Axis Games brings their Hands of War RPG series into the tower defense genre. As a simple, lowly page, you have been given the Heartstone, a most powerful relic, and tasked to reunite the land of Tempor. Hands of War Tower Defense offers a neat storyline to go along with some great tower defense gameplay. The underlying game is pretty easy, but with all the handicaps available to add to a level, you can essentially adjust your difficulty. It's a fun experience and one in which you'll likely drain a couple of evenings away!
Help our spunky, white-smiled heroine repair her great great grandfather's time machine to escape the creepy alien beings that are pursuing her—and threatening our very existence! Full of corny plot devices and lots of cheese, this part point-and-click adventure, part escape-the-room game is best played with tongue-in-cheek and a tolerance for rather clunky inventory controls. That said, if you feel your inner Marty McFly/Nancy Drew/Fox Mulder clamoring to get out, Adventures of Veronica Wright: Escape from the Present is exactly the game to do it.
Undefined's chibi-cute new tower defense title Hordes of Hordes features an interesting variety of traps, spells and towers in a build-your-own-path style game. Just make sure you think very carefully about your plan before you place things, and you'll find this a pleasant game play experience.
Understandably, helicopters are hard to come by in the insect world, so it's up to one intrepid little caterpillar to create its own and your help is required in this puzzler. Point and click your way through each screen to help the caterpillar find parts, avoid predatory foes and achieve its ultimate goal of becoming a beautiful butterfly.
It's rough getting thrown in the Pit. Mainly because everyone there has the Plague, and nobody ever comes out... at least, not until you. Instead of dying, you, a mild castle librarian, unlock a hidden power within yourself that lets you and your friends battle monsters on another plane... and grants you the chance to save the world. A fantastic and engaging indie game from Level Up Labs that blends strategy, tower defense, fantasy, comedy, and even RPG elements for one wildly addictive game.
Dustforce is a speed-centric acrobatic platform game from Hitbox Team. A demo first appeared back in 2010, showing off the concept and basic design. Since then, the game has undergone some silent but effective changes, improving upon the controls and adding loads of content to sweep through. It's a fast, combo-centric arcade experience that emphasizes speed and perfection, and thanks to the online highscore boards and per-level badges, you'll be strangely compelled to keep playing until everything is just right.
The master of short-form adventure games, Ben Chandler, creator of Annie Android, Eternally Us, brings us another bite-sized retro game that has, perhaps, the most unusual name we've seen for a release we've seen in months. ˆ_ˆ is the story of Julian who is, apparently, the father of the were-bunny race, but he's not so happy about that role. Your job, then, is to help transform him back into a human being, using a combination of biting and headbutting! Not as smart or meaningful as Ben's other releases, perhaps, but it more than makes up for it with wackiness.
- • Deity
- • ^_^, Pitiri 1977
A rousing mix of games this week, featuring pleasantly strange free releases alongside some sturdy demos. A bunny who likes to yell? A demon that can live in a candle? That'll get you to sit up straight and start downloading some games!
This physics puzzle game created by Vyacheslav Stepanov continues the brilliant fun began in the original Let It Glow. Click on objects to remove them to direct the flow of electricity toward a light bulb long enough to make it glow. It's short at only 20 levels and occasionally it involves fickle subtleties in physics law. Yet, besides being very satisfying to play, Let It Glow 2 fulfills your penchant to invent and construct; ergo, this is a shining example of what makes the phuzzle so gratifyingly enjoyable.
A letter telling you about a relative you never knew you had brings you to the shadiest looking mansion ever in the dead of night, but before you can say "bad idea" you find yourself knocked unconscious at the gates. Things don't get much better for you from there out, as you soon discover there's some very bad magic going down and this house holds all sorts of bizarre and creepy secrets you'll have to conquer if you want to escape. A gorgeous and creative hidden-object adventure that's definitely worth a look.
The character of Rinse Games' arena shooter, Mr Gunface, probably heard lots of name calling when it was younger, but now that it's all grown up, it's set to fight! You control the gunface drone to save the planet against the Zenoba invasion by shooting the many guns on its face (surprise). With endless upgrades to your arsenal and 30 levels to battle through, it's up to you whether or not this ends in glorious victory. Either way, prepare yourself for a trip to the principal's office cause drones fight dirty!
Originally released as a download version in 2008, this lovely musical game by Alexander Porechnov of Kranx Productions mingles elements of tetris, sudoku and hidden object scenes into a point-and-click puzzle that's both unique and very entertaining. First seek and find the pieces of a musical outline, then use audio, geometric and symbolic clues to place the puzzle pieces in their correct order to reconstruct a classic song. With its melodious instrumentals, gorgeous graphics and challenging puzzles, Musaic Box is as pleasing to the eyes and ears as it is fun to play.
Minoto serves up this strange and silly homage to the new year in another trademark point-and-click puzzler. Help a dragon do his duties and get him safely past all manner of... unusual obstacles by thinking outside the box and indulging in a little charming and colourful surrealism.
Tesshi-e's latest stars a protagonist taking a much-needed vacation to the titular open-air hot spring, only getting into it isn't so easy; a number of puzzles to solve and inventory items to pick up and use lie in wait before the customer can warm their body properly. This game doesn't break Tesshi-e's streak of good escape games; the puzzles are fairly logical and make sense without being too easy, the controls are just fine, pixel-hunting is nonexistent (as is a changing cursor, but who needs it?) and there's a save feature for when you want to take a break from your break.
The time has come for adventure!... well, a little one, anyway! This simplified roguelike from Ido Yeheili offers three different heroes ready to delve into a dangerous dungeon in search of an evil Minotaur what needs slayin'. While definitely not quite as complex as other titles in the genre, Cardinal Quest offers an ease of use and engaging gameplay that's hard to beat and harder to put down.
Count Thrashwoode's cruelty has gone unchecked for too long! Will you be the one to rescue Princess Hilda before time runs out? After all, Castle Chameleon didn't earn it's name for nothing, and there are more than a few oddities inside it, including the walls themselves. Scarlet Stranger is a beautiful top-down action RPG in the tradition of early Zelda titles that might be too simple for some tastes, but serves up classic gameplay in a rich, distinctive presentation.
An escape game that is heavy on story and light on escaping, since the goal is not to leave the room but to find a time capsule left by your now deceased wife to celebrate what would have been your 10th wedding anniversary. Even if you don't have a sentimental bone in your body The Time Capsule is still a lot of puzzle packed into a small space and definitely fun for any escape fanatic. Let the soothing music clip relax you as you solve puzzles that range from pretty simple to head-banging-hard and enjoy the mid-week escaping challenge.
Created in just 72 hours for Ludum Dare #22, this puzzle game took second place in both innovation and overall competition. Your goal is to eliminate all the tiles on the screen by moving the dual protagonists across the game board, each seemingly on a different planes. As you pass over a color-coordinated square, it disappears, barring further passage, in most instances at least. The lovelorn duo continually gain new abilities, inspired by their circumstances and feelings, adding new dimensions and means to move on. This twist on game mechanics not only keeps it fresh and fun, it makes the narrative truly interesting and enjoyable rather than just words bridging across levels.
TV shows would have us believe that all managers are clueless petty little tyrants. If your superior is one that might be well-served by a kick in the rear, then Origaming has a action launch game for you! My "Dear" Boss stars a set-upon office peon, whose workplace stress reaches such a fever pitch, that his only recourse is to kick his boss through a third story window. For distance. And cash to purchase upgrades. As you might guess, this is a goofy, funny little game, that makes for some good mindless fun.
All The Girl wants is a little time by herself, but that's not going to happen so long as The Bodyguard is on her heels. Luckily, he's prone to distraction, and The Girl isn't above using some rather unusual abilities to her advantage. A short point-and-click puzzle game made in just 72 hours for the Ludum Dare "alone" themed competition that will make you wish it was a whole lot longer.
Rarely are there arcade shooters as epic, gorgeous, playable, and steeped in story as Jamestown. A release from Final Form, Jamestown combines stunning pixel art with a vertically-scrolling top-down shooter (shmup), all set in a 17th century colony on Mars where Spanish Conquistadors have teamed up with native Martians to keep the new settlers away. What you end up with is a superb arcade game that's easy for beginners to get into but still a challenge to master.
- • Split Party!
- • One Final Trek
- • Stray Whisker
Bringing in the end of 2011 with a happy little ring, the 22nd Ludum Dare competition challenged participants to make a game based on a given theme within a 48 hour time frame. Over 700 entries were submitted, and after some rounds of user voting, everything has been ranked and categorized according to awesomeness. We've featured a few of our favorites below, each one representing the compo's "alone" theme quite nicely!
Symphony is a simplified adaptation of the popular music puzzle game Auditorium. Control the colorful streams of light into the target boxes by positioning the arrows to fill them with music.
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.
In 1993, a new star appeared on the NES horizon. A big man with big dreams, big muscles, a big mustache and no shirt, Abobo had nowhere to go but up. Recently however, he was lured back to spotlight by a team of developers, including ThePoxBox, Pesto Force, JackSmack, and the guys at I-Mockery, hoping to make the ultimate love letter to the Nintendo Entertainment System. The result it Abobo's Big Adventure, a retro arcade action-adventure game years in the making. It's a bold, brassy, over-the-top labor of love that pushes 8-bit nostalgia to its very limit.
Kanoti's short point-and-click puzzle might be aimed primarily at young kids, but that doesn't mean anyone can't enjoy it! Play as an assistant to the official Hot Chocolate Dude (yes, that's now his official name) attempting to deliver the royal frothing spoon before the King gets his daily cup. Short but definitely sweet, this is one game that's exceptionally easy but also packs in a lot of charm and silliness.
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.
Heaven is just beyond the city skyline! Or at least that's what the mechanical porker starring in this cute but simple launch game believes. Help our hero to fly out of the city to Pig Paradise by shooting him out of a cannon, causing massive property damage along the way, and purchase various upgrades to get you there faster. That'll do, pig.
When some despicable and toothy crooks burst into your village and make off with your people's most prized possession - a powerful wok which fell from the heavens one day in a cloud of smoke and fire - it's up to you to get it back in this whimsical point-and-click puzzler. Click around on each scene to interact with various objects and figure out how to successfully navigate past hungry monsters, deadly traps, and lava-filled caverns in your quest to recover your stolen mystical cookware.
Sometimes Cloudy Challenge, by Haretoki, is a fresh, fun, and fabulous Japanese escape game. The space is small and cramped, less a room and more of a large closet. Crammed within the confines are a plethora of strange and wonderful devices, each one more mysterious than the last. Take the plunge and enjoy a small yet meaty escape that is sure to tickle your logic circuits and prompt at least one "wow, cool!" moment before you're done.
Whodunnit? Well, if the clues are anything to go by, it looks like YOU'RE the murderer this time. But is all as it seems? Play in reverse in this creepy little point-and-click puzzler to find out how things got so bloody, and whether you're really a cold hearted, evil little creature... or just someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Like to share your candy? One look at the big, dewy eyes of Om Nom might just convince you to. ZeptoLab's iOS smash hit physics puzzle swings into your browser via the impressive power of HTML5. Slice through ropes with the flick of a mouse and deliver the candy to the wee beastie below, avoiding obstacles and nabbing stars along the way. A simple concept with a beautiful presentation and a whole lot of charm makes this one the perfect treat for coffee break style gaming.
You know what are always enjoyable? RC Tanks, especially ones that you can use to fire things at your least-favorite sibling. It took Emitter Critter to realize how this universal archetype of fun might translate well to flash form, and the result is the new top-down shooter, Awesome Tanks. It's nothing too complicated: Shoot stuff. Get coins. Buy upgrades. But when so many arena games are drenched with gore or zombie blood (not that there's anything wrong with that!), it's always cool to see polished genre works that are "kid-friendly" without feeling too "kiddy". Awesome Tanks' fifteen levels have the combination of frenetic action and colorful explosions that all ages should enjoy.
Dateline: Quadrilopolis. To the world at large, mild-mannered office worker Cube Kent seems to do nothing more than work at the office of Office Work Incorporated. However, due to a mysterious accident as a young involving a radioactive chemistry set, whenever there is a call for help, he need only to duck into a convenient telephone booth to become... Square Hero! NDGames' Champion of justice, and puzzle platforming protagonist extraordinaire! He's here in his poly-bagged, holographic, foil-embossed, varient-covered, action-packed first issue, and while it's not quite Eisner Award-worthy for innovation, it's definitely a fun romp, true believers.
Awem Studio has done it again, putting together a prequel sequel to the fun title, The Island: Castaway. In The Island: Castaway 2, play as the young tribesman, Yati, as he travels around the island during a time when everything was whole and right, just before any 'strangers' came. Using the same interface that worked for them before, Awem Studio offers another great simulation game that weaves a tale of wonder and mysticism.
A crazy, multiplayer romp through a visually lush game featuring three moderately-mad fantasy characters with their own unique abilities? Show us where to sign and we'll be there! Actually, now that you mention it, Trine 2 happens to be all of the things described above, plus a whole lot more. It's got action, it's got physics puzzles, it's got both single- and online multiplayer modes, and it's got a sense of humor that will probably remind you of Magicka. It's a modern-day version of The Lost Vikings, and any gamer will be proud to experience the world Trine 2 has to offer!
- • Bomb Detective
- • Seraphim Flame
- • FOLLY
A bountiful harvest of platform games? Sure, why not?! They're sort of the trail mix of the gaming realm. They're everywhere, and there are so many different flavors you can barely choose one to munch on at a time. Some of them have unsavory elements (like coconut flakes, who puts that in trail mix?!), but others are irresistibly delicious with all those banana chips and almonds and tiny bits of chocolate...
All That Matters is a puzzle platformer that takes its inspiration from games like The Company of Myself and Limbo while remaining unique in its own ways. You must maneuver the five Greer family members, each with his or her own abilities and handicaps, through twenty-five deviously tricky obstacle courses while collecting as much love (hearts) as possible. Doing so unlocks bonus levels and achievements. If that's not enough, make your own levels with the editor. All That Matters is not only creative and heartfelt, it's endlessly fun. When was the last time you had so much fun with family?
A ghost, a wolf, a dark and isolated castle, and possibly even a werewolf? Looks like you've got your hands full in the latest hidden object hybrid from Elephant Games, Grim Tales: The Legacy. A sequel to Grim Tales: The Bride, the story and setting are connected between the two games, only this time around, you're stalking through a castle while a peculiar wolf hunts you from the shadows.
Ever wanted to be the king (or queen!) or everything? How about as a reason to blow everything up? This adorable, frantic arena shooter packs tons of action, upgrades, enemies, bosses, and even power-ups into one simple but explosively fun experience to keep you on your toes.
BUGS. Who needs 'em? Especially face-eating, acid-spitting, lurking-in-dimly-lit-corridor-ing bugs! Those are the worst! Blast you way through hordes of enemies in this atmospheric horror shooter that contains a lot of familiar elements, but also one very well done presentation. Upgrade weapons, complete challenges, and maybe even find out the secret of the cryptic "Owl Men"... they're so very hungry...
Bored with your job? Not enough potential petrification or deadly skewering in your life? Then why not try out a career as a tomb explorer in this charming little isometric puzzler? Spicing up familiar gameplay with appealing visuals and vicious obstacles, it makes for a solid chunk of gaming and allows you to craft your own levels for other would-be archaeologists to get lost in.
Japanese, Dghgbakufu, is one designer who combines simple yet beautiful visuals with challenging puzzles. There's no narration, no story, no music. Just a room. With puzzles. Logical puzzles. And sometimes that's all we need out of a decent escape game.
Soothing is the best descriptor of a Tomatea game, and Snowflake Night fits right into that oeuvre with its serene backgrounds, lilting music, and gentle puzzles. Start up the game and let the overall experience wash away any mid-week frustrations as you navigate around the beautiful space and let the calming music flow as you skip lightly from one puzzle to the next. Had a rough week at work or school? Stressed out waiting for the weekend? Take a deep breath, let it out, and experience the joy of Snowflake Night, a calming experience no matter what the reason.
Goime 500, a platformer by Cary Huang, might look a heck of a lot like Achievement Unlocked. And, with its 500 achievements to earn for every tiny little action, it plays a lot like it too. Comparisons are, of course, inevitable, but its webtoy feel and whimsical humor certainly helps make up for its lack of premise-innovation.
Alone. A word that has both good and bad connotations. For Matt Rix' Ludum Dare entry, it's a goal. In The Word Alone, you are given a Boggle-esque board where you are tasked to eliminate all the other letters to leave just 'A', 'L', 'O', 'N' and 'E'. Do you have the word and spatial genius to accomplish this?
Developed in 8 weeks as a class project, Orpheus is a puzzle platform retelling of the classic myth of a man's quest to bring his love back from the dead. Players who can look past a few rough edges will be amply rewarded with the lush and abstract yet accessible art.
Raise your hand if you've heard this one before: The evil Dr. Mad has corrupted the programming of six thematic robots and has sent them out to do his bidding, each utilizing a weapon that would be suspiciously effectively against exactly of their evil kin. The only thing possibly standing in Mad's way is the new creation of the good Dr. Thane: the high-jumping, fast-dashing, laser-blasting, ability-stealing Rokko Chan! Okay, Japanese developer King admittedly isn't exactly trying to hide the inspirations for his retro platformer. But if Rokko Chan may look and play like a ROM hack, then it is a very lovingly crafted one of high quality.
Making Monkeys is just as charming and quirky as Greg Sergeant's previous game Use Boxmen. With only 11 true levels, this puzzle platformer is definitely brief, but it works well as a coffee break game, maybe along with some monkey-shaped toast and a banana.
When Sam's girlfriend Anna is kidnapped after his articles in the local newspaper about a crazed maniac begin to get too close to the truth, he has no other options but to bow to the madman's demands and come alone to an old mansion on the edge of town. What he finds inside is both disturbing and strange, but if he wants to save Anna and make it out alive he'll have to master the puzzles and unlock the truth behind the kidnappings. A somewhat campy but extremely entertaining hidden-object adventure that will keep you wrapped up for hours in a surreal, dramatic world.
A New Beginning is a classically-styled adventure game from the well-respected Hamburg-based publisher and developer Daedalic Entertainment. With A New Beginning, the team has created a great-looking game that's billed as an "eco thriller", two words you wouldn't necessarily want associated with each other. But halfway through the prologue, you'll realize Daedalic pulled it off, as A New Beginning successfully combines socially aware environmental messages with a smart, puzzle-driven storyline.
If you're a logic puzzle fan (both paper-and-pencil and electronic, alike), you've probably heard of a little game called picross. It's a crossword puzzle meets number logic with an artsy twist. Fugazo brings their puzzles to you in the next installment of their popular series, World Mosaics V, where you find a familiar experience with a new storyline and, of course, 100s of new puzzles!
- • Minicraft
- • Incomitat
- • Void
How about some diversions for the last day of the year? Two games pulled from the recent Ludum Dare compo, both of which share some of the same basic ideas and gameplay directions but end up being very different from each other, Then, just to make sure you're paying attention, a totally different game! Wow!
According to popular myth, werewolves are pretty much all over the place, leading normal lives just like the rest of us tax-paying citizens. For the most part, they're pretty normal. Walking around, visiting Starbucks, and maybe even holding the door for you when your hands are full. But when it's the full moon, werewolf kind has a difficult time blending in. And we're not just talking about the smell! In the new hidden object adventure game from ERS Game Studio, Shadow Wolf Mysteries: Bane of the Family, you get to dive a bit deeper into the family structure of a family of werewolves, learning all about their curse and how this odd transformation travels from parents to children.
From Strawberry Café, here's a brisk escape-the-room game just for kicks! Bunny is chillin' with his shades on and there is some funky tropical Christmasy New Year's partyesque thing going on here. So hack into the computer, pick up some clues and solve the requisite puzzles so you can get out of this place.
Trigger Knight is an experimental one-button RPG where your mouse button is all you need to keep a cute little warrior upgraded and healthy as she relentlessly charges towards the right side of the screen. A nice proof-of-concept that's fun for a coffee break and hopefully a precursor to a more fleshed-out version later.
Joy to the world, a new Plexus puzzle has come! Let us receive the jigsaw! It's never too late for some jolly good puzzling fun, and this latest treat from the puzzle providers at Plexus has jolly sprinkled all over it. A PieceFull Christmas contains familiar images you might expect to see around Christmas time, including a decorated tree, presents, elves, and jolly old St. Nick himself. Perhaps the fact that this is a Plexus puzzle you can overlook the fact that it's no longer Christmas time.
Ever heard the expression, "They're more afraid of you than you are of them?" If we're talking about zombies trapped in an explosive physics puzzle game and you're armed with grenades, it's probably true. While it doesn't really offer anything new, the quirky presentation as the zombies chatter at you makes this a simple, silly treat.
Green spandex? Human beetles? Questionable silhouettes? It's gotta be a Detarou escape game. Mixing puzzles with strange environments and stranger characters, it has all the surreal oddities you've come to expect, plus three endings to discover.
A sidescrolling, action platformer with RPG elements set in the Epic Battle Fantasy world. It has the same set of characters as his previous titles, with Natalie being kidnapped by a big, bad guy driving a big, bad tank. It's up to you, as Matt, to travel through worlds of enemies, coins and chests galore to save her. Twenty levels of fun await you (perhaps along with some bonuses...), and each level contains 100 gold coins and 10 chests to find.
It's a truth universally acknowledged that a single lunch in possession of a good screwdriver must be in want of a sequel. So it is with Dismantlement: Box Lunch 2, the perfectly explosive follow up to the first box lunch dismantlement surprise. As with the first, this Dismantlement is on the easy side yet still likely to cause more than a few "face palm" moments amongst its players out there. Nevertheless, it is an irresistibly satisfying bite-sized bit of a point-and-click fun. Dig in and enjoy!
The bouncy blue elephant is back for another installment in the wildly popular puzzle platform series! There's just one level in this whole game... but once you get to the end have you really beaten it? Packed with riddles, pastries, challenges, and even a little bullet action, it's the perfect way to spend your free time.
Popular developer Mateusz Skutnik wishes us all a Happy New Year with another entry in his "Where Is..." series of New Year's games! In this installment, players help a gnomish-looking Santa find the infant personification of the new year. The adventure-platforming gameplay is fun, if not particularly difficult; and the quirky character design, watercolor background art, and atmospheric music and sound are all quite engaging.
Imagine if And Yet It Moves with smooth world tilting instead of 90 degree shifts, and instead of being a little dude, you're a little ball, so your big choices are to rotate one way or another way, except you also have a fire charge skill and you can stick to walls and you can shoot lightning and also drag scenery... yeah, Sideroller throws a lot of puzzle platform mayhem at you very quickly, but that just makes it more fun.
If there's anything Christmas specials have told us, it's that the big man at the North Pole is notoriously bad at managing his assets. In Tesshi-e's holiday escape this year, Santa has lost ten of the Happy Coins he's supposed to give the children, and in The Happy Escape it's up to you to find them and save Christmas once again. Tesshi-e has come through with a spectacular escape this time, as per usual; the puzzles flow perfectly and logically, the sounds and graphics are charming, and although there's still no changing cursor, you never really have to do any pixel-hunting.
It never hurts to have a dream. Unless, of course, your dream is to be repeatedly shot out of a cannon, crashing into various boosters and blockers, so as to earn money for the purchasing of upgrades. That might end up hurting quite a bit. Canoniac Launcher is a new Toss The Turtle-style action game. While unbalanced upgrades and unclear objectives mar the experience, its solid presentation and gorgeous art helps it stand as a hilarious blast of a game.
Knuckle Cracker's Creeper World 2: Academy introduces you to a whole new experience. Rather than the top-down view of the original Creeper World, you're given a side view which, at the very least, offers an easier visual of creeper depth. With both an interactive tutorial at the beginning of levels and the same control setup as previous games, it's a cinch to pick up even if you're new to beating back the creeper.
This sequel to Lucas Paakh's William and Sly is a vast, richly layered feast for the eyes. While gameplay remains much the same, there are also marked changes (improvements as far as most players will be concerned): no more darklings or boss battles yet plenty of exploration, item gathering, and questing. Gaining helpful abilities involves your platforming and puzzle-solving skills to add just the right amount of gameplay into what is a sumptuous work of interactive art.
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.
Verge is a puzzle platformer originally developed by Kyle Pulver (maker of Depict1) for a TIGSource game competition, and now ported to flash by Kristian Macanga. Its tone can best be described with the HP Lovecraft quote that was the game's inspiration: Life and Death - Death-its desolation and horror-bleak spaces-sea-bottom-dead cities. But Life-the greater horror! Vast unheard-of reptiles and leviathans-hideous beasts of prehistoric jungle-rank slimy vegetation-evil instincts of primal man-Life is more horrible than death. The twin opposing horrors of life and death is a haunting, challenging concept, and thus it should be no surprise that it makes for a haunting, challenging game... one where death and rebirth is the only way to progress.
Q.U.B.E.: Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion is one of those special games you don't get to see as often as you would like. It's a first person puzzle game, which is rare enough in its own right, but then you combine that with a stark method of storytelling, creative use of environmental puzzles, and an interface that's as smooth as the shiny blocks that make up the levels. What you're left with is a thoroughly satisfying game with masterfully designed puzzles from beginning to end.
Pity the poor dude who is in charge of Middleshire, one of the areas of the kingdom we first saw in Royal Envoy. First, he's late to the meeting with the king, then all he can report is bad, bad news about the region. The King is not happy about any of this, so he once again appoints someone (as in you, the player) to go and get this poor place redeveloped so that the folks will be happy in Royal Envoy 2, the latest time management amusement from Playrix Entertainment.
Frozen Candy, a holiday match-3 puzzle game from Avox Games, looks a heck of a lot like Puzzle Bobble. In fact, if good ol' dinosaur Bub was on ball-firing duty instead of that Brian Poesehn look-alike of an elf, one could be fooled at a glance for thinking it to be a complete clone. Once you start playing, though, the unique feel of the mechanics allow Frozen Candy to shine as it's own creation, making for something that feels both familiar and innovative.
Draka, the unsavory spider vampire, is at it again and is out to ruin the holidays for everyone by spreading his creepy curse in this physics puzzler! At just twenty levels, it's fairly short, but the weird premise and silly gameplay makes this an excellent anti-holiday treat.
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.
- • Fireplace
- • Frostbite
- • Home Sheep Home 2
- • A Little Epic
- • Zetanoid
Ice and fire! Hot and cold! Marshmallows! Sheep! During the holidays it's important to shout random things from time to time, just to make sure you're in the festive spirit. For bonus points, shout while playing these games. If you annoy a neighbor/roommate, achievement unlocked!
While the claim of holding a thousand doors may be a little much, Alawar's casual adventure game House of 1000 Doors: Family Secret is certainly packed with family secrets, not to mention a twisted plot that reveals information about as slowly as an episode of Lost. The story is the star, but the gameplay pulls its own weight, leaving you feeling confidently thrilled as you crawl through the hallways of the mysteriously vanishing mansion.
In this short yet beautifully artistic puzzle platform adventure decisions become turning points after two basic choices: evolve or destroy? Guide Cadence, the title character, through a series of decisions, each determining how the story continues. Several puzzles are based on those choices and there are two endings to choose from as well. Love's Cadence is as much a thought-provoking poem as a game and should be appreciated for how its graphics, narrative elements and game play coalesce into a melodious composition.
We all know the life of a snowball is short and packed with excitement. But it's not all high flying arcs and battle cries, as Godvil Games shows us in the festive Hide Snowman. Much like the Cover Orange series, your goal is to use the queue of objects (or optionally the ability to delete an existing structure) to put the happy little snowman heads in a safe place to hide them from the melting, hot pellets of the flying wood stove. What are you waiting for? The snowmen are counting on you!
Farmer Vlad has built a paradise for piggies. He sends a letter to the closest litter, inviting them to vacation in his literal hog heaven. Unfortunately, all sorts of danger lies in their path: bears, wolves, birds, UFOs... A reflex platformer by VladG, 300 Miles to Pigsland takes the non-stop gameplay of Canabalt, sends it through the cute-ifier machine and adds a sprinkling of upgrades, making for a fun, if repetitive, time.
You know that itch in the middle of your back that you can't scratch? No, it's not a patch of dry skin, it's your need to play tower defense games. Luckily for you, Char Studio brings you a dose of relief in Cube Tower. Earn stars based on how many of your twenty lives you have at the end of the level. And we all like earning gold stars, right?
Your favourite demolition crew is at it again, with different tools to tackle the craziest jobs! After New York and Tokyo, they've moved on to Moscow, and if you think blasting is easy, this physics puzzle with make you think again. Packed with Nitrome's signature style and charm, as well as an out-of-this-world surprise or two, this is a fantastic seasonal installment to a fan-favourite series with a lot of challenge.
This tricky little puzzle platformer will force you to forget any "nobody gets left behind" policies you might have, since someone's gotta bite the bullet for you to win. The Green and Red astronauts are stranded on a planet, and the only way out is for the Reds to nobly sacrifice themselves to open the way forward. A simple but challenging concept when both of them move at once.
It's hard to figure out what just happened. You took a walk in the park, like you do every night. This time though, there was a man... there was a gun. Now you find yourself a dark industrial world of shadowy figures and shifting backgrounds. You'll have to rearrange every single room to have even a chance of escaping... and you just know that time's running out. Five is a puzzle platformer from Z3LF where changing reality comes with the click of the mouse.
Stretch paths to connect numbers of the same color in this fun-filled browser-based puzzle pack from Conceptis. This pack contains 30 brand new puzzles in three sizes (10x10, 15x15, 20x20). These aren't the hardest Link-a-Pix puzzles out there, and they serve as a great introduction to this puzzle type if you've never tried them before. Regardless of your experience level, these path-forming challenges are a great way to spend a good stretch of time.
It's been a while since you've escaped the Playroom, and it seems the little girl who masterminded it has set up yet another difficult escape for you. In Playroom 2, the rather aptly named sequel by Kayzerfish, you've got a new room full of colorful toys and knickknacks to solve your way out of. At least this one has an open-air balcony and a nicer bed. If you're looking for a charming yet challenging escape that taxes your skills just enough to be entertaining, go play in Playroom 2.
Neutral's newest seasonal escape. What more needs to be said? This escape-the-room game, though miniaturized (that little banner at the top of Neutral's web page is the game—click it to begin), is full of the details and enjoyable, logical puzzles that you'd expect from the best escape game designer in the biz. Merry Christmas JIG readers!
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.
"Winners Use Government Grants!" says the opening screen of Digiwoog Disaster, a new edutainment point and click adventure game. Well, we should be happy that Digiwoog and BoMToons were the winners picked by the US Department of Justice to help kids learn about mobile devices, since they've come up with something really cool. An unidentified flying object has crashed on Woogi World, and Dr. Wiggenstein knows that only Woog of action Jett Woogman has the smarts and skills to investigate. He gives Jett a brand-spanking new DigiWoog mobile device, chock full of helpful apps. And so Jett sets out to solve the mysterious mystery of the mysterious UFO... and maybe learn a little about mobile phone safety!
Once again one of Tesshi-e's wacky friends has locked you into a room filled with strange devices. Escape from the Device-Filled Room has everything you expect from a top-notch design, easy controls, a save feature, decent English translation, and the obligatory happy coin alternate escape. Get ready to challenge yourself with another of Tesshi-e's freaky friends and their habit of locking you into a strange house!
Santa Lina is an old-fashioned kind of town: big, dark, ugly, and corrupt to its core. One of the small few willing, or even able, to take a stand and protect the helpless is Anaksha, a vigilante sniper dubbed "The Virgo Killer" by the press. A successful businesswoman, the murder of her best friend snapped something in her mind, and so Anaksha took to the streets, a lone huntress with a rifle, dedicated to the destruction of evil, no matter what the cost, ever-pursued by both the police and the criminal elites. Anaksha: Dark Angel is a sniping adventure game by Arif Majothi, and its atmosphere is as thick as blood.
Poor Kichu is little and blue, so very blue. In this platform game by Prasan Games, help Kichu by navigating your way through obstacles and deadly traps, collecting diamonds so the melancholy pipsqueak can be big in riches and find true happiness at least. Little Life has solid controls, short levels, and some areas of high difficulty albeit nothing out of the ordinary in platforming. Yet it is so cute and heartwarming, both you and Kichu are sure to be smiling by the end.
Nations need to brace themselves for a complete loss of productivity as folks all over the world once again become immersed in the major time-suckage that is a bloons tower defense game. Enough talk, time to play Bloons Tower Defense 5!
Box? Wake up!... C'mon, do we have to get out the non-rotatable wooden objects and attach them to surroundings, and let the physics of the situation jostle you awake, like last time? Oh well... guess we do. Wake Up The Box 3 is the latest in Eugene Karataev's popular series of puzzle games. Even if it feels a bit of a step backwards, it remains a very fun coffee break kind of game.
Anything good is always better when there is more of it. So when Candyflame comes out with more Isoball, it's a no-brainer that it's going to be awesome. Merging the joy of a Hot Wheels track, a Lego set and a very fragile glass marble, Isoball X1 adds thirty-six more levels, eighteen hidden achievements and a complex sandbox to the player pleasing physics puzzler. Gameplay sounds simple: devise a route to move the ball from start to finish. Yet this feat is made complicated by a multifarious map, prescribed checkpoints and a limited number of building blocks. When you also take into account fun new pieces, a helpful "how to" menu and keyboard shortcuts, it's easy to see why Isoball X1 is not only compellingly addicting, it's more fun!
Natalie's got big problems. Or at least, to her they're big. With her parents threatening to cut her off unless she gets her priorities straight, the college student has no choice but to take a job over winter break in the sleepy little burg of Fairbrook. Will Natalie emerge at the end of 12 weeks just as aimless and self-absorbed as when she started? Or will the people she meets and the things she experiences drag her kicking and screaming into emotional maturity? A sweet and sentimental little visual novel simulation from Winter Wolves packed with charm and likable characters.
Bundling up indie games is what all the cool kids are doing these days, as is pricing them "pay what you want" while donating portions of the proceeds to charity. But here's something refreshingly different: The 99 Percent Bundle. This totally free collection of indie games aims to highlight some of the lesser-known developers out there, the people who continue to make the games they love and release them for free. It's sort of the indies of the indie community, and it's the perfect way to discover new titles you might have missed over the last few months.
Are you ready for a light science fiction adventure with some nautical flair? Nemo's Secret: Vulcania is an adventure/hidden-object hybrid offering you just that. With some unique puzzles and animated hidden-object scenes, Odian Games offers a refreshing hybrid game without the usual murderers and supernatural spooks. It's enough to make anyone want to hop ship and have a spin at the wheel.
- • Hyper Princess Pitch
- • Egress - The Test of STS-417
- • Dragon Fantasy
Hey—hi there! Welcome! Come on it, have a seat. Would you like a warm beverage? Cold one? Just a handful of games? All right, that's fine too. Although the hot cocoa is stunning... Anyway! You asked for games, and so you get them. One game to make you scratch your head, one game where you can shoot Mecha Santa, and one game where you can learn to be a thief. Game enough for you? No? Maybe some hot cocoa would fill the void, then?