A game entered into our 3rd competition, The Turtles of Time is an action game in which micromanagement and careful planning are rewarded rather than reckless bouncing hither and thither. Properly played, the game looks and plays like a well-oiled machine, or an award-winning marching band. A clever time-rewinding Replay feature allows you to control multiple turtles as the levels progress.
Logi-Gun is an absolutely sensational puzzle platformer (free download for Windows only) from Darklink570. Most of the puzzles require skillful, even ingenious, use of the game's 6 guns, although some deft platforming will also be necessary.
Space Pilot, by Alex Kaplan, is the spiritual successor to Asteroids, featuring the same vector-style graphics, the same ship, the same control scheme, and even the same asteroids. I was really tired of Asteroids itself decades ago, but picking this game up feels like I'm putting on a pair of old familiar boots and going for a stroll in a brand new town.
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.
As if to whet your appetites for the upcoming game design competition, game authors have been putting out a number of excellent ball physics games. The latest offering is Ramps, put forth by web designer Tyler Sticka. Your mission is to guide a ball from the drop pipe at the top of the screen to the exit pipe at the bottom using — you guessed it — muffins!
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.
Switchball is a 3D action/puzzle title in which your goal is to guide a rolling ball to the end of each stage, solving puzzles and crossing treacherous pathways all the way. The game places a heavy emphasis on realistic physics using the AGEIA engine and looks absolutely gorgeous to boot. It's an extraordinarily well-made title that balances action and puzzle solving for a thoroughly engaging experience.
The Sea of Glomp is an adventure-themed Flash game created by Paul Kramm that draws heavy inspiration from old-style adventure games such as ... Adventure! You play a young fish whose egg has been stolen by a creature that looks like a bat. An underwater bat. You set out on a quest to find the egg, a task that takes you through some of the strangest parts of the sea you could imagine.
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!
Tower Bloxx is a captivating action/puzzle game originally created for mobile phones. Using the mouse button you must drop pieces of a skyscraper from a swinging crane at the top of the screen. Stack the blocks neatly or you'll be in for a tough time as the building reaches toward the sky and sways in the wind. A quest mode lets you build an entire city one building at a time and also adds a little strategy to appease the more hardcore gamer in you. It's a near-perfect blend of casual and serious gaming that everyone will enjoy.
Mythic Marbles is an action puzzle game of skill that is very simple to pick-up and play. It offers an engaging and rewarding experience to anyone that can appreciate the simple and subtle strategy of a good game of marbles. And even if you've never played marbles before, you're in for a treat. :)
The Animator vs. Animation Game takes the fun, desktop battlefield antics of the Animator vs. Animation episodes and turns it into a fully interactive fighting game! Control the animator or stickman animation and wage war against your opponent, grabbing common drawing tools and turning them into deadly weapons.
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!
We are big fans of the original Dolphin Olympics and this sequel does not disappoint. Although the mechanic and aim of the game are pretty much the same, this has a slightly different look to it, with significantly more detail added to the sea bed and background. Once again, the challenge is in chaining together strings of successive tricks to boost your multiplier and amass some impressive scores. And the trick to that is ensuring that your re-entry to the water is perfect every time. Now other sea creatures will interact with you. In fact, you can earn more points by getting other fish to follow your lead and jump out of the water. There are some new tricks and secrets to discover as you try to swim, leap and tail-slide yourself onto the high score board.
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.
Ok, so there's this ball. And then there's this square. You gotta get the ball to the square. How complicated could it get? Plenty complicated, it turns out, in this absurdly fun and addictive physics-based game from John Cooney and his prolific jmtb02 studios.
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!
Weeks after the mega-release of Hot Air 2: All Blown Up, Nitrome has unveiled another slick Flash game titled Toxic. It combines your standard adventure platformer with ... bombs! Destructible environments! And ... more bombs! Imagine a roaming platformer game sprinkled with elements from Bomberman and you have a pretty good idea of what Toxic is all about.
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.
Another simple idea executed almost perfectly, Andrew VanHeuklon's Rerun is a unique mouseplay game of collection and avoidance. And though we have seen this core gameplay mechanic in other games before, it is the creative implementations of the "replay" theme that elevate this title above others of its type.
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.
Gravity Pods is a physics-based vector shooting/puzzle title created by Wicked Pissah Games. The goal is to fire a projectile and hit a target across the screen. Barriers are usually in the way, but by using gravity pods you can bend the path your projectile takes to send it virtually anywhere on the screen.
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!
Everybody likes flinging around barrels full of toxic waste, right? Toss, tumble.... Oops. Well, perhaps not in a real environment, unless you are a law-breaking factory owner with questionable ethics. But, when tossed across a gorgeous fantasy landscape, lined with carefully placed adjustable platforms and forces, it isn't so bad. When you get to clear the way with dynamite, and watch things explode... now we're talking.
Game-Pure has already pumped out a pseudo-sequel to Bound Bears with more levels and an updated presentation. Bound Bear Quest Mode features the same Bloons-meets-Breakout gameplay along with the ultra-cute square bears, but now the music and backgrounds have been jazzed up and the levels are much more challenging.
Temple of Zoom is a great platformer that manages to use the features of the product it promotes (the Panasonic Lumix TZ3 digital camera) as integral elements of the game rather than as tacked-on graphics and splash advertisements. The shutter is the exit to each level, the zoom lens is a rising platform, and the hot lava is... well, I guess the hot lava doesn't come from the camera, does it?
Sound Energy mixes a simple color-matching game of collection/avoidance with a little bit of musical interaction to create a superb multimedia experience. You control a transparent orb that can change color from purple to blue to gray. By clicking the mouse you can switch colors and absorb pieces that match your color. Build up combos to earn a high score and keep the background music shifting as you play!
Game-Pure continues to amaze us with the rate at which they can release new games. Bound Bear is a simple action projectile game that combines elements from Breakout and Bloons to create something wholly unique and enjoyable to play.The objective is to reunite baby bear with mama bear, and to do so you'll have to avoid the black bears that can block your path.
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 Red White Yellow, the objective is to create groups of the same color in quantities of 6 or more by dropping the falling blocks into place. However, like its name suggests, Red White Yellow is also the order in which you must clear groups from play. It's a unique new twist to the new generation of falling block puzzle games popularized by Lumines. The selectable soundtracks make this game really special.
Protect your precious desktop from the invading enemies by placing towers throughout the screen. Choose fast-firing but weak turrets or slow-but-powerful ones to ensure no creeps cross your borders. Desktop TD features charming hand-drawn graphics and freeform gameplay that make it a winner in the tower defense genre. New in version 1.5 are new towers, enemies, challenge modes, and upgrades sounds and visuals!
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.
Bloxorz is a simple idea for a puzzle game that is beautifully executed. The objective is to tumble a rectangular block through each stage and deposit it into the square hole at the end. Using a series of bridge-opening switches, teleporters, and block-splitting switches, solve the puzzle each stage presents to move on to the next of the game's 33 levels.
Puzzle fans rejoice! A sequel to the critically acclaimed action puzzler, Professor Fizzwizzle, is here and it's HOT! Just released by Grubby games, Professor Fizzwizzle and the Molten Mystery picks up where the first game leaves off and presents over 200 fresh new levels to sink your puzzle-loving teeth into.
Ricochet shooting stars across the sky to light the heavens and unlock levels in this dazzling new action puzzler by Hero Interactive. Starshine is a game of rays and angles in which the objective is to light all of the stars to advance to the next level. You have but a single shooting star in your arsenal to fire from anywhere along the outer edge of the circular field of play. The path your shooting star will take depends on the type of stars it comes in contact with.
Bada Boing is based on a very simple idea: Bounce a ball off a trampoline to hit targets and score points. Using the mouse just click, drag, and release a ball from the unlimited supply to 'throw' it. It's really quite intuitive to play. Included are 4 different game modes incorporating the same addictive gameplay mechanic.
Deadtree Defender is a wonderfully silhouetted and gorgeous Flash game in a castle defense style. Take control of a single archer whom, joined by two automated team-mates, is set to the seemingly impossible task of defending a withered, leafless old tree against an increasingly large opposition.
Generic Defense Game takes a few select elements from tower defense titles and shooters, and then slaps on a thick coat of parody paint. Instead of fending off hordes of ghastly beasts from far-off fantasy lands, you'll protect Pac-Man from ghosts, keep your lunch safe from insects, and defend ramen noodles with a machine gun. It's a very basic game with swappable elements that make the core gameplay ripe with entertainment.
Momentum Missile Mayhem plays like a combination of a tower defense game and a physics-based strategy game such as Bowmaster Prelude. Waves of enemies come piling in from the side of the screen. Your weapon works like a slingshot: grab the missile and pull it back, then release to send the projectile flying. There's a lot of strategy and customization built into this game, so be prepared to sink your teeth into a deep and immensely rewarding casual online game.
Blobular is a free online clone of the PSP physics game Loco Roco. Tilt the game world left and right to guide the gooey blob around each stage, collecting fruit along the way. It's a fantastic way to experience the quirky style and gameplay of the PSP game without spending a single cent.
Overhead Consistence is another mouse maze game, but please bear with me... this one's good, even if you don't normally go for manual dexterity games. If you don't believe me, go check out Overhead Persistence, reviewed here in March. Has JohnB ever steered you wrong? This one is well worth the effort.
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.
Designed for our recent "grow" themed competition, Rob Allen of Foon.co.uk sent word today that he has finally finished his entry, and we have been scrambling ever since receiving his note to come up with a prize to award him for the latest entry ever. Eye Defence is an action puzzle game with elements of both Grow and Hapland rolled into one.
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.
Well, it's happened again. You've gone and gotten yourself stranded in the middle of enemy territory, surrounded by mines, turrets, and electrified Tesla gates. As usual, your only hope is to get to that little flag, even though all it ever seems to do is take you to another enemy-filled battlefield. Hmmm... Your steering mechanism also seems to be stuck, so you'll have to let the terrain dictate your path.
Death Village is a wonderful little game in which you guide a trembling little nebbish of a man around a haunted castle, using various traps and spooks to literally scare him onto the right path while being careful not to scare him to death. The game's title screen indicates a level editor, but it's grayed-out and looks like it's not available yet.
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.
Ah, the humble ninja. Stealthy, wise and deadly. Everything I am not. Which is why I choose to play games that have ninjas in them. Much easier than actually becoming one. And most of the time you can pause for a quick break when you need one. Try doing that in the middle of a real life assassination. Bet you can't.
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 this gorgeously detailed Flash-based driving game, the developers combine highly stylized computer motion graphics and 3D cut scenes to create a unique experience you won't soon forget. Players travel to (and through) destinations such as Lisbon, Paris, Berlin and Prague, all the while competing to earn credits for upgrades and to purchase new vehicles.
The popularity and success of Ninja Kiwi's recent Bloons game compelled the developer to put its next project on hold while they create another 50 levels to appease fans eager to pop More Bloons. But these levels promise to be even more difficult than the first batch.
A match-3 action puzzle game with zoo animals and a memorable soundtrack. While the moody animals are a nice touch, it is the Quest mode which makes this game enticingly addictive. As the zookeeper, you are set to 10 different tasks by your angry little boss. With clever variations, an emotional lot of animals and an uppity, cigar-smoking boss, Kiteretsu's Zookeeper will keep you busy and entertained.
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.
Dot Action 2 is a cute little platformer with a personality. For those seeking some old-school gameplay, OffGao of Japan may have just what you're looking for. At first glance these games may appear as nothing special, but as was the case with many early video games, it's all about the gameplay.
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.
Protect your precious desktop from the invading enemies by placing towers throughout the screen. Choose fast-firing but weak turrets or slow-but-powerful ones to ensure no creeps cross your borders. Desktop TD features charming hand-drawn graphics and freeform gameplay that make it a winner in the tower defense genre.
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.
From developer Nitrome is a new physics-based action game, Skywire. You control a small chairlift that runs a crazy path through the sky. Three passengers are on board who would appreciate if you got them to the goal unharmed. A variety of obstacles stand in your way, from birds dropping bombs, deranged-looking pandas, and whales that leap from the sea. Each hit you take knocks a passenger from the car. Lose all three and you have to start over again.
There is something inherently gratifying about smashing or destroying something, even watching a building be demolished is good fun. So it should be no surprise that we see the concept come up a lot in games. Stephen over at Ninja Kiwi claims that his latest Flash game, "is based on the very simple fact that popping balloons is fun". And you know what? He's right! In Bloons you get to pop a lot of balloons!
A new game from Donut Games, creator of Castle Smasher, has just rolled onto the web: Chicken & Egg. All of the cute chickens have been trapped in their eggs by the Easter Bunny. It's your job to match like-colored shells together by sliding the eggs across the grid. When the pairs come together, they hatch, revealing a set of rather bewildered chicks!
Tau'Ri Bedrock by Luca Deltodesco is an unusual and original platformer. In Bedrock you play a... slime? blob? that has been tasked to roll a boulder through levels upon levels of verdant terrain in order to return it to its parent rock. It's a lot like a simplified version of Loco Roco melded with the indie title Gish.
Matt Hammill's Gesundheit! is a beautifully hand-drawn, action puzzle game with a soothing toy-instrument soundtrack (you'll need it) and adorable sound effects. You play an allergic pig chafing under the invasion of hungry monsters from the mountains.The monsters can hear your footsteps, and if they see you, they'll eat you. But you have a secret weapon - your yummy snot!
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.
Danny Miller's Boomshine is a new riff on the chain-reaction action pioneered by Omega's Every Extend. The goal is to remove a given number of the colorful, floating dots moving around the screen. It would be a stretch to call Boomshine relaxing, but it is certainly refreshing, and a nice, albeit simple addition to a rapidly growing category of casual gameplay.
Strictly not for children, NaaC is a gorgeously bloody and beautifully violent shooter. What Bloody Monkey has given us is a frantic, no-holds-barred, gore filled, blood soaked tour-de-force of non-stop thrilling kill-everything-you-see action. In short, its fun. Lots and lots of fun.
David Scott is back. If you don't recall who that is, you will certainly remember Flash Element TD, David's first JIG-featured title. In Flash Circle TD, you will immediately find yourself at home with similar concepts as before. It is your duty to defend your position against wave after wave of various types of monsters.
The new Nest of Moai game features a bigger screen, more stages, and an interesting "zoom" feature that lets you take a closer look to find hidden moai statues. Simply move your mouse over the statues as they appear. Quirky, casual fun as one might expect from a game with Japanese roots.
Turning Moai features the same statues from the previous moai games but with a slightly different take on the gameplay. Instead of rescuing or touching the heads, you must move the cursor to make them face the same direction. Same great Moai sound and music, same catchy gameplay!
Frost Bite is another great-looking game from Nitrome, creators of Hot Air and Scribble. Your goal is to climb to the top of each stage, fending off monsters and collecting bonus items along the way. The best part is that you get a grappling gun you can use to latch onto platforms and swing yourself upwards. The gun doubles as a harpoon to attack enemies and gather items, making its use a central element in the game.
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.
Block Quest, the sequel to Block Action, is a free online platformer game with hundreds of user-created levels to play. Run, climb and wall jump your way through the surprisingly deep variety of stages of varying difficulty and creativity. It's a very simple game idea that has turned to gold in the hands of its users.
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.
Yes, it's an advergame for SPAM: the stinky French garlic flavor kind. But much, much more than that, SPAMalot is a Flash defend-your-castle Flash game with an absolutely severe Monty Python element thrown up into the mix for good humor, good times.
The Gaffer is an action-based Flash game by James Green of Black Galleon. You play a chubby warehouse boss who must load boxes onto trucks that pull into the dock. Each stack is outlined on the back of the truck, all you have to do is carry the crates one by one and put them in the right place. It's a very straightforward game that keeps you hooked with its charming presentation and simple gameplay.
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.
Bullet Philharmonic Orchestra is an ultra-simple, free, downloadable (PC only), barebones shoot-'em-up-inspired game with a simple concept: dodge the bullets. Drop your own MP3 files into the game's "music" folder, then watch as it generates projectiles based on the songs you chose.
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!
With simple gameplay and an almost frantic feel, Tower of Moai is as entertaining as it is... weird. The goal is to save scrambling moai statues stranded on top of a wobbly tower. As the moai statues move the tower bends with their weight. Use the mouse to guide the platform and try to keep it beneath the swinging ladder.
2007 IGF finalist Bubble Islands is a new falling-object puzzle game from Dot-Invasion, the talented crew behind the previously reviewed Meteor Busters. Flash-based and completely free, Bubble Islands is fun, cute and loaded with enough content to rival similar commercial games.
Castle Smasher is a simple but amazingly entertaining game where your goal is to destroy a castle using nothing more than a catapult. Fling stones at the opposing structure to whittle it down to nothing as efficiently as you can. Upgrade your shots between levels and be as frugal as you can with your firepower. Once you run out, it's game over.
Arseniy Shklyaev's latest game, Warp Forest, is a rather odd combination of action and puzzle elements that will challenge both sides of your brain. The objective is to collect all of the keys to activate the exit, and then make it safely to the exit to advance to the next puzzle/level. Now with the ability to create, edit and share custom stages with a simple level editor, the game has more potential than ever.
Yet another excellent free shmup from the inimitable Kenta Cho, Titanion (Windows) is a new take on the classic arcade game Galaga. Cho has seriously sped up the pace and intensity, but was considerate enough to leave the player a gift: the dreaded tractor beam is now in your hands.
Egg Vs. Chicken is a wacky action/puzzle game where you must fend off guerilla chickens by lining up and flicking different colored eggs. There are very few gaming experiences that match stockpiling brown eggs in a corner and flinging the yolks at a group of attacking chickens.
In February, Jay comprehensively reviewed a finalist in the 2006 Independent Games Festival (IGF). The demo form of Dodge That Anvil walked away with the AdultSwim.com award and has now been further developed into an enjoyable downloadable game for both PC and Mac OS X platforms
As a casual gamer, you have certainly come across titles that fall into the defend-your-castle category. BowMaster Prelude fits that description as well, but certain aspects elevate it above other candidates, such as earning experience points and gold to recruit an army, the ability to upgrade and buy different arrows, and a unique feature that lets the hero leave the castle.
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.