Imagine the wandering ball of Within A Deep Forest encased in metal and set loose in your browser, and tell me you don't want to get into that Sky Tower. Bug Bug is the latest game to be released from Aqui Griffin's studio, a re-release of a game entered into our "ball physics" game competition in October with crucial improvements.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Library of Wales, Pokedstudio was commissioned to create Nanw's Great Adventure, an adorably cute adventure that has the player rounding up (overdue?) books and returning them to the librarian like a good little bunny.
Flora Dale has been having one of those days. First there was the excitement of the birthday party and the lottery ticket, and then later, the horrible fall down the stairs. Now she finds herself in a hospital bed, trapped inside her own subconscious. If she hopes to survive, she must discover what has happened. Faced with obscure puzzles and hidden clues, Flora must pull off the most challenging of escapes: from her own mind. If you think you can handle the disturbing landscape of the victim's mind, then you must play Hidden Secrets: The Nightmare.
- • The Great Tree
- • The Griffon Legend
- • Fishie Fishie
- • Tile Crawl
Enjoy a feisty romp through a flat, 2D dungeon now and again? That's good, because this weekend we've got two games that drop you in the middle of a maze of corridors and monsters with only a pixelated sword to save your hide. And then there's a fish that eats other fish and faeries that collect shiny pollen. Go figure.
As evidenced by a flood of Flash-based titles in the last year or so, tower defense games are all the rage. Now, iWin is throwing its hat in the ring with Garden Defense, a full-blown downloadable tower defense game where you save your garden using gnomes, flamingos, cupid statues and a host of plants to fight off waves of attacking bugs. It's eat or be eaten in this easy to learn but surprisingly challenging strategy game!
As odd as it may sound, Skyrates is a game about human-like animals flying biplanes between floating continents. Think Star Fox meets The Kingdom of Zeal from Chrono Trigger. You're a young pilot out to make an impact by trading, performing missions, and fighting pirates. Here's the catch: flying between islands takes at least an hour of real-time. The game was designed by a group of then-CMU grad-students to explore sporadic play, something you check like e-mail a few times a day. The result is not only interesting, its good enough to thread its way into your life.
Space Kitteh is a unique action game created by Zach Archer and Miles Johnson for our fourth Casual Gameplay Design Competition. Run around planets bouncing around in space as you search for lost kittens in distress. As you leap about, gravity toys with your momentum in strange ways. It's a great-looking game with just enough wackiness (saving kitties from planets?) to make it a winner.
It looks simple, like what computers experience when they practice zazen. And it is, my brothers and sisters, it is very simple. Therein lies the beauty of Avoid! (I bet that exclamation point was jarring), a compilation of short vignettes by Alex Miller that plays off the theme of avoidance.
Remember Line Rider? That was a pretty sweet webtoy made by a guy from Slovenia. But did you ever get the feeling that Line Rider could have been so much more amazing if there was more of a game to it? Fresh off the CandyStand, we have Line Golfer. It's like Line Rider, but you can golf your way through the mouse-drawn levels instead of watch a character sled through them. Frankly, it's money.
Jakub Dvorský of Amanita Design brings us another glimpse of his fantastic world of Samorost in this short animation entitled Plantage. Set to music by Under Byen, Plantage is not so much a story as it is a solemn celebration of life and rebirth.
An adventure game designed by Ben Leffler (of Exmortis series fame) to promote the upcoming Mars Volta release, The Bedlam In Goliath. The story is based on the experience of the band's sick guitarist, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, who goes to Jerusalem for vacation and walks into a curiosity shop. Of course, when you walk into a curio shop in Jerusalem you're bound to leave with a demonically enchanted artifact, right?
Hydro is a side- scrolling shoot-em-up with a methodical pace and an odd premise. Armed with a water gun, a jet-pack, and a snazzy shorts 'n t-shirt combo, you must battle a horde of flying robots that are all shaped like sea-life and have names like "Roboctopus". It's just a simple, well-told story of a flying man and his deadly water pistol.
As is easy to guess, the object of Filler is to fill the playing field with large white circles. Just click and hold the mouse to start a circle growing. It will stop growing either when you let go or when it collides with a circle already in play. If it collides with one of the small "atoms" bouncing around, not only will it stop growing, it will disappear completely and you'll lose a life!
As the name suggests, Balancing Act requires you to keep a number of balls (and other ball-ish things) balanced on top of each other. Click on a ball and drag your mouse to rotate it, but remember that each action has an equal and opposite reaction! The stylish and humorous presentation and simple control system are to be particularly commended in this worthy game design competition finalist.
An experimental game created in seven days, this arcade/pseudo-strategy game puts you in control of two robots marching through a dark city destroying everything with lasers. Pump up your machines to gigantic city-destroying monsters and crunch buildings and pitiful humans all day long!
The first Flash Element Tower Defense was a kind of revolution. It single- handedly brought tower defense games out of the realm of Warcraft mods and into the world of free online gaming, kick-starting a new genre practically overnight. Now that Dave has teamed with Paul Preece to create Novel Concepts, he has built Flash Element TD 2 according to the Casual Collective aesthetic — the audio/visual style pioneered by Desktop Tower Defense and perpetuated by Buggle. In other words, it's totally cute.
- • Mystery in London
- • Sam & Max 202: Moai Better Blues
- • Pingus
- • Midnight Mansion
- • Battleships Forever
- • Passage
- • Large Animal 50% Discount Survey
Lemmings as penguins? A game for Mac only? A shmup-based RTS title? A game about mushy emotions and feelings? Games that are award finalists for design innovation? It can only be... Weekend Download!!!
The second chapter in Brad Borne's epic tale of a man with righteous pants is here, and it is spectacular. The Fancy Pants Adventure: World Two is a Flash platform game focused on high-speed acrobatics, like a hand-drawn Sonic the Hedgehog. Twice the size of the original, World 2 is one of the most ambitious, audacious Flash games out there, bursting with thrills, imagination, and whimsy.
Tarnation is a clever real-time strategy game by Brad Merritt that bears some resemblance to a tower defense title. You control a garden with rows of seeds ready to sprout into flowers that will dash off and dispatch incoming bugs. The bugs are made of Tar, you see, and if they reach the stream in front of your flower bed, they start to gunk up the water. Merely defeating all the bugs is enough to pass, but real excellence comes by releasing only as many flowers as you need.
For our 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition, Brazilian game author Guilherme Töws has tapped the philosophy of yin and yang to bring us Bisection Dominion. Your charge is to defend a pristine river against a falling tide of poisonous bubbles, using a sword controlled by your gestural input. We often talk about the zen of gaming, but rarely does a game embrace the idea so whole-heartedly.
Job Pico is the name of Gotmail's latest point-and-click, room escape effort, and this one puts you to the task of escaping from a room as a sort of "recruitment task" as you look for something new—presumably disillusioned with your previous line of work. Your new job? Making room escape games, of course!
Superelectronic is an online interactive art piece by Aoineko, a group of award-winning Web artists specializing in audiovisual aesthetics. The piece blends various styles together to achieve something unique, an amalgamation of interactive multimedia. The result is a stunning work of art that is wonderful and inspirational. A creative cornucopia of sensory delights.
The Dark Cut series consists of two surgery games where you use the mouse to make incisions, stitch, scrub, saw, whatever is required to save the patient in each case scenario. These are not games for the faint of heart, both in terms of graphics and gameplay, and are therefore recommended for mature audiences only.
Synapsis is an exquisitely detailed, 3D modeled and animated, point-and-click adventure game that was just dropped into our suggestion box by one of its authors, Rob, and he had this to say about it: "It's really hard to explain it, I made the game and I'm not entirely sure what its about. It's the voyage into the mind of David Carter, possibly dead, possibly mad, or maybe just in an alternate reality."
Sheeeeeep!!! Hyper cute (and fuzzy) critters star in Phillip Reagan's Osmosis, an entry to our 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition. The object of Osmosis is to guide one or more sheep-type "balls" through each stage by drawing symbols that change gravity, friction, or make the sheep move. It blends action and puzzle elements into a webtoy-like atmosphere that's as inviting as it is entertaining.
A generation has passed since you last helped the Baumeister reach sweet fame in Chocolatier. Since then, the company has fallen into the wrong hands. Evangaline Baumeister's granddaughter, Alexandra Tangye, needs your help to save their chocolate empire by stirring up a little competition. Uncover secret ingredients as you mix your way to chocolate-induced success!
Real estate sounds about as exciting as dentistry when it comes to casual games, but in HipSoft's latest tycoon-style game Build-a-lot, managing your empire turns out to be quite entertaining. You assume the role of a contractor working for towns to improve property value. Tasks include building houses on vacant lots, upgrading homes to higher-rent properties, and managing cashflow to feed all your ventures.
"Suveh Nux" is a short, puzzle-oriented piece of interactive fiction by David Fisher, with a neat premise: the player is trapped in a vault (that's not the neat part) and can escape only if he learns the magical language that controls his environment. Plenty of interactive fiction games involve puzzles about magic words. "Suveh Nux" takes this a step further with a whole magical grammar to learn, including verbs, nouns, and modifying phrases.
Cursor*10 is a simple-looking puzzle game just released by Nekogames. You are a cursor in a tower trying to reach the top. Each of your ten lives is time-limited, and when one ends the next begins on the bottom floor. But you're not alone. As you start the next life your previous actions are replayed in real-time, creating a fun "cooperate with yourself" atmosphere.
The game of Buggle pits 2 to 4 players against one another to see who can befriend the most buggles (which are sort of like ambulatory cloudberries with faces) over the course of 10 rounds. Each round begins with 60 of the little nippers bouncing around in a rectangular play field. Eventually, they will pause and wait for you to pick a location for your control point, which is your primary means of buggle recruitment.
Trapped Part 2: The Dark is the middle installment in a trilogy of puzzle adventure games distinguished by a literary flavor and an unusual perspective. This series has a lot more in common with the old Infocom text adventures than it does with modern point-and-click games. Rather than relying on abstract puzzles and thorough visual investigation, the Trapped games plop you in a mundane environment, lavish you with a huge inventory, and then ask you to be extremely clever.
We are pleased to announce our 5th Casual Gameplay Design Competition! Up for grabs are more prizes than ever before: over $10,000 in cash and prizes, including Adobe CS3 Professional licenses and the opportunity to have your Flash game appear on other platforms! We're kick-starting the new year with our biggest competition yet, and you can help make it our BEST ever! Update: Entries are all in!!!
The Caverns of Hammerfest, by French developer Motion Twin, is an expertly crafted love letter to classic arcade platformers like Bubble Bobble and Snow Bros. If you've ever wondered how the intensity and the heartbreak of those old arcade cabinets could be translated into online gaming, look no further.
Room escape game lovers are in for a treat as Taro Ito weighs-in with his rendition of the point-and-click art form popularized by such games as MOTAS and the Viridian Room. Escape game is a simple and effective game of its genre with all the usual mechanics, but without the pixel hunting that often accompanies games like this.
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords blends a match 3 game with an old-school fantasy RPG. As you roam the overworld you complete quests, earn gold, gain experience, buy equipment and upgrade your stats just like any role playing game. But when you encounter an enemy a Bejeweled-like tile swapping game appears. Match gems to cause damage and collect mana to cast spells to help you defeat your enemy. It's a remarkably well-balanced game that's as easy to pick-up and play as it is to continue playing for hours upon hours. And it's one of the most addictive games I've played in a very long time.
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
Weekend Download is here! Caution: Weekend Download may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds. Weekend Download contains a liquid core which, if exposed due to rupture
should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at. If Weekend Download begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head. Weekend Download may stick to certain types of skin. When not in use, Weekend Download should be returned to its special container
and kept under refrigeration. Do not taunt Weekend Download.
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".