In My Tribe, you play as sort of a guardian angel for a tribe of island-dwellers, telling them what to do, dragging them from place to place, and occasionally sprinkling them with a (hopefully) beneficial potion. Harvest food, wood, and stone to build with. Your tribe continues to work even when your computer is off. It's remarkably similar to Virtual Villagers but better in a number of ways.
The wait is over! The release of the latest Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst is finally here. Big Fish Games Studios takes the hidden object genre to unprecedented new heights with an absolutely gorgeous, hidden object / adventure hybrid that is sure to please a very wide range of casual game players. This is one game you don't want to miss!
Onamis seems to be a portmanteau of the French words for "friendly" and "one". As soon as you are trapped inside, you might start to wonder just how friendly people really are. There you are, with no map, no guide, and no inventory. You don't have the ability to turn around or look back. There's not even a clue. Well, except that scrap of paper on the floor. Maybe someone was being friendly, after all.
Nitrome's Toxic 2, baby. It's here. In a world where machines rule over humanity with a literally iron fist, a lone, slightly overweight, Hazmat-suited warrior must discover and destroy the robot overmind. That's right, it's Man Versus Mechanaloid: Rumble in the Nuclear Waste Processing Plant. If you liked the first game, you'll love this one; and if you had criticisms, they've mostly been addressed. Just brace yourself to take many an acid bath.
enDice is a puzzle game that is based on a very simple objective: move all blocks the number shown on each one to bring them all to rest on the dotted spaces. You will have to use your logic and reasoning skills to get through all 35 levels in this engaging and thought provoking new puzzle game.
Turning Burning, the third in Zibumi's Tom "Tucker" Crubucker series of games, picks up where the last one left off. Tom has just escaped the room he was trapped in, and confronts the mastermind behind it, a bizarre prince who asks him to rescue his rose, which has been stolen by a sheep...
Dark Cut 3 is the latest visceral surgery title in the Dark Cut series from Armor Games. This time we're treated to a sci-fi, time-traveling angle with the usual historical setting. The game brings you the same intense operations you've come to either love or cringe at. The production values and story are the best so far for the series and give context to gameplay that's been toned down to be less punishing.
Back before you were referred to as "Master Detective," before your journey to a haunted English manor, before your exploits in a rundown carnival, you were nothing more than a lowly intern. When an epidemic of crime breaks out in the once quiet town of Huntsville, though, your chance to rise to detective greatness finally arrives. Now you must work against the clock to catch the wrong doers in the act by using your keen eye to pick up on the clues that no one else seems able to find.
Want something charming that you'll play with a wry grin on your face? Mark & Mandi's Love Story is exactly that, packaging spot the difference puzzles, memory matching, jigsaw-style challenges and more with a great hand drawn art style. Play the role of Cupid's helper on a quest to sculpt Mark and Mandi's relationship to perfection.
- • Last week
- • Enigma
- • Iter Vehemens ad Necem (IVAN)
- • Elona
- • Rock Boshers
Last week, on Weekend Download, I had the tiny problem of listening to the constant drone of a leaf blower somewhere in my neighborhood. This week it was back, with a vengeance, and it directly affected my downloadable game playing experiences. When I was playing Oxyd, all I could do was smash into walls. When I played IVAN, I couldn't kill a bat. I couldn't explore all of Elona because focusing was out of the question. And zombies in Rock Boshers took me out a few times too many because my mind was elsewhere. Maybe I should take a hint from the protagonist in Violet and start eliminating the distractions by any zany means available?
Normally, mixing real estate with casual gaming wouldn't seem like a smart move, but HipSoft's latest release proves you can take a complex subject matter and make it fun. Build-a-lot 3: Passport to Europe continues the highly successful Build-a-lot series with just the right balance between familiarity and innovation to lure new and veteran players alike. Hone your real estate skills as you buy, upgrade and sell houses, collect rent, and attract new residents to neighborhoods that need your expert eye.
Auditorium is a fantastic new puzzle game of music and light. Solve each level by manipulating the flow of light to create the perfect balance of music. The streams of light represent sound particles that you bend toward boxes until the audio levels are full. When the flow is correct, the audio levels fill up with the proper color and all the parts of the music will play. Delightful, brilliant and stunning.
Buggle Stars is a well-executed platformer with tight controls and over 15 interesting levels and 4 mini-games to unlock. Each level presents a sequence of stars that you must collect, in order, to advance. A variety of goals change up the gameplay just enough to keep each level interesting and addictive, and a bit intense at times.
NASCAR fans and origami collectors unite! Grab your paper cranes and giant foam fingers, and prepare for one of the most beautiful races you've ever seen. Scenic elegantly combines digitally-rendered landscapes with F-Zero-style racing, and delivers it all in using an impressive 3D engine in Flash.
Escape from Test Kitchen 2 is a standard escape-the-room game from Japan, somewhat reminiscent of a game from the gotMail folks. Players must collect bottles and mixers, pieces of a map, safe combinations, and the like to find a solution and escape from what appears to be a small cozy restaurant.
Violet is a richly engaging one-room puzzle game from the annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2008). The problem? You're a graduate student working on your dissertation, but you haven't gotten any writing done in months. Your girlfriend Violet has put her life on hold, waiting for you to finish, and she's getting fed up. If you don't get a thousand words written today, your relationship is over and she flies home to Australia.
Spiky-haired Hector has returned in a new Phantom Mansion series, Treasures of the Seven Seas. Having found a map, complete with a glowing red X, Hector is sailing the first sea, the Black Sea, in search of treasure. Before he can get to the treasure, he must first find his way through a maze of locked doors, moats, and puzzles. The Black Sea offers 20 new and challenging levels and fun for all ages.
Out of Order is a humor-oriented, mouse-driven adventure game in the style of the old Lucas Arts and Sierra titles. You play as Hurford Schlitzting, an ordinary human being in a green bathrobe and bunny slippers. Late one night he's awakened by a storm and goes to get a midnight snack. And then the game ends... wait, no, it doesn't, or we wouldn't have much of a game.
There's nothing quite like a day on the farm: the smell of freshly tilled soil, tender plants sprouting, and honeybees buzzing in search of nectar. Some call it work, but if you've ever met Alice Greenfingers, you know it's more like play. The lovable pig-tailed girl is back, tending her Uncle Berry's farm in Alice Greenfingers 2, a sequel that does nothing but improve upon the original.
- • Xoldiers
- • MageGuild
- • Argonaut
- • Lightmare
- • Aquaria
- • Crayon Physics Deluxe pre-order
I compose this edition of Weekend Download with the sound of leaf blowers screeching through my windows. Not only does half my neighborhood believe leaves in their yard are evil, but apparently creating hours of noise pollution for everyone in the area is an acceptable price to pay to shove them in the street. I miss the good old fashioned, non-air-and-noise-polluting leaf rake...
Treasure Seekers: Visions of Gold is another superb hidden object adventure game from Artogon Games, creator of The Mystery of the Crystal Portal. Both titles share a unique design among hidden object games where you are presented with contextual search clues instead of generic lists of objects. In essence, your goal is to explore the physical objects in each scene and collect items to solve individual puzzles. It's a new and interesting take on the genre that opens up many new puzzle possibilities.
You are the CEO of a major international oil company, your job is to make money: Democracy, environment, and global economic health are irrelevant. Explore, drill, corrupt governments, hire mercenaries, engage in covert operations, fix elections (which are clearly broken without you) and most of all: have fun.
In this brand new point-and-click adventure, the King of Moronia has sent Retardo on a mission to defeat the Iron Golem and restore peace to the kingdom. In return he is promised the hand of the Princess of Moronia. It's up to you to ensure that he accomplishes his mission safely.
From The Fancy Pants Adventure creator Brad Borne comes a 2D re-imagining of the 3D action-adventure console game Mirror's Edge. Mirror's Edge 2D uses the Fancy Pants engine and adds a whole host of new acrobatic moves, allowing you to jump, climb, scramble and run across rooftops with surprising fluidity.
Escape from the Starship is an escape game that uses sound to convey the relative proximity of monsters that you must avoid. The starship is composed of a maze of rooms, each of which is composed of homogeneous grey dots. Each dot represents a floor tile on which you may land. The sound you hear, however, ultimately determines whether that tile is safe.
In Crypt Keeper, you find yourself plunked down in the middle of a truly spooktastic graveyard. How and why did you get there? Not important. It's the middle of the night, and there are creepy noises and big ominous tombstones and omigosh you need to get out right now!
IncrediBots is a brand new physics-based webtoy from Grubby Games, creator of the Professor Fizzwizzle series. Much like Fantastic Contraption and Line Rider before it, IncrediBots gives you a handful of simple tools and sets you free to explore your creative impulses. Draw shapes, connect them with joints, and tweak their basic properties to create living, moving, and functioning 'bots that can perform any task. You can even make movies, complete with text, than can be shared with the IncrediBots community.
Your goal is to build stacks of animals as high as you can. Combine identical animals along with their favorite food and they begin to breed, multiplying their number and pushing your totem even higher. Each animal interacts differently with others, so learning their relationships is key to creating massive stacks of animals.
A pack of cuddly woodland creatures suddenly find themselves homeless at the hands of Big Brother and his menacing chainsaw. To escape to Paradise Meadows, they need to collect a golden acorn from each level (obviously). Regrettably, some of the adorable animals must be sacrificed along the way...
Tortuga Episode 1 is an escape-the-room game set on a pirate ship; the first installment of a series, from Mateusz Skutnik and Marek Frankowski, that promises to be adventuresome, if not epic. Parrots, treasure, peril and puzzle awaits those intrepid enough to brave the pirate ship.
A dice game of luck and strategy, race against the computer (or a friend) to 10,000 points. Earn points by rolling 1's and 5's, or by rolling 3 or more of a kind, or several other special configurations worth big points. Also known under a variety of different names, Zilch is definitely one of those games that's "easy to learn, hard to master."
When we last left the Tipping Point series, it wasn't clear if we were wandering through a surreal dream or being teleported around by satellites and villains with 1980's technology and bad intentions. Tipping Point: Chapter 4 takes over just where we left off, entering another unknown tropical destination with our strange, homemade device in hand.
This piece was submitted to the 2008 SBGames Independent Gaming Festival in Brazil and it pushed the envelope of gaming and received high initial reviews. Yet, on the surface, the game seemed like nothing more than an awkward, weakly executed platform game. So what has everyone thinking about Estamos Pensando? Play the game then read our review and find out!
- • Lynchmob HD
- • Karateka Mania
- • 10800 Zombies
- • Now Boarding v1.1
- • World of Goo for Mac
Along with three slightly crazy games, in this edition of Weekend Download we have a few games that have gone through a metamorphosis of sorts. World of Goo is now available for Mac (!), and one of my favorite resource management games, Now Boarding, has had a significant upgrade.
A blend of Virtual Villagers, Westward, and strategy games such as Warcraft and Tribal Trouble, Forgotten Lands: First Colony is a casual RTS game that hits the sweet spot between challenge, complexity, and captivating casual gameplay. The game puts you at the helm of a young civilization looking to strike out and settle new lands. Everything about Forgotten Lands is geared towards easing you into the experience, yet there's no shortage of depth or intrigue.
In a twist on the classic block stacking game, 99 Bricks challenges you to make a brick tower using standard Tetris play mechanics. The twist is that as the tetrominoes fall and stack, they don't disappear when lines form. This time, your goal is to make the tallest tower that you can. A higher tower means a higher spot on the leader board.
Ball Drop One, produced by Finnish developer Ville Helin, is an interesting blend of pachinko and pinball. Drop your ball into the playing field, trying to rack up as many points as possible. If your ball hits a skull ball or stops moving, it explodes and the round ends. Simple enough, right?
In Charisma, you play an orange-jumpsuited, blue-afroed dude who is trapped within what appears to be a combination living room/recording studio. There is a second gentleman inscrutably watching you from behind a glass partition, his hand poised above two buttons. He, for whatever reason, is not going to be of any help (and, in another departure from reality, smashing the glass and demanding he release you is not an option). So, it's up to you to explore the room, figure out what he wants and, eventually, set yourself free.
Hanna in a Choppa is a physics-based puzzle/action game where you fly around and do stuff in a helicopter. It's true! Across 21 levels you'll perform a handful of ordinary, challenging, and downright funny tasks such as bake a cake (even though it's a lie), pull down a tower of goo, herd sheep, and give a giant a haircut, all with the aid of your trusty winch. The game creates a fun sandbox-type atmosphere and encourages you to play with the environment as much as possible. And play you shall!
What irRegular Games has done is to take Conway's Game of Life and apply goals to it. On one level, you might have to maintain a constant number of living cells. On another, you might need to exterminate them all within a certain limit of turns. The reason this works as a game is that Conway's Life is an efficient factory for stories and characters. The winking Traffic Lights. The steadfast Boat. The expanding Bee Hive. And everyone's favorite, the sidewinding Glider... and his nemesis, the Block.
Splitter is an intriguing puzzle game that tasks you with moving a yellow smiley face to the exit. To get there, use the cursor (which is a knife!) to slice wooden blocks and cut strings to unleash the fury of physics!
StarShine 2 is the sequel to last year's celestial puzzler, and is the latest in a line of jewel-like games from Hero Interactive. You control a shooting star, positioning it somewhere on the circumference of a circle surrounding the play field with the mouse. Your goal is to set-up a chain reaction that hits and lights up every star.
Bomba is a new arcade avoidance game from Nitrome. Look just beyond the surface and Bomba reveals itself to be much more than a simple "don't touch the walls" game. There's strategy, there's speed, there's planning, there's even backtracking and careful timing involved. Think of it as an adventure/avoider and you'll get an idea of what to expect.
Farming used to seem like a chore, then the casual game market took hold and turned caring for crops into a resource management experience. Farm Mania is the latest of those games, following a similar path as Farm Frenzy 2 but keeping things fresh and interesting. Yes, it's yet another game with "mania" in the title, but the experience underneath is subtly different and twice as rewarding. And much cuter, I have to admit.
- • Tile World
- • Red Spheres
- • Pirate Fishing
- • Run for It 2
The following message was stolen from artbegotti: This episode of Weekend Download has been brought to you by Triangles. Triangles are three-sided shapes that have three corners with internal angles that add up to 180 degrees. Triangles come in several varieties, including right triangles, equilateral triangles, isosceles triangles, obtuse triangles, and more! Triangles are also well known for their structural stability in architectural design. So go out and try some triangles today! "Triangles... We're Not Square!"
Bejeweled Twist is PopCap's latest installment in the well-recognized series. Instead of clicking a single tile and then choosing an adjacent space to move it to, Bejeweled Twist turns your cursor into a 2x2 circle that spins its contents one quarter turn clockwise. The result is a new kind of match 3 that's fresh and fun all over again.
Grey Matter is an anti-shooter, which means that you can't actually shoot. You are the bullet, and you attack by directly colliding with the exposed brain-meats of your enemies. It looks great and sounds even better. The gameplay has all the depth of a modern professional shoot-'em-up, thanks to the combo system. Grey-Matter is perfectly playable without using the Trinity Attacks, but if you do employ them, it becomes almost like a hyperactive, twitchy puzzle game.
The 4th in a series of Great Escapes by Mateusz Skutnik and the Pastel Games crew, The Great Basement Escape is another short and fun room escape game in the same whimsical style that we have come to love and expect from the series.
A new Bart Bonte game has just been released, this one a sequel to an entry from our "ball physics" competition a year ago. Factory Balls 2 is a unique and original puzzle game in which you must match a target ball by adding elements from those given, one at a time. Order is important, and so you must plan your moves carefully.
Nion is a stylish arcade-style game that incorporates a number of gameplay modes, including puzzle, accuracy, speed, survival, and several combinations of the above. It's built around the simple mechanic of shooting shapes that hover around the top of the screen.
Ghostscape, a new escape game by Psionic, is just chock full of supernatural goodness. You play a veteran investigator of the occult who, upon hearing rumors of a haunted house, cannot stay away...and what a paranormal gold mine it turns out to be! Chairs and cups move as if grasped by some invisible hand, mysterious diary entries litter the floor, grotesque paintings adorn every room. And then, of course, there are the ghosts.
Boohbah Zone is a surreal journey-- wait, no, it's not really a journey. It's more of a... thing. A thing with lots of colors. Well, it's kind of like a webtoy, but you actually do stuff in some parts of it. Interactive art? You know what, forget classifying it, Boohbah Zone is an extremely bizarre collection of game-like scenes where you play with color, sound, and flobby-looking hippopotamus-like people things.
10 Gnomes episode 10: Seashore is the tenth installment of hunt-and-click gnome-finding from the indefatigable Mateusz Skutnik. That means if you've been following the series from the beginning, you've already ferreted out 100 gnomes. A hundred gnomes!
Thank you for your interest in the the Numbskull puzzle playset from Nitrome toys, the makers of the Twang construction set, Final Ninja combat gear, and In the Dog House sliding puzzle game. This manual will teach you how to use this playset, unleashed just in time for the Halloween season.
A follow-up to the original Draw Play, Draw Play 3 retains most of what made the original so interesting and introduces a more action-oriented approach to gaming. Like any platformer around, you control a little character who must jump and run to the flag at the end of each stage. The catch is that in Draw Play you create the platforms. Make stairs, hop from ledge to ledge, or use the pen and push yourself up as you move.
From the same group that brought us Agatha Christie: Peril at End House and Women's Murder Club: Death in Scarlet comes an equally alluring hidden object game, Dr. Lynch: Grave Secrets. This entry veers away from the more adventure-oriented direction and hugs the item finding wall fairly close, but the same high production values and great storyline remain intact.
- • Tumbledrop
- • Off-Road Velociraptor Safari
- • Rasta Monkey
- • Mars Explorer
Now it's time to break the rules. A little. This edition of Weekend Download highlights winners of the 2008 Unity Awards, games created using the Unity plug-in that are playable right in your browser window. Technically they're browser games, but since you have to download and install something, they're downloads, too.
In Iji you play as, well, Iji. Iji is a human who has been enhanced with nanotechnology after Earth is abruptly invaded by aliens. Her new nanotech field provides her with a kind of shield and also gives her the incredible weaponry that every action-platformer hero needs to survive.
Tasha's Game is a whimsical platform adventure about a woman rescuing her friends and co-workers from evil black tentacles with the help of her magical flying cat Snoopy. Did I say "whimsical"? I meant "insane".
At first glance, Off Balance looks just like all those other maze games where you move your mouse from Point A to Point B without hitting any walls. And indeed, that's the general idea. You control a preternaturally cheerful ball of cotton on a mildly psychedelic quest through 25 stages full of obstacles. The trick is in the steering.
An attractive, isometric block-shifting puzzle game about patience, spacial skills, and not getting your feet wet. All you have to do is position the wooden blocks so that they form an unbroken path from one bank to the other. There aren't a lot of tricks after you learn the basicsm, just pure, solid puzzle-solving.
Created by the Fox Network as a companion game to the Web series of the same name, The Cell is a lengthy, highly entertaining adventure through an elaborate dungeon complex. Our hero, Spence, must complete a series of increasingly bizarre and dangerous challenges as he ascends to the surface. And he needs your help to escape.
At long last, after a year and a half of waiting, Tucker Bowen has released Something Amiss Chapter 3, the final installment of his truly excellent point-and-click adventure saga. This chapter finds the intrepid escaped test subject Alice back in custody, awaiting her fate at the hands of persons unknown.
Grave Shift from Tangerine Pop Games provides all that plus a little puzzle solving, item collecting, door unlocking, and a dose of Halloween-esque spook for good measure. On the trail of the White Warlock who has covered the land in darkness and stolen the king's crown (it hides his bald spot, you see), you must trek through graveyard and tomb, keeping your health and courage up while avoiding snakes, zombies, spiders and plenty of other baddies.
Hunted Forever is a cool new action platforming game from Pixelante Game Studios. The plot is sort of like The Most Dangerous Game with the addition of a huge flying death machine armed with lasers, bombs, and swarming buzz-saw droids. Your job, as the silhouette of a man having an extremely bad day, is to escape from said death machine through forests, caves, and underground laboratories without getting turned into Fried Crispy Human Flakes. To put it mildly, the odds are against you.
Tag a Tune is a game created as part of a study by Carnegie Mellon University. You and an anonymous partner team up and listen to a song. You can only hear your tune and must type words that come to mind as the song plays. Then both you and your partner guess if you're listening to the same song or a different one based on the tags submitted. Not only is it a fun musical guessing game, you're also helping computers learn how to better search for music.
World of Goo is a phenomenally creative physics-based building game where you assemble bits of goo to form structures leading to an exit pipe in each stage. The visuals are stunning, the sense of humor wry, and there are gameplay innovations at every corner.
Musiac Box is a unique combination of a puzzle game and a musical toy that will challenge your brain and delight your ears all at the same time. Using tiles that represent individual musician's portions of a song, arrange the Tetris-like pieces on the grid and listen to the results. It's an extraordinarily simple premise for a game and the "match the tiles to the melody" puzzle solving is surprisingly enjoyable, even for non-music lovers.
- • Garden of Coloured Lights
- • Treasure Hunter Man
- • Timerocketxby
- • Skullpogo
Some odd news to go along with your games: Recently the American Heart Association announced that the Bee Gees song "Stayin' Alive" provides the perfect beat to follow while performing chest compressions as part of CPR on a heart attack victim. While this will certainly help save a number of lives, I really don't want to see disco (or qiana shirts) make a comeback.
Miriel the Magical Merchant is a medieval-themed time management game from Myth People, the same folks that brought us the well-polished puzzle game Azkend. As per the developer's reputation, Miriel the Magical Merchant takes a familiar formula, pulls out some of the set conventions, replaces them with something much more interesting, and slaps a shiny coat of paint on the top. The final product is something familiar but remarkably fresh that looks almost as good as it plays.
You are a plucky gun turret in the center of the screen that has to survive while bad guys attack you from all sides. Rotate the turret with your mouse and shoot the black-and-white enemies by clicking. If you see a coloured orb, do not shoot it. It's a power-up. The game is so very good in virtually every aspect of its design despite the lack of sound effects.
Talesworth Arena: Death Watch, by Mr. Jinx, is an RPG with a strong focus on one-on-one combat and a cool industrial fantasy setting. Choose one of three characters (Engineer, Psionic, or Juggernaut) and battle your way through 10 levels of deadly gladiators with a combat system familiar to anyone who has played a MMORPG.
Neutral Halloween mini-game is what I'm calling this cute and easy escape game with a Halloween theme (well, it used to have a Halloween theme. The pumpkin has been replaced with a piggy bank now.) It features the same excellent implementation features of all the other Neutral games, along with simple yet appealing and effective graphics. I'm sure you will find this one worthwhile of your time!
It is a classic horror scenario: the car broken down in the middle of the road, the swirling snow and biting cold, the beckoning light visible just over the hill. A house! Oh, thank goodness. But what's this? The lights are on, cheery fireplaces crackle in every room, yet no one is there. You call out a hello, but your voice echoes unanswered through the hall. How strange.
A clever world domination simulator, in the form of a humble real-time strategy game, in which you can test your schemes and stratagems without the nagging twinge of guilt that comes with executing legions of henchmen. The game has some of the highest production values you're likely to find in a Flash game, with some decent animation, a healthy dose of humor and a startling amount of high-quality voice acting.
Breaking the Tower is a slow-paced strategy game where you build a village, raise an army, and eventually topple a tower on the other side of the island. Think Settlers or the original Warcraft, but simpler and with more automation. All you have to do is decide what to build, plunk down a building and your pixelated little peons take care of the rest.
Karoshi is a platform/puzzle game where your goal is the exact opposite of most such entertainments: you have to die. Throw yourself onto spikes, zap yourself with electricity, smash yourself with a falling safe. It's like an extended version of the cathartic moment when you get finally get sick of Mario's empty-headed cheerleading and just hurl him off a cliff.
Kudos 2 is a turn-based life-simulation game in which how you spend each day defining who your character becomes. Does she prefer to stay at home and watch TV all day, go to evening classes to improve job prospects, or hang out with buddies down at the local boozer? Kudos 2 packs more oomph than its predecessor with better artwork and more sophisticated... everything!
- • Avert Fate
- • Alex the Allegator 4
- • Little Machines Still Goes Deeper
- • Waxy's Sushi Party
Look! Over there! It's a giant robot alligator with a bunch of little drills going out to get some sushi! Before he sees us, reload your grenade gun with cherries and tap the appropriate key when his sushi order floats over the red zone!
Standing toe to toe with games like Azada, Dream Chronicles, and even the Mystery Case Files series isn't an easy job, but Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena matches (and, in many areas, surpasses) its contemporaries with a fun blend of adventure and hidden object gaming.
An arena shooter even casual gamers can enjoy, a sort of mash-up between Asteroids and Space Invaders where you pilot a tiny craft against waves of incoming enemies (which happen to be aliens and geometric shapes). Power-ups appear from time to time to give you a hand, but otherwise its just you and your reflexes keeping you alive.
Dr. Ichie's Room is a solid escape game experience from Japan with polished and appealing graphics, logical puzzles and no pixel hunts necessary. Although the game is from Japan, there are English translations included for all descriptions and explanations, making this Weekday Escape a worthy investment of your time.
As the title implies the field before you is not empty, but hides balls. Your colored box along the edge of the playing field can fire a beam in the direction of your mouse, ricocheting off of any hidden balls and exposing them. Clicking the mouse will clear these balls from the screen, and the onslaught of balls will inch its way down the field.
An anagram puzzle game from Martin Sears, presented with the distinct flavor of British educational programming. Don't be fooled by the charming hand-drawn appearance and the curiously twisted vignettes between levels; don't worry if the first few levels seem too basic. This turns into a serious brain-twister.
Traces of Hope centers around 16-year-old Joseph; survivor of a vicious civil war in Uganda, he was wrenched from his family and forced to flee his home. Now, five years later, Joseph is on a dangerous quest to locate his mother. Can you guide Joseph through the perils of a war-torn civilization to maybe, just maybe, locate the Red Cross messenger who can provide the information he so desperately desires?
Meat Boy is a platform game that dares to ask the question "What if the main character from Knytt or N was made of bits of sticky, gooey raw meat?" And even though you never wanted to listen to the sound of meat slapping against solid blocks over and over again, when you're playing Meat Boy, you probably won't mind.
The fourth in the "Core" series of point-and-click adventure games created by John Feltham has just been released. Soul Core is similar to other games like this, and yet introduces a unique concept as well. Use your mouse to add items to your inventory; click on inventory items and drag them to the game view to use them. Try to complete the game with 100% "soul" rating.
Swarm Gold is an update to, and replacement for, the original Swarm created by Reflexive Entertainment back in 1998. The new Swarm Gold features an impressive emulated 3D graphics system and realistic sound. You have free range to fly around the entire map just as we've seen in many modern top-down shooters.
- • X-Moto
- • Zatikon
- • Love
- • Lugaru
Sometimes indie game developers really impress me with their rampant creativity. This week, for example, we have a surprisingly deep strategy game from Chronic Logic that looks like it was stolen from 1992, a fighting game starring rabbits, an unfairly tough platformer called Love, and a physics-based racing motocross racing game. When "Hey, I have a neat idea!" is the driving force behind a game, you know you're in for a good time.
Ticket is a brand new game from the talented room escape designers at Gotmail. Like so many of their games to come before, this one features the same highly detailed, gorgeous pre-rendered scenes and the same point-and-clickery puzzles one would expect to find in a game of this nature. The only downside? There is no English version, so that will surely turn off a few.
Monster Basement 2 is every bit as entertaining and well-made as the original; like the first game, it is extraordinary for its thought-provoking plot and tense, eerie ambiance. Patrick Majewski, from Godlimations, has spared nothing in bringing his tale of monster-against-man-against-monster to life.
Dogfight 2 is the newest entry into Rock Solid Arcade's quality series of arcade-style airplane fliers, which includes the first Dogfight and the previously-reviewed Stunt Pilot. Once again, they have based some nail-bitingly tough levels around the tricky but satisfying flight controls from classic DOS game Sopwith. All told, a difficult game with high production values worthy of your time investment.
Matt Sandorf: Journey to Endless Entertainment is not just an artistic point-and-click game. It is an advergame—a promotion for the Sony empire from music to gadgets to games. It was created by Rodrigo Roesler, creator of the very popular Trapped series of games, and this one follows similar construction.
The Japanese Map Game (for lack of a better translation) is a Flash-based guessing game where you choose regions of Japan and add their population to a counter on the right. The goal is to fill the counter to the outlined squares without going over!
- • G2: Geeks Unleashed
- • Scrapbook Paige
- • The Hidden Object Show: Season 2
More games to make you scratch your head, this bonus edition of Weekend Download features a few titles that caught my eye in one way or another. I especially enjoyed G2: Geeks Unleashed, not only for its corny references (every one of which I understood!), but for its unique strategy/puzzle gameplay.
- • Mystery Chronicles - Murder Among Friends
- • The Lost Snowmen
- • Cavern of Doom
- • Goban
Two really fascinating blasts from (or to) the past this week: The Lost Snowmen, which spiritually resurrects one of my favorite games from the 90s, The Lost Vikings, and Cavern of Doom, which takes pixelated graphics to an almost painful extreme.
Jump Jump Jelly Reactor is a matching puzzle game that isn't afraid to try out new ideas. Instead of flat and boring blocks, tiles or even gems, this game fills your screen with lively jellies that can be combined to form larger characters with brand new properties. Gameplay is a unique combination of strategy and puzzle matching that extends a good variety of tasks your way. It's rare that a matching game really catches my eye, but Jump Jump Jelly Reactor provides such a full experience, it's hard to pass up.
There is something oddly compelling about gnomes. They are cute, mythical creatures that spark the chemistry in our brains that control imagination and curiosity. Perhaps that's why when someone hides a bunch of them within a series of interactive images we jump to task of finding every one of them.
Worry not about secret codes or enigmatic messages; Lab Escape simply requires you to take stock of your surroundings and act accordingly. This isn't a bad thing, however; it's kinda nice to take a break from more fantastical situations.
The perfect escape for a coffee break: easy enough to be finished quickly, interesting enough to engage (and perhaps revive?) the mind. I do wish that the game had included some sort of music or soundtrack, but the graphics are well-designed and the overall package good enough to overlook such a minor flaw.