Azkend 2 stands out in the crowded match-3 genre through its excellent art, music and voice-acting, constantly changing challenges and tricky puzzles requiring custom approaches. Follow the main character on a journey into a maelstrom and back. With 60+ levels in story mode and tons of replay value, it's a lot of bang for the buck.
Continuing your quest to seek out and heal the places of the world plagued by dark energies, you find yourself in a small town whose only claim to fame is a wax museum. Sounds innocuous, right? Sure, and that's exactly how the sentient creeping wax hands get you! A creepy-campy, dramatic, and gorgeous hidden-object adventure that won't revolutionise anything but will definitely entertain you while it lasts.
Space... the final frontier. You never would have thought it was so pixelated out there though. Kairosoft takes a crack at a sci-fi simulation with its latest installment to the "Story" series of games. As some of the first intrepid humans to blast off and colonize a new planet, the actions you take help to expand your influence throughout the galaxy. The best way to influence these extraterrestrials is to attract them to your planet like its a tax-free shopping mall. Those aliens literally buy anything you can give them, especially chocolate cake and fine jewels. The aliens' spending habits, the exploration of your planet, and missions of peace to others are the best ways to help your colony prosper. You can't start a colony all by your lonesome so make sure your treat those octopians real well.
Think you have it rough cutting the lawn every week? Try navigating mud pits, crazy fences, locked gates, hidden keys, one-way doors, and dozens more obstacles, all out to make your simple chore a lot more complex. Lawnmower Challenge presents a classic sort of puzzle game set-up that's similar to titles like Wonderland in nature. Your goal is to cut the tall grass, but getting the mower to each square can take more time than the actual cutting!
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.
One of the early hits on the iTunes App Store and a strong leader in Android game sales, the Doodle Jump games quickly turned into the definition of a successful mobile game. As of the end of 2011, over 15 million copies of the arcade game have been sold across various marketplaces, and it has remained one of the best-selling iOS games since its launch. With such a simple premise and creative visuals, it's no wonder Doodle Jump has gained such enormous popularity. Now, with mobile markets still growing, Doodle Jump's various incarnations have spread to include NOOK and Kindle Fire!
It was supposed to be a quick and easy heist. Break in to the museum, snag the Lupine Twine Amulet, sneak out. Profit! But then, something unfortunate happened: Lucas MacGuffin put the amulet on. With the amulet permanently attached to him, Lucas now had the unfortunate ability to turn into a werewolf whenever he was exposed to moonlight. On top of that, the entire city went into lockdown as a result of his bungled theft. Making delicious lemonade out of those lemons, though, Lucas turned his misfortune into a boon, using his lupine skills to work his way through town in a sokoban-style adventure. MacGuffin's Curse is one of those light-hearted, funny, challenging and visually gorgeous games you won't be able to put down.
The living, walking, ne'er-do-gooding puppets are back in ERS Game Studio's latest hidden object adventure hybrid, PuppetShow: Return to Joyville. The latest in the PuppetShow series goes back to the beginning to visit what is possibly the most imprecisely named place since Greenland. As an unnamed detective, you are here to help the old and decrepit Felicia who has traveled back in time to save her father, the maker of living puppets, and her younger self from the terrible fire that started the whole mess. Armed with tomorrow's newspaper, you immediately set forth to fix what is broken so you can get yourself back to the (not-as dismal) future!
When a deadly parasite infestation begins sweeping through a massive tree, crippling it and gradually killing off its inhabitants, heroes are found in the most unlikely of places. Five tiny friends band together to save one last seed and find the source of the monstrous parasites in this surreal point-and-click adventure from Amanita Design that is by turns stunning, otherworldly, engrossing, and even a little frightening.
In this massive, complex visual novel simulation, you're given a chance to change your life some people may dream of but most never get to experience. When a particularly fierce fever breaks, you awake to find yourself back in time at the beginning of high school, watched over by the excitable but well meaning angel Satsuko. Will you make something of yourself? Find the close friends you've always wanted? Have an impact on someone's life or maybe even find... love? If you have the time to invest in it, Shira-Oka has the engrossing experience and production values to deliver.
ERS Game Studios has decided to add more to the fairy tale story of their Spirits of Mystery series in Spirits of Mystery: Song of the Phoenix. Again take the role of the princess of the Dragon Kingdom as you set out to save your groom-to-be of the Phoenix Kingdom. Take down the sinister wizard of dark magic who's trying to turn the wedding of your dreams into a nightmare. It's time to put on those hidden-object/adventuring boots and kick some evil butt!
Revealing a few more of the 1000 doors offered in the title of the series, House of 1000 Doors: The Palm of Zoroaster drops you back in said house to put you through another series of puzzles and adventure quests as the indomitable author/spirit soother, Kate. Offering the same quality of product as the previous installment, Alawar has brought us another great hidden object/adventure hybrid, just in a more sinister, unsettled portrayal of the house.
Offspring Fling is a poignant game about the dedication of family, the scary beauty of nature, and the lengths to which a parent will go to protect their kids. Of course, it's also a game about throwing children, so don't think that it gets too sappy. Developed by Kyle Pulver, maker of Depict1 and Verge, Offspring Fling's central puzzle platforming mechanic of carrying and throwing bouncy offspring is so clever and fun, it's surprising no one else thought of it first.
Life Quest 2: Metropoville is a nicely open-ended simulation game with a large set of goals and an even larger world of characters to explore, even after all of the in-game goals have been accomplished. Hours and hours of entertainment await those who enjoy living their life through avatars, especially when they're as cute as the ones living in Metropoville.
Jasper Byrne ventures into the realm of psychological horror in his surreal and disturbing commercial adventure debut. You are the last man alive, it seems, after a horrific virus sweeps through the world and transforms every other human being into a shambling monstrosity. You don't want to die alone, so you venture out of your apartment each night for supplies and to look for other survivors, but are you prepared for what else you might find when you're forced to confront yourself? When the world around you collapses, how long will you last before you begin to unravel and you can't trust yourself either?
Ricardo Chellini's unexpected inheritance of a private island should have been a dream, but when he arrives to find the estate falling apart and discovers something wants him dead, he must unravel the mystery surrounding his family's violent, sad past if he wants to survive. A stunning and wonderfully creepy hidden-object adventure from Artogon Games.
Grooh is happygrr! Grooh is also the star of the lovely puzzle adventure Grooh, a tile-based isometric puzzle game that's all about destroying the very floor you walk on. Not only does it provide an ample number of challenging levels to complete, it looks and sounds like a cheery cartoon show, which will make you even more inclined to play it through to the end!
It's not every day you get to see a nearly-forgotten ten year old puzzle game return from the dusty video game archives! The puzzle game Denki Blocks was originally released on Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance back in 2001. Other ports followed soon after, but it wasn't until the digital download ecosystems of the mobile scene really got going that it resurfaced to stay. Now, with both regular and HD versions on most of the major app stores, Denki Blocks is here to stay, complete with over 100 levels of delightfully difficult puzzles to solve!
Slightly abstract, visually mesmerizing, easy to play, challenging to master. Waveform is just the sort of arcade experience you would expect from an indie developer. Eden Industries has created a captivating game using little more than a controllable waveform. As you weave through each level, your goal is to nab the highest score possible by manipulating a wave as it bounds through space, gathering light particles and growing stronger with each leg of the journey.
Upon awakening in a run-down motel room, you hear a beeping sound. It seems to be coming from a tablet on the table across the room. A creepy message tells you the police are after you, to wash your face and get out. How did you get to the back end of nowhere, and what did you do to set the police on your trail? That's the set-up for a great new point-and-click adventure title, The Cross Formula from KatGames, developers of the popular Dream Chronicles series.
When your beloved Edward vanishes for the remote town of Rosemont, you're worried, especially since the few inhabitants who haven't fled from the terrible blizzard that claimed the village have all entered a sort of magical frozen slumber. The police have given up, but if you're willing to brave some dangerous and chilly ancient magic, you may yet save Edward and the world in this familiar but beautiful hidden-object adventure.
In the growing world of 19th century North America, supplies such as oil, lumber, and farm animals were in high demand. But with the unexplored frontier standing between civilization and the burgeoning new towns, transporting everything was more than a hassle, it was almost impossible. In the bridge building physics puzzle game LINK, you have limited resources but must somehow cross impassable gaps so heavy trains can make their way to the new world. Up for a challenge?
"The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the children." Of all of the misquotes from the bible (and it is a misquote), this is one of the most hotly debated. Do sons deserve to suffer for what their fathers have done? And if not, would someone please explain that to Emily Thorne on "Revenge"? Leaving aside the most addictive show on television today, Alawar Games (creators of such classics as Sacra Terra: Angelic Night) has come up with a fabulous adventure hybrid based upon this theme, visiting the (supposed) sins of a father upon a hapless son in Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers.
A growing city of worshippers, ever increasing godly abilities and a love triangle. These are just some of the things awaiting you in Realore Studios' newest time management game, All my Gods. Help direct your people in building their city, expanding their lands and learning new technologies as you slowly earn the approval of your fellow pantheon members. You can't just be a son of Saturn anymore, you've got to make a name for yourself as a god in your own right!
Who said plants are harmless? In this gorgeous and cheesy hidden-object adventure from Alawar Games, a storm strands you and a bunch of your friends on a seemingly deserted island. Awakening to find yourself alone, you strike out to rescue the others, only to find that the flora on this isle might be more dangerous than the fauna.
The latest in the "absolutely amazing" sub-category of platform adventures, Out There Somewhere from MiniBoss puts you in a world of not-so-intelligent aliens (well, there are a few smart ones), falling blocks, massive pits of lava, mysterious sky-facing beams of light, and seemingly impassable corridors, all standing between you and the pieces you need to fix your ship. Explore a non-linear world filled with puzzles and passageways, using your teleportation gun in some very crafty ways.
Grave Mania: Undead Fever is a humor-filled, zombie-infested time management game from Team Loca and Anino Games. Kicking stuffy food-related themes to the side, Grave Mania focuses on intelligent time management skills interspersed with mini- and micro-games, providing enough action to keep you completely engrossed (and grinning) from beginning to end.
Science has proven that water physics are some of the most entertaining gameplay mechanisms ever created. Forget things like realistic friction models, voxels, endlessly generating worlds, and being able to rewind time. Capturing, deploying, and just messing around with gooey water is where it's at. Vessel, a new steampunk puzzle platformer from Strange Loop Games, builds most of its gameplay around liquids, using them as both mindlessly flowing matter and as something you probably never expected water to do: become semi-intelligent!
The emphasis is on exploration, discovery and puzzle-solving in this Jules Verne-worthy hidden-object/adventure hybrid from GameInvest. An eccentric inventor thinks he's found a way to live forever by building a House of Brass, sealed off from the rest of the world, fully-mechanical and powered by steam. After your curiosity and amazement results in being trapped inside, you're tasked with fixing contraptions and making your way back outside. Your steps are dogged by an adversarial robot as well as the overly-complicated contraptions of the house's builder.
A giant robot with super strength, a grudge, and the know-how to create more of itself? Sounds like a great idea to me! Answering an old colleague's letter, you arrive in town to find the place apparently under attack by mechanical monstrosities and your friend nowhere to be found. Can you unravel the mystery before winding up a victim yourself? Artogon Games delivers a gorgeous adventure that takes a unique approach to hidden-object hunting that's worth checking out.
Dr. Urchin has kidnapped Coralline! Oh no! But hey, you're the bodacious glowfish, precisely the underwater dweller who can rescue her. The lushly-illustrated action adventure game Glow Fish is filled with exploration, unlockables, and size-related nomming challenges similar to flOw.
When a reporter vanishes while she and her cameraman are investigating the notorious though supposedly deserted Black Isle, as a member of the detective agency Mystery Trackers, you find yourself called in to find her. But before long you'll discover this is more than just a simple missing persons case, and you'll get wrapped up in a big paranormal conspiracy that might just be the death of you unless you can get to the bottom of the mystery. A stellar hidden-object adventure that delivers campy drama and originality, lots of cinematics, and one big, enjoyable game.
Do you love birds? Like... LOVE birds? Even if you don't, you definitely need to make a point of checking out this remarkably original visual novel from PigeoNation Inc. As the only human girl attending a school populated otherwise solely by birds, you have a hard time fitting it. But persevere and you may just find more than you expect. Clever, funny, strange, and shocking, Hatoful Boyfriend needs to be seen to be believed, and played all the way to the very last ending to truly appreciate. You won't regret it.
Here is a hidden object hybrid game that focuses so much on entertainment value, you'll feel like you're immersed in a high thrills, loads-of-fun B-movie adventure at your favorite Hollywood theme park. The power crazed famous director, M.W. Vernon, has kidnapped your mum, beloved star of the silver screen, Rita Ray. As you attempt to rescue her, you'll be led through a gauntlet of lunacy and lurid scene of derangement. While typical in terms of gameplay, Film Fatale: Lights, Camera, Madness! is unique in style and showmanship. Besides, what's not to love about a game that actually has "Bwahahahaha!" in its dialogue?
What've you got for a birthright? Maybe freckles, the family car, a bunch of embarrassing baby photos? Well, Grandpa Scruff's birthright is to be the Duke of Scrufford... or at least it would be if one scheming villain wasn't taking advantage of an ancient contract to steal that title from him. It's a race against time to track down the Knights of Scrufford and regain Grandpa's rightful place in this wonderfully goofy, light-hearted cartoon hidden-object adventure.
Dungeon King is an action-RPG from Bulletproof Arcade filled with monsters to smash, gold to loot and experience bars to fill, all within a stunning presentation you wouldn't expect to find from a Flash game. Monster genocide earns you experience points and at each level you get five skill points to boost stats like damage, critical rate and armor. There's no cinematic plot here aside from a short introductory cutscene; it's just you, a dungeon and an army of bad guys who need a good axing. Try the free browser demo and see if it doesn't get your fingers twitching for a rampage.
The word 'orphanage' tends to conjure up images of starving waifs in ragged clothes begging for more gruel, doesn't it? However, the so-named orphanage in today's fantastic adventure hybrid from Orneon is not that type of orphanage, or at least, it doesn't appear so at first. This is a place for "special" children, children who have abilities that are outside of the norm. Unfortunately something has happened to both the orphanage and the children in The Agency of anomalies: Cinderstone Orphanage and it must quickly be put to rights before something terrible happens. Something even more terrible than a musical about cheeky pickpockets.
You're dead. But where normally that might mean Game Over, in this port of Capcom's gloriously quirky, surreal and imaginative puzzle adventure, it's only the beginning. As one very special newly dead soul, you have the ability to jump from object to object and change the course of someone's fate, hopping back in time four minutes before they died. Use your abilities to save their lives if you can figure out how to manipulate your environment, but don't dilly-dally; the clock is always ticking, and something big is going on tonight in this strange town. To say nothing of what'll happen to you when the sun comes up the next morning. You've got one night to make a difference and find out the truth... make the most of it.
Arche is worried about fitting in. Her family has just moved to the little hamlet of Tonkiness to open an item shop, and it turns out her dreams of learning magic may be short lived once she discovers she needs an expensive elemental stone to even practice at her new school. But a simple rumour might lead her on to a much bigger adventure than she ever imagined in this beautiful but difficult action platforming RPG.
After thousands of years, the Mugunghwa, sent into space to establish the first interstellar colony, has been found floating dead. You're sent after it to discover what happened to its crew with the help of two very different AIs, but the truth is vastly more complicated than you might think, and nowhere near black and white. In Christine Love's debut commercial visual novel release, take part in a captivating, clever, and emotional story that deals with love, politics, forgiveness... and hate.
The three modes of play make the game attractive to a wide variety of hybrid enthusiasts, the story is intriguing, the gameplay amusing, the visuals stunning, and the overall experience is one that freaks out and delights in equal measure. Midnight Mysteries: Haunted Houdini proudly carries the series banner forward and provides great entertainment at a reasonable price. Give it a try and prepare to be both entertained and enlightened.
The fairytales you heard when you were young, the ones you thought stuffed with nonsense and meant only as cautionary allegories to frighten children into behaving properly, are not so far from the truth. So, as curious as Alice in Wonderland, you peek behind the veneer, following clues left by Fiona, a little girl trapped in another dimension, and become caught up in Otherworld: Spring of Shadows, a sumptuously-detailed fantasy adventurehybrid from Boomzap.
The Kingdom of Fredicus is a place that loves its heroes. Unfortunately, Reemus, exterminator extraordinaire and overshadowed brother to the local dragon slayer, is having trouble convincing that populace that he deserves a little undying adulation. Sure, later in life he'll have Several Journeys to prove his bravery against invading death slugs. Right now, though, it's early in his adventure gaming career, and even after his first minimal-property-damaging bug slaying, he's have trouble getting people listen to the glorifying ballads written by his faithful bear companion, Liam. So a-questing he goes, in search of glory, gratitude, and, most importantly, a soft bed. It's The Ballads of Reemus: When the Bed Bites, the first premium downloadable adventure game in the popular series, produced by the newly minted Click Shake Games! And while the anticipation may have driven us all a little buggy, it was totally worth it.
Viggo and Christine thought they had escaped the evil that had almost destroyed them and left their lives in ruins before they found each other. One evening, Viggo is abducted by a mysterious figure, and Christine turns to you for help in finding him. The trail leads you to dark and mysterious Blackhill Manor... and now that you've arrived, it's quite clear someone doesn't ever want you to leave. Will you survive the Black Widow of Black Hill? Another installment in the wonderful hidden-object adventure Nightfall Mysteries series.
It's rough getting thrown in the Pit. Mainly because everyone there has the Plague, and nobody ever comes out... at least, not until you. Instead of dying, you, a mild castle librarian, unlock a hidden power within yourself that lets you and your friends battle monsters on another plane... and grants you the chance to save the world. A fantastic and engaging indie game from Level Up Labs that blends strategy, tower defense, fantasy, comedy, and even RPG elements for one wildly addictive game.
A letter telling you about a relative you never knew you had brings you to the shadiest looking mansion ever in the dead of night, but before you can say "bad idea" you find yourself knocked unconscious at the gates. Things don't get much better for you from there out, as you soon discover there's some very bad magic going down and this house holds all sorts of bizarre and creepy secrets you'll have to conquer if you want to escape. A gorgeous and creative hidden-object adventure that's definitely worth a look.
This quirky visual novel blends a "realistic" bartending simulation with a surprisingly complex story and a big cast of characters. Looking to pick up a bit of extra cash, you manage to land a bartending gig despite a complete lack of experience, and soon become wrapped up in the complicated lives of the people who come in the door. You'll make use of the iPhone's motion controls to pour and mix real drinks for each customer, trying to juggle good service with speedy bartending. It's a bit of an odd duck, with an occasionally stiff translation, and the motion controls can feel oversensitive at time, but the clever premise combined with the eclectic characters, lovely artwork, and massive list of drinks to make turn this one into a title you should definitely at least try out. The free Bar Oasis Lite is also available.
Awem Studio has done it again, putting together a prequel sequel to the fun title, The Island: Castaway. In The Island: Castaway 2, play as the young tribesman, Yati, as he travels around the island during a time when everything was whole and right, just before any 'strangers' came. Using the same interface that worked for them before, Awem Studio offers another great simulation game that weaves a tale of wonder and mysticism.
A crazy, multiplayer romp through a visually lush game featuring three moderately-mad fantasy characters with their own unique abilities? Show us where to sign and we'll be there! Actually, now that you mention it, Trine 2 happens to be all of the things described above, plus a whole lot more. It's got action, it's got physics puzzles, it's got both single- and online multiplayer modes, and it's got a sense of humor that will probably remind you of Magicka. It's a modern-day version of The Lost Vikings, and any gamer will be proud to experience the world Trine 2 has to offer!
A ghost, a wolf, a dark and isolated castle, and possibly even a werewolf? Looks like you've got your hands full in the latest hidden object hybrid from Elephant Games, Grim Tales: The Legacy. A sequel to Grim Tales: The Bride, the story and setting are connected between the two games, only this time around, you're stalking through a castle while a peculiar wolf hunts you from the shadows.
When Sam's girlfriend Anna is kidnapped after his articles in the local newspaper about a crazed maniac begin to get too close to the truth, he has no other options but to bow to the madman's demands and come alone to an old mansion on the edge of town. What he finds inside is both disturbing and strange, but if he wants to save Anna and make it out alive he'll have to master the puzzles and unlock the truth behind the kidnappings. A somewhat campy but extremely entertaining hidden-object adventure that will keep you wrapped up for hours in a surreal, dramatic world.
A New Beginning is a classically-styled adventure game from the well-respected Hamburg-based publisher and developer Daedalic Entertainment. With A New Beginning, the team has created a great-looking game that's billed as an "eco thriller", two words you wouldn't necessarily want associated with each other. But halfway through the prologue, you'll realize Daedalic pulled it off, as A New Beginning successfully combines socially aware environmental messages with a smart, puzzle-driven storyline.
If you're a logic puzzle fan (both paper-and-pencil and electronic, alike), you've probably heard of a little game called picross. It's a crossword puzzle meets number logic with an artsy twist. Fugazo brings their puzzles to you in the next installment of their popular series, World Mosaics V, where you find a familiar experience with a new storyline and, of course, 100s of new puzzles!
According to popular myth, werewolves are pretty much all over the place, leading normal lives just like the rest of us tax-paying citizens. For the most part, they're pretty normal. Walking around, visiting Starbucks, and maybe even holding the door for you when your hands are full. But when it's the full moon, werewolf kind has a difficult time blending in. And we're not just talking about the smell! In the new hidden object adventure game from ERS Game Studio, Shadow Wolf Mysteries: Bane of the Family, you get to dive a bit deeper into the family structure of a family of werewolves, learning all about their curse and how this odd transformation travels from parents to children.
Q.U.B.E.: Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion is one of those special games you don't get to see as often as you would like. It's a first person puzzle game, which is rare enough in its own right, but then you combine that with a stark method of storytelling, creative use of environmental puzzles, and an interface that's as smooth as the shiny blocks that make up the levels. What you're left with is a thoroughly satisfying game with masterfully designed puzzles from beginning to end.
Pity the poor dude who is in charge of Middleshire, one of the areas of the kingdom we first saw in Royal Envoy. First, he's late to the meeting with the king, then all he can report is bad, bad news about the region. The King is not happy about any of this, so he once again appoints someone (as in you, the player) to go and get this poor place redeveloped so that the folks will be happy in Royal Envoy 2, the latest time management amusement from Playrix Entertainment.
While the claim of holding a thousand doors may be a little much, Alawar's casual adventure game House of 1000 Doors: Family Secret is certainly packed with family secrets, not to mention a twisted plot that reveals information about as slowly as an episode of Lost. The story is the star, but the gameplay pulls its own weight, leaving you feeling confidently thrilled as you crawl through the hallways of the mysteriously vanishing mansion.
Natalie's got big problems. Or at least, to her they're big. With her parents threatening to cut her off unless she gets her priorities straight, the college student has no choice but to take a job over winter break in the sleepy little burg of Fairbrook. Will Natalie emerge at the end of 12 weeks just as aimless and self-absorbed as when she started? Or will the people she meets and the things she experiences drag her kicking and screaming into emotional maturity? A sweet and sentimental little visual novel simulation from Winter Wolves packed with charm and likable characters.
Are you ready for a light science fiction adventure with some nautical flair? Nemo's Secret: Vulcania is an adventure/hidden-object hybrid offering you just that. With some unique puzzles and animated hidden-object scenes, Odian Games offers a refreshing hybrid game without the usual murderers and supernatural spooks. It's enough to make anyone want to hop ship and have a spin at the wheel.
Haunty spooky ghosty hidden object adventure games are as common as the dark nights they take place in, but Haunted Past: Realm of Ghosts felt like doing something different. Aside from its well-built interface and crisp visual presentation, Gogii Game's hybrid release offers a different take on traveling between dimensions and hidden objects in general. Instead of just looking for things, you must also hide them, a sort of treasure hunt you play with yourself!
Temple of Life: The Legend of Four Elements is a casual adventure game dusted with a sprinkling of hidden object scenes. Unlike most hybrids out there, Temple of Life ditches the whole spooky mansion bit in favor of a classic cursed burial chamber, complete with traps and some delightfully complicated puzzles. The plot may not be anything new, but the mini-games are crisp, and the overall sense of mystery and danger are as strong as any movie where the main character runs from giant boulders and wears superb brown fedoras!
Dark, grim, and filled with ghosts. Yes, that's what most adventure/hidden object hybrids seem to be these days. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially if it's done really, really well. There's a new developer out there, Play Favorite Games, that has taken up the challenge and done just that with 9: The Dark Side, a spooky exploration of a cursed castle and town that delivers just about every bell and whistle you could ask for.
Stranded in a dusty, limbo-like town, a freaky sheriff marching around, a little girl running around the streets, and mysterious messages telling you to stay in your hotel room. This sure is a strange part of Resurrection, New Mexico, especially when you consider the bricked-up wall with Native American symbols preventing your escape! Time to explore a bit and find a way out. This puzzle-filled hidden object adventure game from Media Art, creator of Love Story: The Beach Cottage, has a vibe that sits somewhere between an old western tale and an episode of the X-Files. Only, you know, with more ballerinas and serpent/dragon tails slithering about!
If you've spent any time around the indie gaming scene, you're familiar with the name increpare, also known as Stephen Lavelle. Known for creating short, small, creative and artistic-type games, increpare has jumped from the realm of experimental games to the world of full-fledged releases, unleashing the fantastic English Country Tune for the world to scratch their collective heads over. The game looks fantastic and plays like several of your favorite logic puzzle games rolled into one superb, pseudo-3D package.
Based on an H.P. Lovecraft story, Mystery Stories: Mountains of Madness is a casual adventure game set in the snowy hills of Antarctica. As if pulling a tale from Lovecraft wasn't interesting enough, the team at Cerasus Media went on to create an adventure game fused with intricate puzzles and alluring locations that beg your cursor to go searching for every item and every object it can click on. It's a quietly impressive game that walks a different path than most casual adventure/hidden object games, making it a fantastic experience from beginning to end.
The life of a fairy tale detective must be an exhausting one. For one thing, you seem to get called in at a moment's notice all over the world whenever anything strange happens. For another, you must then spend a lot of time fighting your way through fairy tales as they were originally meant to be: dark, scary, and dangerous. However, you are again up to the task in the latest adventure/hidden object hybrid from Blue Tea Games, Dark Parables: Rise of the Snow Queen.
In gameplay as well as story, this hybrid-adventure from Vogat Interactive is laden with entertaining twists and turns and dynamic characters. Neatly-composed hidden object scenes and plenty of diverse puzzles fit thematically into the storyline so that, the more you play, the more involved in the story you become. If you've watched any number of late night movies on broadcast TV, you'll make a few summations long before our savvy blonde protagonist catches a clue. Yet that doesn't detract from the depth of story, superb character development and plentiful personality—all pulled together in a cheesy, soap-operaesque wrapper. If it's true there are only seven original plot lines, Guardians of Beyond: Witchville does a fine job scripting them all.
A letter from Christie's twin sister Stella brings her back home from schooling in London. It seems their parents have passed away, and with Christie the only family Stella has left, it may finally be the tragic catalyst the sisters need to bury the bad blood between them and come to accept one another. Of course, that's if Christie can survive the twister spider demon that seems to have taken up her family home as a holiday spot and has been drawing the souls out of those unlucky enough to wander near. Can Christie solve the puzzles and challenges in her way to save her sister... and does Stella even want to be saved? Find out in this creepy but gorgeous hidden object adventure!
Charles and his twisted son Victor are back in Mystery Case Files: Escape from Ravenhearst, the third and final (?) installment of the popular Ravenhearst adventures. Replacing the standard hidden object scenes with morphing objects, this is not your usual hidden object adventure hybrid. The mini-games are fun and challenging, and best of all skippable if they turn out to be not your cup of tea. There is a bit of back-and-forth backtracking, although not nearly as much in Return to Ravenhearst as Escape from Ravenhearst is divided up into more manageable sections. If dark and twisted with a side of gorgeous is your cup of tea, then this is definitely the game for you!
A photo with a single line of print on the back... it isn't much, but it's all you've got to potentially lead you to your family. You've been in orphanages all your life and you jump at the chance to find out who you really are when the picture shows up on your doorstep anonymously, but the truth may be more gruesome than you wish. A creepy yet stunning hidden-object adventure with a heavy emphasis on story... and more than a little gore.
Remember Titus? Sure you do, he's that dummy who got himself trapped in a magic book his malevolent uncle left lying around. Then he called on you to help free a library from an evil genie who was ruining the classic stories contained within. It's been a few years, but Titus is back in the latest (and greatest) installment of the Azada series of adventure/hidden object hybrids, Azada in Libro. That darned evil uncle is trying to take over the magical land of Azada once again, and this time it's personal!
If you're unfortunate enough to have the deserved nickname "Bluebeard", you'd better have a kickin' castle and a killer reputation to keep yourself from looking like a big lame-o. That's exactly the case with the antagonist in Bluebeard's Castle, a hidden object adventure release from Fanda Games. Focusing more on the adventure side of things, expect a full heaping of puzzles, unnerving settings, strange noises in the background, and ornate decorations that could use a serious tweaking from Dress My Nest.
A frantic letter brings you to France to help look for your missing brother, but you don't exactly receive a warm welcome when someone in a full suit of armor knocks you unconscious in your hotel room. Things go from bad to worse when you wake up to find the town dark and deserted... except for the people who will do anything to keep you from finding out the truth. An imaginative though slightly convoluted story combines with lengthy, engrossing gameplay in this hidden-object adventure from Elephant Games!
Shantae: Risky's Revenge is the sort of game retro-minded players will immediately snatch up. Modern players may look at it and think "another platform game?", but as soon as any human being plays it, it's easy tell that Shantae is anything but ordinary. Risky's Revenge is an action/platform game that's smartly focused on exploration in the style of a good old-fashioned metroidvania. It's a labor of love that's funny, challenging, creative, and absolutely gorgeous down to the last pretty pixel!
Death Under Tuscan Skies: A Dana Knightstone Novel is the latest hidden-object adventure hybrid in the Dana Knightstone series, and it explores the pitfalls of the life of a famous professional writer. Dana has decided to take a break from writing and accepts a gig as a guest lecturer at a University in Tuscany. Things start to take a turn for the mysterious when a handsome professor and a melancholy ghost make their appearances. Pretty soon Dana is blowing off research for the lecture to solve a mystery involving a girl that died young of a mysterious disease and her missing love, Giovanni. Those looking for a relaxed, non-scary adventure that still features ghosts should give this amusing and entertaining hybrid a try.
Johnny has one wish... to go to the moon. As he lays, a dying old man, his only hope to fulfill it lies in the hands of two doctors with a new technology that allows them to alter the memories of their patients and give them what they desire. As they dig deeper into Johnny's past, however, they'll find his wish isn't as simple as it seems, and the path to happiness isn't always a perfectly smooth one. By turns funny, touching, and eerie, this is one indie adventure game you shouldn't miss.
It's not Halloween, but there's always an open space for abandoned theme parks, midget jesters, and overweight clown ghosts in your gaming schedule! Weird Park: Broken Tune fits you in the fedora of a detective set on the case of John Flatter, a journalist who went missing in the town of Fairy Gate. You end up in an old theme park, complete with derelict equipment and dusty attractions that look like they're about to eat you. A journalist's work is never done, however, and the more you poke your nose around, the stranger things get.
Storylines in the adventure/hidden object hybrid genre of casual games contain a massive range of scenarios. Some are set in the past, some feature magic and curses, some feature an orphan on a quest to find their family, some feature time travel, etc. But what do you think about a game having all of the above? And more? Check out Time Mysteries: The Ancient Spectres by Artifex Mundi to see how that's possible!
Few things are as exciting as a well-made casual solitaire game. Well, few things that aren't cake, hugs from puppies, or driving up to a traffic light just as it turns green and starts dispensing candy. In the absence of that miracle, though, the latest game from Big Fish Games Studios will certainly fill that fun-shaped void in your life. Fairway is an enormously well-polished game of golf-themed tri-peaks solitaire. Take cards from the pile, pair them with the face-up card below, uncover a few neat power-ups, and try to clear the screen without breaking par!
Aah, the salt of the sea. Deadly waves threatening to drown passersby. Armed frigates firing on civilians. Mummies scuttling across the sandy beaches, infecting helpless folks with their embalmed charm. It's just an ordinary day for the citizens in Open Sea!, a satisfying and great-looking mobile arcade game by The Pixelizers. To get everyone to safety, you're going to need a little bit of luck and a whole lot of lightning bolts.
A Day in the Woods is a sliding puzzle adventure from Retro Epic that stars none other than Little Red Riding Hood. It's a simple game built around simple, classic puzzle ideas, but it's lengthy and challenging enough to provide an afternoon of brilliant entertainment. Also, one look at the game and you'll absolutely fall in love with the visual style!
A remarkable sequel to one of the most engaging match-3 games ever, 4 Elements. Once again the elements are out of whack in the Magic Kingdom and it's up to you to make things right before all life ceases to exist. Prepare for tons of elemental delights!
This new puzzle-heavy hidden object adventure by Sandlot Games contains a generous blend of puzzles and hidden object scenes to keep you actively engaged throughout your adventure. Join Tess as she confronts nightmarish scenes of skeletons, monsters threatening to devour young children, and dungeons of trapped souls as well as imagination-inspired fantasies: a bee with a mechanical unicorn, a room covered in gold leafing, and an Escheresque hedge maze. Alternating from beautiful childhood fantasies to twisted fears and dystopic visions, every scene is a gorgeous piece of art. Playing Sphera is well worth the experience, just be sure to have a cheerful something or other standing by for when you're done.
Normally you might want to avoid chasing maniacal tentacled Doctors into hellish nether-realms, but in this case you've got someone you need to rescue... several someones, as it turns out. In this imaginative hidden-object adventure, you'll need to delve into the nightmares of children whose fear is being extracted for... well, to find out why, you'll need to play yourself.
Drawn has returned. The third game in the series, Drawn: Trail of Shadows, dares to outdo its predecessors in what simply must be the most enchanting hidden object adventure game to date. The visuals have improved (if you can believe it!), the storytelling is even more intriguing, and the puzzles are as rich as before. Good hidden object games are hard to come by, so when you find a game this great, you'd best dive right in.
Not too long ago a relative newcomer to adventure/hidden object hybrids, ChaYoWo games, took us on a journey through the heart of Southern India in The Dark Hills of Cherai. Now they're back and once again the player will be transported to a place few will ever be able to visit in The Dark Hills of Cherai: The Regal Scepter.
The dead are still unquiet, and aspiring writer and awkward medium Rosangela Blackwell is having a more difficult time dealing with it than usual... especially when one of her friends turns up among the spirits. Together with her sarcastic spirit guide Joey Mallone, will she be able to break open a conspiracy before it claims even more victims, or is she more vulnerable than she thinks? Find out in this stellar continuation of the point-and-click adventure series from Wadjet Eye Games.
What would you be willing to do to recapture your first true love? You'll get to explore the answers to that question in Media Art's Love Story: The Beach Cottage, the second adventure/hidden object hybrid game in the Love Story series that grabs the hopeless romantic in all of us and takes us on a journey that may (or may not) give us the "happily ever after" we're looking for.
The Tribloos is a new time management game from Bumpkin Brothers, creator of the 3D assembly line puzzle game The Machine. Similar to the Roads of Rome series and My Kingdom for the Princess series in basic structure, Tribloos will surprise you with its knack for turning simple tasks into smart challenges. Do not let the game's simple visual presentation fool you, this game is filled with serious amounts of smart challenge!
In the world of time management/casual simulation games there are plenty of Build-a-Lot clones, so it was exciting a few years back when a new player entered the field with Virtual City. Rather than concentrate on building or development, Virtual City took the genre in a whole new direction by focusing the gameplay on the movement of goods, services, and people. Now, G5 Entertainment is back with Virtual City 2: Paradise Resort, which takes the transportation madness to new and interesting heights.
The Pied Piper. Stories tell of the strange man who offered to rid the town of Hamelin of its rat problem using nothing more than a musical pipe. The citizens agreed, but when they refused to pay for his service, the piper grew angry. Using his magical/musical talents, he led the town's children away into the night, apparently because it's difficult to break kneecaps with a flute. In Alawar's latest hidden object adventure hybrid, Oddly Enough: Pied Piper, you take on the role of hero (well, debt collector), investigating the piper's doings and trying to track down the kidnapped children.
Ah, the Victorians. There are many tropes from their literature that still haunt us today, including eerie women dressed in white appearing at lonely intersections, pale, blood-sucking gentlemen in evening attire, and dark-skinned men wearing turbans. Perhaps the greatest of the era's paranoias was the thought of being buried alive, which permeated the culture to the point of having little bells and pulls installed on coffins. That fear was encapsulated in one of Edgar Allan Poe's great stories which has now been turned into a stunning adventure/hidden object hybrid, Dark Tales: Edgar Allan Poe's The Premature Burial. Yes, ERS Game Studio is back with their third adaption of a Poe story, and this one is a killer! (sorry, bad pun)
Roguelike, The Legend of Zelda, a dual stick shooter, and the twisted mind of Edmund McMillen, part of the team behind Super Meat Boy. Put them all together and you've got The Binding of Isaac, a game that is as unhinged as it is entertaining, as good-looking as it is, well, disgusting. Even still, it's the kind of game you'll play through again and again, just to collect every item and explore every corner of the game's randomly-generated world.
You've probably heard that "all roads lead to Rome". What you didn't count on is that you'd have to build them all! In Roads of Rome III, a building-centric time management simulation from Whiterra, you take orders from the Caesar himself and set out to repair damage to the empire caused by barbarians. It's no easy task, and you're not really in the mood to do it, but it's your duty, and one never questions the Caesar!
Ding dong the witch is dead! Wait, what? She's still not dead? Not only that, the old hag is back and badder than ever creating havoc in the museum in Echoes of the Past: The Citadels of Time, the latest adventure/hidden object hybrid by Orneon and sequel to both Echoes of the Past: Royal House of Stone and Echoes of the Past: The Castle of Shadows. Perhaps it's time to stop hanging out in that darn museum? Just saying.
Travel through the ages from the time of the Roman gladiators all the way to the Aztec pyramids. Solve riddles and brain teasers in order to collect Civilization Points that can be used to rebuild civilization. World Riddles: Secrets of the Ages is a worthy successor to Seven Wonders and is a definite must for all picross puzzle fans. Hours and hours of gameplay awaits along with a lot of interesting trivia about various objects from different historical times.
After an explosion, you wake up in shackles on the floor of a dirty room. A frantic phone call warns you not to trust the police woman who breaks down the door moments later... but who CAN you trust? And what happened to you? Find out the truth in this short and easy but surprisingly engrossing hidden-object adventure from Vast Studios.
Belle's happily-ever-after is cut short when her Prince is once again cursed by the same evil enchantress who turned him into a Beast. The entire kingdom has fallen under a dark spell, and Belle is the only one left to stop it, assuming she can avoid the dangers and dark magic twisting her world at every turn in this stunning, engrossing hidden-object adventure from the makers of Mystery Legends: The Phantom of the Opera.
Blocks That Matter, an indie game from Swing Swing Submarine, likes to do things a little bit differently. It likes to break the rules, mix up genres, tear down that fourth wall, and borrow the best from some of the most popular games ever released and turn it into something new. Blocks That Matter is part Tetris, part Minecraft, part Dig Dug, part platformer all wrapped into one, with a cute main character leading the whole thing up that serves as the perfect gateway to a game you won't be able to get enough of.
A popular reality program goes terribly wrong when one of the contestants appears to die onscreen during the finale, and the show promptly goes dark. Things only start looking more grim when the rest of the show's stars go missing, and you're called in to track them down. Easier said than done since the show isn't exactly ordinary, and The Maze is one unbelievable reality show whose sets are as surreal and clever as they are deadly. Track down the missing people in this imaginative and engrossing hidden-object adventure from Elephant Games, but keep your eyes open... in the Maze, you aren't alone, and you're never safe...