Bart Bonte knows that at the end of the day, sometimes the simplest rewards are the sweetest. Me and the Key is a series of mini-games that all have the same end — getting the titular key. That's right. There's no zombies, no spaceships, no power-ups. Just you and a slowly evolving set of puzzles designed to test your common sense, and your ability to think outside the box.
What-ho, my refined gentlemen and ladies! We have thus determined that you are the only ones who can help... Captain Dan versus the Zombie Plan! Stealth and quick feet are rewarded here, rather than running pell-mell into a level, gun blazing. Guide Monocled Man through the area using the environment to his advantage, for if he is spotted, he shall quickly be swarmed by ravenous zombies!
Zedray is a highly inventive action/puzzle game about matching beams of light with each other by... well, smashing them together. A mash-up of the Snake Game, Missile Command, and the light cycles from Tron, it's like untangling a living, angular ball of laser yarn. Don't let the beams hit the ground!
A short, character-driven side-scrolling shoot-'em-up, controlled with the mouse. Robot Dinosaurs will save the planet! RAAAWWR they shoot beams when they roar! Dino-tastic! ROOOOOAAAAR!!!
The Malstrums Mansion is a retro point-and-click game with a surprisingly tense atmosphere, in the style of old Apple Macintosh adventures like Shadowgate. The heavily pixilated black and white graphics are chunky but lovingly crafted. If you love games that give you the creeps, or if you just like to relive the early years of gaming, this is a title you simply can't afford to pass up.
In ooPixel's brilliant new action game Escape the Red Giant, the sun is about to die, and you have to keep yourself alive for as long as possible by jumping from one asteroid to the next. Between the detailed physics engine and the tight gameplay, you may find yourself addicted without realizing it.
The land of Wonderburg has been laid to waste by evil minions, and it is up to a wizard and a stalwart gnome to travel the lands putting right what has gone wrong. That is the premise of the time management strategy game Wonderburg. While it doesn't venture far beyond what games like the Build-a-lot series have established, it's a charming title that stands firmly on its own two feet.
The Legend of Crystal Valley is a mini-epic adventure game with an eclectic mix of fantasy and sci-fi elements. Gather items, solve both environmental and inventory puzzles, and examine everything you see as you travel through over 150 locations, each just as extraordinary as the last.
Tower Core is another shining star from John Feltham, the author of the previous "Core" series of games. It continues the story line established in Soul Core without a hitch, and even provides a recap accessible from the main menu. An alien being has decided to attack Earth while it was vulnerable. We can't let this happen. Unfortunately, the planet's defense systems are powered by a special Power Core Deluxe which someone forgot to charge before leaving.
Though it may appear to be just a slightly more colorful clone of Loops of Zen,, Colourshift starts to separate itself when you have to start blending colors together. With a gentle learning curve, plenty of customizable options, and a page of unlockable achievements, Colourshift may just take you by surprise.
A great game for fans of quirky physics puzzles, Civiballs asks you to drop colored orbs into the corresponding urns. Most orbs begin the level suspended in the air by chains and ropes. Your only method of interaction is to cut those cords, and let physics handle the rest, as the civiballs bounce and roll through a network of ramps and obstacles to reach their home.
The latest wacky puzzle from Nitrome, Rustyard has you indirectly leading a junkyard robot with a striking resemblance to Wall-E. You cannot control the movements of the machine, but you can manipulate the environment with its buttons and switches and trolley tracks. Get the robot to the generator and charge up! Bzzzap!
Redstar Fall is a short but wonderfully executed and atmospheric entry in the physics-based stacking/unstacking genre. you begin each level with a pile of oddly-shaped blocks sitting on an island floating in the sky. Click on a block and it vanishes, allowing everything above to shift with the pull of gravity. Your goal is to ease the red star down so it comes to rest on the island.
The sixth installment of Mateusz Skutnik's Great Escape series. By now you should know what to expect; beatiful cartoony backgrounds, quirky music, and improbable contraptions you must build to make your unlikely escape. Oh, and bats. Maybe you weren't expecting the bats, but they're in there too.
Neptune is quite different from GUMP's previous room-escape games. It doesn't begin with an interesting introductory movie in which a pink-haired character does not encounter a huge building and doesn't decide to enter it, not passing an enigmatic red ladies' shoe that isn't resting on the ground outside.
Monochro Observer is a lovely little puzzle/platform game by Japanese game developer Tatsuya Koyama. Control two people, one who lives in dark and one who lives in light, as they cooperate to reach the exit together. Just look at those little munchkins, staring at each other across the impassable divide between worlds. Lonesome. Longing. The fire of passion smoldering in their eyes…okay, not that last part.
There's delicious candy out there for those brave enough to mine it. Spin a giant orb made of coloured candy blocks to make the incoming bullets strike the blocks of your choice. But be careful you don't accidentally let the bullets strike the candy core! There may not be a lot of replayability or depth in Gregory Weir's Sugarcore, but there is a surprising amount of charm and cheek, and plenty of fast-paced puzzle blasting. Treating yourself to this candy won't make you feel guilty.
One of the more unique tower defense titles that's been released this year, Plant This! is a highly-stylized, maze-based strategy game. Instead of featuring a pre-defined path for "creeps" to follow like we see in most tower defense games, it employs the "open field" design, in which you create the path by using your towers to corral the creeps down the map as inefficiently as possible.
Be a King is a new fantasy strategy title from 300AD. It follows in the tracks of games such as King Mania, Forgotten Lands: First Colony, and the Build-a-Lot series and blends a streamlined building-centric real-time strategy game with a handful of casual knowhow.
Sea Journey is... well, it's Puzzle Quest with pirates! Built around a tile-swapping Bejeweled-like game, you venture into the great blue ocean in search of treasure, upgrading your vessel along the way. Each match 3 game you play is a fierce battle at sea, complete with cannon salvos and mystical spells conjured by talismans.
Labyrinth is not your average dungeon crawl, but instead an online riddle, with more than a few twists and turns to set it apart, and a horde of fiendish puzzles that just may trap you for eternity. The focus lies in code breaking and logic, the community and support features are outstanding, and many puzzles have multiple solutions. Can you emerge from this place victorious, treasure in hand?
Zachtronics Industries has come up with a new "Game for Engineers", and given its central concept you'd think playing it would blow up the space-time continuum. It's a computer game about programming computer chips. Though it may take some time to grasp its central concepts, Kohctpyktop: Engineer of the People is a rich and rewarding puzzle game.
Assembler 3, by Bryce Summer, is a game about TWITCHING RAGE or to be more specific, a physics-based puzzle game with 44 levels, in which you must carefully position green objects within their equally green outlines. Maddening and compelling, Assembler 3 is sure to scratch your itch for GRAAAAAAAGH JUST STAY ON THE STUPID WEDGE YOU STUPID CRATE! MRAAAAAAAGH!!!
Drift Runners is a rip-roaring overhead racer from developer Long Animals, with no brakes, a variety of achievements and a hectic pace. Due to the emphasis on drifting, you don't carve the turns so much as shred them. It gets the controls right, it looks pretty, it makes crashing sounds at all the right times, and it rewards you for breaking stuff. Give it a spin.
Quaint room is a relatively short and easy room escape game, but it is also impressively polished and well-made. The graphics are aesthetically pleasing in a tidy sort of way, and the interface is completely smooth and user-friendly. So, take a break. Relax, step back a few years and enjoy this lovely example of classic Japanese gaming goodness.
Double Fine president Tim Schafer is hosting at this years Game Developers Conference, and he's totally unprepared. Help him out by scouring the backstage area for jokes, scribbled on scraps of paper hidden in all sorts of unlikely locations. If you have even the slightest nostalgia for early graphic adventure games such as The Secret of Monkey Island, then this sharp, clever point-and-click adventure is made for you.
The graphic presentation is fairly simple, but this is a deceptively deep Dr. Mario-style puzzler with a unique color-matching mechanic. Whenever you make a match, you leave behind a ball of a new color, and your job is to work your way up to the top of the rainbow scale. This adds a lot more gameplay dimension than you'd expect, and once you get into it, you will be hooked, trying to make that last couple of levels. Definitely give Combine a chance.
Combining some of the best parts of Animal Crossing and Virtual Villagers with a sprinkling role playing know-how, Wandering Willows is something so incredibly alluring you'll burn through a few hours of game time before you realize what hit you. It's a pet-raising recipe-collecting item-bartering friend-gaining character-customizing leveling-up collect-a-thon!
Your job in Nosobow, the newest creation from Tonypa, is to eliminate the non-matching tiles from the screen, while clicking a member of a pair puts you in jeopardy of losing the game. Behind the brilliantly simple design lies a intricate psychological game of self-pacing and concentration that will have you groaning in anguish every time you have to start back at square one.
A sequel to Open Doors, one of the most interesting puzzle games of 2008, has arrived, with an arresting makeover and just the right amount of extra spice. Open Doors 2 features compact puzzles with just the right number of new doors and mechanical gizmos. With a sparkling presentation and superb level design, this is one of the best puzzlers we've seen so far this year.
From Spiritonin, creator of Adult Swim's Death Vegas, comes Capoeira Fighter 3, a 2D fighting game with a free online demo and full-fledged downloadable version. Featuring more than two dozen playable characters and a refined, logical system of combos, it's one of the rare fighting games that captures the nostalgia from the genre's heyday while updating everything to fit in with a new generation of gamers.
Curse of the Pharaoh 2: Napoleon's Secret is a hidden-object game with added puzzle elements, such as spot-the-difference games. It's a direct sequel to Curse of the Pharaoh: Quest for Nefertiti and captures the same sense of adventure as the original, now in a new setting with all-new puzzles to solve.
The Clockwork Man is a beautifully illustrated hidden object game from Total Eclipse. Set in a stunning steampunk world, you follow aspiring engineer Miss Miranda Calomy and her clockwork companion Sprocket as they travel from London across the seas and beyond. The adventure doesn't stray far from the hidden object standard, but the story and setting are exquisitely presented and the game itself a true joy to experience.
GlueFO 2.0, from the irRegular creators of Sproing Reloaded, has a simple premise: what if the heroic ship in Asteroids couldn't afford ammunition? What if the global recession were in fact universal, and the only way you could afford to bust space rocks was by sticking drifting pebbles to your hull, and then spraying them at the asteroids like deadly gravel?
Smokin' Barrels succeeds in wrapping the tension of a high noon six-shooter showdown in an intricate poncho of minigames and economics for a totally enjoyable casual experience where it's shoot or be shot! Will your name be rendered synonymous with "quickest draw in the west"?
What could be better than a game based on explosions? The goal is to get the yellow outlined cube to the bottom of the screen, and the only way to do it is by placing bombs in various locations and letting physics do the rest. The interesting part is how you can time the bombs to move blocks around the screen, one explosion after another.
Have you been wandering around in a haze since the first Perfect Balance, your heart crying out for the opportunity to wedge more things together? Do you miss the wedging like a starving shark misses bluefish? Then Perfect Balance: New Trials is here to offer you sweet, sweet, soul-crushing relief, in the form of 30 more levels of tough block stacking.
The vikings and the ice that trapped them have returned in an expansion on Nitrome's original physics-based puzzle game, Ice Breaker. Ice Breaker The Red Clan introduces lots of new obstacles to deal with strewn about an all-new set of levels. Vikings are trapped in the ice, walled-in by rock, or otherwise prevented from reaching the ship. Using your cursor as a cutting tool, it's your job to set them free. Manipulate each environment to provide a clear path from viking to ship and carve your way through 40 brand-new levels.
Another Room, by Japanese designer Mofuya, is a sweet, semi-short example of classic point-and-click that is executed with near-perfect competence. The game's puzzles are simple but well-crafted; while not wildly creative or different, they nonetheless offer a satisfying variety of problems to tackle. The room's neat, somewhat subdued appearance is pleasing to the eye and makes it simple to navigate the surroundings.
You remember Labyrinth, the board game where you turn knobs to roll a little steel ball to the exit, without hitting any holes along the way? Tilt is an example of the wooden labyrinth in 3D digital form, and an excellent one it is, too. Of course, one of the advantages of a digital version is the fact that the maze configuration does not have to stay static, and it certainly doesn't here. There are 66 different levels, many of them devilishly hard.
Hex Empire is a casual turn-based strategy war game, occupying a comfortable spot between the simplicity of Risk and the number crunching of the Avalon Hill-style board games that inspired the whole soldiers-on-hexagons thing. It lets you jump right into battle without much fuss, and offers enough tactical depth to be addictive even after several wars have ended. A bit of a treat, really.
Ever play Crack the Whip? The game where you hold hands with people in a line and then yank them around until someone loses hold of their neighbor's hand? Gen is a physics game with the same whippy slingshotty action, set in the world of microbiology. Maneuvering your little yellow cells to the big blue cell—without letting them get eaten by the red cells—will keep you swimming happily around in the petri dish for a while.
The microgames come at you at a rapid pace, in succession, leaving little time to recover before the next one attacks with sadistic intent. It reflects the Four Second series, but adds an online leader board, updated in real-time to reflect your standing against other people playing around the world. Whether you sit down for a marathon go or you just want a two-minute fix of quick gaming, you're bound to have a blast with the plethora of microgames in Tiny Trials.
Ever wanted to combine a hidden object game with a riddle-centric room escape title? Like strawberries and bananas, the two genres go together remarkably well, as Elephant Games' Lost in the City eloquently showcases. Steeped in mystery, you travel from room to room finding items, solving puzzles, deciphering riddles and completing simple mini-games as you unravel a particularly intriguing storyline filled with strange plot twists.
4 Elements combines classic puzzle matching gameplay with a hidden object game and just a dash of fairy tale fantasy for good measure. Help restore the power of the elements to protect the land from an evil power.
Back to the basics again with Kagi Nochi Tobira 2, the simple and original puzzle game sequel to the very well-received Kagi Nochi Tobira from September of last year. There's not much else to say other than the raw creativity and sense of discovery in these simple puzzle games create an exceptionally engaging and appealing experience. Another example of why simple ideas are often among the most fun!
Women's Murder Club: A Darker Shade of Grey is the latest installment in the murder mystery/hidden object adventure game series based on the books and television program of the same name. Investigating the death of a young boy, you play the role of several different experts, each with a specialization and accompanying gameplay mode. Gather evidence and clues and piece things together in the forensics lab to solve the mystery!
Wizard Defense is a Web-based tower defense game with a rich back-story and polished UI. You play a young wizard who resides at the Espeon School of Wizard Defense, hand-picked to defend the land from evil magic forces and monsters. Multiple path routes and a variety of tower and spell abilities later in the game offer plenty of strategic fun. Rooted by its rich story and dazzling presentation, it's something that every casual gamer should check out.
Bloody Fun Day is a refreshingly original turn-based strategy game from Urban Squall, built around the character of a cute little nihilistic, selfish grim reaper. Your objective is to score as many points as possible by reaping the Cuties, who populate their hexagonally gridded island like dense, colorful game pieces. Their crime is incessant happiness and adorability. Their punishment is a gratuitously violent death. Deceptively well-crafted and deep, Bloody Fun Day is a bloody good time.
50 Comedies asks you to identify the titles of fifty movies (of the comedic variety) based on visual puns. Despite some interface issues, we found ourselves addicted to the clever puzzles and the challenge to our cinemaphile sensibilites. Good for movie buffs, trivia toughs, and fans of fun, light-hearted stuffs.
If you celebrate Arbor Day and always thought a logic puzzle was just what the holiday needed, then Leaf Blight is for you. In this relaxing game, snip off the infected leaves in the correct order to keep your trees healthy and strong.
You're in a cell, seemingly with no chance of escape. But wait, what's this? A letter tucked into a chink in the wall. Apparently your captivity is due to one Simeon Meade, a member of the mysterious Talos Organization. He can't help you escape directly, but it is possible to unlock your door from inside the cell...
The player starts in the present day, but with a push of a button can be transported into the same room some indeterminable span of time into the past; press another button and the operation is reversed. Two separate, subtly different rooms to zoom between, each one affecting the other... interesting, no?
An engaging and easy new puzzle game from Joey Betz and the Super Flash Bros. Featuring 30 levels filled with blocks to push, switches to switch, creatures to avoid as you negotiate monkey to the goal for each level. Isometric perspective and a retro look give this little puzzler lots of charm and potential for fun.
Music Catch 2 delivers everything you'd want from a sequel to Reflexive's surprise hit Music Catch, especially if what you want is more ways to collect thousands of shimmering doo-dads. You get three more lovely piano tunes by composer Isaac Shepherd, and a few different choices for how the collectibles will bloom and fade away. Some of the new movement patterns make the game dramatically easier than others, but Music Catch was never about challenge anyway. It's just an easy way to relax, scooping up armfuls of trinkets and grooving to the mellows.
Mofuya Defense is an excellent addition to the tower defense genre, featuring an upgradeable base that can defend itself, and a balanced power resource management system. With cute pixel graphics, a comfortable learning curve, a good number of weapons at your disposal, and additional features not found in other tower defense games, Mofuya Defense is definitely worth investing some time in.
This is the kind of efficient plotting and character design I like to see in a shooter. What's your motivation for exterminating vast populations of cute eyeballey critters? Well, you're Death, you see, and in a shocking twist, you like to kill stuffs. No city in peril, no alien threat—all you want to do is *bang* *bang* *bang* *bang* and a *clunk* *ka-ching* and take their money. A smartly-built shooter, with a clever mouse-only control scheme that lets you carve your way through the hordes like buckshot through sherbet.
The Wonderful End of the World is an off-kilter, Katamari Damacy-like game where your only goal is to pick up random junk scattered across the world. Terra, the goddess of the earth, knows that the world's inevitable doom is coming, so she uses a puppet on the earth to collect as much stuff as she can, for rebuilding the world later.
Cleaning up is rarely fun to do. Unless you're cleaning someone else's mess, right? Hmm, no? How about if you're cleaning up someone else's mess in a casual game? That's the surprisingly successful recipe for fun in Nanny Mania 2 Goes to Hollywood. After helping Mayor Whitby and his family in the original Nanny Mania, Emma moves on to help Sophia Ashford, an incredibly wealthy woman who can't seem to keep her family affairs in order. It's your job to help raise the children, care for pets, and keep the house spotless as clueless teenagers leave unmade beds and babies create problems of their own.
The Serpent of Isis is a new hidden object game by Gamgo with some considerable mystery and adventure game elements added into the mix. Beneath the ever shifting sands of Egypt, untold treasures remain buried. These are the kinds of treasures that drive men mad, possessing the minds of the adventurous and luring explorers into catacombs that twist and writhe beneath ancient pyramids. The Serpent of Isis was just such a treasure, and your grandfather was just such an explorer.
A mash-up of casual gameplay from the match-3 and RPG genres, Knightfall plays like a cross between Mr. Driller, Same Game and Puzzle Quest. It's a well-balanced and well-executed game with a fun story mode and an unlimited purgatory mode to keep you coming back for more. Achievements add to the addictive quality that Knightfall will bestow upon you.
Planetarium is a story-puzzle in twelve weekly installments, into which is woven a fantastical fable and many marvelous puzzles. Follow the tale of the Mathemagician and a strange girl with no memory but perfect foresight, as they search for the source of a mysterious love letter sent from the future. Don't be surprised if this brilliant, unique and beautiful game soon becomes one of your favorites.
Globetrotter is as simple as it gets. You're given a map and you're given a location, and you must click on where you think that location is on the map. Sure, this is easy if you're looking for New York, United States or London, England, but good luck with Tunis, Tunisia on your first go, and believe me, Australia can be trickier than you may think.
Don't Look Back is a modern retelling of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, although there are subtle differences. For one, the mythical greek poet favored a harp over a handgun, and for another, he didn't need your platforming skills to guide him on his journey.
The idea, as always, is simple. Get the red ball (or square) to touch all the flags by drawing physical objects directly onto the screen with your crayon-like cursor. This sequel to Magic Pen features 32 more puzzling levels, all selectable from the moment you start the game, mostly set in various crayon-rendered versions of historical locations. The level designs feel a bit more intricate this time, with more on-screen obstacles and even a few moving contraptions to cope with. There are no major improvements to the formula, but such a childlike, pure idea doesn't need them. This is a heap more Magic Pen for everyone who loved it the first time. Enjoy.
Exploit is a tile-based puzzle game with a computer hacking theme from Gregory Weir, the creator of The Majesty of Colors and Bars of Black and White. Plot out your moves carefully and pay special attention to incoming emails, and not only will you help the oppressed people of Locha, but you might, just might, prevent a terrorist attack here on our own soil. Good luck, hacker, you're going to need it!
Bowja 3 - Ninja Kami is the latest point-and-click adventure from Pencilkids Games, and the third entry in the Bowja series. As the titular ninja, you use your cunning, skill, and handy bow-and-arrow to find an ancient artifact and save the Ninja Spirit, all along the way finding clever ways to defeat the evil purple ninjas who constantly impede you. Although short on game, the charm of the graphics, animation, and overall feeling of the game more than make up for it. Bowja's latest adventure won't take long to complete, but you'll enjoy the ride while you're there.
Schizo-Phrenzy is a surreal platform adventure with an art deco look and a discourteous attitude towards gravity. Guide the mentally unwell private investigator John K. Facey on his quest to confront the titanic Mayor and discover the true extent of his own madness. Schizo-Phrenzy will fill your shoes with spider eggs during the night, and if they hatch, you are in real danger of having your privacy invaded.
Enter the Kid's Room. You left your myPhone behind when visiting your friend's house, and he hid it in the kid's playroom. You go to get it, possibly to get away from your annoying myRobot for a while, but some prankster locks the door behind you when you enter. Of course. It is an excellent piece of work, with puzzles that make sense, fine 3D graphics, and just the right amount of satisfaction when you figure something out.
Tortuga Episode 2 is an escape-the-room game set on a pirate ship; the second installment of the Tortuga series. You have just escaped the locked room from episode 1 and the pirate is still sleeping off the sleepy spray you got him with prior to your escape, but you are still locked up on the pirate ship. You must look for items and clues to reveal a solution on how to get off the ship.
In a style reminiscent of Castle Crashers or classic games like Final Fight, Portal Defenders lets you take on the role of real-life Newgrounds head honchos Tom Fulp and Dan Paladin as they defend their Flash portal against hordes of cartoony parody villains. You might recognize some famous names from the Flash development world, like jmtb02 or Tyler Glaiel, right before you bash their heads in with your favorite kitchen utensil. There are enough in-jokes to keep any fan happy, and the production quality is top-notch. If you are not averse to ridiculous amounts of gratuitous violence, Portal Defenders is a blast!
The writing's on the wall at The Glassworks Company for Kapowski, who just got fired for getting a little too creative at work. Now you've got to prove to your boss that you're capable of making it in the window-washing world with your new power gloves and a little high-flying daredeviling. Enter The Glassworks, the latest platforming experience from the talented crew at Nitrome.
Blush is a unique and beautiful, 3D rendered, underwater physics-based game by Flashbang Studios, in which you play a betentacled creature fighting your way through the ocean deep. It is also very addictive. Fight off other sea creatures, collect eggs and bring them to glowing orbs that increase your speed and extend your tentacles. Even earn achievements, too.
Dinowaurs from Intuition Games shows us that stone-aged humans were well-versed in the art of strapping large implements onto the backs of dinosaurs for their own advancement. At its core, this is a projectile game in the vein of Worms or Scorched Earth. The goal is not only to destroy your opponent's dinosaur, but also to take over their villages. The art style is fun and care-free, the music is catchy, and the weapons are weird. If you're looking for an escape from the ordinary projectile game, and a chance to interact with actual human beings, give Dinowaurs a go.
The ray gun: time-honored weapon of choice for protection against baddies of all kinds. But if there's nothing to protect against, what good is it? Transmover, a puzzle platformer by Japanese game developers Polygon Gmen introduces a new function for your favorite hand-held emitter of energy: transmotion. In layman's terms, this simply means when you fire your gun at a block, you and the block switch places, a tactic that injects new life into the block-maneuvering platform genre.
In Ice Blast you take control of Skye, Luna, and Sun and destroy ice crystals to restore the world to its happy warm-like state. Using a fun puzzle/strategy layout reminiscent of The Lost Vikings, you must find the most efficient way to clear each field of ice to earn points and upgrade the girls' abilities.
Unwell Mel is a light-hearted and humorous match-3 puzzle game. In the grid comprised of Mel's organs (some of which are shaped like dogs and birds, which we'll assume is normal), click two adjacent pieces of food to swap them and form a line of three in a row to clear them. Thrown in with the food are medical packs, which can restore your power-ups, and bugs that, in some instances, actually help you clear away disease.
The Wizard is missing and with the help of his magical pen you must conjure up all that is hidden to find him. This game is about finding what's missing, both by revealing pictures in magical books, and figuring out from the word clues which items are NOT in the scene. With the magic pen you reconstitute the mysterious invisible world to make it visible.
A short demo of a larger point-and-click adventure to be released in April, this is the latest by Gateway series creator Anders Gustafsson. It uses similar play mechanics to his previous games, and yet the graphical engine looks like it has received a complete makeover. A compelling teaser for the beautiful new world of adventure that Gustafsson has in store for us.
A game for anyone who loves tromping on bubble wrap, Popopop by Bad Viking offers you 42 puzzles of color combo popping action, plus a level editor and all the user-generated puzzles you could want. Just drag one of your starter bubbles into an empty space to burst all the adjacent bubbles of the same color, starting a chain reaction of popping that hopefully ends in obliterating all the bubbles on the screen. Special bubbles like needles and thunderclouds turn the game into a gauntlet of precision timing and mouse dexterity.
Hey casual gamer! Here's a stylish action platform adventure about wizards, nifty upgradeable special abilities, and running around red-colored landscapes zapping things with lightning! Created by Spelgrim, Hey Wizard drops you in the shoes of a wizard trying to get his abilities back from the evil Megagate. Using little more than spell physics to fling yourself around the landscape, destroy all of his evil minions while upgrading your abilities with each trophy you grab.
Spin-n-Match, by Jess Hansen, is a simple puzzle game that will torque your brain to its limits. On the left, you see a grid of jumbled up balls. On the right, you see your target formation. Your task is simple: Make the left look like the right by rotating 2x2 clusters, similar to Bejeweled Twist. You can try to simply beat all 40 levels, or you can go for the developer's target scores. Either way, Spin-n-Match is a nifty little puzzler that'll keep your head spinning. (Fifty bucks says you saw that coming.)
All room escape games have secrets. Some room escapes, however, keep their cards especially close to their chests, relinquishing their grasp bit by bit; these are sometimes the most frustrating, and often the most intriguing. Sagrario's Room is such a game, and a superb one at that.
Your objective in Panda Star is to launch an ambitious panda into the night sky and light up all the stars you find there, which have gone dark because they apparently lack panda juice. This is a simple arcade-style game of skill that looks and sounds like a slow-paced mystical journey of spirit. It won't change the world, but it made us happy one evening in a simple, panda way, and maybe it will do the same for you.
Stick Ranger is a unique RPG with physics-based combat and starring tiny stick figures, from the creators of Irritation Stickman and Powder Game. Create your four-character party by assigning a class to each member—there are the Boxer, the Gladiator, the Sniper, the Magician, and the Priest—and send them on their way through stages with austere backdrops, fighting stick figure monsters for gold, items, weaponry and experience. You may interfere as you see fit by dragging them around the screen.
Yoshio Ishii (Nekogames) has just released a sequel to his unique, if no frills, self-cooperative game, Cursor*10. The update, aptly named Cursor*10 2nd Session, offers a whole new set of levels with the premise and objective still the same: You're a cursor in a tower. You have to reach the 16th floor in 10 lives, but your lifespan is rather short. And not only that, all your previous lives are being replayed, in real time, at the same time as you play. You will have to think on your feet and use cunning and puzzle-solving prowess to get through all 16 levels before your lives (and time) run out.
Brad Borne has combined the ludicrous physics of his own Fancy Pants Adventure with the stylized world of Mirror's Edge to produce a joyful ode to parkour and platforming. Though you'll have to slow down if you want to collect every messenger bag and trinket, the real heart of the game is in running full tilt. The game world feels chunky and reliable, perfect for wall-jumping and launching yourself off of ramps with legs pinwheeling.
Dreamsdwell Stories is a unique match-3 type puzzle game with some strategy game (as in the village building variety such as Totem Tribe or Westward III) elements that build into the experience. Wrapped in a package of crisp, sometimes beautiful, graphics and catchy theme music, the core of Dreamsdwell will have you enjoying the game for hours.
Boonka is a cute, kid-safe and surprisingly challenging puzzle game with unique gameplay that combines strategy, timing and satisfying explosions. A luscious green paradise has been invaded by Skours, nasty black clouds who cut down trees and turn the whole world grey, chasing away the adorable rainbow-coloured Boonkas and generally being total downers. The sage Bababoonka introduces you to each tree, and gently encourages you through the process of growing them from a stunted stump to a magnificent specimen of hardwood by doing what you do best: making color matches and blasting them skywards!
Point and click adventure games will never die, thanks in part to the efforts of Wadjet Eye Games, creator of the Blackwell series, The Shivah, and now, Emerald City Confidential. In the studio's latest title you are cast in the role of Petra, a young private eye trying to make a living in the strange Wizard of Oz-inspired world known as Emerald City. The handdrawn artwork is utterly captivating, the storytelling and writing top-notch, and the game itself is a package you won't be able to tear yourself away from.
Exorbis 2, by Editundo, is a tile-based puzzle game about shunting orbs into targets. The clever thing is that your controls for doing so are tile blocks themselves. Arrow blocks come in pairs. By clicking on one, both move in that direction by one tile, taking any orbs between them along for the ride. 100 tricky levels and a level editor await you in this colorful and absorbing puzzle adventure.
Sin Mark is a Bowmaster Prelude-inspired side-scroller by Con Artist of Armor Games, featuring subtle strategy elements and lots of magic arrow, spell-weaving fun. It's meant to be played with your hero as mobile as possible, unlike many of the static, turret-defending bow-and-arrow games in this genre. Progressing through a series of levels battling waves of Middle Earth-type monsters, you'll extract magic from "Rune Stones" to build a larger arsenal of offensive and defensive spells, all of which are cast from your trusty bow.
An uncommonly lovely escape game that is also, for better and for worse, unusually difficult. We've come to expect great things from Place of Light; their previous games are both excellent and well-executed. With Room Marine, however, they have positively outdone themselves. While the difficulty of the game can be at times taxing, the reward is more than worth it; if you're a serious connoisseur of escape games, you're gonna love this one.
A uniquely engaging, captivating and relaxing puzzle game that will be both fresh and familiar every time you play since all levels and even the music for each level is randomly generated. Author Dan Russell-Pinson set out to create a game with wider appeal than the Tipping Point series of adventure games he is known for, and the game's redeeming qualities certainly don't end there.
3000 AD is a mech-battle game shown from a top-down perspective. Unlike the arcade action of Robokill, it's a stomping, creaking affair, much like classic tales of tall machines like Mech Warrior. Here your steel chassis will absorb gunfire, and lots of it. Your job is to dish it out faster than you take it. The low-resolution graphics won't satisfy everyone, but it's almost like a story of olden times, when pilots were bearded, pixels were gigantic, and mechs were huge and clunky, not like these modern mechs with their hyper-skates and their glitch-core bina-rave parties.
A game that is little like Pong, except that you've got four paddles, they're tethered to the walls by chains, and every eight hits produces a new ball to contend with. It's easy to play and aesthetically simple, with vector-like graphics and soothing sound effects, but the evil challenge is what keeps you coming back for more.
The latest real-time strategy game from tower defense master David Scott sets you in deep space, defending your asteroid mining operation from humongous swarms of space pirates. The freedom of building in two dimensions gives you a lot of room to experiment and find your own strategy, and the sheer scope of the massive battles make it feel like quality space opera. Constant tension plus simple controls plus nearly unlimited mathematical depth equals awesome strategy game.
Loco Mogul is a new casually-oriented sim game from ApeZone. Accurately described as a cross between Oasis and Railroad Tycoon, your job is to survey uncharted territory, build a railway connecting towns, then run a train from station to station, picking up and delivering shipment carts as efficiently as possible. It's an ambitious combination of genres that plays both like a strategy game and a resource management title, complete with rail-themed music and visuals.
A new addition to the Wonderland series, retro-themed isometric puzzle/adventure games that are of the best around. They retain the spirit of what makes the genre so enjoyable while adding new, more modern twists to the experience. Wonderland is threatened once again, only this time the quest to save the world goes terribly wrong. Shipwrecked and marooned on the shores of Fire Island, its your job to maneuver through sets of puzzle challenges and make your way to freedom.