The disappearing cursor game was created in Flash by Tom Pennock and released to the public just a few days ago on his site, BeatsTelevision.com. It's a game with a modest design and lofty expectations on the player. There are at least 12 levels where you must navigate the cursor with the mouse from point A (Go) to point B. The concept sounds easy, until you actually give it a try.
A creative play on words gives this game a poetic name and purpose, while a poem at the beginning of the game gives it soul. And yet it's the haunting imagery of men of straw being eaten by a murder of ravenous crows, and then coming alive to thrash and swipe for their lives that gives this game its magic. A beautiful work of art disguised as an enjoyable game. Or is it the other way around?
Warthog Launch is an exceptionally good physics puzzle game with gratifying gameplay that feels a bit like bowling. Simply position the Warthog, add grenades, and blast-off. Clear all the creatures on the play field in one fell-swoop to advance to the next level. More fun that it should be, this game is the bomb.
Og Og Alive is an original concept action adventure game of life back in the stone ages when days were spent foraging for food and protection. Play as either male or female Og Og, and pay particular attention to the hints they give as you adventure through the game. This excellent and unusual game is part of the Game On initiative of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Best Game award winner at the Flash Forward Festival in San Francisco, Chasm is a point-and-click adventure game that stands head-and-shoulders above the rest of the pack. Containing top-notch production values that rivals many commercial products, the animation is excellent with colors and cell shaded graphics that resemble a Warner Bros. Loony-Toons cartoon. Highly recommended.
The prolific and gifted Ferry Halim has created yet another wonderful game and it plays like a Disney animated short. Think Fantasia and Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies and you won't be far from the Flash magic Ferry serves up in this game: Chrysalides turn to butterflies when zapped by your little magic dew drops as you fall through the branches of a very, very tall tree.
Naive's latest game is Equilibrium in which you must balance your unicycle on a tightrope using the mouse. Then, while balancing, use the tightrope as a slingshot to jump in the air and catch the orbs that float by. The artwork is beautiful, the soundtrack is soothing, and the gameplay mechanics make this game a lot of fun.
C'est bizarre. From Paris, France, Yamago.net is a talented bunch of Flash and web folks that serve up games and cartoons, and multiplayer environments. Many of their games are very strange, like the one I've highlighted here: Sick and Famous.
From VectorPark comes this incredibly mesmerizing Flash game of physics and balance. Create an intricate mobile by attaching each piece such that balance is maintained. If done properly, another piece will drop in the water for you to continue with. How far can you get?
Bubbles is a clever and addictive arcade game in which the objective is to collect bubbles to score points while avoiding spikes that can burst your own bubble. The problem is that the more bubbles you collect, the larger your bubble becomes, which makes navigation a bit trickier. A grooving soundtrack and numerous power-ups make this game a lot of fun.
The Asylum: Psychiatric Clinic for Abused Cuddly Toys, that's the extended name of this very odd Flash game. And the gameplay is just as strange: through various therapeutic methods, attempt to lead the cuddly toy patients to resolve their traumatic past experiences. If you have ever wondered if someone would ever make a game for therapists, it's time to stop wondering.
The Telephone is a stylish and unique puzzle game in which you embark on an adventure by dialing in destinations. The destinations are 3-digit telephone numbers that you find in each 'level' and which advance you through the game. Each destination is unique in its objective, sound, and interface.
Micro Life is a real time strategy game (RTS) that is quite easy to play, and it has a lot of charm to compensate for the relatively light challenge it presents. Accessible to all ages, this game is one part simulation, one part strategy, and one part Insaniquarium all rolled into one.
Another puzzle game, this time from the Netherlands. This one is a new spin on the Rubik's cube genre, if there is such beast, and it's called Sloyd (I think they could have come up with a better name, although I have no idea what Sloyd means in Dutch).
Not a game per se, but definitely fun to play with. Infinite Wheel is a series of Flash movies by Jim Johnstone that borrows samples from various 'Dub' artists and presents them in a virtual playground in which you click, drag, and mouse-over the unique and compelling interactive controls to create your own dub music mixes.
From Popcap comes this cute, strange and addictive, action strategy Java game called Insaniquarium. Originally developed by Flying Bear Entertainment, Insaniquarium won the Innovation in Game Design award at the 2002 Independent Games Festival (IGF).
A lot of thought and design went into developing the Anti-Bush Online VideoGame. It's a mix of SouthPark brashness with old-school 2D side-scrolling fun. Everyone should play it, if for no other reason than to see just how George Bush has failed us as our president. The Emperor has no clothes! We must get rid of him before it's too late.
A wonderfully bizarre and strangely fun interactive narrative by Jakub Dvorský of Amanita Design. Samorost is the granddaddy of all Web Flash point-and-click adventure games. It is full of clicky puzzles and beautifully rendered scenes mixed with animations and various gadgetry. The number one game in the Best of 2004, and now it even has a sequel.
While on the subject of Pacman, several months ago there was a posting on Slashdot games about a Japanese programmer who re-created Pacman entirely in an Excel spreadsheet. Upon reading the story I was both amazed and curious, so I downloaded the zip file from the site linked-to in the story. And it really was Pacman, right down to the cut scenes b...
Here's a Flash game about gene sequencing from the UK which is surprisingly fun to play. The controls took me a couple of games to get used to, then I caught on to it quickly. It's all about constructing genes by piecing amino acids together in the proper sequence. A very odd premise on which to build a game, but it works quite well actually. Be ...
The first in the series of Grow games to be created by On of Eyezmaze from Japan. Such attention to detail went into every aspect of the game, from its animation and sound, to its graphics and gameplay. Grow is a very simple game to play, and a delight to watch the magic within it unfold.