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?
Before I played the Submachine Network Exploration Experience, I didn't know just how involved fans of the series were in discussing its mysteries and mythologies. Like the various alternate reality games involved in the marketing of Lost, although not really a game at all, the Exploration Experience gives fans of the series the chance to delve into the Submachine world like never before.
In this puzzling and challenging platformer, you take on the role of a blind person on a mission to answer the calls of help from a stranger in the dark. The only things preventing you from ending up at the bottom of a spike filled pit are your ears and your platforming skills
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.
What's black and white and red all over? Nothing yet, as we seem to be needing more red! Paint It Red 2 by MoonMana is an interactive art game disguised as a puzzle where your black canvas needs to be covered with red paint as quickly as possible. In each level, paint flows across the screen, following (or not following) the movements of your mouse. If you guide the paint to cover a certain percentage of the screen, you unlock the next level and have the opportunity to move on... or not.
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.
Hungry for gnomes? How about Bologna? Well, why not combine the two in this tasty surprise continuation of Mateusz Skutnik's point-and-click series? Hunt down ten tiny critters within a time limit across photographs of one of Italy's loveliest cities.
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.
It is almost impossible to describe the joy created by wandering in the strange, surreal universe that Enu (Hanamushi) has created in Flower Insect. The synthesis of art, animation, game, and experience is nearly flawless, and will leave the casual gamer breathless as they wander deeper and deeper into the morass. Stunning beyond all belief, this is not necessarily a game to play all in one go. Rather, the Hanamushi game is something to consume in small bites, lest you find yourself deep in the abyss that is the imagination of an extremely talented individual.
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.
The title, Finding Friends, is apt for this short and simple game that packs a satisfying, emotional experience. You start the game wandering around in the darkness, a little black square (with cute little white eyes) against a black background, in a maze with black walls. It's with the help of the friends you find that you'll be able to find your way to the exit of the maze.
How My Grandfather Won the War is a stunningly beautiful game that is worth a second, and even third play through. Treat it as a simple side-scroller or go deeper and explore every inch of its breathtaking cardboard world. The detail is so fantastic you can almost touch the screen and feel the rough edges of haphazardly cut items.
Taking home first prize in the Casual Gameplay Design Competition is no small feat, but David Shute's deceptively simple game of exploration does it with just a few small worlds. A short platformer that may stay with you a long time, Small Worlds offers detailed and surprising environments for you to reveal in your search for... a little peace and quiet.
Jason Nelson hits us with another simple movement game chock full of crazy texts and post-modern level design shenanigans. Are you ready to accept that things fall apart, the center cannot hold, and that doors can be opened by colliding with boxes? If so, prepare yourself for this mind boggling, stunningly austere experience.
A collaboration between game developer and artist, The Glean of Glob was initially created as an interactive art installation. And though this Web edition might be called an experimental point-and-click, the term 'game as art' is definitely at play here. Add this to the category of games that push the envelope of what a game can be.
Alchemia is an absolutely gorgeous new animated point-and-click adventure from Springtail Studio. Play a little hero after he shoots from the sky a bizarre looking creature. He sets off on an adventure to figure out what happened and to help his unfortunate new companion. Brilliant puzzles, illustrations and music abound, and some puzzles will require lateral thinking and problem solving rather than just simply clicking in the right areas in the correct sequence.
The new game from Gregory Weir is an unabashedly highbrow and experimental platform game, where the ground is made up of literature. Try to touch as many words as you can, as prose by H.P. Lovecraft, T.S. Eliot and others stretches out before you. It's interesting enough just to be forced to read by a platform game, but the real treat is all the visual embellishments.
In the third episode in Zack Livetone's series of abstract point-and-click adventures, you once again accompany a floating crystal through a world of photographic landscapes and chalked-in plantlife, coaxing various bits and tibbles into place in order to solve puzzles. Some objects need to be pushed, some clicked, some nudged. Turn up your speakers for this.
You play a poor and homeless beggar in this piece of interactive art from Scott Brodie. You must figure out how and what to eat, and where to go and what to do. You must learn the laws of the land the hard way, and you must ultimately learn to subsist on the charity of strangers, lest you fade and wither away to nothingness.
Nails consists of 27 interactive art scenes, typically starring an inked-out Han Hoogerbrugge (the artist) wearing a suit and tie. Most begin with the man casually standing on top of the grey background of the page. His hands are in his pockets. Nothing seems out of the ordinary. But when you click or run your mouse across the man, everything takes a turn for the bizarre.
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.
One man's trash is another man's treasure. We all have that one thing that's important to us; that one tiny, seemingly inconsequential thing that's somehow special. The Blue Beanie is grand adventure in a lilliputian package about just such an item, and one little hero's quest to bring it safely home.
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.
In the experimental game Gray, you are a white or black androgynous person in the midst of a rioting mob, filled with people of the opposite shade. Your goal is to talk to the people who are highlighted and attempt to convert them to your point of view. It's amazing how accurately such a simple little game can hold a mirror up to modern political discourse.
Windosill is the story of a toy car, a little blue box with wheels and a smokestack, who one day dares to journey outside of its confining storage shelf. You, armed with the power to touch, carry, poke, prod, and experiment, will lead the toy through a cool blue dream presented in stages, a series of shadow-boxes full of curious characters and structures, each with its own puzzle to be solved.
Music Catch 2 delivers everything you'd want from a sequel to Reflexive's surprise hit Music Catch, especially if what you want is more ways to collect thousands of shimmering doo-dads. You get three more lovely piano tunes by composer Isaac Shepherd, and a few different choices for how the collectibles will bloom and fade away. Some of the new movement patterns make the game dramatically easier than others, but Music Catch was never about challenge anyway. It's just an easy way to relax, scooping up armfuls of trinkets and grooving to the mellows.
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.
From Jason Nelson comes a platformer wearing the Web's skin and laced with hidden passages. Those who have no stomach for cognitive dissonance will want to move on, but fans of Nelson's previous work will find it worthwhile. The gameplay is simple but that's alright, this is an aesthetic adventure and not as mind-blowing as the first time around, but worth drumming up a few wry smiles.
Boohbah Zone is a surreal journey-- wait, no, it's not really a journey. It's more of a... thing. A thing with lots of colors. Well, it's kind of like a webtoy, but you actually do stuff in some parts of it. Interactive art? You know what, forget classifying it, Boohbah Zone is an extremely bizarre collection of game-like scenes where you play with color, sound, and flobby-looking hippopotamus-like people things.
The National Gallery of Art has an extensive online interactive art exhibit which is geared towards kids, but is fun for all ages. A few of the applications available stand out and include themes such as Jungle, Still Life, and especially the great interactive Dutch Dollhouse.
This is Sand is a lovely little web toy, a nice, gentle way to ease your brain back to life after the weekend. It could hardly be simpler or more elegant: the program converts pixels into digital sand that falls, stacks and layers just like the real thing, providing an endless array of possible designs, landscapes and pictures.
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.
Deep Chalk: Second Phase is the continuation of the journey of the crystal, the player character introduced in Zack's black and white world of the original Deep Chalk. The objective is the same: discover the secrets hiding beneath the surface and escape. While you're there, enjoy the quest; be inspired.
Music Catch is a game with a very simple mechanic set to a transcendent classical piano piece that could hold your attention single-handedly. The shapes appear in ebb and swell to the accompaniment, diving from foreground to background in a shifting aquamarine rainbow. You'll never catch them all; the most you can hope for is to ride the wave, soaking up as much as possible, darting for extra substance where it appears. In other words, the gameplay is much like listening to a enriching piece of music.
Polcarstva is a gorgeous piece of interactive art that comes from the amazing talents of Denis Stepkin and U Studio of Russia. Travel through a surrealist's world, using standard point-and-click mechanics, and enjoy the music and scenery along the way.
Deep Chalk, from game author Zack Livestone, is a charming and interactive point-and-click, in which you clear the way for a powerful crystal to escape its confines, presumably to reach a higher plane of crystallinity. Its interactive Samorostian landscapes are augmented wonderfully by ethereal music clips to produce a deep, if slightly dry, experience.
Making interactive Web art is a dangerous business. When you dabble in the language of games, you risk the wrath of gamers, who despite their lip service to "innovation", are often terrified by anything really experimental. So one possible MO for developers trying to smooth out this prickly transition is to make something like Haxed by Megahurtz, a game so cracked, so exuberant, so imbecilic it could not possibly be trying to outsmart you. Hating it would be like slapping a candy raver—part of you might want to, but it's easier to just go with the flow and accept her offer of Sweet Tarts and a back massage.
Every time we review a picross game, there always seems to be a hubbub about what site does it right. Either there's not enough puzzles to solve, not enough variety in the puzzles, it's all too easy or too hard, or the pictures look like someone sneezed on a piece of graph paper. (I'll admit to being among the gripers before.) And every time, there's at least one person who suggests Griddlers.
Haluz 2, the sequel to the surreal Samorost-like point-and-click adventure Haluz, is now entirely free! When it was first released in August, players could experience the first half of the game and pay a modest fee to access the second chapter. Now the creator of Haluz, Tomas, sends word that both versions are available online for the low low cost of absolutely nothing.
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.
Superelectronic is an online interactive art piece by Aoineko, a group of award-winning Web artists specializing in audiovisual aesthetics. The piece blends various styles together to achieve something unique, an amalgamation of interactive multimedia. The result is a stunning work of art that is wonderful and inspirational. A creative cornucopia of sensory delights.
it seems that many in the JIG community really like picross, and I do, too! Sometimes I'll delay working on economics homework just to play a game (or two or three or four) of picross. And there are so many online implementations of my favorite game, and all with a different interface. So, which one to choose? For some, the question may be difficult to answer. But not for me: I choose Picture Logic!
I. Love. Picross. It isn't as number-heavy as sudoku, doesn't rely on obscure trivia like a crossword puzzle, and the combination of left- and right-brained activity achieves a perfect harmony. Then along comes Armor Picross 2 with its shiny graphics, easy-to-use interface and countless sets of puzzles. In other words, a little slice of picross heaven.
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!
Jason Nelson, the creator of game, game, game and again game, is back with Alarmingly These Are Not Lovesick Zombies, his latest attempt to dissect abstract ideas through gameplay. Your reaction to that sentence should tell you whether or not to click away. If you're still with me, you should buckle up, its a zany, interesting ride.
Interactive Flash pieces have generally been designed as either games to be played or art to be interpreted. However, the line between game and art has been steadily diffusing, and there are now many offerings where it's not clear whether the author's intended focus was engaging the user in gameplay or immersing them in artful ponderings. One particularly beautiful example is Choice.
Games can do two things really well. They can be Fun, and they can be Not-Fun. Lots of games are Fun and Not-Fun in a mediocre way, and some games are amazingly good at being Fun. But when a game is great at being Not-Fun, the deep play of the mind comes tumbling down the mouse.
Makibishi Comic is an atmospheric, quirky, and well-drawn point-and-click flash created to promote the Japanese studio... Makibishi! You play the role of Asashin who is searching for five ninjas hidden across five different environments. Each stage is a new and creative area with multiple puzzles and scenes to experience. Think Blue Suburbia meets Hapland and you're ready to roll.
If you haven't played Feed the Head lately, there are new features to explore! It represents a piece of interactive entertainment of a type we don't often see anymore. There is perhaps no goal, no win condition. It's just plain fun to play. An enjoyable little webtoy for you to discover on your own terms. Spend a couple minutes or an hour. Lose yourself. Feed your head. Escape.
The latest addition to On's much beloved Grow series of games is now available. This one is titled Grow ver. 1, since it is based on one of the first concept games he created for the series. There is no score system, but rather he says to play it as you would look through a picture book. In particular, your children may enjoy playing it with you.
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.
TinyGrow is a captivating flash toy that lets you create a surreal garden scene by finding and dropping different types of seeds. Thick black trees sprout at random from the bottom of the screen, each with a rotating icon in the center. Click the icon to activate one of several events to discover seeds and grow more foliage.
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.
The Jackson Pollock emulator is a simple flash toy that simulates the drip style of painting popularized by Jackson Pollock. The entire browser window is a blank white canvas and your mouse becomes the paintbrush. Move the cursor over the surface to pour paint, changing colors with the left mouse button. Linger over one area for some time to leave large blotches or shake the mouse back and forth for light streams of paint. You may not create a masterpiece, but it's an engaging way to let your creativity flow.
The summer of surreal surprises continues with this Flash adventure game from Slovakia. Haluz is a game of the point-and-click variety that contains several scenes and a variety of simple puzzles that must be solved to advance. What do you do when a very large bird makes off with your rooftop satellite dish? Well, use the resources around you to your best advantage and get it back.
Sand Sand Sand is another entry in the Falling Sand games from Dofi-Blog. This installment incorporates some of the best elements of World of Sand and Hell of Sand into one, allowing you to play with a variety of elements in even more ways than before.
Gwen is a surprisingly gorgeous surrealistic adventure composed of richly detailed scenes filled with art, animation, sound and interactivity. With an over-arching narrative that borrows from the teachings and beliefs of Buddahism, this point-and-click game has more soul to reveal than most other games of its type. From Taiwan.
Daxo is an interactive portfolio created by musician and designer Hans Reichel. The style is similar to Blue Suburbia, another non-game we featured recently on JIG, and pulls together sound and image in a fusion of interactive multimedia.
In Blue Suburbia, artist and flash designer Nathalie Lawhead creates a magnificently dark and dramatic world filled with striking imagery and haunting vignettes. The project began as a small animation on her website and grew to incorporate her own poetry and a number of small scenes commenting on western society and the modern school system. The application is more like an experiment in interactive poetry rather than a game, as there's no real goal, purpose or progression. Even still, Blue Suburbia is an absolutely stunning piece of artwork that you'll want to explore to its fullest.
Nyctalopia (Greek for night blindness) is a short, Flash-based puzzle collage by French artist Philippeloy. More than an interactive portfolio, yet less than a fully realized point-and-click adventure, Nyctalopia bills itself as "a journey into (Philippeloy's) works."
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.
If you haven't seen Small Forest Story yet, it definitely deserves to be played through once for the holidays. And while it won't present much of a challenge for you, the pixel graphics are exquisite and the characters are adorably cute, especially the little bunny dance.
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.