There's no fast way to build a gem empire from the ground up, but everyone's gotta start somewhere, fishing for shiny rocks in the mines. In Splendor, the mobile port of the board game of the same name, you've got to take that handful of gems to buy cards from the tableau, which let you buy bigger and more expensive cards, building up your roster of workers and nobles until you're practically swimming in diamonds and rubies. Aside from all the sharp edges, doesn't that sound like fun?
Love word puzzles and don't want a lot of pomp and flash? This sleek puzzle game combines word scrambles with crosswords for a whopping 360 levels of relaxing, simple but engaging gameplay on your iOS.
Turns out when you experiment on a bunch of prisoners trying to get eternal life what you ACTUALLY get is a zombie apocalypse. Who knew? A colourful and surprisingly upbeat turn-based strategy game that has you equipping and upgrading your party of unlikely heroes as they battle their way across the city.
Available for iOS, descend into dungeons, turn-based style, and battle a host of baddies and bosses using cards that decay with use, and even find powerful equipment. With no ads or in-app purchases to speak of, Card Dungeon's blend of casual strategy and light humour makes it well worth checking out.
Plexus revisits a classic nursery rhyme with their latest jigsaw puzzle, as you swap and rotate pieces to assemble the scene, but with the edges of each piece anything but obviously defined, you'll find this one is as sneaky as the rest.
Now that you have settlers placed on your map, what are you going to do with them? Why, save them from monsters, of course! Lumarama's new mobile tile-based strategy game takes a popular card-mapping board game style to a new level in Damn Little Town.
Simple or simply insane? As easy as this new hexagon-based puzzle board game may seem at first glance, it can be infuriatingly challenging to master. Learn against the computer AI or challenge other players to a match as you carve out your space on the board and mark the dots.
Put your strategy cap on and dive into this simple to learn, highly enjoyable puzzle game. Drag your one to three eyed creatures around the board to multipy and capture your opponent. Player with the most of their color on the board at the end of the game wins!
You've just moved to a unique town that's got one thing on its mind... card games! In this engaging blend of strategic collectible card battling and quirky adventuring, the great Card King is finally accepting battles, but you'll need to find eight legendary cards to even get a chance at him... and build a deck of 180 different cards in the process!
Plexus serves up some sweet seasonal puzzling with this Valentine's Day themed jigsaw. Though not as difficult as others we've seen from them, beautiful colours and cute imagery makes for proof positive that the best way to say "I tolerate you" is to say it with puzzles.
Raise a great empire in CivClicker! You start with a single farmer living in a tent, but will soon be dealing with hundreds of different workers living in mansions. Though you can leave the clicktoy open in your browser to gain the resources you need to survive and multiply, you'll want to check back often to manage your resources and send your soldiers out to raid.
Live Puzzle takes a Christmassy turn! Each uniquely designed jigsaw puzzle is a moving picture, and putting them together is as fun as it is tricky. Now, with ten new and adorable levels, Live Puzzle 2 Christmas Edition is the sweetest game in the series.
For the second in its circus-themed jigsaw puzzle series, the show continues with more of Plexus' characteristic whimsy and fun. More than matching edges or scenes, the uniquely-shaped pieces provide the extra twist needed to keep all eyes on stage.
Tiny Games is a collection of quirky diversions aimed at getting you or a bunch of people to do strange things. It uses situational questions and commands and suggests activities based on your location, mood, etc. Think of it as the ultimate collection of road trip games, expanded to cover most of the real world. The "games" aren't games in and of themselves, but you'll be surprised how much fun a competitive "I'm crushing your head" can be.
Addictive and satisfyingly strategic, Card Hunter is a free turn-based strategy game that combines the cheek and charm of a tabletop RPG setting with well-designed card-based gameplay mechanics. Play the single-player campaign and embark on adventures as you grow a party full of powerful heroes, or go up against other players in multiplayer and earn rare treasure! If only the free-to-play problems didn't start creeping in...
In the first of Plexus' circus-themed puzzles, the show is coming to town—as soon as you can find and fit together the multitudes of uniquely-shaped jigsaw pieces to complete the picture. As always, the wonderfully imaginative puzzle designs are a joy to toil over, even if this is just a wee bit easier (taking about 15 minutes for most) than some of the other puzzles in Plexus' repertoire.
Classic jigsaw puzzles are fun and all, but this is the 21st century and we demand more! Which is why Pipkin Games came up with Live Puzzle, an adorable (and tricky) game in which you put together moving pictures. Now, with Live Puzzle 2, there are ten new levels to very pleasantly occupy your time.
Fed up with the current crop of farming games and their incessant cheeriness? Agricola brings you back to reality like stepping in a pile of fresh manure. Playdek's mobile conversion of Uwe Rosenberg's classic strategy board game has the same pleasant exterior as numerous Facebook farm-'em-ups, but its cuddly graphics and music will do little to soothe your aching brain as you struggle to keep your peasants from starvation. Fun? It sure is.
If you have a few minutes to waste, and you're in the mood for something colourful and relaxing, look no further! What it wants to do is let you kick back and enjoy some colourful, almost plushy gears and a bunch of well-made puzzles.
7 Grand Steps is a new story-driven game from Mousechief, creator of the multi-award-winning Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble. It's a tale of growing and evolving, progress and struggles, families and histories, all told through the lens of a token-operated machine. In practice, 7 Grand Steps is very much like a board game fused with interactive narrative elements. And like any game of substance, just talking about its parts doesn't do justice to the whole. This game will reach out and grab you on a whole different level. It has this uncanny ability to make you feel for the characters, which is surprising seeing as how you're just dropping tokens into slots.
Live Puzzle is a jigsaw game by Pipkin Games that presents players with a fun set of animated pictures to reconstruct, with subjects ranging from fish, to spirals, to planets, to cards. The animation is clearly a gimmick, but a cool one, and the developers definitely put thought into how different puzzles would be solved in different and interesting ways.
Admit it: you know you wanted to solve a jigsaw puzzle today. Well, the team at Plexus Puzzles has granted your wish with Plexus: Rebuild the Earth, and the results are adorable as ever. Go! Play! Rebuild
The only thing that could make Plexus Puzzles better is more... and that's just what you get in Plexis: Together Till The End. Four times the jigsaws mean four times the fun, and with a cool chalk-art aesthetic and added animations between each puzzle, it definitely makes the most of its expanded ambitions.
In order to repay a massive debt to the notorious Pike Club, you're given a chance to earn cash by competing in a series of matching games. Just clear the board by making pairs from memory, and you're golden. But with various beneficial and harmful effects, talent and skill cards to add to your debt, and the strange members themselves to deal with, that's easier said than done. A clever twist on a simple concept with a very unique style.
The Happy Dead Friends are back with 60 new player made levels. In this puzzler, use your mouse to move zombies, skeletons and other creatures around until there are no free hands. Some creatures have unique abilities which can make them difficult to match up. See how many moves it takes you until everyone is holding hands. It's the only wat to make everyone happy!
In this mobile puzzle game by 10Tons, Peablins are afraid to go into the dark, monster-filled forest alone but if they're holding hands with a friend, then all is good. Help them make their way through180 stages by arranging each on the grid according to their quirky preferences. While the touch controls are easy to master, the puzzles can sometimes leave you stumped. Joining Hands is the perfect diversion wherever you find yourself empty-handed and in need of some fun.
This grid puzzle game from Gluk has forty levels of zombie networking challenges, plus a level editor, offering plenty of achievements and endless fun. Make every creature happy by arranging them along a grid so that each is holding hands with his friends. While not entirely original, Happy Dead Friends is well-made and has enough unique qualities to warrant praise and smiles.
Our little bear friend was about to take his morning stroll when some bees came along and attacked him! You soon learn of a larger plot involving an evil spreading throughout the land, infecting animals of all sizes with a dark sickness. It's your job to cure all the creatures of the forest in Everlands, a tile-based strategy game that bears some resemblance to position-based card games such as the Final Fantasy mini-game Triple Triad.
Not all games are created equal, and Carcassonne is a great example of how game makers are constantly striving for innovation. For the uninitiated, Carcassonne was originally a German board game created in 2000 where players work together to build a medieval world. This mobile adaptation is everything you could want from a portable Carcassonne, right down to the price!
Show me the fun! Sure this jigsaw puzzle from the brilliant team at Plexus starts with the most romantic phrase ever quoted, but does it deliver? You bet. Gorgeous, brightly-colored individual images which fit together perfectly to form one unified picture. Use arrows to rotate then click to drag each piece into place. It's both complex yet simple, exceedingly charming and definitely fun to play.
Alone. A word that has both good and bad connotations. For Matt Rix' Ludum Dare entry, it's a goal. In The Word Alone, you are given a Boggle-esque board where you are tasked to eliminate all the other letters to leave just 'A', 'L', 'O', 'N' and 'E'. Do you have the word and spatial genius to accomplish this?
Joy to the world, a new Plexus puzzle has come! Let us receive the jigsaw! It's never too late for some jolly good puzzling fun, and this latest treat from the puzzle providers at Plexus has jolly sprinkled all over it. A PieceFull Christmas contains familiar images you might expect to see around Christmas time, including a decorated tree, presents, elves, and jolly old St. Nick himself. Perhaps the fact that this is a Plexus puzzle you can overlook the fact that it's no longer Christmas time.
The masters of the jigsaw at Plexus certainly weren't bundled up for winter when programming their latest mind-bending picture puzzle: FlutterBy. This time the subject is bugs and blossoms, drawn in a softer, more childlike style than we usually see from the developer. But don't let the big noses and sproingy antennae fool you: This is a puzzle that will take all your visual acuity to resolve into the final big picture.
It's always fascinating when a developer, having come up with an engaging idea for a puzzle game, tries to justify the premise after the fact with a storyline. Case in point: Mysterious Treasures by Sky Mill, which spins a simple grid-based strategy game of getting more coins than the CPU into a high-seas pirate adventure. It's a simple little game that makes for big fun.
Chess: Favorite pastime of Machiavellian rulers, rogue Artificial Intelligences and cool old guys in the park. The game that Goethe proclaimed as the touchstone of intellect. The sea in which a gnat may drink and an elephant may bathe. The basis for programs as imposing as the human-crushing Deep Blue and as totally sweet as Interplay's Battle Chess. At JayIsGames, we're always on the lookout for quality casual versions of classic board games, and this release of Great Matemaster is just that. The focus here is on chess puzzles, and its huge wealth of content and polished presentation makes it something you should definitely check, mate.
It's a memory matching game with a twist! In ShadeMemory's clever spin on an old style of gameplay, you've been invited to join the Pike Club where you test your memory for cash and upgrades. Sporting a gorgeous and slightly creepy illustrated style, it may wind up somewhat repetitive but is proof that a little ingenuity can go a long way.
Riding Shotgun is a Western-themed, turn-based strategy game on an 8 x 8 board where you must win shootouts against different computer opponents. Move your wagon onto different icons to attack your enemy and defend against attacks. It's a nicely-stylized and unique take on a traditional style puzzle game.
Lights! Camera! Puzzle! Everyone's favorite sawer of jig, Plexus, is back, with a new mind-bender of a visual workout. This time, the subject is the literal zoo that is Hollywood as some animal auteurs have gathered to film the latest boffo-box-office, fun-for-the-whole-family, critical-darling, summer blockbuster! All the pieces are here for a smash hit, but they'll be needing you to put them into place. Roll 'em!
Though I am not usually a fan of turn-based strategy games, occasionally one comes along which is able to engage me with surface simplicity, and, before I know it, has me in the throes of complete addiction. Tic Tac Toe, a game created by Paul Neave as an apparent advertising tie-in for the popular breath-mint line, is one such game. A work that manages to reward cautious planning while retaining its power as a grim reflection on the nature of aggression, Tic Tac Toe presents an amusing challenge along with questions that cannot be easily dismissed.
Make friendz in this monstrous puzzle game that has you chaining unhappy monsterz together. Created by Jean Privat for the 9th Casual Gameplay Design Competition's theme of friends, Monsterz has a simple presentation but offers just enough challenge to really make you think.
Toxers is turn-based exploration game where you have to save your city from the mutated bugs that have appeared in the wake of an ice cream factory explosion. You'll visit 17 different areas killing bugs, rescuing survivors and completing missions. Escape from the city won't be easy, especially with Bugzilla blocking the only route out of town.
Sean Cooper's new online simulation of the classic game of marbles. Aim and shoot a white marble, attempting to knock red marbles out of the circle. The lack of AI opponents or online multiplayer is a flaw, but overall it's a fine iteration of a very niche genre.
SpreadPath is a unique new puzzle game from Andrey Shponko that uses growth by spreading as its core gameplay mechanic. In order to achieve enlightenment by spreading, you must cover each target square with a creature of the matching color. Wherever your path takes you, SpreadPath is an intriguing challenge to push your logic and puzzle-solving abilities into new territories.
Oliver & The Basilisks is a turn-based, strategy, board game where you'll take control of the wizard Oliver. Your goal is to clear each level of basilisks either by using your magic spells or by maneuvering them into each other or into deadly objects. With three modes of game play and up to 14 spells, Oliver & The Basilisks offers a lot of variety.
It is the year 2000... wait, no, wrong The Humans are Dead reference. This strategic board game by Lethe Games puts you in the metal boots of one of four robot factions who move across the grid to claim resources, spawn units, create defensive structures and more in a clashing of tactical minds.
Warlight is a feature-rich strategy game along the lines of Risk, Galcon, or Dice Wars. It features both single and multiplayer modes that include user-made maps (such as Mr. T!) and a host of interesting gameplay additions such as cards and fog of war. You can even play games by e-mail! Warlight is a fabulous gaming experience for fans of the traditional game of Risk and for those who are yet to experience strategic gameplay and the thrill of world domination.
Thomas Weibel's Backgammon is fun, challenging, rock-steady, and doesn't suffer from its super-simple presentation. The game assumes you are familiar with how to play backgammon, so novices might benefit from a quick tutorial found elsewhere on the Web. It's the classic game of Backgammon against a computer AI right in your browser.
Bingo, another combo card is filled in Reeelz, an addictive blend of skill-based puzzle and luck-based slot machine from Game In a Bottle. No more mindlessly feeding coins into the one-armed bandit; if you prioritize and have a long term plan, you'll certainly come out on top. Take that, Las Vegas!
Find harmony, peace, patience and strategy by herding rocks. Seriously. Things could not be easier: you have to herd all of the identical stones into clusters, at which point they will flip over with the uniform efficiency of a Mexican Wave. The trick is getting them together.
Norapoly is a speedy miniaturization of Monopoly with some extra RPG strategy and survival tactics thrown in for good measure. The clean 8-bit-esque graphics fit nicely with the speedy gameplay, and give the five levels of this game a comfy, old-school feel. So forget the dice, your sword is now your weapon. Go ahead and tackle Norapoly (and possibly win second prize in that beauty contest).
Crush your foes in turn-based strategic sci-fi combat in this engaging game from Indigon. Choose one of three distinct races, each with their own campaign, in the race to uncover a secret unearthed in a far corner of the galaxy. Hoard your energy to build ships while guarding your warp gate and ultimately be the last one standing in this unique, addictive game of strategy.
We are grateful to James Prucey for this marvel of a game;
With its mix of luck and strategy, it's never quite the same;
Though it used to need an iPhone, now we all can praise its name;
Oh Lock 'n' Roll, ROCK ON!
The Great War of Prefectures plays like a cross between Risk and an RTS, with Japan's prefectures (analogous to other countries' states or provinces) serving as the territories you fight over. Despites some interface flaws, this game has that elusive quality that will bring you back for more even after you thought you'd had enough.
Tantrix is a friendly one-player version of the 1988 board game by Mike McManaway, a game that may not have the renown of Scrabble or chess, but still attracts devoted players for annual tournaments. Try to form loops of a single color out of specially-designed hexagonal tiles, in either a puzzle mode or the more improvisational Solitaire mode.
These puzzles are the same type of chess mind-benders that still appear in some newspapers next to the word jumble and bridge game brainteasers. Given an endgame position consisting of a few pieces, try to produce checkmate in a given number of moves. The difficulty curve eases you in gradually, and if you're good enough, you can tackle 650 unique puzzles. Regardless of your Elo rating, you'll find a challenge that will suit you with MateMaster.
A dice game of luck and strategy, race against the computer (or a friend) to 10,000 points. Earn points by rolling 1's and 5's, or by rolling 3 or more of a kind, or several other special configurations worth big points. Also known under a variety of different names, Zilch is definitely one of those games that's "easy to learn, hard to master."
Zombie in My Pocket is the quintessential casual game: quick to play, easy to learn, solitaire and free. But it differs from the usual Jay is Games fare in one crucial respect: the platform on which it plays is not Windows, Mac or Linux, but rather your kitchen table.
A marble placement, turn-based strategy game. The goal is to be the first player to place five marbles in a row. The rows can be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal. The game is a bit like Connect Four, but with a twist. Pentago is an award-winning board game from Sweden, and this Flash version allows you to play in a browser.
Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble is an innovative and award-winning download game for both Mac and Windows that defies classification. It's a unique genre-bending game that includes puzzle and RPG elements, as well as a variety of mini-games. All these disparate elements synthesize remarkably well, and the gameplay quickly becomes intuitive.
Another popular television game show to make the leap to the casual gaming world. The classic "guess the most popular answer" formula is as exciting on your computer as it is on TV, only now it's much more interactive than just yelling at the screen. With over 3,000 questions to ponder and a tacked-on home decorating game, you won't have a hard time finding an excuse to guess what the "survey says".
Proximity is a classic turn-based strategy Flash game that is somewhat like a cross between Risk and Go. It is surprisingly simple to learn and takes about 5 minutes to play. You can play against the computer, or against a friend at the same computer.
Coming out of Wildsnake Software, from the chilled steppes of Russia, comes an entry into our 4th Casual Gameplay competition: Chap Hai - Way Of The Dragon. But what is the "Way Of The Dragon"? Does it involve superhuman martial arts, or maybe a method of braising reptile meat? Actually, it involves flicking marbles at each other. It's Zen baby.
BrettspielWelt is a free, online board-gaming community based in Germany but open to players from around the world. Many excellent board and card games, ranging from casual fun to serious strategy can be played online in one place: BrettspielWelt ("board game world").
Torus Games from Jeff Weeks and Geometrygames.org is the name of a free downloadable set of 8 simple games for Windows and Mac that, rather than being played on a 2-D plane, are played on the surface of a torus. Here you will find a twist on classic games like tic-tac-toe, pool, Minesweeper (called Apples here), and even a bizarre version of chess.
The Four Color Problem is a simple turn-based game in which the goal is to color in as much space on a map as you can, while a computer opponent tries to do the same. The catch is that no two adjacent areas can be filled with the same color. Can you dominate the majority of the map with your color?
Similar to the classic game Rack-O, Tower Blaster puts you in a race against the Viking hordes in a randomly-assorted tower of numbered blocks to must arrange them in order from lowest at the top to highest at the bottom. Finish your tower before your opponent finishes theirs, else the mighty Viking Axe destroys your own tower and the game is over.
Get the Glass is a 3D board game produced as a part of a new Got Milk advertising campaign in the US. The object of the game is to get the Adachi family around the board and into Fort Fridge so that they can...erm...Get the Glass. It's an absolutely beautiful game with gorgeous scenery and surprisingly smooth animation.
Quadradius is an online, multiplayer, turn-based Flash game that takes the skeleton of the board game checkers, and pumps it up with a massive list of power-ups and new strategies that turns the game into an addictive and very compelling new concept. In fact, calling it checkers is an oversimplification that does not do it any justice.
Doctor Who Cyber Assault (or Cyberman) is a Risk!-like game from the BBC that incorporates several minigame-like elements into the main game. Move your units around the board to conquer new territory, then try and outwit your opponent with rock-paper-scissors-type fights. And when you take a territory with an enemy base, get ready for some gun-firing action.
With almost 10 years in the making, Sanctum from Nioga is a very unique game. The best way to describe it would be to say it's like combining chess with Magic the Gathering in a miniature game board setting. It could be one of those classic board games we played as a child, except this game is all digital and played only online.
Dice Wars is a unique new turn-based strategy game from Japan. Using nothing but dice and a randomly generated territory map made of hexagons, the game is similar in gameplay to that of the board game, Risk, though much simpler and quicker to play. The objective is to conquer all territories and eliminate all your opponents by attacking them with dice.
Travian is a browser-based, massively multiplayer, quasi-real-time strategy game, developed and maintained by a German team dedicated to its upkeep. The goal is to build up economic and military power through the development of land and construction of buildings and armies.
American History Lux is a downloadable war strategy game that takes a remarkably boring subject and turns it into a simple but epic game. It's a whittled-down version of Sillysoft's more Lux Delux title, making it perfect for casual world-conquerors. The game plays a lot like Risk with a few extras and is available for Windows, MacOS X and Linux.
Since Jay and I have been so hopelessly busy playing Cry Wolf, I offered last night to write a review for a game that was mentioned in passing in a previous post, Sea3d, also known as Settlers of Catan.
Settlers is a board game that's been around for a number of...
At first glance, it appears to be a Towers of Hanoi puzzle, and maybe that is why I did not play this game the first time it crossed my path. Not because I view Towers of Hanoi unworthy, for it's a classic puzzle game and one that is often used to teach recursive algorithms in programming. I passed on it because I thought it was unoriginal.
According to the myth, Theseus goes into the labyrinth to slay the minotaur. Inside, he uses a piece of yarn that was given to him by his love, Ariadne, to mark his trail so he is able to find his way back out in the dark. In Kreta, however, you must enter the labyrinth as Ariadne and save Theseus before he becomes Minotaur feed.
Manuel Fallmann's latest offering on his MINDistortion site is a turn-based strategy game against the CPU, or a human opponent at the same computer. The object of Quarkz is to be the first player to reach the number of points designated as the victory condition by adding particles to the...
File this under: Games as an art form. While I do not often find myself playing Chess (read: I suck at it), I do like to play when I find a game that offers something besides the mere basics. Thinking Machine 4 is just such a game. The authors state that the goal of the piece is not to make an expert chess playing program but to lay bare the complex thinking that underlies all strategic thought.
For all the classic board gamers, as well as for those who were searching the site for one the other day, here is a Shockwave multiplayer Backgammon game from Nabisco. A simple menu gets you playing right away, just click on 'Join Any Open Game'. Once there are two players, click the 'Yes' button to start. If no one shows up, you can click the butt...
These beautiful Flash casino games were created by Eugene Potapenko and are available to play on his website flash.init(). Each game has been given extraordinary attention to detail right down to the wood grain finish on the tables. You won't get rich playing these games, but you won't lose any money either. Choose between: American Roulette, Bacc...
Almost twenty years ago, I would often play a solitaire game on the Mac called Shanghai that used Chinese Mahjongg tiles for play. Created by Brodie Lockard and released by Activision in 1986, Brodie is credited with the original idea, programming and artwork for the game. Since then there have been many clones and copycat versions, but most still ...
Similar to games like Go and Othello, this Shockwave game is all about turning the tiles (or I suppose 'nodes' in this case) to your color. It's very simple to pick up and play, and yet the possibilities for each move become many. Frustrating and difficult, the challenge is fun if you put a little time into examining how each move affects the play.
Played just like the old plastic game of Battleship that used red and white pegs to record hits and misses, except this Flash version does all the hard work for you. First position your fleet on the board, then all you have to do is click on a square to fire torpedoes.
If you like board games and you like playing against others over the Internet, give Conqueror! a try. This full-featured, multiplayer, turn-based strategy game is very similar to Risk, and yet its gameplay is a lot richer. An ingenious system of simultaneous turns means that you don't have to wait for other players to make their moves.
What may be one of the oldest games ever played, Mancala is simple to learn and yet difficult to master. This cute Flash version of the game is played using snails for stones and features both single player and multiplayer modes of play. Created by the talented folks at RocketSnail Games in British Columbia.
Lately, I've been wanting to play a game, called Mastermind, that I used to play a lot when I was in high school, but couldn't find a decent version of it anywhere online. The versions I did find were either buggy or weren't much to look at. So I made a better one.