Puzzle games, especially those of the logic variety, always seem to default to using numbers to provide challenge. But what if you don't like numbers? What if you spend your days scrawling anti-mathematical propaganda on walls as you fight Big Brother's oppressive numerical order? If that sounds like you, we first of all would like to salute you for living in a dystopian sci-fi novel. Then we'd like to show you FlowDoku, a free sudoku game by HapaFive for mobile devices that uses shapes instead of numbers.
868-HACK is an unusual sort of puzzle hacking game that feels a bit like an old school roguelike. Created by Michael Brough, author of Corrypt and Zaga-33, the game puts you in the happy shoes of a happy computer hacker bent on stealing precious data in the night. By swiping across grids filled with siphons, resources and enemies, you can walk away with all the data while setting an impressive score for your run.
With the Minecraft and Terraria and other sandbox games going strong, Junk Jack X from Pixbits arrives with a lot of great ideas in tow. It's a sequel to the 2011 Junk Jack release that adds a number of new features and improvements, including multiplayer support for both online and offline play, creative and adventure modes, Retina graphics, and thousands of items to find, treasures to uncover, and objects to be built. It's one of the most full-featured sandbox games on any mobile device and will easily keep you glued to your iOS device for hours on end.
There are a lot of solitaire games out there, so it's really rare to find one that stands out. 4 Thrones is one of those rare games. While at first it seems like a simple sorting game, there's a lot of strategy involved in this unique take on the genre. And it lends itself to imagining the face cards as real kings, queens, and princes, which is always a plus.
The Peablins know no fear—as long as they're holding hands with their friends. In this sequel, a blazing ball of fire has crashed in the far corner of Whispering Woods. What is it? In order to venture out that far, they'll need your help in constructing happy hand-holding troops. Arrange the characters on the grid, overcoming challenges and their variety of preferences to make sure no hand goes empty and all Peablins are happy.
The surreal, Myst-esque world of Fireproof Studios' The Room has just been expanded. In an update to the original, this Epilogue is an additional chapter full to the rafters of more crafty, dexterous puzzling that will have you over-thinking and lost in complete awe. If you have hesitated to try this marvelously unique adventure 'til now, here's another irresistible reason to enter The Room and leave the ordinary world behind.
Gather your tools and find a comfortable chair, Terraria has rolled onto iPhone and iPad! The universal app ported by 505 Games shrinks sandbox adventure world found in the PC/Mac downloadable version of the game, rearranging the menus and grafting a couple of virtual joysticks onto the screen. It looks, feels and plays just like the original, and even with its few missing features, it's a solid port of Terraria through and through.
As the developer points out, playing ATTACCA is a bit like bouncing a paddleball, and sometimes you just want an attractive little diversion to occupy your mind for a few minutes. ATTACCA is simple and never deviates from that basic formula, but it's a strangely compelling diversion that's attractive to boot.
It's tempting to fake redact half of this review, just to fit in with the theme of Blackbar. We'll resist the temptation, though, as this is a game that's worth talking about. Created by Nevan Mrgan, Blackbar is a word-based puzzle game where you sift through letters written to and from characters and try to figure out which words were blanked out by the Department of Communications. It's one part sci-fi story game, one part political statement, and three parts just plain awesome.
The Strongest from Laboratory is a game that has fun with itself. It can be described as a single-screen arcade punching game, complete with missions, unlockables, wacky pixel characters, and a helping or two of random events. The strange part is that even though the game is minimalistic in every way, you'll sit there punching villagers and thieves all night long.
Mobest Media is back with another short but sweet mobile room escape game. Escape to Space drops you in sleek and shiny corridors with the single-minded goal of finding a way to get the door unlocked. Slide it to the side and you'll move on to another level, only this time it won't be so easy to get the job done.
Sometimes you want emotional depth and gameplay complexity, and sometimes you just want to be dazzled by high scores and flashy effects as you swap and match candies across a bizarre landscape while it's all being narrated by the world's most unsettling announcer. And if that's the itch you've got, Candy Crush Saga, it turns out, will oblige.
All the roly-poly creatures of the world compete to see who is the roly-polyest in Dillo Hills 2, the new racing game by Evil Space Chicken and Fex Labs! Fans of the original may be surprised by the emphasis on multiplayer action in what was previously a single-player title, but altogether the changes are for the awesome.
There's been a murder at the Seafront Hotel, and it even has famous French detective Antoine Saint Germain stumped. That hasn't stopped him from gathering everyone together for one of his famous "someone in this room is the killer" monologues. Can you save Saint Germain's reputation as the detective who always closes the case? And oh yes, do try to accuse the right person.
Squarescape is a sliding block puzzle game from Jacob Koch. Working with just a few basic colors and a minimalist visual design, the simple title challenges you to move a square around the screen in an attempt to make it to the exit. Of course, strategically placed blocks, stoppers, orbs and many other obstacles stand in your way, so it's not like you can just waltz on in there and start the end of level celebration.
From the prolific developer Gipnetix Games, creator of 100 Doors of Revenge and 100 Doors 2013, 100 Doors: RUNAWAY drizzles some new point-and-click room escape puzzles into your day, one locked door at a time. Featuring over 90 brand new levels, it's your job to solve a series of single screen puzzles by touching, swiping, pinching, shaking and tilting to manipulate on-screen objects so you can get the door open. 100 Doors of Revenge boasts a more relaxing set of puzzles than previous games, focusing more on local logic than math-based riddles. Get ready to do some mobile experimentation as you scratch your head over the new brain teasers!
Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time has finally arrived. After a brief limited launch in Australia and New Zealand, PopCap and EA have unleashed the game in North America, closing the four year gap opened by the original Plants vs. Zombies. The sequel has some enormous expectations to live up to. Its predecessor won dozens of awards and has been praised as one of the most original and creative games in recent years. How do you follow something like that? By adding more plants, more zombies, and more levels. Oh, and by introducing tons of in-app purchases!
Playing as a woman reliving important memories from her life, you feel a subtle connection to her as you both survive the trials of an oppressive past returning to haunt the present. The main character runs on her own, all you have to do is tap the right side of the screen to jump. Leap over enemies and obstacles, hop across gaps, and try to stay alive until you reach the end of the stage.
BeaverTap Games has a pleasant surprise in store for you. Mikey Hooks is a fast-paced grappling game along the lines of Rocketcat's Super QuickHook and Hook Worlds. It combines elements of platforming with a swinging mechanic, challenging you to race through several dozen levels as you attempt to best your previous times while collecting coins scattered across the stage. Even though it's an action game on a device that lacks physical buttons, you'll find Mikey Hooks plays smoothly without a hint of frustration.
Who needs a real doctor when you can give Dr. Payne a call? The unconventional surgeon "simulation" series from Adult Swim is back, retooled for mobile devices and featuring some new devices, new patients, and plenty of medical drama. Amateur Surgeon 3: Tag Team Trauma sticks you in the operating room with tools like a stapler, a pizza cutter, a chainsaw, and some crazy-cool healing gel. Using your, uh, medical knowhow, you'll patch up patient after patient with the greatest of ease!
As a rule of thumb, bricks generally don't roll. They're pretty much made to sit in one place, which is good when you're trying to build a house with them. The bricks in Brick Roll would probably make for terrible building materials, because all they do is roll around and collect pellets and gems. In this difficult but tantalizing mobile puzzle platformer, you've got to roll your brick around many enemies and traps and gather everything you can before you can escape.
When Ian Fell in the Machine is a simple endless falling arcade game from Bumpkin Brothers, creator of The Tribloos series as well as the puzzle game The Machine. This precision title asks you to help Ian survive his long fall by tilting/touching your mobile device back and forth, affecting his descent so he picks up coins instead of running face-first into a sawblade.
Kid Tripp is an auto-running retro-style platform game created by Not Done Yet Games. It borrows some gameplay elements from the endless running genre, though really it's more of an old fashioned action game you might have found on the NES or Sega Genesis. It's simple, it's extremely challenging, and it's filled with chunky pixel artwork that perfectly defines the game's quirky sense of humor.
Dropchord is a music-driven arcade game from the lovely folks at Double Fine. With a thumping beat in the background and glowing neon artwork all over, your simple goal is to press two fingers on the screen and guide a line to touch dots that appear in the center. It's somewhat reminiscent of Cipher Prime's Pulse, only with a stronger focus on avoidance and puzzle elements that pure musical skill.
Want that refreshing RPG flavor with a slight twist? Deep Dungeons of Doom from MiniBoss has the formula down to a science. Fight monsters, gain experience, buy equipment and complete quests, all by tapping the sides of the screen. The adventure you'll undertake is as righteous as any "gotta save the world from evil" role playing game, but here you only have to worry about the exciting stuff!
Pivvot is an on-rails avoidance game created by Whitaker Trebella. It puts you in control of a small pair of orbs traveling along a fixed path in an abstract world of color and shape. Obstacles are placed along the path, and the only way you can avoid them is by pivoting the large orb around the smaller one. Simple concept, but like Super Hexagon and other "don't touch anything 'cause it's all dangerous" games, the challenge quickly escalates into a true test of reflexes.
In this game of Tic-Tac-Toe, three in a row is a bad thing! Conceptis presents Tic-Tac-Logic, a puzzler where you've got to fill the grid with noughts and crosses following three simple rules. There's got to be an equal number of Xs and Os in each row, you can't have two identical rows, and you can't have three Xs or Os in a row. It sounds simple, but it takes patience and deduction to figure out the single solution for each puzzle in this app.
rymdkapsel is a mesmerizing defense game from Martin Jonasson (grapefrukt) that is as elegant as it is intriguing. It combines elements of spatial awareness, strategic planning, Civilization-like expansion, and a touch of zen-like exploration as you work your way further into outer space, discovering ability upgrades while defending yourself from attack. It's a beautifully balanced game that has the ability to hold your attention for hours on end.
Droidscape:Basilica is a sci-fi puzzle game from Kyttaro Games that's got a few tricks up its sleeve. It casts you in the role of Bishop 7, a small robot who happens to be humanity's only hope to survive a new Dark Age. By drawing paths and then controlling the 'bot's progression, you can gather key cards to open doors and work your way to becoming a hero!
It's time for a simple, soothing word game. What's the Sentence from Tinyworks Games is a straightforward game that combines anagrams with famous quotes. A baseline of six letter tiles rests at the bottom of the screen. Above are several words with blank spots in place of letters. Tap the word you want to work with, then tap your inventory to start filling them in. Repeat the process until the famous quote is complete!
Blitz Block Robo from Nexus Game Studio is an action puzzle game that's all about speed, speed and more speed. It keeps gameplay simple with one or two basic mechanics and a few wrenches thrown into the mix just to make sure you don't get too comfortable. Easy to play, extremely challenging, and plenty of replay value. Sounds like an ideal mobile game to us!
A Ride into the Mountains is an artistic take on a retro arcade game created by Lee-Kuo Chen. You play as Zu, a young man who lives in a remote cabin whose only purpose is to protect an ancient relic from harm. When something happens to said relic one morning, Zu grabs his bow, hops on his horse and heads out to investigate.
Sky Tourist from Three Legged Egg has finally done something new with the physics platform genre made popular by Doodle Jump! Instead of hopping or flying or running or crawling, you maneuver a boy dangling on a wire suspended between two rocket ships. By changing the rockets' locations in relation to each other you can slide left and right, collecting cubes and taking a more extended look at the great stuff the universe has to offer!
Lums is the story of a bunch of Lums and a bunch of Vampires. It's a physics puzzle game that takes a unique angle on the Crush the Castle / Angry Birds formula of tossing things to destroy structures. Instead of pigs or snooty royalty, though, you get to shed a little light on some grumpy vampires. Watch 'em burn!
Yes yes YES. The Kagi Nochi Tobira series is back! The iOS and Android escape game Kagi Nochi Tobira 2013 from Daisuke Suzuki is one of the more polished "100-style" escape games out there (move over, 100 Floors), adopting a simple art style and puzzles that are both creative and challenging. Time to grab your mobile device and binge play.
Take Action to Escape is a mobile escape game from Mobest Media that wants to remind you you'll never escape unless you, you know, actually do something! Similar to escape games like DOOORS and 100 Rooms, you're presented with a series of single-screen levels littered with a few objects and a door that's locked tight. By tilting, tipping, shaking, sliding and staring at your device, it's your job to uncover the key so you can head to the next level!
Flyro is an endless flying game with a whimsical cartoon exterior created by Brute Farce. Flyro the bird lives on a beautiful island that attracts all sorts of tourists. Far to the north is Mouseville, home of an evil mastermind who was convinced Birdtown was stealing his tourists. One day this Moustermind came up with a plan to freeze the tropical bird paradise. Flyro wasn't going to have it, and recalling her more-than-ordinary birth that involved a volcano, she sets out to heat things up with a little bit of fire power.
Noprops' characteristic trickery and visual stunts are all that hold you here in these four white-washed walls. Can you see past the red herrings and decipher the rooms' secrets to escape?
Peace! Houh! What is it good for? Well, something apparently, as the various factions of Berzerk Studio's new defense shooter, The Peacekeeper, want it, and are willing to slaughter everything in their path to get it. A visceral burst of just-mindless-enough entertainment, The Peacekeeper is a bloody and hilarious good time, if a little repetitive in the endgame
Brash, sassy, and punchy, Ittle Dew and her friend Tippsie want just one thing... adventure, and lots of it! Fortunately the island she's stranded on has that in spades, along with challenging puzzles, humour, and weight-lifting cacti. Ludosity serves up a knee-weakeningly adorable and funny indie action adventure that calls upon classic inspirations like Zelda and The Secret of Mana without ever losing its own style and creativity.
This multiple level escape stands out because it's not a simple "clear the stage" game with many doors yet few puzzles. Each well-appointed room invites exploration, handling clues with finesse so it is challenging without being frustrating. You finish with a sense of accomplishment, making this a mobile game that is as satisfying to your brain as it is to your eyes.
In this escape-the-room game from noprops (also known as Mygames888), you find yourself in a familiar situation: locked in a room in which you must solve puzzles until you reach the exit and make you way out. Yet there is also something different, more surreal, that makes Lift stand out from most games you're used to. For this reason, it's not to be missed.
Gorgeous, funny, and packed with wickedly devious levels, this is one iOS/Android game you won't want to put down. Play as an itty-bitty thief and his ferret companion as you point-and-click your way through beautifully designed stages and chapters, each with their own unique story and setup, to rob from the buttheads and give to yourself... or those who need it more.
Sprinkle Islands from Granny Smith creator Mediocre is a follow up to Sprinkle, a physics-based mobile puzzle game that is as adorable as it is fun. Pieces of a giant stone are raining down on Sprinkle Islands like meteors, causing all sorts of fires to spring up. Enter you, happy hero, with your simple height-adjustable vehicle that spits water like a little fountain. Time to douse some flames!
Dungeonism is a stylish roguelike-like adventure game from Jeffrey Fal. We say it's like a roguelike because the game takes ample opportunity to deviate from that old standard formula. Instead of dreary worlds and serious gameplay, Dungeonism draws inspiration from the likes of Pac-Man to create a lively turn-based pick-up-and-play experience that's perfect for casual players.
In FireRabbit's unique blend of a hidden object search with an escape-the-room game, you begin with a task list in hand, a garage full of parts and tools, and a classic American muscle car in need of some loving attention. And since it's available on most mobile devices, you can play this "fix'em up and drive away" project almost anywhere wheels will take you.
It may not offer much new from the previous titles, but the third installment in the addictively sadistic action platformer series for iOS is just as polished, hard, and face-punchingly fun as you'd want.
You wake up in an unfamiliar room... What happened? Clearly, ninjas have struck you over the head and now hold you captive as they guard every possible exit and you must search around the ninja house seeking out clues, tools and weapons to procure your freedom in this lively escape-the-room mobile game from 58 Works.
On the surface, this puzzle game is simple. Easy, even. You move in turns through small, carefully designed levels trying to avoid or eliminate enemies on your way to the exit. But before long, the new varieties of obstacles and tight level design will force you to think ahead in strategic fashion, making this one elegantly simple game that can challenge you with the best of them.
One part puzzle solving, one part snarky story, and one part riddles, Relentless Software's Blue Toad Murder Files: A Touch of Mystery is what you would get if you combined the Professor Layton series with You Don't Know Jack. Sounds like strange bedfellows for sure, but Blue Toad's wild narration and sense of humor keep the whodunit theme light and enjoyable while popping you from one mystery to the next. All without a single reference to Murder, She Wrote!
It's time for a simple, gorgeous game of billiards, the heads of the mobile gaming pantheon have decreed. Super Paper Pool from One Side Software is a bit like a cross between billiards, mini-golf, and maybe just a touch of Peggle, too. It's a game of precise shots and lucky breaks, where the slightest twitch of your finger can win or lose a level.
Ever wanted to combine Fruit Ninja with Space Invaders? Pícaro Game Studio did, and so the team set to work to build Attack of the Spooklings, a game of endless fence protecting and enemy slashing. Attack of the Spooklings sends waves of enemies after you, and your only defense is to swipe like your life depended on it. Because it kinda does. Your virtual life, anyway.
Maximus is the sidescrolling beat-em-up iOS device owners have always wanted. Taking pages from brawlers like Golden Axe and Castle Crashers, this humorous take on the genre from Mooff Games does the nearly impossible by making touch screen controls actually work for an action game. Sounds crazy, right? It's not, and after spending some time with Maximus beating things up and gaining a few levels, you'll probably want to hunt up the Mooff Games folks and be all like "Are you a wizard?".
Samurai Shodown II isn't a game you'd expect to see on a mobile device. Virtual controls for a fighting game originally released 20 years ago? Doesn't sound like the most promising combination. But publisher DotEmu has gone to great lengths to make things work, handing you completely customizable button layouts and sizes as well as built-in MOGA controller support so you play without hindrance. A slidey touch screen may not have the give of a good arcade joystick, but it gets the job done!
Layton Brothers: Mystery Room is a crime solving mystery game from Level-5, the team behind the well-known Professor Layton series on Nintendo DS. While this incarnation may only bear passing ties to the prof's previous adventures, it's still a solid adventure game that will remind you of Phoenix Wright in some ways. Which is a good thing!
Toca Builders is a sandbox creativity toy created by the team at Toca Boca. Instead of giving you boring drawing tools or other cold, removed contraptions, this adorable game hands you half a dozen robots who each have different abilities. By driving them around, switching between them and using their skills to place and remove blocks, you can construct just about anything you can dream up!
The little programmable robot is back, and this time it's mobile! Light-bot is a logic-based puzzle game that's been kicking around the browser scene for a few years in the form of Light-Bot and Light-Bot 2.0. Now the game has made the jump to Android and iOS, bringing with it several dozen new levels that will challenge your ability to program robots to light up blocks. That makes it sound a bit easy, but it isn't, we promise!
Fed up with the current crop of farming games and their incessant cheeriness? Agricola brings you back to reality like stepping in a pile of fresh manure. Playdek's mobile conversion of Uwe Rosenberg's classic strategy board game has the same pleasant exterior as numerous Facebook farm-'em-ups, but its cuddly graphics and music will do little to soothe your aching brain as you struggle to keep your peasants from starvation. Fun? It sure is.
"Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain." Creepy music? Concrete walls? Perspicacious quotes? Yes, your adventures in the asylum are nowhere near over in Glitch Games' latest adventure, Forever Lost: Episode 2. Last year's breakout point-and-click escape hit is back to continue the story, featuring more twists, chills, and lots of classic adventuring fun.
Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage is a brand new offering from Nitrome, the browser game team who are responsible for such previous casual addictions as Steamlands, Hot Air 2: All Blown Up, Skywire, and of course the rest of the Icebreaker series. This new outing marks Nitrome's first foray into the mobile realm, and judging by the depth and quality of this release, we really, really hope it isn't their last!
It's a sweltering day outside. Seeing all the thirsty people gives Mickey an idea: lemonade stand! He's missing one key ingredient, however: water. Too bad it's not as simple as marching over to the sink and turning on the tap. From the creators of Where's My Water? and Where's My Perry?, the new physics-puzzle adventure Where's My Mickey? follows the same touch and drag formula as its predecessors, only with a new visual style and some few imaginative gameplay additions.
Somebody let the zombies out, and they're on a serious rampage to get rid of the survivors! Shelter is a post-apocalyptic strategy game from Survivalist Games that distills all the running, shooting and getting your brains eaten action from surviving a zombie raid into a card game. It's surprisingly challenging and calls on more skill than just being able to place a few cards on the table. And just because zombies busting down the doors happens with cards doesn't mean it's any less thrilling.
Super School Day is a quick-fire collection of mini-games from Second Impact Games. It shares a lot with titles like Wario Ware and the classic 4 Second series, though this game is out to make a mockery of them at every turn. Each round drops handfuls of extremely fast micro-games in your face, challenging you to complete them as best you can before you're whisked off to the next one. You will feel lost, you won't know what's going on, you will yell and you will fail. But you'll be laughing the whole time because hey, there's a sea urchin school uniform!
Billed as an arcade cabinet imported from an alternate universe, Nam-Cap takes the familiar concept of Pac-Man and turns it backwards in many ways. Your goal in each level is to fill the whole maze with dots (as opposed to consuming them all, obviously). Despite the reversal, Nam-Cap captures everything that made Pac-Man entertaining.
Little Luca from Glowingpine Studios is a unique one button physics puzzle game that puts you in control of a bunch of floating colored things that change shape. Really! As two friends gazed upon the peaceful night sky something terrible happened. Stars fell from their perches, leaving behind a glowing red void. And the only person/creature that can set things right is you. Time to get wobbling!
Crazy Machines Golden Gears is a new addition to the Crazy Machines series of physics building/puzzle games. The franchise has made the leap from downloadable desktop game to the mobile world, bringing with it all the challenge, creativity and, well, crazy machines you can imagine. If Rube Goldberg only knew the kind of legacy he would leave to the casual gaming world.
Pet Rescue Saga is a cute and captivating puzzle game that made its way from the world of Facebook to the mobile marketplaces. Created by King, the developer behind Candy Crush Saga, expect a well-tuned matching experience punctuated by a number of useful power-ups, all told through a shoestring story about rescuing adorable pets!
Follow your dreams! And if your dreams mean you have to pay a monkey scientist in bananas to reach the moon and a hypothetical lady monkey, well, so be it! Though it could use some more variety, this launch game has style and polish to burn for a simple but fun experience.
Want to take Mojang's wildly popular sandbox building simulation with you wherever you go? As long as you have an iOS or Android device you can! Though lacking a lot of the content from its desktop edition and multiplayer capability, Pocket Edition is a great way to get your diggy-diggy-hole on whenever you want, or just get your feet wet if you want to find out what all the fuss is about.
Here is a full scale escape-the-room adventure made (near) perfect by Kotorinosu's skillful design. Inexplicably locked inside these space age surroundings, with no narrative or changing cursor to guide you, you're left to your observational skills and ability to make connections between clues, using objects (repeatedly) to break through multiple locks until you are free. It's lengthy enough and challenging enough to hold you captive for most the afternoon, both in frustration and delight.
Bridgy Jones, which we promise has absolutely nothing to do with Helen Fielding or Renée Zellweger, is a physics puzzle/building game from Grow App. It's pretty much free from all that romance and stuff, but it's still tells a bit of a love story in its own way. The love between a dog and a chicken, a man and delicious fried eggs, and you and your ability to make bridges out of thin air, that is.
Color Zen from Large Animal Games is a relaxing puzzle game that's probably going to be your next go-to for quick bursts of entertainment. Each level hands you shapes of various colors, some of which are movable, all you have to do is give them a quick swipe. When shapes of the same color collide they meld into each other and fill the entire screen, effectively eliminating that color from the puzzle. The goal is to get every visible object the same color as the border.
Two childhood friends would never expect their destinies would grow to be so great... or to pull them in opposite directions. This iOS port of the beloved turn-based tactical RPG classic may suffer from some user interface problems, but with the challenging battles and deep narrative intact, it still remains a formidable, engrossing experience that deserves a place in any fan's library.
Pixel Rooms is a room escape game born from the combined talents of Urara-Works and Skipmore. You might recognize those names from the utterly amazing mobile RPG Fairune released not too long ago. Pixel Rooms goes several steps beyond the usual mobile escape setup, treating you to puzzles and stages that bend the rules in creative new ways. It's more than just doors that need unlocking, it's like a series of mini-puzzles from Hapland or GROW!
Sparkle 2 has just arrived from 10tons, the team behind the mobile physics puzzle games Tennis in the Face and King Oddball. And you know what? It looks gorgeous. It plays gorgeous, too, if you can pretend that's a thing that makes sense. Smooth marble popping puzzle action combined with a soothing soundtrack and drop-dead stunning visuals. It's everything you could want in a simple casual matching game.
Scurvy Scallywags is a hybrid match-3 puzzle game created by Beep Games, that studio where that guy Ron Gilbert works, not to mention his DeathSpank collaborator Clayton Kauzlaric. Scurvy Scallywags dresses you in your piratey best and sends you to the sea on a quest to discover the ultimate sea shanty (a.k.a. "song"). Along the way you'll defeat all sorts of foes, swap and match piles of gold, attach swords, coconuts and rats, spend your pirate booty on ability upgrades, and witness one of the most awkward pirate dramas ever performed.
The newest "100" room escape game (well, I say newest; another 30 have probably just popped up in the time its taken to write this) is 100 Dreams by Daisuke Suzuki, the maker of the excellent Kagi Nochi Tobira. The format should be secondhand by now: Each stage presents you with the simple task of opening a door under increasingly complex and puzzling circumstances.
Were you alive and mostly aware of your surroundings in 1984? Good, this article is for you! Karateka Classic is a mobile re-release of the original combat game created by Prince of Persia guru Jordan Mechner. Akuma has kidnapped the princess and you're going to fight your way through every one of his minions until you get her back. Bam! The music, the floppy drive loading sounds, the scan lines... it's all there. With some more modern features to accommodate touch screen controls, of course. But apart from that, it's all retro.
Locking horns with a great puzzle is an almost zen-like experience. There's something wonderful about letting the world slip away as you sink into the pure logic of a mind-bending puzzle. Of course, when that puzzle is as beautiful and engaging as Quell Memento, it makes the experience that much sweeter. Created by Fallen Tree Games, the lastest installment of the raindrop-sliding brainteaser Quell takes place in an abandoned house, filled with the memories of its previous owner.
Here's a fantastic idea for a restaurant: have a competent waitress who does her job well, then hire a cook that periodically flips out and tries to kill the customers. That's the general idea behind Cafe Murder, a mobile time management game from Beaver Toad Software that emphasizes character and personality over speed. It's not a game about seeing how fast you can serve sandwiches, it's a game about keeping your shop tidy and pleasing the customers. And boy do customers love it when they're not murdered!
Phoenix Wright is back, and he's in HD! After months of waiting Capcom has finally released Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy HD, packing three Phoenix Wright games into a single, easy-to-get-hooked-on download. It doesn't matter if you've never heard of the series or are a tried and true fan, Ace Attorney offers a lot of story and a lot of suspense in a very attractive package.
Greedy Grub is a freemium town building game from Pixowl with gorgeous artwork and gameplay that's just left of the norm. It immediately captivates you with its tale of a cute orange grub falling out of a tree, and every character you meet afterwards is just as quirky and lovable. Layer on top of that an honestly entertaining collection-centric gameplay mechanic and you've got the perfect recipe for an addictive mobile game.
Travel the world. Find exotic kittens. And put bread on their faces. Pokemon meets internet meme in this bizarrely endearing free iOS game, where adorable art and simple yet addictive gameplay war with some monetization issues.
From the creator of the SQUIDS series comes a truly casual, but also truly addictive, casual brawler. Simply swipe to attack as you learn to chain together powerful abilities and combos to defeat your foes, earning upgrades to become even more powerful, in a game dripping with charm... and satire!
Logistics is a physics puzzle game from Robb Akerson. Using only the most basic features from building games such as The Incredible Machine, it's your job to move objects around the screen, one piece of candy or one block of ice at a time. It takes a bit of fiddling to make sure everything is in the right place, but Logistics is built with casual players in mind, providing a good logical challenge but never making you feel frustrated.
CastleMine from Mugshot Games combines tower defense with a little bit of old fashioned digging. Instead of mapping out mazes for creeps to crawl through or building balloon things on green green grass, you get to dig underground one block at a time. Uncover extra gold deposits, additional resources, or even nests of enemies as you attempt to defend your castle from the threat from below.
The woods are no place to be stranded in. You can lose your way; you can lose your mind; you can even lose yourself. Developed by Simulated Culture, Rootwork is a new strategic card game that drops you into the heart of the deepest, darkest forest and challenges you to make it out safely. However, a stray critter or a thorny bush are the least of your troubles here. These woods are full of dark forces and malevolent spirits, and at the center of the dark maelstrom is "She." Who is She? That's uncertain. But these are Her woods, and if She wants you to stay lost forever the odds are stacked against you.
You know what your average tug-of-war game needs? A table instead of a rope. At least that's what Otto Ojola thinks, and he's turned the idea into Tug the Table, a simple yet wonderful fighting game that manages to be reminiscent of Wrestle Jump while still being unique.
A lot of kids who grew up with RC cars turned into today's gamers. That's a dangerous blanket statement to make, but you can't argue there isn't some overlap. After all, isn't driving a radio controlled car around the living room kind of like a video game? And didn't playing with RC cars and video games make your parents mad? Looking to bring those two worlds together, Paladin Studios, the team behind Momonga Pinball Adventures, has released Nikko RC Racer, a wild and untamed arcade racing game that's about as close to driving the real thing as you can get.
Money, or freedom. Which will you choose? McBank: The Puzzle of Money and Freedom uses stark, humorous imagery wrapped around a series of quick puzzles that play on the theme of the uneven distribution of wealth and power in modern society. Even though most of the world's money is controlled by a relative few people, the masses continue to support them with their purchases and actions. McBank forces you to to choose with each level you complete, and the results aren't always pretty.
Move fast! No, faster! No, even faster! Available in your browser or on your mobile device, Mini Dash is a challenging one-hit K-O platformer full of missiles, buzzsaws, daring jumps, and more that will test your mettle over and over.
After your rather unceremonious birth, you're sent to the temple of the Silene Monks, where you choose whether to be a medic, a warrior or an engineer. From there, it's up to you to make the right choices to fulfill your destiny and, most crucially, not die. But Trial of the Clone is more than a simple choose-your-own-adventure. Along the way you'll gain stat points, weapons and items, which you can keep track of via a built-in D&D-style Adventure Sheet. These come to play in battles which pop up occasionally and affect the course of the story. Battles are pretty simple: You deal damage to your opponent based on your given stats plus a random number from 0 to 3, and then your opponent does the same — the last one standing wins. Loss in a battle doesn't necessarily mean death; it may just mean being relocated to a different department (say, engineering, where physical strength, ability and charisma are less in demand).
Douglas Chase, the hero of Tasty Poison's arcade puzzle game Dig!, has it rough. He works as an archaeologist for a failing museum, and in order to save his job, appease his boss and rescue the museum, he has to dig up new and exciting artefacts, pronto. And he has to do all this while mummies, tentacles and moles chase him, which never makes things easy. Oh, and toilet seats count as priceless artefacts, by the way. Have fun!
Daddy Was a Thief is a solid little arcade game from Rebel Twins, creator of the gorgeous mobile release Crumble Zone. The story begins with dear old dad losing his job, then picking up a How-To book on robbery so he can nip off to the bank for a bit of thievery. When the action begins dad is making his escape. The only problem is there are hundreds of things standing between his high-rise hijinks and the safety of terra firma.
Something has gone terribly, horribly awry at Don Eduardo's zoo. Flesh-seeking undead animals are on the loose and you, plucky boy or girl, are the last line of defense in Zoombies: Animales de la Muerte!, a mobile line-drawing defense game from High Voltage Software. Could this be the worst field trip ever?
Armed with only an arsenal of letters, the Banana Breakers are here to save the day! In this Mastermind-meets-Boggle word logic game, you've got to split the grid of letters into a series of words. You can use clues from submitted words to help you deduce the positions of letters in a word, but your next guess might give you clues somewhere else entirely! Can you solve the grid without going bananas?
Perfection is a simple, casual puzzle game from Dumb and Fat Games, creator of Sling It! and Phantasmaburbia. It tests your spatial resolve by challenging you to slice bits of an object away until it fits inside an outline. There's no timer, there's no move limits, and there are no missions to complete. Just some relaxing music and a great game of self-challenge at your fingertips.
You can't help but smile when you make these monkeys happy in Pencil Kids' wonderfully interactive point-and-click puzzle game. In each stage, figure out what will make the weepy-eyed simian dance in glee. This means using objects creatively, solving puzzles and even completing a few arcade-type mini-games. Finish all 15 stages to be treated to a coin collecting adventure bonus level. But the joy on those adorable faces is what makes the effort worth it.
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.
Bart Bonte is back (ok, so he never really went anywhere) with a brand new game, this time on iOS! Factory Balls began as an entry in one of our early Casual Gameplay Design Competitions in 2008. The puzzle game has grown and expanded since then, producing several sequels and finally landing on mobile devices with a stylish visual upgrade. Get ready for a new generation of infuriating, satisfying sphere painting!