Fizzball is the latest game from Matt Parry and Ryan Clark of Grubby Games—who gave us the perfectly adorable Professor Fizzwizzle. It was described to me as "a combination between Breakout, Arkanoid, and Katamari Damacy," which pretty much makes it compulsory playing.
While Jayisgames is primarily about casual gameplay, many visitors to the site are Flash developers or, like me, just casual gamers who enjoy a good work of Flash now and again. Well, I'm here to say that a sequel to the Animator vs. Animation cartoon has been released over at Atom Films, and this time... it's personal.
In the browser-based HTML game, Slave Hack, you take on the role of a vaguely tech-savvy Internet addict who has now decided to make a living out of his/her own talents. If your ethics do not prevent you from pretending to infiltrate other computers to use them as spam relays, warez-sharing nodes, or even as tools to bring down an enemy's computer with a massive DDoS attack, then you are excellent material for the world that is portrayed in Slave Hack.
Nitrome does it again with its latest entry, Scribble. This drawing-based arcade action game is a little bit platformer and a whole lot of Lemmings. Use the mouse to draw paths to get your little "blots" from start to finish flag with the fewest of casualties. Each level's finish flag indicates how many blots must escape to unlock and move on to the next level.
I've often thought that Jayisgames doesn't have anywhere near enough word games for my liking, and this almost makes up for that lack. This is a quick, clever Flash crossword puzzle from Taro Ito of Gamedesign, who brought us the recently-reviewed White Jigsaw and other addictive favourites of this site (Dice Wars anyone?), and it lives up to his previous standard. If you've a hankering for word puzzles, speak fluent English and have five minutes to spare I think you'll really like this.
Paths puts you in control of both your position and the position of (parts of) the environment you move through, and ends up feeling a little bit like Super Monkey Ball crossed with the wood game Labyrinth. It could use a bit more polish, but the game is solid.
Wired is a classic-style puzzle game the author, Vlad Kvitnevski, has taken and molded into something new and entertaining. The concept itself is one that you've probably seen before: Connect wires from one location to the next. It is a casual game perfect for a rainy day, as it's something you can get hooked on and complete without the hairs on your head going gray, or being ripped out.
Those of you who enjoy a stripped-down text adventure game and don't mind a bit of repetition will get a bit of fun out of these DHTML-based Enchanted Forest games. The point is to get as much gold as you can. For such a simple game it's surprisingly addictive, but don't worry—if you're a true casual gamer, you can leave your game at any time and when you return, it will be waiting exactly as you left it.
Plantasia is a charming and addictive downloadable game about gardening that requires you to dig up rocks and soil, plant a variety of multi-colored flowers and vegetables, water them, and defend your garden against malicious bugs. These gardening chores earn you mana, which can be spent on upgrading your tools, moving plants around the garden and buying new seeds.
Paintball is a simple time waster that should prove a fun diversion for an hour or two. Or three. The playing field consists of: a ball, which drops under gravity and bounces; a square, which the ball is trying to reach; pre-set platforms which the ball will roll/bounce on; and custom-made platforms which you draw freehand on the screen. Simpler than some games with this feature, Paintball is unlikely to elicit gasps from its players with advanced physics, but what it does it does very well.
Houses is a short and simple puzzle game that was an entry in our recent game design competition. In keeping with the competition theme, Sean designed the game to require little in the way of instruction, but there are hints to help you along if needed. The objective is to build 3 houses using all of the pieces given.
Alexis isn't so much a game with goals and clear objectives as a rhizome open for exploration, with a human subject poised in its center. After an opening cinematic you're able to click on different underlined words in the girl's aloof break-up letter and get a sub-cinematic as a result.
Arguably one of the best (if not the best) Flash game series of its genre, Dr3i is more than just a game of avoidance. As before, collecting small positive and negative signs speeds up and slows down the rotation of the obstacles that you must make your way past. However, this 3rd version in the series introduces an animated "beast", an engaging cloud of black smoke that follows you in pursuit.
Imagine being like Spiderman and able to shoot sticky strands of web out from your hands. Using those elastic strands you just might be able to attach to surfaces and propel yourself forward. Well, that is just what playing Double Wires is like.
If you haven't yet played Mink's adorably cute animated point-and-click puzzle games at 3Wish.com, you owe it to yourself to check them out. If you have already played them, then there is still a reason for another visit: No. 5 Part 4 is now available to play.
Subpoena Power is a politically-charged side-scrolling Flash game by NoEvil Productions. Your mission is to eliminate corruption on Capitol Hill by circumventing lobbyists and serving subpoenas to Senators and Congressmen to separate the Honest Tribunes from the Perfidious Scoundrels. Thwart cash-carrying lobbyists to keep the politicians honest and help enforce the laws that keep the government running smoothly. It's a surprisingly entertaining game that carries a strong message of civic responsibility.
Things don't feel right out here... despite the optimism. Ayiti: the Cost of Life is one of the best political web games released this year, right up there with The McGame and the comic genius of Airport Security. Unlike most games with a political message, such as September 12th or 3rd World Farmer, Cost of Living actually has a strategy that works, but it's buried in a heap of faulty (and revealingly so) tactical blunders.
While drawing up my packing list for an upcoming trip, I quickly became confused. What's allowed on-board aircraft these days? Can I bring a bottle of water, or is that still banned? Will my laptop be confiscated at the border? Will I need to remove my pants before boarding the plane? These issues are all part of the gameplay in Airport Security, a fast-paced and thoughtful Flash game from Persuasive Games.
Have you ever harbored a secret desire to see gas prices soar? Have you always wished you could manipulate the politics and economies of the world to double the cost of fuel? Who hasn't? Now with Persuasive Games' new simulation, Oil God, you can!
As the US readies to go to the polls for the mid-term elections on Tuesday, the phones have been ringing off-the-hook from campaigners trying to earn votes for their candidates. I usually try to avoid politics since my single vote seems so minuscule in this world dominated by corruption and greed. As they say, "you can't fight city hall," right?
Tri-achnid is a new action/adventure platformer in which you play as a creature of an endangered species of exopod on the verge of extinction. Your goal is to find a safe place for your brothers and sisters, who are tucked away in a portable cocoon, by moving throughout each level using a unique click-drag gameplay mechanic.
Enjoy a remixed version of GotMail's recent One-Off game, and this one (like their previous efforts) is sure to please point-and-click fans everywhere. As in true escape-the-room style, the objective is to get the motorcycle out of the locked garage by looking for clues and combining items you find to solve puzzles.
Want a very quick diversion? Try Double Jeu. It's in French. The two words you needs are: jouer (means play) and rejouer (means play again). This is a very, very simple game. Your aim is to keep playing as long as possible. It may drive you round the bend.
Purgatorium is a short and creepy point-and-click escape-the-room game with some rather horrific graphic visuals nestled inside. If you have played either of Ben's other horror-genre interactive narratives, Exmortis and Exmortis 2, then you may already know what to expect. Created especially for Casual Gameplay.
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.
A short isometric Flash point-and-click adventure game just begging to be played around Halloween time. Trapped inside a haunted house you must hunt for keys to unlock doors that lead outside. The fun part is you get to choose from eighteen different playable characters, each with a unique Halloween costume.
Troglodite is a simple action game that's just perfect for this time of year. It's a simple game of collecting gems while avoiding ghosts, with appealing graphics and sound. A lovely little Halloween treat.
Halloween Hangman is a simple, cute, and rather amusing Halloween-themed game of hangman. Choose letters from the tiles on screen and try to guess the mystery word or phrase. Make a wrong choice and the smarty-pants skeleton hanging from a rope will hand you a snide comment or two.
Bill the Demon is an action adventure platformer with a very nice old-school flair to it. In the game you play as Bill, a lowly demon with a voracious appetite for human souls. To prove himself worthy to his peers, Bill sets out on a mission to the Ninth Circle of Hell to fetch the devil's autograph.
Four Second Firestorm is a collection of frantic micro-games hot on the on the heels of Four Second Fury and Four Second Frenzy. Using either the keyboard or mouse, you have just a few moments to play one of the over 175 mini-games thrown in your face. Follow the incredibly brief instructions and try to win each game. It's a fast-paced collection of micro-games suitable for anyone who wants to feel like they're on a caffeine buzz without all that coffee.
Pixel Blaster is a simple and stylish flash-based shooter by Tom Thornton of ThorGaming. Waves of stark white ships appear in the circular playing field and attack your vessel. With a remarkably useful charge shot and two-handed controls, you must fend off dozens of enemies before plunging into an intense boss battle. The game is vaguely reminiscent of GridWars but places a stronger emphasis on physics and old fashioned ship blasting rather than overwhelming you with dozens of enemies at once.
Pod Panic is a gorgeous little arcade Flash shooter that is simple to play and terribly addictive. Each level presents you with an increasing number of pods, round bumper-like objects that tend to gravitate towards your ship, and a string-creature that is rather hypnotizing to watch. Great old-school arcade fun in a tight little package.
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.
It isn't often that I come across an addictive browser-based Flash game with which you can play against a friend over the Web. I was pleasantly surprised to find the latest game from Gamesheep is just that kind of game. Crystal Clear is a simple casual game with gameplay similar to the classic game of Lines, and yet with some subtle differences that turn the classic into a compelling two-player battle.
Submitted to our game design competition in August, Free the Bird is a simple puzzle game that offers a satisfying reward if you solve it by yourself. The game features the same pleasing minimalism artistic style that is Bart is noted for, and it is of clever design, too. Just enough for a midday break.
TinyGrow is a captivating flash toy that lets you create a surreal garden scene by finding and dropping different types of seeds. Thick black trees sprout at random from the bottom of the screen, each with a rotating icon in the center. Click the icon to activate one of several events to discover seeds and grow more foliage.
Eight Days is the latest point-and-click adventure from that fabulous French duo, Anode & Cathode. The 4-part episodic game is scheduled to "go live" today (October 19th) at 10:30PM GMT. And judging from their past successes with The Museum, The Casino, and L'expresso Empoisonné, we are likely in store for another excellent adventure.
In this charming little game, you play the role of a bored tire manufacturing worker named Dink. Dink's tired of his pathetic day to day existence doing the same old thing. In fact, he'd quit his job were it not for his eight starving children and warehouse load of credit card debt. Today though, things are going to turn around for poor Dink as he discovers his inborn talent to make music from old factory machinery.
Nimian Flyer Legends is a 3D action adventure game by Protopop Games. You play the role of a young dragon named Salamond on a quest to defeat seven legendary beasts. Armed with fire-breath and the ability to pick up many objects, you'll have to use your speed and wits to battle each unique foe. Nimian Flyer Legends has a remarkably full 3D world to explore coupled with a grand soundtrack. It's a surprisingly lengthy game that feels more like an epic journey than a pick-up-and-play flash title.
Personal Universe is a puzzle game that lets you play with physics. Using sets of colored blocks you must build moving machines that help you complete tasks. Just as the name implies, Personal Universe gives you the materials to let you build a living universe all your own. It's filled with possibilities and offers a surprising amount of freedom to explore and experiment at your leisure.
Draw Play is a game by "Eggy" and hosted on Gamegecko. It plays like a standard platformer, but the catch is that there are no platforms; you use the mouse to draw in the platforms for the character to walk on, and then use the arrow keys to move the player over the drawn platforms to the flag for each level.
A Break in the Road is a unique game that puts you in the role of a DJ recording sounds throughout the city to mix into a one minute song. An amazingly well-produced cut scene, complete with top-notch voice acting talent, introduces the back story and drops you right into it.
Frets on Fire is an open source clone of the ever-popular PlayStation 2 music/rhythm game, Guitar Hero. And just like Guitar Hero, Frets on Fire features a handful of songs and allows you to play the guitar sections by pressing just a few keys. Instead of using a separate controller to mimic the guitar, Frets on Fire lets you pick up the keyboard and jam in right front of your desk. Best of all, a built-in editor lets you tab any song, spawning a growing community of music-modders on the web.
For those of you who have never been drunk in your entire life, the Game of Disorientation will serve as a suitable trainer in case you drink from the wrong plastic cup at the next party you're dragged to. It's when the walls start pulsing and the room starts rotating that things really get confusing.
Created as an entry for our recent game design competition, Quadra Pair 42 is an innocent looking puzzle that will quickly have you in tears. Frustratingly difficult to figure out, the puzzle can be completed in just 21 moves. But the trick is in figuring out the rules first.
Grow Tribute is, exactly as the name implies, a tribute to the Grow series of games. For those familiar with Grow games, this one will feel like putting on an old favorite shoe or shirt again. The gameplay is exactly the same and the animations are rewarding, though without some of the charm that On of Eyezmaze is famous for.
Somewhat because I feel compelled to, but also because I do so enjoy the music that I just want to share it with the world. Mixed Tape 14 is out, and just in time to help make the weekend that much cozier.
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.
Phase Toy is a simple Shockwave sequencer that allows you to create compositions using a point-and-click interface. Just click on a cell to have the sequencer play the corresponding tone when the 'play head' sweeps over it. Click and drag to add several tones at once. Phase Toy makes a nice little diversion that is as mesmerizing as it is relaxing.
Featuring a couple of new and more difficult enemies, and controls that allow for more variation in gameplay, Neon 2 succeeds in taking this very enjoyable idea to the next level. Ali has done a fine job at updating an already excellent shooter and making it not only better than the original, but also into a somewhat different experience. Sure it looks similar, and yet it feels different.
Weight is a game of puzzle solving and light mathematics created by Sean for our first Game Design Competition. "Please calibrate scale 2..." is the only instruction you have at first. It might take a little clicking, but soon you'll discover you can add or subtract weights from each scale in order to match pairs of numbers on the left. The first few are easy, but as you get more scales to balance, your life gets complex.
Inspired by the Experimental Gameplay project, a game design student in Sweden has just finished a rapid prototyping project in which he built several games. Each of them incorporates self-imposed constraints and took just a couple of days to develop. The results are creative, impressive, and some are even fun to play.
Sudoku Craving is a great resource for sudoku addicts looking for their daily logic fix. The interface is clean and elegant and, in addition to keeping track of your personal performance on each puzzle, comment boards and high score charts encourage community participation and competition.
Red offers up a brand new take on a classic gameplay mechanic in this simple and new, stylish arcade shooter that plays a little like Missile Command. Some of the most enjoyable games with addictive gameplay are based on very simple ideas, and Red is no different in this regard.
Seen on Screen uses a computer monitor theme to present a variety of puzzles that you must solve by figuring out what to do for each. Sometimes the solution is straightforward, and others you will have to apply a little logic to derive the answer; and yet none of them are very difficult at all.
Liquid Colors is a brilliant idea for a puzzle game and one that works exceptionally well in Flash. It is another creative and original puzzle game entry to our recent game design competition. It was created by DDams of France.
Run n' Roll is an online multiplayer flash game that lets you play chase with people from around the world. Your character runs on his or her own, all you have to do is jump over or roll under objects. You stay ahead by, well, not falling behind. Grab a few fun power-ups to stall your opponent as you race around a giant sphere in the sky.
A brand new game from Tonypa, this one called Keyway and it is a variation on Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) designed for playing with fingers, instead of legs, and using a computer keyboard for input instead of a dance pad.
Often the best things come in the simplest packages, and the idea behind Tanked Up is a simple one: race a tank through eight tracks of varying terrains while trying to blast your opponents to smithereens. You must win each race in order to unlock the next track, and the difficulty increases the farther along you go.
The computer game is not the strongest medium for word games. The crossword puzzle and word jumble dominate the papers; Boggle is the board game master. Computer games are often overlooked by the linguistically minded. But then, Text Twist changes all that. I'm tempted to call it the best word game I've ever played.
wOne and wOne 2 are fun little arcade-style Flash games in which the object is to maneuver a wheel around each level and clear all barrels to advance. And while there isn't anything all that innovative about either game, the excecution is what makes these games special and fun to play.
If someone were to have told me that I'd be spending the next several hours flinging, flicking, snapping, bouncing, dropping and shooting a green gob of gooey slime around 50 levels of a unique new Flash platform puzzle game, I'd probably have expected to see an exceptional piece of work. Well, Sling is exactly that: an amazing new physics-based platform game and I have been playing and enjoying it for hours.
Ah, the rural life. Nothing but vast expanses of farmland, the occasional sounds of the barnyard animals, and life-shortening, back-breaking manual labor. But Funny Farm, by Igor Naverniouk, is distinctly different than the farmer lifestyle. This word association game starts on the farm, but quickly branches out into greener pastures.
This simple and strangely compelling toy was just released onto Web featuring a primitive drawing interface with which to create a track for a little character to slide upon. Save and load tracks and even try to attain objectives to increase the enjoyment from this creative little sandbox webtoy.
Cake Mania is a fast-paced arcade game where you play the role of Jill, a new graduate from culinary school, who returns home to discover her grandparents' bakery is closed. Business fell when the new Mega-Mart opened and not even their special recipes could help them compete. Jill decides to open her own old fashioned bakery to earn money and re-open her grandparents' store. Through nearly 50 levels and four different locations you'll help Jill serve customers as efficiently as possible.
Just launched by the BBC History team along with the design and technical prowess of those amazing Preloaded folks (wasn't I just pining for something new from them?), CDX is a brand new multi-episode adventure game that uses real actors and video segments to spin a tale of mystery and intrigue around an ancient Roman sacrificial blade.
Cyptograma has to be the most appealing interface to a cryptographic puzzle that I have ever seen. The game features quotes and phrases to decrypt from famous people, and are available in either English or Español. Each puzzle is in the form of a simple substitution cipher in which each letter of the phrase is substituted with a symbol. It is up to you to figure out the letter that each symbol corresponds to.
TG Motocross 2 is the sequel to another fine game of the same name, TG Motocross, which we haven't covered before. Both games actually appear to be quite the same except for different courses. This is not such a bad thing, however, as both are excellent games in the motocross genre.
The Jackson Pollock emulator is a simple flash toy that simulates the drip style of painting popularized by Jackson Pollock. The entire browser window is a blank white canvas and your mouse becomes the paintbrush. Move the cursor over the surface to pour paint, changing colors with the left mouse button. Linger over one area for some time to leave large blotches or shake the mouse back and forth for light streams of paint. You may not create a masterpiece, but it's an engaging way to let your creativity flow.
Panic is a simple and stylish arcade game made in homage to a classic on the Commodore 64, Astro Panic. Made in Flash and sporting an impressive new soundtrack as well as eye-pleasing particle effects, Panic plays like a cross between Space Invaders and Pang.
In this entertaining puzzle game You are the alchemist's apprentice left in charge of the alchemy shop while the master is away (probably away on business, but we don't really know for sure; details are sketchy, you see, and therefore we shouldn't jump to any conclusions.) In any event, she left some instructions behind: you must conjure three (3) items before the master returns.
Out 2: Out of File is the sequel to the room escape game Out File #01 by Isomura Kai of Tonakai Interactive. The story picks up after escaping the room in the first game and walking through a long winding cave. Now you find yourself in an underground complex filled with computers and machinery with no way to make it to the surface.
Despite being short, uncomplicated and an absolute breeze for anyone already familiar with the world of letters, Orgdot's beautiful illustrations and animation make The ABC Game a must-see.
Tribal Trouble is a downloadable real-time strategy game for Windows or Mac. Compared to most RTS games, Tribal Trouble is easy to learn and to pick-up and play, yet it still offers a deep strategy that takes time to master. The game has earned many words of praise, including being a finalist for an IGF award, a spot on Game Tunnel's Indie Games of the Year list, and some impressive sales and downloads statistics.
Colour Connect has many qualities of a classic casual game: it is easy to understand, simple to pick-up and play, and the randomly generated puzzles present a challenge that is difficult to master. Created by Matthew Dirks of British Columbia, Canada, for our recent game design competition, this puzzle game not only plays great it could also pass as an abstract work of art.
Classic style arcade gameplay recreated in Flash, SwfRoads is an absolutely brilliant fast action driving game with simple controls, great minimalist visuals and an energizing soundtrack. Take to the sky in your spacecraft and navigate the geometric terrain of each of the game's 18 selectable roads.
Sigil of Binding is a simple puzzle game submitted to our recent game design competition by John-Paul Walton of Ohio, USA. It is based on the familiar 'flip the squares to turn them all the same' concept of puzzles, and yet John-Paul's impressive audio and visual production skills turn this version into one all his own.
The problem with jigsaw puzzles is that they engage two conflicting parts of my brain: my hatred of disorder, and my utter lack of desire to do anything about it. You open the box and there they are, laughing at you, hundreds (thousands, maybe?) of oddly-shaped bits of cardboard. Some of them are even upside-down! White Jigsaw, by gamedesign, solves a lot of those problems: there's no picture, the pieces can't be rotated or flipped over, and it starts out small.
Drag the Dot is a simple Flash game, created by Oliver Castañeda of Scarsdale, New York, in which the objective is literally self-explanatory. Just drag the dot to the goal in each of the game's 16 levels, and a final boss level that is "better than doom" (whatever that means.)
An updated version of the original Reverse game (previously reviewed on JIG), Reverse 2 is a very simple point-to-move-the-block game where the basic rule is that the mouse input directions have been reversed, so pushing the mouse up pulls you down, and so forth.
Gear Puzzle is a simple puzzle game featured in our recent game design competition. As the game begins, a small blue character with big puppy-dog eyes catches sight of a pink character locked in a cage. The cage is chained to a gear suspended from the top of the screen. Pegs line the wall and various sized gears are scattered around. Helpless but heroic, the blue guy does the only thing he can to help: jumps on the gear across the room and starts spinning it. Your job is to arrange gears on the pegs to transfer the motion across the room to lower the cage.
Submachine Zero: Ancient Adventure is a spectacularly detailed Flash point-and-click puzzle game from one of the leading designers of the genre, Mateusz Skutnik. This competition entry also placed within a tight group of puzzles that resembled a photo-finish at the horse races. In other words, it was difficult to pass this entry by as a prize winner.
You've managed to make it to lunchtime. It's been a rough day but you are free for an hour and you'd love to spend it laying the smack down on some monsters RPG-style. However, it's going to be hard to install World of Warcraft on your puny work PC, and besides, you simply don't have time. What do you do? Fire up a game of DragonFable.
Monkey Kick Off is a stylish flash arcade game created by Niclas Åberg of Totebo Interactive. A monkey juggles a ball with his feet on the side of the screen. Wait for the right moment, then click the mouse to punt the ball as far as you can, sending it flying through forests, deserts, a Monkey Village and beyond. It's a classic game idea made fresh by creative design and a sharing feature that allow you to challenge your friends to beat your top score.
Another competition entry that was only narrowly edged out of an award, Jewel Drop by Nick Redmond consistently received high marks from each of the four reviewers. This ear-training, color-layering game features a clean and appealing interface and a luxuriously rich soundtrack that together create a unique and original game play experience.
Dona Room 2 is the second room escape game from Japanese flash designer Noaki Nakashima. The game is every bit as quirky and amusing as the original Dona Room and offers more great point-and-click gameplay. The entire game takes place in your kitchen where a note from your mother says you must find a snack before you can leave. Unfortunately the potato chips and cake are locked away, so you must find items and solve puzzles in order to get to them. The game has a little Japanese text but is completely playable without knowledge of the language.
Keys very nearly placed among the winners in our game design competition, and if we had but one additional prize, it would have. This mysterious and charming little puzzle game fit the theme perfectly by closely resembling a puzzle you might find in Click Drag Type. In fact, there weren't many other games that came this close to exactly what we were looking for.
Gateway is an impressive and delightful 3D puzzle game from Anders Gustafsson, awarded Honorable Mention and the coveted Audience Award in our first game design competition. The game has a very simple premise: guide a robot through a series of rooms; but you will have to solve a mini-puzzle within each room to advance.
Right on the heels of our first game design competition, the impetus for which was Simple Andy's brilliant collection of simple puzzle games known simply as Click Drag Type, comes another installment of the series that includes five (5) brand new puzzles!
Cyberpunk is a simple Flash puzzle game disguised as an arresting and involving hacking simulation. Armed with four programs and some intuition, you'll have to sneak into a remote computer guarded by obscure (and not-so-obscure) passwords, as well as by some nasty puzzles.
A flash design project by Phillip Reagan of Texas, USA, Thief weaves a cryptic atmosphere with captivating puzzles to pull you into a story you didn't even realize you were participating in. Thief is a well-deserving runner-up in our very first Casual Gameplay Design Competition.
At first glance the game appears to be a layout from a schematic diagram, which might easily scare you away if you're a non-technical type. And it will likely have you scratching your head wondering just what to do with it even if you are an electrical engineer. However, those adventurous souls that persevere, by poking around the surface to learn what is hiding underneath, will be nicely rewarded by what they find.
Liquid Webtoy is a Java-based application very similar to the Falling Sand games we're all so fond of. Rather than playing with solid elements, however, this game is focused on two things: liquid and color. Fill the screen with water, slosh it around with your mouse and add different shades to the mix. It can be as relaxing or chaotic as you like and is a great time-waster.
Mark Arenz has been designing games over at Ridiculopathy for years now and he has amassed an impressive selection with creative and original gameplay. He has recently released a sequel of sorts to a unique game concept he created about a year ago, and this one succeeds in improving the idea and taking it to the next level.
You know that dream, the one where you're walking down the streets of London listening to the frantic sounds of Gogol Bordello, when homicidal cartoons start spilling out of the scenery? Me neither, but thanks to Toon Crisis I know how to handle myself in just such a situation.
Skatefall is John Freeborn's tribute to one of the earliest platformers, the Atari 2600's Pitfall! With a bodacious new skateboard, online scoreboard, bonus items and powerups, 2D platforming has a new name: Skatefall Harry. As a homage, Skatefall is extremely effective and faithful; the graphics and sound are perfect and the difficulty, while formidable, is appropriate.
Three Degrees is a variation on a classic casual game, and it is played by clicking on groups of the same color to eliminate them from play. Of course, the larger the group the more points awarded. It is a very simple game to pick-up and play, a nice variation on a classic, and one that you will likely find yourself playing again and again.
Virtual Villagers is a downloadable real-time simulation game developed by Last Day of Work, the creators of Fish Tycoon and a number of other casual sim games. Take charge of a village of crash survivors and help them carve out a living on a jungle island. Teach them to farm, help them research scientific advancements and expand their population. It's a remarkably addictive game that's easy to play but impossible to stay away from!
Kodama is a quirky little ball-toss game that had me quickly hooked, and it wouldn't let me go until I had conquered its final challenge... with extreme prejudice. The gameplay is simple: you toss a little metal coin into a red or blue scoring area, while avoiding the black areas that will cost you one of your four lives.
An adventure game in the classic sense of the genre, as well as in a more low-tech DHTML implementation, the Mystery of Castle Wildenburg combines original photography of Germany's deep woods with the cartoon drawings of artist Aurèle Mechler, which together produces a unique visual appeal to this engaging and compelling Web-based game by Jörg Jochims.