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.
There's a cabin in the woods you should stay away from. A quiet little place where time almost seems to stand still. But if you do ignore the warnings and pay a visit, in that dark place, you might want to do a favour for the cabin's lonely occupant. If you don't, you may find yourself staying a long, long time. A point-and-click adventure of paranormal investigation.
Drawing inspiration from popular "castle defense" games like BowMaster Prelude, Elona Shooter adds a serious helping of Asian-influenced, tactical RPG mechanics. You not only get to defend your castle from swarms of oncoming monsters with a satisfying array of weapons and skills, you won't have to go at it alone; an entire tactical RPG-styled party of helpers comes to your aid, eventually.
Rain can be a destructive force, whether it's flash floods decimating crops, acid rain ruining an entire ecosystem, or a light drizzle canceling your afternoon jog. The new physics puzzle game Cover Orange introduces us to a whole new threat: spiky ball rain, which could threaten citrus fruit everywhere.
You awake, dazed and disoriented, on the floor of an empty room, your eyes alighting first on the bricked up windows... and the gun on the ground in front of you. But the house is silent. What could you possibly need to defend yourself against? Find out in this atmospheric point-and-click game mingled with action elements that will have you questioning whether or not you can trust your own eyes.
Occasionally it's nice just to sit back, relax, and fire up the little gray cells to solve a series of puzzles rather than fry them from constant adrenaline. Escape from the Pumpkin Room is not the most original or taxing room escape game, but it's a wonderful cure for the mid-week blahs. A nice combination of logic puzzle solving and use of found objects guarantees that you will enjoy stretching the neurons a little without ending up slamming your head on the desk in frustration.
It's more isometric puzzle adventuring with Tangerine Pop Game's release of Grave Shift 2: The Sewers. Our courageous bearded pal finds himself in the kingdom's sewers after the first Grave Shift, and now the White Warlock is setting traps to keep his loot safe. Move through the dank environments pushing blocks, smacking enemies with a shovel, gathering keys and collecting treasures as you go, all in the name of giving King Krump extra gold.
Descend deep beneath the earth in this free RPG based in a realm of danger and fantasy. Create a character and join a scouting team sent to explore the realm of dwarves. When disaster meets your party, leaving you the only survivor, you'll have to rely on your wits to survive as you travel deeper into unraveling the mystery. Gain party members, train your skills, and battle fearsome beasts in your quest.
Have you been looking for a way to replay (or perhaps play for the first time) the banner game that Rob Allen created for us a couple years ago? When we updated the site layout moving to a larger, wider format, we temporarily lost the ability to swap stylesheets. But now it's back! Just click the image above to switch the stylesheet over to the one that includes the banner game. Click it again to switch it back.
NinjaKiwi's Bloons Tower Defense 4 is here at last, stepping over Bloons Tower Defense 3 and adding much more of everything we love! New units, new maps, better upgrades, and more evil bloons to pop! While some may complain about the addition of mochi coins, BTD4 can generate hours of fun without ever having to go near the purchasable content. So kick back, peel a banana, and begin the balloon popping fun!
Eufloria, formerly known as Dyson, is a real-time strategy game built around the concepts of simplicity, ambience, and gentle pacing. It plays like an evolved version of Risk or Galcon, where sheer numbers and a good strategy are all you need to dominate. Eufloria isn't about warriors battling over blood-soaked soil. It's a slow, organic game that uses plants as its inspiration, challenging you to expand a seedling empire one asteroid at a time.
Hidden Expedition: Devil's Triangle is a gorgeous, fun, mind-bending casual gameplay ride. Fans of the old series should not be disappointed, and folks new to the Hidden Expedition games can enjoy as well. And, of course, any old fuddy-duddies (like me) who remember the days of the classic adventure game should enjoy the nostalgia of a point-and-click done right.
When Miriel's grandmother discovers a strange egg, they discover that it may only be the beginning in a strange adventure that will take them across the world in trying to unravel the mystery. Of course, Miriel can't neglect the family business either! It's a fast-paced, stylish game of adventure, time-management, and even some hidden object hunting that proves magic doesn't always make things easier.
Romance of Rome is a fabulous, clever, immersive Adventure/Hidden Object hybrid. The breakdown of the game into levels lends itself to casual gameplay. Play a level at a time, or just immerse yourself and play through the whole thing in one shot. The best experience, however, is not to speed through the game but to take a leisurely stroll through ancient Rome. Slow down, relax, enjoy the sumptuous backgrounds and details, and explore the Romance of Rome!
This little Dralien baby needs to find his mommy, and it's not gonna let hostile aliens, baffling contraptions, or anything else get in its way. Gameplay takes place across a series of scenes, each infested by dangerous foes, puzzling mechanisms, and other varied points of interest. Any and all clickable hot spots are highlighted with little white circles, drawing your attention to anything you might need to solve the situation at hand.
Take control of your weapon, and start defending the planet from invaders in Vector Conflict: The Siege. The game takes you back to the early days of arcade games, back when games like Tempest and Omega Race were the new guys on the block. With its glorious vector graphics, Vector Conflict looks like the brother of the classic tank combat game Battlezone, and plays like a cross between that and a turret defense game.
Do morphemes of prodigious extensiveness accelerate your cardiovascular thingamajig? If so, why not try Word Machine, a word construction game from Pascal Le Merrer?
Behind every brave little German boy there's a clever little German girl. Which is a good thing in this slightly twisted point-and-click retelling of the classic fairytale, since Gretel is clearly the brains of the outfit. You'll need to think outside the box to keep the two tots alive, since danger can be found in the most unexpected places. Don't let the lovely watercolour graphics fool you. This one's not for the kiddies.
Absence is creepy, but not scary. Nothing is going to jump out at you, there's nothing in the rooms apart from lots of trash. Fire it up while taking a few minutes away from other tasks, and just enjoy the spooky atmosphere without worrying you'll have a heart attack. After all, Halloween is just around the coroner.
Injected with adrenaline, heavy metal, and buckets of (tiny, pixelated) gore, Juggerdome is a gritty top down arena shooter from Con Artist, creator of Crush the Castle. You are the lucky prisoner chosen to pilot the Juggernaut, a killing machine outfitted with upgradeable weaponry. During each round in the arena you must not only survive onslaughts of machines and armed prisoners, you have to entertain the crowd, too.
Squishy, squelchy, and over-the-top, Trap Master is a fast and furious hybrid of defense and side-scrolling chew-em-up action, as you play a monstrous beast defending its lair from all invaders. Upgrade your abilities, install traps to waylay or crush the unwary, and unleash every cringe-worthy attack in your arsenal to be the one, the only... Trap Master! Not for the squeamish, or head-banging resistant.
On the list of things that are more useful in video games than they are in the real world, grappling hooks are certainly near the top. Acquiring a grappling hook in the real world is positively thrilling, until you start thinking of ways you can actually (and legally) use it. Fortunately, the aptly-titled Grappling Hook isn't grounded in reality. The puzzle platformer from SpeedRunGames is filled with 22 levels of quick-thinking grappling goodness that is sure to keep you zooming around for hours.
From Amanita Design, creator of the famously brilliant Samorost series, comes Machinarium, a game so well-conceived and implemented it can confidently launch as one of the best point-and-click adventures of all time. Machinarium is nothing short of a playable piece of art. Similar to Samorost in style and gameplay, you play a lone robot thrown out of the city working his way through desolate mechanical slums. Solve puzzles, find and combine items, and encounter loads of creative characters in your quest. Machinarium is one of those rare games you can't praise enough.
Reincarnations: Awakening is a fun, if not completely fulfilling hidden object adventure experience. Join Jane as she travels into her past lives via hypnosis, solving problems and puzzles for each of her past selves so she can gain a more thorough understanding of reincarnation.
Do you like your hidden object games with a little less fluff and a lot more, well, hidden objects? Little Things is the answer. Sitting pretty next to Pure Hidden, Little Things is a hidden object game that doesn't fool around. All you do is find items, from sheep to elephants to ping pong paddles, by running a magnifying glass along a field of tiny pictures. It's a visually impressive game that delivers exactly what the title promises: lots and lots of tiny little things.
Avenue Flo features everyone's favorite waitress as she tries to help her fellow business owners salvage what could be the biggest wedding Diner Town has ever seen. Tony and Vicky are finally getting married! Maybe. Quinn of Wedding Dash fame is at her wit's end. The rings are missing, the cake has gone bad and all of the butterflies have flown away. Flo quickly springs into action and hits the streets of Diner Town in search of answers.
Nitrome's latest release, Graveyard Shift, is a first person rail shooter reminiscent of classic arcade games like Time Crisis. You know, those stand-up cabinets with attached guns where you had to shoot off the screen to reload. Instead of plastic pistols, you're armed with your mouse, and instead of taking out bad guys, you're disposing of zombies, killer bugs, poisonous plants, and other Halloween-approved foes.
Fans of the Submachine series, your time has come at last. After more than a year and a half, Mateusz Skutnik is back with Submachine 6: The Edge, an all-new installment in one of the most popular series of point-and-click escape/adventure games the Web has ever seen.
A classic point-and-click adventure that does horror in a Flash game right. It's up to you to save your friends from a dangerous intruder who has broken into their home. Your wits and reflexes are your only chance of survival. Unarmed, unprepared, and surrounded by shadows, you must enter the house alone.
Robin the Archer in Pixeland is a platform adventure that's all about Robin, a cute little character made out of chunky pixels who's really good with the bow. Each level is filled with coins, enemies, breakable blocks, and a whole mess of tricky jumps to navigate. Work your way through over a dozen stages, stopping between levels to upgrade your abilities.
Choose between playing as Anakin Skywalker for the Republic, or as the Jedi assassin, Asajj Ventress, in this Star Wars action adventure game built in Unity 3D. Forget what you think you know about browser-based games and give LEGO Star Wars: The Quest for R2D2 a try. It won't be long before you get sucked into a time long ago in a galaxy far, far away, where plastic bricks vied for control of the universe.
Ah, with Halloween fast approaching it's time to turn to escape games with a more atmospheric nature. How about a game set in an eerily empty hospital? Endless Anesthesia is fun, atmospheric casual gameplay. Arm yourself, take a deep breath, and get ready to escape!
We've been in charge of running a country during a national crisis Pandemic: American Swine Flu. We've led the nation to world conquest Mastermind: World Conqueror. But have you ever wondered what goes on during the downtime? In-between the diseases and the hostile takeovers, everyday decisions still need to be made. NationStates is a massively multiplayer online game by author Max Barry that puts you in charge of your own fledgling nation to create and shape how you see fit.
Picma takes picross to dizzying new heights, and satisfies the never-ending craving familiar to picross addicts. The game lends itself well to the casual gameplay experience, being something you can do on a coffee break or when you have a few free minutes to solve a puzzle or two. Head to the site and solve one or two puzzles, or settle in for a marathon and solve until your eyes bleed, it is up to you. But definitely play Picma and enjoy the experience!
At first glance, Spectro Destroyer could be one of any number of platform shooters. Run and gun through the levels, taking out alien scum and robotic sentries trying to halt your progress. Then you realize there's more to this than shooting everything in sight. It's more like line-of-sight. In fact, Spectro Destroyer is just the opposite of the "shoot first, ask questions later" side-scrollers like Metal Slug and Abuse. Instead, it's an amalgam of a platform shooter and a physics puzzle. And that, my friends, is a lot of fun.
How does one navigate a world frozen solid by an apocalyptic catastrophe? On a squeaky bicycle, of course! Pedal your way across eight treacherous landscapes in this stunningly gorgeous platformer by Reece Millidge.
You are gifted with a peaceful, enjoyable wander through a fairy-tale landscape, picking up little gems of wisdom along the way. Is it worth playing? Yes. If you like HOG games and are not looking for a pulse-pounding experience; simply the joy of finding hidden objects and solving puzzles. For those who enjoy HOG, just sit back, relax, and enjoy the casual gameplay.
Gridrunner Revolution is a frantic, visually-intense shooter from Llamasoft. You play an unnamed little spaceman, alone and braving the neon, explosion filled depths of space. Suddenly, enemy ships approach. Do they want your ship? Your knowledge? A key piece of technology you have? Nobody knows. All that we can be sure of is if you blow enough of them up, space sheep wander on to the screen — and you can collect them.
Aztec Tribe from Merry Pen Games is a casual combination of Farm Frenzy and Build-a-lot. Between building and upgrading gardens, mines and houses and managing a slew of resources, you'll help an adventuresome tribe establish a new home in a faraway land. It's a rewarding and relaxing game that delivers extra challenge only when you want it.
The Jolly Gang's Spooky Adventure is a point-and-click adventure game that doesn't take place in a near-fantasy world, a scary haunted mansion, or a series of dream worlds connected by a magical portal. It also doesn't involve anyone's family member heading off to investigate a long-lost artifact. It does contain cheesy visuals and a bit of an adult sense of humor, making it one of the few casual games to target an older crowd. Think of it as a casual version of Ben There, Dan That mixed with your favorite browser-based room escape game.
The fourth and final chapter in the Being One series. Taken separately, each chapter of Being One has been a little gem of horror-filled casual gameplay, combining all of the above elements into an interesting, mysterious, serialized tale. Now that tale has come to an end. Was it worth the journey? That is up to the player to decide.
Jason Nelson hits us with another simple movement game chock full of crazy texts and post-modern level design shenanigans. Are you ready to accept that things fall apart, the center cannot hold, and that doors can be opened by colliding with boxes? If so, prepare yourself for this mind boggling, stunningly austere experience.
While not as long as a full-sized downloadable game, Legend of the Golden Mask is a complete adventure, a perfect way to while away an afternoon, or a coffee break. Ultimately a fun, casual gameplay experience that can be enjoyed by everyone.
This week's You Are Games challenge leverages the awesome and unique opportunity being offered by Inexile Entertainment with its new Prius-branded version of a fan favorite here at JIG! Fans of physics puzzles and fuel efficiency, your time has come at last! Fantastic Contraption is back with a new look, new levels, and a chance to win $1,000!
If you've got a few minutes to kill and can handle a few light tests on your reflexes, Cave Chaos is a great time waster! A "run and jump and avoid" kind of game, your goal is to make it through each level of the cave without falling into the dark abyss below. Problem is, you're on the bats' schedule, here, and the ground only exists in the narrow window between when they build it and when they carry it away!
This time around I scavenged up a pair of small but entertaining room escape packages from a Japanese developer called No1Game. The first, Emergency Exit Sign, tells the story of a Japanese all-night worker who just about lives at his office, which becomes a problem when a monster traps him inside. The second, Game In Game In Game, shows us a rather obsessed escape fanatic who plays a room escape game every day before bed, only to wake up one morning trapped in one.
Bloktonik is an addictive new colored block-matching game with a twist: blocks come into the play area from all 4 sides, and it's up to you to manage where they land. A new twist on an old classic, Bloktonik is a great way to waste an afternoon. Or several, depending on how willing you are to are to avoid the real world.
Cuber is a short but cute and enjoyable physics puzzle that will test your construction skills to the limit.All you must do is keep the smiling little green ball from falling off the screen. To do this, construct something from the available materials and then let the little ball drop. You are limited only by your imagination and your budget.
Get ready for a robotic destruction derby of vast proportions, as you blast, shock, and, um, "tickle" your way through 23 levels of fleshy foes who'd love to take you apart for the scrap metal. Hold down the mouse button to activate your super-extendable tickling arms, redesigned with slightly less giggly purposes in mind, and let no man, machine, or anything else stand in your way.
In Finwick, the spritual successor to Platform, Jackson Lewis has once again crafted a brilliant gem of a puzzle platformer. Play the part of Finwick as he makes his very first delivery for the Royal Mail, passing through dangerous factories, quarries, forests and secret underground facilities.
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.
Decades ago, the ship Pandora met with tragedy at sea while returning to America with some very... special cargo. Tonight, the phone rings and your grandfather has called to confess something terrible. Are the fears of an old man groundless? Or is there something else in the dark in this point-and-click hidden object game? You're about to find out you can't leave your past behind... no matter how hard you try.
World of Zellians: Kingdom Builder is a simulation and city building game along the lines of My Kingdom for the Princess and Build-a-lot. Set in a moderately whimsical fantasy realm, your job is to repair a broken kingdom by mending roads, setting up farms, and getting each area's economy up and running again. It's a colorful, light-hearted and straightforward game you can jump right into and start enjoying.
For those who enjoy hybrid hidden object/adventure games PuppetShow: Mystery of Joyville is casual gameplay done right. If you want to kick off the Halloween season right, then sit back, relax, and make your way through Joyville before evil completely envelops the town. Just one word of advice: you might want to play with the lights on.
A collaboration between game developer and artist, The Glean of Glob was initially created as an interactive art installation. And though this Web edition might be called an experimental point-and-click, the term 'game as art' is definitely at play here. Add this to the category of games that push the envelope of what a game can be.
Lights, camera... Magnets! A surprisingly tricky little physics puzzler whose good looks and promises of a higher score than all your friends will lure you into losing an entire afternoon. Guide your projectiles to their targets using as few magnets as possible to keep your score in tact and your bragging rights in good standing. With a sleek presentation and some clever layouts, Magnets will tease your brain for a good long while.
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... Cuboy! Isometric hero to us all! And he's racing back in time in this riotously weird point-and-click adventure series to save us from... well, you'll find out. Featuring an off-beat sense of humour and sharp design, this first installment is a fun diversion and promises great things for the future despite a frustrating reflex-based minigame or two.
Step into the cockpit of a flying hash mark tasked with collecting as many glowing dots as possible from its death-defying playgrounds of torment. You'll need sharp reflexes and an even sharper mind to get the highest of scores, or else become a victim of razor-sharp spikes, floating proximity bombs, or the nastiest lightning fences you ever did meet.
While not a complicated life-or-death struggle to escape, Escape from the Meeting Room is perfect for mid-week casual gameplay. Short enough to fit in a lunch break (or even a coffee break), escape from responsibility, escape from the everyday, and most importantly Escape from the Meeting Room!
Growbox puts you in control of a hungry little square whose mission is to devour golden dots. Nom them all up, then move on to the next level where you get to do it again! Why? We're never told, but I like to believe that the dots are ninja dots who kidnapped the dot President, and you're a bad enough square to rescue him.
In this funky little gem of a platformer, your goal is to make it across 26 levels in the fastest time possible. Collect the green atoms scattered along the way to remove 5 seconds from your time, but each time you die, you add 5 seconds to your total time. Customization features abound and help to enhance the experience within.
Titanium Chef is a point-and-click adventure in which you play a lowly chef-bot who, along with his best friend Moxie (a floating pink ball of fur), escapes his humdrum job and ventures out to become the best chef-bot in the galaxy. Setting aside the education aspect, this is one amazing, fun point-and-click adventure with a snarky sense of humor.
Huje Tower is a construction game, a member of a fairly new genre of puzzle games. Most construction games end up being bridge-building or tower building games. The most well-known and is no doubt the popular indie title World of Goo, and Huje Tower shares a number of similarities with it. But there are a number of differences that help Huje Tower stand on its own as a fun and challenging construction game with some puzzle elements to it.
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!
Tinseltown Dreams: The 50s is a match-3 with a distinctive Hollywood flare. Here in the land of palm trees and oversized sunglasses, you play the part of a producer for a little known movie studio. Use your match-3 skills to collect the cash you'll need to fund a string of blockbusters that will put your studio on the map.
On the surface, Paradise Beach resembles a casual building game like Coconut Queen. The gameplay, however, is more similar to the classic of the tycoon sim genre Rollercoaster Tycoon. Join Mr. Gates and his cute — and occasionally annoying — granddaughter as they develop beachfront property. Travel to six different islands and work with the pair to develop a fun beach experience, all the while helping endangered species, uncovering dinosaur skeletons, finding pirate treasure, and all the other fun things that happen to folks who create vacation beaches.
Gemini Lost is a casual village simulation that works to bridge the gap between titles like Virtual Villagers and Sprouts Adventure. During an eclipse, a group of people stumble onto an ancient relic with twelve zodiac symbols on its face. Upon touching one of the tiles, they were transported to a strange new world. Now, the twelve symbols are scattered throughout the land, and it's your job to manage the small tribe so they can assemble the pieces and return home!
What do you do when a rival inventor shows up with his band of mechanical spiders to steal the blueprints made by a fantastic machine that runs on language? Why, you strap on your vocabulary and feed the biggest, meatiest words you can think of into the machine so it can blast the intruders with a cannon! No, don't stop to think about machines using words for fuel, or how exactly one might strap their vocabulary to anything, you've got shooting to do!
Smokescreen is a new alternate reality game (ARG) from entertainment company Six To Start. Social networking, blogging, and chat lingo are all part of this game that takes on the task of warning players about the dangers of the Internet in a way that makes you feel like you're experiencing them first-hand.
Cake Pirate is a tower defense game in which you add elements (ingredients) to your towers (cakes) to make different power-up combinations. The twist here is that your lives are also cakes, and you can sell those cakes for money to upgrade your cake towers. And it has a cake that shoots bees!
Sometimes it's nice to kick back, relax, and enjoy the scenery and the truly casual gameplay of a room escape. The puzzles themselves are tricky without being difficult, adding to the relaxation factor. While there is only one way out, there are three different endings based on your methodology. Having trouble getting over the mid-week hump? Then sit down, relax, pour a drink, and spend a little time escaping the Strawberry Cafe.
An unnamed cubicle slave grinds his way through another day at work, his biggest worry being whether or not someone left the coffee pot dry. That is until the scream comes. Now you have to help him get home to his wife before zombies get her or you in this choose your own adventure style game.
The end is just the beginning! Bring all the connectors into harmony in this simple puzzler from Veewen, but don't mistake its simplicity for lack of difficulty! After the first few levels, the difficulty ramps up rather quickly and stays high until the end. Luckily, the zen-like atmosphere helps to soothe frustration.
Indulge your inner siege engine in Crush the Castle: Players Pack, a sequel comprised of devious maps made by fans to test your destructive physics skills and push your ability to smoosh tiny kings to its limit. While it doesn't bring much else new to the table, the Players Pack is a great showcase of some genuinely clever community talent from people just like you. Although we're sure you have much better hair.
Abuba is most definitely not ready to survive in the hostile environment that is suburbia. Cold, hungry, tired and scared after crash landing, Abuba just wants to go home and it is up to you in this short and cute point-and-click adventure from Pencilkids. Take a casual gameplay break and help get Abuba home! Abuba say thank you. And so do we.
If you are looking for a break from the standard RTS fare, or just want to play through a really well-made game, then look no further than Shadez II: Battle for Earth. This 2D side-scrolling title is extraordinarily well-made from top to bottom, providing enough strategy, explosions, and alien killing machines to keep most RTS fans busy for some time.
My Kingdom for the Princess is a casual resource management/building game from Nevosoft. Mixing elements from simulation titles as well as borrowing from the time management genre, the game puts a big casual gameplay hat over itself and delivers a deceptively linear resource management experience with a surprising amount of strategy.
In the latest Women's Murder Club murder mystery game, you play all four members of the titular group of friends from the books of acclaimed crime novelist James Patterson. Lindsey Boxer is a detective with the San Francisco police force, Claire Washburn is a medical examiner, Cindy Thomas is a reporter on the crime beat, and Jill Bernhadt is the District Attorney. Each of these characters' skill-sets will come in handy as you make your way through this series of bizarre murders.
With Zuma's Revenge Popcap has hit a homerun. As with the original, you can easily waste hours and hours playing this game with no end in sight. Humorous, beautiful, addictive, Zuma's revenge includes everything a casual gamer could desire, with 50% more boss fights!
Distort the magnetic force of the world to smash through the targets in this psychedelic puzzle game with a warped sense of style. MagnetiZR requires a sharp eye, a dose of patience, and a willingness to experiment. Don't worry; this is one time when it's okay to play with magnets on your computer.
This platform puzzle game from Edmund McMillen brings to the platformer table multi-dimensional planes. Press the [A] key to switch planes and alter what is visible on the screen. Sometimes you can see the other planes while you are occupying the current one, but you can't see what overlaps between planes. This creates an interesting dynamic that involves a lot of guessing with your jumps, especially when movable blocks make their appearance.
More door locks to figure out? Check. More machinery to fiddle with, hoping to not blow up the place? Check. Annoying cell phone still telling you what to do? Check. Yet another really ticked off creature from beyond ready to rip you to shreds? Uh, why in the world did we leave that lovely, peaceful green vat again?
The goal of Springen, the latest physics puzzle on the block, is to get every red ball on the black ring, or at least as many as you need to progress to the next level. The majority of the puzzles require crafty feats of ball-flinging, and you'll have to learn to use some of the obstacles to your advantage if you hope to make it through all 30 levels of phuzzling goodness. The balls are heavier than they look, and when you add a wealth of bumpers, gravity wells, and other gizmos between you and the ending hoop, some of the puzzles test your luck as well.
From Nitrome comes a game about space, stars, and making aliens blow up. Guide a fledgling star across thirty levels requiring a steady hand and quick reflexes. While the control scheme may take some getting used to, Nebula is a cute, quick little game that would be at home in any arcade, thirsty for your quarters. And remember, kids. Friends don't let friends play with space bombs.
Make It Good is a dark, noir-esque detective mystery from Fail-Safe author Jon Ingold. You are cast in the role of a down-on-his-luck detective struggling to solve a murder case or risk losing his job. Moving about a complete, living world, you'll turn over every potted plant, scrutinize every room, and question every character as you attempt to stitch together shards of information to discover just what happened.
Although most experienced gamers could blow through this in 10 minutes or less, slow down, take your time. Enjoy the headache-inducing clash of carpeting and wall patterns, contemplate the meaning of the displays, or just gaze at the monkey head and wonder, is that post modern or post-post-modern? Dali or Dada? Stay in the game too long and you will half expect dripping clocks to appear across a landscape. Perfect for casual gameplay, Escape from Blender Art Gallery is a fun break from whatever you are doing. Just remember afterwords, it was only a dream.