Farm Frenzy weds an arcade title with a resource management sim for a game that's as much thought and planning as it is fast mouse clicking. Gameplay revolves around planting grass to feed animals which in turn drop goods for you to use. These goods can either be sold for cash to improve your farm or turned into higher-value products to rake in even more gold. As you progress through the game's 45 stages you can buy more animals, get new buildings and upgrade existing structures, all while keeping a lookout for bears that drop from the sky!
Thule Trail is a re-imagining of the grade school classic, Oregon Trail, but instead of playing a family of 19th century immigrants, you play a group of 20 somethings road-tripping to a music festival. Instead of going to Oregon, you're going to Santa Barbara. The game takes its name from the 20th century occult society that sought the road to Atlantis; the music festival you travel to is called Atlantis, so it works. The rest of the game follows suit like a friendly slacker.
Areas is a simple-looking but ultimately complex, addictive and atmospheric shooter by Ridulous. There is no text to be had in the menus, only icons, which are easy enough to figure out. And you don't click on them, or anything, throughout the game. If you want to interact with something, mouse over it and be patient, and it will unfold for itself.
It's official. D_of_I has gone off the deep end. His cat has gotten bored shooting his bow and poling himself about and wants to travel across the ocean, so he enlists the help of a dolphin to provide the locomotion, while he hangs on for the ride of his life in this excellent one-button game!
Warbears Adventures: An A.R. Xmas stars Kla and Steve, as Kla stops by Bob for some holiday shopping and to pick up a few packages on order. But Steve has a secret mission in mind. The results are unpredictable as usual and a whole lot of fun. Enjoy this new holiday release from Gionatan Iasio of Italy.
Contour is a clever re-imagining of Marble Madness by Sean Hawkes, creator of several games entered into previous competitions such as Orbit and Clack. An isometric grid is placed over the playing field that holds a ball and a white exit square. Click on individual tiles to raise the ground from that point, causing the marble to roll downhill. The goal is to move the marble to the exit tile by raising and lowering the floor, a feat that requires both intelligent planning and fast clicking.
Aquaria is a beautifully detailed game of exploration from independent developer Bit Blot. You control the restless young Naija, a curious underwater dweller who sets out to discover her world. The ocean is teeming with mysterious caverns to explore, strange sea creatures (some friendly, some otherwise), and troves of ancient secrets buried by time. Aquaria is as much about interacting with and exploring the environment as it is telling a story. And it does both with a level of beauty rarely seen in independent games.
Sushi Go Round carves out its own niche in the crowded field of customer service oriented time management games by taking customer service out of the equation. You are the chef, rather than the harried waiter, and all that matters is getting food to the patrons of your humble sushi shop in a timely manner. You don't even have to carry the food out to them. You have one of those newfangled automated sushi joints, where a conveyor belt brings the sushi round, and the customers feed themselves.
Who doesn't love Trilby? All debonaire and gentlemanly in that pin-stripe suit, it's enough to melt even the chilliest of hearts. He's a fine character to introduce us to the Chzo Mythos, a series of four point-and-click games (Windows, freeware) in which the player is offered the chance to unravel the mystery of... well, that's really for you to find out.
Seed is a soothing, botany-based webtoy diversion that lets you cross-breed several different kinds of flowers into pretty mutant hyper-flowers. Just click, drag and drop to crossbreed, or sit back and let evolution take over. You can even share your creations with others as you discover different varieties of remarkable looking flowers.
Hearken back to those adrenaline-happy days with Vector Runner, an arcade action game concerned purely with the sensation of speed. Control a humble blue cube on its journey down a futuristic highway, dodging deadly pyramids of various shapes and sizes. Wherever you need to be, you're going there fast.
Another simple game oozing with personality has just been released by Game-Pure, creator of Bound Bear and Oshidama. Samurai High Jump answers the age old question: if a samurai warrior had a big bamboo pole, how far and how high could he jump? It's up to you to find out in this Monkey Kick-Off-style arcade game.
Desktop Armada is a tour de force of action strategy that successfully combines the grand sweep of naval warfare with the joy of pushing around a plastic tugboat going "TOOT TOOT". Take command of your very own fleet of model ships and send them across a forbidding wooden ocean to destroy the enemy base, while the opposing commodore tries to do the same to you.
If you're like me and suffer from "Funky-Chicken-itis" and are looking for a tool to help you shake yo' groove thang, might I recommend a little dance music? The Tony-b Machine is a cool techno-music webtoy to give you just the right beats. Simply slide the sliders and push the buttons to crank out your own thumping creation.
MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction is a souped-up rendition of Missile Command with great art by Brad Baum and clever resource management design by Nic Daniel. Shoot missiles in an attempt to intercept other missiles, just like in the classic arcade game, but with a twist: Each missile you fire garners some resources that can be spent to upgrade buildings.
Jack Frost, scowling star of the final game in Nitrome's informal 2007 winter trilogy (after Thin Ice and Snow Drift), is happiest when he is cold. Your job is to turn 40 levels of autumn-colored blocks and ladders into an arctic wonderland in this new arcade action game. Control Jack with the arrow keys: [up] to jump, [left] and [right] to walk, [up] and [down] to climb. Simply step on blocks or climb ladders to freeze them.
Free Rider 2 is a sequel that continues the more interactive spin on the Line Rider formula. Using a large tool set you can sculpt, edit and decorate the environment any way you choose. When you're done, take to the arrow keys and drive your rider through the stage. It's webtoy-meets-level-editor kind of experience, and it's even better than the original.
Brand new from Yoshio Ishii of Nekogames, creator of Hoshi Saga, comes a simple mahjong-based puzzle game called Slidon. With a little mouse-based grace, your only goal in Slidon is to push tiles around a grid to form matching pairs of two or more. When like tiles meet, they vanish. You have a limited number of moves to complete each stage, so keep your tile shoving in check and study the board carefully.
Pajatso is a Flash interpretation of a traditional Finnish gambling game that dates back to the early 1900s. The object is to flick a coin into one of the winning slots. If you succeed, the machine drops a few coins from the columns below. If you miss the coin rolls and adds itself to the stack. It's a fun and simple game perfect for frittering away a few minutes of your time.
Fairway Solitaire is a new casual card game that (miraculous as it may seem) blends solitaire with golf. Don't let that trick you into thinking it's a dull game filled with white gloves and whispering announcers. Fairway Solitaire is as funny, bright and entertaining as any casual game out there. And with its slightly new take on some familiar themes, it's worth heading out on the green and sinking a few holes.
Once in Space is a downloadable puzzle-platform game for Windows that delivers both content and charm. Set in deep space, you are a lone astronaut trying to collect stars and reach the flag on different constellations of rock. You can change your gravity by walking around corners, and you must be facing the arrow direction of a star in order to collect it. The first level eases you into the game's mechanics pretty easily.
I don't know what Nitrome has against penguins, but our little tuxedoed friends really get the raw end of the fish-burger this time. Not only do they get chucked off of icebergs by the hundreds, but some rambunctious foxes are using them as ammunition in a prototype penguin launcher. If you're having trouble visualizing that, it's like a missile launcher, but with penguins. Fiery heat-seeking penguins.
it seems that many in the JIG community really like picross, and I do, too! Sometimes I'll delay working on economics homework just to play a game (or two or three or four) of picross. And there are so many online implementations of my favorite game, and all with a different interface. So, which one to choose? For some, the question may be difficult to answer. But not for me: I choose Picture Logic!
The famous Gotmail team of Japan has just released another point-and-click, room escape game, and this one is titled: Bon Voyage. If you've played other games from the Gotmail team, then this one may seem familiar to you, but it really is a new game. Use the usual point-and-click skills to locate clues and find items to help you escape.
Ballistic Wars is a fast-paced, turn-based strategy puzzle game from our 4th game design competition that earned it the third place prize. Work your way through 15 challenging levels against a mad professor bent on blowing up, well, just about everything. Simply click on your "troops", represented by camouflaged balls of varying sizes and special abilities, to launch attacks against the opposing forces.
I. Love. Picross. It isn't as number-heavy as sudoku, doesn't rely on obscure trivia like a crossword puzzle, and the combination of left- and right-brained activity achieves a perfect harmony. Then along comes Armor Picross 2 with its shiny graphics, easy-to-use interface and countless sets of puzzles. In other words, a little slice of picross heaven.
- • Fairway Solitaire
- • Aquaria
- • Jojo's Fashion Show
- • Aveyond 2: Ean's Quest
- • Wizball
Yay, a second weekend download! Woo hoo! There were so many games to feature this weekend, we had to split it into two parts to accomodate them all. Also, I had to clone myself, and if anybody asks, that was a necessity, not a fun weekend project.
Not to be confused with the classic adventure game, Monkey Island is an action-puzzler involving a monkey and not one but several islands. The game's controls are easy: just roll the mouse to change the direction the monkey faces, click to jump, and hold for a longer jump. Hop from island to island collecting bananas in this simple yet refreshing title.
- • Agatha Christie: Peril at End House
- • Trilby: The Art of Theft
- • Rocks'n'Diamonds
- • Lost in the Static
- • PuffBOMB
Trilby: Peril at the Static Art of Rocks'n'BOMB is our featured game this weekend. Or... something like that. Gameplay involves placing bombs on the screen to guide a gentleman thief through each level (stealthily) while finding hidden objects along the way. Don't forget to grab an emerald while hopping through the confusing mass of animated static!
The aptly named Absolute Awesome Ball Game is truly awesome because it manages to capture the thrill of discovery that we look for from pinball games and delivers that in an addictive, unique and appealing package. The game requires a bit of patience and perseverance before seeing any visible progress, but those that stick with it are in for a very pleasant and enjoyable ride.
Tonypa is back with a new puzzle game and this one will surely give your grey matter a work out. In the spirit of Web-based riddle games, Tercessrebmun (or Secret Numbers) is a Flash game in which you must figure out the password for each of the game's 30 levels. Each level presents a series of characters from which you must derive meaning and clues that point to a single numeric answer.
You Are Lucky! is a gorgeous little game, created by Shuichi Oshida, that is a cross between a point-and-click game and one from the Grow series. The aim is to uncover all ten of the characters (who look a bit like WarBears with pastel coloured turds on their heads). Unlike Grow, you don't have a list of items to check off - simply click things and see what happens.
When Orcs Attack is a tower defense game that... towers over other tower defense games. The first title made by Mr. Joy (a.k.a. John Frisby, WOA, pronounced "whoa!") uses the powerful Unity engine to give you powerful 3D characters and particle effects in-browser. Not only does When Orcs Attack play smoothly, but this is a huge technical step-up for web games.
- • Protector
- • Chromatron
- • HoldoffRed
- • The Tuttles: Madcap Misadventures
- • Jumper Redux
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BrettspielWelt is a free, online board-gaming community based in Germany but open to players from around the world. Many excellent board and card games, ranging from casual fun to serious strategy can be played online in one place: BrettspielWelt ("board game world").
I am a big fan of point-and-click games and recently I enjoyed playing the escape games from Aztec. Now, as luck would have it, a sequel to the previously reviewed Escape from Octlien has only just been made available. The game is called Dr. Dokkoy and it is just as satisfying as the first game. If you haven't played the other games first, it is recommended that you play them in order.
The Asylum: Psychiatric Clinic for Abused Cuddly Toys finally has another cute little patient to treat: Dub the Turtle. Just like the previous toys, Dub has a problem and can't be his normal cuddly self. It seems something happened to him with his previous owner, and now the poor turtle can't stop exercising!
Thin Ice is the latest game from the Nitrome factory assembly line of casual gaming goodness. In this game you control a skater (of the wintery variety, not a Sk8ter) that is somehow threatened by the extended family of the yeti from that Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer claymation movie. Elegant and pristine with very nice pixel art filling out the sides.
Ever feel like you are only one little super powered beetle against an infinite horde of other super powered beetles in an epic battle for survival, power and gold? No? Well, now you can get just that feeling in Beetle Wars. Your goal is simple: Kill all the other beetles and insects around you without dying; how you achieve that goal is not so simple.
From GUMP, the creator of Rental House comes another well-produced point-and-click, room escape game. Guest House puts you in a similar situation as most games of its type, and yet once you begin to move about the room and examine the various items and objects that await your puzzle-solving skills you will see that this is no ordinary room escape game.
- • Aveyond
- • FastCrawl
- • Route 960
- • Deathworm
- • Head Over Heels
Did you know that today is the 328th day of the year? You only have 37 days left to ponder the events of 2007 before you leap into the future and begin living the life of a 2008ian. Hope you have your hoverboots ready.
Twang, as the sound of the title implies, is an elastic platform game in which you 'twang' a ball from start to goal in each level by pulling and releasing points that propel you forward as from a slingshot. It's the latest game from Nitrome, and it's a whole lot of fun.
If you're a regular visitor here, then you probably love casual games and puzzles as much as we do. Most of the games featured here are browser-based, but once or twice we've featured a puzzle or two that require the old-fashioned method of pencil and paper. The logic puzzles from Coudal Partners are what I'm referring to, and they've just published another one, called Let's Do Lunch, for the Thanksgiving (US) holiday.
We see clones of classic casual games everywhere—games with blocks that fall and lines that clear. But the ones that really shine through are those that build on a classic formula and make something new out of it. Chain Factor is one of the those games. While the game may seem intimidating at first, with its grid of all sorts of numbers and the occasional boulder, it is actually deceptively simple.
Pest Control is the latest from Nitrome. You are the exterminator, your job: kill the bugs. You run through a wide variety of scenarios with different kinds of bugs, all timed, with slightly different win conditions. It's WarioWare with a swatter, and it (mostly) works. The gameplay is simple: you control the position of a swatter with the mouse, and when you click, it swats.
Anika's Odyssey: Land of the Taniwha is a beautiful point-and-click adventure by Tricky Sheep similar in style to Sprout. You begin with the innocent task of gathering water from the well. As a great eagle swoops from the sky and absconds with your rabbit pal, the bucket becomes a stool that allows you to jump the fence and search for your friend.
Talk about your misnomers! With a name like The Mind Bender, you'd think you were in for an epically long and devious puzzler. Instead, you get a simple, breezy platformer that should make for a nice break from the some of the more intense offerings we've reviewed lately.
The third installment of the Core series, Prism Core, has just been released by John Feltham of Arcade Cabin. The game is similar in concept to the previous two in that you must figure out how to power the core using the various tools from around the room. This one proves to be somewhat more difficult than the previous games, however.
Battle for Wesnoth is a free, open-source turn-based strategy game originally designed by David White. It's similar to games like Fire Emblem, Advance Wars and Shining Force in that each player commands an army of units, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Battles take place on a hexagonal grid and layers take turns moving armies and issuing commands.
- • Diner Dash: Hometown Hero
- • ToJam Thing
- • Untitled Story
- • I Wanna Be The Guy
- • Banana Nababa
This edition of Weekend Download serves as a firm reminder that some video games used to be painfully difficult. None of this coddling, tutorialized hand-holding gameplay you find today. Back then you were tossed in a blocky four-color world and had to fend for yourself. Brutally difficult games may be a thorn in the side of modern-day casual gamers, but it will help you appreciate the experience programmers have collectively gained over the decades.
Like an updated version of the classic Lemonade Stand game, Coffee Shop puts you in a young entrepreneur's shoes with the power to make or break your budding business. Buy ingredients, adjust your secret recipe, and set the price per cup to sell as much coffee to passers-by as you can. Strike a balance between customer satisfaction and profit and you're on your way to java-induced bliss.
Papa's Pizzeria is more than your average resource-management game. While a typical entry would require little more than clicking on various hot spots to make and deliver the food to customers, Papa's Pizzeria gives it a more personal touch. Rather than clicking on an order and then on a station for topping the pizza, only to watch the pizza top itself, you must actually top the pizza yourself.
Headcase is the latest platforming fiesta from Nitrome. Set in a world of lush pixel art where gravity is fickle and your head is huge, you play a superhero dream-avatar (yes, that's about right) with a big 'up' arrow on your helmet. You stick to walls, ceilings and floors, allowing you to move around platforms as if you were an insect. You also have the ability to jump/fly in a straight line, kind of like Superman.
Warbears is back with a brand new adventure in Warbears: Mission 3! Training has ended and the 'bears are tasked with an important job: save a group of hostages from a vile band of "animal creatures that can talk". Gionatan Iasio has infused this game with the same stylish presentation as before, and the signature Warbears humor is back and better than ever.
Solitaire is as solitaire does, but sometimes a version of the classic card game appears that makes it feel fresh and interesting all over again. Enter World of Solitaire, a sleek and highly customizable version of solitaire created by Cosmic Realms. It's the next best thing to sitting down with a deck of cards, only now you can sneak in a game or two while you're at work.
MoonMaster: RahKon is the latest from Lost Vectors, creator of BowMaster Prelude. Gone is the resource management and medieval setting, but in its place you'll find a space-themed setting along with a similar physics engine under the hood. You play the role of a ball on the moon shooting rocks and a UFO with your lasers. The goal? Try not to get smashed to pieces.
Excit is a puzzle game set on top of a page from a spreadsheet. If you have ever wanted a game to look more like work so that you could play in the office without fear of someone glancing over your shoulder and seeing particle effects shooting toward all edges of your computer screen while you're dodging asteroids and flying monkeys, then this is for you.
Ether Cannon is a new action shooter from Luke Paakh of Pop Ethos. You control a space ship which is the last hope of... Well it doesn't really say, but it seems urgent. It's a beautiful game, the particle effects in it are just brilliant, and the action it delivers is (mostly) smooth, polished, and pretty refreshing. The game does a great job of delivering lots of fast shoot-em-up fun without ever reaching a plateau.
Instead of walking around a room turning over objects and poking your nose in every corner, in Ambivalence your goal is to unlock a very secure-looking door that sits right in front of you. The fun twist is that you play from both sides of the door, switching views with the click of a button. Items you find on one side do not transfer to the other, creating a unique collaboration-style atmosphere where you are your own partner.
In Ragdoll Invaders, the falling spikes are replaced with lasers and explosives, but lo and behold, your floppy ragdoll stickman is replaced with... another floppy ragdoll stickman. But wait, there's more! His arms, unlike the other stickman, have been replaced with DUAL CHAIN GUNS. Which have unlimited ammunition. This pretty much makes any game flipping hardcore.
- • Nanda's Island
- • Sam & Max season 2
- • Final Vision
- • Marble Arena
- • Enigmo
By far the biggest, most first-paragraph-worthy news of in the downloadable world this week is Sam & Max are back. Not only are they back for another season of episodic adventure games, but the highest rated release from season one is now free. Free as in download it now. No excuses. We've also got a healthy portion of other great games to download, including an almost-too-cutesy casual game, Nanda's Island, that came out of nowhere to steal my afternoon. Don't you just love games that are... good?!
Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate is the fourth hidden object game in the Mystery Case Files series. This installment drops you off in an old fashioned carnival where the fortune teller Madame Fate has seen something troubling in her crystal ball. At the stroke of midnight she will be killed, but which carnival character will commit the act? Gather clues about the carnies by finding hidden items and solving puzzles throughout the dark and mysterious carnival.
Mr. MothBall 2: Cotton Carnage is a charming shooter from Polish artist Mateusz Skutnuk, author of both the Covert Front and Submachine point-and-click series of games. You control a white mothball trying to shoot down evil red mothballs in an adorable penciled world with pastel shading. The game is a spiritual sequel to Mr. MothBall platformer entered in our 4th game design competition.
I fell asleep in the hair salon. The shampoo was too relaxing. And so begins Nigepico, an unexpected gift from the Gotmail team, which has previously given us such excellent escape-the-room games as Strawberry Tomato and Il Destino. You awake to find yourself in a deserted hair salon and, as might be expected, must find keys, solve puzzles and discover codes that lead to your escape.
Cube Core is an attractive point-and-click, room escape game that recently made the rounds. It's not a very long game and it is quite logical to solve, though in at least one part you will have to be extra observant to catch a clue or you will be looking for a walkthrough quicker than you can say "Area 51".
Sphere Core is the first game in the series of "Core" adventure games created by John Feltham. Not quite as well-crafted as the successors in the series, but John does a great job with creating a mysteriously ominous atmosphere within which to play. Short and sweet, this decent point-and-click lays the groundwork for the core series concept.
Twilight Heroes is a free RPG that recently announced its open beta. Taking place in the corrupt and rather seedy Twilight City, you get the opportunity to take back its night by tossing around hoodlums in the act, earning money, and seeing how long you can keep at it before fatigue causes you to run out of turns, five minutes of game time making one turn.
From the Gorillaz' website comes Tiles of the Unexpected!, a game which puts a new spin on a familiar genre. Like a cross between SameGame and Mahjong, the challenge is to clear all of the tiles from the board. Click on any set of two or more adjacent, identical tiles to clear them.
- • Dr. Daisy Pet Vet
- • Ballhalla
- • Slaves to Armok II: Dwarf Fortress
- • Mr. Heart Loves You Very Much
- • Roach Roundup
This edition of Weekend Download is the most love-filled edition ever. There's so much love below, you might think it's Valentine's Day. But it's not, it's just a whole lotta love. For example, tons of people love Dwarf Fortress. Tons. That collective love is now focused here on this very page, and if you download and play, you'll experience some of that love, too. Dr. Daisy Pet Vet is all about the pet love. Just look at those cute animals! And the kitty, she's reading a magazine! The energy orbs in Ballhalla love each other so much all you have to do is click them and they get all cozy with each other. And to top it all off, Mr. Heart just straight-up loves you. Very much, I hear.
Anyone that has been visiting this site for a couple of years will likely remember the amazingly popular Hyperframe from 2005, a 3D logic puzzle of connecting same-colored blocks on a 3D cube with unbroken non-intersecting lines. There is a new version of a clone now available, appropriately titled 3D Logic 2, and it's just as well done and addictive as the original Hyperframe was.
The first full release from Diverge Creations, Host is a multiplayer fighting game where you play a deranged mutant. It has great art from the same chap who worked on Gish, it's easy to pick up and a fair bit of fun. The interface to join games is very smooth: you can skip registering an account and jump right into a currently running game and go at it.
Continuing the recent theme of games based on a simple idea, Emanuele Feronato of Italy has created this addictive little action puzzler of chain reactions called Circle Chain. It's a no-frills game production inspired by Boomshine, and yet it manages to be a somewhat different game altogether.
Mass Attack, by kbaum games, is an enjoyable action puzzle game based on the very simple idea of balancing weights on a scale. Each of the 7 increasingly more difficult levels have 4 parts that must be balanced within the maximum allowed to advance. Just press the mouse button to create a counter balance weight. The longer you hold down the mouse the larger the weight that is created.
Jason Nelson, the creator of game, game, game and again game, is back with Alarmingly These Are Not Lovesick Zombies, his latest attempt to dissect abstract ideas through gameplay. Your reaction to that sentence should tell you whether or not to click away. If you're still with me, you should buckle up, its a zany, interesting ride.
- • 5 Days a Stranger
- • Loonyland: Halloween Hill
- • Spooks
- • Knytt Stories
- • Fate by Numbers
- • Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst
It's time for adventures in Halloween Land! The ghostly holiday is just a few days away and we're pouring on the spooky games. This special installment of Weekend Download showcases a handful of adventure games that get the Halloween atmosphere just right. Paired with our Halloween-themed Link Dump Friday and sprinkled with a few Halloween-style reviews in the coming days, you should have no excuse not to don that Super Mario costume and head out on the town.
- • Nuclear Ball 2
- • Exolon DX
- • Synaesthete
- • Puzzle Quest
- • Shellblast
Gene is shorter than Bruce but taller than Imhotep. Imhotep is taller than Gene but shorter than Lord Scotland. Lord Scotland is twice the height of Gene and Brutus combined, but only 1/10 the height of Millsy. Millsy is at a constant height of X-Y. If Gene stands exactly one nautical mile away from Lord Scotland, how tall is Imhotep? Find out in the games below! Or... maybe not.
It's got action. It's got puzzles. It's got zany... everything. The Tall Stump is an action platformer that feels like an adventure game laced with short puzzles. As you travel through the game you find strange items and learn to use them in even stranger circumstances, all in the name of working your way deeper into the stump. An exceptional game that won best of show in our 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition, and now follows-up that achievement with being the top platform game in the Best of 2007.
IndestructoTank 2, to some the name might evoke feelings of dew eyed anticipation, the return of the indestructo-king. This is, in a manner similar to Pillage the Village, a refurbishment of an early Flash classic, back when Newgrounds was the only portal. You have at your disposal a nice smorgasbord of modes — three — for free, which is a way better deal than in Vegas.
Slingoween combines the rubberband-flicking action of Sling with the familiar climbing theme found in games such as Winterbells. It's a simple game with little more than earning a high score as a goal, but the flying pumpkins, ghosts and Halloween candy help kick off the impending holiday with style.
Wait a second. Pinball isn't supposed to be hard, is it? With PuzzPinball you're given control over placing the flippers, bumpers and ramps -- not bouncing the ball whenever it comes near. It turns a game of reflexes into a game of thinking and will probably catch you by surprise with its ability to draw you in.
A casual-ified Alpha Centauri-type simulation management game that is so much more fun than it sounds. You play the president of a colony of human refugees who have escaped the calamity of Earth to found a new home on a planet whose orbit keeps it on the opposite side of the sun. Hence the name "Via Sol", which means "through the sun" in Latin.
Taking a light-hearted approach to a normally serious and complex genre, Strategy Defense is a casual tactics game along the lines of Ogre Battle or Final Fantasy Tactics. It's your job to defend the king from the incoming enemy. Move your character on the field, attack enemies, raise your stats and buy new weapons with an easy-to-use interface. It's a bare-bones tactics game that is inviting even for non-strategy fans to enjoy.
- • The Scruffs
- • Abra Academy: Returning Cast
- • Pirateville
Three new hidden object games have recently hit the web, each one with a different setting and storyline wrapped around familiar seek-and-find mechanics. They don't go out of their way to bend the rules of item hunting, but if you're one of the many people who can't get enough of these games, these should keep you busy (and entertained) for a while!
tChu is a clever puzzler inspired by Chu Chu Rocket. Your goal is to guide all the Chus to a portal by placing arrows on the playing field. Complicating this endeavor is the fact that there are two kinds of Chus — red and blue — that can never be allowed to meet. And if you think you can rely on the walls to guide both types along the same path, think again!
- • Prism: Light the Way
- • TIGSource B-game Competition
- • King Mania
- • H2O: Heaven2Ocean
- • Narobiyu
- • Narbacular Drop
It may surprise you to know that each and every Weekend Download article is written by a team of highly trained elves adept at both gaming and making waffles. This week, however, the elves have been replaced. By gnomes. The gnomes do a comparable job with words, links and images. But let me tell you, the waffles aren't nearly as good. It's like that old saying that neither I nor anyone else has ever heard before: If you want waffles, better get the elves.
New from Mateusz Skutnik comes Covert Front 2: Station on the Horizon. You reprise the role of Kara, a spy in an alternate reality where World War I begins in 1901 and technology is more advanced. Physicist Karl von Toten is on the verge of a great discovery and it's your task to discover his secrets. This is the second of four chapters and begins with Kara inside von Toten's mansion with key intelligence in hand. Now she must escape with her life to inform her superiors of the shocking discovery.
Hot on the heels of the original Bloons Tower Defense game comes a sequel that delivers more of the same explosive fun the original packed, and yet with 3 new difficulty levels and more tower types than ever before. Like the new Road Spikes that you can use to pop any remaining bloons if it looks like some will escape. And the update promises to provide a greater challenge than the first one did.
Sling Fire from Ezone continues the physics-based goo slinging action previous games in the series introduced just over a year ago. The fire element has been stolen from the Oozeville power source, which of course spells doom for the slime-based folk. Playing as Sling or Slingette you must toss your way through 50 levels of traps and puzzles to recover the lost element!
Chat Noir is a turn-based puzzle game based on a very simple idea: darken the spots to confine the cat and keep it from escaping off the edges of the play field. Each new game presents you with a random arrangement of pre-darkened spots, and the rest is up to you.
New from Japanese developer Nigoro, creator of Rose & Camellia and Lonely House-Moving, comes physics-based action game Space Capstar II. Carefully pilot the ship through twisty passages that lead deep into planets' cores, avoiding obstacles and taking out lasers by bashing into them (carefully). It's a challenging action game with just enough space wackiness thrown in to make it worth trying.
An update to the previously reviewed Manifold, this version is the full, super-fun-happy version, promises Joel Esler, the game's author. Get acquainted with Fold via the "Easy" levels. Then advance to the more frustrating "Uneasy" levels. And when you think you finally have the mechanics mastered, give the "Doubleplus Uneasy" levels a try. A unique and original platform puzzler just keeps getting better.
New from Hero Interactive, creator of Bubble Tanks and Light Sprites, is a unique combination of tower defense and role playing genres (with a little BowMaster Prelude thrown in for good measure) called Storm Winds. Defending the last fort against an oncoming enemy, you must purchase and place turrets on the structure and keep them in good working order. As enemy waves fly in, select a turret and start firing. It's an intruiging combination of game types that's both strategy-oriented and action-packed.
Brand new from Game Pure, creator Speed Cluster, Oshidama and Bound Bear, is a small and simple puzzle game titled The Quiet Night. It takes the familiar Puzznic/Flipull sliding blocks formula and wraps it in a stylish media package to create something familiar that's worth playing for the atmosphere alone.
- • Dive
- • Barbie Seahorse Adventures
- • MSOIDS
- • UFO: Alien Invasion
Got a little bandwidth to spare? We've got a fresh batch of downloadable games to clutter up your hard drive and eat up your precious weekend time. Most of the games have what we like to call a "classic" look or feel that hails back to the days when polygons were nothing more than scribbles on your high school math notebook.
- • Safecracker
- • Return to Mysterious Island
This special edition of Weekend Download highlights two games that are a bit less accessible due to their large download size and lack of a playable demo. We feel they deserve some attention, however, as each one pushes the envelope by delivering an immersive gaming experience that's both fun and engaging. We've spent a lot of time with them and are ready to sing praise from the roof (in the form of short mini-reviews), so read on to see if one could be your next slice of delicious gaming pie.
Escape: The Phone Booth is the third installment in the popular "Escape" series that has you facing off against a phone booth. As usual, there is no plot behind your encasement. All that matters is that you need to escape! The queue of items at your disposal is extremely limited, so you need to make the best of what you can in such a tight space... Ow, my elbow!
Two major events, the 13th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition and the 10th annual Independent Games Festival, are underway, sending a deluge of top-quality games right into our collective gaming laps. Interactive fiction continues to blossom as authors push the boundaries of gaming with better stories, deeper gameplay, and more rewarding gameplay using nothing more than words and creativity. Most of the IGF games aren't available for download just yet, but you'll recognize some of the games/authors and immediately jump for joy.
Nanobots is the latest from the web-game nanofactory assembly line that is Nitrome. While not as inventive as some of its other releases, Nanobots takes your classic shoot-em-up, wraps it in a cool metaphor of nanomachines fighting inside a cell, and polishes it to a shiny finish. The result is one of the best Flash-based shmups on the internet.
From the award-winning Preloaded design team comes a new physics-based game designed for the Science Museum in London. Launchball is a fabulously produced take on the 'guide something to the goal' family of physics games. There is even a level editor with which to create puzzles and send them to your friends.
The penultimate entry(!) to the 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition is from wonderwhy-er of Latvia. Please welcome wonderwhy-er with your kind feedback and constructive criticism in the comments. Nightmare is an action game of fighting monsters with your bare hands. The "ball physics" theme has been implemented within the underlying game engine rather than in the gameplay itself.