At first glance, Off Balance looks just like all those other maze games where you move your mouse from Point A to Point B without hitting any walls. And indeed, that's the general idea. You control a preternaturally cheerful ball of cotton on a mildly psychedelic quest through 25 stages full of obstacles. The trick is in the steering.
An attractive, isometric block-shifting puzzle game about patience, spacial skills, and not getting your feet wet. All you have to do is position the wooden blocks so that they form an unbroken path from one bank to the other. There aren't a lot of tricks after you learn the basicsm, just pure, solid puzzle-solving.
At long last, after a year and a half of waiting, Tucker Bowen has released Something Amiss Chapter 3, the final installment of his truly excellent point-and-click adventure saga. This chapter finds the intrepid escaped test subject Alice back in custody, awaiting her fate at the hands of persons unknown.
Grave Shift from Tangerine Pop Games provides all that plus a little puzzle solving, item collecting, door unlocking, and a dose of Halloween-esque spook for good measure. On the trail of the White Warlock who has covered the land in darkness and stolen the king's crown (it hides his bald spot, you see), you must trek through graveyard and tomb, keeping your health and courage up while avoiding snakes, zombies, spiders and plenty of other baddies.
World of Goo is a phenomenally creative physics-based building game where you assemble bits of goo to form structures leading to an exit pipe in each stage. The visuals are stunning, the sense of humor wry, and there are gameplay innovations at every corner.
Musiac Box is a unique combination of a puzzle game and a musical toy that will challenge your brain and delight your ears all at the same time. Using tiles that represent individual musician's portions of a song, arrange the Tetris-like pieces on the grid and listen to the results. It's an extraordinarily simple premise for a game and the "match the tiles to the melody" puzzle solving is surprisingly enjoyable, even for non-music lovers.
Miriel the Magical Merchant is a medieval-themed time management game from Myth People, the same folks that brought us the well-polished puzzle game Azkend. As per the developer's reputation, Miriel the Magical Merchant takes a familiar formula, pulls out some of the set conventions, replaces them with something much more interesting, and slaps a shiny coat of paint on the top. The final product is something familiar but remarkably fresh that looks almost as good as it plays.
You are a plucky gun turret in the center of the screen that has to survive while bad guys attack you from all sides. Rotate the turret with your mouse and shoot the black-and-white enemies by clicking. If you see a coloured orb, do not shoot it. It's a power-up. The game is so very good in virtually every aspect of its design despite the lack of sound effects.
Talesworth Arena: Death Watch, by Mr. Jinx, is an RPG with a strong focus on one-on-one combat and a cool industrial fantasy setting. Choose one of three characters (Engineer, Psionic, or Juggernaut) and battle your way through 10 levels of deadly gladiators with a combat system familiar to anyone who has played a MMORPG.
Breaking the Tower is a slow-paced strategy game where you build a village, raise an army, and eventually topple a tower on the other side of the island. Think Settlers or the original Warcraft, but simpler and with more automation. All you have to do is decide what to build, plunk down a building and your pixelated little peons take care of the rest.
Standing toe to toe with games like Azada, Dream Chronicles, and even the Mystery Case Files series isn't an easy job, but Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena matches (and, in many areas, surpasses) its contemporaries with a fun blend of adventure and hidden object gaming.
An arena shooter even casual gamers can enjoy, a sort of mash-up between Asteroids and Space Invaders where you pilot a tiny craft against waves of incoming enemies (which happen to be aliens and geometric shapes). Power-ups appear from time to time to give you a hand, but otherwise its just you and your reflexes keeping you alive.
Dr. Ichie's Room is a solid escape game experience from Japan with polished and appealing graphics, logical puzzles and no pixel hunts necessary. Although the game is from Japan, there are English translations included for all descriptions and explanations, making this Weekday Escape a worthy investment of your time.
As the title implies the field before you is not empty, but hides balls. Your colored box along the edge of the playing field can fire a beam in the direction of your mouse, ricocheting off of any hidden balls and exposing them. Clicking the mouse will clear these balls from the screen, and the onslaught of balls will inch its way down the field.
An anagram puzzle game from Martin Sears, presented with the distinct flavor of British educational programming. Don't be fooled by the charming hand-drawn appearance and the curiously twisted vignettes between levels; don't worry if the first few levels seem too basic. This turns into a serious brain-twister.
Traces of Hope centers around 16-year-old Joseph; survivor of a vicious civil war in Uganda, he was wrenched from his family and forced to flee his home. Now, five years later, Joseph is on a dangerous quest to locate his mother. Can you guide Joseph through the perils of a war-torn civilization to maybe, just maybe, locate the Red Cross messenger who can provide the information he so desperately desires?
The fourth in the "Core" series of point-and-click adventure games created by John Feltham has just been released. Soul Core is similar to other games like this, and yet introduces a unique concept as well. Use your mouse to add items to your inventory; click on inventory items and drag them to the game view to use them. Try to complete the game with 100% "soul" rating.
Swarm Gold is an update to, and replacement for, the original Swarm created by Reflexive Entertainment back in 1998. The new Swarm Gold features an impressive emulated 3D graphics system and realistic sound. You have free range to fly around the entire map just as we've seen in many modern top-down shooters.
Ticket is a brand new game from the talented room escape designers at Gotmail. Like so many of their games to come before, this one features the same highly detailed, gorgeous pre-rendered scenes and the same point-and-clickery puzzles one would expect to find in a game of this nature. The only downside? There is no English version, so that will surely turn off a few.
Dogfight 2 is the newest entry into Rock Solid Arcade's quality series of arcade-style airplane fliers, which includes the first Dogfight and the previously-reviewed Stunt Pilot. Once again, they have based some nail-bitingly tough levels around the tricky but satisfying flight controls from classic DOS game Sopwith. All told, a difficult game with high production values worthy of your time investment.
The Japanese Map Game (for lack of a better translation) is a Flash-based guessing game where you choose regions of Japan and add their population to a counter on the right. The goal is to fill the counter to the outlined squares without going over!
Jump Jump Jelly Reactor is a matching puzzle game that isn't afraid to try out new ideas. Instead of flat and boring blocks, tiles or even gems, this game fills your screen with lively jellies that can be combined to form larger characters with brand new properties. Gameplay is a unique combination of strategy and puzzle matching that extends a good variety of tasks your way. It's rare that a matching game really catches my eye, but Jump Jump Jelly Reactor provides such a full experience, it's hard to pass up.
There is something oddly compelling about gnomes. They are cute, mythical creatures that spark the chemistry in our brains that control imagination and curiosity. Perhaps that's why when someone hides a bunch of them within a series of interactive images we jump to task of finding every one of them.
Worry not about secret codes or enigmatic messages; Lab Escape simply requires you to take stock of your surroundings and act accordingly. This isn't a bad thing, however; it's kinda nice to take a break from more fantastical situations.
The perfect escape for a coffee break: easy enough to be finished quickly, interesting enough to engage (and perhaps revive?) the mind. I do wish that the game had included some sort of music or soundtrack, but the graphics are well-designed and the overall package good enough to overlook such a minor flaw.
Room escape fans will be pleased to learn of a brand new installment available to play in the T2B Escape series. The new game, T2B Escape 3, features similar artwork, some pixel hunting and the lack of any backstory as in previous games, but that shouldn't stop all the room escape fanatics from enjoying another T2B Escape experience. Go forth, point-and-click your mouse, and escape!
Welcome to Loops of Zen. Here at Loops of Zen, your worries shall be forgotten. Nothing will threaten you at Loops of Zen. This is Loops of Zen. You don't need to win at Loops of Zen, but if you wish, you can ascend to higher and higher levels of complexity. This is Loops of Zen.
Released in 2005 by German game developers FAKT Software, Crazy Machines was a cult classic that only recently began to breach the barrier to "fan-favorite" status among casual gamers. Publicized mainly by word of mouth, this out-of-the-ordinary puzzle game staked its claim as the next-generation leap from The Incredible Machine, which reached its height of popularity almost a decade earlier. The common theme in both games is the use of Rube Goldberg-inspired machines and contraptions to solve a puzzle or obstacle in each level.
The Cake Mania series is back with its third installment, Cake Mania 3! Not content to confine the game to slinging cakes in fancy modern-day locales, Sandlot installed an interesting storyline that splits the game into five unique areas, each in a different time period and different place. While the core mechanics remain unchanged, Cake Mania 3 serves up something unique in the resource management series to create a wholly enjoyable game.
For many casual gamers, the word Peggle has become almost magical in nature. Last year's pachinko-style title from PopCap caught us by complete surprise with its blend of deliciously simple gameplay and subtle strategy coated in the glossy paint of a stellar presentation. Now, Peggle Nights has arrived with all-new levels, a new setting, and a handful of other extras, all ready to steal your time like few other games can.
Save Kaleidoscope Reef, from the team that brought us Anika's Odyssey, is a new arcade game with an environmentally friendly message embedded beneath its gorgeous exterior. A tropical reef thriving with aquatic life is in danger of being destroyed by pollution. Rebuild the underwater sanctuary one screen at a time by grabbing floating polyps, placing them on rocks, and feeding them until they bloom into lush coral.
In the Dog House is a cute sliding puzzle game that tasks you with sliding rooms around a grid to create a path from dog to dogfood in the kitchen. To encourage the pup to move, simply grab the bone and drop it somewhere in the house. You'll also have to contend with mechanical contraptions such as elevators and security gates, not to mention the tempting distractions of a cat!
Play as a weakly little microorganism in a big world (a Petri dish?) filled with other microbes and bacteria, and it's survival of the fittest in there. This is Darwinian fighting style at its most primeval. Binding to proteins, self-replication through division and eating other microbes... these are your signature moves.
Simplicity reminiscent of an Orisinal game but with visuals and sound you might expect to find in something more old-school. Backed by an enjoyable physics engine and a simple but well-executed concept and virtually no down-time, Gravity Hook is a simple, grappling hook arcade game that borders on clinically addictive.
White Zone is an intriguingly different sort of room escape game; it does not take place in any sort of concrete space. There are no walls, no ceiling, no door; instead, the player is faced with a few pieces of furniture—two chairs, a television, and a dresser, to be exact—arranged in a circle, seemingly suspended within a white void. Some forgotten corner of the Matrix? Perhaps.
The National Gallery of Art has an extensive online interactive art exhibit which is geared towards kids, but is fun for all ages. A few of the applications available stand out and include themes such as Jungle, Still Life, and especially the great interactive Dutch Dollhouse.
Japanese Mahjong is a completely different game from the tile-matching Mahjong Solitaire. A cross between Gin Rummy and the fictional Dragon Poker, this is one game that will definitely take a while to learn, and even longer to master.
Say hello to Campaign, a mud-slinging, fact-spinning, smashmouth brawl of a turn-based strategy game where victory is achieved only through beating your opponent into submission. Diplomatically, of course.
System Mania is an arcade game that borrows liberally from the ever-popular resource management genre. Instead of serving food to customers, however, you spend your time fixing their strange contraptions by turning off warning lights as they appear. The fate of Fiona's growing fix-it shop is in your fast-clicking fingertips, so pull levers, spin wheels, and flip switches as quickly as possible.
Mallet Mania is Nitrome's newest production, a Marble Madness-type puzzle game. By using what appears to be a wireframe croquet mallet, you whack your ball with varying direction and power to guide it through maze-like levels to the goal. Stating the obvious but still worth noting, Nitrome once again stays with its tried-and-true pixel graphics and vibrant color scheme.
Twibik is the latest abstract puzzler from Tonypa. The game takes the tried and true matching mechanic we've all grown to love/be-addicted-to and gives it a fresh spin. You must get rid of tiles by matching similar ones sharing a row or column, causing them to vanish. Your options tend to vanish as well; like all Tonypa games there is a trove of challenge lying underneath the simple exterior.
Find key, then find door—
Kagi Nochi Tobira—
How hard could it be?
Global Player Reloaded is the sequel to Global Player reviewed back in 2004. The sorting game involves directing multi-colored crates to their correct destinations by clicking on arrows and other gizmos. Reloaded comes back at you with new content and gameplay that'll keep your eyes darting and your brain sizzling. Because logistics makes brains sizzle.
Battalion: Nemesis is a respectable attempt to translate the fast, accessible brain-play of Advance Wars to the realm of free online games, without directly treading on Nintendo's intellectual property. The gameplay is like a complex version of Rock-Paper-Scissors played out on a chess board, with major emphasis on positioning and choosing the right unit to do the right job.
From the city lofts and apartments comes the sound of home improvement: hammers pounding, saws buzzing, and paint rollers slopping. Is it a new season for Do-Up-My-Home-TV? No, even better. The crack design team of the now-classic game, Home Sweet Home, has returned. But these designers aren't content with country living rooms any more. Home Sweet Home 2 takes style to new heights by tackling big city high rise apartments, along with some sleek improvements and additional rooms.
Farm Frenzy 2, the follow-up to last year's Farm Frenzy, takes the smell out of farming with a challenging and addictive resource management/arcade title. Keep your animals fed so they produce basic goods you can refine into more complex (and profitable) products. Then, load everything on a truck and send it to town, using the resulting cash to upgrade your buildings to be faster and more efficient. But uh, watch out for panda bears that drop from the sky. They don't play very nicely with your livestock.
Bucketball is a brand-new physics-based game from Arseniy Desrosiers and Florian Himsl. If you've already guessed that the general thrust of the gameplay has something to do with "buckets" and "balls," then congratulations, your amazing brain is way ahead of the curve. It's a simple idea game of skill, but to complete the game is anything but simple.
Aether is a gloriously imaginative and atmospheric puzzle adventure game in which you swing through the stars to reach several different planets, each with a unique puzzle to solve. The designers have made a truly compelling experience, and it's a fantastic artistic endeavor. You can also just spend some time flying through space or the clouds, the music and movement are so relaxing.
Conceptis offers a variety of logical challenges at its website available to anyone. Eleven different puzzles await the intrepid solver, including familiar puzzles like Sudoku, Picross (here called "Pic-a-Pix"), Kakuro, Slitherlink, and a variety of puzzles that might even be new to logic puzzle lovers.
A deeply satisfying escape game presented by Place of Light, you must find your way out of what is undoubtedly the oddest bathroom you've ever come across; codes and secret panels grace the toilet, gems are scattered across the floor and weird golden masks watch over the sink and bathtub. Perhaps it's the work of some eccentric, puzzle-obsessed billionaire....who has, um, slipped, hit his or her head and forgotten how to escape? Yep, that must be it.
Bloons Tower Defense 3 has finally been released after months of anticipation from all the hardcore Bloons fans out there. Picking up where Bloons TD 2 left off, the new game features even more tracks (eight in all!), new monkeys (towers) and upgraded gameplay mechanics.
There's been an accident in the slime factory and now it's up to you to clean up the mess. In each level you must collect all of the puddles of goo and direct them down one of the available suction vents to make it all go away. To do so, you'll have to push boxes out of the way and mind the arrows which allow you to travel in one direction only.
There is something about Sid Woo's Bounceroid 2000 that makes it so completely JIG-like. Elegantly simple in design, modern, stylish and enjoyable.Bouncing balls against paddles have come a long way, and gone through all sorts of fancy incarnations. This game is back to the basics and has an original take that makes it unique.
Survive as long as you can in Rapid Wars, the new addictive arcade shooter by Jussi Kari of ooPixel. Borrowing the two-fisted Robotron mechanic, and with a nod to Geometry Wars, Jussi creates gameplay that is frenetic, addictive and fun.
With just over a year in the making, Azada: Ancient Magic, the sequel to the enormously successful adventure/hidden object hybrid Azada, has finally arrived! Fusing a large variety of unique puzzles with an undeniably intriguing atmosphere, Azada: Ancient Magic puts you in the shoes of a puzzle solver helping the young Titus disarm a magical menace. As you sift through the library of classic literature you'll help legendary characters such as Rapunzel, King Arthur, Dracula and more escape from stories gone awry. Expect some great puzzles and a lot of interesting minigames to come your way in this spectacular sequel.
Onekey is a character-based platform game played with only "one key", and thus the mystery of the title is solved. The catch is that you can't affect the main character directly. Instead, you control various objects in the environment while he blunders around falling off of things. This is a good one.
Miniature white gnomes have been spotted all over the city for half a year now, and their number only appears to grow. Their presence seems permanent, and there is no apparent end to them. Join us in trying to find them all, please.
This week, we present the exclusive debut of a super-duper, extra-special room escape game, one we can guarantee that absolutely no other website has yet featured. Don't you feel special? To all the JIG faithful, we present to you the world premiere of.... Casual Gameplay Escape!
A unique new anti-shooter game of collection and avoidance by Felix Reidl. You have two minutes to collect as many yellow squares as possible, while various gun turrets try to mow you down. Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, you should hit [Space], which instantly ends your game and adds up your score. If you don't hit the space bar in time—and this is important—you don't get any points. You have only one life, and if you die, your score is zero.
A new action puzzle game from NinjaKiwi, Boombot is beautifully simple and well-executed. Your job, as some sort of evil omniscient explosives technician, is to maneuver an itty-bitty robot called Boombot to the exit of each level. Aside from the black bombs under your control, you'll have to manipulate TNT, oil drums, and explosive Senso-Gel to clear all fifty levels.
Developed by Soldak Entertainment, Depths of Peril is an action-RPG with a huge emphasis on political/diplomatic strategy. The end result is something new and fresh; an independent, isometric action-RPG unlike anything you've played before, which also won the "RPG Game of the Year" award from GameTunnel.
A sort of physics-based puzzler, Putt Base tasks you with holes that would make a mini-putt master balk, and then asks that you complete each with a hole-in-one. Sound impossible? Don't worry, to your credit you get to edit the course to your liking with a limited number of several different blocks that can change the direction your ball travels, give it a little boost, or nullify the bounce while increasing momentum.
Fresh from the Tonypa laboratories, we find ourselves with Wiclimo, a game of experimentation and discovery. Scattered across each level is an array of shapes in varying colors. As you move your mouse across the shapes, you'll eventually find one that will give you a "ping." That will be your starting point.
Ragdoll Cannon 2 is, rather logically, the sequel to Ragdoll Cannon (as teased by the release of Ragdoll Cannon 1.5). That's some no-nonsense naming, there. What designer Johnny_K might lack in titling, however, he more than compensates for in gameplay.
It doesn't take long to get addicted to Pixel Field, Tonypa's perilous pixel pointing action strategy game. If you remember playing the original, you'll be even more excited about this latest evolution to hit your browser, as the game has been totally revamped with a new soundtrack and 30 all-new levels added.
Floating Islands Game is a puzzle title, created by Hempuli, that plays a lot like Rob Allen's Hapland series with a distinct Lemmings slant to it. In each level you must guide the main character through the stage, collecting all of the gold stars before reaching the flag at the end. You can only affect his movements indirectly, however, by clicking and changing different parts of the environment at just the right time.
Upon first beginning PonPon House 2, you may find yourself with a strange sense of déjà vu—those rounded, almost huggable graphics, those cutely surreal furnishings, they just seem so familiar. The whole experience is gentle and dreamy, without any sense of urgency or danger.
All the room's elements (including a toy train, several mysterious cabinets and a bevy of cute animals) seamlessly synthesize into a series of intriguing but gratifyingly logical puzzles; to top it off, the graphics are nicely designed and pixel hunting is conspicuously absent. Perfect!
Arijigora is a point-and-click puzzle game from Japan starring stick figures against a diabolical biological creature. Click on the right items, and with the right timing, to save the stickman race from the threat to its existence. If you're familiar with the Hapland series, then you'll feel right at home with this new game from author Hozo, who even gives a nod to Rob Allen's original as the inspiration behind this one.
Rooms: The Main Building is an upgraded full version of the Flash game Rooms released early last year. Created by HandMade Games, Rooms: The Main Building is a clever combination of puzzle and adventure elements. Bored with simple sliding puzzles, the main character receives a strange gift that transports him to another world. Here, rooms are broken into a series of spaces that can be moved around a grid like a sliding puzzle. Gather items to unlock more rooms as you search for puzzle pieces that lead the way out of this bizarre realm.
Now Boarding is a tycoon-style resource management game where your job is to run an airport, overseeing everything from flight routes, which passengers go on which plane, and even where to put the soda machines! The daunting task of shuttling people across North America has been pared-down to a simple interface that's as easy as matching letters and clicking cities on a map. Now Boarding is remarkably scalable, meaning you can create as complex or simple of an experience as you desire, giving a world of options to those who wish it and nothing more than a simple time management game to those who don't.
A sequel or upgrade to the original Protector, a tile-based tower defense strategy game focused heavily on upgrading. In fact, Protector 2 has only two basic units; a mage and a warrior (although both can be heavily upgraded into different classes). The mage and warrior both have strengths and weaknesses, the most prominent being the low damage but high range of the mage (and vice-versa for the warrior). But through an amazingly deep system of experience levels, class choices and skills, these two units can be configured into many different sub-types.
Mystery House: Escape from Beginning Room is an unusual room escape game, but not a long one. Introduced in this game is the concept of "inspirations", which are actually little ghosts in the room you must collect to reveal clues that help you escape.
Cow Room Escape is a significantly more difficult room escape game than its hard-shelled brother. For this game's ultimate combo-lock puzzle, you're looking for several different colored coins and you will really have to use your wits if you are to find them all.
Although it's a rather drab looking room, the puzzle contained within it is pretty sweet and it shouldn't take you more than 10 or 15 minutes. The room descriptions are all in Japanese, but thankfully you won't need them. Just be sure to click all sides of every object and you'll be out in no time.
In this whiteboard strategy shooter, pilot a helicopter to defend against the red army's tanks, planes and other heavy artillery that shoot the crap out of you. Bomb the war factories for the sake of all markers of every color! There's something that takes off in the imagination when playing games like this that look like pen and paper—something has come to life that you're used to seeing static.
The 3rd in a series of Great Escapes by Mateusz Skutnik and the Pastel Games crew, The Great Bathroom Escape is another short and fun room escape game that will surely entertain like the others to come before it.
On of Eyezmaze has just released this simple game of coordination and timing. Tonoko Family uses the same charming cartoon people we are familiar with seeing in his games. Using the keyboard for control, press the [Z], [X], [C], and [V] keys at the appropriate time to get all family members to safety.
Amorphous+ is an overhead arena combat game that casts you in the role of a little bald human character with a ridiculously over-sized sword: the Splat-Master 9000. This weapon is tailor-made for fighting Glooples, which are basically man-sized soft-skinned green blobs of goop.
Amaaxla's Gravity 2 is a physics-based platform game of momentum and gravity. The objective is to collect crystals and reach the exit of each level. Collecting crystals is very important in that they allow you to purchase things in the shop and unlock other levels.
Developed back in 2003 by Moonpod Games, Starscape may be considered an "oldie" by the gamer crowd, but it's a goodie. Launched as a shareware game without the distribution support that it has today, Starscape flew under the radar, gathering a respectable following slowly but surely. Today, it's been finally starting to hit the major distro sites and people are either discovering or taking a second glance at this little space shooter/strategy game created half a decade ago.
The Mystery of the Crystal Portal is the latest casual title to bend the genre mold and create a hidden object/adventure hybrid. This one succeeds where many other efforts fail, however, by ramping up the level of intrigue and by building relationships between items you find and objects on the screen. The result is less of a hidden object game and more of a still-screen adventure title... with a few missing items.
The objective of Duck is to figure out what to do for each of the 25 levels of the game. As is usual for this type of game, its appeal lies within the thrill of discovery. And those ducks are just so darn cute. Always a happy day whenever Bart releases a new game, try for yourself and see why.
Puzzle Farter is a fun little platformer with a unique twist on the usual mechanic. Armed with only natural gas, make your way to the exit of each level. The physics in Puzzle Farter are elegant, yet difficult to master. One fart will only get you so far or so high, and it takes a moment for his gas to recharge. What the game lacks in music or plot, it makes up for with simple charm and giggles.
Bird's Eye View Escape is a unique, well-made room escape game that offers a new perspective (literally) on the genre; it also happens to be really tough. If you're willing to take on a challenge and have the stamina to crack open some seriously enigmatic puzzles, we heartily recommend this game.
Curse you, Kable Monck, and the no-good game you rode in on. Evito Ball. PAH! There's a treacherous name if I ever heard one. Did you realize that it anagrams into A VILE BLOT? This evil little game comes with 80 treacherous levels that will have you climbing the walls before long. Trust me.
An adventure puzzler with a "choose your own" path style. This unique and animated game uses a comic book motif to present the various paths the player may take when choosing what to do. Very stylish and fun, the comic stills mixed with the animation is a nice touch. Fun, quirky puzzles, a surreal premise and a fantastic score make this game enjoyable to play.
Inquisitive Dave is one of those "breaking-the-fourth-wall" sidescrolling adventure games wherein you're aware that you're playing a game. You know, the ones with the witty dialogue where you press "Talk" because the game suggests an interaction with a chair, only to be told "This is a chair...You could sit in the chair, but you have a world to save."
In Endgame: Singularity, you take up the role of a newly born AI in this "take over the world" simulation game. A typical game usually starts with acquiring additional server access, as you're born on an inferior university computer with very little power. Different continents offer different parameters that should dictate your decisions. Some offer more efficient units, but they may also come with a higher risk of detection. Unexperienced in life, you're not necessarily aware of the exact risks yet.
What happens when a game's mechanics are affected by, well, themselves? That's what Mark Essen of Messhof Games might have been wondering when he devised the idea for Flywrench, a downloadable freeware game in which you must guide your bat-like ship through a maze of obstacles to the exit.
Gish is a 12 pound ball of tar. Gish is also a cult-classic indie platformer released by Cryptic Sea. In this game you control of a heavy, squishy, sticky glob of goo. Balls of tar would normally be rather inert, but this particular one has had his girlfriend taken away, thus inspiring him to get up off his lazy sack of goop and slosh into action. By becoming sticky, slippery, heavy, or using tar-like ball physics to bounce high in the air, its your job to squeeze through each level and solve puzzles with little more than your own gooey body.
In a city overrun by photo-snapping tourists, Mateusz had to hunt, not for gnomes, but for a quiet secluded setting, far from the maddening crowds, where he could begin his work. Then he remembered a little known place, just around the corner from the sightseers, in the center of his old town. A quiet, relaxing and peaceful place. And the gnomes were there.
The popular solitaire card game returns in Tri-Peaks 2: Quest for the Ruby Ring. Piles of cards are arranged in triangular patterns at the top of the screen. The bottom row are turned face-up. The remainder of the deck is shuffled at the bottom of the screen with a single card visible. All you have to do is take cards from the "peaks" that are either one above or one below the active card and remove them to the bottom of the screen.
Final Ninja is a side-scrolling action/adventure with plenty of ninja-goodness like wall-jumping, stealth mode and rope grappling. The stealth mode is a pretty fun tactic, as you'll be met with lots of security systems and enemies that will require a delicate touch to overcome. But the grapple is definitely the key mechanic that makes this game shine.
Robot Room is a fun, cute, sometimes baffling room escape featuring—you guessed it—robots! Don't worry, though, they aren't scary, mean robots, and their sole purpose, it seems, is to stand around with their hands in the air. Yay!
Pencil Rebel is not by any means a challenging game, but what it lacks in difficulty it more than makes up for in wonderful, amazingly creative artistry. You play Bert, an escapee from the Elf Kingdom. Bert must rescue his friend Dr. Escalup, another escapee who was recaptured by the Emperor of Elfland's agents.
Room W&R places you into what seems to be a girl's bedroom, complete with vanity mirror, photographs of animals and cheerful retro-ish couch. It's a well-made, if fairly standard room escape game.
There's something satisfying about destroying things. Knowing that someone spent time and energy building something up, only to have you rush in and smash it to bits? Deeply, deeply satisfying. But unless we specialize in demolition, warfare, or catty schoolhouse comments, this desire to destroy goes unfulfilled. So for us normal people, there's physics-based destroyer games like DUI.
This is Sand is a lovely little web toy, a nice, gentle way to ease your brain back to life after the weekend. It could hardly be simpler or more elegant: the program converts pixels into digital sand that falls, stacks and layers just like the real thing, providing an endless array of possible designs, landscapes and pictures.
Bubbles are neat things. Stop and think about them for a second. You get some soap, some water, and you can make little floating orbs. I remember many a day in my youth where we'd whip up a batch, make some bubble wands, and start firing artillery at each other. Thanks to the makers of Bubble Tanks 2, we all can revisit a more innocent, vaguely dysfunctional time.