Set sail for action, adventure, and... spelling? When Lucy runs away from home to avoid being shipped off for her tomboy behaviours, she never imagined she'd get wrapped up in a conspiracy involving the powerful East India Trading Company. Now she has to fight her way through a horde of pirates and rivals in her efforts to save countless lives and her family's name. Sink your opponents by spelling out words that charge your cannons in this clever new adventure release from Moonpod and unleash the Pirate Princess in you! We know you've got one.
Take another plunge into the signature weird and wonderful world of an Eyemaze creation, as you point and click to help a... thing... turn into... uh... another thing. Look, don't ask questions! You're on the clock, and if you don't act fast, that lion will do... something! Maybe!
While doing little to offer any radical new ideas to the series, World Tour offers new styles, new characters, new locations, and even a new look. With dozens of stages to play around the globe and an extensive style editor, there's enough to keep budding fashionistas (and the people who would never admit to it out loud) busy for a long time.
Natalie Brooks: Mystery at Hillcrest High is fun, casual gameplay at its best. With this game Alawar shows its determination to go toe-to-toe with the big guns of the hybrid field, Mystery Case Files and Hidden Expedition. The narrative structure is delightful, the games and puzzles fun, and the action cut-scenes thrilling. Quirky, charming, exciting, and just plain fun, give Natalie Brooks a try! Even if it does mean going back to high school, however briefly.
With loads of scenarios to work through, trophies to be won, and the sandbox modes for each state, Virtual City offers hours and hours of fantastic casual gameplay. Fun to play in small chunks or while away the time in immersive gameplay. Not a clone or a knock-off, but a virtual experience all its own, Virtual City is a fantastic wild ride. Just, really, don't forget the garbage. You won't like what happens if you do.
First Love is an escape-type game, though there is no real escaping to be done. It's a nice combination of Robamimi's sentiment and Bianco-Bianco's quirkiness. This is not a tense nail-biter, nor a pure cold logic puzzle. Instead, it is a warm and fuzzy nostalgia trip that is perfect for a short break from the holiday madness.
Play the role of Santa Claus, trapped in a lovely, warm A-Frame cottage trying to make your way out. It's tempting to just relax in the rocking chair, but there's escaping to be done, so try to avoid the temptation. Wander around the cozy, inviting space and investigate every nook and cranny, there's bound to be a way out. None of the puzzles are terribly tricky, but this is a fun, calm, quiet room escape perfect for the holiday season. What are you waiting for? You have presents to deliver!
Save the seals from an unfortunate fate in Helda, a gorgeous point-and-click adventure set in a strange world. Despite being hampered by trial-and-error style puzzle solving, Helda is a lovely, relaxing experience that's accessible to all ages.
Guide all the tanks to the portal in this latest installment of the tile-based puzzle series. Mindfields 3 provides a solid, if familiar gaming experience sure to quell your puzzle cravings. And if the original 25 levels just doesn't satisfy you, check out the hundreds of custom levels submitted from other players like yourself.
Christmas Escape 3 continues the Neutral tradition of fine escapes as you encounter chirping chicks, a mercenary kitty cat, and oh, yeah, how good are you at ice fishing? The whole thing hangs together beautifully and the ending is, well, as cute as a button. It's the perfect present to escape fans for the holiday season.
NinjaKiwi's follow-up to its first defense game is better in (almost) every way. Protect yourself from wave after wave of enemies by mixing potions and lobbing them across a wall. Each concoction will have a different affect, allowing you to mix and create your own recipes of doom.
Avalanche casts the player as a sled-bound penguin who is just trying to get home to his brood in the face of a relentlessly adversarial natural disaster. It's a running game that will test your agility and reaction as you pilot your little Antarctic hero to safety. It captures many of the features that made Dino Run and Canabalt great and presents them in its own unique way. It is a fine example in company with its worthy forebears.
Roly-Poly Monsters is the latest in a series of arcade games from Johnny K. Ghouls are roaming the neighborhood, and it's your job to destroy them! Drop bombs on the baddies' heads in the correct sequence and with the proper timing to send them back to whatever bad Halloween party they came from.
A strange and even unsettling little experimental game about every day in the life of a faceless, unnamed man, Every Day the Same Dream somehow manages to be oddly affecting despite its grim and dark presentation. Is there anything at all that can break him out of his cycle? It won't take you long to play, but it may stay with you well after you've shut down the browser.
It's Dismantling time yet again! Gam.ebb.jp is back with another dismantlement, and this time it's personal! Well, this time it's a mouse, at any rate. Fun, logical, and it appeals to that little part in all of us that revels in just breaking something down to its basic components. What are you waiting for, start dismantling!
Think you know ghosts? Think again. When they discover their dream house is host to a gaggle of unruly spirits, the only place a young couple has left to turn is the strange little man who shows up on their front step and seems to know a little too much about what's going on. Mishap: An Accidental Haunting represents a benchmark in quality for the hidden object genre by Namco. Featuring eight chapters, 32 hidden object scenes, riddles, minigames, and more ghosts than you'll know what to do with, it's a fun, beautiful romp through an out-of-this world location.
Artist Colony is fascinating, absorbing casual simulation and time management game. For those who love casual sims, such as Virtual Villagers or My Tribe, this is the game for you. Just be warned, it is very addictive. You can while away hours as you manipulate your little people to and fro, searching for hidden pieces of the past or creating masterpieces for the present. It's time to dress in all black, slap on a beret, and get ready to create some art!
The underlying structure of the gameplay has completely changed from the first and second games. Previous installments were more point-and-click adventures, wandering back and forth from scene to scene to complete an area. Mystery from Atlantis, on the other hand, has jettisoned the moving about and created a game that is much more of a classic hidden object with adventure elements. If you're after gorgeous hidden object gameplay with a slight adventure flavor, Samantha Swift: Mystery from Atlantis is sure to scratch that itch.
Following Footsteps is a unique and oddly charming game created by Ming-Yee Iu for our recent Game Design Competition 6. While the game didn't win any prizes, it set itself apart through its creative take on the Explore theme and innovative gameplay. Follow in the footsteps of an intrepid explorer, hoping to get your grubby mitts on the gold he lost over a century ago!
A unique blend of defense, action, arcade, and even physics genres results in this tasty new game from developer veteran Tyler Glaiel. Use the forces of attraction to protect your fledgling new world from incoming attackers by sending them hurtling towards one another. The action is fast, the gameplay is clever, and, perhaps best of all, you get to call yourself an environmentalist now. Congratulations!
Ever wished that someone would combine the free-roaming, street-racing style of Grand Theft Auto with the vehicular sabotage of Mario Kart? And then throw in a little bit of Nintendogs just for good measure? Fortunately, the good people at Big Pixel Studios have stepped up and made our dreams into reality with Big Pixel Racing!
More than "just another pool game", Pool Sharks is a high-quality offering from Silent Bay Studios. Offering different ways to play, silky smooth visuals, and the option to pull off some awe-inspiring trick shots regardless of your skill level, it's setting the bar high and showing other titles in the genre how it should be done.
Despite all the silliness, there's lots of real escaping fun to be had in A Code Escape from Japan. A nice mix of puzzle solving and use of found objects; with the need for the animals' own special abilities thrown in for good measure makes for wonderful gaming experience. There are even two endings to be found in this little gem. Marvel at the leaping dog and the punching cat, just remember to use them well while you are playing nurse.
A light touch and a lot of patience will get you far in this deceptively simple game of shapes and stars. Guide your smiling square to the exit of each level, gathering stars along the way, but beware... spikes, traps, and even time itself are all poised to wipe that grin off its face! Easy to pick up and play, Shape Shape is a light afternoon snack packed with all the square-pushin' action you can handle. And we bet that's a lot!
Androgynous teenagers with gravity-defying hair wandering a mysterious world armed only with cranky comebacks and improbably large weapons? Yes, everything you either love or hate about Japanese RPGs is waiting for you in a convenient Flash package in Ge.ne.sis, a turn-based tactical RPG by An Lieu.
The clans of the Norse-themed world of Nitrome's popular Ice Breaker series are gathering, but they need your help to release their Viking warriors from their icy, impossible, Goldbergian prisons! Ice Breaker: The Gathering provides short but succulent tidbits of new Ice Breaker levels for fans of the series.
It's a blast from the past in this remake of and tribute to the original M.U.L.E., one of the great pioneers of multiplayer gaming. Stake your claim on an alien world with three friends and make the best of your time and resources to come out on top at the end of the game. Just remember to keep an eye out for the wampus.
The Dark Hills of Cherai is beautiful, fun casual gameplay. Fantastically, it bucks the latest trend of the ever shrinking game time and will keep players busy for hours. This is not a game to speed through. Take your time, explore, and experience the wonders of India without ever leaving your home.
Simple in its concept but stunning in its execution, Starlight is a puzzle where you manipulate the night sky to reveal images hidden in the constellations. Play on a timer or go as slow as you like and drink in the sights. Lovely, calming, and just the ticket at the end of a long day. Doesn't everyone need a bit of wonder in their lives now and again?
You might want to put the kids to bed before you crack open this fairytale. A spot-the-difference game with a darker side to go hand-in-hand with its innocent artwork, Goldilocks might not be the same tale you remember this time around...
What happens when jmtb02's Elephant series and his Four Second series love each other very, very much? Control your elephantine avatar through a number of quick mini-games in rapid-fire succession. Microgame collections like this one tend to encourage the player to mash buttons, any buttons, so Obey the Game really innovates in the way that it requires the player to take a moment and wait for further instructions.
The title, Finding Friends, is apt for this short and simple game that packs a satisfying, emotional experience. You start the game wandering around in the darkness, a little black square (with cute little white eyes) against a black background, in a maze with black walls. It's with the help of the friends you find that you'll be able to find your way to the exit of the maze.
Beard of Santa is the perfect mid-week pick-me-up, especially at this time of year. Fire up this little gem and learn what you've always suspected: cats are good gymnasts, raccoons are helpful gardeners, composting is good for the environment, and Santa really does suck sometimes, doesn't he?
What's worse than a yeti? Something even bigger and meaner! In this tricky reflex game from Nitrome, help your mythical furry beast escape an unknown fate by swinging ever upwards from pole to pole, collecting points and avoiding enemies. Packed with Nitrome's signature charm, it's a tricky game of timing that is as frustrating as it is fun to play.
Perfect Balance 2 is all about balance in its simplest form. Its down to the basics of physics here, where your goal is to stack a bunch of weird pieces on top of a bunch of other weird pieces and get them all to stay. Get it all assembled, then try and drop a few bonus diamonds on the pile for huge bonus points.
Welcome to Bubble Tanks Tower Defense, a nifty little, free-form tower defense game from the talented guys of Hero Interactive guys. Come, join these trigger-happy bubble tanks as they hunker down for battle. With so many levels and upgrades, the player is guaranteed a wonderful, tower defending good time.
Prepare yourself for an interactive fiction that peels back the truth in layers as you become more and more entwined in this tale of superscience and space exploration. The narrative begins with an itsy-bitsy clue that not all will be as it seems, followed by your character waking up in a fairly unadorned abode. From there, it's up to you as to what you do and how you go about it, but be wary of those who comment on your every move...
Unravel a mystery in a strange future where you can't trust anyone... maybe not even who you think you are. Nikopol is a large file adventure game with a lavish presentation and intricate story that overshadows its gameplay hiccups.
What's a person to do if they just want some match 3 goodness? Check out The Treasures of Montezuma 2 by Alawar Games. There's a ton of gorgeous gameplay featured here. Complete the initial 40 levels of Adventure mode and unlock lots more to do. Additional difficulty modes and 40 levels of puzzle mode, and even an endless mode, too. There are even trophies for various achievements as well that you can aim to collect.
Heard the one about the ancient curse? Well you're about to live it in this exceptional hidden object game. When you suddenly find yourself transported hundreds of years into the past, you have no choice but to solve a mystery involving a royal family if you ever want to find your way back home. With gorgeous visuals, clever puzzles, and smartly designed hidden object scenes, Royal House of Stone is a short but stylish start to a fun new series.
Destruction is fun! There's something to be said about games that let you take out all of your pent up anger, especially when you get to take it out on an unsuspecting village. And the pachinko-style gameplay as you're rolling a boulder down a mountain makes this latest game from PixelJam more than just a simple smash-and-destroy type of game.
Forget Beetlejuice, you're the ghost with the most! And you'll have to prove it in this strategic game if you ever want to get out of Hell. Easy to pick up but hard to put down, Hell Tour's addictive, board game style gameplay lacks polish and real punch, but is still devilishly entertaining.
Track down your stolen hens with Dale and Peakot; one armed with a shotgun, the other possessing amazing magical powers... but a mediocre little bird brain. An old-school platformer that would be at home on any console, Dale and Peakot is simple in premise but big on style and charm.
YAWWN! It's a brand new day, time to go out exploring! Level Up! is an RPG-like platformer by Nifty Hat all about exploring the world and discovering your past. In an odd world where the Squarians and Roundians are in a constant and bitter battle, your goal is to collect gems and exchange them for tools to help you restore your memory.
Prepare to embark on a perception-stretching, linearity-quashing adventure of amorphous proportions. Every level contains a pristine red door, only usable for exiting purposes after one or more red keys have been collected. Sounds straightforward enough, but it's funny just how much this game will twist your perceptions of both straight AND forward. All levels are composed of a number of squares, shiftable in a manner akin to a sliding tile puzzle. Each square contains a finite fraction of the overall level itself, and the key to victory lies in prudent transfigurations of the landscape.
Escape Ancient China Room is a lovely, well-put together little escape game that depends more on your ability to combine objects than to solve puzzles. In other words, the bulk of the game is finding and using what you've found. It's a little trickier than most escapes featured in Weekday Escape, and yet still makes for a nice break in the middle of the week with its lovely scenery and the calming music.
Paradoxion Express is a flash-based version of Paradoxion, a download we featured back in April. Created by Russian game design team VSBgames, this free browser version features 60 levels of elegant logic-based combo-making gameplay.
Who wants to go on a treasure hunt? Everybody? That's what I thought! Then grab your green backpack and safari hat, and dive into The Fabulous Explorationsland, a new adventure game from StefanT, and one of the top entries in our sixth Casual Gameplay Design Competition!
A point-and-click adventure set in a magical and mystical world that never was. Created by 3dpi Games, makers of the Tortuga series, Mandrake 1 begins a new series on the foibles of the Van der Dooms and their increasingly bitter dispute. The artwork has a nice, stylish hand drawn look done up in shades of black, white, and gray with just a hint of color here and there to liven things up.
Developed by The Game Telegraph, this simplistic game about putting coloured squares onto a grid is at first hilariously simple, then deviously contrived as you become a victim of your own "that block will be OK to sit there" mentality.
Are you an adventurer who just can't seem to adventure? Are you a villager whose name is Villager? If so, you'll find the perfect home in Wildhollow, a well-crafted RPG/adventure/simulation game from KarjaSoft, creator of Spandex Force. In this light-hearted, humor-filled game, you play the role of a young boy/girl returning home to find your parents missing and your family ranch destroyed. Don't frown, though, as this game takes itself about as seriously as a clown working at a pie factory.
Westward IV: All Aboard is a solid addition to the ever increasing Westward pantheon. There's not a lot of change from Westward III, but why mess with a winning formula? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Of course, Westward IV offers new characters, new scenarios, new upgrades, and the same casual gameplay fun of its predecessors.
It's more Flo and more of the finely-tuned time management action we've come to love in Hotel Dash: Suite Success! Flo's friend Quinn is expanding her wedding business by offering honeymoon packages, but the hotel she's booked is a bit of a lemon. Enter Flo and her uncanny ability to turn any business from failure to success in the course of one casual game!
Welcome to Dismantlement: Tea Canister, another great point-and-click where you can have once again have fun reducing something to its basic components. Mind you, there's usually not much to dismantle when it comes to a tea canister. Still, it's nice to tear things apart, so go for it. Take a break from the everyday and start dismantling! Just try not to blow up so much, okay?
Dire Grove is a beautiful game that incorporates live action video sequences to tell the chilling tale of an ancient Celtic legend. And although it picks right up where the previous game in the series ends, it is a stand alone game that can be enjoyed without ever playing any previous installment. Dire Grove is perhaps not as long as Return to Ravenhearst, and yet it still manages to buck the current trend of ever-shrinking gameplay time now seen in most adventure/hidden object hybrids. Between the exploration, the hidden object scenes, and the puzzles you are looking at hours of fantastic casual gameplay.
Welcome to The Water Well by no1game.net, a quiet room escape game that won't solve all your problems, but is certainly an oasis of calm in an otherwise frantic week.
Fantasy of the Sord is a classically styled adventure game and a finalist in our 6th Casual Gameplay Design Competition. In answer to the call of the competition, Klint Honeychurch has taken the theme of "exploration" and given us a sweet little nugget that harkens back to the early days of console gaming; a time when a flurry of pixels was as well-designed as the high-polygon count, 3D models of today.
Chris and Jeremiah, the talented guys behind Atomic Cicada, are back with a follow-up to Grid, the puzzler that first launched them onto the casual gaming radar. Gridz features 40 levels of the glyph-turning, energy-channeling goodness you've come to expect from the original, without falling into the classic Hollywood bungle of rehashery.
How well do your hands work together? In FireBoy and WaterGirl: The Forest Temple, you're either your own best friend or worst enemy as you simultaneously control two characters throughout fast-paced levels of puzzle-y, platform-y goodness.
Take a journey through one introvert's convoluted mind as you work to cooperate with your past selves, recorded in time. As soon as you reset the clock, the level starts anew, except now there's a phantasmal double of yourself scurrying about, re-enacting your first playthrough move for move. Press [space] again, and add another one to the mix, this one also moving according to the steps you laid out. Some levels will place a restriction on the number of ghostly doppelgangers you can conjure, and these are the levels where you'll have to see just how adeptly you can work with...well, yourself.
One the surface, Gratuitous Space Battles, from Kudos developer Positech Games, looks like your run-of-the-mill space RTS, something in the vein of the Homeworld series or Star Wars: Empire at War. But when that glance turns into a longing stare, you'll realize it's very different from both of those series and isn't really, in fact, a real time strategy game at all. Gratuitious Space Battles has a whole new system of gameplay going for it that, in many ways, feels more like a tower defense game than anything else.
Seek out your destiny, young knight! Or candlemaker. Or beast tamer. Or cook! In Cute Knight Kingdom, a fantasy life simulator from Hanako Games, you'll guide a young girl with a mysterious past to any one of dozens of endings. Will you become a renowned warrior? Or will you settle down and carry on the family business? Despite some repetitive gameplay, Cute Knight Kingdoms is an addictive little title that will be right at home with anyone who enjoys open-ended simulators.
Delicious Emily's Holiday Season is a fantastic time management game from Zylom Game Studio. Much like the often-forgotten Miss Management, this game plays like a TV sitcom, complete with incidental music and cheesy sense of humor! The variety of gameplay is a welcome addition to the genre, and unlike most games that make the same attempt, it doesn't come across as forced innovation.
Lights... camera... URK. Lottie's got a problem the night of her big stage audition, and she's not willing to go down without a fight. Sarah Morayati's snappily written interactive fiction piece about teenage girls under the limelight suffers slightly from some unintuitive puzzle design, but is easily carried by a memorable cast of characters and some genuinely funny storytelling. Broken Legs is an over-the-top and snarky adventure worth a look from anyone who has at any point ever been a teenager, stereotypes aside.
Adventure/hidden object hybrid Escape the Museum creates a tense, tight, wonderful experience that can be enjoyed by the entire family. Escape the Museum is a colorful, wild ride that tops the original in just about every aspect. So buckle up, find that map, charge your cell phone, unleash your inner MacGuyver, and get ready to navigate your way through a collapsing city. Just ignore the homeless guy following you around like a lost puppy. Really, he's there to help.
In What You See, a new point-and-click puzzle game, sometimes what you see isn't what you get. Just follow the instructions for each level, trying to figure out what they mean and then performing the action(s) required. It's a bit like a classic riddle game, but with a large dose of pointing and clicking added to make it accessible to a more casual audience.
Slash your way through monsters of myth and legend in this off-kilter side-scroller where you play as a lone samurai, pursuing a great dragon. Master special moves before they master you, buy upgrades, and drink in the sleek scenery as you race towards your destiny.
Byzantine Perspective is a tight little heist game from this year's annual interactive fiction competition. You're a student with less-than-legal plans for how to fund your education: get into a museum of Byzantine artifacts, get the valuable antique chalice, get out again. You're rigged out in your best cat-burglar clothes, with your best cat-burglar tools — some of them borrowed from an acquaintance, which raises never-answered questions about what sorts of company the protagonist keeps.
Escape From Mr. Y's Room is a relaxing way to stretch your brain in the middle of the week without overheating. Let the bare walls and lilting piano music take you to a very Zen place as you try to escape. Settle into a lotus position, take a deep breath, let it out, and enjoy the Zen of casual gameplay.
How My Grandfather Won the War is a stunningly beautiful game that is worth a second, and even third play through. Treat it as a simple side-scroller or go deeper and explore every inch of its breathtaking cardboard world. The detail is so fantastic you can almost touch the screen and feel the rough edges of haphazardly cut items.
Come, take my hand, and frolic down the brightly lit path of retro arcade gaming in this 2D side-scrolling shooter featuring a flying fox! No, not THAT one! Despite only having three levels, three bosses, and four weapons, Merubyiusu is a fun and frantic tip of the hat to your favourite console games of yesteryear, with just enough difficulty to make it worth your while. Just remember not to cry when kids these days ask you what a "Gradius" is.
Once upon a time, an exceptional game designer decided to put his hands to making a 'cool' game. It worked. The result was Excitebike, a fast-paced and challenging motorbike racing game. Released this year is the strikingly similar debut game from Turborilla, the aptly titled Mad Skills Motocross. While there are obvious differences between the latter and former games, the general idea of "move right using a motorbike while making jumps and going fast" is here, and that's what we like to see.
Are you old enough to remember sitting down in front of the TV on a Sunday night, anticipating the appearance of Angela Lansbury in one of the longest-running mystery series ever? If so, you will be thrilled with Murder, She Wrote by Legacy Interactive, a wonderful mystery hidden object/adventure hybrid based on the long-running television series of the same name. Murder, She Wrote allows the player to join world-renowned mystery author Jessica Fletcher as she makes her way through five brand new murder mysteries.
It's time to kick back, relax, and get ready to be wooed by the trademark soft visuals and simple, addictive casual gameplay of Ferry Halim's newest Orisinal flash game, Drifting Afternoon. Guide a kitten racing through a field on a windy day leaping from bubble to bubble as you try to rack up the highest score.
What city dweller hasn't momentarily yearned for a little plot of land somewhere and a lovely green garden? A place to call your own, a place to breathe in nature, a place to make the neighbors, well, green with envy. This is the premise of Gardenscapes by Playrix Entertainment, a hidden object game with elements of time management and sim games thrown in to make a fun, exciting, and yet curiously relaxing experience.
ClickPLAY has returned! NinjaDoodle's crazy mouse-based game of discovery, geometric shapes, and rampant clicking is back for more with ClickPLAY 2! One part puzzle, one part action, and three parts experimentation, ClickPLAY is all about messing with your environment to see what you can accomplish. And, next to eating chocolate cake while riding a roller coaster through a pool of bacon, it's one of the best ways to spend 15 minutes of your afternoon!
It had to be tough growing up with a name like Alabama Smith. I'm sure the mullet jokes practically wrote themselves. But somehow the kid named after the 22nd U.S. state made it, growing up to become a successful archaeologist. Now, following Alabama Smith in Escape from Pompeii, the time-traveling ruins scavenger has returned in Alabama Smith in the Quest of Fate. And this time he has to stop a mysterious nemesis searching for magical relics in Peru
Game developers will often provide players with tools that allow you to create your own level. In Level Editor, they've decided to skip the pre-made levels and just let you get straight to the level-building fun. You play a red hat-wearing stick man with an arsenal of building blocks and a craving for coins.
Who doesn't like popping stuff? Come on, seriously, every time you come across a piece of bubble wrap, soap bubbles in the sink, or a bunch of balloons held aloft by a happy little kid in the park, you just can't resist the urge. See bubble, must pop. Popopopop (or Popopop 2 as my right pinky will insist on typing it) plays on this instinct of ours just like the original Popopop and the Bloons series does. Only now instead of rampant popping, you have do do things with a little bit of strategy.
Mr. Box has gotten himself in a bit of a conundrum falling asleep wherever you find him, and it's your job to wake him up! Push him, pull him, tip him over... whatever gets the job done. Short but solid, Wake Up The Box provides 20 winks of physics puzzle goodness and a bit of charm to boot!
Bart Bonte has given us a stylishly-designed and enjoyable, bunny filled way to have a little fun and waste a little time. Clean, stylish, and polished, Full Moon is a fantastic casual gameplay experience.
Although dark, brooding, atmospheric, scary, or slam-your-head-against-the-desk hard room escapes are always fun, in the middle of the week it's nice to kick back and enjoy something simpler. A nice break from the everyday that won't take up the entire day (or even the entire break, if you're really quick). So sit back, relax, and enjoy a cappuccino of an escape game. With colorful sprinkles!
Taking home first prize in the Casual Gameplay Design Competition is no small feat, but David Shute's deceptively simple game of exploration does it with just a few small worlds. A short platformer that may stay with you a long time, Small Worlds offers detailed and surprising environments for you to reveal in your search for... a little peace and quiet.
For those of us who love the idea of digital espionage but who don't have the ability to hack our way into a paper bag, Exoriare is here to fulfill all of our cyberpunk fantasies. The new alternate reality game from Smoking Gun Interactive sucks you in to a world of government conspiracies and stands poised to keep you hooked for a long time to come.
Circulate is a physics puzzle game from Pi Eye Games, creator of System Mania and the far-too-cute Kitten Sanctuary. This simple title is built around moving marbles through a circular container so they disappear, whether that be through forming matches, falling into black holes, or even smacking into bombs.
Kiss your free time and your loved ones goodbye. Torchlight is here. The indie rogue-like/action/RPG title has been highly anticipated, but is it worth all the hype? Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Stop talking to me, I'm trying to play. With randomly generated dungeons, an obscene amount of treasure and monsters to hunt, and a faithful animal companion at your side, Torchlight is a stellar example of indie gaming at its finest.
Valerie Porter and the Scarlet Scandal is a stylish hidden object/adventure hybrid set in the roaring 20s. Wander back to a time when men were guys and women were dolls, when gin joints and speakeasies were the happening places to be, and when an intrepid girl reporter could really make a difference. There are 11 chapters and a prologue to this messy tale, each chapter containing multiple HOG scenes interspersed with a variety of mini-games.
The hams are on the loose! The cutlery is on the march! AND THE GIANT TURTLES ARE STORMING THE BEACH! No time to ask questions, every able-bodied sloth needs to load up his hot-air balloon with unsafe amounts of explosives and strike back! Super Sloth Bomber, from Megadev, is a short but relentlessly cheery, fasted-paced game of bombs and reflexes.
Elementals: The Magic Key is a hidden object adventure hybrid that not only gets the item finding sessions right, it also delivers a wonderfully complete battle system that plays out like a turn-based strategy game.
The popular Battalion series continues with Ghosts, your solution to the daily ain't-go-no-tank blues. It's turn-based strategic warfare at its pixelated finest as the story continues. It's puns, explosions, and tactics galore. Will you emerge triumphant from the ten stage campaign? Or is it back to boot camp for you?
The Control Panel is an oldie but a goodie. Despite its age the game is a tight, well-constructed puzzle solving treat. Stripped of everything that usually accompanies a puzzle of this sort, no story, no background, no instructions, be prepared to sit back and let the gameplay blow your mind (and perhaps cause a concussion, if you end up banging your head against the nearest flat surface in frustration).
From the Discovery Channel comes a casually-oriented strategy game of tactics, battle, mining and exploration. The world's energy reserves have run out, but a new element called helium
Quick, intrepid casual gamer! The world is not at stake, but someone has inconsiderately left these brightly coloured balls lying about! We need someone with a steely eye to launch them into their matching buckets in this physics game of skill. Sound easy? You may be surprised. Simple, effective, and fun, BucketBall 2 is the perfect way to spend your coffee break.
"Welcome subject 7." With those chilling words begins a new room escape adventure series by talented Portuguese designer, Fausto Fonseca. Welcome to the Light Asylum! At least, welcome to the first two rooms, a very promising start to what looks to be an entertaining, mind-stretching series.
Created by gam.ebb.jp, Dismantlement is a puzzle game like you might find in an escape the room game. If you're looking for a fun five to ten minute break from the everyday and you are someone who likes to tear things apart to see how they work, then sit back, relax, and Dismantle the Radio.
If you could rotate the world and change gravity, things like golf, juggling, balancing a spoon on your nose and standing upright after you've been laying down for three hours would be easy. Attracting Twist teases us with that concept by giving you control over the direction gravity flows, allowing you to move the game world and change where things "drop". Using this ability, your goal is to shoot your way to massive chain reactions as enemies slowly spawn near your ship.
With its stylish black and white art and haunting music by Coin, Colour My Heart continues to blur the line between game and experience, between play and art. Using a less linear structure than the first two games allows the player to wander back and forth through the stark, cold landscapes. Although there is a conclusion this is more (much more) about the journey.
After so many recent disappointments in the length of casual games (especially the HOG games), it's nice to find a game that instead is ready to offer you hours and hours of fun, casual gameplay. So belt up your fanny pack, slather on the sunscreen, don't forget your camera, and enjoy your vacation!
Zombies. Those creepy undead creatures. Ever since George Romero showed us just how nasty the undead can be, zombies have become a staple of good (and bad) horror. And they come in all shapes and sizes. The only thing as varied as the zombies are the ways in which resourceful protagonists come up with to send them back to the grave. But one of the most interesting weapons of choice has to be the bowling ball, as we see in Zombie Bowl-O-Rama.
Kids these days are just dying to spend some time alone. But when Christine's plans for a romantic weekend with her boyfriend are interrupted by a series of unsettling events, she may come to regret the secluded location for their rendezvous. Especially when she finds out that someone else has plans for her. Mixing hidden-object hunting with traditional point-and-click gameplay, The Hookman is a stellar example of creepy, quality story-telling that could have you jumping out of your skin.