On has just released a brand new game over at his Eyezmaze blog, and it's a sign that he's feeling well and back to his usual self. Applicate Vol. 0 is a unique and original puzzle game with unusual rules. I won't spoil it by explaining it here since there are, at present, only 5 levels and the thrill of discovery is part of the fun with it. Thank you, On! Please give us more levels as soon as you can.
Music Catch is a game with a very simple mechanic set to a transcendent classical piano piece that could hold your attention single-handedly. The shapes appear in ebb and swell to the accompaniment, diving from foreground to background in a shifting aquamarine rainbow. You'll never catch them all; the most you can hope for is to ride the wave, soaking up as much as possible, darting for extra substance where it appears. In other words, the gameplay is much like listening to a enriching piece of music.
In Falling Forever, you control an unlucky black silhouette of a fellow who gets dropped through a trap door into a tall empty room. Empty, that is, except for the DEADLY LASER stretching across the floor. Your job is to stay alive as long as possible by launching yourself off the convenient but fragile bubbles rising through the room.
Fans might remember TBA as the ultra-fast-paced, eye-popping, ball-shooting game with an insane techno soundtrack, all of which blended together quite nicely to create a surprisingly simple and fun game. "TBA Two" grows from the same roots as its predecessor and surpasses it in many ways. If you're a fan of the original, it's a safe bet you're going to love this sequel. If you've never played the original, it's a game that's definitely worth checking out.
The latest from Case, creator of Red and the original 5 Differences previously mentioned here, 6 Differences is another spot the differences game that incorporates gorgeous and surreal, animated graphics and images. Just click on a difference when you spot it, either side will work, to change the difference into a matching set.
A simple jump-and-run platformer with style, Space Walker shows that a very simple concept paired with simple graphics can be made into an enjoyable and very pretty casual game experience. Variety in enemy type, enemy movement, and gravity for each level provides an increase in challenge, while a randomized color scheme provides something new to look forward to. Nothing earth-shattering or all that innovative here, just a well-designed package from tip to tail.
A rather prosaic title for a work with such philosophical ambitions. This is the newest action puzzle game from Philipp Seifried and Markus Mundjar, the authors of A Good Hunch and Drifts. Each level in Twizzle is a circle, made up of a series of rotating concentric rings. Your aim is to transport a small orb from the innermost ring to the outermost, but you only have limited control over the orb's movement.
Killawatt is a game about stacking speakers onto a truck with a wobbly, aerial crane. It's the latest addition to Samsung's arcade of surprisingly solid advergames, featuring Sammy, a conspicuously anglo, canine mascot. This time, however, Sammy has his black snoopy ears in a dreadlock-esque style, and he's gone rasta.
Recovered from an illness that delayed the game's creation (but produced Grow Nano vol. 3), On has finally released Meet In ver. 0. You control four individual family members, each in his or her own screen, and are trying to guide them through the maze of puzzles to be together once again. Simply click on the square you want to control and use the [arrow] keys to move.
Proximity is a classic turn-based strategy Flash game that is somewhat like a cross between Risk and Go. It is surprisingly simple to learn and takes about 5 minutes to play. You can play against the computer, or against a friend at the same computer.
Kullors is a cute new puzzle game in which the objective is to mix and match colors to remove all the cute little kullors from each level. Matching the kullors looks super easy at first (and it is!), but the real challenge comes when you run out of matching colors (and you always do!) and must begin to mix colors to make just the right combination of kullors to clear the board.
dRive is quite possibly the first calculus-themed game to get a review on this site, but don't go fleeing for the high country quite yet; you don't need to understand the math to play the game. At its core, dRive is a simple "catch the falling objects" game, but the unusual, calculus-based method of controlling three games at once turns dRive into an innovative, fascinating game.
A tribute to the Moai series, Doeo takes the same basic principle of frantically mousing over moving targets while racking up enough points to move to the next level. Instead of the statuesque Moai that inhabit previous games, here you try to collect as many pink and blue Doeo as quickly as possible.
Hopickston is the latest casual puzzle game from Tonypa, and like so many of his other games, it offers a uniquely original experience that is both simple and elegant. It just may have that perfect balance between strategy, luck, logic, and memory. Randomized parameters ensure that no two games are ever alike.
Open Doors is a clever puzzle game played over a gridded blue-print of a building complete with doors and swinging circles meant to identify their hinges. As you move past these contraptions, they slam shut behind you! It's like a house-of-mirrors boiled down to sheer design, and it's fun.
Nanotube is a stylish action game that tasks you with preventing an army of colored orbs from escaping the center of a circle. You have control of a wall of segments at the perimeter of that circle, and you must block each orb with a wall segment of the same color. It is a satisfying treat on many levels, with orbs flying at you with a regular rhythm and popping with a musical sproing, so if you're playing well, the game will automatically play a random tune for you.
In his ongoing, mad quest to give us all nightmares about geometry, Tonypa has unleashed Cobacoli upon the world. It sounds like a deadly bacteria, but no, it's an elegant puzzle game based around 2-dimensional ball physics, although in many ways it qualifies as an infectious disease. Symptoms include intense concentration, swearing, and the inability to pry your hand away from your mouse. Updates include a level select screen and better high score memory.
A logic puzzle reminiscent of Minesweeper and simple enough to pick-up and play immediately due to its similarity to other puzzles like it. And yet it feels like a fresh new puzzle all its own. A variety of puzzle sizes and difficulty levels are available to tailor your game play experience to match your own personal comfort level. It's a no-frills design that minimizes the superfluous to maximize what it does well: classic puzzle gameplay.
Moving is quite a hassle. There's no easy way to go about it, no matter how much manpower is on your side. Getting everything into boxes and into a waiting truck takes hours, and who knows how much stuff you might break. In Jig Easy, Sam, you've got about eight minutes to move out, but thankfully you have the miracle of ball physics to aid you in your quest.
Ubiquitous developer jmtb02 has added another prize race horse to his growing stable of ultra-fast-paced minigame collections. While his Four Second series stuck pretty closely to the formula established by Nintendo's Wario Ware, this new game feels like its own entity, with a unified visual style and a strong sense of purpose. Grid16 is nothing less than an exploration of our primal gamer instincts, and although it isn't a complete triumph, it's a giant step in an intriguing direction.
Taro Ito has been a favorite of ours here at JIG for several years, so it is with great fanfare that we welcome new releases from his GameDesign.jp website. The latest of his designs is this sliding-block puzzle game called Shot. The objective is to progress as far as you can, through a series of increasingly more difficult levels, by knocking all but one of the balls from the play grid.
Every time we review a picross game, there always seems to be a hubbub about what site does it right. Either there's not enough puzzles to solve, not enough variety in the puzzles, it's all too easy or too hard, or the pictures look like someone sneezed on a piece of graph paper. (I'll admit to being among the gripers before.) And every time, there's at least one person who suggests Griddlers.
Here's a game that needs no introduction around here, the next game in the amazing and wonderful Grow series from Eyezmaze has just released today. Grow Nano Vol. 3 has the same familiar gameplay, graphics, animation and soundtrack as the others, and it is sure to put a smile on your face.
Trying to describe a game using splendiferous prose just seems so... right-brained-centric. How discriminatory! Thus, as a public service to all you left-brainers out there, I hereby present this mathematical description: Retroid = (Pong + Gravity - 1 player + Ball2 + 3Enemy) * 4 modes + Bob.
In his ongoing, mad quest to give us all nightmares about geometry, Tonypa has unleashed Cobacoli upon the world. It sounds like a deadly bacteria, but no, it's an elegant puzzle game based around 2-dimensional ball physics, although in many ways it qualifies as an infectious disease. Symptoms include intense concentration, swearing, and the inability to pry your hand away from your mouse.
ShoOot 2: revenge of square, a cathartic circle extermination simulator, is more of a spiritual successor than a direct sequel, since you can now move in two dimensions and the gameplay focus has shifted from overwhelming rapid-fire madness to a more deliberate and unusual rhythm. The very latest from the casual game master: Tonypa.
Rmvblls is a goal-based action game in which the objective is to remove the required number of balls from play. It represents designer Eduardo Omine's first entry into one of our competitions, and hopefully not the last! The CGDC4 Ball Physics theme is implemented in a fairly straightforward manner, with four kinds of balls bouncing around the screen like they're on a pocketless pool table.
Save The Planet is a simple shooter in which you aim with your mouse, and fire by holding the left mouse button and releasing after charging the shot. Use the gravity of the titular planet, as well as that of the attacking aliens and even your own prior shots, to defeat the endless waves of attackers. Keep in mind that you're more likely than not to cause your own destruction by shooting the planet you're trying to defend. Oops.
One of the entries to our 4th game design competition, Particle Blaster is a simple yet intense space shooter. You play as a small, triangular space ship whose only goal is to destroy everything that moves. Although it starts easy, you'll be hard pressed to make it through all 14 levels, let alone obtain the coveted A ranking.
Basho Kioku is the latest puzzle game from prolific designer Yoshio Ishii. You are faced with a grid of 36 squares, and your goal is to click on each of them in turn. Each round, a random combination of these squares lights up orange, and you must choose one of them. There is no indication of which squares you've previously selected, but if you pick a square more than once, you lose a life. It's a nearly flawless koan that plays on the tension between the randomness of your choices and the solidity of your strategy.
At first glance, TBA appears to be of a game of extreme simplicity. As you blast through the first level of this arcade action game, doing nothing but striking the space bar until the ball flies into the goal, you may wonder "What's the point?" But don't let any first impression fool you. Once you get going, the game really shows it's true colors.
As the name suggests, Balancing Act requires you to keep a number of balls (and other ball-ish things) balanced on top of each other. Click on a ball and drag your mouse to rotate it, but remember that each action has an equal and opposite reaction! The stylish and humorous presentation and simple control system are to be particularly commended in this worthy game design competition finalist.
The game of Buggle pits 2 to 4 players against one another to see who can befriend the most buggles (which are sort of like ambulatory cloudberries with faces) over the course of 10 rounds. Each round begins with 60 of the little nippers bouncing around in a rectangular play field. Eventually, they will pause and wait for you to pick a location for your control point, which is your primary means of buggle recruitment.
It's official. D_of_I has gone off the deep end. His cat has gotten bored shooting his bow and poling himself about and wants to travel across the ocean, so he enlists the help of a dolphin to provide the locomotion, while he hangs on for the ride of his life in this excellent one-button game!
Another simple game oozing with personality has just been released by Game-Pure, creator of Bound Bear and Oshidama. Samurai High Jump answers the age old question: if a samurai warrior had a big bamboo pole, how far and how high could he jump? It's up to you to find out in this Monkey Kick-Off-style arcade game.
Pajatso is a Flash interpretation of a traditional Finnish gambling game that dates back to the early 1900s. The object is to flick a coin into one of the winning slots. If you succeed, the machine drops a few coins from the columns below. If you miss the coin rolls and adds itself to the stack. It's a fun and simple game perfect for frittering away a few minutes of your time.
Once in Space is a downloadable puzzle-platform game for Windows that delivers both content and charm. Set in deep space, you are a lone astronaut trying to collect stars and reach the flag on different constellations of rock. You can change your gravity by walking around corners, and you must be facing the arrow direction of a star in order to collect it. The first level eases you into the game's mechanics pretty easily.
it seems that many in the JIG community really like picross, and I do, too! Sometimes I'll delay working on economics homework just to play a game (or two or three or four) of picross. And there are so many online implementations of my favorite game, and all with a different interface. So, which one to choose? For some, the question may be difficult to answer. But not for me: I choose Picture Logic!
I. Love. Picross. It isn't as number-heavy as sudoku, doesn't rely on obscure trivia like a crossword puzzle, and the combination of left- and right-brained activity achieves a perfect harmony. Then along comes Armor Picross 2 with its shiny graphics, easy-to-use interface and countless sets of puzzles. In other words, a little slice of picross heaven.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Blackflip is a remarkably well-produced puzzle game inspired by the game Polarium for the Nintendo DS. It's a very simple game to understand, and yet quite challenging to play. The best part about Blackflip is that all of the puzzles are created by other players, and you can even link to specific ones you create by using the tags provided.
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.
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.
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.
The latest from prolific, UK-based Flash developer, Nitrome, Magic Touch is a "mini-game" that allows you to pop balloons by drawing corresponding symbols with your mouse. Why? Because you're a wizard, and your castle is under attack by robots.
Tower Bloxx is a captivating action/puzzle game originally created for mobile phones. Using the mouse button you must drop pieces of a skyscraper from a swinging crane at the top of the screen. Stack the blocks neatly or you'll be in for a tough time as the building reaches toward the sky and sways in the wind. A quest mode lets you build an entire city one building at a time and also adds a little strategy to appease the more hardcore gamer in you. It's a near-perfect blend of casual and serious gaming that everyone will enjoy.
Gemsweeper is a casual game of picross (picture crossword puzzles) created by Lobstersoft. Your goal is to uncover hidden treasure by breaking rocks to help Topex reconstruct the temples of El Dorado. Stones are arranged in grids with sets of numbers above and to the left that serve as clues as to which tiles contain gems and which are cursed. Bash cursed tiles with a hammer, then grab gems from the rest of the grid to complete each puzzle and re-build the temple, one brick at a time!
Just released from Dofi blog, creator of the World of Sand games: Adventure of Cat, a spiritual successor to Cat with Bow Golf. In Adventure of Cat your goal is to guide a hapless gray kitten to the end of the stage. Your only mode of transportation is an extendible stick that you can use to push against the ground, propelling the cat forward.
JIGorbit is an action puzzle game that incorporates simple gravitational force as the basis of its gameplay. The objective is to reunite the scattered limbs of the JIGster logo by propelling the body around the gravitational field created by the JIGster's 'head' while avoiding any vortexes. It was created by DDams, of France, and is the winner of the "Best use of the JIG logo" prize from our 3rd competition.
Another simple idea executed almost perfectly, Andrew VanHeuklon's Rerun is a unique mouseplay game of collection and avoidance. And though we have seen this core gameplay mechanic in other games before, it is the creative implementations of the "replay" theme that elevate this title above others of its type.
It should come as no surprise to hear that great things often spring from the simplest of ideas. Gimme Friction Baby is one such simple idea turned into an award-winning arcade game of strategy and skill that will keep you coming back for more long after your first play. First place and audience prize winner from our 3rd game design competition, and now part of the elite selection of games to be called Best of 2007. Another exceptional game design by Wouter Visser.
A Flash version of the classic Denki Blocks originally made for the Game Boy Advance. The goal of each level is to maneuver blocks of the same color so that they touch. Use the arrow keys to move the entire set of blocks around the screen. Immovable black squares can be used to prevent certain blocks from moving, allowing you to separate adjacent blocks from each other. The twist here is that when blocks of the same color meet, they fuse into a single block. Although this is the ultimate goal of the game, you'll have to be careful, as you can easily render a level unsolvable through premature fusions. With 100 levels, Jelly Blocks contains more than enough puzzler goodness to satisfy the hunger of anyone.
Game-Pure has already pumped out a pseudo-sequel to Bound Bears with more levels and an updated presentation. Bound Bear Quest Mode features the same Bloons-meets-Breakout gameplay along with the ultra-cute square bears, but now the music and backgrounds have been jazzed up and the levels are much more challenging.
Sound Energy mixes a simple color-matching game of collection/avoidance with a little bit of musical interaction to create a superb multimedia experience. You control a transparent orb that can change color from purple to blue to gray. By clicking the mouse you can switch colors and absorb pieces that match your color. Build up combos to earn a high score and keep the background music shifting as you play!
The Four Color Problem is a simple turn-based game in which the goal is to color in as much space on a map as you can, while a computer opponent tries to do the same. The catch is that no two adjacent areas can be filled with the same color. Can you dominate the majority of the map with your color?
Game-Pure continues to amaze us with the rate at which they can release new games. Bound Bear is a simple action projectile game that combines elements from Breakout and Bloons to create something wholly unique and enjoyable to play.The objective is to reunite baby bear with mama bear, and to do so you'll have to avoid the black bears that can block your path.
Most everyone has probably played an avoidance game before. They are generally based on a very simple gameplay mechanic. Orb Avoidance is a simple game of mouse avoidance with the added bonus of a combo system. It's a little mindless fun to get your gears turning, and it won't take more than 10-15 minutes of your time.
Flashxed manages to breathe a little life into the familiar block-matching puzzle theme with a new mechanic: block dragging. You're presented with a set of bricks with colored orbs sparkling inside. Drag blocks left or right one at a time, and if two or more blocks of the same color touch, they smash and crumble away. It's extraordinarily perplexing at times, but that challenge is what makes it so fun.
A lecturer at The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University in Software Development for Games, Jeff Wofford has been working in the games industry for over 10 years. He has also just released this addictive little Flash puzzle game that plays like a cross between a tangram and a sliding block puzzle.
From Hero Interactive comes a physics-based game Light Sprites. It also happens to be the happiest, most rainbowiest game ever made. Light Sprites is a hit the target game where you toss colored orbs to hit matching targets on the landscape below. The music and visuals are extraordinary and make this simple game so fun you might just crack a smile.
In Rat Maze 2, you are a mouse in a maze and you must collect all the pieces of cheese in the shortest time possible. Use the arrow keys for movement to zip around the maze. Running over a cheese is as good as eating it, so no time is wasted collecting them all. Simple retro fun from the highly talented developers at PixelJam.
Bloxorz is a simple idea for a puzzle game that is beautifully executed. The objective is to tumble a rectangular block through each stage and deposit it into the square hole at the end. Using a series of bridge-opening switches, teleporters, and block-splitting switches, solve the puzzle each stage presents to move on to the next of the game's 33 levels.
Bada Boing is based on a very simple idea: Bounce a ball off a trampoline to hit targets and score points. Using the mouse just click, drag, and release a ball from the unlimited supply to 'throw' it. It's really quite intuitive to play. Included are 4 different game modes incorporating the same addictive gameplay mechanic.
Overhead Consistence is another mouse maze game, but please bear with me... this one's good, even if you don't normally go for manual dexterity games. If you don't believe me, go check out Overhead Persistence, reviewed here in March. Has JohnB ever steered you wrong? This one is well worth the effort.
Shuffle is a combination of curling, marbles and billiards played with two rows of colored balls. You take control of the red team and must knock the yellows off the screen before the computer does the same to you. Grab a marble and drag the mouse to choose your throwing angle and power, then let it fly and watch the yellow marbles tumble off the screen.
Each time Ferry Halim of Orisinal.com releases a new game, I think I've seen the most beautiful and elegant combination of music and artwork in casual gaming history. With the latest release of The Crossing, Ferry has outdone himself once again. Control a platform to help leaping deer cross a stream. Go for the highest score possible while eyeing the gorgeous scenery and listening to a soothing piano tune.
Friend Chase is a simple arcade style game in which you run around a courtyard using only the mouse for movement and left button to jump. Your goal is always to collect friends by touching other people of the same color, though how many and in what combination differs from level to level.The gameplay is simple and delightful, and it managed to suck me in for quite a while.
We here at Casual Gameplay have been fans of the work Yoshio Ishii has been doing in Shockwave and Flash for several years now. He may be best known for his Neko series of games (neko means "cat" in Japanese), though he has also created some of the best Panzo games as well. His latest effort is this beautiful and delightful game that will give your brain some stimulation as you play.
Logic puzzle fans of Minesweeper and the recently reviewed Slither Link will enjoy this latest logic puzzle design from Wouter Visser, author of PLANned. The rules of Count Out are simple to understand: derive the locations of all the golden squares on the board from the numbers given.
For a quick and addictive action game splurge, check out the recently released Angry Faic. Similar to Kill the Pacman, presented here way back a few years ago, Angry Faic is an arcade action game of skill that has you perpetually falling from the sky, constantly trying to land on tiny passing emoticons of a matching color.
Welcome to Tonypa's school of game design. Start with a very simple gameplay idea; it doesn't have to be original, but the idea has to be simple enough for anyone to understand immediately. Include a few attractive graphics in a minimalist style of your own design. Add a pleasing and relaxing soundtrack. Toss everything in a box and flip it upside down. Voilà. Brand new game all your own.
I think many people who frequent this site would agree: Tonypa is one of our favorite casual game designers. Grow Word, his submission to Casual Gameplay's second competition exhibits many of the characteristics that we have come to love about Tonypa's games: it's elegant, understated, and easy to learn but hard to master.
Similar to the classic game Rack-O, Tower Blaster puts you in a race against the Viking hordes in a randomly-assorted tower of numbered blocks to must arrange them in order from lowest at the top to highest at the bottom. Finish your tower before your opponent finishes theirs, else the mighty Viking Axe destroys your own tower and the game is over.
SlingStar is a space-themed shooter that uses realistic physics to make a strange game concept feel as natural as playing with a paddle and rubber ball. You pilot a small circle that must avoid everything on-screen. Your weapons are two orbiting satellites that you can sling back and forth to pummel enemy ships. By moving your craft back and forth, you send the satellites hurdling around you in a widening path.
Dot Action 2 is a cute little platformer with a personality. For those seeking some old-school gameplay, OffGao of Japan may have just what you're looking for. At first glance these games may appear as nothing special, but as was the case with many early video games, it's all about the gameplay.
Cannon Bods is a slick little action game where you must shoot falling pirates before they hit the water. The controls are easy and intuitive, and a nice touch is that as you hold down the mouse button for more power the trajectory line changes its shape to match your cannon's increased power, giving you an accurate look at exactly where your "ammo" will go.
Stone Cold Curling is another well-polished game by Preloaded, the makers of CDX and Shootin' Stars. It's a simple Flash version of curling where your goal is to slide stones to the end of a field and come as close to the center of the target as you can.
Aqui Griffin delivered a visually stunning entry to our recent game design competition that is as easy to pick-up and play as it is to look at. enQbate is a simple puzzle game in which the objective is to highlight all cells in play by mousing over them with the cursor and then clicking.
At first glance, the latest offering from Taro Ito's GameDesign appears to be just another Tetris clone, but closer inspection reveals gameplay dependent upon color rather than shape. In Porolith Flash, the objective is to stack and group shapes of the same color together to remove them from play.
Chick Chick Boom is a combat-style game that pits two teams of chicks against each other in a small divided field. Draw your attack and defense moves on an egg at the bottom of the screen and try to best your opponent. Chick Chick Boom also holds the priviledge of being one of two Flash games to be sponsored by Nintendo.
Dofi has just released a demo version of a new title for us to play with: Cat with Bow Golf. The name may sound strange, but that's only because the game is strange. You control a cat with a bow and arrows attached to a rope. By pulling back with the mouse, fire the arrows to pull the cat across the screen and try to hit the target on the other side.
The old "navigate through a maze" concept enjoys a small rebirth in the form of Overhead Persistence, a gorgeous Flash game by Acrid Rose. Guide the cursor through each level avoiding the walls and any other obstacles you come across. Normally a game like this wouldn't be anything special, but Overhead Persistence provides a stunning audio and visual package along with a level editor and other extras to make a worthwhile experience.
From John Hattan comes BaffleBees, a quick, fun puzzle game for those on a coffee break. Be the best by ordering your bees around the hive until your entire honeycomb is filled with honey. The game has extremely simple graphics and almost zero sound. That said, it is fun and casual play. There are a multitude of other games on the site that are worth a look as well.
Danny Miller's Boomshine is a new riff on the chain-reaction action pioneered by Omega's Every Extend. The goal is to remove a given number of the colorful, floating dots moving around the screen. It would be a stretch to call Boomshine relaxing, but it is certainly refreshing, and a nice, albeit simple addition to a rapidly growing category of casual gameplay.
For those who've been to Clack and back, it's time for another puzzle adventure with Clack 2, as Sean Hawkes has been busy finishing up the next in what is shaping up to be a series of delightful puzzle games. If you haven't already played the original, you may want to go do that first as it is an excellent introduction to these wonderful and original, Flash mechanical puzzle toys.