Thin Ice is the latest game from the Nitrome factory assembly line of casual gaming goodness. In this game you control a skater (of the wintery variety, not a Sk8ter) that is somehow threatened by the extended family of the yeti from that Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer claymation movie. Elegant and pristine with very nice pixel art filling out the sides.
Ever feel like you are only one little super powered beetle against an infinite horde of other super powered beetles in an epic battle for survival, power and gold? No? Well, now you can get just that feeling in Beetle Wars. Your goal is simple: Kill all the other beetles and insects around you without dying; how you achieve that goal is not so simple.
From GUMP, the creator of Rental House comes another well-produced point-and-click, room escape game. Guest House puts you in a similar situation as most games of its type, and yet once you begin to move about the room and examine the various items and objects that await your puzzle-solving skills you will see that this is no ordinary room escape game.
Twang, as the sound of the title implies, is an elastic platform game in which you 'twang' a ball from start to goal in each level by pulling and releasing points that propel you forward as from a slingshot. It's the latest game from Nitrome, and it's a whole lot of fun.
If you're a regular visitor here, then you probably love casual games and puzzles as much as we do. Most of the games featured here are browser-based, but once or twice we've featured a puzzle or two that require the old-fashioned method of pencil and paper. The logic puzzles from Coudal Partners are what I'm referring to, and they've just published another one, called Let's Do Lunch, for the Thanksgiving (US) holiday.
We see clones of classic casual games everywhere—games with blocks that fall and lines that clear. But the ones that really shine through are those that build on a classic formula and make something new out of it. Chain Factor is one of the those games. While the game may seem intimidating at first, with its grid of all sorts of numbers and the occasional boulder, it is actually deceptively simple.
Pest Control is the latest from Nitrome. You are the exterminator, your job: kill the bugs. You run through a wide variety of scenarios with different kinds of bugs, all timed, with slightly different win conditions. It's WarioWare with a swatter, and it (mostly) works. The gameplay is simple: you control the position of a swatter with the mouse, and when you click, it swats.
Anika's Odyssey: Land of the Taniwha is a beautiful point-and-click adventure by Tricky Sheep similar in style to Sprout. You begin with the innocent task of gathering water from the well. As a great eagle swoops from the sky and absconds with your rabbit pal, the bucket becomes a stool that allows you to jump the fence and search for your friend.
Talk about your misnomers! With a name like The Mind Bender, you'd think you were in for an epically long and devious puzzler. Instead, you get a simple, breezy platformer that should make for a nice break from the some of the more intense offerings we've reviewed lately.
The third installment of the Core series, Prism Core, has just been released by John Feltham of Arcade Cabin. The game is similar in concept to the previous two in that you must figure out how to power the core using the various tools from around the room. This one proves to be somewhat more difficult than the previous games, however.
Like an updated version of the classic Lemonade Stand game, Coffee Shop puts you in a young entrepreneur's shoes with the power to make or break your budding business. Buy ingredients, adjust your secret recipe, and set the price per cup to sell as much coffee to passers-by as you can. Strike a balance between customer satisfaction and profit and you're on your way to java-induced bliss.
Papa's Pizzeria is more than your average resource-management game. While a typical entry would require little more than clicking on various hot spots to make and deliver the food to customers, Papa's Pizzeria gives it a more personal touch. Rather than clicking on an order and then on a station for topping the pizza, only to watch the pizza top itself, you must actually top the pizza yourself.
Headcase is the latest platforming fiesta from Nitrome. Set in a world of lush pixel art where gravity is fickle and your head is huge, you play a superhero dream-avatar (yes, that's about right) with a big 'up' arrow on your helmet. You stick to walls, ceilings and floors, allowing you to move around platforms as if you were an insect. You also have the ability to jump/fly in a straight line, kind of like Superman.
Warbears is back with a brand new adventure in Warbears: Mission 3! Training has ended and the 'bears are tasked with an important job: save a group of hostages from a vile band of "animal creatures that can talk". Gionatan Iasio has infused this game with the same stylish presentation as before, and the signature Warbears humor is back and better than ever.
Solitaire is as solitaire does, but sometimes a version of the classic card game appears that makes it feel fresh and interesting all over again. Enter World of Solitaire, a sleek and highly customizable version of solitaire created by Cosmic Realms. It's the next best thing to sitting down with a deck of cards, only now you can sneak in a game or two while you're at work.
MoonMaster: RahKon is the latest from Lost Vectors, creator of BowMaster Prelude. Gone is the resource management and medieval setting, but in its place you'll find a space-themed setting along with a similar physics engine under the hood. You play the role of a ball on the moon shooting rocks and a UFO with your lasers. The goal? Try not to get smashed to pieces.
Excit is a puzzle game set on top of a page from a spreadsheet. If you have ever wanted a game to look more like work so that you could play in the office without fear of someone glancing over your shoulder and seeing particle effects shooting toward all edges of your computer screen while you're dodging asteroids and flying monkeys, then this is for you.
Ether Cannon is a new action shooter from Luke Paakh of Pop Ethos. You control a space ship which is the last hope of... Well it doesn't really say, but it seems urgent. It's a beautiful game, the particle effects in it are just brilliant, and the action it delivers is (mostly) smooth, polished, and pretty refreshing. The game does a great job of delivering lots of fast shoot-em-up fun without ever reaching a plateau.
Instead of walking around a room turning over objects and poking your nose in every corner, in Ambivalence your goal is to unlock a very secure-looking door that sits right in front of you. The fun twist is that you play from both sides of the door, switching views with the click of a button. Items you find on one side do not transfer to the other, creating a unique collaboration-style atmosphere where you are your own partner.
Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate is the fourth hidden object game in the Mystery Case Files series. This installment drops you off in an old fashioned carnival where the fortune teller Madame Fate has seen something troubling in her crystal ball. At the stroke of midnight she will be killed, but which carnival character will commit the act? Gather clues about the carnies by finding hidden items and solving puzzles throughout the dark and mysterious carnival.
Mr. MothBall 2: Cotton Carnage is a charming shooter from Polish artist Mateusz Skutnuk, author of both the Covert Front and Submachine point-and-click series of games. You control a white mothball trying to shoot down evil red mothballs in an adorable penciled world with pastel shading. The game is a spiritual sequel to Mr. MothBall platformer entered in our 4th game design competition.
I fell asleep in the hair salon. The shampoo was too relaxing. And so begins Nigepico, an unexpected gift from the Gotmail team, which has previously given us such excellent escape-the-room games as Strawberry Tomato and Il Destino. You awake to find yourself in a deserted hair salon and, as might be expected, must find keys, solve puzzles and discover codes that lead to your escape.
Cube Core is an attractive point-and-click, room escape game that recently made the rounds. It's not a very long game and it is quite logical to solve, though in at least one part you will have to be extra observant to catch a clue or you will be looking for a walkthrough quicker than you can say "Area 51".
Sphere Core is the first game in the series of "Core" adventure games created by John Feltham. Not quite as well-crafted as the successors in the series, but John does a great job with creating a mysteriously ominous atmosphere within which to play. Short and sweet, this decent point-and-click lays the groundwork for the core series concept.
From the Gorillaz' website comes Tiles of the Unexpected!, a game which puts a new spin on a familiar genre. Like a cross between SameGame and Mahjong, the challenge is to clear all of the tiles from the board. Click on any set of two or more adjacent, identical tiles to clear them.
Anyone that has been visiting this site for a couple of years will likely remember the amazingly popular Hyperframe from 2005, a 3D logic puzzle of connecting same-colored blocks on a 3D cube with unbroken non-intersecting lines. There is a new version of a clone now available, appropriately titled 3D Logic 2, and it's just as well done and addictive as the original Hyperframe was.
Continuing the recent theme of games based on a simple idea, Emanuele Feronato of Italy has created this addictive little action puzzler of chain reactions called Circle Chain. It's a no-frills game production inspired by Boomshine, and yet it manages to be a somewhat different game altogether.
Mass Attack, by kbaum games, is an enjoyable action puzzle game based on the very simple idea of balancing weights on a scale. Each of the 7 increasingly more difficult levels have 4 parts that must be balanced within the maximum allowed to advance. Just press the mouse button to create a counter balance weight. The longer you hold down the mouse the larger the weight that is created.
It's got action. It's got puzzles. It's got zany... everything. The Tall Stump is an action platformer that feels like an adventure game laced with short puzzles. As you travel through the game you find strange items and learn to use them in even stranger circumstances, all in the name of working your way deeper into the stump. An exceptional game that won best of show in our 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition, and now follows-up that achievement with being the top platform game in the Best of 2007.
IndestructoTank 2, to some the name might evoke feelings of dew eyed anticipation, the return of the indestructo-king. This is, in a manner similar to Pillage the Village, a refurbishment of an early Flash classic, back when Newgrounds was the only portal. You have at your disposal a nice smorgasbord of modes — three — for free, which is a way better deal than in Vegas.
Slingoween combines the rubberband-flicking action of Sling with the familiar climbing theme found in games such as Winterbells. It's a simple game with little more than earning a high score as a goal, but the flying pumpkins, ghosts and Halloween candy help kick off the impending holiday with style.
Wait a second. Pinball isn't supposed to be hard, is it? With PuzzPinball you're given control over placing the flippers, bumpers and ramps -- not bouncing the ball whenever it comes near. It turns a game of reflexes into a game of thinking and will probably catch you by surprise with its ability to draw you in.
Taking a light-hearted approach to a normally serious and complex genre, Strategy Defense is a casual tactics game along the lines of Ogre Battle or Final Fantasy Tactics. It's your job to defend the king from the incoming enemy. Move your character on the field, attack enemies, raise your stats and buy new weapons with an easy-to-use interface. It's a bare-bones tactics game that is inviting even for non-strategy fans to enjoy.
tChu is a clever puzzler inspired by Chu Chu Rocket. Your goal is to guide all the Chus to a portal by placing arrows on the playing field. Complicating this endeavor is the fact that there are two kinds of Chus — red and blue — that can never be allowed to meet. And if you think you can rely on the walls to guide both types along the same path, think again!
New from Mateusz Skutnik comes Covert Front 2: Station on the Horizon. You reprise the role of Kara, a spy in an alternate reality where World War I begins in 1901 and technology is more advanced. Physicist Karl von Toten is on the verge of a great discovery and it's your task to discover his secrets. This is the second of four chapters and begins with Kara inside von Toten's mansion with key intelligence in hand. Now she must escape with her life to inform her superiors of the shocking discovery.
Hot on the heels of the original Bloons Tower Defense game comes a sequel that delivers more of the same explosive fun the original packed, and yet with 3 new difficulty levels and more tower types than ever before. Like the new Road Spikes that you can use to pop any remaining bloons if it looks like some will escape. And the update promises to provide a greater challenge than the first one did.
Sling Fire from Ezone continues the physics-based goo slinging action previous games in the series introduced just over a year ago. The fire element has been stolen from the Oozeville power source, which of course spells doom for the slime-based folk. Playing as Sling or Slingette you must toss your way through 50 levels of traps and puzzles to recover the lost element!
Chat Noir is a turn-based puzzle game based on a very simple idea: darken the spots to confine the cat and keep it from escaping off the edges of the play field. Each new game presents you with a random arrangement of pre-darkened spots, and the rest is up to you.
New from Japanese developer Nigoro, creator of Rose & Camellia and Lonely House-Moving, comes physics-based action game Space Capstar II. Carefully pilot the ship through twisty passages that lead deep into planets' cores, avoiding obstacles and taking out lasers by bashing into them (carefully). It's a challenging action game with just enough space wackiness thrown in to make it worth trying.
An update to the previously reviewed Manifold, this version is the full, super-fun-happy version, promises Joel Esler, the game's author. Get acquainted with Fold via the "Easy" levels. Then advance to the more frustrating "Uneasy" levels. And when you think you finally have the mechanics mastered, give the "Doubleplus Uneasy" levels a try. A unique and original platform puzzler just keeps getting better.
New from Hero Interactive, creator of Bubble Tanks and Light Sprites, is a unique combination of tower defense and role playing genres (with a little BowMaster Prelude thrown in for good measure) called Storm Winds. Defending the last fort against an oncoming enemy, you must purchase and place turrets on the structure and keep them in good working order. As enemy waves fly in, select a turret and start firing. It's an intruiging combination of game types that's both strategy-oriented and action-packed.
Brand new from Game Pure, creator Speed Cluster, Oshidama and Bound Bear, is a small and simple puzzle game titled The Quiet Night. It takes the familiar Puzznic/Flipull sliding blocks formula and wraps it in a stylish media package to create something familiar that's worth playing for the atmosphere alone.
Escape: The Phone Booth is the third installment in the popular "Escape" series that has you facing off against a phone booth. As usual, there is no plot behind your encasement. All that matters is that you need to escape! The queue of items at your disposal is extremely limited, so you need to make the best of what you can in such a tight space... Ow, my elbow!
Nanobots is the latest from the web-game nanofactory assembly line that is Nitrome. While not as inventive as some of its other releases, Nanobots takes your classic shoot-em-up, wraps it in a cool metaphor of nanomachines fighting inside a cell, and polishes it to a shiny finish. The result is one of the best Flash-based shmups on the internet.
From the award-winning Preloaded design team comes a new physics-based game designed for the Science Museum in London. Launchball is a fabulously produced take on the 'guide something to the goal' family of physics games. There is even a level editor with which to create puzzles and send them to your friends.
The next entry to the 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition is from Luís Lampreia of Portugal. Please welcome Luís with your kind feedback and constructive criticism in the comments. UFootball is a single-player game of soccer ("football" to most everyone else) that implements the "ball physics" theme well within the ball-based gameplay.
The next entry to the 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition is from Jerry Liu and Charles Zinn from Ontario (Canada). Please provide your kind feedback for Jerry and Charles in the comments. Two Ball is an open-ended action game in which the objective is to hit the grey ball with the orange swirl ball using the mouse. Alternative control methods are also available. The "ball physics" theme is represented well within the gameplay.
The next entry to the 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition is from Daniel Vandali of Australia. Bounce is an arcade-style action game in which the "ball physics" theme is well represented by the ball objects in play. The objective is to activate all orange balls in play by knocking into them. Your means of control is a grappling hook, and a few different power-ups to aid you. Avoid the walls.
The next entry up is from Manuel Fallmann of Austria. If you're a regular visitor here, then it's likely you have played a variety of Manuel's games before. Bubbles 2 is an arcade-style action game of collection and avoidance that incorporates a bit of "ball physics" within the bubbles themselves. Please leave your kind feedback and constructive criticism for Manuel in the comments.
The next entry to the 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition is from David Beers of California (US). Mathematigolf: The CGDC Open is a golf game that includes 3 courses of 10 holes each with terrain that affect "ball physics" in unique ways not usually seen in golf games. Please leave your kind feedback for David in the comments.
The next entry to the 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition is from Ian Barber and Ben Gray of the UK, and it is their first competition with us. Explode Ball for High Score is an aptly named action game based on a very simple idea and in which the "ball physics" theme is represented well within the gameplay.
The next entry (number 32 in case you're keeping track) is from Eric Whitmire of North Carolina (US). It is Eric's first competition with us, so please give him a warm welcome. Lynz is an action puzzle game with drawing-based gameplay that encompasses the "ball physics" theme. Please provide your kind feedback and constructive criticism for Eric in the comments.
Just past the half-way point, the next entry to the 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition is from Derek Brandao of Washington (US). Break Into is an action arcade-style game in which you must hit balls into a goal to move on to the next level. The "ball physics" theme in this game is a straightforward implementation with a Gimme Friction Baby twist.
The next entry is another game that comes from Texas (US), this time from Kevin Mintmier and Mutizwa Chirunga representing LTD (Living the Dream) Studios. Decon is a game of chain reactions with a unique twist that implements the "ball physics" theme. Please give Kevin and Mutizwa a warm JIG welcome by providing the valuable feedback and constructive criticism that you do so well in the comments.
The next entry up is from Rey Gazu of Argentina. Rey has also participated in our previous competitions with the prize-winning Cyberpunk from CGDC #1, and the remarkable Time Raider from CGDC #3. Spin Ball is a unique arcade style "game" of swinging a spinning ball around to destroy various enemies that differ in their weakness. The rest is for you to discover.
The next entry comes from Russia (with love) by another two-person creative team: Eugene Karataev (Flash developer) and Artem Popov (artist). Jabo is an acronym for "Jump And Ball Operation" and it somewhat describes the basic premise of Eugene's and Artem's action game starring a frog with a very long tongue. Use the frog's tongue as a grappling hook to propel yourself towards the shining star. The rest is up to you.
The next entry into our 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition is an entry from another newcomer to our competitions, this one from Sebastian Mayer of Germany. Asteroid Pilot is an arcade driving, or piloting, game in which "ball physics" have been implemented as part of the design of the player-controlled spaceship. I'll leave the rest up to you to discover and discuss in the comments.
The next entry up is from David Durham of the UK. You may remember David from previous games featured here, the adorable Gear Puzzle from our first competition, and the exceptional Timebot game from our "replay" competition. In Backfire, David delivers an action-based arcade style game with "ball physics" integral to the gameplay. Please post your kind feedback and constructive criticisms in the comments for David.
The next entry into our 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition is from Jorge Goyco of Texas (US), and this is also his first competition with us. Moon Duster implements different gravitational forces as the basis of its "ball physics" in another game based on a simple idea. Please provide Jorge a generous serving of your kind feedback and constructive criticisms in the comments.
The next entry is from Lopsidation of Maryland (US). A long-time JIG visitor, this is Lopsidation's first CGDC, so please give him a warm welcome with your feedback in the comments. Brownie Motion implements "ball physics" in a game based on a very simple idea that demonstrates a more complex one, too (Brownian motion). Simple to understand, and yet difficult to master. See for yourself.
The next entry is from Damir Srpèiè of Slovenia. You might remember Damir from our first competition with his popular and creative entry, Personal Universe. Roped! implements "ball physics" as well as 'rope physics' in this unique puzzle game that also includes and integrated level editor and save feature.
Hopefully the moment you've all been waiting for. We'll be rolling out the entries in the order we received them. Here is the first entry to our 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition: Event Horizon by the_Corruptor (Canada). An action game of mouse-play that implements the "ball physics" theme and creates gameplay that revolves around it, literally.
A new stylish title from Game Pure has just been released: Micro Art. The hybrid puzzle combines elements of SameGame and your classic match-3 game with a unique line-drawing mechanism. A pile of puzzle pieces rises on the left side of the screen while matching pieces float freely on the right. Draw a line and collect the floating pieces to make matches and keep the stack from reaching the top of the screen.
Replay 2 : The Sequel is a unique sequel in that the first game never saw a release. Instead, the code was rebuilt from the ground up and a "2" attached to its name. This turn-based puzzle game also implements the "replay" theme in a unique and challenging way, one that will force you to think ahead and calculate your moves carefully.
Paracaidas ("parachute" in Spanish) is from Scheletro, a very talented newcomer to our competitions. It's the tale of a dedicated stunt performer who is never satisfied until he has either safely missed his target, or mysteriously closed his parachute and plummeted to his death.
Robot Goal is a simple puzzle game that involves programming a robot to collect green spheres and shoot them into goals before time runs out for each level. Programming is as simple as clicking on the icon representing the action you would like the robot to take. Sequencing several moves together before clicking play will help master each level within the allowed time limit.
Fitting in the webtoy category more comfortably than being a game, Music Dodge is an entry from Daniel Gutierrez into our 3rd game design competition. Colored bars streak across the screen in time with the background music. You control a colorful orb and must "scratch" against the edge of the bars to score points. It's a simple game of avoidance and precision made much more interesting when you use your own music.
Parley is a two-player strategy card game designed by Matt Slaybaugh and Joe Versoza for our 3rd game design competition. Similar to Rochambeau, the base deck is made up of three suits (Water, Fire, and Wood), each of which trumps one other suit and is in turn trumped by the remaining suit of the three. In addition, each suit is broken up into a number of different ranks: Queen, Duke, Knight, Spy, and Page (in rank order).
Manifold is a physics-based action/puzzle game created by artist and designer Joel Esler. Use special orbs that can alter gravity within a small radius to climb your way through dangerous situations. It's a simple idea that's been paired with smart artistic direction to create a game that pleases the senses as well as your sense of fun.
The latest from Bloons creators, Stephen Harris and Ninja Kiwi, Hotcorn is a game about popping corn... with heat. You control a smiling sun avatar with the mouse, moving it over kernels of corn on a top-down game board to pop them into some kind of exploded corn substance. Pop enough corn before time runs out and you win the level, simple as that.
DJ Sultan is in the house! His just-released Yoshitoshi Montreal collection is one of the most amazingly uplifting, feel-good mixes of songs I've heard in quite a long time. So good that it warrants interrupting the flow of game reviews to share with you the wonderful positive energy it contains. If you enjoy good dance music, you won't be disappointed by this absolutely spirit-lifting mix!
A game entered into our 3rd competition, The Turtles of Time is an action game in which micromanagement and careful planning are rewarded rather than reckless bouncing hither and thither. Properly played, the game looks and plays like a well-oiled machine, or an award-winning marching band. A clever time-rewinding Replay feature allows you to control multiple turtles as the levels progress.
From Aztec, creator of Escape from Island and Jinja (The Shrine), comes yet another superbly crafted point-and-click adventure game, Escape from Octlien. The sci-fi themed title drops you on a spaceship with very little information on what you're supposed to do. Explore the environment, collect items, and try and make your way through this lengthy and challenging game.
Yalpeyalper is a chain reaction game by the ever-inventive, Tonypa. There have been many chain reaction games made in Flash, and the formula is simple: click one object and watch as the rest of the objects react in sequence. However, while other chain reaction games leave your fate up to chance, Yalpeyalper forces you to make sure you've picked the right starting point.
A demo download for Windows only, Immortal Defense is a tower defense game with some aces up its sleeve. It's a game with impressive special effects and a captivating storyline, the latter of which is unusual in the tower defense genre. RPG Creations has put together a long-lasting demo experience should you be brave enough to take on the volunteer mission to fight millions of aliens using only the power of your consciousness.
Logi-Gun is an absolutely sensational puzzle platformer (free download for Windows only) from Darklink570. Most of the puzzles require skillful, even ingenious, use of the game's 6 guns, although some deft platforming will also be necessary.
Jill's back in a sequel to one of the most popular casual games of last year, Cake Mania. In Cake Mania 2 you reprise the role of the baker extraordinare with the task of helping one of two friends: Jack, who is looking for a bakery in his underwater theme park, or Risha and her bakery in the big city. Serve cranky customers piping hot cakes as quickly as you can to rake in the cash and expand your business!
Toytown Tower Defense is yet another game of the tower defense genre that provides a decent amount of polish and a twist or two. It is otherwise more of the same, but still fun if you're a TD fan. You place towers and upgrade them with money you earn from killing enemies marching on a pre-set path toward your castle, if twenty reach there you lose.
Hopefully the moment you've all been waiting for, here is the first entry to our 3rd Flash Game Design Competition. It is a point-and-click game that implements the "replay" theme in a literal sense, with a few surprises and twists that make the game both humorous and enjoyable to play.
Yin Yang is the latest platform game from Nitrome studios, in which twin gods team up across two parallel universes. Nitrome again delivers an interesting exploration of a concept, a platformer about metaphysical duality, and it offers a healthy plate of puzzle-levels to allow you to absorb all the flavors.
Space Pilot, by Alex Kaplan, is the spiritual successor to Asteroids, featuring the same vector-style graphics, the same ship, the same control scheme, and even the same asteroids. I was really tired of Asteroids itself decades ago, but picking this game up feels like I'm putting on a pair of old familiar boots and going for a stroll in a brand new town.
Platform Game is, believe it or not, an action-puzzle platformer. But wait, there's a plot twist! There are two characters that you have to guide to the exit! And most of the time, you'll have to guide them through separate routes, due to some exquisite level designs that require teamwork to get through.
Yoshio Ishii has just released a sequel to his enormously popular and quite elegant puzzle game Hoshi Saga. There are 36 new levels in which to find the star. Nothing very difficult, just exceptionally creative interaction design like the first one. This one is sure to please.
One of the fastest-growing genres in casual gameplay are hidden object games such as Mystery Case Files and the Hidden Expedition series. Fortunately not all developers are content to copy the same idea, place it in a new setting and throw in a few new items. Forgotten Riddles: The Mayan Princess is one such game, combining an intriguing storyline with dozens of riddles that must be solved in order to learn which items you're supposed to locate.
A pirate-themed adventure game that draws inspiration from the Monkey Island series in more ways than one. You play Nelly, a "fearsome pirate and lover of tiny and adorable creatures" who is charged with investigating the disappearance of a fleet of birds by a dead pirate's ghost. The visuals and dialogue are so much fun, even adventuregameaphobiacs will have a great time.
Speck Oppression is another unique an creative entry, qualities that are becoming standard expectations when learning of a new Komix game on the loose. The idea is to gather energy to fully charge a collector and to unlock the next level. You do so by manipulating the beautiful 'specks' that inhabit this game world.
The latest Grow game from On of Eyezmaze! Need we say more? This is without a doubt On's greatest work-to-date, and in it he embodies an optimistic philosophy. Following the correct order of things will lead to a society where men and women get along happily, the environment is protected and technology is harnessed to discover the secrets of the universe.
From Thor Gaming, creator of Thor Towers, comes Throw Me, a physics-based tossing game similar to Monkey Kick Off and Nanaca Crash. At the beginning of the stage you grab an orange eyeball and twirl it around with the mouse to build up momentum. When you're ready to toss, hit the spacebar to send it flying. Your only goal is to go as high and as far as you can!
Mountain Bike is a charming little 2D stunt biking game from Miniclip. Doing tricks will boost your score, but also make you crash a lot. Thankfully a trick tutorial is provided for those of us (myself included) who don't already know the difference between a toothpick grind and an icepick grind.
As if to whet your appetites for the upcoming game design competition, game authors have been putting out a number of excellent ball physics games. The latest offering is Ramps, put forth by web designer Tyler Sticka. Your mission is to guide a ball from the drop pipe at the top of the screen to the exit pipe at the bottom using — you guessed it — muffins!
Wink: The Game is a graphical adventure in which the emphasis is on stealth over brute force. Wink is not exactly a tough guy: his most useful skill is the ability to vanish into the shadows and, whenever one of the hooded, glowy-eyed baddies passes by, creep up from behind and knock the enemy out.
Plant Tycoon puts you to the task of planting seeds, growing plants of over 500 different species, and discovering the genetic secrets behind 6 magic plants that will make you rich! Become a master horticulturalist as you pollinate adult plants to produce seeds, and even cross pollinate your plants with other species to discover new and rare varieties.
Our most recent competition has shown some seriously inventive interpretations of the theme "Replay", and one of the standouts in that category is Carl Foust's Super Earth Defense Game. It's a typical side-scrolling shooter on its face but, in a unique twist, really shines once your ship gets destroyed.
Pile O'Bubbles is a new action/puzzle game from the creator of Gravity Pods, Keith Peters of Wicked Pissah Games. It combines fast reflex mouse clicking with a bit of thinking to create a game that's brain wrenching with a touch of (very) old-school arcade style as well.
Nightmares, the Adventures is a series of four episodic point-and-click adventures created by Sarbakan for AOL Kids. Aimed at a slightly younger audience, each installment is a short, colorfully drawn game where you must try and help the young Victor vanquish his nightmares. The catch is that you only have a limited number of moves to win each episode, putting just a little pressure on your puzzle solving skills.
Avalanche is a fast-paced climbing game in which your goal is to scale the mountain of falling blocks, without being flattened or falling into the river rising from below. The flood of cascading blocks starts slowly, with only a few blocks to start. Before you know it, you'll be madly scrambling to avoid being turned into a marshmallow pancake.
Karma is a unique game of rebirth that features simple gameplay and yet offers a reflection upon certain aspects of life and philosophy. The authors should be lauded for making Karma not only a game that is fun to play, but one that reaches people on a more spiritual level and still manages to incorporate the "replay" competition theme nicely.
From developer Sam Horton of Funface Games comes Oroboros, an action title that borrows from games such as flOw and Snake. You control Oroboros (the serpent forming a circle by swallowing its own tail) as you absorb energy clusters to unlock portals to new dimensions. As you progress, your tail grows to give you new abilities that let you combat the increasingly tough foes.
Venice Mystery is a new casual game download that puts a new twist on mahjong. Instead of clicking identical tile pairs at random, you choose from a small menu of tile types, then click matching tiles on the playing field. To complete the puzzle you must unearth a set number of keys buried beneath the piles of blocks. Set against a Renaissance mystery, it's enough to tickle any gamer's fancy.
Switchball is a 3D action/puzzle title in which your goal is to guide a rolling ball to the end of each stage, solving puzzles and crossing treacherous pathways all the way. The game places a heavy emphasis on realistic physics using the AGEIA engine and looks absolutely gorgeous to boot. It's an extraordinarily well-made title that balances action and puzzle solving for a thoroughly engaging experience.