A one-button jump and run game, G-Switch takes the formula that made Canabalt so successful and adds an eponymous gravity-switching mechanic to create a twitchy, fast-paced experience with surprisingly zen-like results. It's a flawed masterpiece of a game, which is a shame because when it shines it really shines. More than just a clever combination of two well-tread game ideas, G-Switch is a reinvention.
Martial artists have for centuries honed their bodies, minds, and souls to the very height of human potential. Entire lifetimes are dedicated to the understanding and perfecting of the human form and all for one very distinct purpose. If the new launch game, Mad Karate Man, is to be believed, then that purpose is to waylay cell phone yapping, briefcase lugging, penny-loafer on casual Friday wearing businessmen, and kick them so hard they actually go into orbit.
Why did the sheep cross the road? Because he wanted to get to the physics/puzzle/platforming game inspired by Wallace and Gromit's Shaun the Sheep from Aardman Animations! BWAHAHAHA... ha... hm. Okay, so that wasn't funny. But Home Sheep Home is guaranteed to put a smile on your face with its charming visuals and simple, accessible gameplay, even if it won't exactly challenge you.
With a special ship and enough firepower to sort out the 100 year war in an hour, head to the skies and dodge bullets.For whatever reason and whichever tactical handbook involved, you are heading into space to shoot down a colourful variety of enemy spaceships, always culminating to fighting a huge boss ship at the end (Come to think of it, why does the boss always fight alone.. you know what? I don't care).
Lost. In space. Alone. On a badly damaged ship. It's a bad day for anyone, and it's even worse for you since you can't remember how you got into this predicament. Fragile Shells is a clever, clean bit of interactive fiction from Stephen Granade, and a runner-up in Casual Gameplay Design Competition 7.
Researchers agree: playing logic puzzles requires your brain. Exactly what's required of it, they can't seem to agree, but it's the general consensus that the net effect is positive. Enter Strimko, a sudoku-like game of logic that involves placing numbers on a grid. Instead of a dry, angular box, however, you get to work with number chains that snake their way around the grid, adding a nice, flavorful twist to the familiar concept.
Empress of the Deep: The Darkest Secret is an adventure/hidden object hybrid with strong leanings to the Myst school of gaming. Featuring thick environments rich in detail and atmosphere, you'll encounter loads of great puzzles as well as unique mini-games that never repeat themselves.
- • Vatn Squid
- • Paper Dreams
- • Dissipate
Games are fun. Jam is delicious. Why not combine the two? The Game Jolt Weekend Game Jam has both of those words (even though its jam is less strawberry flavored) and contains exactly the same amount of yum. Check out a few of the top games from this 48 hour competition.
We have just finished a massive walkthrough guide for Virtual Villagers 4: The Tree of Life. This guide will provide all you need to help you get the most from your experience with the latest Virtual Villagers game. Be warned: This guide does contain spoilers, so proceed with caution and as a last resort!
It's time to travel back to Isola! Yes, that magical island paradise with the odd wildlife and mysterious ruins is back in Virtual Villagers 4: The Tree of Life, the latest installment in the Virtual Villagers casual sim series by Last Day of Work. The powerhouse of the field, the game by which all other village simulations are measured, is back to delve deeper into the secrets of the island!
A space themed puzzle that puts you in the role of dashing space miner. Use your gravity wells to siphon off the colorful "stuff" provided by gas planets, and guide it to your absorbers. Okay, maybe it doesn't sound too daring or exciting, even if you do manage to cast Bruce Willis in the lead role (which isn't the case here), but Eon does manage to provide a beautiful puzzle experience that is as elegant in its technical design as it is in its pixelated visuals.
Between the kicking music, the fantastic anime-like visuals and animations, and the sheer fun of watching a round kitty cat power suck sushi make up for a lot. Not the greatest game around, but one of the most entertaining time-wasters imaginable. Surreal, silly mayhem in 15 levels. Just the sort of thing to put a smile on your face and brighten up your day.
Lateral is a word game that pushes you to think outside the box. Try and guess the hidden word or phrase by looking at the words it's connected to. Cat plus fish equals catfish, but rarely will your task be that simple!
Saturated will brighten your world with neon vector graphics and brain-challenging action-puzzles. You'll definitely never forget that red and blue make purple after your failure to apply that principle in time results in your ship being reduced to smithereens. There's a good variety in the levels here. Some levels require frantic speed to outrun a laser, others are mazes requiring exploration and backtracking, and still others are enemy-heavy.
Like blocks? Us too! So head on over to BLockoban 2, with an improved look and brand new levels of block sliding puzzle goodness to tease the grey matter between your ears. When you finally wade through the 100+ levels, take a crack at the level editor and make your own.
With a nice mix of math, logic, color, and construction, Escape from 5th Door is fun, balanced room escaping that challenges and teases and taunts and eventually leaves you happy to escape. Be prepared for some odd leaps of logic, and laugh at the "bad" escape when you find it. Just get escaping!
"Hero" is such a broad term. Don't you think, cowboy? You were just liberating that silver after all. Before you can ride off into the sunset, you'll need to get out of this jail cell. Hoosegow is a tongue-in-cheek bit of interactive fiction set in the wild west, and the proud winner of CGDC7.
Where do robots come from? Well, first you need an idea. Put down the paper and pencil, friend, since we're going about this the Mogo-Mogo way! Take a trip into a strange land in search of inspiration to save the hardworking Mogo-Mogos from their endless toil in this vibrant point-and-click prequel to 2009's hit game Little Wheel.
Things might look easy, but to finish Isoball 2 you gotta be some kind of genius. Isoball 2 takes the whole idea of playing with geometric shapes to a whole different and ultimately dumbfounding level in a head-scratching puzzler with fifty stages to test your mettle on.
All it takes is one stranger on the road on one dark night to unwittingly set in motion a chain of events that could change the world. Choose your party members from nine distinct personalities and set off on a side-scrolling free RPG adventure through lush environments full of strange characters. Featuring nine chapters, a complex battle scheme, and more, it's a stunning linear adventure that will delight fans of the genre.
Poor Rosalee, what's a girl to do? She hears enchanted music, gets a mysterious request for a tarot reading, and the next thing she knows she's locked up in the town jail with her tarot cards missing. That's the opening for The Tarot's Misfortune, designed by Triple Hippo, and an adventure/hidden object hybrid.
Alt Shift gives us an all new Shift-style game with smoother graphics, deeper puzzles, and a healthy dose of mini-games. The story is one that we've heard before. It's your basic "dimensional traveler meets opposite gendered partner, evil mad scientist kidnaps partner for unclear reasons, dimensional traveler must defeat mad scientist through clever puzzle platforming," story. Like Shakespeare wrote.
- • Lunnye Devitsy
- • Which
- • The Hunt
This week's selection of downloadable games seems to ask a lot of questions. Not because one of their titles practically is a question, but because of the way they're made. What rests beyond the next corridor? How can you get to the other side of that waterfall? And if I step out into that suspiciously dark and open wooded area, will I get attacked by something hideous?
You awaken alone. You have no memory of who you are, or how you got to this magical castle. There are fairies ready to guide you, and goblins waiting to test you. Using only the mouse, solve puzzles and mini-games in Awakening: The Dreamless Castle, with the goal of collecting six magic runes and discovering who you are and why you've been asleep for a hundred years.
Cubor lets players gently roll colorful blocks to respectively colored designated areas, which will be a familiar trope to veteran puzzlers. But Cubor adds a couple of twists to the formula. Cubes move by rotating in the direction of travel, and as a cube is only truly home when the colored side is face-down, you must assess not only the means of delivery, but also the approach. Not every orientation will do, and part of the solving is in adjusting the cube's orientation so that it can arrive home properly.
Take control of a flock of Canada Geese and fly for as long as you can, gaining more birds to increase points, and avoiding their natural predators. Like propellers. With upgrades to buy, achievements to discover, and high scores to capture, Endless Migration is a solid, if repetitive, avoidance title for the goose in all of us. HONK!
Ionic is a new sci-fi strategy-shooter that joins the ranks of popular tower defense spin-offs. Enemy fighters simultaneously advance from both sides of an almost-ridiculously long and horizontal map, which represents the size and shape of your Dreadnought battleship. Instead of the usual tower-building mechanic, weapons and modules are constructed atop various "slots" scattered across the ship's hull.
This time we mean it. This is the Only Level Too! The sequel to jmtb02's original hit puzzle/platformer about a determined elephant stuck in an endless procession of seemingly identical levels is back. This time with more shenanigans and at least twice as much velociraptor!
Do you hate blocks? Sure you do. Look at them, sitting up there... judging you... laughing at you... not knocked down for points and fun... who do they think they are?! Well, in this snappy physics puzzle game you can give them their comeuppance! Blosics is back with a sequel, and it's bigger and better than ever.
No Name Room Escape is a nice mid-week break. Simple, classic escaping done up nicely. Forget back stories, exotic locales, weird themes, and all the rest and just get escaping!
What's a world without colour? If you can't put a stop to the Void invasion at the Prizim tower you're going to find out, and it won't be pretty. Take on the role of Roy, a Hueman able to swap colours and abilities at will, and fight your way to the top in this colourful, unique puzzle platformer.
And oldie but a goodie, Castlemouse is a puzzle game filled with complex chain reactions. To catch the mouse, you need a cat. To keep the cat moving, you need to scare it with a bigger animal. Soon, you've got an entire zoo full of critters chasing each other around the grid. And you're having a great time doing it!
Use a cannon to launch squirrels like bushy-tailed missiles into clusters of airborne acorns, hoping to accrue enough points to beat the level's target score and move on to the next. The more acorns you hit with one rodent, the more points you rack up. There's multi-shot acorns, fiery acorns, and an inexplicably fun "There's only a few acorns left" mode where your cannon becomes a gatling gun of furry fury. Suffice it to say, the squirrels have their work cut out for them.
You know the old saying about not getting between a boy and his balloon? Of course you don't, since we just made that up. But in this fast-paced action/shooter/defense hybrid, you'll need to learn the value of a hot air balloon if you want to escape this strange landscape. Repair it as quickly as you can to sail off to safety, but be careful. There's a welcoming party headed your way, and it isn't very welcoming.
Galcon Fusion is the latest in the growing line of casual strategy games from Phil Hassey. Following Galcon Classic, the original desktop version of the series, and borrowing a ton of tricks from the iPhone incarnations Galcon and Galcon Labs, Fusion pits you against the rest of the galaxy as you fight for dominance. Featuring high-definition visuals, loads of interesting modes of play, and several fun bells and whistles, Galcon Fusion is a respectable successor in the Galcon line and a captivating casual Risk-like strategy game.
Big City Adventure: Vancouver is truly a game for all ages. Expert hidden-object fiends will appreciate the timed madness, playing over and over again to beat a previous time or score. For those who love the genre but don't want to rush, there is a relaxed untimed mode, which is also helpful for the very young or beginners to the field. True casual gameplay for the entire family to enjoy. With over 60 scenes and mini-game in-between, as well as randomly generated lists of objects to find, there's hours and hours of enjoyment and replayablity in this bright, cheerful package.
If you love match-3 games and are looking for a new challenge, then Geisha: The Secret Garden is definitely for you. With an entirely new strategy to learn and innovative obstacles to overcome, the game manages to make the genre feel entirely new and interesting. With its timed and untimed modes we're talking gameplay that everyone can enjoy. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, listen to the sound of one hand clapping, and start meditating now.
- • BirdyWorld
- • Mr. Kitty's Quest
- • Bitworld
- • Dungeons of Fayte
The recently-completed TIGSource Assemblee Competition was all about artists and programmers working together as one big happy family-like unit. The two-part competition began with artists/musicians creating assets, then programmers came along, scooped up the goodies and used them to make games. The results, as you can see, are extraordinary, with over 70 games submitted in the end. Below are a few highlights of the competition.
Ah, the opera. The drama! The romance! The... cadavers? As the lowly stagehand of a popular opera group, you weren't expecting anything out of the ordinary when you're all summoned to a tiny, remote town to perform. At least, until the performers start coming down with an unfortunate case of dead. Is it a simple case of a madman on the loose in the sleepy little town? Or is there something much more sinister lurking behind the scenes?
Diver 2 is a physics-based game of cliff diving created by Jeff Weber of Farseer Games. Its simple premise sticks you on top of a cliff and says "ok, now jump gracefully into the water and land between the markers". Riiiiight. Doing that perfectly (and on the first try) is about as easy as teaching a cat to sing a canzone from Rigoletto. With a little practice, though, you'll get it right. The dive, not the singing cat bit.
In Abduction!, the goal is to make your bloated overlords cold, hard cash by journeying to Earth and picking up a few (un)willing volunteers to be the supply for your demand. It's the perfect game for those of you who hate overalls and straw hats, and believe anyone who wears them should be punished. Sucking a fleshy creature aboard your ship causes horrible yet delicious things to happen to them as they're processed into Man-in-a-Can.
Wake the Royalty is Eugene Karataev's sequel to Wake Up the Box, with a pleasant, hypnotic tune by ImperfectDisciple accompanying it. 25 levels in all, this iteration doesn't really bring anything new to the table, but it's still a fun little diversion. If you're looking for a good phuzzle to waste a bit of time, look no further.
One Button Bob is a side-scrolling action-platformer that uses just the left mouse button for control. Click. Click and hold. Click to stop. Rapidly click. Click, hold, and release. You get the idea. Make it through each screen using a combination of trial-and-error and careful timing!
Cover Orange 2 is longer (25 levels, as opposed to 20 in the original), trickier (some levels require very precise placement and timing), and then there's the level editor. Players who've managed to get all the way through can then try to create a level (or levels) of their own, limited only by their imaginations and, of course, the laws of physics. It's nice amid the glut of casual gameplay to be found out there that a designer listens to the gamers and uses that advice to create something even better than the first, even when the first game was pretty cool to begin with.
We're not talking rocket science, here. A kicking intro, a handful of goofy puzzles, one of the coolest escapes ever, and you're done. Sometimes, though, it's nice to take a break from cold logic and just have a little fun. Strip down to shorts, put on a funky hat, grab a tasty beverage of your choice, and enjoy the island madness. And the inflatable pig.
Choice of the Dragon is a choose your own adventure browser game where you live the life of a dragon, moving from decision to decision and being as docile or cruel as you want. It emphasizes character and story interaction, not puzzles, allowing you to grow into the game's world like few modern titles allow you to do.
WereBox is a fun little challenge that will brighten your day. Lurking in the darkness, transforming to save the day, be the hero and vanquish the wicked reds so that life in the city can return to normal. Well, normal for balls anyway. It's a physics puzzle with a twist, as you turn balls to boxes and back again to complete each level.
An experiment in concept, Record Tripping is a short game that you control using your mouse scroll wheel. Play a series of mini-games that take you through Alice in Wonderland with one very pretty presentation. The whole package is a cool little showcase of a neat idea with lovely trappings, well worth the short time it takes to complete.
Have you ever wondered what ponies dream about? It's not hay or salt licks. They dream of racing with shiny dolphins across a purple landscape, leaping to avoid smashing into stars and racking up a high score. That's right, they dream of being a magical robot unicorn! And now, thanks to this weird yet addictive two-button game from Adult Swim, so will you. Neigh, my friend. Neigh like you've never neighed before!
Embark on a hidden object adventure to a lush, mysterious, and strange uncharted jungle island. Despite the flaws there's a lot of hidden object fun to be had with Sarah Maribu and the Lost World. Just sit back and enjoy the wild, illogical, yet dazzling adventure through the island of misfit dinosaurs. Just tell them Grandpa sent you.
Gorgeous to look at, easy on the ears and with a fun new twist to the old match 3 dynamic, Paradise Quest is tons and tons of match 3 fun, with enough side tasks to break up the gameplay and keep it feeling fresh. Entertaining, educational, and fun for the entire family.
- • A very brief tale
- • Strangers
- • War and Peace
Sometimes you don't want an epic story or 80 hours of gameplay out of your game. Sometimes you just want to mess around, experience something quirky, and call it a day. All of the games below are extremely short. They're "just 'cause" games, because the only reason you play them is just because you can!
What if history's greatest discoveries never happened? What if it was all because of a butterfly and one very sloppy time traveler? When Helen's grandfather manages to set the modern age back into the stone age after one careless time jaunt, Helen takes it upon herself to set things right. Travel throughout history in this colourful hidden object game and make sure things happen the way they should, unless you like the idea of living in a mud hut. And we're pretty sure those don't get cable.
How many crates could a penguin stack if a penguin could stack crates? You're about to find out. There isn't a human in sight, so it's up to you and our fine flippered friend to transport crates of live, bouncy, feisty animals to the nearest zoo with only your stacking skills, a battered red pickup, and a physics engine on your side.
M-Bot: The Game is a gorgeous, shiny, frenetic gem of a 2.5D shooter with style to spare, where you pilot M-Bot through the urban ruins of the Newgrounds community to disable spambots and make the world safe for friendly posters everywhere.
Got mech? Time to suit up in Mechanical Commando 2, a fast and frantic top-down shooter from Berzerk Studio featuring lots of enemies, lots of bosses, lots of missions, and lots and lots of bullets. With achievements and upgrades galore, it's enough to satisfy the trigger happy space marine inside all of us.
Factory Balls is back and coming to a browser near you, with more wicked ways to waste time attempting to paint small white balls to factory spec while a throbbing beat plays in the background. Everything Bart produces is tons of fun and Factory Balls 3 is no exception. With its cutesy visuals and kicking soundtrack, Factory Balls 3 is one of the best time wasters around.
From the dark realm of deep space we find ourselves back on the disquietingly silent space station where we left off in the first Space Oddity, an episodic point-and-click adventure from Pastel Games. When the 2nd chapter, Space Oddity 2, begins you had just gained access to Level 3 and attempted to contact headquarters, but there was no reply. What has happened? Are you all alone? Why doesn't anyone answer?
It's word game meets physics puzzle in Prose and Motion, a unique game by DeeperBeige. Click and drag letters to the starting point on each stage, carefully arranging them one by one in a neat little row. Spell a word to move on to the next level, spell the correct word and you're even more awesome!
Ivoryboy's gorgeous "spot the difference" game has returned with 4 Differences! Scrutinize the two pictures and click on each bit that doesn't match between the pictures. This game is miles above most other spot-the-difference games. Its visual presentation alone makes it worth a look. If you like the genre at all, you won't want to miss it.
Tesshi-e has graced us with a lovely, classic room escape scenario. With four different escape scenarios to find, Escape From the Snowman's Room will happily engage your logic circuits and transport you to a place where snowmen get really angry if you break their toys in the process of escape. Bundle up, and be prepared to Escape From the Snowman's Room.
Go To Hell is a skill- and reflexes-oriented puzzle game by Metasauce, creator of Hex Empire. One part digging game, one part physics playground, the title welds the two elements together into a tightly-structured experience that's as intriguing to play around with as it is to beat.
Think construction work is boring? Maybe you aren't using enough guided missiles. Unleash the awesome power of the yellow hard hat as you use everything from explosions to wrecking balls to airplanes to destroy buildings and make your cash quota in Nitrome's explosive (literally) take on the physics demolition game.
Not enough cute in your day? Never fear, Chibi Knight is here! An action/adventure title with RPG elements, the game has you sending your itty-bitty hero out to save the land from some big, bad beasties, and maybe uncover a secret or two along the way. How cute is this short little gem? Just give the title screen a gander, and a listen. Melted yet?
If you're a fan of first person skydiving games with lots of vowels in the title, Aaaaa! A Reckless Disregard for Gravity by Dejobaan Games is right up your alley. Your goal is to make it from Point A (generally assumed to be somewhere above you) to Point B (somewhere below point A) without crushing every bone in your body. Unfortunately the skies are littered with airborne buildings and architectural oddities. And birds. And cars. And large glass plates with numbers on them.
Absorbing, engrossing, and hours and hours of fun await those who play Fiona Finch and the Finest Flower. Play as little or as much as you like, plan for efficiency or go nuts and create patterned, formal gardens. Enjoy the feeling of satisfaction from creating a lovely garden without the sunburn, dirt under your nails, or stinging insects.
With his first big job completed in Nick Chase: A Detective Story, our hard-boiled P.I. slips into his favorite bar to get out of the rain. Only then, things get interesting. A bit too interesting. So begins our gritty pal's latest hidden object/adventure hybrid, Nick Chase and the Deadly Diamond.
- • TowerClimb
- • Sheep
- • Heartwild Solitaire Classic
Ahem. Here we go Loopty Loo! Here we go Loopty Li! Here we go Loopty Loo! Because it's Weekend Download that you can possibly read on a Saturday night!
Simplz: Zoo combines a match-3 puzzle game with a casual simulation for a new and compelling experience. Now, you may have heard that story before when Floating Kingdoms came along, but this one has a potent blend of the genres that interconnects so thoroughly, everything you do in one directly affects the other. The result is a game that elegantly moves you back and forth while giving you the freedom to customize the experience to your liking.
Welcome to Pong's bizarro twin from the negaverse of gaming. [Up] and [Down] steer the ball, though, instead of the paddles. It's up to you to steer the fearless pixel around those persistent paddles, and into the next area, where a pair of smarter, more adroit defenders await your arrival.
A java demake of Terry Cavanagh's retro spacefaring platformer, VVVV is a challenging little gem sure to bring delight to your day as you set about rescuing six of your fellow crew mates across a dangerous map. And by "delight", we of course mean "difficulty designed to make your fingers snap like ineffectual little twigs". Yaaaaaay!
There's not a lot of game here, but what there is is casual gameplay done right. Simple, elegant, easy on the eyes, and over quickly, Hormiga Escape is the perfect little point-and-click gem to go with your early morning coffee, a quick five-minute workout for your brain to kick start the day. Help a little ant get home before disaster strikes!
Use the awesome powers of ninja billiards to save the world from undead viral domination! Now there's a weird sentence. As Viro, a tiny globular ninja, shoot your way through the ranks of the monsters to infect them with a disease so they aren't a threat in 120 levels of physics puzzle mayhem that will test your skill and your fondness for the colour pink.
Hostile Spawn is a top-down arcade shooter similar to Robokill in design. Move through a sci-fi setting grabbing weapons and taking out aliens with your mad skills. Although it's similar to other games in the genre, Hostile Spawn has a strong emphasis on exploration, carving itself a nice cozy niche amongst its brothers.
Short, sweet, and sentimental, Matiawase is still an entertaining little escape from the everyday. Perfect for playing during a short break or using as an excuse to take a short break, something that will transport you away from reality for a few short minutes, a perfect cure for the mid-week and mid-winter blahs.
Step into the shoes of a Stetson-clad treasure hunter with a glint of gold in his eye who can read five dead languages for no apparent reason and has his spelunking boots all laced up. Trounce baddies and collect golden idols that allow you to move from one leg of the tomb to the next in this pixelrific platform adventure game.
What makes a game relaxing? Despite featuring a large quantity of whizzing, brightly-colored particles and a constantly counting down timer, Pulsus somehow manages to be a game I'd like to pick up and play at o'dark hundred while sipping a cup of herbal tea until I get sleepy again.
Where We Remain is a quiet game. It is also an action adventure game of exploration in a randomly generated world. You're a lost youth stranded on a haunted island in the Aegean Sea, searching for your lost love among the ruins of a wasted civilization stalked by mysterious spirits. Find 10 possible power-ups to help you complete your quest while avoiding the mysterious spirits that populate the island. You'll also discover that there's more to the island than initially appears.
Take on the penguin menace facing the polar bears with a sled, a few well-placed bombs and a bit of help from physics in this cheeky cartoon game from Gameboltz.
It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine... wait, no I don't! As one of the last survivors of a zombie apocalypse, you've managed to hole up inside an abandoned house. But without any supplies, your safe haven is more of a prison. You'll need to find a means of escaping, and it'll take all your point-and-click, combining skills in this horror adventure to do it.
In the mood for a seriously intense turn-based strategy game? Solium Infernum is about as non-casual as you can get, featuring no in-game tutorial and a 30+ page instruction manual. But it rewards players with superb open-ended gameplay that has as many paths to victory as you can conjure.
Nancy Drew: Warnings at Waverly Academy is a punishingly difficult puzzle adventure game that tasks your ability to look at and assemble details to progress through the game. It's more like Myst than a point-and-click adventure, but players who sit down and solve the game are rewarded greatly.
Rhianna Ford & The DaVinci Letter is a fun wild ride through a captivating story that grabs hold and doesn't let go until you reach the resolution. Pretty to look at, easy on the ears, and with a story and characters that actually make you care, Rhianna Ford stands above the ever crowded field of Hidden Object/Adventure hybrids and offers lots of entertaining gameplay.
- • TimeStill
- • Flood the Chamber
- • This Is How Bees Work
- • Probability Zero
Simplicity is often overlooked in modern games. Whereas early programmers had little more to work with than a few lines of code and a green-on-black screen, modern game makers can have armies of programmers, artists, and computers on their side. It doesn't take 3D visuals and realistic physics to make a good game, though, as indie game creators prove time and time again. This week's games are small in some ways, but enormous in others, and all have that special something that makes you treasure the time you spend with it.
Fixing stuff is always an adventure, isn't it? Especially when it's something as complex and expensive as an automobile. Fix-it-Up: World Tour, the sequel to Fix-it-Up: Kate's Adventure, makes the stakes even higher by moving you around the world, fixing, painting, cleaning and modding vehicles on almost every continent (sorry, Antarctica). It's a little time management mixed with some casual simulation elements for a simple game that's even more engaging than its predecessor.
Take a handful of classic Sierra On-line graphical adventure games, throw in a community chatroom designed around the same concept, and suddenly you have the equivalent of a retro adventure MMO. Well, sort of. Sarien.net keeps the golden age of adventure games alive, right in your browser window!
Four teenagers have awoken something very old and very, very dangerous in the bottom of an old well hidden in a house. A point-and-click horror mystery designed to be played alongside the BBC miniseries of the same name, The Well trips itself up with bland or occasionally confusing gameplay, but is worth a look if you're a fan of good stories and ancient Pagan ceremonies. Hey, aren't we all?
Crop Defenders is inspired by several tower defense sub-genres; instead of protecting a goal via strategically-placed towers along a fixed path, you're tasked with using an army of birds to guard a small patch of crops from invading rabbits, deer and other hungry wildlife.
Mixing rhythm and simulation elements into one browser-based experience, Punk-o-Matic 2 also functions as a hefty musical editing tool. For those who only sing in the shower, you might want to check out that long tutorial!
In a sketchy, notepad world, a doodled character moves with ninja-like precision over the landscape and deadly terrain. Under birds, over spikes, avoiding pitfalls and collecting floating clocks en route to the exit is a lot more difficult than it seems in this tricky one-button platformer.
Challenging, fun, mysterious, the puzzles flow from one to another in a beautiful logical procession in this latest escape title from Place of Light that sees you trying to shine a little light on a darkened room. Most of the enjoyment is in that wonderful feeling and happy sigh as you unveil one more tiny point of light, pointing to yet another puzzle and another point of light. Well worth the trip.
Is it Zuma? Is it a shooter? Or is it just one of the most funky, deceptively relaxing little browser games you'll play all day? Harvest DNA and chain together matching colors in this gorgeous hybrid game that gradually ups the difficulty. Perfect for your coffee break, or any time you feel the need to take out frustration on that haughty genetic material.
Slip, squish, and slide your way through this gorgeous little physics platformer as you explore a mysterious asteroid. While a bit more polish would have done it good, Huje Adventure still manages to delight with a bizarre narrative, gorgeous environments, and all the squelching sound effects you can handle. And we think that's quite a bit.
With First Person Tetris, brace yourself to rediscover a classic game given a dizzyingly new makeover. Be warned, though, if you can survive the motion-induced nausea you may find out what all those office workers of old discovered: once started it's difficult to stop.
On the fifth day Peter Groeneweg finished his game and he saw that it was good. Then he decided to freeze himself into stone as a tribute to the next generation... in a manner of speaking. We The Giants is an experimental platform game about wisdom, its controls are very simple and it is very short. You should play it before reading the analysis and then come back to ponder a bit.
It is almost impossible to describe the joy created by wandering in the strange, surreal universe that Enu (Hanamushi) has created in Flower Insect. The synthesis of art, animation, game, and experience is nearly flawless, and will leave the casual gamer breathless as they wander deeper and deeper into the morass. Stunning beyond all belief, this is not necessarily a game to play all in one go. Rather, the Hanamushi game is something to consume in small bites, lest you find yourself deep in the abyss that is the imagination of an extremely talented individual.
When her fiance goes missing carrying a valuable string of pearls, Johanna turns to the only one she can trust on the seedy streets of London; you. Together with one of the city's finest, you'll need to put your hidden object skills to the test in this gorgeous adventure based upon the original legend of Sweeney Todd. Just be careful who you stick your neck out for. But do try the pie. It's delicious.
Return to the farmstead in this sequel to the popular original as Anna tries to make her dreams a reality. Featuring an updated look, streamlined gameplay, and more critters and vegetables for you to make a fortune on, Farm Mania 2 doesn't add much to an established formula, but still provides an improved and challenging experience for fans of time management and farming sims alike.
- • Wave Goodbye
- • Squid and Let Die
- • Wave Goodbye
Reflexes are a mixed bag, aren't they? On the one hand, they cause you to do things like uncontrollably kick people if they look at your knees (that's a reflex, honest), on the other hand, they jerk your hand away from painful objects and let you play insanely fast and chaotic games.
In this first chapter of The Fall Trilogy, a new adventure/hidden object hybrid game, Kheops has taken the look and feel of a large, platform-style or large-file game and condensed it down into easier casual gameplay. A nice intro for those new to the genre, while being challenging enough for those who love the larger, more immersion-filled experience of large-file games. Beautiful, alluring, and fun to play, The Fall Trilogy: Chapter 1 is a promising start to a new series. Here's hoping the trend continues!