Before I played the Submachine Network Exploration Experience, I didn't know just how involved fans of the series were in discussing its mysteries and mythologies. Like the various alternate reality games involved in the marketing of Lost, although not really a game at all, the Exploration Experience gives fans of the series the chance to delve into the Submachine world like never before.
Dan Efran's title Ka, an entry in our interactive fiction and escape themed Casual Gameplay Design Competition #7, starts in decidedly close quarters, with your royal spirit crammed in next to your corpse. Most text adventures struggle to some degree with pacing, but in Ka, at least, your initial goal is clear: leave. After that? Well, you're dead. You have to come to terms with it sometime.
Remember that one time Robin Hood saw the UFO crash and found the ray gun? No? Well, try this goofy little spot-the-difference game and you'll sure remember it. A strange reimagining of the classic tale with beautiful artwork, a sense of humour, and four different endings.
Escape from Piano Room is a fun, logical, challenging escape guaranteed to brighten up the mid-week. Be sure keep the aspirin (or Tylenol) on standby though, just in case, although escaping out into the fresh air should clear that headache right up.
Take Something Literally 2 continues in the footsteps of its predecessor, delivering 25 mind-churning, browser-busting puzzles. The whole appeal of the Take Something Literally series is not found in the monochromatic presentation or the canned "reward" for each puzzle solved, it's the challenge.
By royal order of The King, thou shalt stack thingeths up high enough so that thy majesty's polygonal subjects may hovereth above the line, and when his majesty gives the order though shalt removeth wooden blockeths to make his majesty's subjects fall into the properly colored...eths bins in this physics puzzle. Eth.
What has royalty ever done that was so bad? Sure, there's been a few taxed-in-the-ground peasants and the trifling matter of some wars of conquest causing untold death and misery, but what's a little abuse of power between friends? Certainly it's nothing that deserves having one's castle knocked in on one's head. Hold Your Ground rectifies this situation by putting you in charge of building a defensive structure to guard the royal person. God save the adorable little bearded king!
Line up your shot and try to take out all those pesky referees in this fun little soccer themed physics puzzle. Now if you, like many of us, can't score a goal to save your life but do have an uncanny knack for hitting random people in the face, there's nothing to worry about. You may never suit up with the pros, but you do have the perfect skill set to excel here.
Mamono Sweeper is very similar to its ancient ancestor with some key differences. The first is that instead of bombs concealed behind anonymous tiles, you're sweeping for monsters. And you can't just avoid them, eventually you're going to have to reveal and kill all of the monsters on the board if you want to win. Slay monsters, go up in levels, and relive the addiction that was once minesweeper in this reboot of one of the most well known classic casual games.
Raided any tombs lately? Pencil Kids brings us a fun and surprisingly tricky little point-and-click puzzle adventure that sees you in search of the legendary Heart of Tota. Standing in your way? A series of tricky mechanisms designed to keep you out. Of course, that's not going to stop you. Just remember; never leave your hat behind.
There's something hidden in a mine deep beneath the ice in remote Greenland. Phillip follows a map to the location despite a letter from his missing father begging him to burn the documents he discovers. Phillip wants to find out what obsession could have taken his father from his family all those years ago. Instead, he may find more than he could ever be prepared for in Frictional Games' survival horror series about dark and secrets. What you can't see can hurt you.
Eternity is a unique sort of hidden object game in that there aren't so many objects to find. Instead, you pick up a few items and spend your time using them to solve inventory puzzles or complete tasks in each area. The set-up is different than usual, giving Eternity a different flavor than most hidden object games you come across, and the variety of locations and strength of puzzles make it an interesting experience.
What lies beneath the shifting sands of the desert? Could it be untold riches? Or sweet, sweet love? In this cute little sim with tones of resource management and good, ol' fashioned puzzling, take control of a team of archaeologists hunting for treasure in the desert. Dig up ancient artifacts, solve puzzles, and maybe even play a little matchmaker. Just hope you don't mind sand in your socks.
- • Blind
- • Hydorah
- • The Life of a Pacifist is often Fraught with Conflict
Multiple endings HURRAH! Different outcomes to the stories you are playing are nothing new, but it isn't often that the games are short and entertaining enough to encourage you to gather them all. It's interesting to play through several times just to see how your actions affect the game world. Two of this week's games feature different endings, and you'll definitely want to experience some of these alternate conclusions!
More than a time management game, Farm Craft 2 combines pieces of gameplay from simulation genres into an extremely captivating (and satisfying) game. Grow and harvest crops, raise livestock, pick fruit from trees, hire workers, it's all there, and it's all great!
Hey, who turned down the thermostat? Shawn Tanner's challenging plot-less escape series is back, and this time you're stuck in a freezer. Examine every inch of your prison and try to find a way out before you get too cold.
Physics-heavy, sandbox-style webtoys are loads of fun to play with, and Ha55ii's Powder Game has always stood as one of the best and most feature-rich. Version 7 introduces several new elements to unleash on your screen of chaos/coolness!
In this puzzling and challenging platformer, you take on the role of a blind person on a mission to answer the calls of help from a stranger in the dark. The only things preventing you from ending up at the bottom of a spike filled pit are your ears and your platforming skills
CastleWars 2 is an unassumingly captivating turn-based strategy game that pits castle against castle, wall against wall, and decks of randomly selected cards against decks of randomly selected cards. Take turns with a computer player or a real human being as you draw from your pool of resources to play action cards that build your tower to the sky or crumble your opponent's castle to the ground.
Have some mad scientist tendencies? That's okay, so do the folks at Hero Interactive, which is why they've decided to let you loose on this arena shooter based on the popular Bubble Tanks series with some serious customisation power. Build and edit your own tanks, enemies, and arenas as you unlock new parts, and upload the results for other players to enjoy!
Chubby Ninja is great for little snack-sized bits of platforming without ever feeling stale or repetitive. Plus it may help you remember bygone days at the ninja dojo. Try not to get too misty-eyed with nostalgia, or you'll miss that double-jump.
Anonymous is quite a fun challenge, involving not only the basics of room escaping fun; finding items, mysterious clues, headbanging puzzles, but with an interesting twist involving deductive reasoning and co-workers who discourteously leave food to rot in their lockers.
Soldiers, make ready your spears, your griffons, your... battle mech suits? Hmmm. This fast-paced defense/strategy game puts you in command of a base you have to defend through the ages, balancing your ever-increasing troops against the growing might of an opposing force.
Good morning, sleepyhead! It's time to spring up and say Hello Worlds! This simple looking but clever platform puzzler combines multiple screens into a single level, where obstacles present in one place can halt your progress in another. Learn how to guide your protagonist(s) through this strange world by collecting coins, opening doors, and combining everything to get some fresh perspective.
Sometimes games are just there for us when we want to have some fun, blow up the princess, and save the zombies, or something like that. Other times, we want to explore more difficult and painful stories. Grace's Diary manages to seamlessly integrate the theme of a relationship abuse into a sensitive and moving visual novel.
Touch the Bubbles 3 is a mouse avoider that satisfies your childhood desire for wanton globular destruction, and you don't even need to dig around for bubble wrap. So get out there, avoid the red, earn some points, build your multiplier, and touch the bubbles. Touch the Bubbles THREE, that is.
In Fractal, a puzzle game by the authors of Auditorium, your goal is to create "blooms" which are composed of six hexagons of the same color. On the surface it sounds like a simple matching puzzle, but the web-like nature of the gameplay and the gorgeous presentation makes it so very much more.
Pizza Chef 2 does what few time management and match-3 puzzle games care to do: try something different. Instead of fusing the former with the latter or the latter with the former, Pizza Chef 2 has made both genres equally reliant upon the other, meaning you can't take the matching out of the time management and vice versa. What you get is a strong casual game of simple strategy, quick thinking, and spatial reasoning combined in a very rare balance.
We've all played the hidden object game where you have to piece together clues to some long-lost relative's hidden past. Most of the time it's fairly dull, but in the case of Tiger Eye - Part I: Curse of the Riddle Box, it's quite the opposite. The story in this hidden object game was written by author Marjorie M. Liu, and even if you're not a fan of her work, you'll appreciate the characters who have a little more depth than usual. Wrap that around a sturdy core of puzzle solving and mini-games and you've got an excellent hidden object game on your hands.
- • Punishment: The Punishing
- • BulletZORZ
- • ProtoType
One of my favorite things about independent games are not the games themselves. It's the games' names. When you don't have to attract a certain demographic to plop down cash for your game so you can keep your massive studio in California air conditioned, you're free to have fun and call your game Mr. Heart Loves You Very Much, Squid Yes! Not So Octopus!, or Punishment: The Punishing! We love you too, indie game creators!
It's Youda time! Youda Safari takes time management to the carefully-controlled realm of animal photography. Failing safari businesses are being turned into hunting grounds, and as the ever-helpful Lucy, you have agreed to help a friend liven up his tours. After all, shooting animals with cameras is better than with guns.
Exit Path is a non-stop, single-and-multiplayer feast for the senses. You'll be running and jumping the field, trying to make your way through a number of screens, each with its own set of challenges, tempted with freedom in a dystopian future, and dodging vicious death machines at every turn. John Cooney has proven himself more than capable of making a wide variety of games, but some of his best work seems to lie in creating fast-paced, action-packed games, and he certainly hasn't missed the mark with this one.
Simple rules, a nice balance between thoughtful and casual gameplay that tips toward the latter, and a bright, cheery presentation all come together in this variation of a classic card game. Easily squeezed into a coffee break, this card game may not have tapped into its full potential quite yet, but we definitely like what we see so far.
Point. Click. Point. Click. Point-p-point-p-point click click space. Drag drop. Drag drop. Drag drop click space space. Excellent, now you already know the words, so you can sing along! No, it's not Excel spreadsheet karaoke night, it's Klikwerk, a new music and reflex game by Bart Bonte.
Fire Nuclear Crocodile Killer (FiNCK for short) is a puzzle platformer, but don't let the title fool you. In fact, out of the four rather unrelated things it suggests, I only encountered one during the whole game. As a Nifflas game, FiNCK must live up to a certain standard of cool relaxation instead of firey, manic arcade action. However, it differs from the author's previous offerings in that it forgoes atmospheric exploration in favor of a puzzle-driven, often hair-pullingly-frustrating experience.
Banished by the peace loving Kupapians, it seems that that which made you a pariah could be what saves them from an invasion of evil monsters. Now you must raise an army and protect the very people that cast you out in this defense shooter hybrid.
After washing up on a tropical beach, you find yourself befriended by a short green monster and embroiled in the local village's troubles. Likwid's isometric action/RPG is light in the story department, but provides an extremely polished oldschool adventure for fans of the genre.
The Escape Hotel 2 is one of Tesshi-e's better efforts, up there with Escape from 5th Door for difficulty. Fun, challenging, and it definitely won't be over in 10 minutes unless you're, you know, like Einstein or Stephen Hawking. But hey, at least you have that nice snack of yummy bean jelly to help you when your energy is flagging. So get escaping! This is Weekday Escape, not Weekday have a light snack and a nap.
Might makes right in this realtime strategy game where the goal is to overwhelm your opponent's base with your soldiers while protecting your own. And by soldiers, I mean pixels. And by pixels, I mean... no, no, I mean pixels. From Pixelante, as it would happen! A colourful, fast-paced action game where victory depends on the speed on your fingers.
Crush your foes in turn-based strategic sci-fi combat in this engaging game from Indigon. Choose one of three distinct races, each with their own campaign, in the race to uncover a secret unearthed in a far corner of the galaxy. Hoard your energy to build ships while guarding your warp gate and ultimately be the last one standing in this unique, addictive game of strategy.
Help Wallace and Gromit in their quest to go to the moon! To collect all sixty cogs needed to get to the moon, you'll need to design and draw your own tools and attachments to modify the rocket in this unique and intriguing physics puzzle.
Think you got skills? Swap back and forth between colors and test your brains and your fingers in this tough as nails platformer. Despite being insanely hard and none too friendly to the color blind, Chromatic is itself an awesome achievement. It molds together blistering skill platforming with puzzle platforming whilst injecting a unique concept into the gameplay, and it does this with few hiccups and awesome production values.
How are your fingers this morning? Think they're limber enough to help Orton rescue his princess in this little retro platformer? With a surprising level of challenge and a bouncy soundtrack, this is one game you should make time for if you've ever complained that other platformers were too easy, or if you haven't been berated by a text box lately.
Rock-n-LOL is a short platform game in which the goal is to find happiness by swinging your way through a sketchbook maze. Every drop of colored water you collect makes you a little bit happier! Hooray, water! As you merrily swing your way through each level, you must grab each of the colored water droplets in order to move to the next level.
A call in the middle of the night drags you out to an abandoned hotel out in the middle of the English countryside. Find yourself thrust into a night time ghost hunt in this enthralling point-and-click adventure from the past.
Royal Envoy is an incredibly addictive mix of strategy, city building and wack-a-mole. Hopping across a series of islands, you have to visit the respective villages on each and repair them. In reality, though, you are playing little logic puzzles. Each village has a set of goals — build certain buildings, meet upgrade requirements, attain a specific level of civic happiness or make a set sum of money. In your way is the clock, obtuse pirates and the odd piece of undergrowth.
Oh no! The Illiterati have broken into the Hall of Fiction and stolen Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and are now trying to permanently change the story. In this kid friendly Hidden Object Adventure, you play a cadet Fiction Fixer tasked with following the Illiterati agent into the story to stop him from wrecking it before it's too late.
- • Visit
- • Aztec God
- • You Found the Grappling Hook
Certain conventions in video games will never change. Platformers always involve hopping on enemies' heads. Zombies want to eat your brains. Role playing games will always start with the main character being woken up from sleep. And swinging from walls and ceilings is fun. Let's keep it that way for a very long time, shall we?
Did you graduate high school and step right in to a high-paying, prestigious career? Well, now you can make up for that in the certifiably crazy Life Quest, a quirky simulation that's all about one-upping your old high school friends.
Help Mr Runner run, jump, and slide his way through a treacherous mountainous terrain riddled with lava pools, ice slicks, and anti-gravity fields in this challenging platformer from Bit Battalion. If your fingers twitch and your mouth begins to salivate upon seeing a challenging platformer, Mr. Runner is definitely worth your attention despite its up front flaws.
He only has one leg, but that's not going to stop him when an evil jack-in-the-box imprisons the doll of his dreams. A literal doll, as it happens, since the hero in this title is a toy soldier missing a limb. Find solutions for the problems besetting your fellows toys in this point-and-click tale with a distinctly creepy twist on the classic fairy-tale.
Want to play a hero? How about dozens? Great Dungeon in the Sky is a sort-of roguelike platformer where the foes you vanquish become playable characters. Be a yeti marksman or a drow mage, or slash it up old-school as a knight. Destroy four dragons to reach the boss of the mysterious floating dungeon in this cute, fast-paced retro title.
Give your circuits a workout in this deceptively simple puzzle game of logic that puts you in control of building a machine designed to test robots for defects. Defects like homicidal tendencies. You know, the usual stuff. When you're done, make use of the level editor, because the best way to show you care for someone is to tie their brain into knots.
Check out this port of the arcade classic Asteroids by Doug McInnes. If you've never played Asteroids, or an Asteroids-like game, the goal is to pilot your deltoid spacecraft around the void of space, blasting large lumbering asteroids into smaller, faster, projectile-like asteroids, then blasting those into dust before they breach your hull and destroy you. Destroy or be destroyed is the only law against the impersonal Astroids.
One of the delights of Skull Island is that it is hiding what amounts to a whole second game within its confines. Take your time and really explore and a wide range of exciting new vistas will open up, taking the story in wild directions that have absolutely nothing to do with your original rescue mission and turning the whole game into a very surreal experience. Take the chance, explore the jungle (and points beyond), and immerse yourself in one of the more complex and satisfying escape games we've seen this year.
Being bad is hard to do! Tasked with raising the monstrous horde and overrunning the kingdom, it might seem like a done deal. After all, the stories you usually hear is about how hard good has to work to overcome evil. Crushing the kingdom under your evil army's boot heels is as much fun as it sounds in this strategy game.
What's black and white and red all over? Nothing yet, as we seem to be needing more red! Paint It Red 2 by MoonMana is an interactive art game disguised as a puzzle where your black canvas needs to be covered with red paint as quickly as possible. In each level, paint flows across the screen, following (or not following) the movements of your mouse. If you guide the paint to cover a certain percentage of the screen, you unlock the next level and have the opportunity to move on... or not.
Wiu wiu! Stop in the name of law! Not very commanding, is it? Well, the stars of this physics puzzle game are more like the squishable cartoon cars of the law than the long arm of same, so maybe that's appropriate. Good thing, too, or else you'd never dare to send them sailing in adorable bug-eyed terror.
Robot's at it again; armed with a kitty perched atop his boxlike head, he's off to get himself a new friend in this follow up to the surprise smash-hit original retro platformer. Gather keys and unlock the mighty (mighty weird) abilities of your feline companion to eventually win the day and the puppy.
A fire engulfs a small church, which leads to the discovery of a staggering amount of weapons in the basement... and something more sinister. As D.E.A. agent Hank Shrader, you're given the task of interrogating a suspect, and it's up to you to figure out the right things to say (and how to say them) to reveal the evidence you need to bring the case to a close in this interactive comic.
The Dismantlement series is very popular with our regular visitors, and Dismantlement: Fan delivers the goods with a nice variety of logic, math, and word puzzles that need to be solved before you are left with a heap of, well, components. For anyone who likes puzzles, logic, or just ripping things apart, take a few minutes and have fun destroying yet another common household object.
Emberwind is an adventure-themed platform game from indie dev TimeTrap. The city of Grendale has been overrun by gremlins commanded by the evil CandleFinger. As the short, stout gnome Kindle Elderwood, it's your job to comb through the villages and dispatch the evil little buggers from every nook and cranny. Along the way you'll get to learn new abilities and collect a whole lot of loot!
BugBits is a light-hearted real-time strategy game built around a war between hives of bugs. Unlock and send troops across the paths to your foe's base, all while harvesting bugs dash out to gather nectar. Each unit has strengths and weaknesses that can be used to leverage your victory, and with each passing stage, you uncover more details in a sinister plot.
What if Hamlet wasn't? Hamlet, I mean. When a curious time-traveler accidentally lands his heavy spaceship atop the iconic literary protagonist, the show must go on. Point-and-click your way through a quirky and decidedly non-cannon interpretation of the classic Shakespearean tale in this short but fun and original title from Alawar Games.
- • Blackfoot
- • STREEMERZ
- • Amphibix
A few games for your weekend perusal, all of which summon that coveted "oh, neat!" moment at least once! Also, it's a miracle I didn't type a D instead of a T at the end of the first game.
Resurrected from 2007 where it rested in relative obscurity, Crazy Machines: Inventor Training Camp is a follow-up to the original Crazy Machines game that features more Rube Goldberg-like physics puzzles. Use a variety of objects to assemble crafty "devices" that accomplish different tasks. The setup is something you might see in The Incredible Machine, though Crazy Machines streamlines the process with much simpler building mechanics, fewer pieces to fuss with, a better visual presentation, and more directed goals.
The fun thing about video games is that they let us simulate actions that we would otherwise be unable to experience. Building Blaster 2 is a physics puzzle game from 2DPlay that lets you enjoy all the fun of blowing up buildings, with none of the risk of blowing up yourself. Plus, real demolitionists seldom get to use aliens in their line of work. Gamers 1, Demolitionists 0.
Ready for some high-octane racing action? Skid MK is a fast-paced, eye-catching nod to Mario Kart-style racing games. With six tracks, six characters, and three difficulties to unlock, Skid MK is an entertaining new romp-around-the-track-three-times challenge.
There are three things that distinguish Bullethead from the hundreds of other similar, Space Invaders styled vertical shooters. Number one, it's by Nitrome, so you know it will be a high-production affair, with happy music and sound, and cute, colorful, pixelated artwork. And that should be reason enough to stop reading this and give the game a try!
Even though it inherited the title from the original Tron, Space Paranoids is very aptly named. Because your advantage lies in speed, not firepower, the game encourages a lot of running away and waiting for enemies to come to you. Space Paranoids is not just a good advergame or a nice taste of nostalgia; It's also a fine game in its own right, and a great example of what the Unity engine can do when done well.
Trafalgar Origins is a top-down naval combat game commissioned by Channel 4 and created to promote their upcoming television show. It plays similarly to Sid Meier's Pirates, is mission-based, and is an entertaining and educational peek at the age of sail, and one that will take you many hours to beat with quite a bit of replay potential.
Escape from the Small Bar is not Tesshi-e's most difficult, almost a Tesshi-e light, but a charming little escape that will leave a smile on your face. A game as compact and fun as the narrow little space it inhabits, a pleasure for those who enjoy solving their way through locked doors and yes, there is, as always, a happy coin escape. Time to go bar hopping! Just remember, you do need to leave eventually.
After selling his soul in exchange for a successful career, an accomplished composer regrets his decision and sets out across a nightmare dreamscape to gather fragments of himself. A short but difficult rhythm game with a unique style, The Sound Walk is as challenging as it is beautiful.
Give Up, Robot is designed to punish you in as many different ways as possible. And that is what makes it great. Players control a unicycling, pixelated robot with a grappling hook and a stoic tenacity, who must traverse elaborate gauntlets at the behest of a fractured, highly vocal, passive-aggressive computer overseer.
There are some scientists who believe that an action on one side of the universe has an effect on a galaxy on the other side. There are also scientists who believe that placing colored orbs in an astral grid is an excellent mental challenge. Riftic is a puzzle that pulls together both leagues of scientists with a challenge of logic and mental dexterity.
In Sorcerer's Maze, by David Frankel, play as Clyde Michaels, intrepid explorer, who must explore a mysterious mansion that stands alone in apocalyptic desert where he lives. It plays similar to Bomberman combined with one of the NES Metal Gears: you guide Clyde through the labyrinth of the house, avoiding or destroying skulls, ghosts, mermen and other creepy-crawlies on the way.
Have you ever wished upon a star? How about wanted to keep one in your pocket? Then you have something in common with Tigsy in this cute, one-button arcade game. Help him leap from star to star, avoiding the ones he doesn't want, and make it through all thirty levels. Short, sweet, and simple; the best of the three ess'es!
Now that the Mayan apocalypse is nigh upon us, it is only natural that we doomed mortals should develop a keen interest in all things Meso-American. Tombscape 2 casts the player as an explorer of Mayan ruins, whose quest to understand the mysteries of the pre-Columbian ancients may help you forget the impending advent of the end times.
Strap on your point-and-click shoes, because these robots are assembled and ready for adventure! In this latest from Wadjet Eye games take control of a group of newly invented miniature robots with unconventional abilities who unwittingly cause trouble for their human creators when they stumble across a villain's strange secret. Fun, funny, and cheerful, Puzzle Bots is a quality adventure that, while short, is great for everyone.
Clearly, sticking diligently to your academic studies is just going to end up making a lot more work for you, as aspirant wizard Catherine discovers in Magic Encyclopedia: Illusions, the third game in the hidden object/adventure series. While studiously hitting the books at the academy library, she escapes the wrath of a mysterious wizard who uses a magic book to cover the world in illusions and trap her teachers. Can Catherine stop him before he raises an army and destroys the academy?
KrissX ("criss-cross") is a rare and well-polished entry in the downloadable word game category. It's not a spelling game, it's not a word search/scramble game, it's not a guessing game (well, it kinda is); instead KrissX combines a familiar mechanic from matching games with letters and clues, creating something that resembles a mixture of Bejeweled and a crossword puzzle.
- • Eternally Us
- • Hero Core
New releases from either Daniel Remar or Ben Chandler, both highly-recognizable figures in the indie community, is always cause for fun-type celebration! Their games aren't as widely known in the mainstream gaming community as they should be, giving us cool people that smug, superior feeling of having a secret source of great entertainment.
Five amazing, cross-platform indie games, one gorgeous sale. The Humble Indie Bundle lets you pick up World of Goo, Aquaria, Gish, Lugaru and Penumbra: Overture for one magically low price of whatever you want to pay. All titles are DRM-free and run on Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems.
A photo is slipped under the door of Anton Muller's detective agency late at night. A girl has gone missing, and she's trapped in an unfamiliar building... or maybe it's just a hoax? Unwilling to risk a child's life, Anton sets out to investigate, and winds up embroiled in the strange, troubled lives of an unusual cast of characters in this unfortunately short but clever hidden-object/point-and-click adventure.
They're back and they still can't get any sleep because you keep waking them up! This pack of levels for the popular physics puzzle game offers twenty more stages for you to manipulate contraptions designed to wake up a royal family who just wants a little shut eye. Don't you feel like a bully now?
It's not often you come across a dice game that isn't like anything you've played before, and as such, you keep the deep "unlike anything you've seen before" movie trailer voice tucked away in the desk drawer. Tepiiku is one game that happens to deserve this sound bite, featuring a unique challenge of strategy, risk evaluation, and since we're dealing with dice, luck.
Rid the pixel kingdom from the evil hordes while getting the highest score possible in this action/platform game. For a true knight, a challenge always needs one more thing, doesn't it? In the sequel you'll probably be running on a barrel...
It's the end of the world as we know it. So all that is left is to match up cheeky blocks of colour while listening to the soundtrack of the new world order. Strip away the trimmings and Biomass is essentially just another block-elimination game. What makes it fun is the way it looks and sounds. And before the lack of substance and the soundtrack eventually turns you away, it will have given you a good bit of entertainment.
Behold, Adverputt! It's a mouse-controlled mini-golf game that embraces commercial solicitation as an aesthetic. Players take aim on a huge, single-screen course, festooned with colorful advertisements awarded to the highest bidders. Hover the cursor over the ball, then move the cursor to aim and determine the power of your swing. Aim carefully, avoid traps and obstacles, and go for the lowest score.
There's something unsettling about these stark, washed out sterile backgrounds, very typical of the whole series. Yet the look only adds to the sense of mystery as the player works their way closer and closer to the denouement, whatever that may be in the end. Brace yourself for some strangeness, and join the journey to the center of the house, the solar system, or the human soul. You decide.
Ready for a blast from the past? Pixel Basher is a Breakout clone with a slick new look, new upgrades, and new backgrounds. At only nine levels, it won't keep you busy for long, but it's fast, addictive fun for those of us who remember when an arcade was an actual thing you went to rather than just "That thing old uncle Bob keeps talking about whenever I fire up the console".
While it's missing some bells and whistles (like sound effects, namely bells and whistles), and the name might be a bit of a misnomer (wouldn't true toroid Tetris wrap from bottom to top?), Torus makes use of HTML5, a shiny new programming language that's accessible on more platforms than before. While making a step into the future(!) of gaming, Torus pays homage to a classic with its own unique twist.
Hands off my gems! Well, actually, I guess they're your gems, but you can't blame me for wanting them. Everyone else does, too; from ninja to monks to mages to heroes, everyone is marching on your horde, and it's up to you to utilize three distinct armies at your command to stop them. Gain levels, upgrade abilities, and above all else, protect your treasure!
It might be a well-worn concept, the stalwart physics game, but something about Vyacheslav Stepanov's latest puzzle game, Let It Glow, really shines. Get the light bulb to glow by removing blocks and helping power conductors fall on the right spots. Lots of physics games fall apart because of shoddy engines: bad inertia and unpredictable movement; or poor level design. Let It Glow is a carefully-crafted experience done right.
Arm yourself with the experimental Omega cannon in this hybrid defense/shooter/resource management game as you struggle to defend your base from hostile invaders. Gather what you need to bolster your defenses, and unlock new technology to help combat the threat. From typically high-action developer Lucidrine comes a slower and more strategic title set in the great beyond.
Have you ever wanted to tell a story about a kitten? Or an alien? Or a mummy, or a genius, or a demon, or a block of cheese, or a little girl with the magical ability to talk to soap? Well, a little bit of time and effort with Sleep is Death will let you do just that, all in the form of a playable experience for you and a friend.
Steve's drifting through life, and it isn't working out as well as he might have hoped. His relationship with his father is a mess, and his girlfriend has left him because of his lack of focus. The last thing he wants is to spend the summer on his Uncle's farm in tiny, remote Fairbrook, but it could turn out to be the best thing to ever happen to him... provided your choices for him are the right ones in this lovely visual novel and relationship sim from Winter Wolves.
Incredible Express smoothly blends a time management game with a track-switching arcade experience. Think of it as a cross between Youda Farmer and Mystic Mine with a few elements from Farm Frenzy thrown into the mix. A young entrepreneur named Maria has inherited a shabby steam locomotive and discovers her services are in demand. Lay sections of track and control the direction your train runs to make pick-ups and deliveries as efficiently as you can!
- • Brave Island Diver
- • Needles
- • Jump Pirate
- • Paradise Fort
It's Ludum Dare time again! Another competition, another healthy round of entertainment and creativity. Over 200 games were submitted this time around, each involving the theme of "islands". Below you'll find a few of our choices out of the lot. Be sure to check out all the games and, if you're cool, cast your vote for the winners!