- • Caster
- • Abandoned
- • greenTech
Serious question: if you were a failed experiment of genetic engineering, what would be your weakness? In the case of the poor critter from this week's game Abandoned, it's a limited supply of oxygen. Personally, I would be unable to comb my hair without first dislocating my left shoulder. Think about it. That'd be a rough life.
Petri Purho of Kloonigames has a reputation for churning out experimental prototypes in a matter of days. In 2007 one of these prototypes was the sandbox-style puzzle game Crayon Physics. The premise was simple — use a "crayon" to draw shapes that immediately come alive and interact with each other, the ultimate goal being to collect a star somewhere on the screen. The experiment was a hit, and soon it was announced that a full-fledged version of the game was in the works: Crayon Physics Deluxe.
A rhythm-based Wario Ware type of game from Nitrome, in which you play colorful mini-game levels with a musical timing element. Destroy attacking fighters and tanks as Godzilla! Stake vampires as they rise in their coffins! Um...eat...stuff. It's all here, with three difficulty levels across four distinct stages, a different song in each level, and a final "mix-tape" stage that surreally switches context between the stages over the course of the song.
Time 4 Cat is a mouse avoider game in which your movements also control the enemy, so you can make everyone stop and start, or go faster or slower. Your goal is to hustle through the big city and scoop up all the food that is dropped. Each piece of food has a count-down timer on it, the faster you collect the food the higher your score. What makes this game stand out is the fact that you can slow everything down and go at your own pace.
Crossblock is a simple and rewarding puzzle game with a sublimely deceptive difficulty curve. Your goal is to eliminate all the blocks on a level by dragging a line across them, one horizontal or vertical group at a time. It's hard to believe that such straightforward, honest-looking piles of blocks can hold so many baffling complications.
In Escape, a multiple-room point-and-click escape game in the Trapped series by Godlimations, play as Dialla Reineheart, a spunky red-headed lady detective tasked with bringing down a sinister crime syndicate. Your partner, Mickey, has been tragically slain by the leader of the gang, the ruthless Dan McNeely; now, you must escape from his clutches. This won't be easy.
A new retro-styled puzzle game from Ryan Chisholm and Bennett Foddy, Evacuation puts you in control of the fate of a space station invaded by aliens. Click on escape hatches to open them and evacuate the aliens to space without sacrificing any of the human inhabitants of the station. Randomly generated levels provide enough reason to keep coming back to this one.
Chicken's Flying School is about preparing newborn chicks for a big flying tournament by throwing them into the sky and keeping them there with puffs of air until they learn to fly on their own. The consistently high level of involvement makes it fun, and the atmosphere is sugary-sweet enough to make your arms tingle.
Newly thawed from Nitrome, Ice Breaker is a great-looking physics-based puzzle game involving vikings, chunks of ice, and vikings frozen inside chunks of ice. Using the mouse, simply draw lines to cut the ice and drop vikings onto the ship. You'll often need to manipulate the frozen environment to create a smooth path for the vikingcicles to slide down, so timing and a little experimentation with physics are your two best friends in this game.
Despite being a relatively simple game, YHTBTR has earned quite a fanbase. It boasts a game manual, four walkthroughs (including one YouTube walkthrough and one in German), a speedrun posted on YouTube, a Spanish Wikipedia page, a text-adventure version, a novelization, and a fan-comic. Come see what all the hype is about.
From game designer Michael Gribbin comes Pyro, a bevy of burning, a calamity of combustion, and a triumph of torch. In short, a game of flame! The goal is simple: light all of the torches. If the copious numbers of wooden blocks spread across forty levels should also happen to go up in smoke, so much the better!
While Depths of Peril focused heavily on strategy and diplomacy, Kivi's Underworld is a lot more action-oriented; in some regard, what you might expect from a platformer, even though it's an isometric, top-down RPG game. Instead of a sprawling game-world like in most RPGs, you'll find a progressing series of level-like "adventures" with quests, achievements, new characters to unlock and skills to beef up.
From newcomer World Loom comes the latest resource management game to take the action out of the diner/restaurant/shop/airport: Fix-it-Up: Kate's Adventure. More of a business simulation along the lines of Build-a-lot, you must help Kate expand her profits by buying cars at low prices, fixing them up, and selling them for a hefty profit. The combination of time management and business acumen creates a delightful final product made even better by its whimsical art style and soundtrack.
- • Spelunky
- • Gravity Bone
- • Widelands
- • Ivory Mahjongg
If you ask me (trust me, you did... and if you didn't, you know you wanted to), the selection of games on this edition of Weekend Download are some of the most well-rounded and fulfilling titles ever to grace a single article. We've got a pixel-perfect 2D platformer, a 3D spy game, an old favorite RTS title re-imagined in open source, and the classic mahjong puzzle game. Can I get a "YAY!" along with a few high fives?!!
Casual sim/strategy fans (and anyone who enjoyed Virtual Villagers or My Tribe) take note: Westward III: Gold Rush has arrived! Following last spring's release of Westward II: Heroes of the Frontier, the third installment in the series continues the new 3D visual style and basic premise introduced in the second game. Take control of three new heroes as you collect resources, construct farms, saloons, granaries and more to keep your settlers happy and healthy.
Yes, it's true--the twelfth and final episode of 10 Gnomes is here. Let's bid a fond farewell to our timid multitude of miniature friends. The next time you look out at the world and fail to see any magic there, just imagine a gnome hiding around every corner. Then imagine you have only ten minutes to find them all.
DropSum is an elegant puzzle game by Nick Harper, who describes it as a cross between Tetris and Sudoku. Burst bubbles and form complicated chain reactions by forming groups that add up to 9. If you ever find yourself yearning to lay down some damage with the power of sums, this is as good as it gets.
Andrew the Droid is a retro-looking title that utilizes the familiar level rotation concept found in a number of games. Work your way through over two dozen levels, avoiding hazards as you unlock exits, collect chips to grant you new abilities, and rotate the stage to let gravity pull you where you need to go.
A simple and charming room escaper from Japan that is just right for an afternoon tea. Filled with objects to find and puzzles to solve, and just a few smallish pixel areas to give you pause. It's simple, short and sweet, like a new year's baby offering promise of a better life ahead. So Happy Birthday 2008!
Take the simple kid's game Concentration, disguise it as something even easier and more kid friendly, then make it much more challenging and evil with each passing level. Flipped out is a super-polished and all around entertaining twist on a familiar game mechanic.
Grid is a moody, deliberate puzzle game from two-man development team Atomic Cicada. Your job is to rotate the available tiles so that every space has power and none of your tiles have any unconnected ends. The catch is that you can only rotate a tile if it already has power flowing through it, which bumps Grid up a few notches on the thoughtfulness index.
The latest brilliant-yet-simple logic puzzle game to hit the Web goes by the intriguing title of The Codex of Alchemical Engineering. Called a "game for engineers" by its creator, your goal is to build machines out of mechanical arms that move and transform basic elements to create compounds required to pass each level. It's a cerebral puzzle game that tasks you with arranging and tweaking objects on both a small and grand scale, the final result of which is a burst of euphoric gaming bliss.
Nicholas' Weird Adventure 2 is an adventure game that takes itself about as seriously as Chuck E. Cheese might take quantum physics. After escaping from the mall with the last copy of the Ramon Osborn Show Season 2 DVD, you emerge victoriously from the menacing double-doors, only to have your DVD stolen by the dark wizard Morth and your body transported to a faraway land of grass and houses.
Hardboiled, from Tom Vencel at Ninja Doodle, is a collection of mouse-controlled mini-games. You get 5 minutes and 7 lives to complete 45 intense tests of timing, observation, and pure twitching finger speed. When you run out of time or lives, you'll learn not only that you're a bad egg, but exactly what type of bad egg you are.
A follow-up to the 2008 hit Escape the Museum, Adventure Chronicles: The Search for Lost Treasure continues to bend the hidden object/adventure barrier with a captivating game of inventory puzzles and interactive scenery. You play Dr. Susan Anderson, an archaeologist who receives a treasure hunter's journal and embarks on quests to find new pieces for her museum. The slick visuals paired with an impeccable presentation and strong puzzle design make it a solid entry in the cross-genre adventure wars.
Heartwild Solitaire is "made for romance readers", so if your second-favourite thing after casual gaming is sinking into a hot tub with a lychee bath bomb and a copy of Love's Turgid Kransky, you're going to love this game. The nice thing is, if you're the sort of person who prefers lampoon romance novels with titles like Love's Turgid Kransky, you'll still enjoy the challenging gameplay, soothing music and intense colours.
- • Verge
- • From Primordial Egg
- • Eversion
- • Lost in Eldritch
- • Theatre of Cruelty
The recent TIGSource Commonplace Book Competition has ended, yielding heaps of creative, unusual, and slightly dark games. Entrants were challenged with using a line from H.P. Lovecraft's "Commonplace Book", a notebook of disjointed, cryptic ideas, and create a game around these snippets of text. Below are a few of the top picks as chosen by the TIGSource community.
Top Chef is based on Bravo Channel's reality program of the same name, which takes a batch of fifteen confident up-and-coming chefs and eliminates them through a series of culinary challenges each week until only one remains. The game puts you in the shoes of one such aspiring chef and, with your help, she's going to chop, saute, and julienne her way to the top through fifteen episodes and a whopping forty-five challenges.
Cottage is an escape game that manages to successfully combine cleverness with a relatively low level of difficulty; while the puzzles may seem simple, they are still creative and inspired enough to delight even the veteran escape gamers among us. Fabulous graphics, fun puzzles, and an adorably surprising ending... it warms even my cold, grumpy New Yorker's heart.
Monkey sad. Make monkey happy! That's your simple goal in Monkey GO Happy, a puzzle/arcade-style hybrid from Robin Vencel at Pencil Kids. Pick mushrooms, find treasure, shoot toy ducks, set off fireworks, fire cannons and loads more, all in the name of big monkey smiles. It's a bit like the Four Second series of games, only without the intense speed and with more mammals.
Eternal Red is, by its own admission, a cross between a platform arena style shooter and a real-time strategic defense game. No story, no dialogue, just you and the seemingly non-stop litany of enemies appearing from one door that try to make it to the second.
Aaaarrrrr you ready to push some crates and unlock millions of doors, matey? The next installment in the pirate-themed Phantom Mansion II series is here to satisfy your need to steal from the dead. This one has lots of ice, because it's about the North Sea. In the North. Where they keep the ice. That means you often get to sit back and watch Hector skate around helplessly, in between avoiding ghosts.
Viking Defense is a close cousin to Canyon Defense, a re-think of the tower defense genre that was released earlier this year. Game elements are introduced incrementally through a quest system. Once you build certain temples to the Norse gods, you get to use rechargeable powers, like the nuclear super-strike of the hammer Mjolnir. Fans of Canyon Defense will be happy that everything has been improved--the artwork, the map layouts, the weapon variety, and the overall game balance.
In Cortex Command, you assume the role of a disembodied brain (floating in a jar, actually) that's able to network with—and telepathically control—a variety of machines and soldiers. The basic premise is that you're setting up shop on hostile alien worlds to mine for resources, while your enemy is doing the same. Superficially, it sounds more like a real-time strategy game than a turn-based warfare game, which is one of the main reasons Cortex Command has so much potential; it's both.
Casual games built around sets of mini-games are gaining popularity, as are pared-down strategy titles that keep the spirit of the genre intact while trimming the bloat. Then something like Floating Kingdoms comes along and somehow manages to combine both: a simplified strategy game that's one part resource management, two parts mini-games. And it does it in a light-hearted, fun kind of way that just about any age group can enjoy.
Yoshio Ishii, of Nekogames, succeeds in the ambitious endeavor to redesign Breakout. And while the game is still about destroying bricks to clear the board, what's gone is the boredom the game usually suffers from when trying to get that last brick or two. Instead, what we have is more of a twitch game where reflexes rule the landscape of a simulated (and antiquated) vector graphics display.
- • A Tale of Two Kingdoms
- • The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge
- • AssaultCube
- • Hideous Sounds in the Dark
His consequent newspaper exceeds orange juice after a patronized disclaimer. The vehicle concatenates soil. When can soil compose above an individual? A deserted outline ministers to soil past a rotten attribute. WEEKEND DOWNLOAD WOOOO!
Hidden object adventure games are a well established genre now, meaning that the way games distinguish themselves is through presentation — beautiful artwork or a well-developed story. Secret Missions: Mata Hari and the Kaiser's Submarines has chosen to go with a fictionalised version of the life of Mata Hari, born Marguerite Zelle. The names of real people are used, but the story itself is pure speculation. All told in a part-adventure, part-hidden object, part— dress-up game?!
Fishing Girl, the first game from developer Luna Drift, is the most tranquil, unhurried game about a life-or-death rescue operation you're ever likely to play. Rescue a boy stranded on an island, using only your humble powers of fishing! This game manages to capture the peacefulness and melancholy of fishing without bending to realism, and it's built on an emotional foundation of devotion and perseverance. What a neat little game.
The sequel to one of the best tactical battle games on the internet has finally arrived! Sonny 2 improves on the first game by offering three separate character classes, hundreds of new items, and a Player vs. Player mode. The turn-based combat flows like water and requires plenty of intense decision-making, while the incredible amount of character customization available right from the start opens up a world of interesting choices.
You might think that after escaping the kitchen only to find yourself locked in a living room, and then a bathroom, and then a basement, that we would learn not to get into tight situations such as these again. But then Mateusz Skutnik sends word of yet another installment in the Great Escape series and we're all lush with excitement. Somehow it just doesn't stand to reason. Or does it?
John Cooney, author of TBA, TBA2, Grid16, and the Ball Revamped series, has unveiled his latest epic adventure. Along with timeless, classic platforming gameplay, Achievement Unlocked offers you the opportunity to earn no less than One. Hundred. Achievements. Holy bat farts on a bus.
For those who don't have the time to devote to those addicting match-3 games, Tonypa may have found the perfect alternative. Pushori pares things down to a much more simplified match-2 concept. It is a refreshing and simple new puzzle game from a game designer who has a knack for creating simply refreshing new ideas.
It's that most special time of year again. Time to get on your softest, most comfortable pajamas, and make a mug of peppermint hot chocolate. A crackling fire would be nice, accompanied by Bing Crosby crooning about white Christmases and silver bells...as you sit down, with a sigh of contentment, to play Neutral's newest holiday room escape game. Ah, that most special time of year, indeed.
New from the snowy peaks of Mt. Nitrome comes Frost Bite 2, a direct follow-up to last year's Frost Bite platforming game. Work your way up the snowy mountain peaks using a grappling hook that can latch onto almost anything. Stomp or harpoon enemies to clear them out of your way, move boxes to reach high spots, and collect bonus letters to unlock secret stages. A few new tricks can be found up Frost Bite 2's fuzzy parka, such as new enemies and new objects to grapple.
How close are you with your family? What if you received a letter from an uncle one night, asking for your help in investigating rumours of an ancient culture deep in the wilderness? Would you pack your bags and head out to help? You might. But the blood on the ground when you arrived might give you serious pause. How bad could things be, right? As befits the first chapter in a series of adventures, you're going to end this one with more questions than you started with, and maybe, just maybe, a prickling feeling of unease at the back of your neck.
Warfare 1917 is a rather excellent World War I strategy title from Armor Games that concentrates on the use of trenches as strategic choke points. The gung-ho cries of your troops make it hard to lose them, and if you waste too many lives, you run the risk of losing the battle to low morale. It's a real gem of a wargame that works on more levels than just pew pew pew KABOOM. Though certainly it provides that as well.
As the game begins, you've been ousted from your throne by the original game's hero, and you're forced to flee your own palace to seek a way to reclaim your seat of power. You will need to steal the four magic swords to make him disperse back into the darkness from whence he came, fighting and platforming all the way. As a departure from mainstream game design, Armed with Wings 2 is worth a look even if fighting games aren't necessarily your thing.
Lamb Rover 4x4 puts you, as Shaun the Sheep, in the driver's seat of a creaking rustbucket of a pick-up truck, as you complete tasks here and there on the farm, under the supervision of the long-suffering sheep dog Bitzer. It's all about off-kilter pluckiness, from the double-pun-dipped title to the roundabout approach to missions. This is also your only chance this week to stack six sheep in the back of a truck and bounce them around like a bleating slinky.
Archibald's Adventures is a puzzle platform game from Rake in Grass, creator of Larva Mortus, KingMania, and others. You play the skateboard-riding Archibald who accidentally becomes trapped in Professor Klumpfus' twisted underground lair. Roll your way through 100+ stages, moving boxes with bubblegum, leaping gaps with a running start, and hitting switches beneath pools of acid to work your way out of the mutant-infested passageways.It's one of those rare games that keeps begging you to come back for more.
- • This is a Cry for Help
- • The Gear that Works
- • SudokuAdept
- • QWAK
- • Ghostbusters
This edition of Weekend Download answers a question that has been plaguing mankind since 1984: who ya gonna call (especially if there's something strange in your neighborhood)? The answer is, unequivicobaly, QWAK. Wait, no, the other thing. Ghostbusters. Yeah!
A hidden object game that follows its prequel, Nightshift Code, closely in terms of style and story. Join Mike and Isabel as they travel through the jungles of Guatemala, across Spain and to the streets of Moscow researching the mystery of the ancient Jaguar's Eye. It's got adventure, it's got comic-style cutscenes, and it's got all the cheesiness that makes the Indiana Jones films such entertaining adventures.
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.
This version of Tetris is very friendly indeed. Bright, clear visual and sound effects accompany your every move. A three-tiered strategy guide and a basic history of the game are just a click away. Even if you think you're burned out on Tetris for life, give Tetris Friends a try. You might just re-discover what once made this your favorite game in the 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.
Charger Escape, from Pastel Games, is not simply an excellent escape game, it is also one that features ponies! And farm animals! And kittens!! It is a rare game that manages to soothe and relax you even as it challenges your mind. Although not particularly difficult, nor is it very long, Charger Escape contains puzzles that are well-executed and creative.
Meeblings is a fun and quirky new action puzzle game from NinjaKiwi. If the title makes you think "Lemmings" then you're on the right track, but Meeblings is something different still. The objective is to get the target number of little Meeblings to any of the "Way Out" signs present in the level. Some levels have only one "way out", others have more.
It's like regular bowling, but it's on a volcano. And the ball is rolling down so fast it's on fire! And then the ball learns to fly! And then the ball gets really big and then it gets really little and then it rolls into a tree trunk and a raccoon throws it way up in the air! And the raccoon's brother rides the ball in the air because he can steer it because he is a smart raccoon. Shoot the ball out of a cannon! And that is how Downhill Bowling plays.
The Esklavos series is a seventeen-chapter series about two outer-space delivery men named Ungo and Virop. One day they get distracted and crash into a planet called Akea, and as they find out after getting separated, it's in a state of war. With their help, the Akean population must face the Uros and defeat them to restore peace to the planet.
Alabama Smith in Escape from Pompeii is a new adventure game that builds inventory puzzles into a hidden object-style interface. You play the young Alabama Smith, an archaeology student who has just been given the opportunity to study in Naples. His mentor tells him of a mysterious amulet buried in the ruins of Pompeii that is rumored to grant the owner the ability to travel through time.
Who would have thought parking cars could be turned into a casual game? Parking Dash, following in the long footsteps of other time management games such as Diner Dash, Wedding Dash, Cooking Dash, etc., twists the genre's formula around a bit to park the game at a safe distance from Cloneville. The end result, like Airport Mania, is a breath of fresh air that breaks the mold in all the right places.
- • Meritous
- • Marathon Trilogy
- • Verge
- • Cosmic Invaders
Did you know that the original meaning of the word "weekend" referred to the time from noon Saturday to Monday morning? Did you also know the word "download" seems to have originated in 1980? AND, did you know I spent a little too much time reading about the etymology of these words?
Nitrome creative duo Simon Hunter and Aaron Steed have been very busy being amazing, and Fat Cat is the strange hybrid product of their amazingitude. It wears the face of an exacting bullet-fest such as The Last Canopy or Pararalyzer, but underneath, its heart pumps the blood of a tightly choreographed puzzle game. We've never seen anything quite like it.
It's sad to see Mateusz Skutnik's delightful hidden object series coming to an end. This penultimate installment of 10 Gnomes, titled "The Remains" takes place along a quiet village street, and might be one of the most charming and challenging yet. Can you find all the gnomes? Try for it yourself! Or, go and replay all the 10 Gnomes games.
You kids these days with your Halos and your Gear Wars and your Half Lifes... you don't appreciate what we had to work with! Back in my day, we didn't have no fancy-schmancy high-end graphics in our shooters! No complex storylines, neither. We didn't even have a jump! You know what we had? We had Doom.
A short and sweet old-fashioned adventure game from Videlectrix, the faux video game company of the animated Homestar Runner universe. For the Homestar un-hip, "Dangeresque" is the hard-boiled detective alter-ego of Strong Bad, who is the lead narrator and practical jokester at homestarrunner.com. Strong Bad/Dangeresque must solve a murder case from the confines of his office, because the chief thinks the case was solved months ago.
Reemus and Liam continue their journey to save the kingdom from the plague of death slugs that appeared from nowhere in the first chapter. Zeebarf is a fantastic animator and he uses his talents to tell an imaginative story full of interesting characters and fantastic situations. You will be entertained (and perhaps a little grossed out, too). The puzzles are not too difficult, but wacky enough to keep you from just breezing through the game.
Rodrigo Roesler is back with the third and final installment of his Trapped trilogy of point-and-click adventure games. Trapped Pt. 3: The Labyrinth puts you right back into familiar territory: you've just killed a man and now you must escape from a strange house. Oh, and it's about 18 years in the past.
Minions is a Flash version of the ridiculously popular Defense of the Ancients mod, but instead of medieval fantasy warriors, you control little tank-bots with powerful weaponry and big muppet-like googly eyes. Created by Flash tower defense gurus David Scott and Paul Preece.
- • Akrasia
- • Portile
- • The Lake
- • Glider
While playing all the games that I do to find something worthy of a Weekend Download, I get to see a huge variety of wacky, creative, strange, bland, and forgettable game titles. Not featured in this edition of Weekend Download (nor in this plane of existence): The Dentist is Fun, Party Games for You and Your Ex, Three Reasons Tofu is Evil, Help! I've Swallowed an Ant!, Give Me Some Cake, and Super Reptile Diploma.
In My Tribe, you play as sort of a guardian angel for a tribe of island-dwellers, telling them what to do, dragging them from place to place, and occasionally sprinkling them with a (hopefully) beneficial potion. Harvest food, wood, and stone to build with. Your tribe continues to work even when your computer is off. It's remarkably similar to Virtual Villagers but better in a number of ways.
The wait is over! The release of the latest Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst is finally here. Big Fish Games Studios takes the hidden object genre to unprecedented new heights with an absolutely gorgeous, hidden object / adventure hybrid that is sure to please a very wide range of casual game players. This is one game you don't want to miss!
Onamis seems to be a portmanteau of the French words for "friendly" and "one". As soon as you are trapped inside, you might start to wonder just how friendly people really are. There you are, with no map, no guide, and no inventory. You don't have the ability to turn around or look back. There's not even a clue. Well, except that scrap of paper on the floor. Maybe someone was being friendly, after all.
Nitrome's Toxic 2, baby. It's here. In a world where machines rule over humanity with a literally iron fist, a lone, slightly overweight, Hazmat-suited warrior must discover and destroy the robot overmind. That's right, it's Man Versus Mechanaloid: Rumble in the Nuclear Waste Processing Plant. If you liked the first game, you'll love this one; and if you had criticisms, they've mostly been addressed. Just brace yourself to take many an acid bath.
enDice is a puzzle game that is based on a very simple objective: move all blocks the number shown on each one to bring them all to rest on the dotted spaces. You will have to use your logic and reasoning skills to get through all 35 levels in this engaging and thought provoking new puzzle game.
Turning Burning, the third in Zibumi's Tom "Tucker" Crubucker series of games, picks up where the last one left off. Tom has just escaped the room he was trapped in, and confronts the mastermind behind it, a bizarre prince who asks him to rescue his rose, which has been stolen by a sheep...
Dark Cut 3 is the latest visceral surgery title in the Dark Cut series from Armor Games. This time we're treated to a sci-fi, time-traveling angle with the usual historical setting. The game brings you the same intense operations you've come to either love or cringe at. The production values and story are the best so far for the series and give context to gameplay that's been toned down to be less punishing.
Back before you were referred to as "Master Detective," before your journey to a haunted English manor, before your exploits in a rundown carnival, you were nothing more than a lowly intern. When an epidemic of crime breaks out in the once quiet town of Huntsville, though, your chance to rise to detective greatness finally arrives. Now you must work against the clock to catch the wrong doers in the act by using your keen eye to pick up on the clues that no one else seems able to find.
- • Last week
- • Enigma
- • Iter Vehemens ad Necem (IVAN)
- • Elona
- • Rock Boshers
Last week, on Weekend Download, I had the tiny problem of listening to the constant drone of a leaf blower somewhere in my neighborhood. This week it was back, with a vengeance, and it directly affected my downloadable game playing experiences. When I was playing Oxyd, all I could do was smash into walls. When I played IVAN, I couldn't kill a bat. I couldn't explore all of Elona because focusing was out of the question. And zombies in Rock Boshers took me out a few times too many because my mind was elsewhere. Maybe I should take a hint from the protagonist in Violet and start eliminating the distractions by any zany means available?
Auditorium is a fantastic new puzzle game of music and light. Solve each level by manipulating the flow of light to create the perfect balance of music. The streams of light represent sound particles that you bend toward boxes until the audio levels are full. When the flow is correct, the audio levels fill up with the proper color and all the parts of the music will play. Delightful, brilliant and stunning.
Buggle Stars is a well-executed platformer with tight controls and over 15 interesting levels and 4 mini-games to unlock. Each level presents a sequence of stars that you must collect, in order, to advance. A variety of goals change up the gameplay just enough to keep each level interesting and addictive, and a bit intense at times.
NASCAR fans and origami collectors unite! Grab your paper cranes and giant foam fingers, and prepare for one of the most beautiful races you've ever seen. Scenic elegantly combines digitally-rendered landscapes with F-Zero-style racing, and delivers it all in using an impressive 3D engine in Flash.
Escape from Test Kitchen 2 is a standard escape-the-room game from Japan, somewhat reminiscent of a game from the gotMail folks. Players must collect bottles and mixers, pieces of a map, safe combinations, and the like to find a solution and escape from what appears to be a small cozy restaurant.
Violet is a richly engaging one-room puzzle game from the annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2008). The problem? You're a graduate student working on your dissertation, but you haven't gotten any writing done in months. Your girlfriend Violet has put her life on hold, waiting for you to finish, and she's getting fed up. If you don't get a thousand words written today, your relationship is over and she flies home to Australia.
Spiky-haired Hector has returned in a new Phantom Mansion series, Treasures of the Seven Seas. Having found a map, complete with a glowing red X, Hector is sailing the first sea, the Black Sea, in search of treasure. Before he can get to the treasure, he must first find his way through a maze of locked doors, moats, and puzzles. The Black Sea offers 20 new and challenging levels and fun for all ages.
- • Xoldiers
- • MageGuild
- • Argonaut
- • Lightmare
- • Aquaria
- • Crayon Physics Deluxe pre-order
I compose this edition of Weekend Download with the sound of leaf blowers screeching through my windows. Not only does half my neighborhood believe leaves in their yard are evil, but apparently creating hours of noise pollution for everyone in the area is an acceptable price to pay to shove them in the street. I miss the good old fashioned, non-air-and-noise-polluting leaf rake...
You are the CEO of a major international oil company, your job is to make money: Democracy, environment, and global economic health are irrelevant. Explore, drill, corrupt governments, hire mercenaries, engage in covert operations, fix elections (which are clearly broken without you) and most of all: have fun.
In this brand new point-and-click adventure, the King of Moronia has sent Retardo on a mission to defeat the Iron Golem and restore peace to the kingdom. In return he is promised the hand of the Princess of Moronia. It's up to you to ensure that he accomplishes his mission safely.
From The Fancy Pants Adventure creator Brad Borne comes a 2D re-imagining of the 3D action-adventure console game Mirror's Edge. Mirror's Edge 2D uses the Fancy Pants engine and adds a whole host of new acrobatic moves, allowing you to jump, climb, scramble and run across rooftops with surprising fluidity.
Escape from the Starship is an escape game that uses sound to convey the relative proximity of monsters that you must avoid. The starship is composed of a maze of rooms, each of which is composed of homogeneous grey dots. Each dot represents a floor tile on which you may land. The sound you hear, however, ultimately determines whether that tile is safe.
In Crypt Keeper, you find yourself plunked down in the middle of a truly spooktastic graveyard. How and why did you get there? Not important. It's the middle of the night, and there are creepy noises and big ominous tombstones and omigosh you need to get out right now!
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.
Your goal is to build stacks of animals as high as you can. Combine identical animals along with their favorite food and they begin to breed, multiplying their number and pushing your totem even higher. Each animal interacts differently with others, so learning their relationships is key to creating massive stacks of animals.
A pack of cuddly woodland creatures suddenly find themselves homeless at the hands of Big Brother and his menacing chainsaw. To escape to Paradise Meadows, they need to collect a golden acorn from each level (obviously). Regrettably, some of the adorable animals must be sacrificed along the way...
Tortuga Episode 1 is an escape-the-room game set on a pirate ship; the first installment of a series, from Mateusz Skutnik and Marek Frankowski, that promises to be adventuresome, if not epic. Parrots, treasure, peril and puzzle awaits those intrepid enough to brave the pirate ship.
A dice game of luck and strategy, race against the computer (or a friend) to 10,000 points. Earn points by rolling 1's and 5's, or by rolling 3 or more of a kind, or several other special configurations worth big points. Also known under a variety of different names, Zilch is definitely one of those games that's "easy to learn, hard to master."
When we last left the Tipping Point series, it wasn't clear if we were wandering through a surreal dream or being teleported around by satellites and villains with 1980's technology and bad intentions. Tipping Point: Chapter 4 takes over just where we left off, entering another unknown tropical destination with our strange, homemade device in hand.
This piece was submitted to the 2008 SBGames Independent Gaming Festival in Brazil and it pushed the envelope of gaming and received high initial reviews. Yet, on the surface, the game seemed like nothing more than an awkward, weakly executed platform game. So what has everyone thinking about Estamos Pensando? Play the game then read our review and find out!
- • Lynchmob HD
- • Karateka Mania
- • 10800 Zombies
- • Now Boarding v1.1
- • World of Goo for Mac
Along with three slightly crazy games, in this edition of Weekend Download we have a few games that have gone through a metamorphosis of sorts. World of Goo is now available for Mac (!), and one of my favorite resource management games, Now Boarding, has had a significant upgrade.
In a twist on the classic block stacking game, 99 Bricks challenges you to make a brick tower using standard Tetris play mechanics. The twist is that as the tetrominoes fall and stack, they don't disappear when lines form. This time, your goal is to make the tallest tower that you can. A higher tower means a higher spot on the leader board.