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.
I think many people who frequent this site would agree: Tonypa is one of our favorite casual game designers. Grow Word, his submission to Casual Gameplay's second competition exhibits many of the characteristics that we have come to love about Tonypa's games: it's elegant, understated, and easy to learn but hard to master.
Aqui Griffin delivered a visually stunning entry to our recent game design competition that is as easy to pick-up and play as it is to look at. enQbate is a simple puzzle game in which the objective is to highlight all cells in play by mousing over them with the cursor and then clicking.
At first glance, the latest offering from Taro Ito's GameDesign appears to be just another Tetris clone, but closer inspection reveals gameplay dependent upon color rather than shape. In Porolith Flash, the objective is to stack and group shapes of the same color together to remove them from play.
From John Hattan comes BaffleBees, a quick, fun puzzle game for those on a coffee break. Be the best by ordering your bees around the hive until your entire honeycomb is filled with honey. The game has extremely simple graphics and almost zero sound. That said, it is fun and casual play. There are a multitude of other games on the site that are worth a look as well.
For those who've been to Clack and back, it's time for another puzzle adventure with Clack 2, as Sean Hawkes has been busy finishing up the next in what is shaping up to be a series of delightful puzzle games. If you haven't already played the original, you may want to go do that first as it is an excellent introduction to these wonderful and original, Flash mechanical puzzle toys.
It really is amazing to see such creativity sprout from a simple word, as with the recent competition and its "grow" theme. Beginning with a very simple premise of expanding rectangles on a grid to connect them, Wouter Visser creates a unique and enjoyable puzzle game entry with PLANned. In this 18-level game, there are only but a few rules that you need to know to get started.
On has just today posted a new mini-game to his Eyezblog, and it is a simple little puzzle game called Neighbors. The game is played by dragging each of the colored-top creatures to one of the 9 container pots such that everyone gets along happy and content. If you put one in the wrong spot, its neighbor(s) won't like it and will have a tizzy fit.
Goldburger To Go is a short flash game where you must position various components in a Rube Goldberg-type device in order to assemble a tasty (but unhealthy) snack on a skateboard at the end.
Fields of Logic is an easy game to pick-up and play right away, all you'll need is your mouse and your favorite clicking finger. The first few levels get you warmed up and primed for a challenge that spans 16 levels total. At the end you'll receive a total time that it took you to complete the game, so there's an added incentive (and pressure) to get the job done.
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.
by Elizabeth Reynolds is one of the puzzle games submitted to our first Game Design Competition. Four instruments sit silently on the right side of the screen, each in a different colored chair. Using the corresponding controls to the left, activate the instruments to produce a green wave on the bottom of the screen. Get the wave to match the pattern and you'll win!
Threesome is simple yet challenging puzzle game ported to Flash by Lightforce. It's a nice way to while away about half an hour, while looking at a pleasant composition and enjoying a challenge that is easily described but can be tricky to solve.
Two of the earliest entries into our first Game Design Competition, Puzzle 1 and Puzzle 2 come from the extraordinarily talented designer Tonypa. Each game is a unique take on our competition's theme of simple puzzles that you must figure out how to solve on your own.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Grow ver.2 is completely different than what Grow ver.3 turned out to be, and yet the basic premise is the same as it is for all of the Grow games: Just click on the various items, one-by-one, and try to make them all reach their maximum level. Hint: order matters.
Like eating the middle of an Oreo first, ClickDragType skips past the plain cookie outside to deliver only the sweet puzzle center in a collection of 10 intriguing, mind-bending puzzles for your pure and uncompromising enjoyment.
The online game Color Box by eyehook takes the familiar puzzle formula and tosses in a little color theory to brighten things up. Slide and drop squares of color to pile them on the bottom of the screen. Your goal is to make them vanish, but your methods will be a little different. Instead of matching like-colors you must use color theory to change the blocks to white. Fortunately you don't need an art degree to pull this one off.
Vaguely reminiscent of a 2D Rubik's Cube, the goal of Mozaik is to match the blocks on the board with the key at the bottom of the screen. The catch? You can only rotate blocks around strategically (that is, inconveniently) placed nodes.
From Shiftup comes two games featuring their cute tanuki mascot, Ponta. People all over the world have become familiar with the tanuki, an easygoing, shapeshifting raccoon-like creature which frequently appears in Japanese folklore and popular culture such as Studio Ghibli's Pom Poko or Super Mario Brothers 3.
A brand new game from Tonypa just launched along with a new version of his games page. TriLinks is a strategy puzzler in which the player must connect each set of three (3) same-colored links by moving the mouse over adjacent points on the game grid. It is a game in which caution and restraint must be exercised throughout the game.
A charming logic puzzle game starring cute little children that scamper into play in formation, and then flash their tummies at you when you solve their puzzles. The object of the instantly familiar game is to get all of the RayRays standing. Some RayRays affect others around it, so the trick becomes figuring out the correct sequence.
One of my favorite mini-games from Globz gets another sequel: Twin Spin III picks-up where the first two left off, continuing the same addictive gameplay formula with 24 all-new levels. The core gameplay mechanic consists of clicking the mouse button (or space bar) to 'walk' a baton around the play field and explode all of the balloons that exist for each level.
Atoms is a Flash puzzle game of elegant design that loosely borrows elements from Chemistry for the basis of its gameplay. Created by Florian Bliesch of Hamburg, Germany, the object of the game is simply to connect all of the separate atoms together to form a single molecule.
An action puzzle Flash game played by using only knight moves from the game of Chess, Troyis is a simple yet challenging casual Web game for people of all ages. The objective is simple: fill all of the white squares of each level by landing on them with the knight.
A brand new game from the very talented casual game designer, Tonypa.
Finding 4 is a puzzle game in which the object is to locate, within the time alotted, the same set of four (4) figures on the play field as shown in the target set.
Maze is another delightfully simple and accessible casual Web game by GameDesign of Japan. The object of this action puzzle game is to find the exit to each increasingly larger maze level within the time limit.
Warehouse is an online remake of an offline remake of an online game, the original of which was called the Kung Fu Packing Crate Maze and was a computer generated game by the Atlanta-area eccentric, James W. Stephens.
Created by Taro Ito, a Japanese game developer whom publishes his work under the name GameDesign, this domino-toppling game transported me back to Nan's living room floor where rows of dominoes and blocks often stood, precariously on end, awaiting destruction.
No Brainer is a fast-paced quiz game that asks what seems to be a never-ending string of questions, all of of which require a simple yes or no answer. It's a fun and hilarious game that is sure to put a smile on your face, and even more fun when playing with some friends.
A couple of brand new games being offered by Tonypa on his website that features other excellent casual Web games, as well as tutorials for those interested in creating games in Flash.
Gemsmith comes in two varieties: Ruby and Diamond. Both games feature similar gems and hexagonal play fields, and yet...
Just click on blocks to move them into the target configuration for each of the 20 unique levels. Award-winning Stackopolis is not only an enjoyable game to play, it also features gorgeous pixel graphics and animations, and a delightfully dramatic soundtrack that pushes this game over the top into highly addictive territory. You've been forewarned.
Another great word game from East of the Web, this one combines the word finding frenzy of Boggle with the scrambled word anagrams of Jumble. 8 Letters in Search of a Word is a race against the clock to score enough points to move on to the next level. Points are awarded by finding words within an 8-letter anagram, established at the beginning of each level.
Just found this excellent collection of word games created in Flash and published by East of the Web. There are currently eight (8) different games to choose from, and each one offers a unique gameplay experience than usual games in its category.
CodeWord blends components of guess-the-word games like Hangman with...
A nice 3D version of the classic Windows 'tool', Bombsweeper 3D features a variety of polygons with an increasing number of sides to test your puzzle solving and deduction skills. Although much of the game's text is in Japanese, anyone even remotely familiar with Minesweeper will be able to pick...
Comboling is an original puzzle game that is very easy to pick-up and play. It was conceived by Jérôme Lulling in the mid-80's by examining tiles on the bathroom floor. He eventually teamed up with Dmitry Irsheins to help bring his idea to life, and the result of that collaboration is this remarkable Flash game.
Case Western University student, John Tantalo, created this elegantly simple game with gratifying and addictive gameplay. Planarity is a Flash puzzle game that is played by clicking and dragging the vertices of a 2D geometric shape to rearrange them such that no lines cross. Simple to understand, difficult to put down.
Just when you thought you had mastered the art of waddling back and forth in a straight line across the screen using only one button, the folks at GlobZ release 40 new and more difficult levels for you to waddle through. Truly for the hardcore and not for anyone who gets annoyed when frustrated by a game. Level 37 is a killer. Consider yourself warned.
From the excellent French Flash games site, Globz.com, comes this creative action arcade game with a unique and addictive gameplay mechanic. The objective in Twin Spin is to 'walk' a baton around the play field and explode all of the balloons that exist for each level.
There's a lot to love about LightForce Games in Athens, Greece. Nick Kouvaris, and his wife Helen, develop Flash games as a hobby and make them available to play on their LightForce Games website. Most of the games are clones of classic puzzle games, and yet all of them are presented with a simple and consistent style.
Which side are you: right-brain or left-brain dominant? While right-brain dominant people use their intuition and emotions to guide their decisions, left-brain dominant folks are more sequential and time-oriented in their approach. Perhaps you are middle-brain dominant, meaning that you vacillate between the two hemispheres when making decisions. If unsure,...
Although this Flash puzzler is similar to other sliding-block puzzle games in its class, what I find special about this one is its presentation and execution. The goal of Orbox is to navigate the blue and yellow blinking box to the red goal in the fewest moves possible using just the arrow keys for control.
A fun little Flash piece that is more web toy than game, really, and yet the score tally gives this mesmerizing diversion an addictive quality. Simply click anywhere in the grid to activate a cell and watch the chain reaction develop.
Set is a DHTML-based Web game that offers a new puzzle to play every day. The object of Set is to find the 6 "sets" of three cards each that go together.
Each card in the game has on it four (4) distinguishing features: color, quantity, symbol, and fill. Color will...
Net is a game about connections. There is a central energy source, and the objective of the game is to connect all devices to the energy source in the fewest moves possible. Of course, if you're like me, I ignore the number of moves and just try to finish a puzzle. Subtitled "The game for the mind", this game definitely falls into the category of a brain teaser.
Global Player is a Flash game designed to test your skills at sorting packages and routing them to their proper destinations. Everything in the game is color coded, and each level consists of a system of conveyor belts and switches. These give way to multiple destinations where transportation awaits to receive each package and send it on its way.
Caray Snake is a variation on the classic arcade game Snake where your tail gets longer with each object eaten, and you must avoid running into your tail. What makes this Flash game different is you move the snake only one square at a time using the arrow keys. The object is to clear the board to move on to the next.
While the graphics of this gam...
This simple and elegant Flash game looks like a work of art: minimal design paired with maximum gameplay. While not an original concept, Gridlock features classic sliding-block puzzle gameplay that will surely exercise your brain. A well-executed game in the genre, and a very beautiful game to behold.
Is it any wonder that the simplest games to play are often the popular ones? 12many is a nice little Flash game from Tonypa that has been making the rounds on the Web, and for good reason: the rules of the game are simple and easy for anyone to understand.
This Mr. Driller clone, created in Flash by Max K., is a decent version of the original game by Namco. Driller uses the arrow keys for movement, and the space bar for drilling. The object is to drill down through the blocks as far as you can without running out of air, or getting crushed. The level of difficulty determines how many rows of blocks y...
A game in which you're given magnetic control over the environment in the form of a bunny with a electromagnet for a head. The premise of Magnet 2 is a bit odd, but the gameplay formula works brilliantly. Each level presents different objects and obstacles where you must maneuver the magnet to attract the objects into the goal. Magnet 2 proves that realistic high-tech graphics are not required for creating games that are engaging and fun to play.
This pair of Flash games, hosted on Nobelprize.org, teaches you about the physics of liquid crystals while playing.
Crystallite is an action puzzle game, similar to Tetris, where you position the falling blocks by rotating them before fitting them in their place. Use the right and left arrow keys to position the blocks, and the up and down arrows ...
This Flash game is from Scenta, the same UK folks behind Reverse. Also created by Mobasher Lqbal, Nucleus features the same minimalist-type graphics, which are clean and simple, and adds atoms and valence electrons to create a sort of platform jumping game that is a lot of fun.
Here is another mouse cursor game that is nicely put together. Simple, minimalist graphics with levels of increasing difficulty, 20 in all. Guide the mouse cursor to the goal, however the control of the mouse is reversed. Simple and straight forward, Reverse is yet another short little diversion to cleanse the palette of your brain. Created by Moba...
Add together stylish pixel graphics, a compelling techno soundtrack, and challenging gameplay that appears deceptively simple, and you wind up with an excellent little action puzzle game called BLiX. This highly addictive game was created by gameLab and is hosted by Shockwave.com.
Another Flash game by Neodelight, Cyber Mice Party borrows gameplay elements from the classic game of Lemmings to create an entirely different take on the survival strategy genre. Each level presents a bunch of mice, a hunk of cheese and various items such as sticks, matchboxes, and different shaped blocks. The object is to use the objects to herd ...
An estimable goal from Atlanta-based company A Broader View, has inspired this Flash game with a global perspective: help the United States improve its disappointing knowledge of geography by challenging it to participate with the rest of the world in a geographical testing game, the Geography Olympics. The game asks you first to select the countr...
Almost twenty years ago, I would often play a solitaire game on the Mac called Shanghai that used Chinese Mahjongg tiles for play. Created by Brodie Lockard and released by Activision in 1986, Brodie is credited with the original idea, programming and artwork for the game. Since then there have been many clones and copycat versions, but most still ...
A brand new Flash game just released by Naive.it, and this one is named NaiveTown. Building blocks fall at a rate determined by the difficulty level, and you score points by stacking 5 like blocks to make a building. The catch is you can move the blocks once they have landed by clicking on the right or left edge of each block. There are also power-...
The Telephone is a stylish and unique puzzle game in which you embark on an adventure by dialing in destinations. The destinations are 3-digit telephone numbers that you find in each 'level' and which advance you through the game. Each destination is unique in its objective, sound, and interface.
Micro Life is a real time strategy game (RTS) that is quite easy to play, and it has a lot of charm to compensate for the relatively light challenge it presents. Accessible to all ages, this game is one part simulation, one part strategy, and one part Insaniquarium all rolled into one.
Created by Klas Kroon of Sweden, this little game is one of the tiniest Flash games I've ever seen. The objective of Blockdude is to move the little dude to the exit door by picking up and moving blocks to solve each level. This game is actually a remake of an old TI-83 game originally written by Brandon Sterner.
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...
In one of the sections of Interactive Digital Media that I'm a TA for this quarter, one of the students wants to create a Simon game in Director. And while I think that a Simon-type game is entirely doable in Director, I also think that it wouldn't be much of a challenge. And that got me thinking about how much fun I used to have with S...
Bubbels is a strangely addictive Flash game, like Bust-a-Move, from the Netherlands. There are actually five (5) different versions to choose from.