needs are: jouer (means play) and rejouer (means play again). This is a very, very simple game. Your aim is to keep playing as long as possible. It may drive you round the bend.
Four Second Firestorm is a collection of frantic micro-games hot on the on the heels of Four Second Fury and Four Second Frenzy. Using either the keyboard or mouse, you have just a few moments to play one of the over 175 mini-games thrown in your face. Follow the incredibly brief instructions and try to win each game. It's a fast-paced collection of micro-games suitable for anyone who wants to feel like they're on a caffeine buzz without all that coffee.
Pixel Blaster is a simple and stylish flash-based shooter by Tom Thornton of ThorGaming. Waves of stark white ships appear in the circular playing field and attack your vessel. With a remarkably useful charge shot and two-handed controls, you must fend off dozens of enemies before plunging into an intense boss battle. The game is vaguely reminiscent of GridWars but places a stronger emphasis on physics and old fashioned ship blasting rather than overwhelming you with dozens of enemies at once.
Pod Panic is a gorgeous little arcade Flash shooter that is simple to play and terribly addictive. Each level presents you with an increasing number of pods, round bumper-like objects that tend to gravitate towards your ship, and a string-creature that is rather hypnotizing to watch. Great old-school arcade fun in a tight little package.
Spheres of Chaos is gorgeous in motion, with extremely smooth animation amid literally hundreds of enemies and explosions (and up to 8 simultaneous players!). Far more than just a nostalgic tribute to Asteroids, SoC is a fascinating, unique and memorable classic in its own right.
Featuring a couple of new and more difficult enemies, and controls that allow for more variation in gameplay, Neon 2 succeeds in taking this very enjoyable idea to the next level. Ali has done a fine job at updating an already excellent shooter and making it not only better than the original, but also into a somewhat different experience. Sure it looks similar, and yet it feels different.
Run n' Roll is an online multiplayer flash game that lets you play chase with people from around the world. Your character runs on his or her own, all you have to do is jump over or roll under objects. You stay ahead by, well, not falling behind. Grab a few fun power-ups to stall your opponent as you race around a giant sphere in the sky.
wOne and wOne 2 are fun little arcade-style Flash games in which the object is to maneuver a wheel around each level and clear all barrels to advance. And while there isn't anything all that innovative about either game, the excecution is what makes these games special and fun to play.
Cake Mania is a fast-paced arcade game where you play the role of Jill, a new graduate from culinary school, who returns home to discover her grandparents' bakery is closed. Business fell when the new Mega-Mart opened and not even their special recipes could help them compete. Jill decides to open her own old fashioned bakery to earn money and re-open her grandparents' store. Through nearly 50 levels and four different locations you'll help Jill serve customers as efficiently as possible.
Classic style arcade gameplay recreated in Flash, SwfRoads is an absolutely brilliant fast action driving game with simple controls, great minimalist visuals and an energizing soundtrack. Take to the sky in your spacecraft and navigate the geometric terrain of each of the game's 18 selectable roads.
Plasma Worm is a free (until September 15th) downloadable arcade action game for Windows, and it is an evolution of the traditional snake-eats-the-pellet games that have existed since time began. The game pays homage to Douglas Adams, and the storyline (such as it is) involves the piloting of a plasma worm through a tank within the Improbability Drive, eating stray probabilities that could gum up the engine.
Skatefall is John Freeborn's tribute to one of the earliest platformers, the Atari 2600's Pitfall! With a bodacious new skateboard, online scoreboard, bonus items and powerups, 2D platforming has a new name: Skatefall Harry. As a homage, Skatefall is extremely effective and faithful; the graphics and sound are perfect and the difficulty, while formidable, is appropriate.
Ray-Hound is a simple, well executed downloadable Windows shmup with a creative twist that sets it apart from other indie or commercial releases. Like Ohkubo's previous game, Warning Forever, Ray-Hound is a tiny download and absolutely free.
Bullet Bill is a fan-made side-scrolling action game that borrows a couple of characters from the Super Mario Bros. games. The gameplay is pretty standard for a side-scroller. Use the arrow keys to navigate while trying to hit the breakable blocks, Goombas, and even occasional Mario or Luigi. The challenge is to avoid the green platforms that you may remember jumping on from the original SMB games.
Four Second Fury has been around a few months, and now a sequel to that game has just been released, called Four Second Frenzy. While both games feature the same fast-paced action and gameplay, the sequel offers even more mini-games than the original (50 total).
Lacking any sort of plot, Four Second Fury launches the player into a series of 20 randomly selected, four-second mini-games ranging from simple dodging games to "Simon says" type games. It doesn't try to be anything more than that: just a simple, quick Flash game when you have a few minutes to kill. And don't expect it to last longer than that.
Timed Climb is yet another simple idea made into a unique and challenging Flash game. Using only a single button for platform jumping, the objective is to reach higher platforms to 'conquer' them. Timing is everything in this game, as the name suggests, with one bad jump often ending it all. An addictive game with a novel high score system.
Jussi and Marko, Flash game developers at OOPixel, borrow a little gameplay from several classics and wrap them all together into one nicely polished and addictive game. Asteroid Adventure is an arcade action game that will be both familiar and new to anyone that has played Asteroids before.
Although you may have played similar games recently, such as Geometry Wars, Grid Wars, Rainbow Wars, and the like, this next one was very nicely done in Flash and requires no download other than the usual loading within a browser. Engaging from the second it starts, Neon is one of those rare games that just feels great to play.
Up next is a great pair of Java shmups (shoot-em-ups). Both are simple and small, and yet each offers an unusual idea; there are no run-of-the-mill 1942 or Gradius clones here. The miniscule Fuzetsu was Jos Hirth's entry in the Java 4k competition, and HIZ's Lash is a shmup with a defensive twist.
Monster Trucks Unleashed is an impressive 2D action driving game involving huge-wheeled monster trucks (of course), unlockable levels, and upgradable trucks. From the amazing Stimunation group of European Flash game developers.
A stylish Flash Breakout clone from GameDesign, Block Kuzusi demonstrates a great deal of respect for its roots while offering just enough originality to feel fresh. It is one of the better versions Breakout I've seen online, and well worth a look.
Hit the dance floor in this foot-stomping, original new take on the connect-three puzzle genre of casual gameplay. In Disco Jungle, play as a funky blue elephant with a special ability to absorb the color of any dance floor tile and then drop it anyplace else. Use it to match three (3) or more same-color tiles, horizontally and/or vertically, to score points and clear levels.
Gamma Bros. is a deliciously slow-paced old-school space shooter created by PixelJam. It's written in flash and offers both an online version and downloadable files for the Mac and Windows. Although simple in looks and design, Gamma Bros. gives the illusion of a massive game world interspersed with moments of action and quiet space floating.
Combo! and Blockdown are two great flash puzzle games by Anders Pousette. They're remarkably simple and build upon classic puzzle gaming themes while throwing a few fresh ideas into the mix. Each comes with a public high score board to give you a chance at your 15 minutes of fame. You'll have to earn it, but with the amount of time you'll spend playing each game, odds are you won't really mind.
An intense, fast paced game from developer f1ash, Iconien plays like an modern update to the arcade classic Missile Command. Put your basic click & drag mouse skills to the test as you defend your base from wave after wave of stubburn missiles, creepy bugs, mindless circles and powerful tanks.
Uchuwars is a classic-style shmup with weapon power-ups and bombs. I found this shmup when I visited Babarageo for the banner game reviewed recently on JIG. The instructions are in Japanese, but it didn't take long to figure out what to do.
Rainbow Wars is a retro-style arcade shooter available as a free download for Windows, and it is one of those rare finds that becomes an instant favorite once you see it in action. Sporting similar controls to that of the classic Robotron, in which two joysticks are used to control movement and firing separately, this game captures the essence of a classic arcade experience in a well-developed albeit small package.
Air Support is a relentless one screen platformer with pixel perfect control. Try to stay alive as long as possible while deadly missiles fall from the sky and a parade of wicked monsters strut their stuff on the ground below. Unfortunately, every single missile is aimed directly at your head and you will need excellent reflexes to guide them to their targets without getting hit.
Invader360 is a great little Flash based tube shooter, similar to arcade classics Tempest, Gyruss or, more recently, ABA Games' downloadable Torus Trooper. Developer f1ash brings this exotic branch of the shmup tree to life with frantic action and a minimal, well defined style.
Those shifty (har, har) 8-key critters are cruising down the screen towards you, an intrepid, er, lightbulb, as you ascend the y-axis in this evasion flash game. While 'don't touch the sprites' is a very (very very very?) common game mechanic, this is a superb execution with twists that make it less about endurance than about nerves.
Warning Forever is a downloadable 2D shooter written by Hikoza Ohkubo of Hikware software. You pilot a tiny green ship with a single versatile weapon and must face off against a constant stream of bosses. No stages, no obstacles, no power-ups, just epic fights with massive enemy ships. And the surprising thing is they learn from your patterns and fight back. Yikes.
Available on Uminin's Flash Game Zone, home of several other previously reviewed works, the curiously named Brain Force is not very intellectual. No, Brain Force is purely an elegant exercise in agility, a beautiful example of how little is needed to make a successful twitch game.
An official Katamari Damacy mini-game is now available on Namco's Japanese website. It appears to have been designed to illustrate the main concept of the game, which is to joyfully roll the katamari over smaller objects to collect them and make the katamari bigger so that you can then roll over even larger objects. To this end it works quite well; however, the mini-game does not even come close to the fun of the original.
Pong with a pretty face. That is how I'd sum-up this gorgeous game that Rich Nelson just released on his Merciless Games website. Puff Ball is a single-player arcade action game played under the sea against a computer-controlled opponent bouncing a puff ball back and forth until a player misses.
Remember the typing game, Letters, that was reviewed here in November? Well, the author, Hannu Pelkonen, has released a very significant addition to the series: Words! Though lacking the power-ups of Letters, Words uses the same slick interface and addictive dynamic high score display that updates your rank in real-time while you play.
Award winning digital marketing agency, Kerb, was recently commissioned to produce their latest effort based on Sega's classic arcade game, Choplifter. RAF Global Rescue is an arcade action game that makes you the pilot of a Merlin helicopter on a mission to save hostages from enemy territory.
Megatons of action packed into a tight little Flash package that features appealing graphics and effects, and a dynamite soundtrack. Combat Heaven is an insanely great shooter with periods of non-stop over-the-top action that is intense and gratifying. Amazing fun awaits just beyond the learning curve.