In Fractal, a puzzle game by the authors of Auditorium, your goal is to create "blooms" which are composed of six hexagons of the same color. On the surface it sounds like a simple matching puzzle, but the web-like nature of the gameplay and the gorgeous presentation makes it so very much more.
Pizza Chef 2 does what few time management and match-3 puzzle games care to do: try something different. Instead of fusing the former with the latter or the latter with the former, Pizza Chef 2 has made both genres equally reliant upon the other, meaning you can't take the matching out of the time management and vice versa. What you get is a strong casual game of simple strategy, quick thinking, and spatial reasoning combined in a very rare balance.
We've all played the hidden object game where you have to piece together clues to some long-lost relative's hidden past. Most of the time it's fairly dull, but in the case of Tiger Eye - Part I: Curse of the Riddle Box, it's quite the opposite. The story in this hidden object game was written by author Marjorie M. Liu, and even if you're not a fan of her work, you'll appreciate the characters who have a little more depth than usual. Wrap that around a sturdy core of puzzle solving and mini-games and you've got an excellent hidden object game on your hands.
- • Punishment: The Punishing
- • BulletZORZ
- • ProtoType
One of my favorite things about independent games are not the games themselves. It's the games' names. When you don't have to attract a certain demographic to plop down cash for your game so you can keep your massive studio in California air conditioned, you're free to have fun and call your game Mr. Heart Loves You Very Much, Squid Yes! Not So Octopus!, or Punishment: The Punishing! We love you too, indie game creators!
It's Youda time! Youda Safari takes time management to the carefully-controlled realm of animal photography. Failing safari businesses are being turned into hunting grounds, and as the ever-helpful Lucy, you have agreed to help a friend liven up his tours. After all, shooting animals with cameras is better than with guns.
Fire Nuclear Crocodile Killer (FiNCK for short) is a puzzle platformer, but don't let the title fool you. In fact, out of the four rather unrelated things it suggests, I only encountered one during the whole game. As a Nifflas game, FiNCK must live up to a certain standard of cool relaxation instead of firey, manic arcade action. However, it differs from the author's previous offerings in that it forgoes atmospheric exploration in favor of a puzzle-driven, often hair-pullingly-frustrating experience.
A call in the middle of the night drags you out to an abandoned hotel out in the middle of the English countryside. Find yourself thrust into a night time ghost hunt in this enthralling point-and-click adventure from the past.
Royal Envoy is an incredibly addictive mix of strategy, city building and wack-a-mole. Hopping across a series of islands, you have to visit the respective villages on each and repair them. In reality, though, you are playing little logic puzzles. Each village has a set of goals — build certain buildings, meet upgrade requirements, attain a specific level of civic happiness or make a set sum of money. In your way is the clock, obtuse pirates and the odd piece of undergrowth.
Oh no! The Illiterati have broken into the Hall of Fiction and stolen Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and are now trying to permanently change the story. In this kid friendly Hidden Object Adventure, you play a cadet Fiction Fixer tasked with following the Illiterati agent into the story to stop him from wrecking it before it's too late.
- • Visit
- • Aztec God
- • You Found the Grappling Hook
Certain conventions in video games will never change. Platformers always involve hopping on enemies' heads. Zombies want to eat your brains. Role playing games will always start with the main character being woken up from sleep. And swinging from walls and ceilings is fun. Let's keep it that way for a very long time, shall we?
Did you graduate high school and step right in to a high-paying, prestigious career? Well, now you can make up for that in the certifiably crazy Life Quest, a quirky simulation that's all about one-upping your old high school friends.
Emberwind is an adventure-themed platform game from indie dev TimeTrap. The city of Grendale has been overrun by gremlins commanded by the evil CandleFinger. As the short, stout gnome Kindle Elderwood, it's your job to comb through the villages and dispatch the evil little buggers from every nook and cranny. Along the way you'll get to learn new abilities and collect a whole lot of loot!
BugBits is a light-hearted real-time strategy game built around a war between hives of bugs. Unlock and send troops across the paths to your foe's base, all while harvesting bugs dash out to gather nectar. Each unit has strengths and weaknesses that can be used to leverage your victory, and with each passing stage, you uncover more details in a sinister plot.
What if Hamlet wasn't? Hamlet, I mean. When a curious time-traveler accidentally lands his heavy spaceship atop the iconic literary protagonist, the show must go on. Point-and-click your way through a quirky and decidedly non-cannon interpretation of the classic Shakespearean tale in this short but fun and original title from Alawar Games.
- • Blackfoot
- • STREEMERZ
- • Amphibix
A few games for your weekend perusal, all of which summon that coveted "oh, neat!" moment at least once! Also, it's a miracle I didn't type a D instead of a T at the end of the first game.
Resurrected from 2007 where it rested in relative obscurity, Crazy Machines: Inventor Training Camp is a follow-up to the original Crazy Machines game that features more Rube Goldberg-like physics puzzles. Use a variety of objects to assemble crafty "devices" that accomplish different tasks. The setup is something you might see in The Incredible Machine, though Crazy Machines streamlines the process with much simpler building mechanics, fewer pieces to fuss with, a better visual presentation, and more directed goals.
Strap on your point-and-click shoes, because these robots are assembled and ready for adventure! In this latest from Wadjet Eye games take control of a group of newly invented miniature robots with unconventional abilities who unwittingly cause trouble for their human creators when they stumble across a villain's strange secret. Fun, funny, and cheerful, Puzzle Bots is a quality adventure that, while short, is great for everyone.
Clearly, sticking diligently to your academic studies is just going to end up making a lot more work for you, as aspirant wizard Catherine discovers in Magic Encyclopedia: Illusions, the third game in the hidden object/adventure series. While studiously hitting the books at the academy library, she escapes the wrath of a mysterious wizard who uses a magic book to cover the world in illusions and trap her teachers. Can Catherine stop him before he raises an army and destroys the academy?
KrissX ("criss-cross") is a rare and well-polished entry in the downloadable word game category. It's not a spelling game, it's not a word search/scramble game, it's not a guessing game (well, it kinda is); instead KrissX combines a familiar mechanic from matching games with letters and clues, creating something that resembles a mixture of Bejeweled and a crossword puzzle.
- • Eternally Us
- • Hero Core
New releases from either Daniel Remar or Ben Chandler, both highly-recognizable figures in the indie community, is always cause for fun-type celebration! Their games aren't as widely known in the mainstream gaming community as they should be, giving us cool people that smug, superior feeling of having a secret source of great entertainment.
Five amazing, cross-platform indie games, one gorgeous sale. The Humble Indie Bundle lets you pick up World of Goo, Aquaria, Gish, Lugaru and Penumbra: Overture for one magically low price of whatever you want to pay. All titles are DRM-free and run on Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems.
A photo is slipped under the door of Anton Muller's detective agency late at night. A girl has gone missing, and she's trapped in an unfamiliar building... or maybe it's just a hoax? Unwilling to risk a child's life, Anton sets out to investigate, and winds up embroiled in the strange, troubled lives of an unusual cast of characters in this unfortunately short but clever hidden-object/point-and-click adventure.
Have you ever wanted to tell a story about a kitten? Or an alien? Or a mummy, or a genius, or a demon, or a block of cheese, or a little girl with the magical ability to talk to soap? Well, a little bit of time and effort with Sleep is Death will let you do just that, all in the form of a playable experience for you and a friend.
Steve's drifting through life, and it isn't working out as well as he might have hoped. His relationship with his father is a mess, and his girlfriend has left him because of his lack of focus. The last thing he wants is to spend the summer on his Uncle's farm in tiny, remote Fairbrook, but it could turn out to be the best thing to ever happen to him... provided your choices for him are the right ones in this lovely visual novel and relationship sim from Winter Wolves.
Incredible Express smoothly blends a time management game with a track-switching arcade experience. Think of it as a cross between Youda Farmer and Mystic Mine with a few elements from Farm Frenzy thrown into the mix. A young entrepreneur named Maria has inherited a shabby steam locomotive and discovers her services are in demand. Lay sections of track and control the direction your train runs to make pick-ups and deliveries as efficiently as you can!
- • Brave Island Diver
- • Needles
- • Jump Pirate
- • Paradise Fort
It's Ludum Dare time again! Another competition, another healthy round of entertainment and creativity. Over 200 games were submitted this time around, each involving the theme of "islands". Below you'll find a few of our choices out of the lot. Be sure to check out all the games and, if you're cool, cast your vote for the winners!
Do you believe in magic? How about voodoo? If you don't, Jessie Bodeen might just change your mind in this eerie, engrossing hidden-object/point-and-click adventure. When a voodoo priestess succumbs to greed and gives in to the request of a jealous woman, how will the spirits repay her? Find out in the start of a fun new series and this tale of jealousy and revenge gone wrong.
Cassandra's Journey 2: The Fifth Sun of Nostradamus, like the first game in the series, puts you in the role of Cassandra, a clairvoyant who solves cases with the aid of a mysterious ring and training from her mentor Nostradamus. Conveniently, she solves her cases by spotting hidden objects in various settings. Cassandra attempts to divine the location of her missing boyfriend but gets overwhelmed by a malevolent, evil presence and knocked out. While she sleeps, Nostradamus visits and tells her that she must find and destroy this evil presence to save the world.
Sam and Max are back in another season of episodic adventure games! Expanding upon the established point-and-click formula explored in Sam & Max - Culture Shock and following episodes, the first game in The Devil's Playhouse season, The Penal Zone, lets you see things through the warped perspective of Max. Yes, it's as crazy as you think, if not moreso. But it's still a lot of adventuring goodness with the duo's characteristic sense of humor slapped on every object and situation.
Damon lives under the thrall of the evil vampiress Celeste until one night he crosses paths with the mortal Victoria. Yep, it's another cheesy vampire love story. Luckily, this hidden-object/point-and-click hybrid features a gorgeous presentation, varied puzzles, and more mythological beasts rendered into soup ingredients than you can shake a stake at. Zing!
- • An Ordinary Shooter
- • There IS A Wall
- • Restricted Recall
- • Aftermath
This edition of Weekend Download is all about failure. Failure to escape a missile attack, failure to create a non-ordinary game, failure to climb over a wall, and failure to, well, not die. Failure is part of playing video games, as without risk there's no reward for succeeding, but the titles below use failing in some creative ways!
So, like, here's like, the thing. I like, have a mall and you like, don't. Like, not yet, anyway. Also, I'm like going to stop using the word "like" now because it's, like, so like annoying. Instead, I'll tell you about Mall-a-Palooza from RTS Casuals, a time management sim that's all about building stores and nurturing a thriving mall crowd, complete with annoying teenagers with a proclivity for the word "like"!
There comes a time for everyone when your mom takes away your car privileges until you get out of the house, you slob. Seriously, what is your deal? Get a job. Your father didn't fight through Contra 2 without the Konami Code to support a good-for-nothing kid. That's how my life story started. It's also how My Life Story starts, an entertaining time management sim from Game Fools. It's set in an unnamed small town, where your mom owns the only house and she's kicking you out. Time to find a job! Fortunately, like any fictional town, there are job opportunities ripe for the taking.
Do you enjoy reading badly punctuated stories about romantic heroines dancing the masochism tango with a number of dully irritating heroes? Ok then, I'll add a full helping of solitaire card games with packaged with gorgeous artwork. There you have it, everything a card game/romance novel lover could want, all bundled together in Heartwild Solitaire: Book Two.
- • Zombie Movie
- • LinePatterns
- • Action Fist
Meta challenge! If you can choose the game featured below that's clearly better than the others, you win the meta game! Too bad that's impossible, 'cause all of the games are extraordinary pieces of gaming art. :-P
For anyone who loves this type of retro platformer, Super Granny 5 is the game for you. With over 100 levels, the ability to go back and do each level again until you've done it perfectly (and earned one of several trophies), and even a level editor to create your own insane levels, there are hours and hours and hours of fun to be had. Granted, the game appears to be aimed at the younger set, but there's a lot of casual gameplay here that can be enjoyed by anyone.
Don the role of Gabriel Knight, bookstore proprietor and horror novelist at large. Explore the city of New Orleans, investigate a gruesome series of murders, and delve into the dark underbelly of voodoo in this classic horror mystery point-and-click adventure.
Got a hankering for some logic puzzles? Ideas Pad has your fix with Puzzler World, a collection of over 1,200 puzzles ranging from crossword to sudoku to Link-a-Pix. Featuring a big, friendly interface and a straightforward setup, Puzzler World lets you jump right into the games without having to fuss with anything. It's just pure puzzles and a whole lot of head scratching.
Return to the underworld of Avernum one last time in the conclusion to Spiderweb Software's iconic RPG series. When a blight brings famine down upon the people of Avernum during a war, four soldiers are called to become heroes from unlikely beginnings. Create your party and set out into a dark world full of adventure, betrayal, and, most importantly, hidden treasure!
Bucking the trend of ever shorter hidden object games, Settlement: Colossus is an odd, unique, and fun hidden object/casual simulation hybrid, and it will keep you occupied for hours and hours as you work towards your final goal. Gorgeous to look at and fun to play, this unique hybrid is a winner. Now go build a civilization!
- • Parallel Universe
- • Blue Roller
- • Ninja Rush
A handful of simple games to help you pass your weekend! Nothing that will entrance you for hours, just a couple of action arcade games and a platformer that's actually two platformers running at the same time. Nice, simple fun.
Day a little dull? Colours a little dreary? QuantZ is a stunning physics based match 3 (or rather, match 4) game with puzzle elements and a beautiful presentation. With three styles of play and a hefty amount of stages in each, QuantZ offers a lot of soothing play that is about as casual, and as beautiful, as you can get.
Mortimer is back with another hidden object adventure in Mortimer Beckett and the Lost King! In case you couldn't tell, this time around a king is missing, and even though Mortimer is still stranded in the Time Paradox, he hops to it to set things right. Beautiful cut-scenes, superb inventory puzzles, and a well-made game on every front!
You didn't really think it was over, did you? The Mystery of the Crystal Portal has returned with a brand new installment: The Mystery of the Crystal Portal: Beyond the Horizon! No more cliffhanger-like endings, either, as this game picks the story up right where the original left off. Not only that, but the gameplay and high-quality visuals also return, crafting another hidden object adventure hybrid game that will be your pleasure to dive in to!
- • Neonite
- • Diminish
- • They Need to be Fed
Welcome to the woooooorld of tomorrow!!!! That'd be really profound if you read it yesterday. Why isn't it profound to read things about yesterday today? I, for one, am pretty darned impressed people can remember events of days past. Things like the release of Dissipate or Jesse Venbrux's older games. Not that those were small events, mind you, just that they happened at a moment in time that is not this very moment in time...
Little Folk of Faery is a gorgeous, whimsical, amusing casual simulation game that takes place at the base of an ancient tree inside an antiques shop. The faery realm has endured some setbacks since your grandparents passed away, and it is your job to rehabilitate the faery realm, as well as help clean up the musty, dusty shop. Little Folk of Faery will appeal to a wide range of people, from those who enjoy its fantastical look and feel to those who enjoy the casual sim genre as a whole.
If you ever felt that making breakfast should employ at least a ball, some strong and a winding mechanism, The Incredible Machine is the most brilliant game ever made. It uses the idea of a Rube-Goldberg machine, an overly elaborate setup to achieve a simple task. The Incredible Machine has spawned its own share of sequels, nearly all of which are present in this mega-pack. The idea is simple: each puzzle presents you with a different challenge to construct an elaborate chain-reaction towards a goal.
Dark Parables: The Curse of Briar Rose is moody, atmospheric, gorgeous, involving, challenging, and fun. What more could you ask for in a hidden object/adventure hybrid? It even sets itself up for a sequel, which we can hope continues the quality of design and implementation seen in this game. It takes us back to a time before folk tales went politically correct; when bedtime stories caused nightmares; and when happy endings weren't always possible. So take a walk down the darker path of folk tales, and go rescue the town, and the princess!
The ancient Malgray Manor will soon be up for auction and you have been selected to appraise the mansion as a potential purchase prospect for your firm. Over the course of twenty-four chapters your task evolves from simply appraising the worth of a mansion to solving a centuries old mystery to ultimately fulfilling a very bizarre request in this quirky, offbeat and campy hidden object adventure.
- • Jump, Copy, Paste
- • Digital: A Love Story
- • Ruined
This weekend we have an enormously interesting game to share: Digital: A Love Story. The title encapsulates the experience quite well, as it's a game that's both about 20 year old technology and love.
Joan Jade and the Gates of Xibalba will appeal to anyone who enjoys logic and puzzling over simple hidden object finding, and to those who enjoy the challenge of the adventure. Reminiscent of the original Azada, Joan Jade is a game that relies almost entirely on logic and problem solving skills. If you enjoy lots of logic based puzzles and problem solving then Joan Jade and the Gates of Xibalba will keep you entertained for hours. Fun, atmospheric and challenging, Joan Jade will appeal to all those with a sense of adventure.
A Stitch in Time is not a traditional sequel, for it doesn't exactly pick up where the original left off. Instead, it starts a new story with a new protagonist that overlaps with the continuation of the previous story. You play Nigel Trelawney, just arrived at the town of Ravenhallow to settle his late, estranged father's estate. You quickly discover that this is no simple matter, as Ravenhallow has been overtaken by a sort of parochial Fascisti that, among other injustices, is making it really bothersome to move freely about town. The demo covers the introduction and first act of the full game, which is quite a bit of adventure game to sample.
After receiving a desperate phone call from an old friend who vanishes immediately after, Kate tracks down a briefcase that may hold important clues to his disappearance. But before she can find out what's inside, the FBI confiscates it. Not to be deterred, she sets out to investigate herself, and winds up in the middle of a conspiracy involving an ancient curse in this fun, cinematic point-and-click adventure reminiscent of old Indiana Jones movies.
Another World, or, as it's known in North America, Out of This World, is a stunning example of storytelling in a video game originally released in 1991 (and re-released with better visuals in 2006) by Eric Chahi. Built as a cinematic platform adventure, you take on the role of Lester Knight Chaykin, a young physicist who is teleported to a barren alien planet while running an experiment using a particle accelerator. You soon make friends with one of the humanoid aliens and together work your way through the subterranean environments trying to escape with your lives!
Ever have one of those days where everyone thinks you're crazy, and you start to believe them? Waking up in an asylum isn't a good start, and it gets worse when you start to suffer increasingly vivid hallucinations about strange places and monstrous creatures. Is there a reason for it all? Or are you simply as crazy as everyone says? Sanitarium is the cult classic point-and-click horror adventure that shouldn't be missed by any fan of the genre.
- • Drone
- • Boxycraft
- • A Weekend in Space
Step one: Push the box, solve the puzzle. Step two: Go into space, push the box, get your stuff. Step three: Build a machine, buy some weapons, pick up some money. STEP FOUR WIN!
What's in a dream? April Ryan, a struggling art student, doesn't think there's much to the strange nightmares she's having. But she's wrong. A classic point-and-click adventure of epic proportions, The Longest Journey is the story of two worlds thrown out of balance. Featuring stellar dialogue, memorable characters, a haunting soundtrack and rich environments, this is a fantastic adventure that shows other titles in the genre how to do it right.
The Treasure Seekers series are some of the loveliest, most entertaining hybrids out there and Treasure Seekers: Follow the Ghosts seeks to expand and enhance the formula. With a choice of modes (casual and advanced), and such a variety of problem solving, hidden objects, and mini-games, Artogon has created casual gameplay that will satisfy folks on all areas of the spectrum, with fun and challenging puzzles that will appeal to a wide variety of gamers.
Nobody's a stranger to mahjong, the Chinese game of tile matching. According to legend, Confucius developed the game in 500 BC, naming it after the sparrow for the delicate symphony created by the individual tiles coming together to form a whole. Whether or not that's true, mahjong tends to be a quiet, contemplative sort of game, a mood elegantly set by the beautiful music and visual presentation of Mahjongg Dimensions Deluxe.
Despite the similarities to the other Farm Frenzy games (or, perhaps, because of it), Farm Frenzy 3: Ice Age is still a rollicking good time. With tons of trophies to win and lots of levels to conquer, you're still looking at hours and hours (and hours of casual gameplay and replay value that is fun for a wide range of ages. So enjoy the cute animals, and look out for an appearance from a very special guest star.
- • Fatherhood
- • Fishface
- • Desktop Dungeons
It's a roguelike-like Weekend Download! Two of our games this weekend snuggle up to the famously non-casual sub-genre without turning up the complexity. Same RPG flavor, one tenth the time commitment! Quaffing potions should be a standard roguelike feature, though...
Flo's at it again in the fifth installment of the popular time management series. Deal with troublesome customers, wicked weather, and much more across fifty fast-paced levels of Diner Dash action as you work to rebuild the diner of your dreams. Although, we gotta tell ya, if we ever worked in a restaurant and actually blew it up, we'd probably be in a lot more trouble.
Caster is a third-person action-shooter with distinct influences from the glory days of console gaming; it cooks up some of the most-enticing features of high-energy, super-powered shooter action and serves it up on a silver platter.
Secret Mission: The Forgotten Island is a hybrid hidden object/adventure game with a slight leaning towards the latter. That's no surprise, really, as the game was created by Frogwares, veteran adventure game studio that also crafted Secret Missions: Mata Hari and the Kaiser's Submarines. Explore the island one still screen at a time, gathering items, poking your nose in every corner, and assembling things in your inventory to help you uncover more secrets on this strange tropical paradise.
Eden Hunt has received a mysterious letter informing her of prize money to be had for finding the elusive Akua. Unable to resist an adventure, she immediately heads out the door. Helping Eden on her quest is all about solving puzzles ranging from riddles to sliding puzzles, logic puzzles, and dozens upon dozens more.
- • Wolf, Goat, and Cabbage
- • Animal Control
- • Six-Chamber Champion
- • Watch Ducks
Why spend all of your time toiling away on one game when you can make a ton of them? The 529-in-1 Klik & Play Pirate Kart II: Kart Harder is all about that, and the games featured below are from this recent event. 102 people contributed a total of 529 games over the weekend, each made in under two hours. It's quantity over quality, so don't expect the next Sprout, but do expect a lot of wacky ideas, one-trick games, and maybe even a few things that, once seen, can never be unseen. Check out a random selection of the 529 games, and don't be afraid to download and play many more!
A whimsical time management game from Youda Games, Youda Fairy puts you in the role of an overworked wizard who must lure, capture, store, release and protect fairies, all in the name of fighting evil! There's lots of time management fun to be had. Fast, frantic, cute, and satisfying to play, while a bit of a departure from the Youda norm, it is still grand fun.
Researchers agree: playing logic puzzles requires your brain. Exactly what's required of it, they can't seem to agree, but it's the general consensus that the net effect is positive. Enter Strimko, a sudoku-like game of logic that involves placing numbers on a grid. Instead of a dry, angular box, however, you get to work with number chains that snake their way around the grid, adding a nice, flavorful twist to the familiar concept.
Empress of the Deep: The Darkest Secret is an adventure/hidden object hybrid with strong leanings to the Myst school of gaming. Featuring thick environments rich in detail and atmosphere, you'll encounter loads of great puzzles as well as unique mini-games that never repeat themselves.
- • Vatn Squid
- • Paper Dreams
- • Dissipate
Games are fun. Jam is delicious. Why not combine the two? The Game Jolt Weekend Game Jam has both of those words (even though its jam is less strawberry flavored) and contains exactly the same amount of yum. Check out a few of the top games from this 48 hour competition.
We have just finished a massive walkthrough guide for Virtual Villagers 4: The Tree of Life. This guide will provide all you need to help you get the most from your experience with the latest Virtual Villagers game. Be warned: This guide does contain spoilers, so proceed with caution and as a last resort!
It's time to travel back to Isola! Yes, that magical island paradise with the odd wildlife and mysterious ruins is back in Virtual Villagers 4: The Tree of Life, the latest installment in the Virtual Villagers casual sim series by Last Day of Work. The powerhouse of the field, the game by which all other village simulations are measured, is back to delve deeper into the secrets of the island!
All it takes is one stranger on the road on one dark night to unwittingly set in motion a chain of events that could change the world. Choose your party members from nine distinct personalities and set off on a side-scrolling free RPG adventure through lush environments full of strange characters. Featuring nine chapters, a complex battle scheme, and more, it's a stunning linear adventure that will delight fans of the genre.
Poor Rosalee, what's a girl to do? She hears enchanted music, gets a mysterious request for a tarot reading, and the next thing she knows she's locked up in the town jail with her tarot cards missing. That's the opening for The Tarot's Misfortune, designed by Triple Hippo, and an adventure/hidden object hybrid.
Alt Shift gives us an all new Shift-style game with smoother graphics, deeper puzzles, and a healthy dose of mini-games. The story is one that we've heard before. It's your basic "dimensional traveler meets opposite gendered partner, evil mad scientist kidnaps partner for unclear reasons, dimensional traveler must defeat mad scientist through clever puzzle platforming," story. Like Shakespeare wrote.
- • Lunnye Devitsy
- • Which
- • The Hunt
This week's selection of downloadable games seems to ask a lot of questions. Not because one of their titles practically is a question, but because of the way they're made. What rests beyond the next corridor? How can you get to the other side of that waterfall? And if I step out into that suspiciously dark and open wooded area, will I get attacked by something hideous?
You awaken alone. You have no memory of who you are, or how you got to this magical castle. There are fairies ready to guide you, and goblins waiting to test you. Using only the mouse, solve puzzles and mini-games in Awakening: The Dreamless Castle, with the goal of collecting six magic runes and discovering who you are and why you've been asleep for a hundred years.
Galcon Fusion is the latest in the growing line of casual strategy games from Phil Hassey. Following Galcon Classic, the original desktop version of the series, and borrowing a ton of tricks from the iPhone incarnations Galcon and Galcon Labs, Fusion pits you against the rest of the galaxy as you fight for dominance. Featuring high-definition visuals, loads of interesting modes of play, and several fun bells and whistles, Galcon Fusion is a respectable successor in the Galcon line and a captivating casual Risk-like strategy game.
Big City Adventure: Vancouver is truly a game for all ages. Expert hidden-object fiends will appreciate the timed madness, playing over and over again to beat a previous time or score. For those who love the genre but don't want to rush, there is a relaxed untimed mode, which is also helpful for the very young or beginners to the field. True casual gameplay for the entire family to enjoy. With over 60 scenes and mini-game in-between, as well as randomly generated lists of objects to find, there's hours and hours of enjoyment and replayablity in this bright, cheerful package.
If you love match-3 games and are looking for a new challenge, then Geisha: The Secret Garden is definitely for you. With an entirely new strategy to learn and innovative obstacles to overcome, the game manages to make the genre feel entirely new and interesting. With its timed and untimed modes we're talking gameplay that everyone can enjoy. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, listen to the sound of one hand clapping, and start meditating now.
- • BirdyWorld
- • Mr. Kitty's Quest
- • Bitworld
- • Dungeons of Fayte
The recently-completed TIGSource Assemblee Competition was all about artists and programmers working together as one big happy family-like unit. The two-part competition began with artists/musicians creating assets, then programmers came along, scooped up the goodies and used them to make games. The results, as you can see, are extraordinary, with over 70 games submitted in the end. Below are a few highlights of the competition.
Ah, the opera. The drama! The romance! The... cadavers? As the lowly stagehand of a popular opera group, you weren't expecting anything out of the ordinary when you're all summoned to a tiny, remote town to perform. At least, until the performers start coming down with an unfortunate case of dead. Is it a simple case of a madman on the loose in the sleepy little town? Or is there something much more sinister lurking behind the scenes?
Embark on a hidden object adventure to a lush, mysterious, and strange uncharted jungle island. Despite the flaws there's a lot of hidden object fun to be had with Sarah Maribu and the Lost World. Just sit back and enjoy the wild, illogical, yet dazzling adventure through the island of misfit dinosaurs. Just tell them Grandpa sent you.
Gorgeous to look at, easy on the ears and with a fun new twist to the old match 3 dynamic, Paradise Quest is tons and tons of match 3 fun, with enough side tasks to break up the gameplay and keep it feeling fresh. Entertaining, educational, and fun for the entire family.
- • A very brief tale
- • Strangers
- • War and Peace
Sometimes you don't want an epic story or 80 hours of gameplay out of your game. Sometimes you just want to mess around, experience something quirky, and call it a day. All of the games below are extremely short. They're "just 'cause" games, because the only reason you play them is just because you can!
What if history's greatest discoveries never happened? What if it was all because of a butterfly and one very sloppy time traveler? When Helen's grandfather manages to set the modern age back into the stone age after one careless time jaunt, Helen takes it upon herself to set things right. Travel throughout history in this colourful hidden object game and make sure things happen the way they should, unless you like the idea of living in a mud hut. And we're pretty sure those don't get cable.
If you're a fan of first person skydiving games with lots of vowels in the title, Aaaaa! A Reckless Disregard for Gravity by Dejobaan Games is right up your alley. Your goal is to make it from Point A (generally assumed to be somewhere above you) to Point B (somewhere below point A) without crushing every bone in your body. Unfortunately the skies are littered with airborne buildings and architectural oddities. And birds. And cars. And large glass plates with numbers on them.
Absorbing, engrossing, and hours and hours of fun await those who play Fiona Finch and the Finest Flower. Play as little or as much as you like, plan for efficiency or go nuts and create patterned, formal gardens. Enjoy the feeling of satisfaction from creating a lovely garden without the sunburn, dirt under your nails, or stinging insects.
With his first big job completed in Nick Chase: A Detective Story, our hard-boiled P.I. slips into his favorite bar to get out of the rain. Only then, things get interesting. A bit too interesting. So begins our gritty pal's latest hidden object/adventure hybrid, Nick Chase and the Deadly Diamond.
- • TowerClimb
- • Sheep
- • Heartwild Solitaire Classic
Ahem. Here we go Loopty Loo! Here we go Loopty Li! Here we go Loopty Loo! Because it's Weekend Download that you can possibly read on a Saturday night!
Simplz: Zoo combines a match-3 puzzle game with a casual simulation for a new and compelling experience. Now, you may have heard that story before when Floating Kingdoms came along, but this one has a potent blend of the genres that interconnects so thoroughly, everything you do in one directly affects the other. The result is a game that elegantly moves you back and forth while giving you the freedom to customize the experience to your liking.
In the mood for a seriously intense turn-based strategy game? Solium Infernum is about as non-casual as you can get, featuring no in-game tutorial and a 30+ page instruction manual. But it rewards players with superb open-ended gameplay that has as many paths to victory as you can conjure.
Nancy Drew: Warnings at Waverly Academy is a punishingly difficult puzzle adventure game that tasks your ability to look at and assemble details to progress through the game. It's more like Myst than a point-and-click adventure, but players who sit down and solve the game are rewarded greatly.
Rhianna Ford & The DaVinci Letter is a fun wild ride through a captivating story that grabs hold and doesn't let go until you reach the resolution. Pretty to look at, easy on the ears, and with a story and characters that actually make you care, Rhianna Ford stands above the ever crowded field of Hidden Object/Adventure hybrids and offers lots of entertaining gameplay.
- • TimeStill
- • Flood the Chamber
- • This Is How Bees Work
- • Probability Zero
Simplicity is often overlooked in modern games. Whereas early programmers had little more to work with than a few lines of code and a green-on-black screen, modern game makers can have armies of programmers, artists, and computers on their side. It doesn't take 3D visuals and realistic physics to make a good game, though, as indie game creators prove time and time again. This week's games are small in some ways, but enormous in others, and all have that special something that makes you treasure the time you spend with it.
Fixing stuff is always an adventure, isn't it? Especially when it's something as complex and expensive as an automobile. Fix-it-Up: World Tour, the sequel to Fix-it-Up: Kate's Adventure, makes the stakes even higher by moving you around the world, fixing, painting, cleaning and modding vehicles on almost every continent (sorry, Antarctica). It's a little time management mixed with some casual simulation elements for a simple game that's even more engaging than its predecessor.
When her fiance goes missing carrying a valuable string of pearls, Johanna turns to the only one she can trust on the seedy streets of London; you. Together with one of the city's finest, you'll need to put your hidden object skills to the test in this gorgeous adventure based upon the original legend of Sweeney Todd. Just be careful who you stick your neck out for. But do try the pie. It's delicious.
Return to the farmstead in this sequel to the popular original as Anna tries to make her dreams a reality. Featuring an updated look, streamlined gameplay, and more critters and vegetables for you to make a fortune on, Farm Mania 2 doesn't add much to an established formula, but still provides an improved and challenging experience for fans of time management and farming sims alike.
- • Wave Goodbye
- • Squid and Let Die
- • Wave Goodbye
Reflexes are a mixed bag, aren't they? On the one hand, they cause you to do things like uncontrollably kick people if they look at your knees (that's a reflex, honest), on the other hand, they jerk your hand away from painful objects and let you play insanely fast and chaotic games.
In this first chapter of The Fall Trilogy, a new adventure/hidden object hybrid game, Kheops has taken the look and feel of a large, platform-style or large-file game and condensed it down into easier casual gameplay. A nice intro for those new to the genre, while being challenging enough for those who love the larger, more immersion-filled experience of large-file games. Beautiful, alluring, and fun to play, The Fall Trilogy: Chapter 1 is a promising start to a new series. Here's hoping the trend continues!