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.
It's been said that people create because they're not satisfied with the way things are; they feel that the world needs more of 'them'. Well, if Dark Scavenger is any indication of what Psydra Games 'is', then I am eager to have more! In the team's darkly-humored point-and-click adventure game, you are an alien who has to forage through a planet looking for a source of energy to power your failing ship. With combat and mystery at every turn, this game will have you humorously pointing and clicking your way through the storyline.
Across the universe, no matter the time period or location, delivering the mail is a rough job. Take the poor sap in charge of the space-based mail delivery station Meteor Mail, for example. (It's you, by the way.) That lonely technician has to fire packages from one end, then tweak the exact position of gravity orbs to thread each delivery through worm holes, asteroids, roving pirates, and other obstacles. But, if it were easy, we wouldn't have the delightfully challenging puzzle game that is Meteor Mail, so from adversity comes entertainment!
Alan Wake is a bestselling author who hasn't written a word in two years. The pressure from his fans and agent are getting to him, and a quiet vacation in the sleepy mountain town of Bright Falls should be just what he needs to relax... right up until he wakes up confused and disoriented in the woods late at night, attacked by living shadows. With his wife missing and nobody willing to believe him, Alan must unravel the mysteries of the town and his own haunted psyche in this frightening, atmospheric action adventure from Remedy.
Miley's got dreams of being a comedic superstar, and the first step is to follow in the footsteps of Cherry Tree High's greatest and start a comedy club. The only problem is the student council insists she needs a minimum of three more members, and she only has a month to find them! Are her ambitions on the rocks, or can she hunt down and convince a bunch of unlikely recruits to join her? A gorgeous, energetic, and light-hearted game that blends adventure with visual novel and simulation elements.
If you grew up in an age where dithering was a a common graphical trick to get around color limitations and were excited when CGA was succeeded by EGA which gave way to VGA, just seeing a screenshot of You Have to Win the Game will turn you mad with nostalgia. The exploration platformer from Pirate Hearts shares a lot of design elements with Terry Cavanagh's VVVVVV, Lyle in Cube Sector, and Celestial Mechanica, though its main trick is emulating the computing environment of a decades-old PC. But even if you don't get excited by 16-color CRT monitors, You Have to Win the Game is a thoroughly enjoyable ride!
Become a mare of action in this crazy but colourful homage to the classic bullet-hell shooter series. Playing as Fluttershy or Rainbow Dash, blast your way through fields of bizarre enemies, mini-bosses, and more with frantic action you'll need to be at least 20% cooler than most to pull off. This free download might be simple, but it's an excellent source of shooter gameplay to make you feel like a boss and get your heart pounding.
And Then There Were None... an old English detective book that has been adapted for the stage, silver screen, and radio has given inspiration to an indie platformer game. As you quest through the blanketing snow and eerie white noise, the game follows a man known only as Hughes as he tries to defend himself from a roaming serial killer. Tensions rise and fear sets in as danger lurks around every corner, tunnel, and platform. Your only glimmer of solace is the voice emanating from a radio, leading you along and aiding you in your struggle until... it's too late.
Of all of the creepy fairy tales we tell our kids and there are some supremely creepy ones indeed one that stands out is the Pied Piper of Hamelin, in which a town that doesn't like to pay its debts ends up losing all of its children to a dude who charms rats with music. This haunting tale seems ready made to become both a childhood nightmare and a casual adventure hybrid, so it's just as well that Blue Tea Games has taken up the challenge with Fabled Legends: The Dark Piper, a hidden object finding adventure that features lots and lots of rats, both in vermin and human form. Rats, why'd it have to be rats?
We are not alone. Life has been discovered on Mars, but it's nothing like we ever expected to encounter. In this gorgeous, one-of-a-kind moody action adventure game for iOS, you'll journey deep into the red planet and uncover the secrets buried within its soil. Discover new life forms and challenging puzzles that force you to use the environment to your advantage as you help the planet grow... and ultimately decide its fate.
Tiger Eye: The Sacrifice is a new casual adventure game from PassionFruit Games, creator of Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box. The story is based on the book by Marjorie M. Liu, who also had a hand in writing the games, and picks up right where the first one left off. The gameplay departs from the usual hidden object adventure formula, though it still provides ample challenge and plenty of puzzles to solve as you try to keep Dela and friends out of trouble!
Back in 2009, Playrix Entertainment those purveyors of wonderful time management games created a hybrid between time management and hidden object finding. Three years after Gardenscapes debuted, its lovely sequel has finally landed: Gardenscapes: Mansion Makeover! And this time, it's personal! Or, at least, indoors.
Some people lie. Some people tell the truth. Others tell lies every other sentence, while still others tell things that are part truth, but part lie. Then there are robots, vampires, philosophers, and rabid sheep to contend with! Professor McLogic Saves the Day is a creative game of logic puzzles that is a rare gem in a sea of lookalike games. Play it, puzzle over it, and then figure out which part of the first paragraph of our review is a lie!
Miniature Golf: The Tranquility Course isn't a game you probably pictured yourself playing. On the surface, it's a simply-made 3D mini-golf game with nine basic holes to run through and an easy, intuitive interface. Just beyond the thin film of golfing, though, you'll find a game world that presents you with more than enough reasons to run around and explore.
The best games are ones that make you believe you are a part of one story, while another story plays out quietly behind the scenes. In The Ultimate Celebration, a poignant indie platformer from Brian Soulliard, you play a jolly little Party Dude who's only desire is to throw a party for all 20 of his friends. In the real world, you would just call them up on their cell phones and invite them, but where's the fun in that?!
Much like the protagonists of today's game, Orneon has just sauntered into town with a thrilling sequel to Secrets of the Dark: Temple of Night, unleashing a stunning new adventure/hidden object hybrid with Secrets of the Dark: Eclipse Mountain. Once again light and dark clash in a suspiciously empty small town denuded by yet more demons. Are you sensing a theme here?
The Walking Dead shambles on to your computer in this visceral, vicious adventure game from TellTale. Lee, a convict on his way to prison, wakes up after a car accident to find the world has gone to heck while he was unconscious and the dead walk the streets. In short order, he finds himself responsible for the well-being of a little girl and trying to decide how much to tell the people around him, in between trying to survive. A shockingly violent and unapologetically brutal adventure that succeeds in spite of its flaws.
Azkend 2 stands out in the crowded match-3 genre through its excellent art, music and voice-acting, constantly changing challenges and tricky puzzles requiring custom approaches. Follow the main character on a journey into a maelstrom and back. With 60+ levels in story mode and tons of replay value, it's a lot of bang for the buck.
Domestic abuse is not easy to escape, especially for those who feel trapped by circumstances and an apathetic culture that turns a blind eye to the problem. Please help Masha find her son who, along with his kite, has disappeared while she was in a violent dispute with her husband. This moody, atmospheric point-and-click adventure from Anate Studios has stunningly gorgeous graphics and a pleasant soundtrack. While somewhat melodramatic, The Kite has heart and soul, well worth playing for the overall affect.
Time to get your Sokoban-like on with Tom 7's puzzle game, Escape. The built-in tutorial levels start you off with a good challenge, but it's the thousands of user-made levels (and a great sorting system for them) that will heap on the entertainment and have you playing for hours. Try your hand at creating a level of your own to share with the public to see if they can succeed to escape.
Imagine yourself serving as a communications officer in the German Wehrmacht, during World War II, doing your duty in an underground bunker. After developing a mysterious sickness, you are quarantined in solitary confinement. That was a few days ago, and you haven't heard from anyone (including the mysterious Dr. Klein, who put you here in the first place) since. Sound intriguing? It is, and with the release of Escape The Bunker: 1944 by LeviW, you can experience it firsthand. But, you know, in a non-terrifying-life-ending sort of way.
Continuing your quest to seek out and heal the places of the world plagued by dark energies, you find yourself in a small town whose only claim to fame is a wax museum. Sounds innocuous, right? Sure, and that's exactly how the sentient creeping wax hands get you! A creepy-campy, dramatic, and gorgeous hidden-object adventure that won't revolutionise anything but will definitely entertain you while it lasts.
In this mobile puzzle game by 10Tons, Peablins are afraid to go into the dark, monster-filled forest alone but if they're holding hands with a friend, then all is good. Help them make their way through180 stages by arranging each on the grid according to their quirky preferences. While the touch controls are easy to master, the puzzles can sometimes leave you stumped. Joining Hands is the perfect diversion wherever you find yourself empty-handed and in need of some fun.
It was supposed to be a quick and easy heist. Break in to the museum, snag the Lupine Twine Amulet, sneak out. Profit! But then, something unfortunate happened: Lucas MacGuffin put the amulet on. With the amulet permanently attached to him, Lucas now had the unfortunate ability to turn into a werewolf whenever he was exposed to moonlight. On top of that, the entire city went into lockdown as a result of his bungled theft. Making delicious lemonade out of those lemons, though, Lucas turned his misfortune into a boon, using his lupine skills to work his way through town in a sokoban-style adventure. MacGuffin's Curse is one of those light-hearted, funny, challenging and visually gorgeous games you won't be able to put down.
Based a decade-plus old arcade game called XKobo by Akira Higuchi, KoboDeluxe is an updated and enhanced version of the original arcade shooter, porting the concept and gameplay over to modern platforms while introducing better animations, high resolution visuals, additional control options, a difficulty selector, and more. Whether you want a nostalgic arcade fix or are looking for a sturdy action challenge, KoboDeluxe will absolutely satisfy your craving.
Life for Lily, like any other visual novel heroine, is fairly typical. She feels like she's adrift after college and is only working at her uncle's restaurant for the money. But is there more to the eclectic staff than anyone might suspect? A free game made in just a month by Cyanide Tea, packed with romance, restaurant hi-jinks, and more than a few surprises you may not see coming.
A lonely, lost robot wakes up to find itself floating towards a strange island. It has no memory of where it came from or what it's doing, but as the little raft touches stable ground, it does what any amnesiac creature might do: runs forward to see what's out there. Gear World may not be the most original concept this side of Cave Story, but the hyper-difficult platforming action and carefully designed levels more than make up for the conventional setting.
The living, walking, ne'er-do-gooding puppets are back in ERS Game Studio's latest hidden object adventure hybrid, PuppetShow: Return to Joyville. The latest in the PuppetShow series goes back to the beginning to visit what is possibly the most imprecisely named place since Greenland. As an unnamed detective, you are here to help the old and decrepit Felicia who has traveled back in time to save her father, the maker of living puppets, and her younger self from the terrible fire that started the whole mess. Armed with tomorrow's newspaper, you immediately set forth to fix what is broken so you can get yourself back to the (not-as dismal) future!
When a deadly parasite infestation begins sweeping through a massive tree, crippling it and gradually killing off its inhabitants, heroes are found in the most unlikely of places. Five tiny friends band together to save one last seed and find the source of the monstrous parasites in this surreal point-and-click adventure from Amanita Design that is by turns stunning, otherworldly, engrossing, and even a little frightening.
Legend of Grimrock is a retro-styled first person dungeon crawling RPG that borrows liberally from the classic genre and updates everything for modern gamers to enjoy. From the visual overhaul to the lax but somehow intriguing storyline to the stripping of complex menu screens and stats, Legend of Grimrock will easily capture your attention and hold it for hours on end, whether you're an old school RPG master or a casual gamer looking for a little diversion.
In this massive, complex visual novel simulation, you're given a chance to change your life some people may dream of but most never get to experience. When a particularly fierce fever breaks, you awake to find yourself back in time at the beginning of high school, watched over by the excitable but well meaning angel Satsuko. Will you make something of yourself? Find the close friends you've always wanted? Have an impact on someone's life or maybe even find... love? If you have the time to invest in it, Shira-Oka has the engrossing experience and production values to deliver.
ERS Game Studios has decided to add more to the fairy tale story of their Spirits of Mystery series in Spirits of Mystery: Song of the Phoenix. Again take the role of the princess of the Dragon Kingdom as you set out to save your groom-to-be of the Phoenix Kingdom. Take down the sinister wizard of dark magic who's trying to turn the wedding of your dreams into a nightmare. It's time to put on those hidden-object/adventuring boots and kick some evil butt!
Zaga-33 is a minimalist roguelike created by Michael Brough in one week but later refined into a more polished product for Windows, Mac, and iOS devices. It ditches almost all of the traditional roguelike customs in favor of focusing on just a few gameplay elements for an ultra-refined experience. No stats to track, enemy lists to memorize, or equipment to manage, just pure and simple power-ups and combat!
Bam! Caught ya! Being stealthy is something we all do when creeping around the kitchen at night, going for that last piece of cake before anyone else in the house gets a crack at it. In Stealth Bastard, a stealth platform game from Curve Studios, moving around unseen is what it's all about. Instead of getting busted and forfeiting half a slice of cake, though, you get blasted to pieces by a robot laser the size of your torso. Ouch!
Yahtzee is back, and this time he's offering his take on Metroidvania in Poacher, an action-adventure platformer. Join wabbit-hunter Derek Badger as he stumbles into an ancient conflict far below the Earth's surface. Expect some killer difficulty in this effective combo of humor and horror.
A puzzle platform game where your goal is to carry a heavy key to the keyhole by jumping and tossing it across the stage. Thrown keys travel in a horizontal line until hitting a solid object, then they fall straight down. Unburdened by the key, you can jump a little higher, allowing you to work your way through each stage using a combination of platforming and careful key tossing. A very well-designed game with some great levels to complete! (Note: You need to click the link marked 'Keylugger' after visiting the link above to download the game.)
- • Love+
- • Keylugger
- • Game Title
There are games you love, games you hate, games you love to hate, and games you love to love. Why aren't there any games you love to hate to love or hate to love to hate? Or, is that where the Build-a-lot series goes? *rimshot*
Revealing a few more of the 1000 doors offered in the title of the series, House of 1000 Doors: The Palm of Zoroaster drops you back in said house to put you through another series of puzzles and adventure quests as the indomitable author/spirit soother, Kate. Offering the same quality of product as the previous installment, Alawar has brought us another great hidden object/adventure hybrid, just in a more sinister, unsettled portrayal of the house.
Offspring Fling is a poignant game about the dedication of family, the scary beauty of nature, and the lengths to which a parent will go to protect their kids. Of course, it's also a game about throwing children, so don't think that it gets too sappy. Developed by Kyle Pulver, maker of Depict1 and Verge, Offspring Fling's central puzzle platforming mechanic of carrying and throwing bouncy offspring is so clever and fun, it's surprising no one else thought of it first.
Life Quest 2: Metropoville is a nicely open-ended simulation game with a large set of goals and an even larger world of characters to explore, even after all of the in-game goals have been accomplished. Hours and hours of entertainment await those who enjoy living their life through avatars, especially when they're as cute as the ones living in Metropoville.
Jasper Byrne ventures into the realm of psychological horror in his surreal and disturbing commercial adventure debut. You are the last man alive, it seems, after a horrific virus sweeps through the world and transforms every other human being into a shambling monstrosity. You don't want to die alone, so you venture out of your apartment each night for supplies and to look for other survivors, but are you prepared for what else you might find when you're forced to confront yourself? When the world around you collapses, how long will you last before you begin to unravel and you can't trust yourself either?
An early-release demo of a game that's been in production for several years and is still a work in progress, Vertex is on track to be the next massive-hit metroidvania. Inspired by the likes of Cave Story, Chrono Trigger, Spelunky and Super Metroid, Vertex drops you in a world that encourages exploration with multiple branching non-linear paths, upgrades, an RPG-like equipment menu, item shop, and much more. The game already looks and sounds fantastic, and the demo is nice and meaty, so you won't feel sleighted when it ends. You will, however, want more, and with any luck, that dream will come true soon enough!
- • Vertex
- • Rogue Moon
- • Omelette Boris
Choose your own introductory paragraph! A) I'd rather have something short and informative, but please make at least one joke about cheese. B) I don't have time to read this, I have too many games to play! C) I can't find the parser input line. Help!
Ricardo Chellini's unexpected inheritance of a private island should have been a dream, but when he arrives to find the estate falling apart and discovers something wants him dead, he must unravel the mystery surrounding his family's violent, sad past if he wants to survive. A stunning and wonderfully creepy hidden-object adventure from Artogon Games.
It seems like this particular group of birds has been pretty upset with a particular group of pigs for quite some time. Now that they've taken their shenanigans to outer space, you can bet the madness isn't going to calm down anytime soon. Rovio Mobile has dropped its irate little friends into the role of space super heroes defending their egg-shaped homeland in Angry Birds Space. The physics/action game calls upon your mental fortitude to use gravitational forces to destroy all of evil-pig-kind. The angry birds are back and they need your help!
Slightly abstract, visually mesmerizing, easy to play, challenging to master. Waveform is just the sort of arcade experience you would expect from an indie developer. Eden Industries has created a captivating game using little more than a controllable waveform. As you weave through each level, your goal is to nab the highest score possible by manipulating a wave as it bounds through space, gathering light particles and growing stronger with each leg of the journey.
Upon awakening in a run-down motel room, you hear a beeping sound. It seems to be coming from a tablet on the table across the room. A creepy message tells you the police are after you, to wash your face and get out. How did you get to the back end of nowhere, and what did you do to set the police on your trail? That's the set-up for a great new point-and-click adventure title, The Cross Formula from KatGames, developers of the popular Dream Chronicles series.
- • Psycho Powers
- • Tombs and Treasures
- • Fox Aliens from Space Invade a Planet within Space
It would take some sort of psycho alien to come up with some of these games below. And we say that with all the affection we can muster. Which is a lot, mind you, as we placed second in the International Hug and General Non-Offensive Physical Affection Competition held last year in Denmark.
When your beloved Edward vanishes for the remote town of Rosemont, you're worried, especially since the few inhabitants who haven't fled from the terrible blizzard that claimed the village have all entered a sort of magical frozen slumber. The police have given up, but if you're willing to brave some dangerous and chilly ancient magic, you may yet save Edward and the world in this familiar but beautiful hidden-object adventure.
When you hear the phrase "the best things come in small packages", you should mentally amend that to "the best things come in small cube packages". Cubemen is a no-bloat tower defense game that tries to do one thing and do that one thing well: strategy. Forget mini-games, artificially inflated campaigns, and storylines that make about as much sense as a koala flight attendant. Cubemen delivers pure, raw tower defense strategy, and it does it so well, you'll lose yourself each time you play.
"The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the children." Of all of the misquotes from the bible (and it is a misquote), this is one of the most hotly debated. Do sons deserve to suffer for what their fathers have done? And if not, would someone please explain that to Emily Thorne on "Revenge"? Leaving aside the most addictive show on television today, Alawar Games (creators of such classics as Sacra Terra: Angelic Night) has come up with a fabulous adventure hybrid based upon this theme, visiting the (supposed) sins of a father upon a hapless son in Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers.
A growing city of worshippers, ever increasing godly abilities and a love triangle. These are just some of the things awaiting you in Realore Studios' newest time management game, All my Gods. Help direct your people in building their city, expanding their lands and learning new technologies as you slowly earn the approval of your fellow pantheon members. You can't just be a son of Saturn anymore, you've got to make a name for yourself as a god in your own right!
- • Impulse
- • Deharmonized
- • Bit of War
Remember the days when you had nothing to do but sit around and play video games? No school, no work, no taxes, no neighbor blowing leaves out of his yard even though autumn was months ago. Just maybe, if you close the windows and call in sick, you can grab the games below and pretend this weekend is one of those times. Just... maybe...
Who said plants are harmless? In this gorgeous and cheesy hidden-object adventure from Alawar Games, a storm strands you and a bunch of your friends on a seemingly deserted island. Awakening to find yourself alone, you strike out to rescue the others, only to find that the flora on this isle might be more dangerous than the fauna.
The latest in the "absolutely amazing" sub-category of platform adventures, Out There Somewhere from MiniBoss puts you in a world of not-so-intelligent aliens (well, there are a few smart ones), falling blocks, massive pits of lava, mysterious sky-facing beams of light, and seemingly impassable corridors, all standing between you and the pieces you need to fix your ship. Explore a non-linear world filled with puzzles and passageways, using your teleportation gun in some very crafty ways.
You, are the hunter. The yeti, is your prey. In this snowy world of trees and, well, more snow and trees, it's just you and your gun versus the ever-elusive hairy beast. Trudge through the land in this 3D game as you scour the distant background for signs of the yeti. When you see him, aim and shoot, and hope you're good with a gun. A surprisingly haunting and chilling game from Vlambeer (with a great musical score from Kozilek), especially when it turns into night.
Although it's little more than a stunning map to walk around in, Andrew Yoder's Hubris is a surprisingly atmospheric experience that attempts to invoke emotion and set your imagination running around in a world void of conflict or interaction. Simply put, all you do in Hubris is march around and take in the view. There's a staircase, a small tower, plenty of intricate wall work with shadows and small openings, and a door waiting at the top. Despite (or, more likely, because of) the emptiness, you'll quickly become enamored with this small little game.
- • Yeti Hunter
- • On the Shoulders of Ancestors
- • Hubris
Conspiracy theory time! The order the following games are listed in along with the general theme of their content will, when viewed as a string of text on a single page from afar, show an outline of an Egyptian hieroglyph hidden in the chamber below the Sphinx. At least, that's what we're telling people... Shh!
Grave Mania: Undead Fever is a humor-filled, zombie-infested time management game from Team Loca and Anino Games. Kicking stuffy food-related themes to the side, Grave Mania focuses on intelligent time management skills interspersed with mini- and micro-games, providing enough action to keep you completely engrossed (and grinning) from beginning to end.
Science has proven that water physics are some of the most entertaining gameplay mechanisms ever created. Forget things like realistic friction models, voxels, endlessly generating worlds, and being able to rewind time. Capturing, deploying, and just messing around with gooey water is where it's at. Vessel, a new steampunk puzzle platformer from Strange Loop Games, builds most of its gameplay around liquids, using them as both mindlessly flowing matter and as something you probably never expected water to do: become semi-intelligent!
The emphasis is on exploration, discovery and puzzle-solving in this Jules Verne-worthy hidden-object/adventure hybrid from GameInvest. An eccentric inventor thinks he's found a way to live forever by building a House of Brass, sealed off from the rest of the world, fully-mechanical and powered by steam. After your curiosity and amazement results in being trapped inside, you're tasked with fixing contraptions and making your way back outside. Your steps are dogged by an adversarial robot as well as the overly-complicated contraptions of the house's builder.
What happens when you give Mario a portal gun? A mish-mash of two extraordinarily recognizable games — Super Mario Bros. and Portal — with a whole lot of extras. Mari0 puts you in control of our favorite pixellated plumber as he goes on his famous adventure from the mid-1980s, only this time, he's got the power of portals on his side!
A giant robot with super strength, a grudge, and the know-how to create more of itself? Sounds like a great idea to me! Answering an old colleague's letter, you arrive in town to find the place apparently under attack by mechanical monstrosities and your friend nowhere to be found. Can you unravel the mystery before winding up a victim yourself? Artogon Games delivers a gorgeous adventure that takes a unique approach to hidden-object hunting that's worth checking out.
- • Zatikon
- • DoomRL
- • Sugar Cube: Bittersweet Factory
It's blasts from the past(s) time! We dug up several games previously featured on Weekend Download to see how they've fared over the last few years. Some of them have vanished (oops), some of them have stayed the same, and some of them have grown into bigger, better projects! Take a look at some of the neater upgrades some of our classic games have gone through.
Dr. Urchin has kidnapped Coralline! Oh no! But hey, you're the bodacious glowfish, precisely the underwater dweller who can rescue her. The lushly-illustrated action adventure game Glow Fish is filled with exploration, unlockables, and size-related nomming challenges similar to flOw.
When a reporter vanishes while she and her cameraman are investigating the notorious though supposedly deserted Black Isle, as a member of the detective agency Mystery Trackers, you find yourself called in to find her. But before long you'll discover this is more than just a simple missing persons case, and you'll get wrapped up in a big paranormal conspiracy that might just be the death of you unless you can get to the bottom of the mystery. A stellar hidden-object adventure that delivers campy drama and originality, lots of cinematics, and one big, enjoyable game.
Do you love birds? Like... LOVE birds? Even if you don't, you definitely need to make a point of checking out this remarkably original visual novel from PigeoNation Inc. As the only human girl attending a school populated otherwise solely by birds, you have a hard time fitting it. But persevere and you may just find more than you expect. Clever, funny, strange, and shocking, Hatoful Boyfriend needs to be seen to be believed, and played all the way to the very last ending to truly appreciate. You won't regret it.
Finally, a quest we can all identify with (and a protagonist whose personality traits may or may not hit a little too close to home)! There's a worldwide coffee shortage (say it ain't so!), and Cherry Starma wakes to find she's all out of the good stuff. Time to go to the store! Will The Only Store have any left? Will that be the conclusion of the game?! Could it be that simple??!! A good, old fashioned, retro-styled, humor adventure game with simple point and click controls and some killer MIDI music.
Here is a hidden object hybrid game that focuses so much on entertainment value, you'll feel like you're immersed in a high thrills, loads-of-fun B-movie adventure at your favorite Hollywood theme park. The power crazed famous director, M.W. Vernon, has kidnapped your mum, beloved star of the silver screen, Rita Ray. As you attempt to rescue her, you'll be led through a gauntlet of lunacy and lurid scene of derangement. While typical in terms of gameplay, Film Fatale: Lights, Camera, Madness! is unique in style and showmanship. Besides, what's not to love about a game that actually has "Bwahahahaha!" in its dialogue?
- • Para Para Paranoid
- • Cherry's Quest for Coffee
- • Me and My Shadow
I see you there, shadow. Following my every move. Writing a Weekend Download introduction as I do the same. Having cookies for breakfast just like I did. I've got my eye on you. And you've got your eye on me!
What've you got for a birthright? Maybe freckles, the family car, a bunch of embarrassing baby photos? Well, Grandpa Scruff's birthright is to be the Duke of Scrufford... or at least it would be if one scheming villain wasn't taking advantage of an ancient contract to steal that title from him. It's a race against time to track down the Knights of Scrufford and regain Grandpa's rightful place in this wonderfully goofy, light-hearted cartoon hidden-object adventure.
Dear Esther is an interactive story told through a first person adventure setting. There's very little gameplay to speak of, just a deep mystery about the deserted island you're walking on, along with unanswered questions surrounding a horrific crash and a book written by a long-lost explorer. What happened in this dreary place? And, better yet, can you find a way out?
- • Verminest
- • Co-Op
- • The Little Quest
If you were given an apple, an orange, a bag full of thumb tacks, and a yearly subscription to I Just Made This Name Up magazine, could you turn it into a game? Maybe by rolling the fruit along the ground to see how many tacks you could collect before hitting the magazine fort? Fortunately, you don't have to be that creative to enjoy the fruits of other folk's creativity, as this weekend's collection of freeware games nicely illustrates!
The Lost Vikings is a great game; one of the best puzzle platformers ever. But haven't you ever wished that it had more... zombies? Well good thing for you Gentleman Squid has come along and developed just that. In Three Dead Zed, you play as a zombie who has three forms, each with its own abilities. Your job is to jump, climb and attack your way to the end of the level to rescue some defenseless beings.
- • Process
- • Hubris
- • Bust-n-Rush
Weekend... INITIATE! Now that your non-week is underway, it's time to fill your time with time-eating games. Not only will you learn valuable life lessons, you'll feel good that you aren't just sitting around eating cheesecake again!
The word 'orphanage' tends to conjure up images of starving waifs in ragged clothes begging for more gruel, doesn't it? However, the so-named orphanage in today's fantastic adventure hybrid from Orneon is not that type of orphanage, or at least, it doesn't appear so at first. This is a place for "special" children, children who have abilities that are outside of the norm. Unfortunately something has happened to both the orphanage and the children in The Agency of anomalies: Cinderstone Orphanage and it must quickly be put to rights before something terrible happens. Something even more terrible than a musical about cheeky pickpockets.
Arche is worried about fitting in. Her family has just moved to the little hamlet of Tonkiness to open an item shop, and it turns out her dreams of learning magic may be short lived once she discovers she needs an expensive elemental stone to even practice at her new school. But a simple rumour might lead her on to a much bigger adventure than she ever imagined in this beautiful but difficult action platforming RPG.
After thousands of years, the Mugunghwa, sent into space to establish the first interstellar colony, has been found floating dead. You're sent after it to discover what happened to its crew with the help of two very different AIs, but the truth is vastly more complicated than you might think, and nowhere near black and white. In Christine Love's debut commercial visual novel release, take part in a captivating, clever, and emotional story that deals with love, politics, forgiveness... and hate.
The three modes of play make the game attractive to a wide variety of hybrid enthusiasts, the story is intriguing, the gameplay amusing, the visuals stunning, and the overall experience is one that freaks out and delights in equal measure. Midnight Mysteries: Haunted Houdini proudly carries the series banner forward and provides great entertainment at a reasonable price. Give it a try and prepare to be both entertained and enlightened.
- • Invert
- • Hack, Slash, Loot
- • Dungeon Chaos
A little bit of looting, a little bit of inverting, and a whole lot of shooting in this edition of Weekend Download. In fact, if you tried to take Weekend Download through an airport security gate, you'd probably find yourself on the receiving in of some nasty stares and/or unusual search techniques.