- • Make it Good
- • Floatpoint
- • Treasure Adventure Game
- • Game With a Kitty 1 and 2
- • RunMan: Race Around the World
- • The Apocalyptic Game About Penguins
MAKE READY YOUR HARD DRIVES, YOUNG SQUIRE. This week's Vault mixes it up and highlights three popular free download games and then recommends three more you might not have heard of. Solve a mystery, travel to another world, prove you're the fastest in the land, or uncover a wealth of secrets... all without paying a dime!
Like the classic adventuring PC games of old, here is the type of game you could easily lose chunks of time on as you switch between two characters, gathering anything not nailed down and working your way through hours of conversational threads, all in pursuit of Edna's freedom and sanity. Using the touch screen commands, your first job is to find you way out of a padded cell. Edna and her talking plush companion, Harvey, will win you over with their irreverent observations on life, sanity and the mundane world around us even as you sympathize with her situation. You, like Edna, might soon find yourself going in circles, vacillating between the joy of discovery and the frustration of confusion.
Flight to Freedom is the second in the series of Mission US educational point-and-click adventure game titles focusing on American History, created by Electric Funstuff under the auspices of New York PBS Station Channel 13. The year is 1848. The tenuous balance that had been struck concerning the issue of slavery wavers in the face of a nation expanding by conquest and treaty. Living in these tumultuous times is Lucy, a 14 year old slave of Kentucky's King Plantation. Lucy must balance her wishes for freedom with the risk of recapture, but an incident on the farm will force the issue sooner than she'd ever thought. What can a slave do? An intelligent and thought-provoking game that should appeal to both its student audience, and anyone with a passing interest in history.
Your best friend Mary has gone missing for a few days and you take it upon yourself to search for her. Your hunt for her leads to a mysterious floating island inhabited by the remnants of an extraterrestrial race that needs your help to get back home. In this visually decadent casual adventure game, solve puzzles and piece together fragments in hidden object scenes in order to help not only your friend, but the earth bound aliens who want to finally go home.
Maybe you should have suspected the school was evil when you saw all the eyeball-filled green vines growing out of it, but hey! Mistakes were made. Now your daughter has been kidnapped by the spirit of a vengeful witch who plans on using her as the last piece in a dark ritual that has claimed the souls of other young girls. Set out to stop the witch and bring your daughter home safely in this easy but gorgeous and creatively stylish adventure with a flair for cheesy drama and charm.
Never, ever gossip about a witch. Especially if they're the "suck your vitality to maintain their youth" variety. Top Evidence Studios provides a somewhat by-the-numbers hidden-object adventure that delivers gorgeous visuals and a few clever twists on your quest to put an end to the evil reign of a witch who has stolen your youth and spent centuries trapping and tormenting others.
In the medieval fantasy world of Trouble With Robots, robotic lifeforms from outer space have come to turn the world of Middle Turf upside down, destroying old villages and replacing them with futuristic highways and strip malls. You'll have to build your best deck full of spells, powerful trolls, dwarves, and elves (not to mention angry pitchfork wielding peasants!) to stop the invasion and bring peace back to the land in this lean little card battle game, that picks a few elements and does them right, rather than trying to juggle more than it can handle, leaving you with a satisfying experience that you can come back to and improve, even if you are a gamer on a time-budget.
Vogat Interactive, creator of Guardians of Beyond: Witchville and the Reincarnations series, knows how to make a stunning casual adventure game. The Theatre of Shadows: As You Wish is another excellent example of this, combining a rich story with serious puzzles, creative mini-games, and gameplay that gives you surprising freedom to roam. It's a challenging and well-illustrated steampunk-style adventure, and it's a journey you're not going to forget anytime soon (hint: living shadows and evil puppets!).
Life is full of winners and losers and, if you are like most people, you are usually losing. Not so with Sangwoo Hong, Keyboardminer, and Pixelminer's surreal little mahjong-like game, Cubistry. Simply click on one kind of tile and then another of the same to make them both dissapear from the cube in a little flurry of 3D casino-style gratification that will be sure to stimulate your brain stem and keep you playing until each little cube is gone forever. And, if you manage to beat your best score, than all the better. But it's not necessary to enjoy this simple idea game done right.
Originally developed by Kepuli Games for the 7 Day FPS Challenge, then polished up to win 2nd in the Assembly GameDev Competition, Force: Leashed is a first-person gravity-based physics puzzle game. It combines the structure of the Quake engine with the mechanics of Auditorium and the overall design sense of Portal (if GLaDOS never spoke and handed out gravity guns). And despite the title, Jar Jar doesn't show up once. That's gotta be worth half a point right there.
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a princess named Sophia who was having a horrible, very bad, not good day. Poor Princess Sophia woke up in an abandoned castle to discover that (a) she'd overslept by about 100 years, (b) all the humans including her family had booked for places unknown, and (c) there was no local wi-fi. Being the intrepid Princess that she is, Sophia immediately set out to find the rest of humanity along with a decent half-caf mocha latte. Yes, our favorite non-magical princess is back in Awakening: The Skyward Castle, the fourth and final installment of Boomzap's popular adventure hybrid Awakening series.
Do you dream of building a theme park that would put Universal's Islands of Adventure to shame? Can you out plan the creative genius that is Disney? Then put your designing skills to the test in this sandbox-style simulation game from Fugazo. Use strategy to research and build rides, attractions and concessions. Decorate your park to improve its appeal and win the hearts of its visitors. You'll know when you've succeeded as the coins pour in and you're on the cover of every magazine for international amusement park acclaim.
It all begins with an innocent little robot drifting through a leaky cave. It all ends with... well, a lot more than that. Talawa Games' Unmechanical is a physics-heavy action puzzle game where you control a round 'bot flying through an underground factory, trying to find his way back to the surface. It looks like something unsettling happened here not too long ago, judging from the rockslides and blocked passages and all. But you don't have time to hover and ponder, you just want to get out. And as you soon discover, you're not exactly alone down here...
Twisted Lands: Origins starts with a bang, and it never lets up. The third game in the Twisted Lands series, the story goes back to the beginning and tells the tale of the terror that stormed the island of Tormente. It's an intense casual adventure whose focus is strongly centered on story and hidden object scenes, creating an interesting sort of action/puzzle duality that keeps you moving along at a rapid pace.
The end of the world is nigh, and it wants your brains! In this quirky, darkly humorous mobile edition of the zombie simulation based on the classic game Oregon Trail, saddle up with fellow survivors and strike out across the country with the promise of safety hanging in the distance. Manage your supplies, trade with people you meet along the way, deal with boss battles, and above all else hope Lady Luck decides to smile on you. That is, if you don't want to come down with dysentery while someone else has a broken leg and the others have all been bitten by zombies.
Being rich is not enough. Being richer is not enough. It's time to Be Richest! In the third installment of the time management building series, it's up to you rebuild the city which has been left penniless by corrupt leaders. Watch out for thiefs, rats, and even yetis as you rebuild homes and help businesses get back on their feet. Build your empire and discover just how rich you can become!
Who doesn't love climbing mountains? Clamoring across stone, breathing in the pristine air from high above the land, defying all sensible concepts of human strength and endurance so you can grab bags of gold floating in the sky. Sure, our experience with climbing real mountains might be limited, but we're pretty convinced ROCKMAN (no, not that Rock Man) from TwO Bros. Games is a realistic simulation of the sport. If it's not, well, we'll want a full refund on that CD box set of square dancing music we just ordered.
Forget bundles, the real good stuff now comes in batches! Summerbatch: Volume One is a collection of indie adventure games from developers who have a habit of creating and releasing free games. Name your own price for this nice collection, scoring five adventure games for yourself (four and an action game, technically) and sending some monetary thanks to these very fine developers. And for every £500 raised, £50 goes to charity! As if you needed another excuse to grab the batch.
In the year 20XX, Dr. Wily has been defeated by Mega Man (again). He escaped capture and life returned to normal, his eight robot masters returning to storage until the day their circuits may be modified to aid society. As it turns out, that day is today! Dr. Wily wasted no time attacking once again, unleashing a super virus that has disrupted Mega Man's systems and turned computers across the globe into enemies of humanity. With no other options at his disposal, Dr. Light releases the eight robot masters, hoping their virus-free circuits can defeat Wily once and for all. So begins Mega Man: Day in the Limelight 2 by Fusion Team, a retro platforming action adventure that's sure to bring a twinkle to the eye of any child of the 8-bit generation.
In a universe torn asunder by a near cataclysmic event known as the Shine, there are those who fight to keep the peace and others who fight to steal whatever peace there could have been. You wake up on a space station surrounded by people who make you realize that you have no memory and absolutely no idea why they're so interested in you. Through exploration and space battles you'll find that not everyone has the best intents for you and that somehow you must make it out alive. In this beautiful prequel to The Reconstruction made by Deltree it's all up to you to be a hero for the universe.
When a lawyer goes missing while handling the inheritance for a young man following his uncle's mysterious death, you're called in to look into the matter. Unfortunately, this case is a bit more complicated than that, since the local townsfolk have been going missing and believe it to be the work of a vengeful spirit who has been murdering all the men in the Williams family for decades. Can you get to the truth buried beneath all the skeletons in this family's closet? Or will this hidden-object adventure be the death of you?
Mooooo! Do you hear that? It's the sound of cows being abducted! In this tower defense game from Lightmare Studio, you and your pal Barney must use your wits and whatever you can find lying around the barn to protect the cows from the aliens who crave them. Be it an explosive grill or poisonous gasses, you'll find plenty of ways to keep the invaders out of the cow field.
This subtly terrifying indie horror adventure game doesn't have a soundtrack, but if it did, it would just be our reviewers mewling "No no no no no" over and over again. Search for eight missing pages deep in the woods at night with a flashlight as your only guide. But are you as alone as you think? And how long can you last when you can't even risk a look over your shoulder?
You were in the wrong place at the wrong time, but otherworldly powers intervene when your would-be murderers pick the wrong cemetery to bury you alive in. Unfortunately for you, the island you're on is cursed, and the only way out is to appease the ferryman and tortured souls... perhaps saving yourself and another innocent in the process. A lengthy, campy, fun hidden-object adventure from ERS Game Studio.
Originally released in 1983 by Tim and Chris Stamper's Ultimate Play The Game, Atic Atac was one of the most heralded games for the ZX Spectrum. A top-down action-adventure game, it was the deceptively simple looking tale of an adventurer trapped in a haunted house, who must battle his way from basement to "atic" to find the keys that would let him escape. Now remade by Retrospec, it is now available to frustrate and addict a whole new generation of gamers.
What springs to mind when someone says the word "maze"? Probably not an image of a butterfly dancing along a series of colored tiles to the sound of piano keys. Sergey Mohov, on the other hand, envisioned exactly that, turning the butterfly and piano vision into a gorgeously styled maze puzzle game by the name of Dedale. With music provided by Fractures, it is up to you to brave 100 levels of tile coloring, butterfly leading, maze escaping fun.
Eternal Journey: New Atlantis is an amazing science fiction adventure wrapped up in an exquisite bow. Time to forgo the ghosties, ghoulies, and long-legged beasties and set off for a kick-butt adventure to the stars! Or the bottom of the ocean. Whatever. This unique game from Alawar is a hidden object hybrid with a phenomenal story and a lot of extras, and you certainly won't mind taking a dive deep below the sea just to, well, see what you can see... in the sea.
Your iOS becomes a gateway to arcade addiction in this oh-so-simple but endlessly enjoyable little dungeon-crawling hybrid. Swap tiles to gain treasure, supplies, and battle monsters as you try to keep running for as long as you can, hoping to amass a score large enough that our hero can escape the dirty castle he wakes up in. But with upgrades, achievements, endless enemies and more, why would you ever want to go?
Peru, 1950. Strange signs have appeared in the misty mountains. You, a famous spelunker, head to the area to investigate them.. Such is the humble premise of Cavenaut, an exploration-based action-adventure game by Bruno Marcos. Don't think that the ruins of Machu Picchu will reveal their secrets so easily, however. Snake, Bat, Spike, and Spear stand in your path, and if you hope for mysteries to be unraveled, you must be quick of both mind and fingers.
Found unconscious and unresponsive on the side of a road, unhurt despite the bloody knife lying beside her, Jane Doe has been lying silently in a hospital bed ever since. It's up to you to enter her mind in this creepy, surreal hidden-object adventure, and find out the truth about who she is and where she comes from, but with her mind and a sinister presence working against you, neither of you may survive the effort.
Fhtagn! Cthulhu's powers have been locked away, and he needs to save the world to get them back... so he can destroy the world of course. This turn-based RPG from Zeboyd Games affectionately sends-up both Lovecraftian horror and RPGs themselves, but it's also a game with more than ten hours of solid play for an amazing price.
I Wanna Be The Guy was a small indie platform game released way back in 2007, and if you're wondering what took it so long to get a sequel, you obviously never played the original. A quick refresher: you could be killed by falling apples. You could be killed by apples that fall upwards. If you avoided the apples, a cloud could drop out of the background... and kill you. And that would be how you got past one screen. The sequel ups the insanity and makes you wonder if you really do want to be the guy.
Claret Spenser doesn't care much for the outside world. She's happiest working in her airship repair shop, where machines are much easier to deal with than the aristocracy of her floating city, or the winged Skyborn race that conquered the humans generations ago. But her life is about to change... A gorgeous retro RPG from Dancing Dragon Games, Skyborn takes place in an engaging and fully-realized fantasy-steampunk world that begs to be explored. Highly recommend for fans with even the slightest love of the genre.
Night after night, you dream of her. Anna. But... they're not dreams, they're nightmares. And now, you find yourself staring at the very house you see each night in your sleep. This isn't a dream, but it isn't quite real, either. Welcome to the haunting world of Anna, a first person horror adventure game by Dreampainters that will leave you too frightened to turn your back on a dark corner for the rest of the night.
You can't keep a bad witch down, and the shadowy old crone in Orneon's hidden-object adventure series is back for another round. This time, she's used her spells to ensnare an entire kingdom with her shadowy minions, rendering the court magician helpless and turning inanimate objects against you. Together with your sassy talking magic mirror, you'll need to search for ten magical MacGuffins to power an ancient staff before it's too late.
The tower defense genre has been around for years, punctuated every so often by the release of a game that sets a new standard for how things should be. One of the first for the browser world was Desktop Tower Defense, and for the mobile market, an early heavy-hitter was the original Fieldrunners. Developer Subatomic Studios took a few years to do it, but the team has finally rolled out a worthy sequel with Fieldrunners 2. Expect more maps, more variety, more units, more enemies, and more rewards with this stunning release that will rewrite the way you think of the tower defense genre on iPhone.
Back in 2005, Takumi Naramura released a retro-styled exploration game called La-Mulana. Starring an archaeologist professor named Lemeza, it introduced modern players to an aesthetic not seen since the days of the MSX home computer, bringing with it all the convoluted puzzles, items, and high level of difficulty retro gamers love. Fast forward to 2012 for the worldwide release of a graphically enhanced update to La-Mulana that carefully reworks the look and feel of the old game to spruce it up for a new audience. Nigoro has done a fantastic job with the new La-Mulana, and the translation to the slightly-less-retro modern version is almost flawless!
A cinematic simulation of hacking that owes more to Wargames and Sneakers than Kevin Mitnick and Adrian Lamo, Uplink: Hacker Elitecyberpunk intrigue. Originally released by Introversion Software in 2001, and streamlined into the Hacker Elite version for the US market, the latter is now available for purchase from the lovely indie and retro game outlet GOG, and it's a worthy addition to any gamers library.
What happened, Marina? If it's a primary power failure, they're going to enact Protocol 13. If you don't make it to the shelter before that happens... well, it's best not to think about that. Or those sounds of wet slithering you hear from the corner... Wages of Darkness is a horror adventure game developed by Baron that got top prize in Aprils Month of AGS competition. It's pixel-hunting premise probably couldn't be sustained in a longer game, but at just ten minutes, it's perfect for a little stomach punch of dread.
Created in 72 hours for a recent game jam, Disillusion by True Valhalla is a short, somewhat abstract platform adventure that focuses heavily on atmosphere and exploration. You begin with a sword and a vague goal in the back of your mind: go to the end of the world and find the Holy Artifact. If you don't, your people won't survive. Sounds like motivation to us! You quickly head out into the hazy world, ready to tread down branching non-linear paths, defeat enemies both small and gargantuan, and pull off some tricky jumps with the greatest of ease.
Grim Tales: The Wishes is the third in the series of Grim Tales hidden object adventure releases from Elephant Games. Featuring an absolutely chilling storyline, Grim Tales 3 plays like an epic tale filled with puzzles that are sprawled out across the detailed landscape. Items and points of interest are practically in every corner, and while you search for the pieces you need to continue through the game, a surprisingly terrifying plot is unfolding right before your eyes.
In order to play all of the latest surreal puzzle game from prolific purveyor of awesome, Eyezmaze, you'll need to donate at least a dollar, but you can still play the first portion for free. Discover the strange and strangely adorable secrets of a mysterious black box by clicking on it and trying to figure out what you need to do and when in order to proceed. It's weird, it's cute, and like all of Eyzemaze's games, definitely one of a kind.
In this time of over population, it's hard not to daydream about having a nice little town all to yourself. Sadly, unless you're a billionaire, chances are the only way to experience the feel of colonization is through the gracious world of casual gaming. The Promised Land from Boolat Games is a pleasant simulation building and strategy game similar to Virtual Villagers that hands you a piece of uncharted land ready to be plundered. As an adventurer, you're off to find the elusive spring of eternal happiness and build yourself a town that could rival even the most advanced of civilizations!
Howlville: The Dark Past is a lightly-flavored science fiction-themed hidden object adventure game from N-Tri Studio. Featuring a balanced mix of puzzle solving, item hunting, and adventuring, Howlville manages to be a hidden object game without feeling like a rehash of the games that came before it, touching on common elements found in the genre but focusing intently on smart puzzles that really challenge the player. The result is something light and casual, recognizable but still different enough to offer mounds of enjoyment.
Just when you thought secret societies were a thing of the past (literally, ha!), World-Loom brings them back to you in full force in their hidden-object/adventure hybrid, Dark Heritage: Guardians of Hope. With some unique visuals and a good puzzle-to-hidden-object-scene ratio, Dark Heritage will have you feeling like Tom Hanks as you chase down a mysterious killer. You know, if Tom Hanks were a woman.
Quantum Conundrum is a light-hearted puzzle adventure game from Airtight Games. Taking pages from releases like Q.U.B.E. and, of course, Portal, Quantum Conundrum pits you against a series of challenges that require some fine manipulation of physics in order to solve. In this case, you have the dubious honor of being able to switch between four unique dimensions that affect everything in the game in a different way. Work your way through your uncle's mansion as you help him attempt to solve the riddle of where exactly he's gotten himself lost this time!
Strap on your pistols and saddle up, pardner, there's a new card-based strategy game in town! From Cryptic Comet, the maker of Solium Infernum, comes Six Gun Saga, a game that combines cards, heavy strategies, and all the fierceness of the wild, wild west. Choose your boss then go at it with guns-a-blazing! Build up your town (or sell your cards) to make money, and form posses, then use them to collect victory points by defending story cards or just blow your opponent's men away! Turn by turn, you will either play as, or match wits with some famous characters like Wyatt Earp, Dirty Dave Rudabaugh, and others.
The Flux Family Secrets series started back in 2009 with Flux Family Secrets: The Ripple Effect, followed by Flux Family Secrets: The Rabbit Hole just over a year later. Now, after a longer than usual wait, the third game in the series has arrived: Flux Family Secrets: The Book of Oracles. Skunk Studios has produced an equally high caliber game with Flux number three, continuing the story precisely where it left off and telling a hidden object-laden tale with a side of lush visuals.
Necro Gaia is a short arcade defense game from Lazy Brain Games, creator of a few other freeware indie games such as Mecha Spider Island and Infernal Edge. This intense little release puts you in control of a small blue planet called Terra, a lovely little Earth-like rock orbiting a sun that is traveling to another galaxy. You have to stay along for the ride, but the trouble is, all sorts of dangerous things are floating in the blackness of space. By changing your orbital position as well as summoning some temporary planetary friends, you can help Terra survive her journey to her new home, defeating the all-consuming Necro Gaia in the process!
There's a murder on the prowl in the Italian countryside. When the maid of a wealthy family finds a notebook that appears to detail the gruesome murder of three young women, she turns to you, a local detective, in fear. But when you arrive on the scene it soon becomes abundantly clear that someone doesn't appreciate you trying to solve the case, and you'll have to keep your wits about you to survive to the end in this cheesy but beautifully packaged hidden-object adventure mystery from ERS Game Studio.
Michael Molinari uses basketball and surreal, dreamlike imagery to explore love and family in this stunning indie title. Go one on one against nightmare creatures in your quest to find your sister, or solve platform puzzles in strange dimensions. It's a swanky, gorgeous, strange journey that overcomes somewhat clunky controls to deliver a beautiful and unique experience you don't have to love sports to enjoy.
As the new girl transferring for her final year of school, you've got a lot on your plate, especially if you want to get into a top-tier university. But in Roxanne Chen's gorgeous, funny, and charming visual novel simulation, you've also got the potential to make friends that will last you forever... and maybe even find love, too. Packed with colour, energy, and tons of replay value, this is well worth checking out. You've only got one year... make it count!
Penny Arcade and Zeboyd Games combine to deliver this turn-based RPG with a distinctly retro feel that both fits with and stands apart from the previous two installments. Join Tycho and Gabe of the Startling Developments Detective Agency as they attempt to learn the secrets of the mysterious Necrowombicon... while dodging time-traveling dinosaur spies, murderous caterpillars, ancient cults and more in the process. Exceptionally heavy on combat but more than a little funny, it's a surprisingly engrossing little title with a lot to offer in the way of humour and charm if you don't mind a lot of strategy with your gameplay.
On the surface, it's easy to put Thomas Was Alone in the puzzle platform genre, citing games like The Lost Vikings when you discuss the gameplay mechanics and mentioning VVVVVV as another possible source of lo-fi indie inspiration. But after you've spent some time with the game, you suddenly realize it's much more than just a platformer. Thomas Was Alone is an interactive, character-driven puzzle experience with a beautiful audio visual presentation and gameplay controls/physics that were no doubt fine-tuned with fastidious precision.
Theresa and her twin sister were the first victims of a plague spreading through the city of Oxford, but not the last. Now, with many dead and dying, and the city evacuated and under quarantined, it's up to you to venture inside the limits searching for the lost little girl who may hold the key to a cure... but with the disease already spreading to the wildlife, will you be too late to contain the problem? A somewhat short but top-notch thriller hidden-object adventure with a plot full of twists and turns that will appeal to fans of more serious stories.
What makes a hero? Is it someone who keeps fighting, even when everyone around them insists there's no point? Or is it someone who is willing to give the most precious thing they can just for the promise of a better tomorrow? Made in just under a month as a half hour lunch break game, Sailerius and Hirei have crafted a short but remarkably atmospheric action adventure release with Finding Eden, a thoughtful game about friendship, the end of the world, and sacrifice. The story follows two young girls struggling to stay alive after an unspecified disaster befell the world and left it stripped of Mana, with virtually everyone left sleeping husks littering the street... except for the sinister Harvesters who are always on the girls' heels. With their own Mana, their life force, constantly dwindling and scraps being harder and harder to come across, is it worth carving out an existence in this bleak world... or can they find something worth giving everything they have for?
One of the main tropes present in hidden object hybrids these days is that someone gets kidnapped by mysterious forces and you must rescue them, be it a prince, a princess, children, a whole town, or some random guy off the street. However, Fierce Tales: The Dog's Heart by Blam! Games goes in a completely different direction. You see, your cute little puppy is kidnapped by mysterious forces, and you must rescue him before it's too late. It may not reinvent the hidden object wheel, but it's still a pretty darned good adventure waiting to be played!
Deep within the spaceship, a lowly garbage worker tosses clumps of trash into the incinerator. Outside, asteroids begin pelting the hull, eventually causing the ship to crash on an uncharted planet filled with strange creatures. And now you, lone survivor, must explore and fight your way through an intricate maze-like world as you gather power-ups, fight bosses, and collect every little green square you see. In Wade McGillis's downloadable and mobile game Astronot, you get a good strong dose of pure retro metroidvania-style platform adventuring, and you'll love every minute of stranded torture it brings you.
What could be worse than some cretin named Big (who also happens to be your brother) stealing the pair of mystical underpants left by your departed grandfather? Nothing, as far as the folks at Black Pants Studio are concerned. With the team's first release, the sandbox-oriented action and physics game Tiny and Big: Grandpa's Leftovers, we get to see just what happens when you give a guy a raygun, a grapple-device, and unlimited rockets, then turn him loose in a sun-parched ruined desert world to find his pants-thieving brother. To put if briefly: a whole lotta rocks will get sliced, tossed, juggled, and destroyed.
Long has it been dictated that a woman in a fairy tale had better be either beautiful, meek, humble as apple pie, or a mix thereof. Someone hates her, a prince wants to save her, and some sparkly fairy dust is going to cause some type of dilemma. Throughout it all, this princess is going to hmmm and sigh but ultimately go along with the ride because, hey, she's a damsel in distress and you best not forget it! Fortunately for us, Moacube didn't just forget it, they threw it out of the proverbial tower turret to the alligator infested moat below. In the team's dazzling visual novel Cinders, they charge headfirst into the outdated and come out the other side with brand spanking shiny and new.
Offering up something unique and creative, this point-and-click puzzle adventure follows a young shepherd and his pet goat on their quest to rescue his stolen flock. The gorgeous watercolor artwork and nearly wordless narration makes this a poignant, meditative experience. While a few rough edges might repel those who are not as charmed by the artistic qualities, those looking for challenging puzzles and fragmented object searches set in a surreal landscape will be instantly won over. Which group are you in? Give Shaban a demo to find out.
Are they conveyor belts? Are they fallen trees? To be completely honest, we can't figure out what those strange laser-emitting bricks in increpare's aptly-named Puzzles are supposed to be. All we know is that they cause trouble if you touch them, but yet that danger might be the key to solving the eight enigmas in this game.
From the world's favorite developer of quirky indie games, bentosmile, the Easy Quest series is a set of three tiny action RPG-style games that take place in the same setting with the same creatures and the same basic goal: save the world! You do this by defeating enemies that are weaker than you, running them over until they bite the dust. With each hit, you suffer damage, too, so you have to balance your attacks and seek healing potions only when they're absolutely necessary. It's a game of watching the numbers and being aggressive when it's a smart thing to do, and despite each game's short length, they're still a set of quests you'll love to undertake!
ERS makes their first foray into pure adventure gameplay with this shlocky, over-the-top horror game. When the little girl you're supposed to be babysitting vanishes, you find yourself drawn into a murder mystery that's corrupted an entire area and left the place teeming with vicious ghosts and secrets. More kooky and creative than scary, it's still a polished game with loads of puzzles and creepiness worth checking out.
When a physicist researching a world-changing project ends up dead, it's up to you to figure out what happened. In Resonance, a stellar point-and-click adventure by Wadjet Eye Games, you control four strangers who are forced to trust each other to help you solve the mystery. Use the unique long and short term memory system to explore the world around you and uncover clues. Can you recover the research before someone else ends up dead?
From movies to books to video games, the "creepy" seems all-pervasive. Put an individual or group in some deserted, out of the way place with lots of shadows and eerie sounds and you've got the recipe going strong! Luckily for you, assuming you're the type that likes creepy things, Specialbit Studio has quite the joyride for you! In the hidden object puzzle adventure game Haunted Hotel: Charles Dexter Ward, you get rewarded with the creepiest of creepy: a deserted hotel in a bayou out in good ol' Louisiana. I wouldn't stick around for any jambalaya if I were you.
In Cipher Prime's new puzzler Splice, you've got to rearrange cells in a strand to match the given pattern. Your moves are limited, so you've got to plan each step carefully to succeed. It's kinda like making a dangling chain of coathangers, except with MORE SCIENCE. (And an awesome soundtrack and sweet graphics.)
Here's the good news: you get to go to a small European village for free. The bad news? Well... there's this tiny issue of horrific and angry statues randomly coming to life and carting off the villagers for who knows what reason. Also, you have the good fortune of being the most prominent detective around! That means you get to go deal with those statues and puzzle out what in the heck is happening. Elephant Games has returned to us with a wonderful new hidden object puzzle adventure game Royal Detective: The Lord of Statues, so put on your bowler hat and get ready to do some mystery solvin'!
To quote the intro of Fallen City, Channel 4 and Big Robot's educational puzzle/real-time strategy game: What is a city? It is a machine; a machine for living in. But all machines can break down. The inhabitants of Fallen City (Angries) have become distracted by their individual lives and dreams and have let the once gleaming metropolis fall into disrepair. Frustrated by their inability to live the lives of fame and fortune they were told could satisfy them, many of the Angries fell into boredom or rage... and the city sunk ever deeper into its gloom. But broken machines can be fixed, right?
No one likes being stuck inside city walls when all they want is the sweet freedom of open land. Problem is, getting out is quite tricky when there's a war raging outside the city walls and the guards are under strict order to not let anyone in or out. In Shifter, you have a trick or two up your sleeves, but in order to make use of that trick you need to get to know people. In this point and click escape adventure use your charm to help shift into a new point of view, literally.
While chunky pixel goats are nothing new to the indie gaming scene (see Llamasoft's iOS release GoatUp), MagicalTimeBean has done something special with Escape Goat, a retro-inspired puzzle platform game that recently made the leap from Xbox Live Indie Games to Windows-based PCs. And you're going to be glad it did, as Escape Goat is an exceptionally entertaining game that strikes a perfect balance between challenge and frustration, reflexes and puzzle solving, and, well, goats and sheep.
When your plane goes down following a ghostly apparition and strands you on a deserted unmarked island, that's bad enough without throwing a centuries old fatal love triangle and one seriously malevolent ghost into the mix. Fuzzy Bug Interactive delivers a short and easy but effortlessly enjoyable hidden-object adventure that doesn't bog its subject matter down in heavy doom and gloom.
Cute adventure game get! Robo Quest is an adorable point and click adventure created by Glauzer and Adm244 using Adventure Game Studio. One could easily compare it to Machinarium in general layout and style, but the story, setting, and artwork are something else entirely. It's a short experience but an uncommonly engaging one, and you'll fall in love with the little robo's plight from the moment you see him napping
The developers at Stolen Couch Games have captured that child-like kindergarten drawing time feeling with the one-button puzzle game Ichi, a mobile port of the downloadable version available for Windows and Mac systems. It is only the team's second commercial creation for the iTunes App Store, but they understand that quality is much better than quantity. If the simple visual style makes you think "oh, this game will be a piece of cake!", well, my friend, you'll think twice when level 'some-odd-number' comes around and you can't master it!
Decades ago, Nikola Tesla's experiment ruined mankind's ability to see colour and enjoy music before he vanished, and nobody can agree whether he did it on purpose. Marie Tesla, his great-great-granddaughter, has been working to fix things without much success, but a phone call from beyond space and time might put her on the right track to solving a mystery and travelling into the past. An easy but stellar hidden-object adventure that combines intrigue, light-hearted storytelling, memorable characters, and gorgeous visuals.
Ready to get dragged into an undeniably captivating time management strategy resource management building game? Kingdom Chronicles by Aliasworlds casts you in the role of humble do gooder John Brave, resident unlikely hero hero. I know what you're thinking, been there done that. But wait! It's not only about being sexy and knowing it while having damsels in distress swooning in their tallest tower prisons. I promise.
Children are disappearing from the quiet little town of Everlake; police and parents are their wits end but you're not about to give up. Enter a surreal world that is rather like a David Lynch version of the Drawn series. Superior graphics and added interactivity make the hidden object searches a delight, a diverse and plentiful assortment of minigames will keep you thinking, and the immense number of settings and locales to explore will make this feel like an epic journey. Forget about pragmatic realism and let yourself be won over by the strange magic of Rite of Passage: The Perfect Show.
One of the most surreal RPGs you'll ever encounter has finally been translated into English. Play as the mysterious companion to the even more enigmatic Batter, who has arrived to rid the world of spectres through violent purification. Packed with memorable characters, strange locations, and a seriously engrossing storyline that at times manages to be a bit unsettling too, it's one of the strangest, swankiest free titles around that won't be for everyone, but is definitely worth a look.
You wake in the middle of a night during a thunderstorm with your head and your body aching... but you're not in your bed. In fact, you're not even in your house. And when you discover the body on the floor, you begin to realise that you might just have woken up in a very personal nightmare. A short but engrossing horror adventure mystery packed with atmosphere, replayability, and chills galore.
With the intricate and challenging gameplay, fantastical backgrounds, and most importantly an actual story Build-a-Lot: Fairy Tales may be the best of the build-a-lot bunch, rather than a stale re-skinning of something we've seen before. For those who love the series and those who've never tried it, here's an imaginative gift from HipSoft wrapped in bright shiny paper and an elaborate bow.
Do you enjoy hunting for tiny items? Picking out hidden objects? Finding small things contained in much larger things? Fresh from Klick Tock, creator of ZONR, Little Things Forever is an updated and expanded follow-up to the original Little Things, offering up thousands of tiny items to find as you hunt your way across puzzles unlocking new shapes to pick apart. It's a great improvement over the original game, but it's also precisely what we like about casual mobile releases: quick fun, lasting appeal, and endless content.
Red Riding Hood was once a normal girl baking sweets, skipping through enchanted forests, wanting to visit her grandma without any ulterior motives. Little did she know that she was about to be thrust into a nightmare when her poor Granny was taken by some rude wolf. Now it's up to you, as Red, to brave 96 levels of puzzles to save Granny and show that wolf it's never good to mess with a girl who can master gravity.
Winter Wolves serves up a huge visual novel adventure RPG with deep tactical combat. As a slave to the Amazon empire, you're sent out with your princess, Loren, in search of a missing queen. In short order, you discover Loren's problems are only a tiny symptom of a greater evil plaguing the world... but will she be able to overcome her own shallow world view and limited life experience to become the hero everyone needs her to be? And does she even want to?
As you've no doubt noticed, indie game bundles are the new "it" thing, sort of like the modern equivalent of slap bracelets or the musical stylings of Harvey Danger. How long this trend will last we're not sure, but in the meantime, everyone with a bunch of string and connections in the indie gaming market are gathering games together for new and exciting bundles. Here's a look at a few of the big bundles currently running.
In a city where the wicked never sleep a brave hero shall rise. Jeff the Sanitation Worker has come to save the day. Er...well, he's come to clean things up so that people can at least walk around without catching the plague from the rats that seem to be everywhere. That's heroic right? Still, prepare yourself for the high energy thrill ride of cleaning the streets as Jeff.
It starts with a letter from an old friend inviting you to dinner. How can something so simple, so innocent, throw you into a dark world of murder, mystery, and the supernatural? Set in London in 1603, this enormous Lovecraftian interactive fiction adventure will challenge and immerse you in a world that feels real and dangerous. Available as a free download or as an enhanced edition for Kindle devices and Nook tablets, this 12 to 15 hour adventure is a challenge, but one well worth undertaking.
One part physics-based slinging game, one part RPG, and one part tactics, SQUIDS from The Game Bakers is a many-layered game that gracefully passes gameplay elements back and forth, creating a dynamic yet cohesive experience. While it starts out with a little Sling-like action, it ends up playing more like Ogre Battle, all without adding too much complexity or foregoing its casual roots. To top it off, SQUIDS looks as good as it plays, featuring top-notch visual design and a storyline and characters that are legitimately fun to engage with!
Underhome is under attack... by red tape! In this big adventure game by storyteller Jonas Kyratzes, return once again to the surreal Lands of Dream when The Mysterious Druid calls you in to help with what he feels is an erroneous foreclosure attempt on the biotechnological dwelling. A sweeping, engrossing adventure about mystery, magic, money, and family, it's packed full of pop-culture references, intelligence, and unexpected heart.
Whether you consider yourself an expert sleuth, someone who can readily pin the perpetrator in any whodunnit you watch, or are just a big fan of searching for hidden objects and solving puzzles, this adventure from Eipix Entertainment has the perfect walk-on role for you. Art Deco designs, well-rendered graphics and use of live actors are just some of the detailing adding to this entertainment value. Although the premise isn't new, it's presented with such fine-tuned finesse and grinning affability that it's reels of fun, from the opening segment to the roll of the credits.
Let's not mince words. Tyrian 2000 was the best PC shoot-em-up of the 90s, and it still holds up remarkably well today. Originally developed as shareware by Eclipse Productions and published by Epic Games, Tyrian 2000 is now available as legit freeware, and every fan of space shooters should check it out. The amount of customization, the hilarious but loving prose, the gorgeous VGA graphics... all of them come together to make a true classic.
A trip to an art gallery takes an unsettling turn for nine year old Ib. When the lights go out, she suddenly finds herself alone, and something is begging her to journey deeper into the belly of the building. A free horror adventure game that delivers some fantastically freaky scenes and a ton of scares, both subtle and otherwise, for a memorable experience that's far more effective at times than its big budget peers.
Recluse is a short, cute, and creative metroidvania-style platform adventure game from chambers that tied for eighth place in the most recent Ludum Dare compo. Centered around the "tiny world" theme, you play a snail who has never left its shell and is now ready to emerge into the world. While much of the gameplay is standard platform fare, there is a unique mechanic that makes Recluse worth experiencing: screen shoving!
Short but striking, Cyanide Tea's second free indie visual novel tells the story of two people who have seemingly little else in common beyond the elevator they both take to work each day. David is a former police office who can't let go of his past, and Elena is a bright young girl who just happens to share the elevator with him daily. Will David be able to open up to her? And should he?
Look fast! The Snark is back for the third time! If you're lucky enough to be invited to join the Snark Busters Club, you can count on lots of adventure, hidden objects to spot, and traveling through surreal backwards worlds and fantasy steam-punk locales to solve the puzzles it left behind. As a departure from the first two games of the series, collect mostly whole items to form a new, more useful object. Circlet reconstructions directly in each scene keeps the focus on exploration and discovery, not straining the eyes. The fabulous graphics and player-pleasing extra touches makes Snark Busters: High Society even more charming than the first two.
One of the cornerstones of indie game development is, if you'll allow us a moment on our soapbox, freedom. The freedom to make the game you want exactly how you want to make it. While this doesn't always pan out to be as glamorous as it may seem, creating and releasing indie games is an art mixed with a science tempered by the cold hard realities of business. And in a world where distributing your game across multiple platforms is commonplace, there's some very real competition to tangle with out there.
Dinos in Space is, apart from being a very cool thing to draw in your notebook while ignoring the math lecture going on in your class, a cerebral flow-based logic puzzle game from John Saba. Using arrows, switches and teleporters, your goal is to send dinosaurs from their dispensers into the appropriately colored satellite elsewhere on the grid. Sure, it sounds simple on the surface, but get your head wrapped in this game, and when you take a break, you'll still be solving puzzles in your brain.
Lexcavator is a wonderfully chirpy word-based puzzle game by Adam Parrish that combines elements of Dig Dug with spelling games like Bookworm. Your goal is to bash away at the letter tiles by spelling out words, clearing the way so the protagonist can hop further down the level. It requires a lot of careful thinking to prevent capturing yourself in a corner, so enter only if your vocabulary and tactical skills are up for a challenge!
Ever wanted to do something, found out how unbelievably overwhelming the task would be, then decided it'd be a better idea to stay home and have a sandwich? Our hapless knightly protagonist in Climb to the Top of the Castle knows that feeling all too well, only in his case, sandwiches probably haven't been invented yet, and he's got a king breathing down his neck pretty much forcing him to haul his armored rear to the top of the castle and save the princess. Did we say "castle"? Because really, it's pretty much a mountain!
It is up to a green cosmic wanderer with a chain grapple arm to rescue some grounded birds from certain destruction in this retro adventure grapple game. Ladd Spencer (think classic grapple game...) may have had it rough, but the Chain Champ here has to swing over boiling lava pits, dodge pitfalls, and focus on collapsing grapple surfaces. A quick casual game packed with loads of gameplay, chiptune sound effects, and helpless birds to keep you swinging during a lazy afternoon.
There's nothing ordinary about this adventure hybrid from Artifex Mundi, creators of Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek. Sure you get the familiar tale of undead pirates cursed by stolen gold, but you also get an amazingly ambitious production with attention to every detail. You can finish the entire game without playing a single hidden object scene if you wish; just opt for mahjong, instead (or do both!) Gorgeous scenes, well-designed puzzles and expert storytelling are just a few of the top notch features that make Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart an experience not to be missed.