Enlightenment is a snack-sized text adventure set in the general neighborhood of the Zork universe, with Infocom-esque humor, sly quotes and footnotes, and a wealth of entertaining but unnecessary actions. It doesn't play like an 80s game, though: it is short, polished, and focused, with lots of clues and guidance, and probably won't take more than an hour to play.
Stardrone is a genre mashup download game, featuring a mix of elements including arcade action, pinball, breakout, gravitational physics and collect-the-objects. Although it might sound a little confusing, the game simply boils down to you (a ball) lighting up stars to reach an objective, and it's remarkably fun to play!
In Out of Your Mind, you play the role of the spa's newest employee, helping patients rid their brain of festering Nega-Tics and nasty brain gunk. While your clients may end up walking away with a new lease on life, something suspicious is going on between your employers, Belinda Blissful and Dr. Stroganoff...
This edition of weekend download highlights a few notable IF titles. All you need is a computer and the ability to read and you're good to go!
Based on the James Patterson novels (and the subsequent television spin-off), Women's Murder Club: Death in Scarlet is a murder mystery wrapped in an adventure game spiced with light hidden object scenes and a few simple minigames. Investigating crimes is the central focus of gameplay, with heaping doses of clue sniffing, murder scene scrutinizing, and some light labwork here and there to keep the story moving along. You don't need to be a fan of the series to enjoy the game, and even if you are, Women's Murder Club: Death in Scarlet weaves a completely new tale (penned by Patterson) that stays faithful to the original characters' personalities. This time, however, you're in charge.
We have just finished a massive walkthrough guide for Virtual Villagers 3: The Secret City. This Hint-through guide will provide gentle nudges in the right direction to help you get the best from your experience with the latest Virtual Villagers game. Be warned: This guide does contain some spoilers, so proceed with caution and as a last resort!
Virtual Villagers is back, and we're so excited we couldn't wait until the weekend to tell you! With Virtual Villagers 3: The Secret City, the surprisingly addictive real-time simulation game sticks with its proven formula and makes a few minor tweaks to freshen up gameplay. With new secrets to uncover, new technologies, real-time weather effects and a whole new island to explore, Virtual Villagers 3 has all the ingredients that made the first games so compelling, plus more.
There's a new Wonderland in town, rounding out the 3D action-puzzle series by Midnight Synergy. Our last review in this series was the well-received Wonderland Secret Worlds, in which a storm rolled through and blew all the little Stinkers away. In the new Wonderland Adventures, you fill the shoes of a hero once more, this time trying to save entire Wonderland realm, which is being threatened by a dark, matter-destroying void.
The Zen garden: a carefully arranged collection of rocks and sand. Does it remind us of islands in the ocean? Dogs in the water? Does it teach patience and wisdom? Is it meant to bring enlightenment—or enigmatic madness? If you are in the Zen Puzzle Garden, chances are, it is all about the latter.
- • Janitor Dan The Spaceman
- • Zep's Dreamland
- • Worminator III
- • Keith Goes Painting
As you well know, new games are released everyday. So many, in fact, that it's impossible for anyone to play them all. This week we present a selection of downloadable platform games, one of the most popular genres of all-time. These aren't new games, however—they're just four nice games you may have missed before there was a Weekend Download.
Ice Cream Dee Lites is a resource management game that separates itself from similar titles in the genre with catchy art work and gobs of personality. At its heart the game is composed of the same food serving skeleton casual players are quite familiar with. The music, sound effects, setting and artwork display a classic 1950s motif, and the customers are so filled with charm you can't help but love the game.
Wonderland Secret Worlds is an isometric puzzle adventure similar to Mr. Robot. Take control of several characters who push boxes, flip switches, roll boulders and build bridges to make it to the exit in each stage. The setup is nothing new in casual gameplay, but somehow the combined package is an extraordinarily fun play. If you don't mind the dated visuals and rather cutesy presentation, Wonderland Secret Worlds will be one of the most enjoyable and satisfying games of its genre you'll ever dive into.
- • The Hidden Object Show
- • Debrysis
- • Octave Engine Cake
- • Karoshi 2.0
- • J20
- • Obake
A game where the goal is to kill yourself, a Japanese ghost who absorbs and turns into enemies, and a downloadable sandbox webtoy where you build things out of rice and then set them on fire? Yep, smells like a Weekend Download all right...
Dogs, cats, fish, bunnies and birds. It seems like everybody wants one, and it's your job to provide! In Pet Shop Hop you play Cassie, a zoology major working to preserve her family's pet store against the might of the Megapet Superstore. It's a resource management game along the lines of Airport Mania and Magic Farm, but tasks are separated into distinct categories and the atmosphere is a bit more relaxed and, well, cuddlier.
Sometimes, when it's raining, I go outside and sit where I'm sure to get wet. Aside from the free shower, sitting in the rain is a great way to de-stress if Yoga just isn't your thing. Unfortunately, unless you live in Seattle, it doesn't rain every day; but rain or shine you can always find something to help you relax in the latest Mercedes-Benz Mixed Tape, available as a free download and updated every 8 weeks.
If something considered "retro" gets remade, is it still considered retro? Such is the question to ponder while playing Arcadia Remix, the juiced-up retro remake of Gamelab's multitasking classic, Arcadia. This newer version adds to the retro insanity with more mini-games and gameplay features to make your head explode in a neon rainbow.
Two heavy-hitting adventure games hit the casual scene this weekend, one a re-release of a classic point-and-click title, the other an exclusive from a seasoned adventure development studio. Each one spins an unforgettable tale using famous crime novel monikers everyone should recognize. Although the titles take strikingly different gameplay approaches, each one offers a deep mystery experience wrought with hidden agendas, misleading clues, and plenty of riddles to solve.
- • TrackMania Nations Forever
- • Savage: The Battle for Newerth
- • Psychonauts
- • Mubbly Tower
Ready to fill your hard drive to the brim? This weekend we've got several commercially produced games released as freeware. That means you get all the polish and production value of a big studio title without shelling out the cash. You'll have to be patient while they download, and the games aren't as friendly to casual gamers as we'd like, but you can't beat paying nothing for a game that used to carry a retail price tag.
Decorating your home is loads of fun. Assuming you have a huge budget, unlimited resources, and all the time in the world. Sandlot's new casual game Eye for Design drops you in the interior design chair with near total control over the inside of each house. You play Cheri, the top grad from a prestigious design school in Paris, working with clients looking to spruce up their abodes. Choose and arrange nearly every element in each room to make the customer happy and earn respect in the interior design world.
Fresh from Grubby Games, creator of all things Professor Fizzwizzle, comes a new brain teaser/puzzle title with a huge dose of cute. The Amazing Brain Train features a heaping handful of brain games woven together with a series of quests given to you by furry animals in distress. In order to traverse the board game-style overworld, you need to unlock sections of track and power your train with, what else, brain power! It's a well-made puzzle experience that puts the "fun" back into "brain teaser" (trust me, it's there).
Agatha Christie: Peril at End House is a pleasant blend of casual gaming and classic mystery. Often, hidden picture games can seem dull and repetitive, with contrived plots that quickly fall flat. This is not the case with Peril at End House. Even if you guess the solution to the mystery early in the game, Christie's clever twists and turns might lead you astray.
- • Toribash
- • In the Woods
- • The Sewer Goblet - The Wu-Tang Clan and the Wu-Tang Baby
- • The Power
You awake rather late in the morning, the sun bursting between the blinds it's been banging on for hours. Your head hurts a bit, and your stomach aches ever so slightly. What was that you ate last night, anyway? Veggie lo mein? Groggy, you pull yourself out of bed, flip on the trusty computer and connect to the Internet. Your favorite website immediately opens, and your dreary face brightens as they rest on the sanctuary that is Weekend Download.
Gazillionaire's characters have certainly got faces only a mother could love, but if you just get to know this addictive lemonade-stand game you'll come to appreciate its inner beauty. You play a budding entrepreneur in the galaxy of Kukubia. The object of the game is to reach a certain amount of wealth, depending on the length of game you select.
- • Voxelstein 3D
- • Made in Wired
- • Bullfrog
Our main course this evening is a heaping plate of voxels served on a bed of romaine and topped with bits of rock from an underground jail cell. Following that will be a tiny space ship served in bite-sized pieces that must be consumed within three seconds.To wash that down feel free to eat as many bugs as you see fit.
Another popular television game show to make the leap to the casual gaming world. The classic "guess the most popular answer" formula is as exciting on your computer as it is on TV, only now it's much more interactive than just yelling at the screen. With over 3,000 questions to ponder and a tacked-on home decorating game, you won't have a hard time finding an excuse to guess what the "survey says".
A brick-busting title centered around one gameplay element: destruction. It doesn't try to woo you with a fancy story or strategic power-ups, instead opting for ancient Egyptian temples and spears, hammers and ballistas to speed up the destruction. Throw all that carnage into a pleasingly crisp presentation and, well, you'll have a lot more fun than you thought you'd have with a simple Breakout game.
- • Miss Teri Tale
- • Danger Mouse in the Black Forest Chateau
- • Albero and the Great Blue Emblem
- • Noitu Love 2
- • Ad Nauseam 2
Noitu loooove Miss Teri Tale! Danger Mouse? In the black forest, ad nauseam, with Albero and the great blue emblem.
Airport Mania from South Winds Games is a time management sim that drops all the trite settings and food-related themes we've grown tired of in the genre. Instead of serving cake or pizza or sandwiches, your job is to direct airplanes, load passengers, and make sure everything runs smoothly. All of this is accomplished with a simple interface and airplanes that are too cute for their own good. And unlike real airports, you can actually have flights arrive on time or even early!
Harvest: Massive Encounter is a survival-based real-time strategy game with several modes of play that lend a free-form tower defense feel to the experience. You play the humans defending an expanding plot of land against swarms (and I do mean swarms) of alien UFOs, mechanized bots and other baddies. It's an extremely frantic game that's usually more nerve-wrecking than brain-stretching.
Build-a-lot 2 is a real estate tycoon sim game where you must improve the value of different towns by meeting goals set by each area's mayor. Tasks range from building a number of houses/buildings to earning a set amount of cash or increasing rent income to a certain level. All the while you must manage three things: cash, workers, and materials. It's simple, extraordinarily fun, and could easily be one of the best casual games of 2008.
- • Pac the Man
- • Napkin Race
- • Downhill PAKOON! 2.Many Unlimited 2009
- • Orbit Racers
Driving, driving everywhere, but not a brake to squeek. Er... never mind about that lousy rhyme, its driving time! So hop in, close the door, and press that pedal to the floor. And you can also play the other non-driving games. You know, if you want to.
The sequel to Sandlot's Virtual Villagers-esque hit sim Westward has finally arrived! Westward II: Heroes of the Frontier continues the old west drama with a whole new batch of improvements, including 3D visuals, new buildings to construct, more scenarios to complete, and a brand new sandbox mode. Keep your townspeople happy, fed, and busy gathering resources as you expand across the uncharted territory in search of the elusive Copperhead Gang.
In Lost Pig, you are Grunk, a rather dim creature who works on a farm and who, evidently, loses a pig. Using your best typing skills, find your way through the forest and beyond and retrieve that darn swine. It won't be easy, since pigs in Grunk's world are not cooperative. Utilize your intuition (and maybe a little luck) and you'll find your way out of Grunk's mess in this hilarious interactive fiction.
An Untitled Story is a perfect blend of tough platforming challenges, intimidating boss fights, and cunning secrets, all wrapped up in a layer of childlike mysticism and rough-shorn beauty. It is a chilled-out hardcore wonderland of action discovery, plus an unidentifiable je ne sais quoi that just makes you want to drink it down in one gulp and then spit out a rainbow.
Youda Camper is a slow-paced simulation game along the lines of Sim City. You're put in charge of creating and running a camp site, from where to put the toilets to how many spaces for tents to allocate. Keep campers happy by building amenities and learn from their complaints to construct a campsite that rakes in the cash day after day.
- • Return to Dark Castle
- • Floating Islands Game
- • The Yore
- • Frozzd
In addition to an utterly superb isometric adventure game, on this edition of Weekend Download we'll be teasing you just a bit. Teasing how, you say? Teasing with a Mac-only demo and a preview build of a game that isn't complete! Yes, we're cruel. But you'll love every minute of it.
Hoyle Enchanted Puzzles is a mixed take on a number of common casual gaming puzzle types such as the marble popper, match-3, mahjong, and samegame. Strung together by a wizard-filled fantasy plot, you travel throughout the Valley of Skye completing puzzles to earn Craft, Nature, and Mind experience points that open new types of challenges. It's an enticing blend of puzzle and RPG elements with more than enough variety to go around.
Fashion Solitaire is a surprisingly challenging blend of solitaire and dress-ups. You must dress a certain number of models with at least a hairstyle, top and bottom garment and shoes before you can progress, and there may be conditions attached, such as including a red item. You can earn more dollars by designing your own clothes and adding them to the solitaire deck. On the solitaire side, each card represents a garment type (i.e. shoes, jewelry, skirts, etc) and features particular colors and patterns. They are stacked in piles with only the top card exposed, and you use the exposed cards to dress your model.
- • Westward II: Heroes of the Frontier
- • Rom Check Fail
- • Owl Country
- • Perfectionism
- • Dangerous Highschool Girls In Trouble
A little bit of this, a little bit of that. This edition of Weekend Download throws a strange variety of games your way, but with one major headliner: Westward 2. Insert obligatory "oohs" and "ahhs" (and maybe even a "cool it's about time yay" or two) here.
Come on down! You're the next contestant on The Price is Right! One of the oldest televised gameshows still in production today, The Price is Right has seen several dozen seasons in the United States and is broadcast in almost as many countries. That's a whole lot of people sitting in their living room trying to guess the price of a wine rack with removable shelves. Now, developer Ludia is bringing the same formula to the casual gaming realm, dropping you front row center as one of the contestants!
Casual adventure games are gaining ground as titles such as Azada and the Dream Chronicles series cut out the complexity and serve up a little lighthearted gaming alongside item-based puzzles. Natalie Brooks - Secrets of Treasure House follows suit in an adventure that uses optional hidden object scenes to earn hints to solve puzzles in the main quest. It's a good blend of genres that, despite its rather short length and occasional grammatical hiccup, holds your attention with an interesting story and varied gameplay.
With DragonStone, dev studio PlayPond bravely mashed a marble-grouping game with a shoot-em-up, spray-painted it with a medieval fantasy theme, and literally turned the whole thing on its head. The result is an exciting and perilously addictive experiment, with the friendly face and high production values of a casual game.
Ready for some serious content? This week we spill the beans on two games — one brand new, the other, well, not so new. One is serious, the other... not so much. One is in color, the other— well, you get the picture. It's The Graveyard and a remake of the classic King's Quest II!
Another casual game that tries its hand at blending genres, Curse of the Pharaoh: Quest for Nefertiti takes two popular game types to ancient Egypt for a fascinating puzzle-adventure experience. The game's main tricks are spot-the-difference scenes along with a few simple hidden object excursions. You'll also unlock minigames and solve adventure-style puzzles using artifacts you find and assemble in dusty old tombs. It's a relatively easy game, making it accessible to a wide range of players, but the real hook is the deliciously mysterious Egyptian setting based on the real-life mystery of Queen Nefertiti's burial.
Aah, gardening. One of the most relaxing and rewarding hobbies one can undertake. There's nothing like planting flowers and watching them grow, especially when you get to sell them for loads of cash and smash gigantic bees and snails with a shovel from time to time! This is the basic premise of Magic Farm, a resource management simulation along the lines of Grimm's Hatchery and Alice Greenfingers. As a magic-wielding gardener, you must plant, water, protect and raise a variety of flowers to sell for cash. You also have three basic skills that can be increased as you play, lending a delicious RPG flavor to the game.
- • Rainbow Web II
- • Gun Mute
- • The Hangover
- • Powder
Hangovers, guns, and retro roguelike games. Sounds like a typical Saturday night in the 80s. This weekend, however, we're celebrating the good ole days casual gaming style, which results in less money spent, fewer blackouts, and absolutely no inexplicable bruises.
Escape the Museum is an intriguing adventure/hidden object game that reaches into room escape territory for inspiration. You play as Susan Anderson, a museum curator showing her daughter a dinosaur exhibit when a fierce earthquake suddenly rocks the building. Falling debris knocks Susan unconscious, and when she awakens she discovers she's trapped in the room and Caitlin is missing! Find the objects you'll need to fashion an exit, then recover precious museum artifacts as you work your way through the rubble searching for your daughter.
Following the highly-successful footsteps of puzzle-RPG hybrids, Spandex Force combines several match 3-style jewel swapping games with a sim-like spoof of superhero life. Patrol the city surrounding your headquarters searching for thieves and citizens in need. When you engage a bank robber or intervene to save a helpless human, a simple puzzle interface appears as your challenge to complete the task. It's a surprisingly fresh take on a rather tired genre that scores major points for wearing a wacky sense of humor on its sleeve.
- • The Count of Monte Cristo
- • Seven Minutes
- • To Hell in a Hamper
- • DoomRL
She is tolerable, I suppose. But she is not handsome enough to tempt me. Bingley, I am in no humour to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. Go back to your partner and enjoy her smiles. You're wasting your time on me. Just give me a few Weekend Download games and that's all I could ever need.
Jasper's Journeys is a downloadable platform game that plays much like an old-school side-scroller where exploration is essential, power-ups are few, speed is often encouraged, and secret areas are plentiful. In many ways it's similar to Brad Borne's The Fancy Pants Adventure games (or even Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario Bros, or Jazz Jackrabbit), though with a decidedly different atmosphere and feel.
Miss Teri Tale is the first installment in a planned series of mystery-themed hidden object games. In a delicate departure from the established formula, Miss Teri Tale takes on more of an adventure guise similar to the recently-released Cate West - The Vanishing Files. The subtle shift from object finding to crime solving lends a lighter focus to the experience, and the game's hip soundtrack, gorgeous scenery and slightly satiric tone complete a surprisingly polished and entertaining package.
- • Sparkle
- • Knytt Nano
- • Gravitation
- • Neverball
- • Out of Order
- • Return to Sector 9
A very special treat reaches lucky gamers this weekend: a mini-release from Nifflas, author of Within a Deep Forest and both Knytt games. KnyttNano isn't much more than two tiny experiments Nifflas cooked up while trying out new ideas, so don't expect a life-shattering sequel-sized experience, just two simple games worth their weight in atmosphere alone.
Escape from Paradise (Windows/Mac) is a simulation/adventure game similar to Westward and Virtual Villagers where you lead shipwrecked castaways on a quest to build a tropical paradise. The interesting twist is the inclusion of minigames that help you earn supplies as well as distract you while your villagers work. It's an intriguing genre-bending concept that puts you in the role of resource manager and resident puzzle solver, and despite its not-so-polished presentation, pulls it off quite well.
An unusual point-and-click adventure that drops the conventions of item management in favor of supernatural abilities. There is no inventory, as you don't pick up and carry objects in this game. Instead you gain a battery of ghostly powers that allow you to interact with the environment just like a flesh-and-blood human. It's a refreshing take on the adventure genre with a good sense of humor, unique puzzles, and a captivating game world.
- • The Nightshift Code
- • Painajainen
- • Beneath a Steel Sky
- • Simon Tatham's Portable Puzzle Collection
- • Avernum 5
The Weekend Download arrives with glee, Bringing fun games to you, from me. Just download and play, Then sit there all day, On Saturday you couldn't be more free!
Cate West - The Vanishing Files is a hidden object game that strays as far as it can from the genre without turning into a minigame-focused mystery adventure. In addition to your usual "find all the objects on the list" gameplay, Cate West weaves a number of evidence-related games that keep the pointing and clicking from getting stale. Paired with stellar artwork and an interesting storyline, the final result is something that provides the charm of a hidden object game with new experiences and lighter, more engaging gameplay.
The pickles are attacking! Run! And while you're running, why not set up a few defensive towers to take out the Horripickles and Fisquitoes chasing you? In Sandlot's latest game, Monster Mash, you must protect storybook villages and their people from evil fairy tale monsters. It's a tower defense game with artwork, characters and plot taken right out of a children's book, and it's every bit as surreal as you might think.
- • Penumbra: Black Plague
- • Phun
- • Bonesaw
- • Iron Dukes downloadable preview
Of all the strange game ideas I've seen, building a platformer around hockey and Randy Savage has to be one of the wackiest. But that's exactly what we have this weekend, along with such unlikely company as a spooky horror-adventure game and a physics sandbox toy.
We've just finished a complete walkthrough (with images) for Dream Chronicles 2: The Eternal Maze!! Be warned: contains major spoilers, so proceed only as a last resort.
The Eternal Maze continues where the first game left off with a beautiful blend of puzzles, adventure, object finding and Myst-like environments. You play Faye, a mortal woman whose fairy husband has been kidnapped and daughter imprisoned by Lilith, the Queen of Fairies. By solving a series of puzzles you can reach Fidget and awaken Lyra, but the Queen is always one step ahead!
- • The Sims Carnival BumperBlast
- • Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden
- • Teewars
- • Legacy of Flan: Flan Rising
- • Ethereal Dreams
It's old-school RPG fest here on this installment of Weekend Download! Three out of five games featured have that special "console flavor" those of us who grew up playing SNES games can't get enough of. Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden is a must-play simply for its odd setting and premise, while Legacy of Flan turns the RPG battle system on its head and Ethereal Dreams brightens your day with nice artwork. And if you aren't into the role playing scene, give BumperBlast or Teewars a shot for a little more action.
The fashion business has changed quite a bit since Jojo Cruz took an early retirement a few decades back. So, now that her daughter, Rosalind, has convinced Jojo to make a comeback, is it any wonder that she needs your help? Grab your eye for style and get ready for Jojo's Fashion Show.
Boulders Never Die is a fantastic physics-based action puzzle game where you must build defenses around a red ball using a set of rubbery blocks. Boulders are constantly pelting your fort, and if the ball touches a block or a boulder it's game over. If you've got a couple hours free, or if you're looking for a game that you can play on your coffee break, you should definitely give it a try.
It's SimCity meets isometric Tetris in this new casual mash-up from Electronic Arts, The Sims Carnival SnapCity. As mayor its your job to build a thriving city and keep its citizens happy and prosperous. Three colors of blocks descend onto the grid, each one representing residential, commercial or industrial zones. When the blocks land and are connected by roads, citizens begin to move in and your population grows. Extras like puzzle zones and natural disasters keep the action lively, but it doesn't take much more than that to keep you hooked on this addictive game.
- • Caribbean Hideaway
- • Hurrican
- • Nimuh
- • Excelsior Phase One: Lysandia
- • Really Rather Good Battles In Space
This week we've got a few mega-doses of nostalgic bliss for our seasoned gamers. At the top of the list is Excelsior, a deceptively simple-looking role playing game that doesn't try anything unconventional but still manages to deliver an excellent experience. Hurrican, on the other hand, modernizes a classic shooter by leaving the gameplay intact and giving the visuals a facelift. And if retro gaming isn't your thing, we've also included some not-old titles that are sure to please your twitching gaming fingers (and eyes).
Turbo Subs, a follow-up to Turbo Pizza, is a food serving time management game along the lines of Cake Mania 2 and Diner Dash. On vacation from the hectic pace of serving pizza (at turbo speeds), Rebecca and Robert travel to New York to relax. The entrepreneurial bug has bitten them, however, and when they see a small subway car they just can't help themselves. With Robert behind the sandwich counter and Rebecca serving food, the pair opens up a subway shop and hopes for success.
Are you the type of person who walks into a room and immediately thinks about a remodel? "Ew... who put those curtains with that carpet? And that coffee table is way too close to the couch. How do you reach the window?" Perhaps you like to dabble in feng-shui. Or, maybe you're one of those weekend warriors when it comes to home-improvement. In any case, you're ready to try out your hand at design. If so, welcome home. Home Sweet Home, that is.
You all are in for a treat. King's Quest III is a classic from the early age of graphic adventure games. Originally designed by Roberta Williams and publisher under Sierra Online, the game has been completely re-made by Infamous Adventures in the Adventure Game Studio engine and released as a free download. They even have a voice-pack! Somebody canonize these people as saints.
- • Blood Ties
- • Swarm Racer
- • Psychosomnium
- • Big Box of Blox
- • Guru Logic Champ
- • Millenipede
It's time for Mysterious Mysteries of the Unknown! Mysteries! We've uncovered an old, import-only Japanese Game Boy Advance puzzle game from a company that folded shortly after publishing the title, a 450 year-old investigator/vampire, and a Cactus release drops you in a dream-themed platforming game that makes no sense. What a world we live in.
If you've seen one match three game, you've seen 'em all, right? Azkend aims to change that, but not in the way you might think. Instead of shaking up the gameplay or introducing awkward new features, developer MythPeople spent time polishing the game to a brilliant shine. The end result is typical puzzle gameplay with an absolutely gorgeous visual design and sound package. It goes to prove that a rich presentation can turn an otherwise ordinary game into a real gem.
Flora Dale has been having one of those days. First there was the excitement of the birthday party and the lottery ticket, and then later, the horrible fall down the stairs. Now she finds herself in a hospital bed, trapped inside her own subconscious. If she hopes to survive, she must discover what has happened. Faced with obscure puzzles and hidden clues, Flora must pull off the most challenging of escapes: from her own mind. If you think you can handle the disturbing landscape of the victim's mind, then you must play Hidden Secrets: The Nightmare.
- • The Great Tree
- • The Griffon Legend
- • Fishie Fishie
- • Tile Crawl
Enjoy a feisty romp through a flat, 2D dungeon now and again? That's good, because this weekend we've got two games that drop you in the middle of a maze of corridors and monsters with only a pixelated sword to save your hide. And then there's a fish that eats other fish and faeries that collect shiny pollen. Go figure.
As evidenced by a flood of Flash-based titles in the last year or so, tower defense games are all the rage. Now, iWin is throwing its hat in the ring with Garden Defense, a full-blown downloadable tower defense game where you save your garden using gnomes, flamingos, cupid statues and a host of plants to fight off waves of attacking bugs. It's eat or be eaten in this easy to learn but surprisingly challenging strategy game!
- • Mystery in London
- • Sam & Max 202: Moai Better Blues
- • Pingus
- • Midnight Mansion
- • Battleships Forever
- • Passage
- • Large Animal 50% Discount Survey
Lemmings as penguins? A game for Mac only? A shmup-based RTS title? A game about mushy emotions and feelings? Games that are award finalists for design innovation? It can only be... Weekend Download!!!
A generation has passed since you last helped the Baumeister reach sweet fame in Chocolatier. Since then, the company has fallen into the wrong hands. Evangaline Baumeister's granddaughter, Alexandra Tangye, needs your help to save their chocolate empire by stirring up a little competition. Uncover secret ingredients as you mix your way to chocolate-induced success!
Real estate sounds about as exciting as dentistry when it comes to casual games, but in HipSoft's latest tycoon-style game Build-a-lot, managing your empire turns out to be quite entertaining. You assume the role of a contractor working for towns to improve property value. Tasks include building houses on vacant lots, upgrading homes to higher-rent properties, and managing cashflow to feed all your ventures.
"Suveh Nux" is a short, puzzle-oriented piece of interactive fiction by David Fisher, with a neat premise: the player is trapped in a vault (that's not the neat part) and can escape only if he learns the magical language that controls his environment. Plenty of interactive fiction games involve puzzles about magic words. "Suveh Nux" takes this a step further with a whole magical grammar to learn, including verbs, nouns, and modifying phrases.
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords blends a match 3 game with an old-school fantasy RPG. As you roam the overworld you complete quests, earn gold, gain experience, buy equipment and upgrade your stats just like any role playing game. But when you encounter an enemy a Bejeweled-like tile swapping game appears. Match gems to cause damage and collect mana to cast spells to help you defeat your enemy. It's a remarkably well-balanced game that's as easy to pick-up and play as it is to continue playing for hours upon hours. And it's one of the most addictive games I've played in a very long time.
Farm Frenzy weds an arcade title with a resource management sim for a game that's as much thought and planning as it is fast mouse clicking. Gameplay revolves around planting grass to feed animals which in turn drop goods for you to use. These goods can either be sold for cash to improve your farm or turned into higher-value products to rake in even more gold. As you progress through the game's 45 stages you can buy more animals, get new buildings and upgrade existing structures, all while keeping a lookout for bears that drop from the sky!
Aquaria is a beautifully detailed game of exploration from independent developer Bit Blot. You control the restless young Naija, a curious underwater dweller who sets out to discover her world. The ocean is teeming with mysterious caverns to explore, strange sea creatures (some friendly, some otherwise), and troves of ancient secrets buried by time. Aquaria is as much about interacting with and exploring the environment as it is telling a story. And it does both with a level of beauty rarely seen in independent games.
Who doesn't love Trilby? All debonaire and gentlemanly in that pin-stripe suit, it's enough to melt even the chilliest of hearts. He's a fine character to introduce us to the Chzo Mythos, a series of four point-and-click games (Windows, freeware) in which the player is offered the chance to unravel the mystery of... well, that's really for you to find out.
Fairway Solitaire is a new casual card game that (miraculous as it may seem) blends solitaire with golf. Don't let that trick you into thinking it's a dull game filled with white gloves and whispering announcers. Fairway Solitaire is as funny, bright and entertaining as any casual game out there. And with its slightly new take on some familiar themes, it's worth heading out on the green and sinking a few holes.
Once in Space is a downloadable puzzle-platform game for Windows that delivers both content and charm. Set in deep space, you are a lone astronaut trying to collect stars and reach the flag on different constellations of rock. You can change your gravity by walking around corners, and you must be facing the arrow direction of a star in order to collect it. The first level eases you into the game's mechanics pretty easily.
- • Fairway Solitaire
- • Aquaria
- • Jojo's Fashion Show
- • Aveyond 2: Ean's Quest
- • Wizball
Yay, a second weekend download! Woo hoo! There were so many games to feature this weekend, we had to split it into two parts to accomodate them all. Also, I had to clone myself, and if anybody asks, that was a necessity, not a fun weekend project.
- • Agatha Christie: Peril at End House
- • Trilby: The Art of Theft
- • Rocks'n'Diamonds
- • Lost in the Static
- • PuffBOMB
Trilby: Peril at the Static Art of Rocks'n'BOMB is our featured game this weekend. Or... something like that. Gameplay involves placing bombs on the screen to guide a gentleman thief through each level (stealthily) while finding hidden objects along the way. Don't forget to grab an emerald while hopping through the confusing mass of animated static!
When Orcs Attack is a tower defense game that... towers over other tower defense games. The first title made by Mr. Joy (a.k.a. John Frisby, WOA, pronounced "whoa!") uses the powerful Unity engine to give you powerful 3D characters and particle effects in-browser. Not only does When Orcs Attack play smoothly, but this is a huge technical step-up for web games.
- • Protector
- • Chromatron
- • HoldoffRed
- • The Tuttles: Madcap Misadventures
- • Jumper Redux
Weekend Download is here! Caution: Weekend Download may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds. Weekend Download contains a liquid core which, if exposed due to rupture
should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at. If Weekend Download begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head. Weekend Download may stick to certain types of skin. When not in use, Weekend Download should be returned to its special container
and kept under refrigeration. Do not taunt Weekend Download.
- • Aveyond
- • FastCrawl
- • Route 960
- • Deathworm
- • Head Over Heels
Did you know that today is the 328th day of the year? You only have 37 days left to ponder the events of 2007 before you leap into the future and begin living the life of a 2008ian. Hope you have your hoverboots ready.
Battle for Wesnoth is a free, open-source turn-based strategy game originally designed by David White. It's similar to games like Fire Emblem, Advance Wars and Shining Force in that each player commands an army of units, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Battles take place on a hexagonal grid and layers take turns moving armies and issuing commands.
- • Diner Dash: Hometown Hero
- • ToJam Thing
- • Untitled Story
- • I Wanna Be The Guy
- • Banana Nababa
This edition of Weekend Download serves as a firm reminder that some video games used to be painfully difficult. None of this coddling, tutorialized hand-holding gameplay you find today. Back then you were tossed in a blocky four-color world and had to fend for yourself. Brutally difficult games may be a thorn in the side of modern-day casual gamers, but it will help you appreciate the experience programmers have collectively gained over the decades.
- • Nanda's Island
- • Sam & Max season 2
- • Final Vision
- • Marble Arena
- • Enigmo
By far the biggest, most first-paragraph-worthy news of in the downloadable world this week is Sam & Max are back. Not only are they back for another season of episodic adventure games, but the highest rated release from season one is now free. Free as in download it now. No excuses. We've also got a healthy portion of other great games to download, including an almost-too-cutesy casual game, Nanda's Island, that came out of nowhere to steal my afternoon. Don't you just love games that are... good?!
Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate is the fourth hidden object game in the Mystery Case Files series. This installment drops you off in an old fashioned carnival where the fortune teller Madame Fate has seen something troubling in her crystal ball. At the stroke of midnight she will be killed, but which carnival character will commit the act? Gather clues about the carnies by finding hidden items and solving puzzles throughout the dark and mysterious carnival.
- • Dr. Daisy Pet Vet
- • Ballhalla
- • Slaves to Armok II: Dwarf Fortress
- • Mr. Heart Loves You Very Much
- • Roach Roundup
This edition of Weekend Download is the most love-filled edition ever. There's so much love below, you might think it's Valentine's Day. But it's not, it's just a whole lotta love. For example, tons of people love Dwarf Fortress. Tons. That collective love is now focused here on this very page, and if you download and play, you'll experience some of that love, too. Dr. Daisy Pet Vet is all about the pet love. Just look at those cute animals! And the kitty, she's reading a magazine! The energy orbs in Ballhalla love each other so much all you have to do is click them and they get all cozy with each other. And to top it all off, Mr. Heart just straight-up loves you. Very much, I hear.
- • 5 Days a Stranger
- • Loonyland: Halloween Hill
- • Spooks
- • Knytt Stories
- • Fate by Numbers
- • Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst
It's time for adventures in Halloween Land! The ghostly holiday is just a few days away and we're pouring on the spooky games. This special installment of Weekend Download showcases a handful of adventure games that get the Halloween atmosphere just right. Paired with our Halloween-themed Link Dump Friday and sprinkled with a few Halloween-style reviews in the coming days, you should have no excuse not to don that Super Mario costume and head out on the town.
- • Nuclear Ball 2
- • Exolon DX
- • Synaesthete
- • Puzzle Quest
- • Shellblast
Gene is shorter than Bruce but taller than Imhotep. Imhotep is taller than Gene but shorter than Lord Scotland. Lord Scotland is twice the height of Gene and Brutus combined, but only 1/10 the height of Millsy. Millsy is at a constant height of X-Y. If Gene stands exactly one nautical mile away from Lord Scotland, how tall is Imhotep? Find out in the games below! Or... maybe not.
- • The Scruffs
- • Abra Academy: Returning Cast
- • Pirateville
Three new hidden object games have recently hit the web, each one with a different setting and storyline wrapped around familiar seek-and-find mechanics. They don't go out of their way to bend the rules of item hunting, but if you're one of the many people who can't get enough of these games, these should keep you busy (and entertained) for a while!
- • Prism: Light the Way
- • TIGSource B-game Competition
- • King Mania
- • H2O: Heaven2Ocean
- • Narobiyu
- • Narbacular Drop
It may surprise you to know that each and every Weekend Download article is written by a team of highly trained elves adept at both gaming and making waffles. This week, however, the elves have been replaced. By gnomes. The gnomes do a comparable job with words, links and images. But let me tell you, the waffles aren't nearly as good. It's like that old saying that neither I nor anyone else has ever heard before: If you want waffles, better get the elves.
- • Dive
- • Barbie Seahorse Adventures
- • MSOIDS
- • UFO: Alien Invasion
Got a little bandwidth to spare? We've got a fresh batch of downloadable games to clutter up your hard drive and eat up your precious weekend time. Most of the games have what we like to call a "classic" look or feel that hails back to the days when polygons were nothing more than scribbles on your high school math notebook.
- • Safecracker
- • Return to Mysterious Island
This special edition of Weekend Download highlights two games that are a bit less accessible due to their large download size and lack of a playable demo. We feel they deserve some attention, however, as each one pushes the envelope by delivering an immersive gaming experience that's both fun and engaging. We've spent a lot of time with them and are ready to sing praise from the roof (in the form of short mini-reviews), so read on to see if one could be your next slice of delicious gaming pie.
Two major events, the 13th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition and the 10th annual Independent Games Festival, are underway, sending a deluge of top-quality games right into our collective gaming laps. Interactive fiction continues to blossom as authors push the boundaries of gaming with better stories, deeper gameplay, and more rewarding gameplay using nothing more than words and creativity. Most of the IGF games aren't available for download just yet, but you'll recognize some of the games/authors and immediately jump for joy.