Zombies are everywhere. And all you've got is a heavily armored bus that can be upgraded with shields, zombie-crunching bumpers, guns, and other equipment! Guess you'll have to do some reckless driving in order to rescue the survivors. Zombus is a top-down driving game from Game Launch Project, creator of Bunny Flags. The game features loads of blood, plenty of angry zombies, and a healthy dose of more blood. But, for a browser-based driving game, you'll be surprised how spot-on the controls (and overall sense of dread) are!
In the tradition of games like Worms and Scorched Earth, take your tank onto the 2D battlefield and drop a few bombs on your enemy in this excellent multiplayer artillery title from Kyle Champ. Addictive, demanding and fun; the hallmarks of a great artillery game. And Shell Shock Live is a great artillery game. Maybe even one of the best...
While it's fairly similar to the original, particularly because a lot of the art assets are recycled, Book of Dead Names helps update the Necronomicon formula and add a lot of much-needed depth. The difficulty might turn some players off, especially since as a card game it's possible to lose matches by simply not getting the cards you need, but it's still worth a look for card game and Lovecraft fans alike. Just try not to unleash any dark powers. It's a pain to clean up after that kind of thing.
- • The God of Poverty
- • Tube Crisis
- • Tiny Blockman
- • Ninja Painter
There's a cover charge for this week's Link Dump Friday, but I know the guy who owns the place, so I can get you in. It's cool. We're cool. We're serving up point-and-click puzzles, wanton extraterrestrial destruction, ninja creativity, flatulence, and more. That's right... we're the classiest joint in town, baby.
Sumo wrestling, as everyone knows, is a noble and ancient Japanese art where a rotund man bounces around like a ping pong ball, occasionally careening into other sumo wrestlers, and shoveling rice down his gullet as quickly as possible to increase his size and convert all adversaries into clones of himself. So loosen your belt, grab your industrial-strength chopsticks, and jump into Hungry Sumo for seconds. Or tenths. Or fiftieths. Yum.
I appreciate the specificity of Space Arcade: The Game's subtitle. I was seriously worried for a couple minutes that I was going to have to deal with Space Arcade: The Hit Broadway Musical. However, as much as I crave toe-tappin' hits and elaborate choreography, I enjoy Galaga-inspired pixel shooter action even more. This appears to be music-meister Matt McFarland's debut game release, and it's so much fun that maybe he should consider quitting his day job.
If you were looking for a game that gives you a taste of true omnipotence, zOMT leaves something to be desired. But as a defense game, it's a great deal of fun. Being told that your godly might was at the level of "holy toast" was certainly a spur to keep playing. Conquer all fifteen levels and your power will be unquestioned! At least from here to that torch-thing.
A couple of months ago, we featured Insectonator by Denis Kukushkin and family. I thought i thought it was a fine shooter, and going by the site ratings, it seems that many of you agreed. However, I did have a small problem with it: as fun as it was to blast various anthropods into lymphatic chunks, the whole thing did seem just a shade sadistic. I mean, most of those beetles were just minding their own business. If only the developers came out with a version that featured enemies for which the average gamer had no compunctions eviscerating... something like, oh, I don't know, the stalking legions of the undead. Well, guess what, Insectonator: Zombie Mode is here, and with it comes new weapons, new arenas and new achievements. And zombies. Tiny, tiny zombies.
10 Gnomes in Liege is pretty short, but that doesn't mean that you'll only spend ten minutes playing. Try it and you might get hooked, going back over and over again to admire the stunning black and white photography of the city whilst you try to ferret out every last gnome before time runs out.
Sym-a-Pix is a unique take on picture-logic puzzles. Like most of the Conceptis Light line, this edition features a selection of easier puzzles in three different sizes, to give you a good grasp of the concepts for solving these puzzles. If you're looking for a different logic puzzle challenge, give Sym-a-Pix Light a spin. You never know what will turn up!
Hermit Rabi is a satisfying little escape adventure chock-full of puzzles, logic, use of found objects, combining objects, and communicating with imaginary rabbits. With this designer you get the whole package: fantastic gameplay, intuitive and easy to use controls, and gorgeous visuals, making Robamimi one of our favorite room escape designers. So get ready for a perfect mid-week break with Hermit Rabi and Wonder Fountain.
Slide as long as you can before the heat gets you in this quirky, fast-paced arcade game. If you have to ask why there are fires on a waterslide, well, clearly you have never heard the sad tale of Dormant Volcano Waterpark and the gypsy that cursed it. Maybe you should be asking yourself why you'd want to take one last ride down something known as a "death pipe" instead.
Bloopers is a short physics game of destruction similar to Crush the Castle, Angry Birds, and countless other browser-based diversions of a similar type. Here, you play the role of little black blobs who own a really great cannon. One day, one of the blobs sees a lightbulb. He goes insane with rage, immediately smashing the bulb's delicate glass exterior. Only when the light has been extinguished is the blob happy, and thus they set out across the land, using physics to destroy lightbulbs that plague their very existence!
- • Etherena Beta
- • Rose & Camellia
- • XiaoXiao9: Fight Man
Not many people know that JiG originally started as a tournament conceived by mysterious businessman J. Bibson, in the attempt to find the world's most powerful game reviewer. We were all set to start the first round at the JiG docks... but then a new Eyezmaze game came out, we all got distracted, and decided to start a website instead. And so, we peer into archives of that website as this week in the JayIsGames Vault, we feature some of the best casual fighting games of years past.
Nostalgia returns in Ragdoll Parashooter, a modern-day version of the classic games like "Sabotage" and "Paratrooper." Control your turret to take out waves of enemy paratroopers, helicopters, and transports. Upgrade your weapons and survive across six levels, playing minigames and earning achievements along the way.
If history has taught us anything, it's that history is neat and can make great content for video games. Case in point: Siegius, a casual real-time strategy / defense game that takes place during Julius Caesar's conquest of Gaul way back in the mid-50s BC. Send units out to attack the base of the Gaul commander Vercingetorix. He's streaming soldiers as well, so you must balance defensive units with long-range fighters, melee combat specialists, and unique spells, clearing the battlefields as you march your way to victory! Hopefully!
Dust off that old Nitrome Entertainment System and maybe even your super sneaky Game Muscle cartridge for a little old-school arcade glory! Help the world's cutest pink elastic puppy stretch his way around all manner of dangerous obstacles to retrieve gems in this beautiful nostalgic homage to classic arcade avoidance gaming.
Well it finally happened. After years of cheating, fighting and swirlying, you've been expelled, and your parents aren't happy. The only thing standing between you and juvenile detention is St. Frost's School for Slackers, Troublemakers and Idiots. The students are a mixed bag of violent sadists and amiable dunces, the teachers aren't much better, and the last new student had a nervous breakdown after two months. But hey, you ruled one school before didn't you? How different can this one be? It's all about doing the right things for the right people... So is the premise of Wasted Youth, the new open world adventure-RPG from GPStudios.
- • Tobe's Hookshot Escape
- • Starcede
- • Pogo Rampage
- • Shiver Me Pieces
- • The Blocked Tunnel
Link Duuuummmmp... in my browseeeer... makes me happeeeeeeeeee... Everybody!... no? *sigh* Nobody ever wants to sing along with me. Oh well. Guess I'll just console myself with the wide variety of genres on display in this week's Link Dump Friday. No, no, it's too late, don't even try. The moment's past.
14 Locks, the latest game from Bart Bonte, is not strictly an escape game but it is still fun to navigate your way through the imaginatively decorated spaces, each one becoming more elaborate than the last. Bart has created something that is pretty exciting and amusing to play with this Unity platform, although it can be a little nausea inducing, so please be warned.
This is Jack. This is Jack's spring. This is Jack's amusing hat. This is Jack's box. Jack wishes he were in his box. Jack needs you to guide him to the box. This is Jack's friend. Jack's friend also has an amusing hat. Jack's friend will follow Jack wherever he goes. This is the additional element of strategy added to Jack's puzzle-platforming game. In short, this is Jack in the Box, made by Jack's creator, Ali Bati. And if you think it won't be a good time, brother... you don't know Jack.
EA2D and Evan Miller of Pixelante Game Studios combine forces to create this fun, frantic side-scrolling hack-and-slasher set in the Dragon Age universe from Bioware and EA's popular RPG series. As one man against a seemingly unending tide of demons, beasts, madmen, and more, do you have a chance to make your way across hostile terrain to victory? Master four different combat styles, topple massive bosses, and indulge in a little wholesome face-stabbing in this straight-forward but very fun action title from both Industry and Indie talents.
Created by five-year-old Cassie and her father, Ryan, Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure is a stupendously silly and wonderful short little adventure game about a little girl able to travel through rainbows, who desperately wants a collection of ponycorns in jars. (Don't we all?) Short and easy but nevertheless cheerful and fun, this little game will put a smile on your face for the duration.
When a little yellow creature mysteriously named Red spies a sign advertising a free muffin, nothing's going to stop him. Of course, this muffin turns out not to be so much a "free as in no strings attached" muffin. It's more of a "free as in you must first complete a gauntlet of puzzles while pointing and clicking your way around a mysterious castle" kind of muffin. Made by Rob and John Donkin, The Adventures of Red serves up some classic challenges and a few twists of its own.
Sakudatu is definitely an entertaining room escape. The puzzles are fun if a tad too easy and the madness going on all around merely enhances the escaping experience. If the bizarro world of Detarou is to your liking then you are in for one tasty treat.
Katharine Neil brings us a quirky, cheeky adventure about what it takes you get you up off your butt and enjoying the great outdoors. Provided your idea of "enjoyment" is trekking all over the wilderness, being outwitted by devious animals, set to work by devilish children, and tracking down a truly unreasonable amount of teddy-bear eyeballs. An entertaining, bawdy adventure game with a ton of sass and creativity.
If there's one thing I loathe, it's those darn dirty zombies. Not just for their intentions re: my brains, but also how it seems that, as of late, some developers have used their antagonistic qualities to prop up uninspired game design. Every so often though, a game comes out that features the undead in a way that feels fresh and interesting... and since I already dodged one apocalypse this week, I was just about ready to go for two. That game is Jim P's new run and gun shooter, zOMGies 2.
- • Acrobots
- • Pianolina
- • The ABC Game
I think that one of the signs that I'm getting old is my increasing inability to comprehend the appeal of the latest hot must-have toy of the season. Silly Bands? Zhu Zhu Pets? Paper Jamz? I just feel like I'm missing something. No matter... I have the plethora of webtoys in the JiG Vault to keep my increasingly crotchety personality at bay. Here are three of my favorites, which I think will be fun for both the young and the young at heart.
Fame! Romance! Excitement!... none of which are for you. After all, Count Thrashwoode is the hero here, and you're just his lowly assistant. It's up to you to properly organise all the treasure he uncovers during his adventures and then properly equip him for battle in this quirky, unique puzzle game.
From Papa's Pizzeria to Papa's Burgeria to the latest time management game Papa's Taco Mia, Flipline Studios consistently produces great-looking games that walk a delicate line between challenging and straight-up entertaining. The newest in the growing series of restaurant sims puts you in the managing shoes of a taco joint. Take customer's orders, grill up the right kind of meat, stuff the tacos, add the toppings one by one, and present each order to the customer for their evaluation. Make neater tacos, rake in bigger tips, and outfit your restaurant with the best equipment available as you work your way to a taco-making master!
Spite Cannon Reloaded is a truly casual game where you shoot cannonballs at various shapes with eyes and mouths. Play through 80 levels, complete with upgrades and a level editor. Can you unlock the lemur cannonballs and beat the game?
- • Zombies Runaway
- • Inverted Y
- • Dimension Diver
- • Duck Life 3
- • Lynn Love
Put on your red cape and avoid zombies in the dark, deal with literal letter oppression, raise your duck to be the very best, or take a peek at how your emotions live in this week's installment of Link Dump Friday!
Fans of the original Castaway will find much they like from the first game, plus many improvements. Castaway 2 isn't the deepest RPG around, but it's perfect for casual fans of the genre. The Isle of the Titans has a lot to do and a lot to see, and will keep casual RPG players well occupied. Just don't let it suck you in too much, or you might find that you suffer some light amnesia of your own.
Forget Tremors and Sarlacci, you've got Death Worms to worry about! Indie developer Play Creek brings 2007's smash arcade hit to your browser with sleek new graphics, fifteen levels, achievements, upgrades, thirty different enemies, and all the fanged, gaping maws you've ever wished for.
I have to admit, if I was ever sucked into a Tron-like computer world, I don't know if I would be able to handle the games they would force me to play. Since getting my motorcycle, I think I could manage a draw in light-cycles, but Deadly Discs? Solar Sailor? Brawls at the End of Line club? I think I'd be derezzed pretty quickly. On the other hand, should the Master Computer challenge me to a game of hangman, I think I could take him. Such is the scenario presented by Langman, the new unity platforming word game from Von Lehe Creative.
Oh sure, you could say that Successful Experiment by Toffee Games is just another physics-based puzzler where you fiddle around with balls and targets, but just check out that sweet laboratory set you've got as a background, and the Einstein-look on the logo character. You're fiddling around with balls and targets for science.
Although Bla Bla is presented on a technological medium, many of the pictures and figures are hand-drawn or made through stop-motion animation. The combined effect of modernity and tradition produces a unique aesthetic and a visible human touch to the gameplay.
In this conclusion to the Stamp Rally Escape trilogy, the puzzles flow nicely from one to the next and the animals' special talents for jumping and punching are on display front and center several times around the room. All in all a nice, satisfying conclusion to the series, leaving the room escaper happy and content, at least until Cogito Ergo Sum's next epic trilogy.
Samegame Fighter cuts out all the nasty parts of adventuring (and most of the other parts, for that matter) and distills battling monsters to a matching game. Samegame Fighter is a solid choice for those of us who'd love to be heroes but enjoy changing our underwear regularly.
Wasps stink. That's not a typo; they may sting, but they stink too, and you'll think so too after you fire up this cute, quirky little puzzle platformer. When the Wasp King steals all the honey before Bearboy can steal it himself, it's up to you and your cursor to help Bearboy get the goods across worlds filled with all manner of strange and challenging obstacles.
With smooth, easy to use controls, sumptuous detail and pop-culture style humour, A Knight's Quest is a lovely diversion that won't necessarily extend your cerebral capacities, but rather will entertain, amuse and remind you of the importance of respecting your mother and helping others, even if it's simply in the pursuit of milk... that costs well over $650.00. And that's the low-fat variety. Without diamonds in it.
- • Winterbells
- • Purgatorium
- • Set: Daily Puzzle
- • Bloxorz
The Bard tells us that brevity is the soul of wit. That goes for games as well as JiG Vault summaries. So let's jump right in to this week's collection of hits that are as sweet as they are short.
With its cute, cartoony visuals, throbbing music track, fast-paced action, and Super Mario-like platforming City Siege 2: Resort Siege is a wild ride through the world of special ops and hostage rescue. So you can't be a member of Seal Team 6 (which doesn't actually exist, anyway), try City Siege 2: Resort Siege and live out your wildest commando team fantasies of saving the day, killing the bad guys, and reducing some random unnamed resort to complete rubble.
Those gosh-darn Giraffe-neck-extending Russkies are at it again! No longer content to simply stretch their ungulates up through the stratosphere, now it seems that they won't be satisfied until they've gone across the horizontal horizon as well. Yes, it's Soviet Rocket Giraffe, an amusing new launch/platformer hybrid from Jmtb02, a guy who knows a little something about launching animals into space. And while some of the elements are more than a little familiar, there's no finer forgotten chapter of the space race than this, comrade.
You can keep your CGI mippy-maps and digitally inserted explosions. In my mind, what the best movie stunts need is non-negotiable: An actual dude, in an actual car, making actual jumps (possibly with an actual dude hanging from the rear axle with an actual whip). I suppose then it's a little contradictory that I turn to computer gaming to recreate this real-life experience, but Stunt Crazy, the new physics driving game by The Podge definitely has the right spirit... and a ton of stuff that goes boom. Can't forget that.
Zounds! A movie-tie-in advergame that is a 16-bit platformer and doth not suck? And one that doth has been made by retro king Big Pixel Studios! Yea, verily! I personally may be a bigger fan of the Distinguished Competition, but any game that lets you control a Norse God that flings lightning and hammers around is certainly worth a look. Yes, it's Thor: Bring the Thunder, just released on the main Marvel site. Indeed, I've heard that the company has just released a 150 million dollar movie for the sole purpose of promoting this game. Was it a waste of money? By Odin's beard, I say thee nay!
- • P.i.g
- • Kulkis
- • Nyan Cat FLY!
- • Blow Things Up 2
- • Drawing Room
Portals, cats, spikes, bombs, and pencils make up this week's edition of Link Dump Friday, but definitely not vegetables. Arcade action, platforming, and escaping, though? Totally got you covered.
Checkpoint is a quick-fire arcade platform game that's as much about avoiding things that make you die as it is getting killed. Created by Hero Interactive (Bubble Tanks, Storm Winds), Checkpoint goes the extra mile and taunts you with running commentary on each level, reminding you why you're a terrible gamer, questioning your every move, and laughing at you when you fail. On top of that, you're being timed and your deaths are tallied, so if your ego isn't crushed by Hero Interactive throughout the course of the game, just wait for your pitiful final score at the end!
As with most escapes, Button is set in a room filled with all manner of doodads and puzzles: a few paintings on the wall, a red couch, a grandfather clock mysteriously missing its hands, a bookshelf... and a tempting red button behind a metallic hatch beside the door, helpfully marked "DO NOT PUSH" in both English and Japanese. How you treat the button will affect the outcome of the game.
Be legendary! Be powerful! Be... pixellated? Kevin Glass' retro roguelike is currently in continued development, but don't be afraid to dip your toes into this top-notch casual experience designed to be picked up and played at any time by anyone. Sharped your sword, fletch your arrows, and... uh... spark your fireballs? There's adventure to be had!
Minerbot features a distinctive minimalist art style that might be confusing for the first couple runs. Once you get into the groove of the game, though, there's definitely an addictive quality to watching a collector hollow out a massive expanse of ore. The action's accompanied by a hopping techno soundtrack.
Platform fans are bound to enjoy Test Subject Green while puzzle lovers won't be punished for a lack of twitch reflexes. It's an excellent hybrid of the two genres made possible through the power of science, much like astronaut ice cream is a delicious fusion of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate. Aren't you glad we live in this modern world?
Dangerous Gen-Kan Escape 2 is not only a perfect mid-week break but a fantastic nod to the past oeuvre of point-and-click adventure gaming which spawned today's room escapes. Come on, you know you want to play, even if you might blow up. Be careful, it's dangerous.
The Sieger Level Pack is an extension of the popular projectile physics castle destruction game, Sieger. It features 40 new levels with extra building material types and deadly projectiles. Levels now include slippery ice blocks, rolling boulders, and explosive boxes and barrels for maximum chain reaction devastation, as well as connecting blocks and moving contraptions. There's also an enhanced level editor to make and share your castles with the Sieger community.
Since the dawn of time, man has collected. This arcade platformer plays right to this compulsion by encouraging players to load up on diamonds like it's going out of style as they try to climb to the top of an endless cavern. This isn't a pretentious art game or a brain-wracking escape, this is down-and-dirty arcade action through and through and it succeeds spectacularly on that level.
- • Bloons
- • Trapped Series
- • Banner Game by Rob Allen
Rob Allen... Ninja Kiwi... Rodrigo Roesler... by their powers combined, they are... the Vault! Toss in a monkey, a murder, and one strange campsite, and you have the recipe for some seriously great games from 2007.
Doodle God is back with 2 new episodes for your element-combining alchemical enjoyment! Enter Doodle God 2 and play from the beginning of episode 1 or skip the first 116 elements to get right into episodes 2 & 3. Yes, it's a lot of trial and error, but just like Pokémon's "Gotta Catch'em All" the Doodle God games play right into our obsessive compusive desire to find all the elements.
When a mighty warrior is turned into a zombie, he does what any self-respecting one-man army would do: find a good armorer, learn a few skills and go pound revenge into whoever needs it. Even if you just want to spend a few hours where you can indulge in mindless violence, but pretend you are delving in stats formulas and real-time strategy, join the ranks of the Zombie Knight.
Aah, to be young again. To experience the thrills of the imagination. To not pay income taxes. To prowl about the night hypnotizing people, utilizing my super strength powers, flying like a bat, and unleashing telekinetic powers that can do virtually anything I desire. While that may not exactly be the childhood of anyone reading this review (or writing it, for that matter), in the point-and-click puzzle game Vampire Skills, you take on the role of a young vampire (is that even possible?) learning to use his skills. And yes, it's about as whimsical as it sounds!
Yoshio Ishii is back with another installment of one of our favorite puzzle games here at JIG: Hoshi Saga Ringoen is the 6th in the series and in full color like the previous version. Still not nearly as difficult as the first few games in the series, which may disappoint the more hard-core puzzle lovers, but for casual players are sure to eat this one up. Whether you are new to the series or a veteran, a new Hoshi Saga is always a day to celebrate.
Do K and S resent C for horning in on their territory? Is it agoraphobia or contempt for the other letters that compels Q to stay at home unless U is close behind? What sort of twisted inter-literal love triangle makes I go before E, except after C? And what happens when a formally happy literal couple decides to call it splits? This last is the premise behind The I of It, a unique puzzle platformer, in which the "t" of the word "It" runs off, prompting "I" to set forth on a quest find him.
- • browser, free, rating-g, game, defense, flash, macwinlinux, rdamiano, fortheloss, shooter, upgrades, survival
Don't Panic is a well designed defense shooter game on all fronts. Ralph Damiano has made an incredibly fun and exciting game that doesn't let you rest on your laurels, but also takes measures to make sure you're still enjoying it. Each level can get you as excited as the one before. You play a king, or, at the very least, someone who is a crown enthusiast, and you must defend your fortress against a mad scientist and his robot minions.
- • Flying Candy
- • And Everything Started to Fall
- • Running Wizard
- • Royal Beasts
- • Appy 1000MG
Depress yourself with the stark inevitability of poor decisions. Then cheer yourself up again by causing massive property damage with lightning bolts! Then depress yourself with the harsh reality of the falsely happy worth around you. Then cheer yourself up by throwing meat at a lion! Just another week here at Link Dump Friday.
Save the Princess is an adorable puzzle game, almost bordering on precious. It has just the right mix of colorful graphics and logical gameplay that makes me think that it would be the perfect game for parents and children to play together without either getting bored. Collect stars for extra (and slightly hilarious) achievements, but watch out for spikes and getting caught in an endless loop!
Take up the mantle of Gem Keeper and protect your glittery hoard from all comers in this official level pack from tower defense maestros Iriysoft. Make strategic use of three different terrains and towers, upgrading your offensive capabilities to stand firm against hordes of powerful enemies, each with their own unique abilities. Just remember, when the going get tough, the tough rain down a fiery hail of massive meteorites.
Buried in the dirt or sitting in the open pathways are letters or bones, simply run across them (or dig across them) to pick them up. Spell words to earn bones to buy bonuses and to move further in the game. Simple to learn with a lot of vocabulary complexity to be found, Word Up Dog! is casual gameplay that can suck you in and give you hours and hours of enjoyment. This fun, amusing, challenging game of spelling is entertainment for a wide range of ages, from those youngsters who want to improve their mad spellin' skillz to the older folks who enjoy a vocabulary challenge.
Where do all the bugs go? What happened between early testing of a game and final release? Jonas Kyratzes may make you wonder with this experimental platformer. Recruited to test an early build of Jonas's new game, you wind up falling through the cracks into a strange place you were never meant to see.
It's not your typical numbers-in-boxes challenge, but don't let that scare you away. Once you wrap your mind around the concept of using the empty boxes as the clues for filling in the black squares, you're on your way. This first batch of Nurikabe Light features a number of simpler, smaller puzzles to help you learn the ropes. Give them a shot, you might discover a new puzzle addiction!
You would really have to search hard to find anything wrong with Mild Escape 4, the newest game from Tesshi-e. Challenging, amusing, easy on the eyes and ears, with simple intuitive controls, you're looking at a near perfect classic one-room four-wall escape game, wrapped up in an anniversary bow. Perfect for the mid-week break, Mild Escape 4 is everything you could want in a room escape and more.
Flagstaff remains more about the silly story and casual pace than about seriously challenging veteran RPG players, but the design is cute and distinctive, the heroes all have interesting and balanced powers, and the pace is perfect for a light bit of dungeon crawling. Chapter Two builds on the promise of Chapter One, and tantalizes for the next installment of the Flagstaff series.
Some things in life are purely about experience, like bungee-jumping and rollercoaster rides. And there are games with no apparent meaning, that draw you in simply to enjoy something different, like Deliza. This point-and-click curiosity is essentially an advergame without the hard-sell elements, diffcult to define yet an experience in its own right.
- • A Break in the Road
- • Click Drag Type 3
- • Time Raider
What do you really need out of life? Sure food and shelter are nice, but don't forget the other important things too, like adventure, mental stimulation, and creativity! This week's installment of the Vault highlights three games that embody those traits and celebrate everything bemusing, perplexing, hilarious, and even a little frustrating.
My Little Army is clever strategy fun that wears its real-time nature on its sleeve, made from cutesy graphics and carried forward by purely-for-decoration storylines. You might even be fooled by thinking that this makes the game easy. See if you feel that way when a giant Jason is stomping your Khan Kong's face.
On of Eyezmaze is back in this bite-size installment of the Grow series of puzzle games! Made to highlight one particular beastie created by a fan of the games, Grow Nano 4 once again asks you to use a variety of unusual ingredients in the proper order. Combining a sense of wonder, silliness, and good old fashioned non-logic, On has once again delivered us a delicious little puzzle to bring a little strange sunshine to our week!
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!
You have a base. Some ships want to explode your base. You must explode them first! Ah, simplicity rules in the strategy, defense title, Star Forge, the latest from Hero Interactive. For those that enjoy thinking on their feet with unexpected challenges that make triumph all the sweeter, Star Forge is going to really suck you in.
Stuck between two warring forces, you seem to have no choice but to help defend Wayland Keep against its attackers. Fortunately, this is something you're really good at. Like really, really good. Take on the role of Argus, an unusually talented swordsman, and master a variety of deadly spells and abilities in this action-packed hack-and-slash fantasy game that blends defense with RPG elements for one bloody good time.
I'm always hearing about how the next evolution in gaming is right around the corner. However, for those shooter-lover who wouldn't mind evolution taking less time, there's DN8, the new dynamically-generated bullet-hell from intelligent-designer Squize of Gaming Your Way. It looks pretty fit to me.
- • Spike: A Love Story
- • Cubium
- • Sci-Fighters
- • Bloons 2: Spring Fling
- • Animal Raceway
April's almost over, so let's send it out with a bang!... or with misplaced affections, alien combat, and monkeys wearing rabbit ears. You know, whatever works. Link Dump Friday brings you more popping, more pit combat, and more work-your-fingers-to-the-bone training than ever before!
Want a game with bite? Vampire Physics has you removing wooden blocks and platforms to get your cute vampire to reach humans to turn them into vampires. Avoid garlic, priests, and rival vampires across 36 contraption-filled levels. The game includes bonus user levels and level editor to share your challenges.
The only thing standing between you and victory is a painful death! Actually a lot of painful deaths. But don't worry, they're not yours... technically. Jasper Byrne's retro platformer is a quirky, challenging psychedelic journey through another very dangerous and very weird world.
When you see the word "dismantlement" in front of a noun, especially when that noun is a gadget filled with nifty parts to dig through, you know it's time for another installment of the excellent point-and-click Dismantlement series! Just like previous releases, Dismantlement: Mini Keyboard charges you with the task of taking apart a gadget with nothing more than a screwdriver. The insides of this contraption won't be familiar to anyone who has actually pulled apart a keyboard before, and there might be a surprise (or six) waiting for you behind that rear panel!
Anbot 2 is short and sweet, but so totally jam-packed with action and excitment that it's much more than just a mouthful of gaming goodness. It might not take long to help Anbot through his second adventure, but you'll definitely feel like he owes you one for helping him out this time.
Monster Castle Defense is a retro-styled 2D tower defense game with cute little pixel graphics and a level of difficulty that will certainly get your attention. In order to keep the princess safe, you must deploy a series of creatures to fight off ever-advancing evil soldiers. Upgrade your warriors to bigger, badder fighters, and keep the hallways clear as you try to survive wave after wave of attacks!
Not long and nor very difficult, Blossom Spring Escape is a perfect mid-week break and a nice celebration of the season wrapped up into one. Amusing, easy on the eyes, logical, and just plain fun to enjoy the escaping madness. So take a few minutes out of your day and celebrate spring with a lot of pretty flowers and colors and logic puzzles. You know, just the way Grandma used to do.
It's an entire philosophy of bot-dom. UpBot is at peace with its purpose in life. It is UpBot. It goes up. It doesn't try to be something it's not. If UpBot needs to go left, then LeftBot is going to have to help it. The makers describe the game as "elegant," and that really is an apt descriptor for the solutions. When you figure it out, everything works together like clockwork. It's the figuring out that's the challenge, and the fun.
Leroy Smith's 2 on 2 Hall of Fame Challenge is an off-the-charts, old school basketball game featuring the self-proclaimed motivator of Michael Jordan. Use the keyboard to control your teammates as you attempt to defeat Team Leroy in three periods of no-holds-barred, high flying dunk action. Shazaaaam!
I don't know how to pronounce it, or even what it means but I love the game! Detarou's latest release is completely Detarou; in other words, it's a wonderfully weird, surreal, delightfully presented and maybe even a little unsettling point-and-click game with three endings to discover. The game itself defies any sense of reality, but it's funny, quirky, surprising and a real pleasure to play. And each ending only adds to the enjoyment of play with startling humour.
- • Exmortis
- • The Fancy Pants Adventure
- • Chronon
This week's installment of the Vault will make you scream bloody murder! Literally, since an iconic horror adventure about the worst cabin in the woods ever is involved. Also featured; adorable, monstrous captivity and a pair of pants to die for!
Crazy Over Goo is a physics-based projectile platformer that puts you in the gooey guise of a spheroid on a quest to find his pink-bowed friend. Use the mouse to aim your trajectory and try to reach each level's flag in as few jumps as possible. Contend with mid-air leaps, variable environments, gravity, spikes, and many other platform game elements.
The riddle of the sphinx is invoked at the beginning of Convergence, the flixel-based platformer/life simulator/interactive art piece that serves as the first release from Streetlight Studios: "What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?"... No, the answer isn't "William the Performing Dog". It's that miserable pile of secrets itself: man. And you'll be be spending an interesting three days in a life herein. Wake up, fall out of bed, drag a comb across your head and check it out.
It's the Era of Automation! We automate everything from manufacturing, to financial transactions, to blog updates. So why not automate creativity as well? Okay, that sounds horrible, but there is something fascinating about pre-configured, automatic processes that produce beautiful and seemingly random results. Depending on how you start your composition, you can either create regular repeating patterns, or patterns that subtly shift in interesting ways. It can be difficult to predict how a given setup will act, but that is part of the joy of Otomata.
Flaws, the interactive work of fiction from author Jon Ingold, is a difficult game to categorize as well as a different game to review. For starters, it isn't really a game in the traditional sense, more like a choose your own adventure produced for modern, Kindle-enabled devices. Then there's the nature of the story, where discussing even a few of the details can spoil whole bits of the experience. Suffice it to say, Flaws is an intriguing interactive fiction "game" about finding treasure and fame, the Andromeda galaxy, a mysterious diadem, and a possible assassination.
Cathode Rays starts out simply enough (with only one ray to handle), but the difficulty quickly ramps up as you're required to thread the rays through tight passages and time your movements to match moving and fading planks. Soon you'll be trying to manage four beams at once in sparkly vector glory. Can you wrangle these ridiculous rays?
No wait, come back! This one is satire, I promise! For one, there's its pedigree: Anna Anthropy, master designer of such games as Mighty Jill Off and Redder, someone who clearly knows from killer pixel art, engaging concepts, and uber-difficulty minus uber-frustration. Then, there's its sponsor, adult swim a network that time has shown to have quite the track record in promoting works that capture just the right blend of retro aesthetics and modern sensibilities. And, last, but not least, there is the fact that Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars is a heck of a lot of fun to play. It's a high-quality throwback to 80s arcade-style risk-reward action whose gameplay sucks you into a frantic world of patterns and rhythms, scratchy sounds and blocky graphics, high scores and extra lives. And Lesbian-Spider Queens, of course.
- • Burger Cat
- • Wizard of Oz
- • Mindy in Zombieland
- • Ninja Dog
- • Clowning Around
With summer coming up, you're going to want to whip your reflexes into tip-top shape, and I can't think of any better way to do so than to practice your platforming, or maybe follow the yellow brick road, or even psychically manipulate hordes of the undead while deadly spikes inch closer and closer to your skull. (Let me tell you, you do not want to be out of practice for that last one.)
Second Person Shooter Zato is a unique kind of action game that flips everything you know about shooters on its head before turning it inside-out and looking at it through a mirror. Well, that sounds like it would cancel the weirdness out, but it doesn't! In this game, you control a gun-toting hero who is being attacked by groups of enemies. However, instead of getting a first-person view of the action, you can only see yourself through the eyes of the enemy. Spin around, fire your weapons, and hope you can survive without looking at the world from behind your own gun!
Christine Love's Lake City Rumble II is not your run-of-the-mill fighting game, but instead offers an experience where choice and interpretation is everything if you want to pack a real punch into your attacks. Will you beat Qaisar, or accept defeat? Time to enter the arena.
It's always been our philosophy that robots are our friends. They're smart, they can do cool things like make toast, and if they ever rise up and start an apocalypse, they'll remember we were nice to them! Not everyone holds the same "just in case" ideas in mind, of course, and Crash the Robot from Tamas Games proves just that. Your goal in this physics-based puzzle game: set up bombs to press buttons that eventually cause a robot to be destroyed. Fortunately, the little golden guy doesn't seem too upset about it, as level after level he comes back for more. Points for persistence!
Edutainment!... Commence eye-rolling, people. For some reason many are skeptical of any game that claims to "make learning fun". Perhaps it is the feeling that, since most believe learning (if not necessarily schooling) to be naturally fun, any subject that has to be made fun must be really dry. That said, while Mission US: For Crown or Colony is unlikely to redeem the genre for everyone, the tale of a teenager coming of age in Colonial America makes for a solid adventure, whose gentle challenge is balanced by excellent production values and historical detail.