The word 'orphanage' tends to conjure up images of starving waifs in ragged clothes begging for more gruel, doesn't it? However, the so-named orphanage in today's fantastic adventure hybrid from Orneon is not that type of orphanage, or at least, it doesn't appear so at first. This is a place for "special" children, children who have abilities that are outside of the norm. Unfortunately something has happened to both the orphanage and the children in The Agency of anomalies: Cinderstone Orphanage and it must quickly be put to rights before something terrible happens. Something even more terrible than a musical about cheeky pickpockets.
Arzea is a Metroidvania-style adventure game that demonstrates the kind of danger that magic can lead to. You're a wizard stranded in a strange world with only your wits and a variety of spells and upgrades to help you get home. Your main goal is to find your way home from the strange land of Arzea. There's at least a good half hour of gameplay here, probably closer to an hour if you're out to find all the upgrades and collectible shards.
Nitrome's Rainbogeddon is a retro-riffic, Pacman-esque quarter-grabber updated for the twenty-first century. The addition of power-ups, destructible level, and more varied enemies makes for a surprisingly strategic twist on a familiar classic. Add a very '80s presentation and Nitrome's trademark charm, and you've got a fine modern take on vintage arcade gaming without ever having to go to the arcade.
Sometimes, it seems like we could all use an extra pairs of hands. There's just so much to do around the house: taking out the garbage, washing the dishes, pushing around the giant crate collection, flinging yourself across that inconvenient electrified spike-filled pit in the backyard, defeating the neighborhood evil overlord. Wouldn't having a clone on-hand just be great? Keybol apparently thought so, and the result is Splitman, and it's good ol' puzzle platforming fun.
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.
Dragon Quest is one of the easier physics games we've featured and it won't take you long to make your way through it. Most of the puzzles involve finding creative ways to dispatch enemies; a favorite has you dumping a skeleton into a fire pit by way of a wall of barrels, Donkey Kong-style! You also get to mess with a variety of physics-based props like ballistae and drawbridges. There's enough charm in the puzzles to make it worth a look, though. Just be careful... they say dragons have pretty terrible breath. Must be all those knights they eat.
Show me the fun! Sure this jigsaw puzzle from the brilliant team at Plexus starts with the most romantic phrase ever quoted, but does it deliver? You bet. Gorgeous, brightly-colored individual images which fit together perfectly to form one unified picture. Use arrows to rotate then click to drag each piece into place. It's both complex yet simple, exceedingly charming and definitely fun to play.
Figure out puzzles and use the power of physics to bring the monsters under the bed to justice, through the cute (if Skyrim-obsessed) duo of Ninja Bear and Purple Teddy. And if you're up for some hidden object bonus, collect all the yin-yang symbols too. An excellent variety of challenges and an easy to use interface, plus original music and voice acting, make this a game that really has players' enjoyment in mind.
Ever since the eighties, gamers have known that there is no greater friendship than that of a boy and his blob. It's as true for Fancy-Pants Styled stickmen who live in a world of notebook paper as it was on the NES. And considering how crazy that notebook paper world can get, they'll need to push their teamwork skills to the limit. Otherwise... they'll just end up Crumpled. An artistic platformer by Oslo Albet, Crumpled is beautifully animated with clever level design, though marred by wonky controls.
The designers behind Tesshi-e go down memory lane with this fresh remake of their very first escape game and they drag us along for the ride. It's a wonderful, nostalgic look back that brings those old, simple designs into the stunning present. With its stunning graphics, involving puzzles, and two endings, Mild Escape 1 is a fantastic addition to the Tesshi-e escape catalogue.
At first, To Nothing sounds like a misnomer for SuzumeDr's newest escape game. You start out in a somewhat sparsely furnished room with nothing in your hands except a black-and-white sports bag. You dump out the bag's contents and instantly all the slots in your inventory are full. The catch? As you go around and solve puzzles, every object in the room and in your inventory will... disappear, one by one. It's hard to be original in a well-established genre like the room escape, but SuzumeDr is definitely good at his trade.
Muu's quiet little cave-dwelling life is about to be turned upside down when he sets out to find the source of an explosion that rocks the land. Though short and somewhat challenging, this platformer packs a lot of appealing retro charm into a small package and is worth checking out for the fifteen minutes or so it'll take you.
This lyrical work of interactive fiction, brainchild of Jonas Kyratzes who created The Book of Living Magic, will envelope you in a surrealistic experience of discovery, a gentle stroll through a timeless pastoral state where your decisions are rewarded with rich verse and life-pondering revelations. Each passage presents you with a choice which will determine your path; stroll slowly through the experience and play more than once to fully appreciate the outcomes of each option. Arcadia: a Pastoral Tale elevates the oft misjudged browser game onto the loftier plane of artistic poignancy.
Who knew that everything through the looking glass was actually made of cardboard? Yamada Box Legend is a quirky fantasy game that sends you spiraling into the Cardboard World after being the stooge for a magician's vanishing act. It's a graphically pleasing puzzle RPG adventure that will draw you in with its bizarre characters and engaging gameplay.
Robamimi never fails to delight escape-the-room aficionados with beautiful yet minimalistic interior design, light puzzles that require thought without enervating the brain, and buoyant endings that leave us smiling in accomplishment. Move about the room following the arrow keys, clicking on anything that begs closer examination and keeping an eye out for clues, no matter how surreptitiously found, until you find your way out. With its seamless, intuitive quality to gameplay, a neatly organized inventory, and lack of misdirection, Sound Color R turns a graceful and serene diversion into a spark of vibrancy and music to light up your day.
We've all had that problem. You know, the one where the Netbots start to plug up the kitchen sink so the water doesn't drain. Or the one where the Netbots keep your bowling ball from coming back down the ball return at the local bowling alley. Managing the Netbots can be quite a tricky task, as a group of scientists find out in Maik Haider's Netbots, a puzzle where you have to learn to divide to conquer.
Arche is worried about fitting in. Her family has just moved to the little hamlet of Tonkiness to open an item shop, and it turns out her dreams of learning magic may be short lived once she discovers she needs an expensive elemental stone to even practice at her new school. But a simple rumour might lead her on to a much bigger adventure than she ever imagined in this beautiful but difficult action platforming RPG.
After thousands of years, the Mugunghwa, sent into space to establish the first interstellar colony, has been found floating dead. You're sent after it to discover what happened to its crew with the help of two very different AIs, but the truth is vastly more complicated than you might think, and nowhere near black and white. In Christine Love's debut commercial visual novel release, take part in a captivating, clever, and emotional story that deals with love, politics, forgiveness... and hate.
The three modes of play make the game attractive to a wide variety of hybrid enthusiasts, the story is intriguing, the gameplay amusing, the visuals stunning, and the overall experience is one that freaks out and delights in equal measure. Midnight Mysteries: Haunted Houdini proudly carries the series banner forward and provides great entertainment at a reasonable price. Give it a try and prepare to be both entertained and enlightened.
- • Invert
- • Hack, Slash, Loot
- • Dungeon Chaos
A little bit of looting, a little bit of inverting, and a whole lot of shooting in this edition of Weekend Download. In fact, if you tried to take Weekend Download through an airport security gate, you'd probably find yourself on the receiving in of some nasty stares and/or unusual search techniques.
Similar in concept to the Total Perspective Vortex, from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Scale of the Universe 2 isn't really a game, but it'll still blow your mind. You start at human scale and can scroll all the way down to theoretical concepts like strings or all the way up to the potential size of the universe. That's pretty big, and you have to scroll for a long, long, long time time to get back to human scale from there. It's kind of terrifying, honestly. Try not to think about it too much.
Feed some peckish porcupines in pursuit of the perfect Philly "sammich". Strap a porcupine into the slingshot and aim, clearing a stage of balloons using as few rodents as possible. Each color balloon affects your prickly pal's trajectory differently and you'll have to contend with air currents and pesky clouds to boot. Plus, you'll get to brush up on your geography as the porcupines bounce their way across America on their quest to the City of Sammich-y Love.
ChatChat is an online multiplayer game by Terry Cavanagh, creator of VVVVVV. It's a highly intricate simulation involving deep-level behavioral algorithms and calculus-based — wait, no it isn't! It's about being a kitty! The wildest dream of every internet human has come true in this simple little game, giving you full permission to nap, purr, meow, and catch mice to your furry heart's content.
Imagine a dimension not only of sight, but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are imagination. This should help put you in the right state of mind before you venture into Louis (T)'s unique puzzle platformer, where you control a black pawn in 4-dimensional space. Your goal in each of the 14 levels is to touch the grey checkpoints through what looks like some impossible jumping. This game will blow your mind! Or possibly just blow it up.
Mission in Space: The Lost Colony is an extremely customizable turn-based strategy game with an easy-to-use interface and variety of challenges that will please players of any skill level. Plus it has a valuable lesson about the dangers of ventilation ducts. Spoiler alert: they contain aliens.
Is it a lucid dream by someone highly feverish? Is it a new escape game from Detarou? Well, why the heck can't it be both? It's JanJan Escape, and, as is standard for the genre, there are puzzles to solve and a room you must get out of. Not standard for the genre, of course, is the bed full of spaghetti, the leering koala man, the salaryman-swatting plant creature, and the pot-headed duo in the wrestling onesies. Of course, they're pretty standard for Detarou, as all the hair-pulling but logical puzzles.
Super Crazy Guitar Maniac Deluxe 4 is all about re-imagining the Guitar Hero experience for your home PC. It improves over its predecessors with amusing presentation and a host of new options and features. You can play every song in two difficulty levels, garner achievements for epic thrashing or embarrassing failure, and battle egregious enemy bosses like the diabolical Puppet or the innocent Pizza Guy through the shear power of Rock. Or you can just put on your headphones and sneak a quick jam in a break in your day.
Will those darn Gummi Bears ever learn? When you steal the wallet of the angry minotaur that's already crushed your comrades once before, there's going to be a reckoning. It's Burrito Bison Revenge, an action launch game from Juicy Beast. It feels a bit more like "Burrito Bison 1.5" rather than "2", but it's still a very fun way to pass the time.
Would you go to the ends of the earth, through bat-infested caverns, crossing fiery pits of lava and crawl like a spider to get your significant other a gift? Of course you would—because it's fun! So flex those finger muscles over the [WASD] or arrow keys because each level is another test of dexterity and ingenuity in the courtship gauntlet. The funky tuba tunes and art that brings to mind The Flintstones is especially enjoyable, worth a either a quick dabble or dogged determination to the end.
As the title suggests, the room you're to escape from is haunted, although it is haunted with a Japanese ghost, which means not jump scares, screams, and buckets of blood, but rather quiet glimpses as you explore each area of the tiny apartment searching for a way out. Escape from the Haunted Room is an atmospheric little escape game with amusing puzzles. It's not very long, but it contains enough chills to be worth the effort. Enjoy trying to escape the room with the good ending.
If you've ever considered that walking around dressed like a tree, or fish or bear or stoneman, and talking in a computer-simulated voice is one of your life's aspirations, well here's your chance. Your fancy-dress fantasies can be finally fulfilled in The Fisherman's Wrath, an unusual kind of adventure game by BigDino. It's tricky trying to define what kind of game this is because it involves a little bit of battle, a little bit of avoidance, quite a bit of exploration and a lot of dressing up...in awesome disguises.
If the hero of Pick and Dig 3 could jump and actually bothered to use the mace on his back, there'd be no challenge to the puzzles in this platformer, and therefore no fun. The levels in this game are nonlinear, and unlock based on how many you've completed and your own ability to maneuver around the level select screen, so if you get stuck on one level, you can always try some others to get coins to upgrade.
Having a rough day? Has life got you stressed? Well, here at JIG, we know that nothing relieves tension quite like a good old fashioned physics puzzler chock full of explosions. Detonate bomb blocks by clicking on them, clearing them all from the stage while taking care not to blast any stars away. Complete a stage in as few clicks as possible for a bonus. Relax, put your feet up, and blowup something cute for a while.
Color has you test the accuracy of your perception of color as you learn about key concepts in the theory of color and design. Simply move your cursor about the large color wheel and click when you have matched the color of the timer inside, before time runs out. Later levels have you matching multiple colors at once, giving you the opportunity to learn about complementary, analogous, ternary, and quaternary colors, all in the context of the game.
Robin Vencel proves he is master of the charming and cute little point-and-click puzzle game with another installment of the popular Monkey GO Happy series. All new puzzles in this edition of Marathon will have you pointing and clicking to turn those adorable little monkey frowns upside down as quick as you can.
Originally released in mid-2011 by indie game creator E. Hashimoto (Buster), Hydra Castle Labyrinth is an old school-styled platform adventure that was previously only available in Japanese. A brave soul recently translated the game to English, and now the cute metroidvania title is available for a much wider audience to enjoy. And enjoy it ye shall!
The fairytales you heard when you were young, the ones you thought stuffed with nonsense and meant only as cautionary allegories to frighten children into behaving properly, are not so far from the truth. So, as curious as Alice in Wonderland, you peek behind the veneer, following clues left by Fiona, a little girl trapped in another dimension, and become caught up in Otherworld: Spring of Shadows, a sumptuously-detailed fantasy adventurehybrid from Boomzap.
- • The Cat that Got the Milk
- • The Fourth Wall
- • Backworlds
How do you feel about... TACTICAL MISDIRECTION?!!! *flashing lights* That's good. Glad to know it. Now, how do you feel about a game semi-sorta doing that with its title? And what if that title involves felines?
The kingdom is in peril! Too bad you're too wrapped up in bureaucratic red tape to do anything about it. Reemus and Liam's quest to save the land hits a massive speed-bump when they discover they can't proceed until they're able to produce a whole lot of paperwork and a sample... but fortunately all that can be acquired in a manner both our heroes are very accustomed to. Namely, solving bizarre problems, combating strange beasts, and deciphering strange puzzles! The latest installment in the wildly popular point-and-click adventure series has finally arrived!
The Kingdom of Fredicus is a place that loves its heroes. Unfortunately, Reemus, exterminator extraordinaire and overshadowed brother to the local dragon slayer, is having trouble convincing that populace that he deserves a little undying adulation. Sure, later in life he'll have Several Journeys to prove his bravery against invading death slugs. Right now, though, it's early in his adventure gaming career, and even after his first minimal-property-damaging bug slaying, he's have trouble getting people listen to the glorifying ballads written by his faithful bear companion, Liam. So a-questing he goes, in search of glory, gratitude, and, most importantly, a soft bed. It's The Ballads of Reemus: When the Bed Bites, the first premium downloadable adventure game in the popular series, produced by the newly minted Click Shake Games! And while the anticipation may have driven us all a little buggy, it was totally worth it.
Viggo and Christine thought they had escaped the evil that had almost destroyed them and left their lives in ruins before they found each other. One evening, Viggo is abducted by a mysterious figure, and Christine turns to you for help in finding him. The trail leads you to dark and mysterious Blackhill Manor... and now that you've arrived, it's quite clear someone doesn't ever want you to leave. Will you survive the Black Widow of Black Hill? Another installment in the wonderful hidden-object adventure Nightfall Mysteries series.
A puzzle game in which you direct streams of colored particles from lotus flowers to colored chakras, achieving totally zen-eriffic enlightenment on the way. It's quick, and perhaps a little easy, but it sure is relaxing to watch colored pixels flow across the screen. Ahhh...colored pixels.
No one sent Edible Castle the memo that sequels are supposed to be derivative and rushed. Instead, not only does new point-and-click adventure Back to the Cubeture: Era 2 feature the same excellent voice-acting, cheeky humor, and quirky art as its predecessor, but it's five times as long and offers a much more non-linear experience. This is pure silly fun, so box yourself into your seat and enjoy it.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and, in this spoof of one of the most popular escape-the-room designers to ever grace JIG's pages, No. 1 Game is very good at copying the trademark features that we love so much—photo-realistic graphics, fun-to-solve logical puzzles and even a happy coin ending! Of course, they throw in their own trademark: ten green escape men which you must find before exiting. It's not only a lot of fun to be part of the parody, you'll be left with an increased appreciation for the original's artistry and a temptation to replay the classics which inspired the clone.
Need a dash of rainbow splashed across your logic puzzles? Conceptis delivers a cacophony of colorful curiosities with Color Pic-a-Pix Light, the latest addition in their Conceptis Light series. You might be familiar with Pic-a-Pix puzzles from their previous black-and-white edition, but this new batch adds the twist of color, meaning the logic gets more twisted, and the solutions more dazzling!
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.
Flex your carpentry muscles and laugh in the face of physics in this stacking physics puzzler. Click and drag a variety of wooden pieces into position, figuring out the best way to pile them into a relatively stable design while also attempting to collect blue stars and avoid pesky red ones. It's the perfect chance to redeem yourself for that failed wood shop class, but with fewer splinters!
Tomatea has outdone themselves with this amazing and delightful little gem, packed full of use of found objects, letter puzzles, number puzzles, and some other treats that we won't spoil. Just solve a ton of color puzzles and you too can enjoy the refreshing feeling of going out after the rain and enjoying the wonder of mother nature. It's time to dive into this amazing new room escape and taste the rainbow.
While it isn't big on innovation, Neutronized's adorable platformer is big on charm and packed with loads of classic platforming action to boot! Play as a pudgy, snowball throwing penguin and run, roll, butt-stomp and hope your way through a beautiful world packed with interesting enemies and loads of style.
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.