Bottle Rockets is a sci-fi platform game by James Earl Cox III set to the song "Alberto Balsam" by Aphex Twin. A short artistic work about mothers, daughters, and space, it integrates a glitchy aesthetic quite well into the plot and gameplay, and will generally succeed in making those who play it feel all the feels.
Like her namesake in One Thousand and One Night, Scheherazade Williams is a story-teller. Fresh off her latest success, and two new Holly Awards, she opens her email to discover that it's not enough for her bosses at Narrative, Inc.--they want more, and they want it now! But after 500 stories for this commercial enterprise, the well of new stories has run dry.
A mystery has erupted in the peaceful zombie society and its up to Detective Margh and his sidekick Ghvnn to figure it out. Read along and help Margh make choices that will alter the plot in future chapters and perhaps find out that this mystery goes deeper than you thought.
A fantastic art game with an arresting pixel-based art style, this physics-based platformer follows a rebel searching for their lost love in an alien-infested world. But it's not about the aliens. It's about survival, loneliness, and the sacrifices we make for those we love.
Short but stylish and effective, this narrative-based bit of interactive art takes cues from classics like I, Robot as you interrogate a robot suspected of murder... even though he doesn't exactly see it that way.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
Sometimes games are just there for us when we want to have some fun, blow up the princess, and save the zombies, or something like that. Other times, we want to explore more difficult and painful stories. Grace's Diary manages to seamlessly integrate the theme of a relationship abuse into a sensitive and moving visual novel.
A fire engulfs a small church, which leads to the discovery of a staggering amount of weapons in the basement... and something more sinister. As D.E.A. agent Hank Shrader, you're given the task of interrogating a suspect, and it's up to you to figure out the right things to say (and how to say them) to reveal the evidence you need to bring the case to a close in this interactive comic.
Experience the world from the point of view of an alien who only wanted to help and ended up paying the price for it.
What happens when infatuation becomes complacency? Or dependence? You take on the role of a young man having doubts about his current relationship, and whether it really is what he wants out of his life. Air Pressure, a visual novel by Bento Smile, might be a simple story about falling out of love... or something else entirely.
All Jonah wants is to be happy. He's courageous, loyal to friends, and kind even to strangers. Unfortunately, Jonah is one of "the malformed", rejected by society because of his hunched back. He lives at a fair with the other outcasts. Then one day the wind blows him a handbill advertising a celebration in glittering Loondon. Could this be the answer to Jonah's dreams? You'll need your point-and-click skills to find out.
A strange and even unsettling little experimental game about every day in the life of a faceless, unnamed man, Every Day the Same Dream somehow manages to be oddly affecting despite its grim and dark presentation. Is there anything at all that can break him out of his cycle? It won't take you long to play, but it may stay with you well after you've shut down the browser.
What if Mario, instead of instantly reappearing at the beginning of the level after he died, had to earn his reincarnation by traveling the realms of Diyu, being judged by the kings of Yama? This is a game about that from Yoshio Ishii of Nekogames.
With nothing onscreen but a few blocky characters and a short poem, Today I Die carves a slice out of an existential nightmare and serves it to you raw. You could classify it as an adventure game or a puzzle game, but it doesn't feel like it should be pigeon-holed with anything. The solutions are so well-integrated, applied with such holistic grace. You won't even realize how many puzzle pieces are displaced until you see how they fit together.
The Majesty of Colors is an expressive interactive story about choices and consequences. You play the part of a nightmarish Lovecraftian beast from the undiscovered ocean depths, as it creeps to the surface and encounters the human race for the first time. A first-person narrative provides context, and helps guide you through your emotional encounter with this confusing new world.
More an interactive piece of fiction than a traditional game, Inanimate Alice: Episode 4 continues the story of the young game animator as she leaves her home in Russia and travels abroad. Inanimate Alice serves as both entertainment and a peek into the future of literature as a fusion of multimedia technologies. The haunting images and accompanying music and text weave a remarkably gripping tale that must be experienced to be believed.
Coil is a game unlike any other; it may confuse you, it may offend you, or it might mystify and move you. Coil is a game about discovery. It is also a series of mini-games involving the gestation of what appears to be an alien fetus, from initial insemination through adulthood when a murky twilight leaves its fate in question and the cycle starts anew.
The Asylum: Psychiatric Clinic for Abused Cuddly Toys finally has another cute little patient to treat: Dub the Turtle. Just like the previous toys, Dub has a problem and can't be his normal cuddly self. It seems something happened to him with his previous owner, and now the poor turtle can't stop exercising!
Months in the making, the latest installment of Inanimate Alice—Episode 3: Russia—is now available through an exclusive arrangement with the Guardian in the UK. Follow Alice as she deals with life and times, at age 13, in Russia with her parents through this rich interactive narrative.
The Museum of Broken Memories is a beautifully woven interactive narrative that may even be considered a work of art. It is a point-and-click game, yes; and yet it is so much more than that. Like any work of art, personal interpretation plays an important role here, as there are many images and words to browse through and interact with, and an array of emotions that will be evoked.
Alice is a game animator. She likes to draw and create games on her ba-xi, a small handheld device that both entertains and consoles her in times of need. Even her friends affectionately call her "the animator," due in part to the animations that she draws of Brad, her imaginary friend. Alice is 8 years old. Don't miss this excellent and award-winning interactive narrative experience.
This second game of the Samorost series lives up to the lofty expectations set by the first. It is every bit a sequel that includes all of the best qualities that made the first game remarkable, and then adds more environments, more puzzles, and more sound and music. The result is a game that continues the reputation set by the first as being one of the finest, compelling interactive experiences available on the Web today. It is altogether an exceptional work of interactive art.
Probably one of the greatest Flash games ever created and made available for free on the Web, The Asylum is a surprisingly rich interactive narrative experience and it continues to surprise and delight gamers of all ages from all over the world. Won't you help these adorable cuddly toys overcome a distressing past?
I have point-and-click happiness to spread throughout the world today in the form of a cube. Not so much a puzzle as it is an interactive narrative that unfolds with each click of the mouse in the appropriate place. See what happens when a mysterious cube falls out of the sky and lands on the ground in the middle of a very round town filled with round things.