It ain't easy bein' green, especially when you're a lone frog in a post-apocalyptic wasteland and all you have to eat are mutant flies who want to take a bite out of you too. Monzazart serves up a familiar but quirkily-themed little physics puzzle where you'll use a truly remarkable tongue to climb, swing, pull, and lift your way through levels and hazards.
Underneath that rainbow of squares lies demons galore! Cool demons, though! Mamano Digger is a simple idea puzzler by Hojokama Games that makes the SameGame formula feel a little different. A minimalist gaming experience that probably won't have much replay value once you've beaten it, but you probably won't be able to stop playing until you do.
Spin had a girlfriend, but he fell down a hole! What else do you need to know? Spin Spin: Chapter 1 and Spin Spin: Chapter 2 are a pair of puzzle platformers by Chris Hughes that take the simple ideas of world-spinning and spike-avoiding, strip them down to its minimalist essence, and the result is truly something special. Presentation is a little no-frills, but these are very cleverly designed games.
Ready, set, fold! In this simple to learn origami puzzle game, your folding skills will be tested like never before. Enjoy a relaxing atmosphere as you try to create various shapes with your paper with a limited number of moves. Origami has never been so much fun!
A short and simple game of cards? Well, not THAT simple! In this clever strategy game, you're tasked with assembling a group of heroes, represented by cards, on the playing field before your opponent does. The catch? Each card has special abilities that can hinder or impact your enemy's progress, but they're also being used against you!
Here's a deceptively simple point-and-click puzzle game from Emiel de Graaf in which you determine just how to lay out a series of stepping stones to reach the goal. Each stone has a limited number of spaces in which it will move; select the stone and choose the direction you want it to go, using strategy to determine just how to connect pathways and successfully complete the sixteen levels. It's both easy and thoughtful, the perfect way to chill while still steppin' up those brain cells.
Sometimes you just wanna jump on a trampoline. And turn three sets of reversing flips while in the air and land without smacking your face! Bouncy from monogames is an impressively illustrated arcade game that is essentially an upgradeable stunt trampoline for your iOS device. It's better than risking your cranial integrity on a real life trampoline, and you get to fight for higher scores and upgrade your equipment in the process. Plus, buck-toothed bunny!
Hundreds, you should be a really easy game, you know? Tapping on circles to make them grow, increasing their value so everything adds up to 100. Making sure red active circles don't collide. Easy idea, easy to play, but when it comes down to actually getting somewhere, you present quite the little challenge. Part puzzle but bigger part arcade game, Hundreds from Semi Secret Software (which includes Adam Saltzman, creator of Canabalt) and Greg Wohlwend (from Solipskier team Mikengreg) is a minimalist experience that nabs your interest from the first level and refuses to let go until you've driven yourself mad with numbers and circles.
Bart Bonte delivers a deliciously swank yet simple sliding block puzzle with a holiday spin. Push, pull, stack, and stick using the incredible powers granted to you as a magnetic star in order to assemble the shape in each stage. A stylish exercise in clever, clean design and gameplay no matter what time of year it is.
Chain-reactions and arcade action get seasonal in this latest addictive title from SilenGames! Help break Santa from his icy underwater prison by dropping bombs (oh, he's Santa, he'll be fine), and grab coins and presents for upgrades. Simple, flashy, colourful fun that's just the right size for midday gaming!
Game Balance's series of sliding-puzzles is back with a shiny new coat of sparkles in Orbox C! This installment may be a little heavy on the glitz and techno music, but the intelligent challenges should appeal to fans both new and old.
Smart Code Games is back with another puzzling brainteaser that will test your plumbing mettle. You can leave the overalls and the wrenches at home, however, because your tools here as you seek to fill up pots with just enough water are everything from magical mathematical multipliers to teleporters to freakin' bombs. Plumbers lead a much more interesting career than we ever imagined!
Yellow Bouncy Ball knows how badly you need something to release all that pent up stress that, if you were to hold it all in, might turn you into the Hulk. Or get you a nice white jacket along with a soothing white padded cell. Regardless, they're back with Pinata Hunter 2! With upgrades abound your only job is to beat the candied goodness out of some poor pinata who doesn't seem to be concerned with its ultimate demise. Take a break from the world and try your hand at a bat or a samurai sword while proving to your parents that you could have handled a pinata on your seventh birthday, if they had only listened!
Get the rabbit to the mushroom by only moving along the coloured path that matches it. Easy, right? Except this quirky little puzzler piles on new elements, like locks, moving platforms, freezing tiles, and much more, for a simple concept that still manages to remain challenging as you play.
Bart Bonte's particle physics puzzle goes mobile with 35 all new levels plus (of course!) a sandbox mode. Thousands of sugar particles pouring down onto the screen with no place else to go until you draw a line here, another there, and a bit of gravity manipulation in the middle to direct all that sweetness into the cups. What begins as a simple task steadily increases in complexity until your cup overflowth with fun!
Orisinal invites you to help a little giraffe with a noble goal... to get all the smoochin' he can from an endless parade of girl giraffes! This simple, bouncy arcade game offers little variety or depth, but Ferry Halim's signature rich warm design and inherently cheerful concepts make this the sort of game you'll want to turn to for an instant pick-me-up.
Slide Circus is a straightforward but gorgeous mobile puzzle game from qbcode. Using a simple sliding grid, it creates a soothing but challenging puzzle experience that can be as easy or as complex as you like, scaling to suit your needs. It's a bit like solving an intricate jigsaw puzzle, only here the pieces stay neatly together and you don't have to worry about the dog eating the edge of the minute hand from Big Ben.
We Create Stuff and Armor Games takes their popular and beautifully simple puzzle game to the iOS with entirely new levels. Dismantle 3D structures by pushing, pulling, and twisting the individual pieces until you find just the right configuration to let it all slide apart. Elegant, clean, and polished to a mirror finish, Interlocked for your mobile device is exactly the sort of simple, casually engaging and clever puzzle game we'd love to see more of.
In this sliding block-style puzzler by Mibix, a flying squirrel faces off against the natural predator of all rodentia: zombies. The cartoony graphics don't quite mesh with the strategic gameplay, but the levels are well designed and the scream the squirrel makes as he flies off the screen is schadenfreudely hilarious.
It's Snake! It's Snazzy! It's Snazzle! A simple idea puzzle game by Amidos, Snazzle takes its inspiration from the classic formula of slithering reptiles extending themselves by chomping on fruit, and trying to avoid crashing into itself. However, by modifying the premise with a shiny coating of tile-based programming logic, it makes for a fresh and cleverly designed experience, though perhaps a little off-putting in its symbolic minimalism.
All you really, really want to do is find your car keys and get away from the lonely, isolated cabin in the woods... but with the hedge maze surrounding the property (because everyone has a hedge maze) filled with malicious, supernatural children who want to play with you, you'll need to move fast and carefully... until your flashlight's battery dies. More concept that full game, but beautifully designed for its 48 hour creation period.
The world needs saving and only you, Kumo Lumo, a fluffy smiling cloud, can save it in this innovative mobile arcade puzzle game. Billed by developer, Blitz Games, as a "rain 'em up!" you are tasked with two things—grow up the good, drench out the bad—your only arsenal being a sprinkle of rain and a blast of lightening. It's a simple concept that puts a little sunshine into being a raincloud.
Ozzie Mercado is certainly a one and only, and One Bubble is the latest in a string of quality simple idea puzzle games. Jumping and eliminating bubbles, with naturalistic backgrounds and soothing music makes for a zen office-toy feel, perfect for an afternoon de-stressing.
Ready... set... KABOOM! KragSoft delivers a lovely and engaging little chain-reaction arcade game that involves placing bombs to clear the screen. The catch? All those little icons you see drifting around explode in different ways, and figuring that out AND how best to use them is part of the strategy. A simple idea with a clean presentation that makes for an engaging little snack of a game rather than a main course.
Tick tock on the clock, but the party won't stop, because Ozzie Mercado has just released Twelve O, another wonderful, simple idea puzzle game! Thinking rotationally can be mind twisting, and while the mouse controls can take a little getting used to, Twelve O makes for a great time-waster.
An arcade avoidance game by Mortar Games that has you controlling a small. fragile virus, attacked on all sides by the defenses of the host body. The Fishy-styled gameplay little slow going at first, but the eerie atmosphere and a surprisingly affecting final level make Vivirion worth playing until the very end.
Developer Ozzie Mercado is on quite the roll with his simple idea puzzle games. His latest is a cool little sokoban-variant named Push3m, that shows that squares can still be hip. It takes a bit for the challenge to get going, but for the most part, it is a short, sweet, and very clever game.
Call it base sentimentality, but sometime what we need is a pinata racing through a magical candy kingdom, collecting gummi bears and dodging sugar-hungry bat-wielding toddlers. Gameshot apparently has recognized this Jungian urge and delivers with Pina Pony, a retro jump and run platformer. Like a bag of Skittles, Pina Pony may not fill you up, but it's fun and colorful, and definitely a sweet snack.
Life is full of winners and losers and, if you are like most people, you are usually losing. Not so with Sangwoo Hong, Keyboardminer, and Pixelminer's surreal little mahjong-like game, Cubistry. Simply click on one kind of tile and then another of the same to make them both dissapear from the cube in a little flurry of 3D casino-style gratification that will be sure to stimulate your brain stem and keep you playing until each little cube is gone forever. And, if you manage to beat your best score, than all the better. But it's not necessary to enjoy this simple idea game done right.
It's always interesting when a flash game comes along that makes you look at things in a whole different light. Who knew, for example, that the ordinary day-to-day activity of making breakfast was frought with so many pitfalls and hidden dangers? In Breakfast, a strangely compelling little onebutton cooking game by Gio-M, you awake after a one night stand and your chances of a second date will depend completely on your ability to make a high quality breakfast by pressing the spacebar at the precise moment necessary to chop, blend, and boil your ingredients in the best way possible to satisfy your lover-in-waiting.
Weird? Sure. Wonderful? Little bit. Hot Chick Games, creator of Kissma, deliver another bizarre arcade game about dressing up as a cat and batting at a toy dangling from the screen. Unlock strange bonus rounds full of surreal imagery for a simple, frantic, and fun experience that will raise an eyebrow but inject a little surreality into your day.
It's hard to be 2D in a 3D world, which you'll soon find out if you play this austere little platformer from Henning Steinbock. But don't let the minimalist atmosphere lull you into a false sense of security, because you'll need to do all your best wrist exercises from that mandatory carpal tunnel workshop your boss made you attend last spring if you're going to be limber enough to keep this line on track to ultimate victory. Jumping Line is a great example of a simple idea done well that will appeal to all the oldschool gamers out there who don't need a lot of bells and whistles to have a good time and break a satisfying gamer sweat.
Robot wants dots! Okay, the star of Robot Arm, a simple idea puzzle game by Amidos2006 might be missing his torso, head, and legs, but his desires are no less poignant. Robotic Arm offers a cunning test of spatial logic that should appeal to any fan of mechanical manipulation puzzles.
Help the little guy in BuniBon bounce his way through 72 levels of high difficulty arcade action! Ludosity's Regnslöja has created a well-balanced mobile game fit for anyone looking to kill five minutes at a time (or an hour or two, if you're so inclined). Out for Android devices, BuniBon offers an experience that's both cute and cuddly and frustrating at the same time!
Do you like simple puzzles? As in... do you like them a whole lot? A hundred levels' worth? Then Blocks is the perfect straight-forward little match-3 puzzler for your coffee break. Slide and match coloured blocks to remove them from the screen in as few moves as possible. Simple, but cleanly designed and surprisingly addictive, Blocks is perfect for relaxing, thoughtful puzzle fun.
The surprise hit arcade launch game soars out of your browser and into your iOS in this polished little port. When a little girl wants to see her mother for Christmas, she sends the wish to the North Pole on a paper airplane, but doesn't suspect the many hands it will pass through along the way. Combining simple, addictive gameplay with a beautiful presentation, upgrades, and achievements, Flight is a perfect fit for the touchscreen and something everyone can enjoy.
The Happy Dead Friends are back with 60 new player made levels. In this puzzler, use your mouse to move zombies, skeletons and other creatures around until there are no free hands. Some creatures have unique abilities which can make them difficult to match up. See how many moves it takes you until everyone is holding hands. It's the only wat to make everyone happy!
It's always interesting when a developer takes a familiar mechanic, then remixes it to make a new kind of enjoyable puzzle. Case in point: Jump Me, a simple idea puzzle game by Ozzie Mercado. It's likely that the game would have never have been made if versions of checkers hadn't been kicking around since ancient times. But that allows Jump Me to be different enough to feel fresh, but familiar enough to easily learn.
Gear up for some bizarre new words that wouldn't make it past any English teacher's red pen with Xether Labs's free iOS word puzzle! The concept and gameplay is simple... figure out the clues and fill in the blanks to reveal the strange new word you get by combining the two solutions. Best enjoyed passed back and forth on the couch with a witty and weird friend, it's the sort of breezy, simple, silly game mobile devices seem perfectly designed for to help you enjoy yourself whenever you have a spare moment.
This brief "game poem" is laden with sentimentality and moody brushstrokes. Play by using your mouse to guide a star as it falls from the sky. If you'd like, collect other stars, avoid the sides and make a wish along the way. But there's no actual winning or losing, even if your wish doesn't come true. Enjoyed best when you want a short respite to gaze upon something pretty while listening to a heartfelt melody.
Who knew that the Four Color Theorem would make for such a nice simple idea puzzle game? OneFifth's Flood Fill is a fun and colorful way to fill up a coffee break, even if its 20 levels are over way too quickly. But hey, the background music is catchy.
Hanger, the browser release from A Small Game that's all about swinging ropes and broken body parts, has made its way to iPhone, and it's just as outrageously arcadey as ever. If you've played Hanger 2 or Hanger 2: Endless Level Pack, you'll know exactly what to expect in this wild romp through twisty terrain, as the mobile version takes the best from those releases, remixes it a little bit, and tosses you loose to see what you can do. Expect to see a lot of severed legs and game over screens before you get a decent score in this game!
Being a llama does have its good points: you have a trampoline to bounce up and down on all day, your fur is soft and durable, and you can spit like it's nobody's business. Because it's not. You hate those intrusive zoo visitors who keep trying to get up into your face. So spit on them! Use your mouse to aim and then click to spit in this engrossing and fun shooter by Peter Sperl and Simon Parzer. Strategic use of upgrades is required as the later levels become quite difficult but the charm of the wooly jumper is also hard to resist. It begs the question, Which is worse: having a llama face or having llama in your face?
Bart Bonte is back with another sugary sweet installment in his popular particle physics puzzle. While adhering to the same basic concept and gameplay mechanics of the prior two Sugar, Sugar games, this sequel delivers 30 more clever levels of imaginative obstacles in a simple block design plus jazzy tunes.
The developers at Stolen Couch Games have captured that child-like kindergarten drawing time feeling with the one-button puzzle game Ichi, a mobile port of the downloadable version available for Windows and Mac systems. It is only the team's second commercial creation for the iTunes App Store, but they understand that quality is much better than quantity. If the simple visual style makes you think "oh, this game will be a piece of cake!", well, my friend, you'll think twice when level 'some-odd-number' comes around and you can't master it!
A certain giant nuclear lizard and his fellow monster nemeses have had exclusive raging rights in Japan, but has their reign finally come to an end? Adult Swim along with PikPok Games is contesting the monster mayhem supremacy with an arcade-style puzzle game for Android and iOS called Monsters Ate My Condo. As it heavily parodies the Showa (aka monster) era of movies, you need to appease the behemoths by feeding them condo buildings for super high scores until your apartment tower topples over. Your building may fall and the game will end, but you will keep coming back for more of this frenzied arcade action.
Stick Figure Badminton 2 is a simple, yet satisfying badminton simulator with a great physics engine, featuring a good variety of AI opponents and some fun character choices (robots!). Regular badminton players will appreciate the smooth way the game handles smashes, drives and drops and non players will get a great introduction to the game that will make them want to go outside in the sunshine and play for real. How many other flash games can make the same claim?
When you're trapped in a world filled with nightmares made flesh and are out for YOUR blood, your best bet is to... RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! Nightmare Runner puts you in the depths of hell in this run and jump shooting game built with a player level upgrade system and in-game pick ups to aid in your escape. With an ambient choir-meets-action movie soundtrack and an easy one button click interface, you get easily entranced into 2D world that flows smoothly with the music and the difficulty. You have an infinite clip of bullets and finite distance to travel for salvation so this evil can be trounced in a single, well-lit sitting.
Ever since Pac-Man first escaped off the right side of the screen to magically appear on the left, players have had a certain thing for games that skew traditional notions of spatiality. The Village Blacksmith offers another wonderful take on this kind of teleportation in Recursion, a cool little retro puzzle platformer. The series of single screen levels progresses nicely, even if the jumps require a bit too much precision. Still, Recursion worth playing over and over again.
Oh no! The king of the realm needs you to save the princess from the evil clutches of the Dark Knight! Go figure, right? Wind-up Knight is a mobile run and jump adventure very similar to Canabalt HD except you get a fancy sword and armor to fight enemies while dodging traps to make your way to the princess. Convenient items in adventuring, yes, but it won't save you when the Dark Knight starts getting really serious about stopping you. A knight's mettle will never be more tested and neither shall your timing skills as pits, enemies, and environmental dangers stand in your way.
Looking for a logic puzzle game that is tested and designed with cognitive physiology research AND is still fun to play? The boys over at Handy Games in Germany bring you infeCCt, a nice casual undertaking that gets you covering tiles with vines. The game will bend your mind to its limits with tons of impressively designed levels, extra obstacles and tiles for an added challenge, and online scoring system to compare your problem solving skills with others.
Be afraid. Be very afraid of his scary love. In Bear of Love, a tongue-and-cheek action game from LeBrancher and rzafael, you play a bear who needs to hug people in order to breath, creating a form of photo-hug-synthesis that will have scientists baffled for decades. But there's a catch: you tend to come on too strong and end up killing those you hug when you don't pull away in time. Bear of Love features some great 8-bit pixel art and the funny upgrades and animations will have you chortling to yourself long after the five or ten minutes it takes to finish this game, making it a perfect antidote for the Monday morning blues.
As a white neon ghost creature, you guide Spirit through waves and waves of abstract style enemies. Easy to use touch movement, but difficult mastery of avoiding and capturing your foes in the next dimension. With three different modes to try out and the need to outscore yourself or gaming friends, your fingers will swiping and sliding across the screen for hours to come.
It's always great when Japanese developer, Yoshio Ishii, gets experimental, and his RPG, Parameters, is certainly that. It looks like an Excel Spreadsheet, and plays like a computer hacking scene from a 1980s action movie. Abstract, but very addictive, Parameters won't be for everyone, but those looking for something a little different should find it quite compelling.
With gameplay inspired by the classic Rampage series, take control of a huge, angry dinosaur and smash your way through a fully destructive city. Punch through buildings and swat missiles out of the air as the army tries to stop you reuniting with your lost son in this epic 8bit arcade game.
One of the early hits on the iTunes App Store and a strong leader in Android game sales, the Doodle Jump games quickly turned into the definition of a successful mobile game. As of the end of 2011, over 15 million copies of the arcade game have been sold across various marketplaces, and it has remained one of the best-selling iOS games since its launch. With such a simple premise and creative visuals, it's no wonder Doodle Jump has gained such enormous popularity. Now, with mobile markets still growing, Doodle Jump's various incarnations have spread to include NOOK and Kindle Fire!
Platform games commonly require a fair amount of jumping to move around, but the author of this unique platformer decided that jumping is the new walking. As the title implies, Momentum is your best friend and you can bound from platform to platform while dodging spikes and collecting colored candy orbs using that speed.
If you mixed Robot Unicorn Attack with a great big helping of Jetpack Joyride and threw it all into the ocean, this incredibly colorful arcade game would jump up and smack you with a rainbow. Sea Stars gets your finger tapping to help these cute undersea creatures swim and jump past obstacles that would otherwise ruin their good time. Hothead Games made sure you wouldn't miss out on the fun by putting the app in every mobile marketplace. Just dive right into their vast ocean home so you can begin a journey that ends only when you put the app down.
A one button journey from cradle to grave with a mouse driven twist and decent production values. NTFusion takes us on a Canabalt-esque adventure as you nab power-ups and meditate on what's really important in life... aside from high scores, of course.
Looking for a lovely way to relax or a unique way to get the kids to bed? Difference Games brings their Twisted Fairytales series to Nook and Kindle Fire in this stunning matching game based on the classic story of Snow White, though it isn't really so twisted as you might think. Light on gameplay but heavy on beautiful artwork, it's the perfect way to kick back and sink into a fantasy world for a while.
This grid puzzle game from Gluk has forty levels of zombie networking challenges, plus a level editor, offering plenty of achievements and endless fun. Make every creature happy by arranging them along a grid so that each is holding hands with his friends. While not entirely original, Happy Dead Friends is well-made and has enough unique qualities to warrant praise and smiles.
The title says it all: Canabalt HD is Canabalt in HD! The epically popular one button running game that originally appeared in browsers back in 2009 has made its way to the mobile scene before. There's even C64anabalt for the Commodore 64! Now, with bigger, more powerful mobile devices around, this high-definition version of the game comes along, featuring remade 3D backgrounds and smoother animation. Don't worry, though. It's still just as easy to leap out a window and smack into another building!
All hands to your mobile devices! The mateys at Agile Fusion bring the fun and nostalgia of the board game Battleship to your fingertips with Battle at Sea. The game has recently come to port for NOOK and Kindle Fire tablets for those of you who want to sink ships before browsing through John Grisham novels. The set-up is simple: battle against your device or a real person in a turn-based naval competition!
Think fast! Actually, when you're a developing neural cell, you've got no choice but to think fast and make as many neural connections as you can. That's the basis behind Axon, a science-based fast-paced action game from Preloaded. Click to grab the protein targets and watch out for other neurons trying to invade your space!
A physics-arcade game from Pastel Games, Mission to Uranus plays like a mouse-driven, one-button version of Lunar Lander. Touchy controls test the patience, but Mission to Uranus is a beautiful game. Just be sure to stock up on fuel in early levels, so you don't crash down the line. Uranus has enough debris as it is.
Games don't get much simpler than this; just hit a key to jump over an obstacle. Easy, right? Well, Chris Jeffrey's reflex-demanding one-button arcade game might just prove you wrong across twenty sadistic levels. With its snappy presentation and straight-forward gameplay, Space is Key 2 is hardly innovative, but it is a well polished little torture device for your reflexes. More than anything, it's a great illustration of how hard you can force players to push themselves at a simple concept just by implying it should be easy.
If you always liked playing Pictionary as a board game with friends, now you can doodle away mobile style with Draw Something. A game very similar to Charadium or XSketch, OMGPOP brings players a socially addicting Pictionary-style game to both iOS and Android platforms. The game has even become so popular that it could possibly spawn a TV show!
A fun expansion of the original swinging Hanger 2 by A Small Game, this Endless Level Pack keeps the great physics action, while featuring a lot of cool new architecture, along with the anticipated Endless Mode. Go out on a limb and try it!
A high-difficulty minimalist platformer by Noxious Hamster, Spikes Tend To Kill You 2 makes no bones about its brutal difficulty. However tough it is though, the challenges are mostly fair, and clever level design and dialogue will keep players interested, even after the 500th impalement.
Somehow, we must have missed the episode of National Geographic where they explained how all fish float around frozen, just waiting for explosives to be dropped to free them, so they can then be gobbled up by an opportunistic octopus. It may sound grim, but this frantic, vivid, and colourful chain reaction arcade game packed with achievements and upgrades is anything but.
Scan each scene in this short but thoroughly interesting spot-the-difference game by FlashRomance, seeking the sometimes obvious and other times minute incongruities between the mirrored images, then set them right with a quick click. An aesthetically diverse array of inner city settings with atmospheric sound effects, music and animations add deeper dimensions to your exploratory fun. The eyes can be fooled and the mirror is deceiving, which is why finding the Errors of Reflection can be both challenging and gratifying. So use your powers of observation and take a poke at both sides of the looking glass—the beauty is in the details.
Centered on the mechanic of changing your color to interact with different objects, Coloraze, a puzzle platformer by Colin Brown, is a simple concept done well. It's one of those works where a string of gameplay elements are introduced in the beginning, then paid off in the long run with a string puzzles that force them to interact in interesting way. Each individual level won't take too much time to play, but with a good ninety included, plus a solid number of levels made by the community using Coloraze's solid level editor, you won't be running out of game any time soon.
MoonMana offers up simple but undeniably lovely arcade playing with this hypnotic game about catching stars and... no, that's about it, really. While there isn't much to them, both Stellar Hunter games are beautiful and satisfying in that way you sometimes just want that feels specifically designed to make you relax with a smile on your face.
Legend tells us of King Midas, granted a gift by Pan that all he would touch would turn to gold. The tale is the inspiration for Midas, a puzzle platform game by Wanderlands, and overall winner of the Ludum 22 Game Jam. In it, you must guide the king to his love, but not before you reach the river that will wash him of his "gift". The theme for the competition was "Alone", a word that's perfectly captured by this short, challenging, and even poignant game.
Should you have a yen for social studies trivia, Trip Alone The Globe, an arcade game by Symbio Digital, will more than satisfy that worldy desire. It's a simple challenge of collecting trivia questions, then driving a (somewhat difficult to maneuver) car to the proper location to score points. The graphics are pretty (if a little CPU-intensive), the questions are goofy, but clever, and while the game take only a couple of minutes to play, they'll be good minutes. All that's missing is Rockapella on the soundtrack.
Interactive art has a reputation for being light on the challenge, but These Robotic Hearts of Mine, a puzzle game by Alan Hazelden definitely shows that it doesn't have to be. It's a simple game of gears and direction... one that I would love to see re-created in the physical space of a gallery. However, each solution presents another line in a story of technology, hearts and heartbreak. The puzzles alone would be fine, and the elegy is affecting. However, the combination fits like one hand into another.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow... and snow... and then snow some more in Snow Tree, this charming little arcade physics game from Alexey Izvalov. Control the snowfall by clicking and dragging with the mouse to create invisible air currents, directing the flakes into a tidy pile to form a delicate, branching, and ever-growing tree (keeping the white stuff away from your front door and driveway in the process). Pile the snow as high and efficiently as you can to build your score, and snag some of those neatly wrapped presents floating high in the clouds to earn extra points and increase the maximum amount of snowflakes available to build with.
Gameplay in Pinata Hunter is simple and distinctive, as you swing your mouse Wii-mote style to bludgeon your quarry for tasty treats. After a few upgrades it's immensely satisfying (and addicting). Like squeezey stress toys, or inflatable punching bags, no one can accuse relentlessly beating on a colorful elephant sculpture for candy to be a deep experience, but you'll hardly care once you can fill the screen with flying candy.
Alien war rages upon the surface of the moon. But would Santa dare forget those space marines that made it onto the "nice" list? By Kringle's beard, I say thee nay! Even it if means strapping a rocket to his back and launching himself to space, ol' Saint Nick will deliver those gifts if its the last thing he does! Berzerk Studios brings you Santa Rocket, and while not particularly innovative for the arcade launch genre, it is a solid holiday work.
An arcadey combination of mouse avoidance and WarioWare-style mini-games, Mouse Quest by Oilold takes two love-em-or-hate-em genres of casual gameplay and fuses them into something quite likeable. The plot is nothing too special: the mysterious Shapemaster has transported you to his dimension and presents your cursor with various fast-paced challenges so that you may prove your worth before facing him. Overall, the presentation has the minimalism of someone new to game development, but it's very enjoyable work all the same.
Sometimes receiving a message can be so exciting that the letters seem to jump off the page. Then those letters form into a giraffe, which will dart across the landscape pursued by snakes, sharks and Godzilla. Okay, that just might be the interactive music video for Japanese rock group Andop's song "Bell". With an amazing combination of typographic and charcoal art, the game so visually interesting that it makes up for the CPU-hogging and somewhat loose gameplay. There are probably easier ways to post a missive, but this is definitely one of the most fun.
Dim the lights, light the incense, and settle in for some relaxing puzzlement with Coins. Slide the coins around from starting position to goal position in forty soothing levels. Ahh. Sounds easy, right? In the first twenty levels, you can only move a coin to a place where it's touching two other coins. In the second twenty, it must be touching two coins of different colors.
Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the new Bart Bonte game, sugar's glistening. A beautiful sight, we're puzzling tonight, playing Sugar, Sugar: The Christmas Special. Guide particles of sugar to several cup targets, with some complications along the way such as color-changing dyes and gravity switching buttons, and all with a Christmas theme that's as sweet and cheery as a mug of hot cocoa. Like its predecessor, it requires a decent amount of patience, so consider this a warm-up for waiting to open your presents.
What time is it? Tasty Planet: Dinotime! Mathematical! The popular action series from Dingo Games is back, and this time things have gotten prehistoric. Like always, gameplay is one part Fishy and two parts Katamari as the ancient world faces the cutest darn grey goo scenario you ever did see, and you have the starring role as the goo! It's eat or be eaten as you grow from pebble-size to apatosaurus-size... and maybe just manage to do something about that huge asteroid in the sky.
Pixels! Love 'em or hate 'em? You might have no choice but to do the latter in this action-packed arcade shooter. Soak in the retro vibe as you blow apart incoming pixel enemies, raining laser fire down on the field to blast chunks off of them, and nabbing power-ups that drop to increase your strength.
If there's one thing all of us could use in life, it's a sense of perspective. At the very least, having one will certainly help you in Blueprint 3D, the new puzzle game from Zedarus . You must use the mouse to rotate an apparently incomprehensible mass of illustrations to find the point of view where the whole plan will come together. It's a game that certainly won't leave you blue.
It's always fascinating when a developer, having come up with an engaging idea for a puzzle game, tries to justify the premise after the fact with a storyline. Case in point: Mysterious Treasures by Sky Mill, which spins a simple grid-based strategy game of getting more coins than the CPU into a high-seas pirate adventure. It's a simple little game that makes for big fun.
Get your ommmm on with Hakim El Hattab's zen-like avoidance game that sends you soaring through a field of red dots to soothing ambient music, snagging power ups and soaking in the atmosphere as you pursue the high score.
It must be rough to be so fragile that even a bump against a ceiling will remove precious body parts. And yet that's the situation before you in Hanger 2, a small yet fun and addictive physics game. Swing from rope to rope, as with a grappling hook, to reach the exit of each level without losing too many body parts.
We hold a truth to be self-evident that all squishy bouncy blob thingies are born with certain inalienable rights, including those of life, liberty and the pursuit of hat-iness. The hero of Pursuit of Hat, a puzzle platformer from Anton Rogov, is willing to risk all manner of life and limb for his head-covering... mainly limb though, since his are detachable. Literally tearing ones self apart over a head-covering may seem a little extreme. In all fairness... it's a pretty sweet hat.
In this one-button, simple-idea, action game of skill, you control a sleepwalker moving from the left edge to the right edge of the screen. Your only recourse to help save him from an untimely death from spikes and moving platforms is to press either [space] or click the left mouse button to stop him in his tracks. Your decisions involve when to stop him and for how long, so it's key to observe the level and plan accordingly. The music and graphics create a fitting atmosphere, setting you in this dreamland that could be a nightmare.
Straight from the ghastly hallows of Nitrome comes the hobbling horror of a humdinger, Stumped! As a hopping foot that can only make right turns, can you bounce your way to the exit while dodging piercing spikes, frightening firepits, and eerie eyeballs?
Damian Sommer created this short, no-frills little puzzle platformer to throw the player into a series of one-screen, "extremely distilled metroidvanias." He accomplishes this by first teaching the player some rudimentary game mechanics and then builds upon those rules incrementally while increasing the difficulty and complexity of each level's design. And it works quite nicely for a game made in just a day and a half.
Think you can play platform games? Try this challenging game from Paradoxon Games and test your reflexes to the bitter edge... all so that Stu can get a night's sleep. Following in the tradition of VVVVVV and Gravinaytor is Sleepy Stu's Adventure, probably the hardest platform puzzler game you will play this year.
Flee Buster is a retro arcade game about a little human escaping abduction from an alien tractor beam. No wait, it's about a spaceship on the run from Pac-Man's violent quadrilateral cousins. No wait, actually it's about a frog trying to jump as far up as he can from some evil looking spike-water. A bit schizophrenic? Perhaps. But this action-arcade release from Chevy Ray that took first place overall in Ludlum Dare 21 makes one think of Neapolitan ice cream: it has three great tastes that taste great together
Euclid taught us that spheres are masters of espionage. Tactical espionage, that is. One might even say tactical espionage action. Metal Sphere Solid is a short game that can be completed in five to ten minutes, but it's still an innovative take on the stealth genre. A longer game of this nature would be great, but everyone with a bit of time to spare should give Metal Sphere Solid a shot. It certainly beats geometry class!
Bripitol, a sort of deliberately-paced matching game, continues Tonypa's run of designs for games that are simple, easy to grasp, yet unique and compelling. With appealing abstract design and soundtrack from Kevin Macleod, Bripitol is a fine edition to Tonypa's library of puzzlers.
While we at JayIsGames pride ourselves on featuring the best and latest in casual gaming, we always have time to feature quality works that fell through the cracks. Case in point: Soap Bubble, a, if not the, prototypical avoidance game, was originally released in 2002 and became one of the earliest games featured on the site. The charming and devilishly difficult tale of an ultra-delicate bubble trying to make his way through a cave back to his friends was the start of great things for Anders Gustafsson including the Audience Award winning Gateway series and the coolly claymated The Dream Machine. So it seems that the 2006 sequel which continued the story of the iridescent sphere that could passed us by... until today! Soap Bubble 2 keeps what was best about the original while still feeling fresh.
There's a tremendous amount of brainbusting to be found in such a tiny puzzle game as this. The shortest distance between two points certainly isn't a straight line here, as you'll end up making circles around yourself to find the correct path to the exit. You only have thirty spots to move to, but you'll be trekking around the grid for a good long time. It'll be pretty hard to pass up this Impasse.
Presented in crispy pixel graphics and a soundtrack reminiscent of truly old console gaming, Froggish Swimmer is a fiendish little offering where you guide your frog towards a whirlpool. In his way are various obstacles, some to be avoided, others to be bombed away. Sounds simple? This is not your average one button game...