Bounce, burst, and blow your way through Bubba Time as you race across tricky and sticky stages that will challenge your platforming skills as well as your puzzling ones in your quest to catch a thief! Move blocks, avoid enemies, and manipulate time... all while looking cute as a button! The next time someone asks what time it is, you know what to tell them. It's BUBBA TIME!
Terry Cavanagh's ambitious and charming little game of platformer-esque exploration contains a lot of fun, but may demand too much from your reflexes for some players. Seek out your missing crew across a sprawling map packed with secrets, symbolism, and a whole lot of challenge that will put all your skills to the test. Buckle up, Captain.
The classic books make the leap to your browser in Where's Waldo: The Fantastic Journey, one of the original hidden object games. Travel around the world to see unexpected sights and challenge your eyes. Detailed, challenging, and just as cute as ever, Waldo is fun for the kids of today, and the kids of yesteryear. You know who you are.
If you like the Farm Frenzy series then get ready for lots more farming fun. Manage a farm, raise animals, ship goods to market, chase away angry bears, and get ready for a rocking good time. The stripped-down style takes nothing away from the basic gameplay, and what's left is very addicting and long-lasting. Especially if you go back and try to gold medal all the rounds, or earn all the side trophies, you are looking at days of gameplay with a high replay value. Now with 50% more robots!
- • Apocalypse Adventure
- • Penguinagain
- • Scavenger
- • Cat Planet
It's Ludum Dare time again! Ludum Dare 16 has come and gone, leaving with us dozens upon dozens of unique, quickly-crafted games to enjoy. The latest competition's theme was "exploration", and here are a few of the top games as voted by the LD community!
A minor scoop turns into a major crime when Nancy Drew's student reporter friend Maya vanishes without a trace in an antique theater where Houdini once dazzled audiences, and it's up to you to figure out what happened. An adventure game lives and dies by its plot, and I really cannot think of any complaints to make about The Final Scene. The story is revealed through a vivacious and extensive script, performed by voice actors who are clearly having fun.
If you're searching for a fun and chipper exploration game to kill a little time with, good for you! Searching is one of the key components of exploration games, so you're already off to a good start. After that, the fun is in what you do with what you find. In Little Rocket, you get to explore a small universe AND solve puzzles along the way! Aren't two-for-one bonuses lovely?
Not quite a pipe puzzle and not quite a gear puzzle, Grayscale is a melding of the two genres into something both unique to play and easy on the eyes. The difficulty ramps up quite nicely and is enough to hold interest through the levels as you struggle to produce the black and white fireworks that denote success. Quite a lot of brain twisting, turning, and teasing bundled up into a beautiful little bow.
What do you when you have a yen for some online puzzle platformer fun, but find that no one game will satisfy your itch? Why not try three puzzle platformers at once? Paradox Embrace, by Zeebarf and Steve Castro, provides exactly that. The trick is in switching between 3 distinct game-worlds, achieved by activating pedestal-mounted "changers".
Robamimi rarely disappoints and the New Who Am I? is no exception. A little shorter than usual for Robamimi's work, but nonetheless lots of casual gameplay fun is here to be had. Perfect for a short break, most gamers will find themselves out in ten minutes or less. It's worth playing just for the final puzzle. After all, how many room escape games (spoiler alert!) require you to bribe your way out?
Just when you thought you had seen the last of the Hoshi Saga series, Yoshio Ishii of Nekogames returns, and in full color! Hoshi Saga Ringo is the fourth installment in the Hoshi Saga series, and while it might not be as difficult as its predecessors, Ishii-san brings new life to the game with his beautiful artwork and use of gradients.
Defend Your Honor!... by retrieving the golden walrus for the Walrus King in this quirky defense game. Short and sweet, it's designed to fit into your coffee break, it features not only quick strategic battles, but a good old fashioned dose of humour that delivers a much needed jolt of energy to the tower defense genre.
The godfather of 3D shooters, 1995's Quake, takes a leap out of monster-infested dimensions and into your web browser. And it's surprisingly well-done, despite the control limitations imposed by Flash.
In space, nobody can hear you scream. But that doesn't stop you from tearing around, blowing up other ships, and slapping their debris onto your rig before running away from some angry bogeys flying in on your six. When a sleep-deprived pilot puts you in charge of his ship, you have to navigate the depths of Captain Forever, fighting other pilots for pieces of their ships to build the meanest spacecraft on the galactic block. Engage in your ultimate build-a-space-ship-from-stealing-other-people's-rubbish fantasy.
Based on the classic short story by Edgar Allan Poe, delve deep into the heart of Paris as you track down a brutal killer alongside one of fiction's most influential detectives. While it may not be as challenging as some veteran gamers might like, this is still a gorgeously rendered hidden object game, and a lot of fun, with just the right amount of... monkey business?
Once in a while a game comes along that, well, you don't really know how to describe. Great Adventures: Lost in Mountains is one of those games. Designed by Fenomen Games, Great Adventures is advertised as a time management game. Actually, it's more like a casual sim. No, it's more like a point-and-click adventure with casual sim and time management elements. But really, it plays like a room escape game with RPG and hidden object elements. See? Difficult to describe. Basically, all of the above is incorporated to make one wildly fun, inventive game.
- • ArGeeBee
- • Opera Omnia
- • Audia
It's the first Weekend Download of 2010! We thought we would go easy on you while you break in your new calendar, so all of the games below have a light download footprint. You can handle a few megs worth of games, can't you? Sure you can!
Have fun wandering in all directions, back and forth, up and down, and see what you can find. It's amazing what can be packed into such a small space and there's lots to see and do before it's all over. Atmospheric, moody, and yet surprisingly cute while simultaneously sending a chill down your spine, Where is 2010? is a perfect way to start the new year right.
Inspector Poirot is on the case again! Detective novelist Ariadne Oliver suspects that a murder may be committed at her high-society murder mystery fete. Sure enough, instead of a girl pretending to be a corpse, an actual corpse appears, which really casts a pall over your evening, let me tell you. It's up to Poirot to determine who is innocent, who is lying, and who is a murderer in the third entry in the series of hidden object games, Agatha Christie: Dead Man's Folly.
Blueberry Garden is a game about curiosity. It's a game about exploring your environment and playing with objects just to see what they do. The game's world, though stark in appearance, is vibrant and alive, with a thriving ecosystem of plants and creatures that interact with each other and change over time. From the moment you step foot in this garden, all you want to do is walk around and see what you can see. Too bad someone left a giant faucet running and everything's flooding with water!
The culmination of weeks of grueling riddle work from some of the brightest of the community, the JIG Community Riddle is finally here! A flash game made up of devious visual riddles designed by our players waiting, taunting your brain to crack them open.
Taking over the world wasn't easy in ancient times, but with some smart tactics and powerful magic, you might just take your empire to the top of the heap. Click on whichever outpost you'd like to deploy soldiers from, and then drag the cursor to your target and release. Half of that outpost's forces will be sent out to occupy the object of your ire. If your army is bigger than that of your foe, that's one base down, one whole planet to go.
Strap on your lasers in this sequel to 2008's Robokill as you're forced to make an emergency landing aboard a suspiciously silent space station. Shoot down waves of enemies, buy upgrades, and above all else, stay alive as you delve deeper into the mystery. If Holmes had death robots at his disposal, he totally would have used them instead of Watson.
Improbable Island is a browser-based multiplayer RPG, consisting almost entirely of text. Almost all of it quite funny. It's jam-packed with references to everything from "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: to "Sesame Street" to its own insanity. Even if you don't find it outright funny, you will still get a smile from the sheer craziness of it all. This is Improbable Island, where running into forgotten food from your refrigerator is a fairly mundane battle.
Just because it's simple doesn't make Tarutaru's Room any less an enjoyable game to play. The cut scenes definitely slow down gameplay, but really add to the delightful experience. So brace yourself for an overload of cute and enjoy the fun of helping a little Tartar elf escape from Tarutaru's Room!
Colour My Fate does indeed have a message, but a rather lighthearted one. The world is still bleak, but perhaps love has mellowed our little hero a bit. There is still fun to be had in this strange little world, and the visuals and music will still haunt the player long after the game is done. And, perhaps, we will find the true meaning of Christmas within.
Everybody in town is depressed, but you've got the cure! In the arcade game Pill Cannon, you are a robot with just one arm, and it's your job to feed pills to the sad people, firing them at their little pods as soon as they show signs of growing morose. The faster and more accurately you work, the better your score!
Got a hankering for some exploration? Cluster Lander is an exploration game and workout for your reflexes that lets you wander through mysterious terrain, fighting turrets and finding keys, all in the hopes of picking up the coordinates that will let you continue your quest to explore the galaxy!
Set sail for action, adventure, and... spelling? When Lucy runs away from home to avoid being shipped off for her tomboy behaviours, she never imagined she'd get wrapped up in a conspiracy involving the powerful East India Trading Company. Now she has to fight her way through a horde of pirates and rivals in her efforts to save countless lives and her family's name. Sink your opponents by spelling out words that charge your cannons in this clever new adventure release from Moonpod and unleash the Pirate Princess in you! We know you've got one.
Take another plunge into the signature weird and wonderful world of an Eyemaze creation, as you point and click to help a... thing... turn into... uh... another thing. Look, don't ask questions! You're on the clock, and if you don't act fast, that lion will do... something! Maybe!
While doing little to offer any radical new ideas to the series, World Tour offers new styles, new characters, new locations, and even a new look. With dozens of stages to play around the globe and an extensive style editor, there's enough to keep budding fashionistas (and the people who would never admit to it out loud) busy for a long time.
Natalie Brooks: Mystery at Hillcrest High is fun, casual gameplay at its best. With this game Alawar shows its determination to go toe-to-toe with the big guns of the hybrid field, Mystery Case Files and Hidden Expedition. The narrative structure is delightful, the games and puzzles fun, and the action cut-scenes thrilling. Quirky, charming, exciting, and just plain fun, give Natalie Brooks a try! Even if it does mean going back to high school, however briefly.
- • Shards
- • Hydorah
- • Battle of Tiles
If games weren't challenging, we wouldn't bother with them, right? Games create a set of rules that cause certain actions to be difficult, then you, the player, must try to perform those actions. It's a narrow definition, to be sure, but challenge on any level is something that sits at the core of gaming. Each of the games below throws challenges at you in a different way, whether it's via enemies, puzzles, restrictive physics, or a combination of all three. Sometimes you have to form a strategy, but sometimes it's about fighting with the game itself to make it all work. Either way, it's fun.
With loads of scenarios to work through, trophies to be won, and the sandbox modes for each state, Virtual City offers hours and hours of fantastic casual gameplay. Fun to play in small chunks or while away the time in immersive gameplay. Not a clone or a knock-off, but a virtual experience all its own, Virtual City is a fantastic wild ride. Just, really, don't forget the garbage. You won't like what happens if you do.
First Love is an escape-type game, though there is no real escaping to be done. It's a nice combination of Robamimi's sentiment and Bianco-Bianco's quirkiness. This is not a tense nail-biter, nor a pure cold logic puzzle. Instead, it is a warm and fuzzy nostalgia trip that is perfect for a short break from the holiday madness.
Play the role of Santa Claus, trapped in a lovely, warm A-Frame cottage trying to make your way out. It's tempting to just relax in the rocking chair, but there's escaping to be done, so try to avoid the temptation. Wander around the cozy, inviting space and investigate every nook and cranny, there's bound to be a way out. None of the puzzles are terribly tricky, but this is a fun, calm, quiet room escape perfect for the holiday season. What are you waiting for? You have presents to deliver!
Save the seals from an unfortunate fate in Helda, a gorgeous point-and-click adventure set in a strange world. Despite being hampered by trial-and-error style puzzle solving, Helda is a lovely, relaxing experience that's accessible to all ages.
Guide all the tanks to the portal in this latest installment of the tile-based puzzle series. Mindfields 3 provides a solid, if familiar gaming experience sure to quell your puzzle cravings. And if the original 25 levels just doesn't satisfy you, check out the hundreds of custom levels submitted from other players like yourself.
Christmas Escape 3 continues the Neutral tradition of fine escapes as you encounter chirping chicks, a mercenary kitty cat, and oh, yeah, how good are you at ice fishing? The whole thing hangs together beautifully and the ending is, well, as cute as a button. It's the perfect present to escape fans for the holiday season.
NinjaKiwi's follow-up to its first defense game is better in (almost) every way. Protect yourself from wave after wave of enemies by mixing potions and lobbing them across a wall. Each concoction will have a different affect, allowing you to mix and create your own recipes of doom.
Avalanche casts the player as a sled-bound penguin who is just trying to get home to his brood in the face of a relentlessly adversarial natural disaster. It's a running game that will test your agility and reaction as you pilot your little Antarctic hero to safety. It captures many of the features that made Dino Run and Canabalt great and presents them in its own unique way. It is a fine example in company with its worthy forebears.
Roly-Poly Monsters is the latest in a series of arcade games from Johnny K. Ghouls are roaming the neighborhood, and it's your job to destroy them! Drop bombs on the baddies' heads in the correct sequence and with the proper timing to send them back to whatever bad Halloween party they came from.
A strange and even unsettling little experimental game about every day in the life of a faceless, unnamed man, Every Day the Same Dream somehow manages to be oddly affecting despite its grim and dark presentation. Is there anything at all that can break him out of his cycle? It won't take you long to play, but it may stay with you well after you've shut down the browser.
It's Dismantling time yet again! Gam.ebb.jp is back with another dismantlement, and this time it's personal! Well, this time it's a mouse, at any rate. Fun, logical, and it appeals to that little part in all of us that revels in just breaking something down to its basic components. What are you waiting for, start dismantling!
Think you know ghosts? Think again. When they discover their dream house is host to a gaggle of unruly spirits, the only place a young couple has left to turn is the strange little man who shows up on their front step and seems to know a little too much about what's going on. Mishap: An Accidental Haunting represents a benchmark in quality for the hidden object genre by Namco. Featuring eight chapters, 32 hidden object scenes, riddles, minigames, and more ghosts than you'll know what to do with, it's a fun, beautiful romp through an out-of-this world location.
Artist Colony is fascinating, absorbing casual simulation and time management game. For those who love casual sims, such as Virtual Villagers or My Tribe, this is the game for you. Just be warned, it is very addictive. You can while away hours as you manipulate your little people to and fro, searching for hidden pieces of the past or creating masterpieces for the present. It's time to dress in all black, slap on a beret, and get ready to create some art!
- • GunFu Deadlands
- • !
- • Sumotori Dreams
- • Magic Planet Snack
- • Dawn's Light: A Christmas Tale
Ever wonder what happens to the games we feature on Weekend Download? Think the respective developers just take a nap and start on something new? Oh ho HO! You would be wrong! Two of this week's games are updates of titles we featured in the past, proving once and for all (insert significant philosophical observation here).
The underlying structure of the gameplay has completely changed from the first and second games. Previous installments were more point-and-click adventures, wandering back and forth from scene to scene to complete an area. Mystery from Atlantis, on the other hand, has jettisoned the moving about and created a game that is much more of a classic hidden object with adventure elements. If you're after gorgeous hidden object gameplay with a slight adventure flavor, Samantha Swift: Mystery from Atlantis is sure to scratch that itch.
Following Footsteps is a unique and oddly charming game created by Ming-Yee Iu for our recent Game Design Competition 6. While the game didn't win any prizes, it set itself apart through its creative take on the Explore theme and innovative gameplay. Follow in the footsteps of an intrepid explorer, hoping to get your grubby mitts on the gold he lost over a century ago!
A unique blend of defense, action, arcade, and even physics genres results in this tasty new game from developer veteran Tyler Glaiel. Use the forces of attraction to protect your fledgling new world from incoming attackers by sending them hurtling towards one another. The action is fast, the gameplay is clever, and, perhaps best of all, you get to call yourself an environmentalist now. Congratulations!
Ever wished that someone would combine the free-roaming, street-racing style of Grand Theft Auto with the vehicular sabotage of Mario Kart? And then throw in a little bit of Nintendogs just for good measure? Fortunately, the good people at Big Pixel Studios have stepped up and made our dreams into reality with Big Pixel Racing!
More than "just another pool game", Pool Sharks is a high-quality offering from Silent Bay Studios. Offering different ways to play, silky smooth visuals, and the option to pull off some awe-inspiring trick shots regardless of your skill level, it's setting the bar high and showing other titles in the genre how it should be done.
Despite all the silliness, there's lots of real escaping fun to be had in A Code Escape from Japan. A nice mix of puzzle solving and use of found objects; with the need for the animals' own special abilities thrown in for good measure makes for wonderful gaming experience. There are even two endings to be found in this little gem. Marvel at the leaping dog and the punching cat, just remember to use them well while you are playing nurse.
A light touch and a lot of patience will get you far in this deceptively simple game of shapes and stars. Guide your smiling square to the exit of each level, gathering stars along the way, but beware... spikes, traps, and even time itself are all poised to wipe that grin off its face! Easy to pick up and play, Shape Shape is a light afternoon snack packed with all the square-pushin' action you can handle. And we bet that's a lot!
Androgynous teenagers with gravity-defying hair wandering a mysterious world armed only with cranky comebacks and improbably large weapons? Yes, everything you either love or hate about Japanese RPGs is waiting for you in a convenient Flash package in Ge.ne.sis, a turn-based tactical RPG by An Lieu.
The clans of the Norse-themed world of Nitrome's popular Ice Breaker series are gathering, but they need your help to release their Viking warriors from their icy, impossible, Goldbergian prisons! Ice Breaker: The Gathering provides short but succulent tidbits of new Ice Breaker levels for fans of the series.
All of mankind vanishes from the universe in an instant... except for one person. Saira, a photographer, has spent years alone, trying to figure out what happened that day. Now, she's very close to discovering what happened, and finally tracking down who might be the only other person left alive. Nifflas's newest puzzle-platformer is a beautiful journey of exploration and discovery, where the few gameplay hiccups are only minor bumps in a long road.
You discover your ancestor's ancient castle, but it's set to be sold in nine days. Maybe you can find something that proves that this castle is yours? Hidden in Time: Mirror Mirror won't keep you on the edge of your seat, but it is a fun romp through hidden object land that would be perfect for those times when you just want a little relaxing amusement.
Historic Dire Grove, although closed for the season, is now open to the public for only $6.99 or a Big Fish Game Club credit. The game lives up to the quality expectations of the Mystery Case Files series, and fans of hidden object and adventure games won't likely be disappointed. Download the demo, read our review, or consult our Dire Grove Walkthrough.
- • Lily
- • We Want YOU
- • Kaiser Kitty
I'm a sucker for cute, quirky games. Throw a few chunky pixels in my direction, slap on a coat of "retro, yet new" gameplay on the top, and you've got my attention. All three games this weekend have that quirky old-school charm, and all three were thoroughly played/nommed by yours truly!
It's a blast from the past in this remake of and tribute to the original M.U.L.E., one of the great pioneers of multiplayer gaming. Stake your claim on an alien world with three friends and make the best of your time and resources to come out on top at the end of the game. Just remember to keep an eye out for the wampus.
The Dark Hills of Cherai is beautiful, fun casual gameplay. Fantastically, it bucks the latest trend of the ever shrinking game time and will keep players busy for hours. This is not a game to speed through. Take your time, explore, and experience the wonders of India without ever leaving your home.
Simple in its concept but stunning in its execution, Starlight is a puzzle where you manipulate the night sky to reveal images hidden in the constellations. Play on a timer or go as slow as you like and drink in the sights. Lovely, calming, and just the ticket at the end of a long day. Doesn't everyone need a bit of wonder in their lives now and again?
You might want to put the kids to bed before you crack open this fairytale. A spot-the-difference game with a darker side to go hand-in-hand with its innocent artwork, Goldilocks might not be the same tale you remember this time around...
What happens when jmtb02's Elephant series and his Four Second series love each other very, very much? Control your elephantine avatar through a number of quick mini-games in rapid-fire succession. Microgame collections like this one tend to encourage the player to mash buttons, any buttons, so Obey the Game really innovates in the way that it requires the player to take a moment and wait for further instructions.
The title, Finding Friends, is apt for this short and simple game that packs a satisfying, emotional experience. You start the game wandering around in the darkness, a little black square (with cute little white eyes) against a black background, in a maze with black walls. It's with the help of the friends you find that you'll be able to find your way to the exit of the maze.
Beard of Santa is the perfect mid-week pick-me-up, especially at this time of year. Fire up this little gem and learn what you've always suspected: cats are good gymnasts, raccoons are helpful gardeners, composting is good for the environment, and Santa really does suck sometimes, doesn't he?
What's worse than a yeti? Something even bigger and meaner! In this tricky reflex game from Nitrome, help your mythical furry beast escape an unknown fate by swinging ever upwards from pole to pole, collecting points and avoiding enemies. Packed with Nitrome's signature charm, it's a tricky game of timing that is as frustrating as it is fun to play.
Perfect Balance 2 is all about balance in its simplest form. Its down to the basics of physics here, where your goal is to stack a bunch of weird pieces on top of a bunch of other weird pieces and get them all to stay. Get it all assembled, then try and drop a few bonus diamonds on the pile for huge bonus points.
Welcome to Bubble Tanks Tower Defense, a nifty little, free-form tower defense game from the talented guys of Hero Interactive guys. Come, join these trigger-happy bubble tanks as they hunker down for battle. With so many levels and upgrades, the player is guaranteed a wonderful, tower defending good time.
Prepare yourself for an interactive fiction that peels back the truth in layers as you become more and more entwined in this tale of superscience and space exploration. The narrative begins with an itsy-bitsy clue that not all will be as it seems, followed by your character waking up in a fairly unadorned abode. From there, it's up to you as to what you do and how you go about it, but be wary of those who comment on your every move...
Unravel a mystery in a strange future where you can't trust anyone... maybe not even who you think you are. Nikopol is a large file adventure game with a lavish presentation and intricate story that overshadows its gameplay hiccups.
What's a person to do if they just want some match 3 goodness? Check out The Treasures of Montezuma 2 by Alawar Games. There's a ton of gorgeous gameplay featured here. Complete the initial 40 levels of Adventure mode and unlock lots more to do. Additional difficulty modes and 40 levels of puzzle mode, and even an endless mode, too. There are even trophies for various achievements as well that you can aim to collect.
- • Focus
- • Dreamside Maroon
- • Saut
Exploration is most of the reason why many of us play video games. When a developer crafts an entire world for you to play in, it's easy to get giddy with the concept of probing every corner and climbing on top of every boulder. This week's selection features several games that are heavy on the discovery aspect of gaming. Whether it's a magical world filled with moonlight or a dark pixel cave, you never know what's around the corner until you look...
Heard the one about the ancient curse? Well you're about to live it in this exceptional hidden object game. When you suddenly find yourself transported hundreds of years into the past, you have no choice but to solve a mystery involving a royal family if you ever want to find your way back home. With gorgeous visuals, clever puzzles, and smartly designed hidden object scenes, Royal House of Stone is a short but stylish start to a fun new series.
Destruction is fun! There's something to be said about games that let you take out all of your pent up anger, especially when you get to take it out on an unsuspecting village. And the pachinko-style gameplay as you're rolling a boulder down a mountain makes this latest game from PixelJam more than just a simple smash-and-destroy type of game.
Forget Beetlejuice, you're the ghost with the most! And you'll have to prove it in this strategic game if you ever want to get out of Hell. Easy to pick up but hard to put down, Hell Tour's addictive, board game style gameplay lacks polish and real punch, but is still devilishly entertaining.
Track down your stolen hens with Dale and Peakot; one armed with a shotgun, the other possessing amazing magical powers... but a mediocre little bird brain. An old-school platformer that would be at home on any console, Dale and Peakot is simple in premise but big on style and charm.
YAWWN! It's a brand new day, time to go out exploring! Level Up! is an RPG-like platformer by Nifty Hat all about exploring the world and discovering your past. In an odd world where the Squarians and Roundians are in a constant and bitter battle, your goal is to collect gems and exchange them for tools to help you restore your memory.
Prepare to embark on a perception-stretching, linearity-quashing adventure of amorphous proportions. Every level contains a pristine red door, only usable for exiting purposes after one or more red keys have been collected. Sounds straightforward enough, but it's funny just how much this game will twist your perceptions of both straight AND forward. All levels are composed of a number of squares, shiftable in a manner akin to a sliding tile puzzle. Each square contains a finite fraction of the overall level itself, and the key to victory lies in prudent transfigurations of the landscape.
Escape Ancient China Room is a lovely, well-put together little escape game that depends more on your ability to combine objects than to solve puzzles. In other words, the bulk of the game is finding and using what you've found. It's a little trickier than most escapes featured in Weekday Escape, and yet still makes for a nice break in the middle of the week with its lovely scenery and the calming music.
Paradoxion Express is a flash-based version of Paradoxion, a download we featured back in April. Created by Russian game design team VSBgames, this free browser version features 60 levels of elegant logic-based combo-making gameplay.
Who wants to go on a treasure hunt? Everybody? That's what I thought! Then grab your green backpack and safari hat, and dive into The Fabulous Explorationsland, a new adventure game from StefanT, and one of the top entries in our sixth Casual Gameplay Design Competition!
A point-and-click adventure set in a magical and mystical world that never was. Created by 3dpi Games, makers of the Tortuga series, Mandrake 1 begins a new series on the foibles of the Van der Dooms and their increasingly bitter dispute. The artwork has a nice, stylish hand drawn look done up in shades of black, white, and gray with just a hint of color here and there to liven things up.
Developed by The Game Telegraph, this simplistic game about putting coloured squares onto a grid is at first hilariously simple, then deviously contrived as you become a victim of your own "that block will be OK to sit there" mentality.
Are you an adventurer who just can't seem to adventure? Are you a villager whose name is Villager? If so, you'll find the perfect home in Wildhollow, a well-crafted RPG/adventure/simulation game from KarjaSoft, creator of Spandex Force. In this light-hearted, humor-filled game, you play the role of a young boy/girl returning home to find your parents missing and your family ranch destroyed. Don't frown, though, as this game takes itself about as seriously as a clown working at a pie factory.
Westward IV: All Aboard is a solid addition to the ever increasing Westward pantheon. There's not a lot of change from Westward III, but why mess with a winning formula? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Of course, Westward IV offers new characters, new scenarios, new upgrades, and the same casual gameplay fun of its predecessors.
- • Restraining Order
- • Focus
- • rComplex
- • Igneous
RUUUNNNN!!!!! Escape games of the non-point-and-click variety are well-represented in the indie gaming community. What could be more basic than "get away from the thing that's chasing you"? Two of this weekend's titles focus on running away from something really scary. And you'll have a good time doing just that!
It's more Flo and more of the finely-tuned time management action we've come to love in Hotel Dash: Suite Success! Flo's friend Quinn is expanding her wedding business by offering honeymoon packages, but the hotel she's booked is a bit of a lemon. Enter Flo and her uncanny ability to turn any business from failure to success in the course of one casual game!
Welcome to Dismantlement: Tea Canister, another great point-and-click where you can have once again have fun reducing something to its basic components. Mind you, there's usually not much to dismantle when it comes to a tea canister. Still, it's nice to tear things apart, so go for it. Take a break from the everyday and start dismantling! Just try not to blow up so much, okay?
Dire Grove is a beautiful game that incorporates live action video sequences to tell the chilling tale of an ancient Celtic legend. And although it picks right up where the previous game in the series ends, it is a stand alone game that can be enjoyed without ever playing any previous installment. Dire Grove is perhaps not as long as Return to Ravenhearst, and yet it still manages to buck the current trend of ever-shrinking gameplay time now seen in most adventure/hidden object hybrids. Between the exploration, the hidden object scenes, and the puzzles you are looking at hours of fantastic casual gameplay.
Welcome to The Water Well by no1game.net, a quiet room escape game that won't solve all your problems, but is certainly an oasis of calm in an otherwise frantic week.
Fantasy of the Sord is a classically styled adventure game and a finalist in our 6th Casual Gameplay Design Competition. In answer to the call of the competition, Klint Honeychurch has taken the theme of "exploration" and given us a sweet little nugget that harkens back to the early days of console gaming; a time when a flurry of pixels was as well-designed as the high-polygon count, 3D models of today.
Chris and Jeremiah, the talented guys behind Atomic Cicada, are back with a follow-up to Grid, the puzzler that first launched them onto the casual gaming radar. Gridz features 40 levels of the glyph-turning, energy-channeling goodness you've come to expect from the original, without falling into the classic Hollywood bungle of rehashery.
How well do your hands work together? In FireBoy and WaterGirl: The Forest Temple, you're either your own best friend or worst enemy as you simultaneously control two characters throughout fast-paced levels of puzzle-y, platform-y goodness.
Take a journey through one introvert's convoluted mind as you work to cooperate with your past selves, recorded in time. As soon as you reset the clock, the level starts anew, except now there's a phantasmal double of yourself scurrying about, re-enacting your first playthrough move for move. Press [space] again, and add another one to the mix, this one also moving according to the steps you laid out. Some levels will place a restriction on the number of ghostly doppelgangers you can conjure, and these are the levels where you'll have to see just how adeptly you can work with...well, yourself.
One the surface, Gratuitous Space Battles, from Kudos developer Positech Games, looks like your run-of-the-mill space RTS, something in the vein of the Homeworld series or Star Wars: Empire at War. But when that glance turns into a longing stare, you'll realize it's very different from both of those series and isn't really, in fact, a real time strategy game at all. Gratuitious Space Battles has a whole new system of gameplay going for it that, in many ways, feels more like a tower defense game than anything else.
Seek out your destiny, young knight! Or candlemaker. Or beast tamer. Or cook! In Cute Knight Kingdom, a fantasy life simulator from Hanako Games, you'll guide a young girl with a mysterious past to any one of dozens of endings. Will you become a renowned warrior? Or will you settle down and carry on the family business? Despite some repetitive gameplay, Cute Knight Kingdoms is an addictive little title that will be right at home with anyone who enjoys open-ended simulators.
Delicious Emily's Holiday Season is a fantastic time management game from Zylom Game Studio. Much like the often-forgotten Miss Management, this game plays like a TV sitcom, complete with incidental music and cheesy sense of humor! The variety of gameplay is a welcome addition to the genre, and unlike most games that make the same attempt, it doesn't come across as forced innovation.
- • Harmony
- • Featherweight
- • Dungeon
- • Devil's Tuning Fork
Two things the indie gaming community thrives on are experimentation and nostalgia. Some developers push their concepts so far the resulting experience is unlike anything we've ever seen. It may be fun, it may be frustrating, but we love it for the boundless innovation. Other developers take classic concepts and reinvent them for the modern player, resurrecting proven gaming mechanics for everyone to enjoy once again. The selection of games below illustrates both concepts quite well, with a few games blending both nostalgia and experimentation in equal parts. Gotta love indie game creators!