What can you build using only a straightedge and a compass? A lot, apparently, as illustrated in Ancient Greek Geometry, a webtoy where you're drawing abilities are limited to circles and lines made by points you create. If you want, you can try to solve mathematical puzzles such as making triangles, squares, and the elusive pentagon using only these tools. How complex your drawings can get is entirely up to you.
Enter into the experience of visualizing visualizing (whoa, meta!) in the CGDC7 award-winning interactive fiction title Dual Transform by Andrew Plotkin. Take on the role of a virtual engineer, of sorts, feeling the pressure of really making this project something to remember... something that really feels real.
Continue the adventure across the Plains of the Endless Grass in search of the Wiseman who knows every story ever told. Play as Myosotis and embark on a journey filled with fantastic creatures, breathtaking scenery and, of course, captivating stories. A Grain of Truth picks up (and leaves us) where The Trader of Stories: Bell's Heart left us: wanting more.
If you aren't at all into real-world strategy board and card games, you probably haven't heard of Dominion. You're probably looking at the screenshot to the right, perhaps intrigued, maybe a little wary, but wondering nonetheless what in tarnation is going on. Luckily, once you've grasped the fundamentals, online Dominion is easy to jump into. If you're already a Dominion fan, you know why you should, and if you aren't yet a fan, you just might become one.
Improbable Island is a browser-based multiplayer RPG, consisting almost entirely of text. Almost all of it quite funny. It's jam-packed with references to everything from "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: to "Sesame Street" to its own insanity. Even if you don't find it outright funny, you will still get a smile from the sheer craziness of it all. This is Improbable Island, where running into forgotten food from your refrigerator is a fairly mundane battle.
A Dark Room will run quietly by itself in a tab in your browser with only minimal interaction at first. There's just you, the dark, dwindling wood, and a fire to stoke. But what might that light attract? What could you build if you dared venture the cold quiet outdoors? With gameplay that will remind you of Candy Box! but a decidedly creepier, more intriguing bent to go with simulation and adventure, A Dark Room is well worth checking out.
Another brilliantly intricate and well-designed puzzle game from Rob Allen, this one with similarities to classics Rogue and Lode Runner. Use the arrow keys for movement and navigate the player character (I) through each level to collect all of the gold (£) and then make it to the exit (E) safely. Complete with level editor to create your own level designs!
Created for MiniLD 49, this clever puzzle game asks you to play with your letters, swapping through the alphabet to try to find the proper shape to fit through obstacles. Short and simple yet unique, it's one we hope to see more of.
Cookie Clicker is back with a sleek new look, upgrades, achievements, and even a subtly sinister storyline. All you need to do to play this webtoy is to click to generate cookies, but as you sell them, you can buy things to make cookies for you. But at what cost? And will things get out of hand?
"Hero" is such a broad term. Don't you think, cowboy? You were just liberating that silver after all. Before you can ride off into the sunset, you'll need to get out of this jail cell. Hoosegow is a tongue-in-cheek bit of interactive fiction set in the wild west, and the proud winner of CGDC7.
aniwey's Candy Box may seem simple, but this unexpectedly delightful webtoy packs way more surprises than you'd ever think. All you seem to have is a simple counter of candies that slowly accumulates with each second, and the option to gobble them all up, or throw them on the ground. But give it some time, and Candy Box! may just be one of the weirdest, most wonderful webtoys you've ever encountered.
Entanglement is a simple puzzle game that will remind you of a tonypa release both in terms of visual and conceptual design. Your job is to create an unbroken path that weaves around the hexagonal grid and touches as many pieces as it can. You do this by rotating hexagons one at a time, setting each one into place and extending the orange line with every click. If you bump into a wall, the game ends, so all you have to do is drag things on for as long as you can.
It's baaaaaaaaaaaaack... aniwey's smash-hit original webtoy/wonder machine gets a sequel with even more content to discover. Allow this little game to run by itself in another tab or window and you'll quickly discover that there's a lot more to it than just a rising number of candies.
You're spending the night at your best friend's house, and someone special is coming by at midnight. Michael Lutz, author of My Father's Long, Long Legs delivers an unsettling twist on familiar territory in this Choose Your Own Adventure Style interactive horror fiction.
It's beginning to look a lot like Clickmas... Ortiel's hit addictive (and weird!) clicktoy cookie baking simulator gets a festive upgrade that begins with a familiar red hat and ends with... well, that would be spoiling things.
Geosense is a multiplayer geography game, created using DHTML and Ajax, that can also be played alone. The game itself is all about location and consists of 10 or 20 rounds, each of which involves clicking on the map where you think the given city is located. You receive points for speed and accuracy, although the latter is given more weight. Be careful, you just may learn something.
Play as a row in a database where your objective is to fight the other rows to decrease their numbers and increase your own. It's a numbers game, pure and simple, and by not pretending to be anything else, mySQLgame has managed to take the ubiquitous browser-based MMO and distill it down to the very essence of the genre.
You've probably already spotted the icon next to this blurb and thought, "Xs and Os in a grid? Must be Tic Tac Toe... But why haven't they played in the middle square? That's an easy win for both players!" That's true, however it might not be the best strategy in Tic-Tac-Toe-Ception, where the square you make your move in on one grid determines the grid your opponent plays in on a larger meta-grid. A simple game of three-in-a-row just got a whole lot harder!
Jonas Kyratzes delivers an experience both magical and melancholy in this Twine-based choose-your-own-adventure game as you play one of seven heroes chosen to take up arms against a legendary beast that rises every hundred years to bathe the land in flame.
Smokescreen is a new alternate reality game (ARG) from entertainment company Six To Start. Social networking, blogging, and chat lingo are all part of this game that takes on the task of warning players about the dangers of the Internet in a way that makes you feel like you're experiencing them first-hand.
In this creepy bit of Twine-delivered interactive fiction, a young girl's father becomes obsessed with digging a hole beneath their house. As the years pass, he begins to resemble less and less the man she once knew... and perhaps even less of a man at all...
Uh, hold up, we're going to need more dice than this... Go and empty out the Yahtzee and Monopoly boxes, because we've got to round up 45 dice to play this game. Perhaps you should grab the Risk and Trivial Pursuit as well? Triplechain is a dice game that stresses planning ahead and lucky rolls for making huge scores.
Gamer Mom, by Mordechai Buckman and Kyler Kelly, is a unique text adventure about a Mom trying to convince her family to play World of Warcraft together and mend their broken relationship. But it won't be easy! Your daughter hates you and only wants to text on her cellphone all day and your husband is a workaholic who doesn't want to spend anytime as a family. Even if you manage to succeed in your goal, the game doesn't end there and you might be surprised at what happens next. Gamer Mom is a short, but lasting, experience that manages to be sad, poignant, and even funny...just like life itself.
Raise a great empire in CivClicker! You start with a single farmer living in a tent, but will soon be dealing with hundreds of different workers living in mansions. Though you can leave the clicktoy open in your browser to gain the resources you need to survive and multiply, you'll want to check back often to manage your resources and send your soldiers out to raid.
This lyrical work of interactive fiction, brainchild of Jonas Kyratzes who created The Book of Living Magic, will envelope you in a surrealistic experience of discovery, a gentle stroll through a timeless pastoral state where your decisions are rewarded with rich verse and life-pondering revelations. Each passage presents you with a choice which will determine your path; stroll slowly through the experience and play more than once to fully appreciate the outcomes of each option. Arcadia: a Pastoral Tale elevates the oft misjudged browser game onto the loftier plane of artistic poignancy.
Dan Efran's title Ka, an entry in our interactive fiction and escape themed Casual Gameplay Design Competition #7, starts in decidedly close quarters, with your royal spirit crammed in next to your corpse. Most text adventures struggle to some degree with pacing, but in Ka, at least, your initial goal is clear: leave. After that? Well, you're dead. You have to come to terms with it sometime.
Hospitals are full of all sorts of hazards, like paper robes that don't close all the way, doctors with cold hands, and... zombies? HM! Lynnea Dally's undead apocalypse begins with you waking from a rather impromptu bout of unconsciousness in the hospital radiation room, but you have more things than a rather impressive headache to worry about in this horror interactive fiction game.
From the creators of A Dark Room comes a match-3 puzzle game with a twist. Combine and collect resources to build, but what happens when the sun goes down is another matter.
While it's missing some bells and whistles (like sound effects, namely bells and whistles), and the name might be a bit of a misnomer (wouldn't true toroid Tetris wrap from bottom to top?), Torus makes use of HTML5, a shiny new programming language that's accessible on more platforms than before. While making a step into the future(!) of gaming, Torus pays homage to a classic with its own unique twist.
I don't suppose you've ever felt trapped at a really tedious party, wishing you could throw off the shackles of social convention and impale your host on a cocktail weenie toothpick, make a rope out of your own hair to escape out the bathroom window, beat yourself unconscious with the cheese tray--anything to avoid listening to some guy tell you another story about his golfing ability? In real life it's the opposite of entertaining, but in Party Foul, it makes for a hilarious puzzle to test all your escaping power
Crafted in the style of classic 'choose your own adventure' games, Zebulon features the exploits of a somewhat wayward space crew. The story itself is relatively simple; you're the captain of a small ship that runs regular courier missions for Asmico, a delivery and service IT company. With you are your shipwright and communication officer; your shipright Hariett is a straight-laced, by-the-book stick in the mud while Reynolds, the communication officer, is unlikely to win 'Employee of the month' anytime soon. Your choices in your interactions with them, and certain events, will determine your outcome.
Initially created to showcase the upcoming Impact Game Engine, Dominic Szablewski's Biolab Disaster morphed into a short platform adventure all its own. As the game begins, a short quake rocks the underground lab, sending debris falling all over the place. Monsters have spread themselves around the lab, and pools of acid threaten to end your day all too quickly. What's a guy in a biohazard suit with a gun to do? Run through the lab and take out the computer core, that's what!
Predicament by Orangepascal is a back to basics escape-the-room game with lovely pixelart and features a story with an unexpected ending. You are a lone survivor who has fallen into a cave and must find their way out if they want to live. But, why are there objects already in this cave? For anyone with a need for a quick escape-the-room fix and a love for stories with ambiguous endings, there is no predicament... just play and enjoy.
Created in just 72 hours for Ludum Dare #22, this puzzle game took second place in both innovation and overall competition. Your goal is to eliminate all the tiles on the screen by moving the dual protagonists across the game board, each seemingly on a different planes. As you pass over a color-coordinated square, it disappears, barring further passage, in most instances at least. The lovelorn duo continually gain new abilities, inspired by their circumstances and feelings, adding new dimensions and means to move on. This twist on game mechanics not only keeps it fresh and fun, it makes the narrative truly interesting and enjoyable rather than just words bridging across levels.
Brent Silby has created one of the coolest arcade games I have played in a very long time. Think retro-cool as in Galaga, Defender, Centipede and Robotron, and you'll be close to what the action is like in surely one of his best games to date. Replicator captures the essence of arcade action fun and delivers it lovingly in a browser window.
What do you do when doom threatens your sweet land of sugary goodness? You hone your skills and fight back! Play as one of three classes, each with different strengths, as you fight your way through mysterious evil to save the world.
Lynnea Glasser (formerly Dally) returns to the interactive fiction scene with Coloratura. Play as a displaced alien who only seeks to get away from the blind, apathetic humans and return to their place of bliss. Without the ability to directly manipulate objects, you can 'color' the humans moods to create situations beneficial to your goal. Whether dealing with them violently or more peacefully, you will get back to your resting place. Whatever it takes.
You're a small fish in a big pond in this strange turn-based roguelike RPG. You'll grind your way through underwater tunnels, duking it out with other sea creatures, and equipping a range of uniquely goldfish-oriented weapons and armor. Swim and explore, but beware, you never know what you'll find in the depths... or what will find you!
Descend into a dungeon with your brother Erasmus in this strange Twine text adventure, again and again and again and again. Failure is often the only way forward, so explore and experiment if you expect to uncover any of the game's endings, much less the real one.
Check out this port of the arcade classic Asteroids by Doug McInnes. If you've never played Asteroids, or an Asteroids-like game, the goal is to pilot your deltoid spacecraft around the void of space, blasting large lumbering asteroids into smaller, faster, projectile-like asteroids, then blasting those into dust before they breach your hull and destroy you. Destroy or be destroyed is the only law against the impersonal Astroids.
Color has you test the accuracy of your perception of color as you learn about key concepts in the theory of color and design. Simply move your cursor about the large color wheel and click when you have matched the color of the timer inside, before time runs out. Later levels have you matching multiple colors at once, giving you the opportunity to learn about complementary, analogous, ternary, and quaternary colors, all in the context of the game.
Lost. In space. Alone. On a badly damaged ship. It's a bad day for anyone, and it's even worse for you since you can't remember how you got into this predicament. Fragile Shells is a clever, clean bit of interactive fiction from Stephen Granade, and a runner-up in Casual Gameplay Design Competition 7.
Imagine a bunch of magnetic blocks that you can stick to your refrigerator. If you put them in the right spots on the fridge door, you can drop a marble from the top of the fridge and have it bounce and fly about until it reaches the target at the bottom. That's the basic idea behind this webtoy that won the Mozilla Labs Game On open Web game development competition. And yes, it's cooperative, because you're building just one part of a gigantic, continuous marble run with thousands of other players, like refrigerators stacked from here to the moon.
Another enigmatic web toy with Ascii art? Yes, please! Taking cues from Candy Box, Speed Warp takes time and experimentation to figure out exactly what is going on. Enjoy arcade games, crafting, and more as you uncover the secrets of the game.
Ready to take a dive into the wild and woolly world of particle physics? In this clicktoy, you're the head of a research laboratory and you're looking to make your mark on the world! You'll start off with just yourself, but as you do new research and the grant money comes in, you'll be able to hire new staff, grow your laboratory, and make world-shattering discoveries! Hopefully not literally, because this equipment is expensive...
Byzantine Perspective is a tight little heist game from this year's annual interactive fiction competition. You're a student with less-than-legal plans for how to fund your education: get into a museum of Byzantine artifacts, get the valuable antique chalice, get out again. You're rigged out in your best cat-burglar clothes, with your best cat-burglar tools — some of them borrowed from an acquaintance, which raises never-answered questions about what sorts of company the protagonist keeps.
Flaws, the interactive work of fiction from author Jon Ingold, is a difficult game to categorize as well as a different game to review. For starters, it isn't really a game in the traditional sense, more like a choose your own adventure produced for modern, Kindle-enabled devices. Then there's the nature of the story, where discussing even a few of the details can spoil whole bits of the experience. Suffice it to say, Flaws is an intriguing interactive fiction "game" about finding treasure and fame, the Andromeda galaxy, a mysterious diadem, and a possible assassination.
Robby wants to rob a bank, but things don't go so well when the police show up. As the officer counts down from ten, it's up to you to find out a (probably weird) solution that doesn't end with our hero dead or in jail in this wonderfully silly point-and-click puzzle game made in just 48 hours.
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.
Following Footsteps is a unique and oddly charming game created by Ming-Yee Iu for our recent Game Design Competition 6. While the game didn't win any prizes, it set itself apart through its creative take on the Explore theme and innovative gameplay. Follow in the footsteps of an intrepid explorer, hoping to get your grubby mitts on the gold he lost over a century ago!
You are Victor the Tenacious, bravest, strongest, and most intelligentest knight in the whole kingdom. You have been tasked with rescuing the fair Princess Sonia from the Black Dragon Urquel. Oh yeah, and you've let your faithful squire has tag along for the ride too. A short-but-funny Twine yarn by David T. Marchand that fans of fantasy humor won't want to miss.
You may think your objective in this dungeoncrawling turn-based RPG is straightforward--steal the Golden Krone and kill the Vampire Prince. But it's not as easy as it seems, and whether you are human or vampire becomes a complex issue as you move from floor to floor in the Golden Krone Hotel.
You Were Made For Loneliness, a Twine narrative adventure by the Tsukareta author collective, weaves a tale of memory, the post-apocalypse, regret, murder, and in its own skewed way, love. It's a disjointed presentation, heavy on experimentation, but those who love exploring and piecing together a narrative from many component parts will find it a very intriguing experiation.
You're dangling from a chimney on a rooftop six stories above ground, looking for spider silk. Your brother's making sure the door to the stairs back down stays open. When he appears below you looking nonchalant, you get a deep sinking feeling. Roofed is an offbeat interactive fiction title with a clever narrative that'll leave you wanting more.
Sharpen thy blade and gird up thy loins for there is a dungeon to be mastered! Strategically plan your way through the floors to reach the top and stop the unspeakable evil that awaits. Though just a demo, this dungeon crawler packs in hours of fun.
Remember those choking-hazard-tastic plastic maze toys you would get as a kid, usually as a dinky prize for something? Relive those happy memories in Sand Trap, a puzzle where you rotate a box to pour the sand trapped within into a pail. It's another fine HTML5 game from Gopherwood Studios, and a runner up in our Casual Gameplay Design Competition #8.
Sisters Kat and Aria are lost alone in the woods at night when they accidentally cross paths with two men who don't have the friendliest intentions. How far will they go to save themselves in this Choose Your Own Adventure style text-based tale?
Darkness has overtaken the land, bringing with it unspeakable beasts, but one woman is no longer content to cower inside. In this open-source retro RPG adventure demo made in just one month, go on a classic quest to find the source of the dark infestation and get more powerful along the way. Engaging and addictive but challenging too, it's a simple, streamlined experience you can jump right into anytime.
Thomas Weibel's Backgammon is fun, challenging, rock-steady, and doesn't suffer from its super-simple presentation. The game assumes you are familiar with how to play backgammon, so novices might benefit from a quick tutorial found elsewhere on the Web. It's the classic game of Backgammon against a computer AI right in your browser.
It's a super secret brand new room escape game! Made all special-like by the JIG Staff just for you, happy reader, here on April Fools' day. Also, hope you're in the mood for cupcakes, 'cause if you're not, you're about to be...
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.
Alone in a library, you find a mysterious book that quite literally draws you in. You'll have to learn every lesson it contains if you ever want to be seen again. The Grimoire is an entry into our 10th Casual Gameplay Design Competition, with the theme of "Escape".
You've been kidnapped and taken to a facility to test the killing capabilities of a hostile creature in this blend of survival horror and escape! Hunt for items and food and avoid the monster prowling after you in this text-only adventure game.
A twine interactive fiction game where you play as someone living with depression, developed by Zoe Quinn, Patrick Lindsey and Isaac Schankler, Depression Quest hopes to offer empathy and sympathy for what can be a very painful condition. Some awkward prose is balanced by its ambitiousness in subject matter, and makes a convincing case for how games can help us all understand each other better.
It's all about female power in the superheroine visual novel, Wonder City. Play as the high school student, Ada, as she discovers her superpowers. Make decisions in how the story will unfold and what her path to heroism is. Will she be a confronter, taking direct action against evil, or is she more about subtlety, working from the shadows? Watch the story unfold (with mentions of people from women's history) as Ada takes a stand to prevent a villian's corrupt empire.
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.
Your entire young life has been building up to this. You were born to it, your maternal line. You, Lalu, are the Usher, charged with guiding the queen's soul to the afterlife, a task of great splendor and nobility. But that doesn't change how you feel now. All you can think is that you've been raised to die. If only there were some way out. The Usher is a game of interactive fiction, an entry into our first ever interactive fiction competition, Casual Gameplay Design Competition #7. As such, you use a text parser to interact with the game.
The online game Color Box by eyehook takes the familiar puzzle formula and tosses in a little color theory to brighten things up. Slide and drop squares of color to pile them on the bottom of the screen. Your goal is to make them vanish, but your methods will be a little different. Instead of matching like-colors you must use color theory to change the blocks to white. Fortunately you don't need an art degree to pull this one off.