Every gaming sub-genre has to grow up and develop angst some day, and for a lot of them, that means they go steampunk. Use your clockwork pistol scalpel to reshape blocks and sever ropes in this collection of over 40 physics puzzles. If you're a fan of Splitter or Ice Breaker and you want some more levels, possibly a bunch of really obtuse and particular ones, here they are. They are here. Enjoy.
Moonlights gives you World of Goo-like building tools, a simple star-speckled background, and soothing music. Then it asks you to build a tower to the moon. With several different kinds of building surfaces, an accessible level editor, and a meditative tone, this is one of the most laid-back construction games around.
Space. The final frontier. Turns out, the final frontier is littered with coins, and you need to collect them all by using physics, math, blind luck, or any combination thereof as you harness the forces of gravity to your advantage. Work your way through 100 levels and then take advantage of the level creation system to build your own stage to share with your friends! Nothing says "I love you, man" like a fiendishly elaborate physics puzzle that will waste hours of their life.
Run and jump with one hand, warp reality with the other. Ian Snyder's Push is a platform game with an exciting and inventive twist that lets you reshape levels in real-time with an omnipotent force bubble. Plus you can make your own levels for others to tear asunder.
In our inaugural entry for a brand new feature, You Are Games, we are highlighting the latest from Grubby Games: Incredibots 2! Now in open beta, we are leveraging the community and level sharing aspect of the game with a mini-competition instead of a review. Announcing the Jay is Games Incredibots 2 Mini-Brawl!
Dynamic Systems, created by Lorenzo Nuvoletta, is another in a long line of games first made popular by The Incredible Machine, where you must fabricate an overly elaborate system of simple machines to perform a task that would hardly impress a toddler: putting a ball in a bucket.
Shift 4 is now available to play and it brings with it a shiny new iPhone app of the original Shift experience to take with you on-the-go. If you're familiar with the Shift series so far, a lot of the elements in this game will seem very familiar. However, twists do come, as you will eventually find yourself having to control more than one silhouetted fellow. You've now got to use a team of folks to reach the exits and advance.
Help guide Spewer, an adorable pink blob, through a series of diabolical tests put forth by a watchful scientist in this physics-based platformer. It's a journey of adventure, excitement, and child-like wonder. Also, vomit.
In Crush the Castle, you control a trebuchet and fling rocks at a castle. Get off a good shot, and you get to watch it fly gracefully towards the castle, smash into a wall, and cause untold destruction, killing all of the inhabitants and turning the entire thing into a massive pile of rubble! Mwa-ha-ha!
What-ho, my refined gentlemen and ladies! We have thus determined that you are the only ones who can help... Captain Dan versus the Zombie Plan! Stealth and quick feet are rewarded here, rather than running pell-mell into a level, gun blazing. Guide Monocled Man through the area using the environment to his advantage, for if he is spotted, he shall quickly be swarmed by ravenous zombies!
Zedray is a highly inventive action/puzzle game about matching beams of light with each other by... well, smashing them together. A mash-up of the Snake Game, Missile Command, and the light cycles from Tron, it's like untangling a living, angular ball of laser yarn. Don't let the beams hit the ground!
If you celebrate Arbor Day and always thought a logic puzzle was just what the holiday needed, then Leaf Blight is for you. In this relaxing game, snip off the infected leaves in the correct order to keep your trees healthy and strong.
Exploit is a tile-based puzzle game with a computer hacking theme from Gregory Weir, the creator of The Majesty of Colors and Bars of Black and White. Plot out your moves carefully and pay special attention to incoming emails, and not only will you help the oppressed people of Locha, but you might, just might, prevent a terrorist attack here on our own soil. Good luck, hacker, you're going to need it!
The ray gun: time-honored weapon of choice for protection against baddies of all kinds. But if there's nothing to protect against, what good is it? Transmover, a puzzle platformer by Japanese game developers Polygon Gmen introduces a new function for your favorite hand-held emitter of energy: transmotion. In layman's terms, this simply means when you fire your gun at a block, you and the block switch places, a tactic that injects new life into the block-maneuvering platform genre.
A game for anyone who loves tromping on bubble wrap, Popopop by Bad Viking offers you 42 puzzles of color combo popping action, plus a level editor and all the user-generated puzzles you could want. Just drag one of your starter bubbles into an empty space to burst all the adjacent bubbles of the same color, starting a chain reaction of popping that hopefully ends in obliterating all the bubbles on the screen. Special bubbles like needles and thunderclouds turn the game into a gauntlet of precision timing and mouse dexterity.
Exorbis 2, by Editundo, is a tile-based puzzle game about shunting orbs into targets. The clever thing is that your controls for doing so are tile blocks themselves. Arrow blocks come in pairs. By clicking on one, both move in that direction by one tile, taking any orbs between them along for the ride. 100 tricky levels and a level editor await you in this colorful and absorbing puzzle adventure.
Following the success of the first game in the series, Totem Destroyer 2 is bigger and better. In each level you must bomb all of the destructible blocks, without allowing the golden idol(s) to touch the ground. It's a beautifully executed follow-up to the excellent original, and it should not be missed. There's way more levels, new types of blocks, new types of idols, and even a level editor!
As any guy with a bottle of super glue and his ex-girlfriend's CD collection can tell you, it's fun to stack things on top of each other. So here's the deal: Super Stacker 2 offers 40 levels of shape stacking, ranging from pathetically easy to hand-crampingly difficult. If that's not enough, I have three very special words for you: Level. Editor. Booya.
A new, creative puzzle game has surfaced, and it rocks:
A little gem from Candystand that's called Electric Box.
The premise is quite simple, and I'm sure you'll agree:
You've got some power at point A, so get some to point B.
There's many tricks and gadgets you will have to use to win,
Like doodads that give power out, or things that take it in.
IncrediBots is a brand new physics-based webtoy from Grubby Games, creator of the Professor Fizzwizzle series. Much like Fantastic Contraption and Line Rider before it, IncrediBots gives you a handful of simple tools and sets you free to explore your creative impulses. Draw shapes, connect them with joints, and tweak their basic properties to create living, moving, and functioning 'bots that can perform any task. You can even make movies, complete with text, than can be shared with the IncrediBots community.
Ball Drop One, produced by Finnish developer Ville Helin, is an interesting blend of pachinko and pinball. Drop your ball into the playing field, trying to rack up as many points as possible. If your ball hits a skull ball or stops moving, it explodes and the round ends. Simple enough, right?
StarShine 2 is the sequel to last year's celestial puzzler, and is the latest in a line of jewel-like games from Hero Interactive. You control a shooting star, positioning it somewhere on the circumference of a circle surrounding the play field with the mouse. Your goal is to set-up a chain reaction that hits and lights up every star.
There's been an accident in the slime factory and now it's up to you to clean up the mess. In each level you must collect all of the puddles of goo and direct them down one of the available suction vents to make it all go away. To do so, you'll have to push boxes out of the way and mind the arrows which allow you to travel in one direction only.
Fantastic Contraption is a physics puzzle game in which the objective in each level is to move all red objects into a rectangular goal area. To do this, you are given a blue rectangular building area and a few different materials in which you can build your device. Standing in your way, however, are a variety of obstacles, ranging from gaping gaps to a sea of circles bent on destroying your red-object-mover-apparatus.
If you've played the original, or the even better update to that one, then you probably will be thrilled to know that Tony has just released a third game in this fantastic series that takes the concept of negative space and turns it upside-down. Shift 3 extends the familiar jump and run, puzzle-platformer formula by adding a few surprises.
A game that combines wordplay with Sokoban-style block pushing? Are they mad?!? Arrange blocks with letters to form words by sliding them into place. Luckily, Alphabox recognizes solutions apart from the one intended, so sometimes you can get creative and mix the letters around, saving a few moves. A level editor extends the replay value of this innovative puzzler.
Music Bounce is a bit like Breakout, but with an unlikely musical twist. Each level presents you with a different layout of colored bricks. Your job is to wipe them all out by striking them with ammunition from an array of gates on the left side of the screen. And if everything is running properly, Music Bounce can be magical.
Scorching Earth is an intriguing turn-based puzzle game in which you control the actions of an inferno as it seeks to devastate 50 levels worth of landscape. The levels are composed of square tiles, filled with various types of terrain—grasslands, water, trees, and so forth. Your goal on each puzzle is to destroy the required number of tiles. It's a good, solid, innovative puzzle game, and it's fun.
Blockoban is the latest from JP, who has just launched a new website that features user-created content, called Bonus Level, along with fellow game designers, Wouter and Tonypa. With names like that attached you can expect high quality, and Blockoban delivers. It's a game where you slide blocks around and try to match their colors to specific spaces. That simple mechanic is fleshed out with challenging level designs and high quality production values, delivering an experience that will keep you hooked.
Netshift is the Web-based successor to Blackshift, an action puzzle game download from Rob Allen, the man who brought us the Hapland series and many other excellent titles. Netshift, currently in beta, makes the original game more accessible, and it even includes a level editor with which to create and share levels with the Netshift community.
This update still utilizes the same slick interface and near-flawless gameplay mechanics as before to create a serious action-puzzle challenge. If you didn't play Contour when it was first released, there's never been a better time to give it a spin. Since then, the community embraced the editor and set to work creating new levels. In fact, so many new levels were created that Sean hand-picked some of the best and updated the game.
The original Shift was an interesting platform game that used negative space as an entertaining hook, but it came with a few problems that ultimately made it feel unfinished and experimental. Now, Tony of Armor Games has released Shift 2, which is basically the game the first one should have been. It's not enough of a leap forward to warrant the "2" in its name, really, but it refines and expands upon the original concepts to deliver a smoother, more drinkable dose of run/jump/puzzle distraction.
Why play a game of dominoes when you can line them up and watch them knock each other down? Developer Tom Methven may have been in that exact frame of mind when he created the puzzle game Sky Blocs, the lovechild of youthful domino play and The Incredible Machine. Each level presents you with a starting block (bloc?) and an inventory of pieces to the left-hand side of the screen.
In Angular Momentum players are plunged into what looks like a futuristic ant farm and must guide the requisite ball through a series of chambers to the exit. The levels boast twisty, up and down landscapes worthy of Sonic the Hedgehog; tools such as speed boosts and jump platforms will help you reach the exits, but beware of the eeeevil orange panels that will send you back to the start.
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.
Remember Line Rider? That was a pretty sweet webtoy made by a guy from Slovenia. But did you ever get the feeling that Line Rider could have been so much more amazing if there was more of a game to it? Fresh off the CandyStand, we have Line Golfer. It's like Line Rider, but you can golf your way through the mouse-drawn levels instead of watch a character sled through them. Frankly, it's money.
Contour is a clever re-imagining of Marble Madness by Sean Hawkes, creator of several games entered into previous competitions such as Orbit and Clack. An isometric grid is placed over the playing field that holds a ball and a white exit square. Click on individual tiles to raise the ground from that point, causing the marble to roll downhill. The goal is to move the marble to the exit tile by raising and lowering the floor, a feat that requires both intelligent planning and fast clicking.
Free Rider 2 is a sequel that continues the more interactive spin on the Line Rider formula. Using a large tool set you can sculpt, edit and decorate the environment any way you choose. When you're done, take to the arrow keys and drive your rider through the stage. It's webtoy-meets-level-editor kind of experience, and it's even better than the original.
From the award-winning Preloaded design team comes a new physics-based game designed for the Science Museum in London. Launchball is a fabulously produced take on the 'guide something to the goal' family of physics games. There is even a level editor with which to create puzzles and send them to your friends.
The next entry is from Damir Srpèiè of Slovenia. You might remember Damir from our first competition with his popular and creative entry, Personal Universe. Roped! implements "ball physics" as well as 'rope physics' in this unique puzzle game that also includes and integrated level editor and save feature.
Blackflip is a remarkably well-produced puzzle game inspired by the game Polarium for the Nintendo DS. It's a very simple game to understand, and yet quite challenging to play. The best part about Blackflip is that all of the puzzles are created by other players, and you can even link to specific ones you create by using the tags provided.
The main focus of Knytt Stories is atmosphere, environment and exploration, not complex gameplay and a barrage of media. With Knytt Stories you'll spend most of your time wandering around sparsely populated worlds looking for a few rare items, enjoying the beautiful visuals and ambient music the whole time. It's a unique experience in gaming and will pull you in from the moment you start playing.
Zeta Flow is a Flash-based shmup in which you control an innocent little turret gun ship as you fight off giant mechanical enemies. Each level pits you against one evil ship, getting progressively bigger and badder from level to level. It's a fun game that plays great, and there's even a level editor, too!
Puzzle fans rejoice! A sequel to the critically acclaimed action puzzler, Professor Fizzwizzle, is here and it's HOT! Just released by Grubby games, Professor Fizzwizzle and the Molten Mystery picks up where the first game leaves off and presents over 200 fresh new levels to sink your puzzle-loving teeth into.
The old "navigate through a maze" concept enjoys a small rebirth in the form of Overhead Persistence, a gorgeous Flash game by Acrid Rose. Guide the cursor through each level avoiding the walls and any other obstacles you come across. Normally a game like this wouldn't be anything special, but Overhead Persistence provides a stunning audio and visual package along with a level editor and other extras to make a worthwhile experience.
Free Rider is a brand new take on the massively popular Line Rider, which you voted best web toy of 2006. Pete adds several interactive elements to the mix that actually serve to create an entirely different experience. It's more like Line Rider meets Teagames' BMX series, the result of which is a create-your-own-level style of game.
Block Quest, the sequel to Block Action, is a free online platformer game with hundreds of user-created levels to play. Run, climb and wall jump your way through the surprisingly deep variety of stages of varying difficulty and creativity. It's a very simple game idea that has turned to gold in the hands of its users.
Capsules is a simple game where you must maneuver an orange shape around red obstacles in order to reach blue spheres throughout the stage. The levels are remarkably unique and bend the formula in every possible way. You can even create your own levels with the included editor!
Deadly Rooms of Death is a turn-based puzzle game; one turn being the amount of time it takes Beethro, the central character, to move one square or to swing his sword by 45 degrees. DROD is very much a puzzle game, but unlike any other you may have played before. It is actually the sequel to the critically acclaimed DROD: King Dugan's Dungeon, and both were created by Caravel Games.
Rubicon is an amazing machine-building puzzle game, level editor, and sandbox toy. Gameplay consists of moving crates to one or more targets for each level. Each crate must come to rest on its corresponding target for a green light to appear. Use the component materials provided to construct any machine that will succeed at the task.
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!
There is more than one way to enjoy this simple but effective Flash platform game construction set. Leveraging the power of player-generated content and the Web, Block Action puts platform game level design into the hands of millions and thus offers virtually unlimited variety in ways to enjoy its gameplay.
Brain Strainer is a physics-based construction kit with which the player creates a quasi-perpetual machine from a palette of objects including bumpers, kickers, conveyor belts and other contraptions. The objective is to score enough points to launch a rocket.
JP of Pepere.org recently released a new version of his Ringmania game, creatively called Ringmania 2. In this latest update to the connect-three game based on magnetism, control is now with the mouse allowing more freedom of movement as you try to eliminate all of the colored rings from each level's initial configuration.
Armadillo Run is a physics-based puzzle/building game for Windows. Your job is to create structures to safely guide a rolled-up Armadillo to the goal. Assemble materials such as sheets of metal, ropes, cloth, elastic and more to create a path across the stage. The physics in Armadillo Run are remarkably accurate, making building (and destroying) things far more entertaining than it should be.
Eets is an amazingly addictive action/puzzle game from Klei Entertainment. Your goal is to guide Eets to a shiny puzzle piece by placing different (and often wacky) items that affect his mood or behavior. The game has an undeniable charm and will easily get you hooked with its huge set of levels and online community complete with user-made level downloads.
An Independent Games Festival finalist, Professor Fizzwizzle is a remarkably enjoyable puzzle game filled with all sorts of robots and contraptions. The game is a delight to the eyes and ears, and it will even give your brain a workout while you play. With both downloadable and online versions available, be sure to give this one a try.
N is an award-winning action platform game of skill developed in Flash and available for download only (for Mac, PC, and Linux). The objective is to traverse a series of rooms using speed, dexterity and honed senses, as well as the ability to hold onto and jump from walls, which allows you to reach greater heights. The end result is an excellent game that is unique, original, and fun to play.
Slot-car racing fun in this Shockwave game from Sweden. Build your own course then race against the computer, or against a friend using the same keyboard. The game physics and sound effects inject just enough realism to the game to make it a lot of fun, and the AI is brutally hard to beat at higher levels.