ALZ is a very peculiar piece of interactive art. Subtle, yet striking, it offers a precious glimpse into the workings of a troubled mind. Even though it can be finished in about two minutes, it is strangely compelling, saddening and memorable.
Less a game and more a community-driven storytelling experiment, this collection of tales and comics from different authors and artists covers everything from serious sci-fi to epic fantasy, and even humour. The catch? You get to vote on how each new installment of the stories you're reading will go.
Click and mouse to resolve beautiful scenes in a soothing, relaxing environment. This is ideal for a pleasant coffee break or just a peaceful moment away from everything. OFFS3T is a delightful interlude that reminds us that the pleasures in life are in the experience, rather than in the completion.
The Everloom is an artistic adventure game by Lucas Paakh that takes players on a trip through a forest of imagination. Beautiful in aesthetics, not all of the elements mesh mechanically, but it remains a fascinating piece of work that compares favorably to the rest of Paakh's canon.
Dan and his family have come to an isolated summer home for a few months to let Dan work on his new book, but each of them has their own wants and problems to deal with, and the choices they make will shape their relationships and their lives in unexpected ways, even if it seems impossible to make everyone happy. Part stealth adventure, part interactive art, this is a unique and compelling indie game best suited to players who favour slow introspection and character drama.
Felix Park's short interactive art piece looks simple, but has surprising depth. When you pick up your camera and allow yourself to zoom in close to different parts of your room, you'll be surprised at the things you find. By turns silly, embarrassing, introspective and even a little uncomfortable, FOC/US is about the things we can let isolate and paralyze us, as well as the parts of us we think too much about, or maybe not enough.
Last time in this whimsically surreal and remarkably gorgeous point-and-click adventure series, our stalwart hero, Triton, found the legendary Kveendolnitza. Using it, will he be able to now restore the old order? Eh. Who knows? Why don't you give the little fellow a hand: explore the world around you, search through intricately detailed scenery to uncover useful objects and use them in the correct order, solve riddles and other minigames, until you find the answer at the end.
Day in, day out, Stanley works at his desk pushing keys the way he's told... until one day the orders stop coming and he realises his office is empty. He strikes out to uncover the truth, guided by an omnipresent narrator, and that's what this game is about. Isn't it? Galactic Cafe delivers one of the most surprising, compelling, and unexpectedly delightful indie experiences in a long time.
Inspired by cult hit exploratory horror adventure Yume Nikki, this game uses minimal dialogue and no direction to force you to piece together the story and interpret the imagery yourself. Sabitsuki never leaves her room, but through her computer, she can explore her mind... but is she ready for what she finds?
The old, walled-in town of Dubrovnik is the hauntingly beautiful location of Mateusz Skutnik's latest seek-and-find the gnomes adventure. Follow a changing cursor to scan each scene, exploring narrow streets and tightly built houses, seeking out the elusive gnomes. It's near impossible to find all ten before the timer first expires, but this is a good thing: Skutnik's remarkable photography is too enchanting to spend a mere 10 minutes on. The serene beauty of Dubrovnik is wonderful to explore, and who knows what you may discover? Maybe even a troll.
In this creepy bit of Twine-delivered interactive fiction, a young girl's father becomes obsessed with digging a hole beneath their house. As the years pass, he begins to resemble less and less the man she once knew... and perhaps even less of a man at all...
Broken Picture Telephone is back! Using a free account, play with other people online as you attempt to interpret their drawings and create your own from descriptions of others. The premise is simple. Someone writes out a phrase (essentially an idea for a drawing), and someone else has to draw it. Then someone else looks at that drawing and describes what they think is happening in it, and someone else uses that description to draw their picture... and so on... and so on... and so on! You won't know what the other submissions or original objective was until you're done.
Janie is baffled as to why her boyfriend, Mike, told her he needed a break a month ago, and she doesn't understand why her friend Trina keeps telling her to calm down and try a new perspective. In this visual novel style story made to raise awareness for teen dating violence, you'll have to help Janie explore her memories and her life to come to some unpleasant but necessary revelations about her relationship... and herself.
What do you get when you mix Hieronymus Bosch, a minimalistic setting and a curious teenager? Madness, that's what! CAVE! CAVE! DEUS VIDET. is a bizarre trip down the rabbit hole, during which you can expect everything from the seven deadly sins to learning about medieval history to slowly losing your mind. And it's all weirdly awesome.
Bart Bonte delivers a short, surreal adventure game about a mysterious factory... well, maybe not that mysterious given what greets you. But though you might find this little title, made for the No Future Contest, a bit too simple and more of an interactive movie than anything, it's worth the few minutes it'll take you for a chuckle.
Ever since the Behavioral Act of 1923, the government's had a little more freedom to enforce... certain things. Have you done well in school? Have you behaved? If so, you've got nothing to worry about. If not, you may end up in a house stuffed to the gills with surveillance equipment, forced to play 3 Blind Mice: A Remediation Game for Improper Children. Made by Seemingly Pointless, it's more an experience than a game... but if you like creepy situations or dystopian settings, it delivers both very well.
In the middle of the US Civil War, a soldier has been captured and is about to be executed by hanging. If only the rope would break, perhaps he could make his way home... An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge, made by Seemingly Pointless, is an artsy adaptation of a story that many of you may already know. Does it hold up? That's for you to decide.
Casper is a boy living in a black and white world with a gambling drunkard for a father. When he finds out his dad has gambled their ranch away, he must find a way to save his home. Cross Stitch Casper is a bleak story of a broken family and an unusual point-and-click experience, made even more poignant by the unique embroidered graphics.
King of Bees in Fantasy Land, a Twine adventure game by Brendan Patrick Hennesy, hails to an earlier time of gaming plotting; one where "all your base are belong to us". Thought there's not much action to speak of, this little choose-your-own-adventure tale of a Space Knight taking on the Evil King of Bees in the year 2888 is a quick, smart, piece of video game comedy.
In Lethal Dose, the new interactive movie by DonkeyWoman, you play the part of a femme very fatale, carrying out assassinations against whatever poor sap has crossed someone rich enough to make them disappear. But when demons from her past begin to resurface, the choice of targets will soon end up being hers alone. Aesthetically amazing, though heavy on the quick time events.
Want a word game? Want a SWANKY word game? Then check out the short but stylish title from mif2000 that sends you running through a world of words you can combine to change the landscape and their meaning!
A duck may want many things. A simple life? An education? High adventure? Clearly there are choices to be made, and you're just the one to help! A Duck Has An Adventure is a humorous piece of CYOA interactive art by Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, and while it has more art than gameness, it's a quacking good time.
You are the master of weather! You control a werewolf! You can terrorize the town! Or you can help the werewolf go buy cigarettes! In Moon Waltz, there's only one button, and it makes the clouds disperse and reveal the moon, which turns an innocent-looking guy into a ferocious beast. Whether you will use this power for good or evil is totally up to you and your twisted imagination. Muahahaha.
The Yawhg is coming... but nobody knows it yet, and in the six weeks leading up to its arrival to your cheerfully oblivious town, you'll guide up to four people in their daily lives. The choices you make and the skills you have them learn will come into play when the time comes, but more than anything else, this gorgeous and surreal fantasy visual novel/choose-your-own-adventure indie game is a fantastical piece of narrative work with tons of replayability.
Everyone Together is a tough little stumper in a meek, unassuming package, and it will give you the urge to go back through your various contact lists and catch up with people you haven't gotten in time with for years. You know exactly the ones I mean!
Explore a mysterious paper world and help the Paper Titans reunite as they work together in 45 levels to gather up three stars and reach the envelope sealed with a kiss. Fold up these quirky characters then put to collecting, throwing, flying, exploding and shamaning past obstacles in an elaborate 3D world which is instantly accessible via a touch and a swipe on your mobile device. Playing more as interactive art than a challenging game, those who enjoy distinctive visuals and relaxing gameplay can let their imagination run wild in this papercraft playground.
Now you too can be a minimalist artist! Mondrianism is an ingenious interactive art game, in which you get to play with Mondrian's paintings. Move one coloured rectangle around, absorbing all the others, until there's only one colour left on the screen. And you thought this art thing was difficult...
A "crowd-sourced" music video for Dutch band Light Light's new single, "Kilo", Do Not Touch is a unique piece of interactive art by Studio Moniker. In it, viewers are directed their cursors along with thousands of others who've come before them. It's a trippy look into the internet hive mind and, while only a game in the broadest of terms, definitely worth sharing.
A young man strikes up a Faustian bargain to save his injured love kill three evildoers, and she can live. Will he be able to hold onto his humanity, or will he lose himself in the process? Despite some gameplay flaws, The Price is a dark, enchanting work from Flip-N-Tale, with amazing art and a great story to go along with it.
Inner Vision, a flixel visual novel, from debuting developer Sunil Rao, tackles one of the most important subjects, and one of the most difficult to do justice: suicide. Based on the author's own experiences with depression, Inner Vision presents you with three individuals contemplating killing themselves, and asks you to talk with them. It's a game that's not at all subtle about its message, but it's one many deserve to hear: "You are not alone."
Coming out of your shell can be hard, so wouldn't it be nice if everyone looked the same? After all, we'd all be happy then, wouldn't we? Talha Kaya delivers a personal puzzle-platformer mixed with an art game to tell the story of a guy, a girl, and figuring out who you are and what matters most is action.
Proteus is a exploration-based piece of interactive art by Ed Key and David Kanaga. In it, players take a walk through an abstract procedurally-developed island. While Proteus is probably not going to challenge the conception some have of art games as low-rez inaction-fests, that niche of gamers who'd be interested in a chill 45-minute retro vacation will find it a place worth hearing, and a song worth exploring.
A great calamity is approaching, and you're the only one who can stop it. Unfortunately, you're a sentient stone idol who can do little more than use your patience and timelessness to let the world and time pass around you, watching the landscape change with time and the seasons (or your own actions) until a solution presents itself. Scriptwelder delivers a slow but beautiful bit of interactive art married with clever puzzling for a zen-like experience.
Remember when? Nicolas Cannesse's short action-adventure/interactive art piece will have you asking yourself that as you go on a journey through the evolution of games. Made in just 48 hours for Ludum Dare, it'll remind you that there was a time when polygons didn't exist, save points were a myth, and just how far we've come over all.
Lost and alone, the little gray pegasus stranded in the Everfree Forest doesn't seem to have a hope to safely navigate the hazards... until an expected friend shows her the way. Though the controls might be too frustrating for some, Derpy's Story features superb atmosphere, some lovely animated cutscenes, and unexpected heart.
Abraham Lincoln, America's 16th president, was one awesome dude. Now he needs your assistance getting out of the dark, mechanical city in this point-and-click puzzle adventure. Move ramps, spin gears and make good use of steam power to guide him through this obstacle course, which is more an amusing afternoon romp rather than the arduous decades long journey the name implies. Still, it's enjoyable to interact with the stylistically appealing, tactile artwork and who can say no to helping Abe?
The world needs saving and only you, Kumo Lumo, a fluffy smiling cloud, can save it in this innovative mobile arcade puzzle game. Billed by developer, Blitz Games, as a "rain 'em up!" you are tasked with two things—grow up the good, drench out the bad—your only arsenal being a sprinkle of rain and a blast of lightening. It's a simple concept that puts a little sunshine into being a raincloud.
The most whimsically beautiful golf game ever comes to the iPad in this port of JayIsGames' Best Physics Game of 2011, Wonderputt. The retina display on the new iPad showcases the stunning animations far beyond the browser version, but what'll keep you coming back is the natural touch controls and the challenge of completing the rainbow.
Shards of light fall from the sky over a cold, lonely, frozen land, and it's up to you to reunite them... or remain alone yourself. A melancholy but absolutely gorgeous bit of platforming exploration married heavily to interactive art, the game is simple and straightforward but well worth experiencing to take in the creative talents of the team behind it.
Costis doesn't remember how he got here. He doesn't know why the world keeps changing around him. And he certainly doesn't know the man in black who seems to be following him. But every little boy knows when it is time to explore, and so he will. For better or worse... Blackwood prologue is a platforming piece of interactive art by Blake Mann, that takes you inside the mind of a kid who just might find his future in his dreams. Marvelously atmospheric, even evocative, the dream logic nature of the game means, inevitably, more questions will be raised than answered. But as the title says, it's just the prologue...
A nice piece of interactive art, The Little Girl Nobody Liked is a picture-perfect picture book minigame by Deirdra Kiai. Even with all its multiple endings, it only clocks in at a couple minutes in length. Still, it's soothing, adorable, and subversive, and is just the thing to check out before an afternoon nap.
This brief "game poem" is laden with sentimentality and moody brushstrokes. Play by using your mouse to guide a star as it falls from the sky. If you'd like, collect other stars, avoid the sides and make a wish along the way. But there's no actual winning or losing, even if your wish doesn't come true. Enjoyed best when you want a short respite to gaze upon something pretty while listening to a heartfelt melody.
You don't remember your master getting so old But today is a special day, and you have special plans together. Like she's always said: to achieve the impossible, all you need is a change of Perspective. An artistic puzzle platformer by NFyre, Perspective has an undercurrent of sweet melancholy in its text that helps to make up for slippery controls.
In games, you want to win. After all, isn't that the whole point of playing them? But what if you don't know where you're going, or why? Is it worth it to keep moving on, even if you have to make sacrifices and lose people along the way? Chelsea Howe and Michael Molinari combine their talents once more for this simple, evocative platformer/interactive art piece made in just 48 hours for the Global Game Jam.
With this latest installment in the 10 Gnomes series, Mateusz Skutnik has provided an addictive and gorgeous little puzzler with the standard lovely black and white visuals set against a creepy soundtrack as you race to find all of those vacationing little gnomes before time runs out
Though one should strive to live without regrets, considering all the different paths a life might have taken is an inherently intriguing concept. Some games attempt to analyze the psychology of our decisions and their consequences. On the other hand, some games, like Relive Your Life, an interactive movie by FrozenFire, will have you button mashing to fend off a competing sperm, before failing to acquire a preferred toy at recess kicks of a chain of events that leads to a popular resurgence in nudism/bear-wrestling. And it'll rhyme too! Clever prose and voice-acting by Egoraptor are highlights, and make up for tacked-on minigames.
LovePunks: The Game, developed by a group of the same name and with help from the Yijala Yala cultural arts program, is strange, crazy, bizarre, and absolutely wonderful. It has all the energy and vitality that you would expect from a creative band of 9, 10, and 11 year-olds, and they were clearly having a blast putting it together. Though its showcasing of the photo-realistic animations makes gameplay feel a little aimless, overall it is a singularly unique piece of interactive art.
This modern take on the classic by Hans Christian Anderson (forget about Disney!) was created in 58 hours for TOJam #7. Point and click your way around a minimalistic environment of office space and city streets, holding very one-sided conversations with those you encounter. While it has some rough edges in terms of navigation, it does a good job of eliciting sympathy and will especially strike a chord with those struggling with shyness.
The Sandbox is a creative elemental puzzle game for iOS by Pixowl. It mixes puzzles and challenges with good old fashioned elemental interactions, exactly the kind you would find in classic browser games like Sand Sand Sand. Guiding the all-powerful element dropping utility that is your finger, you can mix dozens of unique elements to create fantastic reactions, functioning machines, crazy Rube Goldberg-like devices, or just paint pretty pictures on your screen. There's plenty of room for creativity, but also a fair amount of thoughtful challenge as well!
You know what's cool? Beatboxing. You know what's cooler? When you get to conduct a squad of digital human beatboxers right in your browser. So Far So Good serves up a simple but slick and stylish webtoy where musical creativity is just a drag and drop away. Warning; may make you irresistibly cooler by association.
Given a choice between one or the other, is it better to have stronger personal relationships or longer life? This is part of Mihail's dilemma; he has an illness that presents him with limited options, both day and night. Play this interactive art/experimental game using arrows to move and [space] to interact; play more than once to see the full scoop of conversations and each of the two endings. What does it all mean? Well, that's up to you. The important things in life are always a matter of perspective.
Mateusz Skutnik's picturesque point-and-click escape is much like 10 Gnomes infused with vivid spring colors and sounds then crossed with an escape game. Use your mouse to scan for interactive areas, look for clues and intriguingly useful items. Solve the mystery of the garden door.
Help the charismatic and musically-talented Triton in his search for the legendary magic of the ancients in this surreal point-and-click adventure by Jacek Szleszyński. Very similar in concept to Samorost and Hapland, although unique in its artistic style, there's much here to explore, discover and delight in. Gazing at the fantastic art as enjoyable as the gameplay itself. Some will find Kveendolnitza their first time through, some may need to try again. Either way, the journey is the best part of the adventure!
Looking for a lovely way to relax or a unique way to get the kids to bed? Difference Games brings their Twisted Fairytales series to Nook and Kindle Fire in this stunning matching game based on the classic story of Snow White, though it isn't really so twisted as you might think. Light on gameplay but heavy on beautiful artwork, it's the perfect way to kick back and sink into a fantasy world for a while.
Dys4ia is a retro arcade-y piece of interactive art by transsexual author Anna Anthropy about her six-month experience with hormonal therapy. Raw and emotional, but surprisingly humorous, for good or for bad, this is the kind of game that will get people thinking and talking.
In this surreal and visually stunning game that showcases just what Unity can do, you play a moth trapped inside an attic who wants to escape and be with its true love... the moon. Resurrect other moths to help you move obstacles and eventually find your way out in this short but lovely game that marries exploration with simple physics puzzling.
The Love Letter is a unique stealth experimental game by Alex Cho Snyder and Pat Kemp, where you must read a note from a secret admirer while dodging the taunts of your classmates. Originally a Ludum Dare entry, The Love Letter is a short bit of sweetness that will have you going "AWWW!" by the end.
A somewhat steep difficulty curve can't hide the polish and enchantment of this interactive art/hidden-object adventure. Young Sellar Dore runs away from home and the constant fighting of her parents, but years later, news of a devastating earthquake prompts her to return home... as long as she can earn the money for her ticket by tracking down the important items other people have lost in this surreal fantasy world.
Lovely? Check. Creepy? Check. Moody? Triple-check! More interactive-art than anything else, this short point-and-click adventure takes you on an otherworldly journey from deep underground to your ultimate destination, past obstacles at once strange, tricky, and frightening. It isn't particularly challenging, but The Old Tree is a beautiful bit of stylised adventure to indulge in.
Unmanned, a piece of interactive art by Molleindustria and Jim Munroe, lets you step into a pilot of a drone missile launcher. More than that though, it lets you step into a husband and a father and a human. Likely to divide opinion, as its excellent writing and atmosphere is hampered by the interesting-but-flawed dual-screen game-mechanics, Unmanned remains a provocative work.
The Fabulous Screech has a traveling show, and you have one very expensive ticket to see it, given to you by someone you love. Jonas Kyratzes returns to the Lands of Dream in this short but extremely potent little narrative/point-and-click adventure about love, loss, and perspective.
Developed in 8 weeks as a class project, Orpheus is a puzzle platform retelling of the classic myth of a man's quest to bring his love back from the dead. Players who can look past a few rough edges will be amply rewarded with the lush and abstract yet accessible art.
Interactive art has a reputation for being light on the challenge, but These Robotic Hearts of Mine, a puzzle game by Alan Hazelden definitely shows that it doesn't have to be. It's a simple game of gears and direction... one that I would love to see re-created in the physical space of a gallery. However, each solution presents another line in a story of technology, hearts and heartbreak. The puzzles alone would be fine, and the elegy is affecting. However, the combination fits like one hand into another.
It's hard to figure out what just happened. You took a walk in the park, like you do every night. This time though, there was a man... there was a gun. Now you find yourself a dark industrial world of shadowy figures and shifting backgrounds. You'll have to rearrange every single room to have even a chance of escaping... and you just know that time's running out. Five is a puzzle platformer from Z3LF where changing reality comes with the click of the mouse.
The chugging little car is back! Windosill, a 2009 release from Vector Park, creator of Acrobots, Levers, and Feed the Head, has wormed its way to the iPad, bringing with it all the dream-like levels of the original browser game. Windosill remains one of the most charming experiences any casual player could hope to stumble upon, and it's a perfect fit for the iPad and a great mobile game as well!
Pirouette, a piece of interactive art by Hayden Scott-Baron and increpare, is an infuriating work. Gameplay, which consists of linearly walking and talking to people, leans away from the "interactive", which might lead to the perennial discussion as to whether it qualifies as a game at all. The plot, depicting someone confronting those they loved and those they hurt, is vague and, with its frank talk of sex and toxic relationships, deliberately provocative. And yet... there is beauty to be found here. Pirouette will divide opinion. However, whether your opinion is positive or negative, it will be strongly so, and that can't be a bad thing.
Sometimes receiving a message can be so exciting that the letters seem to jump off the page. Then those letters form into a giraffe, which will dart across the landscape pursued by snakes, sharks and Godzilla. Okay, that just might be the interactive music video for Japanese rock group Andop's song "Bell". With an amazing combination of typographic and charcoal art, the game so visually interesting that it makes up for the CPU-hogging and somewhat loose gameplay. There are probably easier ways to post a missive, but this is definitely one of the most fun.
Ever wondered what happens when diminutive grey puffs stuffed with only personality and chutzpah have a hankering for a lip-licking, tummy-rubbing breakfast to start the day? In this point-and-click adventure, your goal is to guide them safely through their first expedition to the fruit and vegetable planet where they will gather the perfect ingredients for their favorite meal.
Bicicletas Hoy isn't the first interactive music video on the web, but it's definitely one of the most charming. Developed by Argentinian design team Videogamo, this pixelated piece of interactive art features the musical stylings of rock band Bicicletas and their infectious song Hoy. It's short and not much for challenging, but makes for an engaging two minute romp.
In the beginning, there was the void, and unless you put your puzzling skills to work in this little experimental game, that's all there will ever be. Use a series of powers, unlocked as you play and experiment, to shape the world around you and turn it from an empty void into a space teeming with life and drama.
It's always intriguing when a game developer takes a technical, even mundane, activity and makes it into a competition. KernType, a unique puzzle game developed by Mark MacKay for edutainment site Method of Action, charges you with dragging the middle letters of a given word for a given font to make it aesthetically perfect. Your result will be compared against a professional typographer's, and you will be given a score based on how close you get to their solution. It's not a concept that survives multiple play-throughs, but it's quirky fun.
In Bamba Snack Quest 3, the adorable baby returns in an interstellar quest to rescue his squirrel friend and his beloved crunchy snacks. From Gal Mamalya, maker of Mitoza, it's sure to satisfy not only point-and-click groupies, but anyone who enjoys zany, surreal art and top-notch animation.
Out of this World, developed by SeethingSwarm, is a short action game centered around shifting play mechanics. The game starts as two lovers leave a fancy restaurant. They aren't named in-game, but since they look British, let's call them Ron and Hermione. Anyways, Ron and Hermione decide to go for a ride on their rocket ship, but, son of a gun, wouldn't you know it, aliens decide to kidnap the fair maiden. So its up to you Ron, with your shock of red hair, your badass longcoat, your awesome umbrella, and your shooty-blasty space gun to rescue her from the extra-terrestrial's clutches.
After a long hiatus, Zack Livestone is back to take us deep within his chalky, imaginative world filled with perplexing puzzles and captivating characters. Enter the stark world of Deep Chalk 4, the latest installment in his Deep Chalk series and arguably the most elaborate and deep experience yet.
How far are you willing to go for someone who doesn't even seem to know you're there? In this short, atmospheric artsy platformer, scour a grim world looking for bits of colour to return to a loved one, even at the cost of losing yourself in the process. Originally featured in a Link Dump Friday article, Grey's simple, repetitive gameplay may not win everyone over, but for others the changing environment and wordless message may deliver an intensely personal experience.
Scrape Scraperteeth actually has you start out the game by reading and acknowledging a satirical "warning", pointing out its flaws before the critics can do so: it's easy (you can't die or fail), it's ugly (well... just look at the screencap), it's strange, it's even wanky. Platforming enjoyment is not what you're signing up for when you play this game. Slow down and take the time to watch all that happens as you move around the levels, to read the text, and to figure out the subtext.
10 Gnomes in Liege is pretty short, but that doesn't mean that you'll only spend ten minutes playing. Try it and you might get hooked, going back over and over again to admire the stunning black and white photography of the city whilst you try to ferret out every last gnome before time runs out.
Although Bla Bla is presented on a technological medium, many of the pictures and figures are hand-drawn or made through stop-motion animation. The combined effect of modernity and tradition produces a unique aesthetic and a visible human touch to the gameplay.
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery is, in one sentence, a gorgeous piece of playable, explorable art with a phenomenal soundtrack and overall design that begs to be experienced. We'll call it a point-and-click adventure (a touch and touch again adventure?), but really Sword & Sworcery is all about satisfying your curiosity in a visually striking world and doing one-on-one battles with a few discontented beings. It's a game so stepped in atmosphere and setting you'll feel like it's as epic as The Lord of the Rings, all compactified into your mobile device.
The riddle of the sphinx is invoked at the beginning of Convergence, the flixel-based platformer/life simulator/interactive art piece that serves as the first release from Streetlight Studios: "What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?"... No, the answer isn't "William the Performing Dog". It's that miserable pile of secrets itself: man. And you'll be be spending an interesting three days in a life herein. Wake up, fall out of bed, drag a comb across your head and check it out.
The passing of a season always makes me nostalgic for it. Lord knows that I'm never too thrilled with skidding my Honda on the icy roads of winter, but now that the May-Flowers-bringing showers of April are upon us (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least), I find myself wishing for one last walk in a swirling frozen cloud of flurries. While Chione is quite unlikely to heed my prayers, I can take solace in January, an interactive art webtoy release from Rich Vreeland. It's an impressive debut release that manages to truly capture the beauty and melancholy of a walk of a blustery winter's evening.
If there's anyone in the land of Casual Gaming that has experienced the work of Amanita Design, and hasn't, in some small way been charmed, I don't think I've met them. That said, while I can appreciate that the success of the Samorost-making company allows them to take their time in formulating each new project, I do start going through withdrawal symptoms round about the eighteen month mark. Fortunately, the nights of the shakes are over with the release of the distinctly surreal and surreal-ly distinct desert-themed Osada. It may be more of an interactive music video webtoy than a game proper, but frankly, I'd be fine watching Amanita Design animate a phone-book.
Art meets puzzles in Fernando Ramallo's simple but challenging title. Let the hypnotic colours and abstract animations soothe your brain as you shift and rotate portions of the image until everything snaps into place. Despite a lack of variety and one simple mechanic, Dependant offers a lovely respite from fast-paced twitch gaming and remains accessible to just about anyone to boot.
Seeds can do a lot of things in casual gaming land. Yep, when you plant a seed, it seems that anything can happen. Never has that idea been better expressed then in Mitoza, a surreal point-and-click webtoy by Baboon. Once you start making choices for your little embryonic pod, there's no telling what the result will be.
Created by Michael Molinari and Chelsea Howe for the San Francisco 2011 48 Hour Global Game Jam, The End Of Us is a surprisingly evocative game about two meteors meeting and playing amidst the strangeness and charm of deep space. As much a piece of wordlessly lyrical interactive art as an action game, The End Of Us matches its play to an engaging soundtrack and offers a short but satisfying experience.
What's a nobler cause than a cat stuck in a tree? None as far as the adorable protagonist of this simple, kid-oriented point-and-click puzzle adventure is concerned. Featuring wonderful art and animation to go with some cheery, fun puzzle solving, the folks at Pastel Games have provided you with a nice, light treat to bring a smile to your face today.
Jake Elliott's surreal interactive art adventure is a slow, thoughtful game where you play as four different women who attempt to comfort a small boy who can't sleep. The stories they tell take you back into their memories to solve some rather unusual problems with rather unusual methods. Part dreamlike narrative, part abstract puzzle solving, it's a charming bit of storytelling that's just the thing to unwind with.
OneMrBean's first place award winning entry into the 9th Casual Gameplay Design Competition is a piece of interactive narrative about remembering the things that really matter in your life, and the people who gave them to you. You play as an initially morose fellow who takes you on a personal journey through his life and his memories, and offers up a simple but touching and surprisingly heartfelt experience that is wrapped up in a beautiful package.
Serendipity in 2D is an arty game, maybe even an experimental one. You view a hospital from the side, the walls cut away. With your far-reaching cursor you have to orchestrate chains of events that will ultimately lead to three things: someone being saved, someone finding love and someone dying.
Tia's birthday means a time for her to play with the other children in her struggling, isolated village... but it may also mark the end of her childhood. Of course, that all depends on you, and whether you do as you're told. Gregory Weir's experimental narrative might be too experimental to be a hit with everyone, but it's a clever game that deserves a play for the few minutes it'll take you.
Based upon the upcoming novel, this spot-the-difference title takes place inside a very unique museum that takes a certain type of person to find their way through. Despite lacking any real story, it's visually stunning and easily worth a play for any fan of the genre looking for something a bit more lengthy.
Howard Glitch is about a space shuttle hurtling into the maw of a monster. You're on the shuttle, along with several other passengers, but there's no driver or controls. The shuttle is being controlled far away by someone who isn't paying attention. While you're rushing toward your doom, you have some choices to make. The first being whether you'll sit by and await death or will you escape reality?
From the creator of Windosill comes a quiet, creative romp through an imaginary world. Seasons is a gorgeous piece of interactive art that lets you explore half a dozen scenes with Thomas and his unicycle. Pedal through the snow and see which animals pop their heads out. Shake the beehive and see where the bees go. Take a dip in the lake and watch your reflection in the water. Seasons is nothing short of beautiful, and its relaxing, webtoy-like presence will captivate your curiosity for longer than you might expect.
The point-and-click adventure from Springtail Studio is all grown up! Alchemia was first released in 2009 as a free browser game with the promise of an extended version later on. Well, later is now, and the downloadable Alchemia comes with five more playable levels and nine new locations, providing even more photorealistic scenery and lateral-thinking puzzles than before!
Are you checking your RSS feed instead of working on something you really should be? Hummingbird Mind is a visual novel that wants you to cuddle up to your distractions and make peace with them. It'll only take you 15 minutes, so go ahead and click. Dooooo it. It's not like you have anything else you should be doing... right?
Step outside your cubicle prison and into a world of beautiful pen and ink art and wondrous music in this soothing platform game.
It's pOnd, a thoughtful little art game from Peanut Gallery Games. Hold the [spacebar] to breathe in, release it to exhale. Soak up as much outdoor beauty as you can during your walk, and see what nature has in store. Be sure to play through the game more than once. It won't take long.
Somewhere there's a place littered with bones and the remains of an ancient civilization... and you've been drawn to it, alone. Gregory Weir's striking exploration title may lack enough direction to ensnare all players, but packs a significant wallop in the atmosphere department, and provides an intriguing story if you're willing to track it down.
Sometimes atmosphere is everything. Coma, a delightful exploration and adventure game by Thomas Brush, brings such an abundance of atmosphere to the exploration game table you might just want to clean out your refrigerator to save the leftovers.
Make a choice; disobey or not. Loved is a short piece of interactive art disguised as a platformer, and intended to make you think about the decisions you make. Is it successful? What meaning do you take from it? And is there a right way or a wrong way to feel about something?