Flashxed manages to breathe a little life into the familiar block-matching puzzle theme with a new mechanic: block dragging. You're presented with a set of bricks with colored orbs sparkling inside. Drag blocks left or right one at a time, and if two or more blocks of the same color touch, they smash and crumble away. It's extraordinarily perplexing at times, but that challenge is what makes it so fun.
Welcome to Tonypa's school of game design. Start with a very simple gameplay idea; it doesn't have to be original, but the idea has to be simple enough for anyone to understand immediately. Include a few attractive graphics in a minimalist style of your own design. Add a pleasing and relaxing soundtrack. Toss everything in a box and flip it upside down. Voilà. Brand new game all your own.
A match-3 action puzzle game with zoo animals and a memorable soundtrack. While the moody animals are a nice touch, it is the Quest mode which makes this game enticingly addictive. As the zookeeper, you are set to 10 different tasks by your angry little boss. With clever variations, an emotional lot of animals and an uppity, cigar-smoking boss, Kiteretsu's Zookeeper will keep you busy and entertained.
2007 IGF finalist Bubble Islands is a new falling-object puzzle game from Dot-Invasion, the talented crew behind the previously reviewed Meteor Busters. Flash-based and completely free, Bubble Islands is fun, cute and loaded with enough content to rival similar commercial games.
Farm Hustle takes the simple formula from games like Bejeweled and adds an interesting twist. In order to get the animals back into their rooms, you must swap them to make rows or columns of three or more. The catch is that you must also use every square on the grid, adding a new level of strategy to your game.
Hit the dance floor in this foot-stomping, original new take on the connect-three puzzle genre of casual gameplay. In Disco Jungle, play as a funky blue elephant with a special ability to absorb the color of any dance floor tile and then drop it anyplace else. Use it to match three (3) or more same-color tiles, horizontally and/or vertically, to score points and clear levels.
Combo! and Blockdown are two great flash puzzle games by Anders Pousette. They're remarkably simple and build upon classic puzzle gaming themes while throwing a few fresh ideas into the mix. Each comes with a public high score board to give you a chance at your 15 minutes of fame. You'll have to earn it, but with the amount of time you'll spend playing each game, odds are you won't really mind.
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.
Bola is a casual and enjoyable puzzle game created by the developers at Gamesheep.com, the same folks who brought us Manole and Makos. The goal of the developers who host the site is to eventually populate it with all their own games, and Bola is not a bad step in that direction.
Makos is a game that is somewhat similar to so many other games in the very crowded genre of sliding block puzzle games, and yet it managed to grab my attention with its adorable little forest creatures and addictive gameplay. The graphics and sound effects are all nicely polished and give the game an attractive charm that will likely have you coming back to play often.
Si et JP of Pepere.org sends word of his brand new game, Ringmania. A new take on a Puzzle Bobble clone, the object of the game is to clear the play field of all rings by connecting three (3) or more rings of the same color to make them "explode."
Dr. Strangemitten's Shrunken Heads is a Puzzle Bobble variation (Bust a Move in the U.S.) with a ghoulish Halloween theme, perfect for this time of year. And while the gameplay is unoriginal, the execution of this version is quite enjoyable to play.
From Shockwave Japan, this cute little Flash game requires you to click on adjacent animals to swap places and line up 3 or more of the same. It sounds a little confusing, and with the instructions in Japanese, I was a little confused at first myself. Just ignore the first screen with the cell phone, don't click it—it's an ad. Wait for the ga...