- • Split Party!
- • One Final Trek
- • Stray Whisker
Bringing in the end of 2011 with a happy little ring, the 22nd Ludum Dare competition challenged participants to make a game based on a given theme within a 48 hour time frame. Over 700 entries were submitted, and after some rounds of user voting, everything has been ranked and categorized according to awesomeness. We've featured a few of our favorites below, each one representing the compo's "alone" theme quite nicely!
- • Bomb Detective
- • Seraphim Flame
- • FOLLY
A bountiful harvest of platform games? Sure, why not?! They're sort of the trail mix of the gaming realm. They're everywhere, and there are so many different flavors you can barely choose one to munch on at a time. Some of them have unsavory elements (like coconut flakes, who puts that in trail mix?!), but others are irresistibly delicious with all those banana chips and almonds and tiny bits of chocolate...
- • Minicraft
- • Incomitat
- • Void
How about some diversions for the last day of the year? Two games pulled from the recent Ludum Dare compo, both of which share some of the same basic ideas and gameplay directions but end up being very different from each other, Then, just to make sure you're paying attention, a totally different game! Wow!
Bundling up indie games is what all the cool kids are doing these days, as is pricing them "pay what you want" while donating portions of the proceeds to charity. But here's something refreshingly different: The 99 Percent Bundle. This totally free collection of indie games aims to highlight some of the lesser-known developers out there, the people who continue to make the games they love and release them for free. It's sort of the indies of the indie community, and it's the perfect way to discover new titles you might have missed over the last few months.
The original freeware platform adventure game Cave Story was released by Daisuke Amaya (Pixel) back in 2004. An English translation from Aeon Genesis followed just two months later, opening the game up to a much wider audience and allowing to vault to the top of the indie gaming world. Featuring amazing music, a well-written story, power-ups, upgrades, and a big world to explore, saying Cave Story was a hit is a gross understatement. Several years later, the game has been ported to half a dozen other systems and re-released with remastered music and updated HD graphics. Now, Cave Story+ is here, upgrading the freeware experience to something your eyes and ears can more fully appreciate!
Think open world platform adventure games like Knytt Stories are falling out of favor? Treasure Adventure Game is happy to prove you wrong. With its massive open world stocked from end to end with treasures, secrets, characters, quests, puzzles, and more, this old school throwback manages to combine adventure, RPG, and platforming genres into the kind of game you'll only have the honor of experiencing a few times in your life. Also: it's free!
Mining. Building. Fighting. Constructing. In the real world, all of these things are rough, painful sorts of jobs that most people aren't very interested in doing. In the gaming world, they're the Holy Grail of entertainment. Enter King Arthur's Gold, a multiplayer (with some single player, too) construction and combat game similar to Terraria, Minecraft, and hempuli's miniature masterpiece Masjin. Teamwork is the central focus of the game, and while some players will be busy mining and building, others will head out for direct combat with the enemy. How much more exciting could it get?!
Celestial Mechanica is a quietly impressive platform adventure (a.k.a. "metroidvania") game along the lines of Knytt Stories and the Robot Wants series of games. Created by Roger Hicks (author of rComplex) and Paul Veer (animator of Super Crate Box), it's the sort of game that sits quietly off to the side, never begging you to play it, but once you do, you'll be hooked 'til the end.
From the study halls of Digipen, whose alum include parts of the teams behind Portal and Portal 2, comes an epic tale of digging, rigging, and more digging. Sounds as exciting as bathwater, right? But I'll bet you a load of rare minerals that once you get started in Dig-N-Rig, you'll lose your evening. Maybe more!
In each level of Robot Unlock, your goal is to program a path for your Executor robot to travel around a series of command tiles that alter the robot's stored memory. It's very much like SpaceChem and similar logic/programming puzzle games, only in this little game, you'll be using math more than you'd expect!
Rosslyn: The Templar Mystery is a captivating first person adventure game that is packed so densely with riddles, a dozen of them are staring you in the face from the very beginning and you'll barely even realize it. Taking place inside the Rosslyn Chapel (made popular by The Da Vinci Code), you have nothing but your grandfather's cryptic notes to leaf through as you wander around the chamber looking for clues. It's a challenging experience perfect for anyone who likes a good riddle!
As the name would suggest, Digital: A Love Story by Don't Take it Personally, Babe, It Just Ain't Your Story author Christine Love, is a downloadable romance/mystery set against the backdrop of 1980s online technology. Part interactive fiction, part Uplink-style hacker game, and part nostalgic pastiche of a time of low-res graphics and crackling dial-ups that many current gamers never got to experience (which, for the record, this includes me, and, presumably, the author herself!). Digital: A Love Story offers a short, sweet and occasionally heart-wrenching trip back in time.
John's got problems of his own, but those will have to wait while he tackles his job as a new 11th grade English Literature teacher at a school conducting a very unusual experiment. In this smart visual novel, you'll watch the lives of your students unfold through personal and private conversations you're not meant to see, and have to decide how to help them when they come to you for advice. A surprisingly fun, funny, and touching story that deals with everything from sex and sexuality to self-confidence, love, and, of course, privacy.
Don't be replaced by a robot! Just learn to program robots! Then send them on tasks involving crates, bombs, explosions and junk food in this free logic/programming puzzle game. Pragmatica is a smart game in the vein of SpaceChem and The Codex of Alchemical Engineering.
Following in the tradition of the classic sandbox games (Sand Sand Sand and Powder Game), The Powder Toy by HardWIRED is a small download which stretches the boundaries of what is possible with a few simple elements. In fact, you can do almost anything with it, the only limit is your imagination.
The Journey Down: Over the Edge is a classic-style point and click adventure game released by SkyGoblin. Bwana and Kito, longtime friends and mechanics in Kingsport Bay, are having a bit of a cash problem. The all-powerful and evil electric company is demanding massive payments from everyone, and to top it off, they've made it a punishable offense to visit the area known as "The Edge". Couple that with a woman loaded with cash who's asking questions about Bwana's missing friend, and you've got a great start to what is guaranteed to be a strange and intriguing adventure!
Mark your calendars and set your bookmarks, Mission in Snowdriftland is back to entertain us once again with its joy-inducing classic-style platforming gameplay set against the backdrop of a cheerful holiday advent calendar. Beginning today and continuing right up through Christmas Eve, a new level will be unlocked to play each day as we march closer to that most joyous of holidays filled with presents, friends and family gatherings.
A shoot-em-up game without guns is like a library without books, or an office chair without wheels. Sure they might have some other purpose, but what fun are they without these essential little elements? Fortunately, Super Crate Box is a retro-styled platform shooter that has more guns than you can shake a stick at in the time it takes to play. (Or a katana.)
Escape from the Underworld is a short exploration platformer that shares some design elements with some of the most successful indie games in recent history: Knytt, Iji, Seiklus, Cave Story, and, well, we could probably go on. In short, Escape from Underworld is a Metroidvania and it's really, really good.
Oh, brains. You are as delicious (to zombies) as you are useful (to anyone running from zombies). You're also apparently quite explodable, as evidenced in this colorful cartoon-like physics game BrainSplode!. Created by Rust Red Games, all you've got is a cannon, some highly-useful missiles, and a few mid-air power-ups that help you control things. Oh, and an inexplicable hatred of squishy pink brains.
The platform adventure will never die. And that's a good thing! Frogatto & Friends injects a little more life into the classic genre, placing great-looking pixel art and a satisfying action/exploration game in front of your eyes for the low low price of free!
REVENGE. That's the only thing on sixteen-year-old Merui's mind when a valuable item is stolen from her... inside a popular online game, that is. The thief, Alistair, offers her a deal; if she can figure out his identity before a month is up, he'll return the stolen item. Of course, that's easier said than done when Merui's schoolwork and personal life keep getting in the way of this polished, charming visual novel from developers Sake Visual.
The Silver Lining is a fan-created King's Quest adventure game that got the unlikeliest support: the backing of publishing giant Activision. This ten-year old project has nearly been shut down twice by lawyers, but it has finally seen the light of day in the form of its first episode, What Is Decreed Must Be. But is it what fans of the series wanted? And what about people who never donned Graham's cap?
Fire Nuclear Crocodile Killer (FiNCK for short) is a puzzle platformer, but don't let the title fool you. In fact, out of the four rather unrelated things it suggests, I only encountered one during the whole game. As a Nifflas game, FiNCK must live up to a certain standard of cool relaxation instead of firey, manic arcade action. However, it differs from the author's previous offerings in that it forgoes atmospheric exploration in favor of a puzzle-driven, often hair-pullingly-frustrating experience.
All it takes is one stranger on the road on one dark night to unwittingly set in motion a chain of events that could change the world. Choose your party members from nine distinct personalities and set off on a side-scrolling free RPG adventure through lush environments full of strange characters. Featuring nine chapters, a complex battle scheme, and more, it's a stunning linear adventure that will delight fans of the genre.
RunMan: Race Around the World, by Tom Sennett and Matt Thorson, is a full-fledged follow-up to the RunMan series of speed-centric platform games. You control the titular RunMan who's really, really good at running. He's so good, in fact, he's entered a race to run around the world. Too bad everybody else quit when he showed up. RunMan is also an HonorableMan, however, and before he'll accept the winner's crown, he's going to earn it by running around the world on his own two little yellow feet.
Man-eating plants! Skeletons! Giant spiders! Falling boulders! What do these things have in common? They're all very, very deadly. And they, along with a host of other unpleasantness hungry for your demise, are waiting for you in Spelunky, an incredibly addictive roguelike platformer from Derek Yu. Explore, descend, discover... just remember to watch your back and keep one hand on your whip!
Lyle in Cube Sector is a relatively old Metroidesque platformer in traditional NES style. You play as Lyle, who adventures through Cube Sector, using cubes for everything from attacking enemies to playing basketball to feeding a dog, with the ultimate goal of retrieving his cat Keddums.
- • Tumbledrop
- • Off-Road Velociraptor Safari
- • Rasta Monkey
- • Mars Explorer
Now it's time to break the rules. A little. This edition of Weekend Download highlights winners of the 2008 Unity Awards, games created using the Unity plug-in that are playable right in your browser window. Technically they're browser games, but since you have to download and install something, they're downloads, too.
Guxt is an original shooter created by Pixel, author of Cave Story, This work-in-progress download doesn't attempt to be revolutionary or even particularly modern, but Pixel's original music, sound effects and pixel-perfect sprites come together beautifully in this difficult but fair shooter.
- • Thingavore
- • Krank
- • Penumbra: Overture
It's the weekend. You can also download games. But you cannot download the weekend itself. Weekend Download contains less than 8% of the recommended daily allowance of niacin. Weekend Download knows what you did last summer. Do not taunt Weekend Download.