Kentucky Route Zero: Act I is a curious mash-up of an old school adventure game and a cinematic text adventure. Created by Cardboard Computer (which includes A House in California developer Jake Elliott), the game is packed with phenomenal visual and sound design, setting an atmosphere that's one of the most intriguing in recent indie gaming history. it's a bit like Twin Peaks meets a moody old school adventure game (on a dark night in the middle of Kentucky).
After playing John Clowder's Middens, you might ask yourself the following question: what just happened? Calling this adventure/RPG "surreal" is a bit like saying a hike to the moon would be a bit of a trek. You start off with a talking gun who reminds you that each time you pull the trigger, its tongue will be close enough to lick your nails. Then you're dropped in the Rift, a place where... well, who knows what's going on there. The surprising part is Middens actually begins to make sense after a while, though your first experience with the game will be filled with delightful, bewildered confusion.
With a name like F.O.L.D. - Fantastic Olfactory Latrine Discoverer, you know something interesting has to be going on. This puzzle platform game by Cosine relies on just two mechanics to fuel its levels: picking up blocks, and folding the screen. By combining those in some seriously head-splitting ways, you get to figure out how to get from one side of the screen to the other, all in the name of making it to a single pristine bathroom fixture!
Tossed into a hostile, dark fantasy world that hates you and wants you to die with only your wits and the clothes on your back, how long can you stay alive? Klei Entertainment brings us a gorgeous indie survival exploration adventure as your scavenge for food and supplies, craft weapons and armor and more, and learn the rules of a strange land filled with stranger creatures.
Here's a tip. When it comes to ancient demons, send the most qualified person for the job to do it right. Not the person nearest at hand to slap a bandaid on the problem. Jordan, a powerful but lazy and opportunistic warrior, manages to mess up his quest to put an ancient evil back into slumber in the worst way, and suddenly finds himself facing the unwelcome task of saving the world through actual hard work and adventure in this enormous, vibrant, and frequently funny indie RPG.
They say it's all in how you look at things... and they might be right! Perspective, by the fine students of Digipen, is a unique game that combines two-dimensional platforming with three-dimensional worlds to explore. As you switch back and forth between the two modes, you'll see that there's more to this well-crafted challenge than first meets the eye.
Potatoman is looking for something. What that is he isn't entirely sure, but he'll know it when he finds it. But one thing is certain: every living thing he encounters seems to have an opinion. Also, they're trying to kill him. Potatoman Seeks the Troof is a short "potatosophical" action adventure game from the retro masters at Pixeljam. Trot and hop your way across several landscapes as you take in the wisdom from the animals, avoiding things like bouncing/growing cacti, flying bird eggs, and a host of more creative obstacles. If you're lucky, you might even learn something along the way!
It's been a few years, but the Knytt series has finally returned! Knytt Underground pulls in design elements from several of Nifflas' other games, including Within a Deep Forest, NightSky, and Saira, and creates a beautifully atmospheric game of exploration. There's a big world to run, climb and bounce through, packed with secrets that can only be found by mastering some unique character switching moves.
Street Fighter X Mega Man is exactly the game you'd expect it to be: Street Fighter mixed with Mega Man. A free release created by Seow Zong Hui with support from Capcom, this love letter to both franchises stays true to the source material while shuffling things around enough to make it something new. Expect a nice and challenging experience, complete with a new chiptune soundtrack and plenty of inside references for fans of each series.
Choose your hero and embark upon a dungeon crawl in Dungelot. In this roguelike you'll face a myriad of monsters as you fight your way deeper into the dungeon. Collect items to increase your stats as you find the key needed to exit each level. How deep can you delve?
Hey there, adventure gamer! Remember the good old days when your favorite genre was funnier than a car full of clowns crashing into a kazoo factory? Ok, while it doesn't take much to top that colorful feat, you've got to admit you miss the days of The Secret of Monkey Island at least a little bit. Here to soothe those old wounds is KING Art with its release of The Book of Unwritten Tales: The Critter Chronicles, a prequel to The Book of Unwritten Tales that goes all-out for some fantastic laughs, never sacrificing a solid puzzle in the process.
Inspired by just about every intense action arcade game of years past, playing Maldita Castilla from indie developer Locomalito is a bit like booting up a decades old computer and running one of those old chestnuts that punish you with extreme difficulty. In this case it's not quite as punishing, but the look and feel of an old school Ghosts 'n' Goblins-like experience is definitely there. Don't get too caught up in the nostalgia, though, as you've got a world stuffed with demons to cleanse!
This might come as a surprise, but there's a lot of discrimination in the ninja industry, or the "ninjustry" as those of us in the 'biz call it. If you're not a mutant turtle from New York chances are you're going to have a little trouble finding work. Sure, every so often you see a rising star from Beverly Hills or something like that, but for the most part in this job it's go sewer or go home. Thankfully for those of us who aren't reptiles, there's Mark of the Ninja, a stealth action game developed by Klei Entertainment that provides ninja excitement without the heavy shell or outdated surfer lingo. As an unnamed ninja, you'll use your weapons, skills and the powers of a mysterious tattoo to seek revenge for an attack on your clan.
Available in action-RPG or classic turn-based flavour, this moody roguelike from Aaron Steed and music maestro Nathan Gallardo is deliberately mysterious. Descend into a dungeon searching for an amulet with your undead minion, figuring everything from the backstory to the deeper gameplay mechanics as you go. Oh, and tearing off the faces of your enemies and wearing them for bonuses and enchantments. Hooray!
Last Day of Work loves virtual sims. I mean seriously loves them, at least according to their lead designer. And, well, their product line, which includes the massively popular Virtual Villagers series. For those of us who love messing with the lives of little virtual people without all that faffing about on an island, Last Day of Work created Virtual Families, a game which featured the animated people without the exploding volcanoes. Now they've come out with the sequel to that fabulous game, Virtual Families 2: Our Dream House, which deepens the gameplay of the original in new and interesting ways, and all for your handy portable iOS device!
As Horatio Nullbuilt Version Five, you and your floating spherical partner Crispin Horatiobuilt need to explore a post-apocalyptic world while searching for your stolen power core. Along the way you'll encounter plenty of other robots both good and bad, but not the mythical Man, the original builders who vanished from the world in ages past. Maybe you'll even find out what happened to them during your search...assuming you don't end up in the scrap heap!
Want a simple game with simple graphics that will twist your head in a dozen different directions? Try Vertigo, a tough puzzle platformer from Ketone Games that utilizes just about every gravity and screen-altering element you can think of to bend your brain out of shape. You're limited to walking and jumping in this minimalist game, and your only goal is to make it to the exclamation mark exit. And how do you get there, seeing as it's glued to the ceiling far higher than you could ever hope to jump? Easy, you just mess with physics and screen scrolling!
A Man's Quest is an HTML5 action platformer by The Drunk Devs that hearkens to yesteryear, both in terms of its retro graphics and the bouncy spirit of childhood. Help Ty show up his rival Kevin by swiping his place as Chosen One and being the first to make it to the top of Ominous Power. A compressed burst of fun, if one with somewhat loose jump physics.
Your last, best hope for a cure for the plague running rampant through your body lies on a remote island, but when you arrive, destroying your boat in the process, you discover that not only do all the researchers lie dead, but something is stalking you through the trees. IonFX Studios delivers a beautiful but unevenly paced atmospheric survival adventure where you'll travel all over a massive island, hunting down and researching everything you need to make a cure, while trying to evade a creature smart enough to smell, stalk, and trap you.
Everyone remember Boulder Dash? Back in 1984, a little developer called First Star Software released a puzzle game for Atari 8-bit computers that featured a treasure-hungry character named Rockford who spent his time digging through dirt looking for gems the size of himself. Turns out that activity worked out quite well for him, and it worked out well for us players, too, as the game thrived over the decades with a number of sequels and ports to other systems. Now, almost 30 years later, the hunt goes in in Boulder Dash-XL, a re-imagined and updated version of the classic game that has finally made its way to mobile devices. And you know what? It's still a pretty good time!
Exposition... story... who needs it anyway? In just one month, Craze created a free indie RPG with extremely little narrative but extremely deep challenge and strategy. Over thirty difficult battles await you as you venture into a sprawling fortress with three young women as your guardians, where success depends not on grinding levels or items, but on carefully thinking out every turn in combat and swapping out the various skills and spells you'll learn to make the most out of bonuses, strengths, and weaknesses. Get ready to die a whole bunch!
Scribblenauts Unlimited is a new and improved release in the Scribblenauts line from 5th Cell Media. Giving you the power to create objects at will, you embark on a quest to bring happiness to the world, helping people in need by granting them objects from your magic notebook. That's all fine and good and such, but the fact of the matter is you can create just about anything you want, so while that pedestrian is in dire need of a glass of water, wouldn't it be so much more fun to give her a gigantic angry flying shark instead?
Have you ever stopped to think about the little cubes of sugar you put in your tea? Like, maybe they don't really appreciate being dropped into scalding hot liquid? Sugar Cube: Bittersweet Factory is a creative puzzle platform game from TurtleCream that tells the story of one little sugar cube that wasn't too keen on the idea of being put into baked goods. Eyeing a method of escaping the factory, he hops from the conveyor belt and begins his escape, one stage at a time.
ParanormalDev offers up their take on the now iconic Slenderman mythos with a free gorgeous first-person horror adventure made in just two weeks. When you wake up alone and disoriented in a vast park in the middle of a downpour, you have no choice but to seek out help. Unfortunately for you, you might find a big, malevolent mystery instead as you seek out more story and clues than before.
Short and sweet, Very Pink Game is an adventure game created by sheepherds using RPG Maker 2003. It stars a lonely little girl named Ivy who receives a letter from a friend asking her to meet outside of town. In order to make it out of the pink village, though, Ivy has to solve a series of puzzles, helping the townsfolk go about their day by finding lost items, answering riddles, and solving problems. Just like (a very pink-colored) real life!
Baby it's cold outside, but with your Little Inferno fireplace, you can stay warm and entertained forever... as long as you don't run out of things to burn. The Tomorrow Corporation brings a unique, quirky, and gorgeously addictive indie game that's part physics puzzle, and part adventure, all without leaving your hearth. Who really needs the world outdoors anyway? What could it possibly have to offer... ?
If you get lost in the woods, you'd better hope the worst you have to deal with is bugs and being forced to go to the bathroom in a bush. Little Viola has no such luck, and when she wakes alone and confused, trapped on a forest path, the only way to go is inside a mysterious house. Unfortunately for her, the place proves to be filled with dark secrets and a ton of fatal tricks and traps, and staying alive will be harder than you think in this gory free indie horror adventure.
Get your fuzzy blankey and turn on the lights, Imscared - A Pixelated Nightmare lives up to its name. This short and simple horror game from Ivan Zanotti puts you in a dark corridor and asks you to explore a bit, gathering keys in order to gain access to different rooms. You know you "need a heart" to make it to the exit, but surely that's some sort of riddle, isn't it? And that portrait totally had blood on it the first time you looked at it, you just didn't catch it in the same light... right?
We've waited a long, long, long time, but the follow-up to Cliff Johnson's seminal puzzle game The Fool's Errand has finally been released: The Fool and His Money. Packed with logic and word puzzles of all kinds, and the whimsically confounding prose that made the original so enjoyable, The Fool and His Money is just the thing for players looking for a mental challenge.
You know what the worst part of dealing with ghosts is? It's the ectoplasm. That stuff gets all over everything. If you don't want all your worldly possessions covered in ghost slime, you might just want to ghostbust by proxy in Phantasmaburbia, an RPG adventure by Greg Lobanov, creator of Dubloon, Assassin Blue and a variety of other titles. It mixes in the best elements of classic RPGs, adds in a bit of spookiness and shakes vigorously to produce a tasty ghost cocktail!
You've heard of "The Long Arm of the Law," but have you ever heard of "The Long Arm of Postal Deliveries?" In What's In The Box?, you have a package to deliver, a dangerous maze of spikes and traps, and a reeeeeally long arm with which to get from start to finish. You've got to solve each room's puzzles of gates and traps in order to reach the exit with box in hand, but can you make it through the entire game without damaging your precious parcel?
Cook, Serve, Delicious! is a simulation and time management game from Vertigo Games, creator of the similarly spectacular The Oil Blue. If you see a restaurant game and immediately think "casual diversion", let Cook, Serve, Delicious! change your mind. This isn't a light and simple easy to win time management game. It's a full-on simulation that makes you work for your money, pushes you to play faster than you thought possible, and teaches you to strategically plan menus to maximize income without turning the ever-picky customer base away. It's not an easy game to excel at, but it's an easy game to get hooked on, and the challenge of building and running your own restaurant from front to back is going to captivate you for weeks on end.
Pid is a unique and heavily atmospheric platform game from Might and Delight, a team of developers who obviously know some secrets about portable stone-based gravity control the rest of us aren't privy to. Set in a hazy otherworld and starring a lost little kid, you'll learn to control small cones of gravity as you work your way through bizarre landscapes. Sometimes Pid feels like A Boy and His Blob, sometimes a stealth game, and sometimes even Portal. But really, Pid is Pid, and it stands strongly enough on its own to be something unique.
A small time data smuggler in the corporate-dominated futuristic city of NeoSushi, Dogeron Kenan's job is to transport passcodes in his cybernetic arm, trying to keep one step ahead of both the lawful and unlawful who want to stop him. But things just went south, and now everyone in the town is out to get him. It's going to be a long night. An excellent piece of interactive fiction by the Cabrera Brothers, with an atmosphere that more than makes up for parser issues.
It's just another day at SCP's secret underground headquarters, and you're just another disposable D-Class grunt about to be used in an experiment with the creature designated only as SCP-173. That's when the lights go out and the containment procedures fail, and you find yourself suddenly lost and alone, pursued by malevolent otherworldly entities in this randomly generated free adventure game.
The first commercial release from indie developer cactus and his partner Dennis Wedin is a brutal and bloody orchestra from violence. Messages left on your answering machine seem to drive you to acts of mass carnage and unspeakable violence, but what's the reason behind it all? Unlock new masks to hide your identity with special abilities, deal damage with tons of unlockable weapons, and master the game's reflex-driven combat to waltz your way through sprawling, challenging missions as you get closer to the truth.
Whenever it gets close to Halloween, most of us are ready for a good scare. Zombies tunneling from below the soil, mummies leaping out from behind tombstones. Slenderman staring at us from off in the distance. Lionsoft, creator of the previously featured Sprint - King of the Jungle, knows the feeling well, not to mention a handful of retro games that fit the scary setting just as snugly. And so comes 8-bit Halloween, an arcade platform game that borrows from some of the most popular sidescrolling games of old to create a challenging, holiday appropriate release to get you in the mood.
Inspired by a retro game? Check! Precision platforming tactics? Check! Melt-your-eyes gorgeous visuals? That's a check! It looks like we have another heavy-hitting indie game on our hands! Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams began life as a spiritual sequel to the original Commodore 64 platform game The Great Giana Sisters. What emerged from that Kickstarter project is something cleverly old school, supremely challenging, and more gorgeous than still images could possibly convey. You're going to have a great time yelling at the screen because you died at the same place for the 18th time in a row!
Created by Colin Northway (Fantastic Contraption) and Sarah Northway (Rebuild) with art by Thomas Shahan, this gorgeous physics game feels like a vertebrate version of World of Goo with the building-centric gameplay of Fantastic Contraption. Using the simple tools of legs and muscles, you must help Quozzle on her quest to find her family as she attempts to traverse terrain as twisted and diverse as you can imagine. How are you going to make it over the next hill? Maybe by attaching two dozen legs to Quozzle's eye and strapping them all together with muscles? Why not, let's give it a shot!
Kairo is a first person puzzle adventure game from Richard Perrin, creator of The White Chamber. Set in a minimalist, somewhat abstract world of temples and stones, floating pathways and mysterious mechanisms, you'll be given no clues as to what you need to do to complete the game. Instead, you'll wander through room after room, using your keen powers of observation to figure out where the puzzles are and how to solve them. It's a game design choice rarely seen since the days of Myst, and it brings with it a satisfying gaming experience that has become increasingly rare in the age of tutorials and online cheat codes.
A free first-person horror action adventure made by Utah students, Erie drops you into an abandoned nuclear generator that's suffered a partial meltdown, searching for survivors and trying to uncover the reason why people have been disappearing from the nearby town. Naturally, no good can come of this. Heavy on jump scares and simple in gameplay, Erie is nevertheless a fun, free, and freaky little horror game that will get your heart racing.
Robota: Lost is an in-progress adventure game that drops you in an open world with a ship that needs power to fly. Naturally, your first (and only) quest is to head out and find the hidden batteries so you can make your escape. There are no enemies, no bosses, no hazards, and no obstacles, it's just you, a few hills, a few forests, and a sunny countryside waiting to be explored.
Scheherazade "Sadie" Keating has just graduated, but with famous (and missing) adventurous parents as her legacy, she has a bit more to live up to than most young women. When a thief reveals a secret and a mystery she never suspected has been under her nose all along, Sadie sets out on a massive globe-trotting adventure to uncover the truth... or, depending on your choice, forge her own legacy, become closer with families, kindle a romance, or much, much more in this huge, engaging visual novel simulation set in the 1930s.
Troubleopolis! City of Action! And Adventure! And Driving! And Shooting! And, uh, Dating Sims! It's a real multi-genre kind of place in Retro City Rampage, a humorous open-world sandbox adventure game by VBlank Entertainment that sends up just about about every bit of 80s and 90s game culture you could hope to bring to your nostalgia-addled mind. It bears more than a passing resemblance to the early Grand Theft Auto releases (it actually began its decade of development under the name Grandtheftendo), but this wholly new and wholly comical experience stands on its own as a mad, mad parody with plenty of in-jokes to absorb!
Teletrooper is a mission-based arcade shooting game from Adam Butcher and Ben Claxton. Crafted over the course of seven years, Teletrooper draws inspiration from the likes of Star Fox 64, creating an experience that is a far cry from a mindless test of reflexes. Instead, you'll be treated to a storyline, accept and complete a variety of missions, deal with smart enemies and tough defenses, and maybe even grab a few power-ups along the way. It's a challenging and rewarding game you'll thank yourself for downloading, even if you spend the first half hour figuring out how to not die!
Hey, you there! You blocked my pixel in with your car. Wanna back up so I can get this thing outta here? What's that? You can't back up? Fine, let's just restart the puzzle and try not to be so daft this time, shall we? So goes the conversation (or something like it) you'll have with your self over and over again with Pixel Blocked, a rotation-based block firing puzzle game that has cute and casual written all over it.
It's adventure time and ape time! Adventure Apes and the Mayan Mystery is a retro-inspired platform adventure from ScaryPotato that shares a few genre points with games like La-Mulana, Cave Story, and many other metroidvania games. As you quest about through the jungle, opening up new areas to explore as you find new tools and power-ups, you'll need to keep an eye out for coins, keys, treasure chests, and relics, all while dispatching common enemies and squaring off against more formidable boss foes. It's all action and adventure, and it's all good fun, from beginning to end!
Probability 0 is a procedurally-generated arcade platform game created by Droqen that's all about working your way down. Most games make it pretty easy to move in that direction, as we tend to think of up as the win direction (just ask any tall person) and down as, well, not-win. With this moody little game, though, you'll have to fight your way to the bottom of the screen, squeezing through blocks, punching holes in the terrain, dealing with evil enemies, and upgrading your abilities at every opportunity you get.
Of Light & Shadow is a puzzle platform hybrid from 12 Angry Devs that focuses on two characters, each with different abilities as well as environmental weaknesses. It takes place in a crumbling world of chaos, with giant frogs, chomping machine monsters, flying platforms and bubbling pools of lava all waiting to take a piece of you with them to oblivion. But, since you're such a talented player, you can survive the surreal stages and work your way to safety at the end!
Explore a world of tiny gardens, shady parks, and secret glades. Grow gardens and enjoy soothing sounds as you travel through this happy little block-fitting puzzle game from Michael Todd. Just click to pick up pieces, use space to rotate, and drag into place. Enchanting and sweet, Little Gardens has that bit of magic and heart that makes a good game a true delight to play.
What... the heck is going on here? At first glance, you probably think Super Amazing Wagon Adventure is some sort of Oregon Trail-related simulation game. But then you see words like "arcade game" and "side-scrolling shooter" and you suddenly think "Maybe I'm going insane? Maybe I've forgotten what words mean and I've just started seeing random flan horse topple red maneuver?". You can relax, however, as we're here to promise you that Super Amazing Wagon Adventure is everything the title suggests, and it manages to be fast-paced, crazy, and entertaining all within the first five seconds.
Take one color-coded multipurpose vehicle, add a variety of shapes scattered all about, then throw in the ability to mess with gravity in just about every way possible. The result? Colour Bind, a brand new physics-based indie puzzle game from Finn Morgan. Controlling a simple little car (two wheels on a chasis, basically), you have the pleasure of working through dozens of levels as you flip switches and change gravity so you can reach the exit. Best of all, Colour Bind was built with old school sensibilities in mind, meaning you'll be rewarded for exploration and challenged with difficult levels from beginning to end. Hooray!
Ready for a puzzle that will run you rug-ged? Farsh, from the Persian word for carpet, is a tile-walking puzzler where you've got to roll and unroll your carpet to reach the exit. If you roll up just right, you can rotate the tiles around you to build a path. Just don't let your mind get frayed in the process!
Bigger, badder, and altogether better than the original, Runic Games' brings their action RPG back to life in this fantastically fun sequel. When old heroes fall and turn against the land as a sickness spreads across it, it falls to one lone wanderer to take up the mantle of hero. With multiplayer support, huge boss battles, sprawling environments, and new classes unrestricted by gender, Torchlight 2 is a sequel that delivers everything it promised and more.
Gateways, an exploration-based platform game from Smudget Cat Games, can be quickly summarized by saying it's like Portal, but in 2D. That's leaving a lot out of the equation, though, as Gateways goes to great lengths to provide a different kind of experience, one more akin to a metroidvania-type game than that other portal-making adventure. You'll realize that as soon as you start to explore the chunky pixel laboratory, smashing the glass domes over monkey's heads and wondering how on Earth you're supposed to climb over the next ledge.
ScrumbleShip is an in-progress sandbox-style game of ship construction and combat simulation, all accomplished using a massive list of building materials and a surprisingly smart heat simulation model. Built around simple block placements, you have complete freedom of movement in this game, allowing you to jet yourself in any direction so you can construct the most accurate (or most hilariously inaccurate) piece of space-faring machinery you've ever seen. Want a tiny escape pod all your own? Done. How about a massive star base? Orbital station? Or maybe even a Death Sta— er, moon?!
Described as a "spaceship simulation roguelike-like" by its developers, Subset Games, you won't be doing a whole lot of boldly going where no one has gone before in FTL: Faster Than Light. In fact, most of your time will be spent directing crew members and putting out engine room fires. But scifi strategy fans will love every minute of it, even with the hardcore difficulty.
Your life was just a simple one. But this morning, you've found this sparking mechanical creature in your front yard. Is it friendly? Is it hostile? Or, perhaps scariest of all... are you teaching it what to do? A Ludum Dare 24 entry by Paul Greasley, Soul Jar is adventure platformer that tasks you with directing the evolution of a robot companion, for good or for bad. Visually stunning, with a killer premise, Soul Jar is hampered by clunky controls, but demonstrates the creativity the Ludum Dare format can inspire.
Three different people, three different worlds, and one very strange common thread. Tyler Glaiel, now part of Eyebrow Interactive, brings us one drop-dead gorgeous dark puzzle platformer in the form of this upgrade to his 2009 classic browser game full of ingenious levels and stunning design. Manipulate light to change your surroundings, using shadows to wipe away obstacles, and, ultimately, find your way back home.
Combining elements of exploration, puzzle solving, and some good old fashioned robot building, Mobiloid from Montrezina plays like the best parts of Metroid and Q.U.B.E. blended to perfection. It's a game that allows you to use almost two dozen accessories to create functional (or, you know, not so functional) contraptions that help you stick your nose in every corner of the world, uncovering new items, new parts, and new puzzles along the way.
Auria Edith died, but for her it was just the beginning. When she finds herself resurrected and stranded on the other side of the world following a bargain she may regret making, things go from bad to worse. In this short but polished first installment of the free modern fantasy RPG by Project BC, Auria sets out to find her way home, but she might not be prepared for what comes looking for her instead.
Super Hexagon, the latest release from VVVVVV creator Terry Cavanagh, is the kind of game that makes you hate games. It will make you feel like an inept player who couldn't play an arcade game even if you were in Russia (where arcade game plays you, we hear). You might even get mad at Terry, who crafted this fast, stylish game seemingly just to show you how often you can fail. But after you lose ten times in as many seconds, you'll suddenly realize that Super Hexagon has you by the collar, has already taken your lunch money, and if you want it back, you're going to have to keep playing. Strangely enough, that's a challenge you'll be thrilled to undertake!
Like the classic adventuring PC games of old, here is the type of game you could easily lose chunks of time on as you switch between two characters, gathering anything not nailed down and working your way through hours of conversational threads, all in pursuit of Edna's freedom and sanity. Using the touch screen commands, your first job is to find you way out of a padded cell. Edna and her talking plush companion, Harvey, will win you over with their irreverent observations on life, sanity and the mundane world around us even as you sympathize with her situation. You, like Edna, might soon find yourself going in circles, vacillating between the joy of discovery and the frustration of confusion.
Flight to Freedom is the second in the series of Mission US educational point-and-click adventure game titles focusing on American History, created by Electric Funstuff under the auspices of New York PBS Station Channel 13. The year is 1848. The tenuous balance that had been struck concerning the issue of slavery wavers in the face of a nation expanding by conquest and treaty. Living in these tumultuous times is Lucy, a 14 year old slave of Kentucky's King Plantation. Lucy must balance her wishes for freedom with the risk of recapture, but an incident on the farm will force the issue sooner than she'd ever thought. What can a slave do? An intelligent and thought-provoking game that should appeal to both its student audience, and anyone with a passing interest in history.
In the medieval fantasy world of Trouble With Robots, robotic lifeforms from outer space have come to turn the world of Middle Turf upside down, destroying old villages and replacing them with futuristic highways and strip malls. You'll have to build your best deck full of spells, powerful trolls, dwarves, and elves (not to mention angry pitchfork wielding peasants!) to stop the invasion and bring peace back to the land in this lean little card battle game, that picks a few elements and does them right, rather than trying to juggle more than it can handle, leaving you with a satisfying experience that you can come back to and improve, even if you are a gamer on a time-budget.
Life is full of winners and losers and, if you are like most people, you are usually losing. Not so with Sangwoo Hong, Keyboardminer, and Pixelminer's surreal little mahjong-like game, Cubistry. Simply click on one kind of tile and then another of the same to make them both dissapear from the cube in a little flurry of 3D casino-style gratification that will be sure to stimulate your brain stem and keep you playing until each little cube is gone forever. And, if you manage to beat your best score, than all the better. But it's not necessary to enjoy this simple idea game done right.
Originally developed by Kepuli Games for the 7 Day FPS Challenge, then polished up to win 2nd in the Assembly GameDev Competition, Force: Leashed is a first-person gravity-based physics puzzle game. It combines the structure of the Quake engine with the mechanics of Auditorium and the overall design sense of Portal (if GLaDOS never spoke and handed out gravity guns). And despite the title, Jar Jar doesn't show up once. That's gotta be worth half a point right there.
It all begins with an innocent little robot drifting through a leaky cave. It all ends with... well, a lot more than that. Talawa Games' Unmechanical is a physics-heavy action puzzle game where you control a round 'bot flying through an underground factory, trying to find his way back to the surface. It looks like something unsettling happened here not too long ago, judging from the rockslides and blocked passages and all. But you don't have time to hover and ponder, you just want to get out. And as you soon discover, you're not exactly alone down here...
Who doesn't love climbing mountains? Clamoring across stone, breathing in the pristine air from high above the land, defying all sensible concepts of human strength and endurance so you can grab bags of gold floating in the sky. Sure, our experience with climbing real mountains might be limited, but we're pretty convinced ROCKMAN (no, not that Rock Man) from TwO Bros. Games is a realistic simulation of the sport. If it's not, well, we'll want a full refund on that CD box set of square dancing music we just ordered.
In the year 20XX, Dr. Wily has been defeated by Mega Man (again). He escaped capture and life returned to normal, his eight robot masters returning to storage until the day their circuits may be modified to aid society. As it turns out, that day is today! Dr. Wily wasted no time attacking once again, unleashing a super virus that has disrupted Mega Man's systems and turned computers across the globe into enemies of humanity. With no other options at his disposal, Dr. Light releases the eight robot masters, hoping their virus-free circuits can defeat Wily once and for all. So begins Mega Man: Day in the Limelight 2 by Fusion Team, a retro platforming action adventure that's sure to bring a twinkle to the eye of any child of the 8-bit generation.
In a universe torn asunder by a near cataclysmic event known as the Shine, there are those who fight to keep the peace and others who fight to steal whatever peace there could have been. You wake up on a space station surrounded by people who make you realize that you have no memory and absolutely no idea why they're so interested in you. Through exploration and space battles you'll find that not everyone has the best intents for you and that somehow you must make it out alive. In this beautiful prequel to The Reconstruction made by Deltree it's all up to you to be a hero for the universe.
Mooooo! Do you hear that? It's the sound of cows being abducted! In this tower defense game from Lightmare Studio, you and your pal Barney must use your wits and whatever you can find lying around the barn to protect the cows from the aliens who crave them. Be it an explosive grill or poisonous gasses, you'll find plenty of ways to keep the invaders out of the cow field.
This subtly terrifying indie horror adventure game doesn't have a soundtrack, but if it did, it would just be our reviewers mewling "No no no no no" over and over again. Search for eight missing pages deep in the woods at night with a flashlight as your only guide. But are you as alone as you think? And how long can you last when you can't even risk a look over your shoulder?
Originally released in 1983 by Tim and Chris Stamper's Ultimate Play The Game, Atic Atac was one of the most heralded games for the ZX Spectrum. A top-down action-adventure game, it was the deceptively simple looking tale of an adventurer trapped in a haunted house, who must battle his way from basement to "atic" to find the keys that would let him escape. Now remade by Retrospec, it is now available to frustrate and addict a whole new generation of gamers.
What springs to mind when someone says the word "maze"? Probably not an image of a butterfly dancing along a series of colored tiles to the sound of piano keys. Sergey Mohov, on the other hand, envisioned exactly that, turning the butterfly and piano vision into a gorgeously styled maze puzzle game by the name of Dedale. With music provided by Fractures, it is up to you to brave 100 levels of tile coloring, butterfly leading, maze escaping fun.
Peru, 1950. Strange signs have appeared in the misty mountains. You, a famous spelunker, head to the area to investigate them.. Such is the humble premise of Cavenaut, an exploration-based action-adventure game by Bruno Marcos. Don't think that the ruins of Machu Picchu will reveal their secrets so easily, however. Snake, Bat, Spike, and Spear stand in your path, and if you hope for mysteries to be unraveled, you must be quick of both mind and fingers.
Fhtagn! Cthulhu's powers have been locked away, and he needs to save the world to get them back... so he can destroy the world of course. This turn-based RPG from Zeboyd Games affectionately sends-up both Lovecraftian horror and RPGs themselves, but it's also a game with more than ten hours of solid play for an amazing price.
I Wanna Be The Guy was a small indie platform game released way back in 2007, and if you're wondering what took it so long to get a sequel, you obviously never played the original. A quick refresher: you could be killed by falling apples. You could be killed by apples that fall upwards. If you avoided the apples, a cloud could drop out of the background... and kill you. And that would be how you got past one screen. The sequel ups the insanity and makes you wonder if you really do want to be the guy.
Night after night, you dream of her. Anna. But... they're not dreams, they're nightmares. And now, you find yourself staring at the very house you see each night in your sleep. This isn't a dream, but it isn't quite real, either. Welcome to the haunting world of Anna, a first person horror adventure game by Dreampainters that will leave you too frightened to turn your back on a dark corner for the rest of the night.
- • Ib
- • Hydorah
- • Botanicula
The following is a selection of favorite games compiled and reviewed by JIG community member, Wally. It is also one of the winning entries from our previous call for submissions for community favorites, for which Wally will receive some gifts from us of his choosing. Thanks to everyone who shared their favorites with us! Look for more community favorites in the coming weeks.
Back in 2005, Takumi Naramura released a retro-styled exploration game called La-Mulana. Starring an archaeologist professor named Lemeza, it introduced modern players to an aesthetic not seen since the days of the MSX home computer, bringing with it all the convoluted puzzles, items, and high level of difficulty retro gamers love. Fast forward to 2012 for the worldwide release of a graphically enhanced update to La-Mulana that carefully reworks the look and feel of the old game to spruce it up for a new audience. Nigoro has done a fantastic job with the new La-Mulana, and the translation to the slightly-less-retro modern version is almost flawless!
A cinematic simulation of hacking that owes more to Wargames and Sneakers than Kevin Mitnick and Adrian Lamo, Uplink: Hacker Elitecyberpunk intrigue. Originally released by Introversion Software in 2001, and streamlined into the Hacker Elite version for the US market, the latter is now available for purchase from the lovely indie and retro game outlet GOG, and it's a worthy addition to any gamers library.
What happened, Marina? If it's a primary power failure, they're going to enact Protocol 13. If you don't make it to the shelter before that happens... well, it's best not to think about that. Or those sounds of wet slithering you hear from the corner... Wages of Darkness is a horror adventure game developed by Baron that got top prize in Aprils Month of AGS competition. It's pixel-hunting premise probably couldn't be sustained in a longer game, but at just ten minutes, it's perfect for a little stomach punch of dread.
Created in 72 hours for a recent game jam, Disillusion by True Valhalla is a short, somewhat abstract platform adventure that focuses heavily on atmosphere and exploration. You begin with a sword and a vague goal in the back of your mind: go to the end of the world and find the Holy Artifact. If you don't, your people won't survive. Sounds like motivation to us! You quickly head out into the hazy world, ready to tread down branching non-linear paths, defeat enemies both small and gargantuan, and pull off some tricky jumps with the greatest of ease.
In order to play all of the latest surreal puzzle game from prolific purveyor of awesome, Eyezmaze, you'll need to donate at least a dollar, but you can still play the first portion for free. Discover the strange and strangely adorable secrets of a mysterious black box by clicking on it and trying to figure out what you need to do and when in order to proceed. It's weird, it's cute, and like all of Eyzemaze's games, definitely one of a kind.
Quantum Conundrum is a light-hearted puzzle adventure game from Airtight Games. Taking pages from releases like Q.U.B.E. and, of course, Portal, Quantum Conundrum pits you against a series of challenges that require some fine manipulation of physics in order to solve. In this case, you have the dubious honor of being able to switch between four unique dimensions that affect everything in the game in a different way. Work your way through your uncle's mansion as you help him attempt to solve the riddle of where exactly he's gotten himself lost this time!
Strap on your pistols and saddle up, pardner, there's a new card-based strategy game in town! From Cryptic Comet, the maker of Solium Infernum, comes Six Gun Saga, a game that combines cards, heavy strategies, and all the fierceness of the wild, wild west. Choose your boss then go at it with guns-a-blazing! Build up your town (or sell your cards) to make money, and form posses, then use them to collect victory points by defending story cards or just blow your opponent's men away! Turn by turn, you will either play as, or match wits with some famous characters like Wyatt Earp, Dirty Dave Rudabaugh, and others.
Necro Gaia is a short arcade defense game from Lazy Brain Games, creator of a few other freeware indie games such as Mecha Spider Island and Infernal Edge. This intense little release puts you in control of a small blue planet called Terra, a lovely little Earth-like rock orbiting a sun that is traveling to another galaxy. You have to stay along for the ride, but the trouble is, all sorts of dangerous things are floating in the blackness of space. By changing your orbital position as well as summoning some temporary planetary friends, you can help Terra survive her journey to her new home, defeating the all-consuming Necro Gaia in the process!
Michael Molinari uses basketball and surreal, dreamlike imagery to explore love and family in this stunning indie title. Go one on one against nightmare creatures in your quest to find your sister, or solve platform puzzles in strange dimensions. It's a swanky, gorgeous, strange journey that overcomes somewhat clunky controls to deliver a beautiful and unique experience you don't have to love sports to enjoy.
As the new girl transferring for her final year of school, you've got a lot on your plate, especially if you want to get into a top-tier university. But in Roxanne Chen's gorgeous, funny, and charming visual novel simulation, you've also got the potential to make friends that will last you forever... and maybe even find love, too. Packed with colour, energy, and tons of replay value, this is well worth checking out. You've only got one year... make it count!
Penny Arcade and Zeboyd Games combine to deliver this turn-based RPG with a distinctly retro feel that both fits with and stands apart from the previous two installments. Join Tycho and Gabe of the Startling Developments Detective Agency as they attempt to learn the secrets of the mysterious Necrowombicon... while dodging time-traveling dinosaur spies, murderous caterpillars, ancient cults and more in the process. Exceptionally heavy on combat but more than a little funny, it's a surprisingly engrossing little title with a lot to offer in the way of humour and charm if you don't mind a lot of strategy with your gameplay.
On the surface, it's easy to put Thomas Was Alone in the puzzle platform genre, citing games like The Lost Vikings when you discuss the gameplay mechanics and mentioning VVVVVV as another possible source of lo-fi indie inspiration. But after you've spent some time with the game, you suddenly realize it's much more than just a platformer. Thomas Was Alone is an interactive, character-driven puzzle experience with a beautiful audio visual presentation and gameplay controls/physics that were no doubt fine-tuned with fastidious precision.
The Story of Red Cloud is a massive adventure-style mod for the sandbox building game Terraria. Citing inspiration from The Legend of Zelda and Dark Souls, the mod takes a massive step away from its source, knocking out most of the creative aspects in favor of traditional combat and exploration. This isn't the Terraria you've grown to love, nor is it a happy romp through a flower-filled land of bunnies (though there are bunnies). The Story of Red Cloud is a challenging game filled with secrets to find, items to hoard, dungeons to explore, and gruesome deaths to narrowly avoid.
What makes a hero? Is it someone who keeps fighting, even when everyone around them insists there's no point? Or is it someone who is willing to give the most precious thing they can just for the promise of a better tomorrow? Made in just under a month as a half hour lunch break game, Sailerius and Hirei have crafted a short but remarkably atmospheric action adventure release with Finding Eden, a thoughtful game about friendship, the end of the world, and sacrifice. The story follows two young girls struggling to stay alive after an unspecified disaster befell the world and left it stripped of Mana, with virtually everyone left sleeping husks littering the street... except for the sinister Harvesters who are always on the girls' heels. With their own Mana, their life force, constantly dwindling and scraps being harder and harder to come across, is it worth carving out an existence in this bleak world... or can they find something worth giving everything they have for?
Deep within the spaceship, a lowly garbage worker tosses clumps of trash into the incinerator. Outside, asteroids begin pelting the hull, eventually causing the ship to crash on an uncharted planet filled with strange creatures. And now you, lone survivor, must explore and fight your way through an intricate maze-like world as you gather power-ups, fight bosses, and collect every little green square you see. In Wade McGillis's downloadable and mobile game Astronot, you get a good strong dose of pure retro metroidvania-style platform adventuring, and you'll love every minute of stranded torture it brings you.
What could be worse than some cretin named Big (who also happens to be your brother) stealing the pair of mystical underpants left by your departed grandfather? Nothing, as far as the folks at Black Pants Studio are concerned. With the team's first release, the sandbox-oriented action and physics game Tiny and Big: Grandpa's Leftovers, we get to see just what happens when you give a guy a raygun, a grapple-device, and unlimited rockets, then turn him loose in a sun-parched ruined desert world to find his pants-thieving brother. To put if briefly: a whole lotta rocks will get sliced, tossed, juggled, and destroyed.
Long has it been dictated that a woman in a fairy tale had better be either beautiful, meek, humble as apple pie, or a mix thereof. Someone hates her, a prince wants to save her, and some sparkly fairy dust is going to cause some type of dilemma. Throughout it all, this princess is going to hmmm and sigh but ultimately go along with the ride because, hey, she's a damsel in distress and you best not forget it! Fortunately for us, Moacube didn't just forget it, they threw it out of the proverbial tower turret to the alligator infested moat below. In the team's dazzling visual novel Cinders, they charge headfirst into the outdated and come out the other side with brand spanking shiny and new.
Are they conveyor belts? Are they fallen trees? To be completely honest, we can't figure out what those strange laser-emitting bricks in increpare's aptly-named Puzzles are supposed to be. All we know is that they cause trouble if you touch them, but yet that danger might be the key to solving the eight enigmas in this game.
From the world's favorite developer of quirky indie games, bentosmile, the Easy Quest series is a set of three tiny action RPG-style games that take place in the same setting with the same creatures and the same basic goal: save the world! You do this by defeating enemies that are weaker than you, running them over until they bite the dust. With each hit, you suffer damage, too, so you have to balance your attacks and seek healing potions only when they're absolutely necessary. It's a game of watching the numbers and being aggressive when it's a smart thing to do, and despite each game's short length, they're still a set of quests you'll love to undertake!
When a physicist researching a world-changing project ends up dead, it's up to you to figure out what happened. In Resonance, a stellar point-and-click adventure by Wadjet Eye Games, you control four strangers who are forced to trust each other to help you solve the mystery. Use the unique long and short term memory system to explore the world around you and uncover clues. Can you recover the research before someone else ends up dead?