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.
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!