In Kidnapped by Aliens, previously unsung developer Selfdefiant tells the story of a human protagonist who has been kidnapped, and awaits who-knows-what from his captors. By the use of a little ingenuity, our hero manages to escape his cell and explore more areas of the UFO that contains him, with the ultimate goal of returning to Earth... perhaps. The surreal but perfect background sound and puzzles that make sense without being too obvious turn this game into an enjoyable experience.
If you were to ask us, "What is Bango?" we could say a lot of things. "A board game! A breakfast cereal! The newest pop music superstar!" But of course, since Bango! is actually a puzzle platformer, we would be dirty rotten liars. Race across blocks that plummet behind you, trying to clear the screen of them without falling yourself. It's harder than it sounds, and with an extra five levels each of "extra-hard" and "frustrating" difficulty, it's a challenge for everyone!
Move your laserspots to light up all your lasercells in Laserworx, a tile-based puzzle game about lasers. The laserbeam between two laserspots will energize any lasercells it touches, but will be nullified if it hits a laserwall. Wait, that doesn't need a "laser" in front of it. They're just regular walls.
Sail the globe in search of treasure, push crates, dodge the cutest little itsy-bitsy monsters, unlock doors, ride magic carpets over a spiraling vortex of horror. It's a pirate themed carnival of wonder! The Arabian Sea is the tenth episode of this popular kid-friendly spook-fest.
In Greg Sergeant's aptly titled puzzle platformer, Use Boxmen, you, believe it or not, use boxmen to collect boxes. It sounds fairly simple and straightforward, but it's not, really. Some puzzles require you to think outside the box to reach their oftentimes very clever solution. Solving puzzles is only half the battle, however, as Use Boxmen takes its platforming element very seriously.
Mystic Mine is a track-switching action-puzzle game. Much like classics such as Candy Train and the current iPhone offering Trains, you must switch tracks ahead of your mine car, which is always in motion.
On of Eyezmaze has just released an updated 'remake' of his original Grow game, Grow (ver. 3), the game that inspired so many sequels and clones. It's one of the most unique and amazing Flash games ever produced, due mostly to its intricate animations and myriad combinations of possible outcomes. Now with 2 endings!
Dynamic Systems, created by Lorenzo Nuvoletta, is another in a long line of games first made popular by The Incredible Machine, where you must fabricate an overly elaborate system of simple machines to perform a task that would hardly impress a toddler: putting a ball in a bucket.
Tonypa has a well earned reputation for developing games that at once exhibit simple elegance and deceptively deep gameplay. Lacotipa, a tile-based puzzle with roots that extend back to Pipe Dreams, is yet another simple, beautiful, and addicting game for us to obsess over.
Once upon a time, in a kingdom ruled by a red-hooded princess, there lived a young wolf. Unlike the rest of his family, this wolf was neither very big nor particularly bad. His mother wasn't too pleased with this, but first morning he didn't hear her howl, the not-so-big, not-so-bad wolf knew something was wrong. Thus begins Big Brain Wolf, an adventure/puzzle game that parodies nearly every fairy tale and fairy tale character you can imagine, providing some surprisingly challenging puzzles along the way.
Pastel Games has just released a new point-and-click game, Morbid, designed and illustrated by Maciej Palka with programming, animation and puzzle support from Mateusz Skutnik. Although the artwork contained within is well-conceived and the atmosphere is enticingly moody, we weren't as impressed with the gameplay. Hard-to-find hotspots turn this game into a disappointing exercise in frustration. But give it a play and decide for yourself.
Fantastic platform puzzler in which you play a Victorian magician who must correct a mistake by leading poor ghostly souls to a magic door. Including smart and elegant brain teasers that get increasingly more complicated as the levels progress. Altogether a fun and challenging new puzzle game from a promising new group of Flash game developers from New Zealand.
Alabaster is an exquisite and addictive piece of interactive fiction created by a team of eleven talented writers and spearheaded by Emily Short, one of the Grande Dames of the genre, authoress of such classics as Floatpoint, that takes the oft-Disneyfied, candy-coated tale of Snow White and recasts it in rather darker hues.
Slouching Towards Bedlam is a work of interactive fiction created by Daniel Ravipinto and Star Foster. Set in the Bedlam Hospital insane asylum in a steampunk-style 1885 London, you begin in an office with a brass-laden phonograph playing a demented soliloquy. It's a subtly disturbing game that draws you into a rich, elusive world of intrigue and allows you to react to the story however you see fit, carving out five unique endings based upon your interpretation of the plot.
Here are 50 more visual puns in a painting, hinting at the titles of 50 "great" movies you may have seen recently. Nice illustrations, relatively easy hints, and a smooth interface make this an light and pleasant diversion.
All you have to do in NinjaDoodle's ClickPLAY! is press the Play button, but that Play button sure does run and hide in some sneaky ways. Track it down and click it!
Sugar-coated, filled with rainbows and sunshine and love, and cheerier than a dentist the day after Halloween, Yousumin! is a new puzzle game from Square-Enix. In the same way Bejeweled Twist put a spin on the matching genre, Yosumin! shifts things around to deliver a new kind of puzzle game that's unique yet familiar at the same time.
Fail-Safe is a work of interactive fiction created by Jon Ingold. It could be one of the strangest text-based games you've ever seen (in a simple, subdued kind of way), as Ingold removes all meta-commands from the parser, forbidding you do to things like saving your progress. But there's a good reason for this. Fail-Safe immerses you so deeply in the world that even the conventions of playing a game would snap you out of it. And when you start playing, you'll see why that's a crucial part of the experience.
Redstar Fall is back, with 20 more levels of physics puzzle mayhem. Blast away the tower of bricks one by one, to bring the red star to rest on solid ground. These new "Pro" levels are tough and finicky as a dried-up alley cat, so practice up on the first game before you tackle them.
It's another blast from the past with this week's Weekday Escape. It's an oldie from our friends at Bianco-Bianco by the name of Escape from Dr. Ichie's Factory, another gem in the Dr. Ichie series. The story's a familiar one: you wake up in the middle of an odd factory building, and you find a note from the culprit, Dr. Ichie, telling you that you have to solve some puzzles to escape from it.
Dead Like Ants is a sublime piece of interactive fiction by C.E.J. Pacian. You are an unnamed female ant, a simple worker. You and your thousands of sisters labor ceaselessly in the service of your colony; an unexciting, if productive, existence. Today, however, is very different. Your mother, the Queen has requested your presence Every spring, it seems, five dangerous creatures come to the colony and threaten the safety of all therein. When this occurs, the Queen sends one of her daughters to negotiate with these monsters, thereby averting trouble for another year. This spring, you are the chosen emissary.
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a... OW! Ew... is that a spleen? The fifth chapter of the puzzle-platforming Karoshi series is here, and it's one of the best of the bunch. This edition comes with a flying, indestructible, Super Saiyan alter-ego, a dubious power when the goal of the game is to kill yourself.
New from Myth People, creator of Miriel the Magical Merchant and Azkend, comes another matching-based puzzle game with a new take on an old mechanic: Dragon Portals. The friendly dragons have been bound to earth with dark magic. Young Mila is called in to save them by dropping orbs from one dragon to another, matching groups of like-colored ones to keep the dragons aloft. It's a nice departure from most matching games, and combined with Myth People's signature art direction and epic power-ups, makes a game well worth trying out.
A gorgeous puzzle game with an impeccable user interface, Minim sets the standard for browser-based casual games. Minimize molecules to nothingness by combining atoms with digits on them, according to a few simple rules. Despite the references to chemistry and some light math, Minim isn't an educational game. It's more like a comforting hug followed by a knuckle sandwich.
How hard could building a bridge be? In a game where you have to retrieve an elephant from a distant island, the answer may surprise you. Cargo Bridge asks you to engineer a sturdy path for your movers as they transport crates, safes, and yes, elephants.
Help guide Spewer, an adorable pink blob, through a series of diabolical tests put forth by a watchful scientist in this physics-based platformer. It's a journey of adventure, excitement, and child-like wonder. Also, vomit.
Pariboro is Tonypa's latest endeavour into the world of tile-based games of skill and luck. Forty tiles of three colors lie on the grid before you, and your job is to clear as many tiles as you can, before the random domino-generator produces one you can't match. Bonus: having a Casual Gameplay account saves your progress!
When your spaceship crash-lands onto an unknown desert planet, you regain consciousness to find yourself one of the only survivors. Red Herring Games presents an incredibly polished point-and-click adventure game that has to be seen to be believed.
If The Incredible Machine met the classic board game Mouse Trap, TubeTwist would be the result. Arrange tubes, accelerators and other contraptions to manipulate the path of the Macroton (a colored marble-like object) from the Injector Tube (the start) to the Reactor Tube (the finish). It's that simple!
Fans of Samantha Swift's previous caper have cause to rejoice. Samantha Swift and the Golden Touch, the newest hidden object adventure in the franchise, offers a compelling combination of well-integrated mini-games and adventure-style item puzzles that do an excellent job of keeping the game feeling fresh throughout.
Playing equal parts as a maze, a hide-and-seek game and a guessing game, the idea of Neon Maze is to run around a glowing labyrinth in your little blur-pod, changing colours to open up new areas, while attempting to find the exit platform. The graphical presentation and surprisingly intricate level design make this one a winner.
Can you feel it? That buzzing in the air? That's the feeling of the excitement of a new Nitrome tingling at your senses. Or someone just stuck a fork in the microwave, but it's more likely the former. Power Up is a physics-based puzzler with a high-voltage bolt of challenging fun that lasts for up to 32 levels.
Puzzle Defence is a charming mash-up of the SameGame play mechanic with RPG elements. Scary, adorable monsters are attacking your castle, and the only way to defend yourself is to match them together, puzzle/strategy-style. You just want to hug this game and tousle its hair.
Tantrix is a friendly one-player version of the 1988 board game by Mike McManaway, a game that may not have the renown of Scrabble or chess, but still attracts devoted players for annual tournaments. Try to form loops of a single color out of specially-designed hexagonal tiles, in either a puzzle mode or the more improvisational Solitaire mode.
Bipole is a physics-heavy spin-cycle of a puzzler. The goal is simple: annihilate all the cute, smiling particles by colliding them with particles of the opposite charge, taking advantage of gravity and electrostatic attraction/repulsion to gain momentum.
With a solid story and hours of gameplay, Cindy's Travels: Flooded Kingdom is a game that builds upon the basic match-3 mechanic with additional gameplay elements. While character perspective may take a bit to get used to, it certainly doesn't detract from the fun packed into this title. Take up Cindy's mirror, clear the land of refuse, and get back to the business of "happily every after."
How cute can you take it? If your answer is merely "pretty darn cute", that won't be enough. Even your cursor becomes pudgy and extra cuddly as you set out to help the little Euwins return home. Build bridges across 70 levels worth of waterways in Bridgecraft!
Hey look, it's Dream Chronicles 3: The Chosen Child! The latest installment in the Dream Chronicles series has arrived, and its as breathtakingly brilliant everyone would expect. A little bit of hidden object finding, a little bit of puzzle solving, but a whole lot of adventuring can be found in this superb sequel, along with some of the most gorgeous scenery you've seen since looking out your own window (assuming you live in a fantasy world with fairies, fountains, and vibrant gardens). It's an excellent follow-up to the previous Dream Chronicles games and a fantastic game in its own right.
Another haunting opening to another superb point-and-click game. New from Pastel Games and Mateusz Skutnik, creator of Covert Front, the Submachine series, and The Great Escape series, comes a sequel to last year's desolate adventure, The Fog Fall. The Fog Fall 2 is set in the same post-apocalyptic warzone as the original and is filled with gorgeous artwork, moody sound effects and frighteningly stark locations.
Using proprietary physics simulation technology, Collider lets you in on all the particle-smashing action you can handle! Simply annihilate all the charged particles by crashing the positive ones into the negative ones in this gritty physics-based puzzler.
Prizma Puzzle is a new tile-based puzzler by Silengames, strong on aesthetics and brimming with potential. Using your mouse, your job is to form a path of light beams from a source of your choice to all of the pyramid-shaped goals. It's a bit on the easy side, but the snazzy package and a variety of prism tiles make it interesting.
Zerosum is an intense variation on match-3 puzzles, with strict policies on winning and losing but vast opportunities for strategy. Easy to learn, hard to master. Make matches by adding adjacent numbers together, but make sure you don't run out of digits to replace them! It's brain candy, once you get into it, like defusing a bomb constructed by an six-year-old arch-villain.
Bumps is the latest physics puzzler from Utopian Games, and it has cute coming out of its ears. It's a charming combination of games like Eets and Loco Roco-esque Tau-ri Bedrock or Rolando. Bumps is something a little different: a little bit of strategy, a little bit of experimentation, and a lot of bubbly-eyed cuteness. Bumps is a great diversion for any afternoon!
Paradoxion is a classic logic puzzle game from VSBgames. Not the head-pounding hurts-your-brain kind of logic, this one's a sit and stare, look and compare sort of game. Using gems, orbs and other materials from your inventory, arrange everything on the grid to set off chain reactions that clear the board. It's a relaxing game that manages to stay challenging without resorting to timed rounds or combo systems.
Is your current job getting you down? Does it feel like you need a microscope to look at your paycheck, or like your boss doesn't truly appreciate your creativity, knack for finding hidden objects, and aptitude at matching three or more objects of the same color? Are you at a dead end in your career? Cheer up! An exciting field is open and waiting for you as an Alchemist's Apprentice!
These puzzles are the same type of chess mind-benders that still appear in some newspapers next to the word jumble and bridge game brainteasers. Given an endgame position consisting of a few pieces, try to produce checkmate in a given number of moves. The difficulty curve eases you in gradually, and if you're good enough, you can tackle 650 unique puzzles. Regardless of your Elo rating, you'll find a challenge that will suit you with MateMaster.
Bart Bonte knows that at the end of the day, sometimes the simplest rewards are the sweetest. Me and the Key is a series of mini-games that all have the same end — getting the titular key. That's right. There's no zombies, no spaceships, no power-ups. Just you and a slowly evolving set of puzzles designed to test your common sense, and your ability to think outside the box.
Zedray is a highly inventive action/puzzle game about matching beams of light with each other by... well, smashing them together. A mash-up of the Snake Game, Missile Command, and the light cycles from Tron, it's like untangling a living, angular ball of laser yarn. Don't let the beams hit the ground!
How great is it to be a detective? You wear expensive suits, your hair always looks perfect no matter what angle you're seen from . . . oh! And of course you get to utilize everything from hidden objects, spot-the-difference, fun puzzles and more to catch your man! And if you do it by playing one of Big Fish Games' newest releases, CSI:NY, you get to do it all with a substantially decreased likelihood of getting shot! And hey, who doesn't like not getting shot?
The Legend of Crystal Valley is a mini-epic adventure game with an eclectic mix of fantasy and sci-fi elements. Gather items, solve both environmental and inventory puzzles, and examine everything you see as you travel through over 150 locations, each just as extraordinary as the last.
Though it may appear to be just a slightly more colorful clone of Loops of Zen,, Colourshift starts to separate itself when you have to start blending colors together. With a gentle learning curve, plenty of customizable options, and a page of unlockable achievements, Colourshift may just take you by surprise.
A great game for fans of quirky physics puzzles, Civiballs asks you to drop colored orbs into the corresponding urns. Most orbs begin the level suspended in the air by chains and ropes. Your only method of interaction is to cut those cords, and let physics handle the rest, as the civiballs bounce and roll through a network of ramps and obstacles to reach their home.
The latest wacky puzzle from Nitrome, Rustyard has you indirectly leading a junkyard robot with a striking resemblance to Wall-E. You cannot control the movements of the machine, but you can manipulate the environment with its buttons and switches and trolley tracks. Get the robot to the generator and charge up! Bzzzap!
Redstar Fall is a short but wonderfully executed and atmospheric entry in the physics-based stacking/unstacking genre. you begin each level with a pile of oddly-shaped blocks sitting on an island floating in the sky. Click on a block and it vanishes, allowing everything above to shift with the pull of gravity. Your goal is to ease the red star down so it comes to rest on the island.
Neptune is quite different from GUMP's previous room-escape games. It doesn't begin with an interesting introductory movie in which a pink-haired character does not encounter a huge building and doesn't decide to enter it, not passing an enigmatic red ladies' shoe that isn't resting on the ground outside.
Monochro Observer is a lovely little puzzle/platform game by Japanese game developer Tatsuya Koyama. Control two people, one who lives in dark and one who lives in light, as they cooperate to reach the exit together. Just look at those little munchkins, staring at each other across the impassable divide between worlds. Lonesome. Longing. The fire of passion smoldering in their eyes…okay, not that last part.
There's delicious candy out there for those brave enough to mine it. Spin a giant orb made of coloured candy blocks to make the incoming bullets strike the blocks of your choice. But be careful you don't accidentally let the bullets strike the candy core! There may not be a lot of replayability or depth in Gregory Weir's Sugarcore, but there is a surprising amount of charm and cheek, and plenty of fast-paced puzzle blasting. Treating yourself to this candy won't make you feel guilty.
One of the more unique tower defense titles that's been released this year, Plant This! is a highly-stylized, maze-based strategy game. Instead of featuring a pre-defined path for "creeps" to follow like we see in most tower defense games, it employs the "open field" design, in which you create the path by using your towers to corral the creeps down the map as inefficiently as possible.
Sea Journey is... well, it's Puzzle Quest with pirates! Built around a tile-swapping Bejeweled-like game, you venture into the great blue ocean in search of treasure, upgrading your vessel along the way. Each match 3 game you play is a fierce battle at sea, complete with cannon salvos and mystical spells conjured by talismans.
Labyrinth is not your average dungeon crawl, but instead an online riddle, with more than a few twists and turns to set it apart, and a horde of fiendish puzzles that just may trap you for eternity. The focus lies in code breaking and logic, the community and support features are outstanding, and many puzzles have multiple solutions. Can you emerge from this place victorious, treasure in hand?
Zachtronics Industries has come up with a new "Game for Engineers", and given its central concept you'd think playing it would blow up the space-time continuum. It's a computer game about programming computer chips. Though it may take some time to grasp its central concepts, Kohctpyktop: Engineer of the People is a rich and rewarding puzzle game.
Assembler 3, by Bryce Summer, is a game about TWITCHING RAGE or to be more specific, a physics-based puzzle game with 44 levels, in which you must carefully position green objects within their equally green outlines. Maddening and compelling, Assembler 3 is sure to scratch your itch for GRAAAAAAAGH JUST STAY ON THE STUPID WEDGE YOU STUPID CRATE! MRAAAAAAAGH!!!
Quaint room is a relatively short and easy room escape game, but it is also impressively polished and well-made. The graphics are aesthetically pleasing in a tidy sort of way, and the interface is completely smooth and user-friendly. So, take a break. Relax, step back a few years and enjoy this lovely example of classic Japanese gaming goodness.
Double Fine president Tim Schafer is hosting at this years Game Developers Conference, and he's totally unprepared. Help him out by scouring the backstage area for jokes, scribbled on scraps of paper hidden in all sorts of unlikely locations. If you have even the slightest nostalgia for early graphic adventure games such as The Secret of Monkey Island, then this sharp, clever point-and-click adventure is made for you.
The graphic presentation is fairly simple, but this is a deceptively deep Dr. Mario-style puzzler with a unique color-matching mechanic. Whenever you make a match, you leave behind a ball of a new color, and your job is to work your way up to the top of the rainbow scale. This adds a lot more gameplay dimension than you'd expect, and once you get into it, you will be hooked, trying to make that last couple of levels. Definitely give Combine a chance.
Your job in Nosobow, the newest creation from Tonypa, is to eliminate the non-matching tiles from the screen, while clicking a member of a pair puts you in jeopardy of losing the game. Behind the brilliantly simple design lies a intricate psychological game of self-pacing and concentration that will have you groaning in anguish every time you have to start back at square one.
A sequel to Open Doors, one of the most interesting puzzle games of 2008, has arrived, with an arresting makeover and just the right amount of extra spice. Open Doors 2 features compact puzzles with just the right number of new doors and mechanical gizmos. With a sparkling presentation and superb level design, this is one of the best puzzlers we've seen so far this year.
Curse of the Pharaoh 2: Napoleon's Secret is a hidden-object game with added puzzle elements, such as spot-the-difference games. It's a direct sequel to Curse of the Pharaoh: Quest for Nefertiti and captures the same sense of adventure as the original, now in a new setting with all-new puzzles to solve.
What could be better than a game based on explosions? The goal is to get the yellow outlined cube to the bottom of the screen, and the only way to do it is by placing bombs in various locations and letting physics do the rest. The interesting part is how you can time the bombs to move blocks around the screen, one explosion after another.
Have you been wandering around in a haze since the first Perfect Balance, your heart crying out for the opportunity to wedge more things together? Do you miss the wedging like a starving shark misses bluefish? Then Perfect Balance: New Trials is here to offer you sweet, sweet, soul-crushing relief, in the form of 30 more levels of tough block stacking.
The vikings and the ice that trapped them have returned in an expansion on Nitrome's original physics-based puzzle game, Ice Breaker. Ice Breaker The Red Clan introduces lots of new obstacles to deal with strewn about an all-new set of levels. Vikings are trapped in the ice, walled-in by rock, or otherwise prevented from reaching the ship. Using your cursor as a cutting tool, it's your job to set them free. Manipulate each environment to provide a clear path from viking to ship and carve your way through 40 brand-new levels.
Another Room, by Japanese designer Mofuya, is a sweet, semi-short example of classic point-and-click that is executed with near-perfect competence. The game's puzzles are simple but well-crafted; while not wildly creative or different, they nonetheless offer a satisfying variety of problems to tackle. The room's neat, somewhat subdued appearance is pleasing to the eye and makes it simple to navigate the surroundings.
You remember Labyrinth, the board game where you turn knobs to roll a little steel ball to the exit, without hitting any holes along the way? Tilt is an example of the wooden labyrinth in 3D digital form, and an excellent one it is, too. Of course, one of the advantages of a digital version is the fact that the maze configuration does not have to stay static, and it certainly doesn't here. There are 66 different levels, many of them devilishly hard.
4 Elements combines classic puzzle matching gameplay with a hidden object game and just a dash of fairy tale fantasy for good measure. Help restore the power of the elements to protect the land from an evil power.
Back to the basics again with Kagi Nochi Tobira 2, the simple and original puzzle game sequel to the very well-received Kagi Nochi Tobira from September of last year. There's not much else to say other than the raw creativity and sense of discovery in these simple puzzle games create an exceptionally engaging and appealing experience. Another example of why simple ideas are often among the most fun!
50 Comedies asks you to identify the titles of fifty movies (of the comedic variety) based on visual puns. Despite some interface issues, we found ourselves addicted to the clever puzzles and the challenge to our cinemaphile sensibilites. Good for movie buffs, trivia toughs, and fans of fun, light-hearted stuffs.
If you celebrate Arbor Day and always thought a logic puzzle was just what the holiday needed, then Leaf Blight is for you. In this relaxing game, snip off the infected leaves in the correct order to keep your trees healthy and strong.
You're in a cell, seemingly with no chance of escape. But wait, what's this? A letter tucked into a chink in the wall. Apparently your captivity is due to one Simeon Meade, a member of the mysterious Talos Organization. He can't help you escape directly, but it is possible to unlock your door from inside the cell...
The player starts in the present day, but with a push of a button can be transported into the same room some indeterminable span of time into the past; press another button and the operation is reversed. Two separate, subtly different rooms to zoom between, each one affecting the other... interesting, no?
An engaging and easy new puzzle game from Joey Betz and the Super Flash Bros. Featuring 30 levels filled with blocks to push, switches to switch, creatures to avoid as you negotiate monkey to the goal for each level. Isometric perspective and a retro look give this little puzzler lots of charm and potential for fun.
The Serpent of Isis is a new hidden object game by Gamgo with some considerable mystery and adventure game elements added into the mix. Beneath the ever shifting sands of Egypt, untold treasures remain buried. These are the kinds of treasures that drive men mad, possessing the minds of the adventurous and luring explorers into catacombs that twist and writhe beneath ancient pyramids. The Serpent of Isis was just such a treasure, and your grandfather was just such an explorer.
A mash-up of casual gameplay from the match-3 and RPG genres, Knightfall plays like a cross between Mr. Driller, Same Game and Puzzle Quest. It's a well-balanced and well-executed game with a fun story mode and an unlimited purgatory mode to keep you coming back for more. Achievements add to the addictive quality that Knightfall will bestow upon you.
Planetarium is a story-puzzle in twelve weekly installments, into which is woven a fantastical fable and many marvelous puzzles. Follow the tale of the Mathemagician and a strange girl with no memory but perfect foresight, as they search for the source of a mysterious love letter sent from the future. Don't be surprised if this brilliant, unique and beautiful game soon becomes one of your favorites.
The idea, as always, is simple. Get the red ball (or square) to touch all the flags by drawing physical objects directly onto the screen with your crayon-like cursor. This sequel to Magic Pen features 32 more puzzling levels, all selectable from the moment you start the game, mostly set in various crayon-rendered versions of historical locations. The level designs feel a bit more intricate this time, with more on-screen obstacles and even a few moving contraptions to cope with. There are no major improvements to the formula, but such a childlike, pure idea doesn't need them. This is a heap more Magic Pen for everyone who loved it the first time. Enjoy.
Exploit is a tile-based puzzle game with a computer hacking theme from Gregory Weir, the creator of The Majesty of Colors and Bars of Black and White. Plot out your moves carefully and pay special attention to incoming emails, and not only will you help the oppressed people of Locha, but you might, just might, prevent a terrorist attack here on our own soil. Good luck, hacker, you're going to need it!
Enter the Kid's Room. You left your myPhone behind when visiting your friend's house, and he hid it in the kid's playroom. You go to get it, possibly to get away from your annoying myRobot for a while, but some prankster locks the door behind you when you enter. Of course. It is an excellent piece of work, with puzzles that make sense, fine 3D graphics, and just the right amount of satisfaction when you figure something out.
Tortuga Episode 2 is an escape-the-room game set on a pirate ship; the second installment of the Tortuga series. You have just escaped the locked room from episode 1 and the pirate is still sleeping off the sleepy spray you got him with prior to your escape, but you are still locked up on the pirate ship. You must look for items and clues to reveal a solution on how to get off the ship.
The writing's on the wall at The Glassworks Company for Kapowski, who just got fired for getting a little too creative at work. Now you've got to prove to your boss that you're capable of making it in the window-washing world with your new power gloves and a little high-flying daredeviling. Enter The Glassworks, the latest platforming experience from the talented crew at Nitrome.
The ray gun: time-honored weapon of choice for protection against baddies of all kinds. But if there's nothing to protect against, what good is it? Transmover, a puzzle platformer by Japanese game developers Polygon Gmen introduces a new function for your favorite hand-held emitter of energy: transmotion. In layman's terms, this simply means when you fire your gun at a block, you and the block switch places, a tactic that injects new life into the block-maneuvering platform genre.
In Ice Blast you take control of Skye, Luna, and Sun and destroy ice crystals to restore the world to its happy warm-like state. Using a fun puzzle/strategy layout reminiscent of The Lost Vikings, you must find the most efficient way to clear each field of ice to earn points and upgrade the girls' abilities.
Unwell Mel is a light-hearted and humorous match-3 puzzle game. In the grid comprised of Mel's organs (some of which are shaped like dogs and birds, which we'll assume is normal), click two adjacent pieces of food to swap them and form a line of three in a row to clear them. Thrown in with the food are medical packs, which can restore your power-ups, and bugs that, in some instances, actually help you clear away disease.
A short demo of a larger point-and-click adventure to be released in April, this is the latest by Gateway series creator Anders Gustafsson. It uses similar play mechanics to his previous games, and yet the graphical engine looks like it has received a complete makeover. A compelling teaser for the beautiful new world of adventure that Gustafsson has in store for us.
A game for anyone who loves tromping on bubble wrap, Popopop by Bad Viking offers you 42 puzzles of color combo popping action, plus a level editor and all the user-generated puzzles you could want. Just drag one of your starter bubbles into an empty space to burst all the adjacent bubbles of the same color, starting a chain reaction of popping that hopefully ends in obliterating all the bubbles on the screen. Special bubbles like needles and thunderclouds turn the game into a gauntlet of precision timing and mouse dexterity.
Spin-n-Match, by Jess Hansen, is a simple puzzle game that will torque your brain to its limits. On the left, you see a grid of jumbled up balls. On the right, you see your target formation. Your task is simple: Make the left look like the right by rotating 2x2 clusters, similar to Bejeweled Twist. You can try to simply beat all 40 levels, or you can go for the developer's target scores. Either way, Spin-n-Match is a nifty little puzzler that'll keep your head spinning. (Fifty bucks says you saw that coming.)
All room escape games have secrets. Some room escapes, however, keep their cards especially close to their chests, relinquishing their grasp bit by bit; these are sometimes the most frustrating, and often the most intriguing. Sagrario's Room is such a game, and a superb one at that.
Yoshio Ishii (Nekogames) has just released a sequel to his unique, if no frills, self-cooperative game, Cursor*10. The update, aptly named Cursor*10 2nd Session, offers a whole new set of levels with the premise and objective still the same: You're a cursor in a tower. You have to reach the 16th floor in 10 lives, but your lifespan is rather short. And not only that, all your previous lives are being replayed, in real time, at the same time as you play. You will have to think on your feet and use cunning and puzzle-solving prowess to get through all 16 levels before your lives (and time) run out.
Dreamsdwell Stories is a unique match-3 type puzzle game with some strategy game (as in the village building variety such as Totem Tribe or Westward III) elements that build into the experience. Wrapped in a package of crisp, sometimes beautiful, graphics and catchy theme music, the core of Dreamsdwell will have you enjoying the game for hours.
Boonka is a cute, kid-safe and surprisingly challenging puzzle game with unique gameplay that combines strategy, timing and satisfying explosions. A luscious green paradise has been invaded by Skours, nasty black clouds who cut down trees and turn the whole world grey, chasing away the adorable rainbow-coloured Boonkas and generally being total downers. The sage Bababoonka introduces you to each tree, and gently encourages you through the process of growing them from a stunted stump to a magnificent specimen of hardwood by doing what you do best: making color matches and blasting them skywards!
Exorbis 2, by Editundo, is a tile-based puzzle game about shunting orbs into targets. The clever thing is that your controls for doing so are tile blocks themselves. Arrow blocks come in pairs. By clicking on one, both move in that direction by one tile, taking any orbs between them along for the ride. 100 tricky levels and a level editor await you in this colorful and absorbing puzzle adventure.