The Best of 2005 is a celebration of the best games reviewed here at Jayisgames.com over the past year. It is not an exhaustive list of all the best games available since we can only review the games that we come to know about. If you have a game, or are part of a team that produces them, and would like to have your game considered for a future rev...
Robobug Blaster is a gorgeous platform shooter with an unusal vertical orientation. The object of the game is to protect the cargo boxes, as they travel from top to bottom along the conveyor belts, from the cargo-hungry robobugs. The robobugs will latch onto a box and damage it quickly, so fast action is required to navigate the entire system and keep the path clear.
It seems the popularity of d_of_i's blog, Dofi-Blog, has inspired the author to make available some previous work with Processing, and the best of the bunch is this Cat Sledging racer that pits the player against seven (7) other computer controlled sleigh cats.
The Dofi-Blog sand and zombie toys are making their way around the Web like a ??? explosion (inside joke), and for good reason: they are quite literally sand box games that allow for a seemingly infinite variety of creative play. And now the author, d_of_i, has released another sand world, Hell of Sand, which appears to be a combination of the previously reviewed War of the Hell and World of Sand.
The latest in a string of movie-licensed, multiplayer, turn-based strategy Flash games from BigSpaceship is here, and it's very pretty. In fact, the company's co-founder and CEO, Michael Lebowitz, claims it could well be the first major Flash game release to use the impressive new features of Flash 8. But do the impressive new features make this game fun to play?
Bart Bonte sends word of his brand new point-and-click adventure, The Bonte Room. And besides being a rather typical escape-the-room type of game, it is an exceptional effort. The stylized graphics are simple yet pleasing, and the puzzles are all quite logical.
There is plenty of remarkable work being done over at Dofi-Blog in both the Java and Processing languages. Although the blog is written predominantly in Japanese, there are several compelling and engaging interactive games and toys that should not be missed regardless of your language of choice. Strongly recommended: World of Sand.
If you haven't seen Small Forest Story yet, it definitely deserves to be played through once for the holidays. And while it won't present much of a challenge for you, the pixel graphics are exquisite and the characters are adorably cute, especially the little bunny dance.
Created by Toshimitsu Takagi, the mastermind behind several of the very best escape-the-room type games available on the Web today, the White Chamber follows the same compelling point-and-click formula that made its predecessor, Viridian Room, so successful and enjoyable to play. Not to be missed.
You might know XGen Studios as the makers of Fishy, Motherload, Stick RPG and Defend Your Castle. Well, they have created another excellent Flash game, only this time it is a top-down shooter and features over-the-top multiplayer melee action in any browser. In Stick Arena, you take the role of a stick figure aiming to kill everyone else in sight to elevate yourself within the ranks.
Gold Well is an action arcade game in which the object is to clear, or "exploit", each well of all its gold by 'eating' it Pacman-style with a special machine designed for the task: Think Pacman on a string and you'll be close to describing the gameplay mechanic in this one.
Just in time for the holidays, On of Eyezmaze has done it again: a brand new X-mas mini-Grow game has just been released and, as the name implies, is a bit shorter and sweeter than the others. On's Grow games are all elegantly simple, and accessible to people of all ages. A wonderful holiday gift from Eyezmaze.
As promised, another point-and-click adventure for your weekend travels. This one is from Japan and will require some extra effort from those who do not know the language. So far the best point n' click escape game I've played - very intensive puzzle gameplay and nice graphics, with multiple endings.
From Romania comes Manole, a simple little Flash game in which you try to fly as far as you can by clicking the mouse to flap your wings. Wing flapping burns energy, and once you're out of energy your flight is over.
Another amazing shoot-em-up just released from the ultra-talented folks at Bloc Media in the UK. Pop Pirates is an arcade shooter with a hi-tech computer network security theme: Prepare to be digitized to eradicate all bugs and virus threats while reclaiming your music files as you go. Shmup-dilly-umptious and terribly addictive!
For those who still are not on the MB mixed tape mailing list, and because I really enjoy turning people on to really good, free music. Number 10 now available for download. Listen online or download all of the tracks, and share the music freely as you please. All courtesy of Mercedes Benz.
This second game of the Samorost series lives up to the lofty expectations set by the first. It is every bit a sequel that includes all of the best qualities that made the first game remarkable, and then adds more environments, more puzzles, and more sound and music. The result is a game that continues the reputation set by the first as being one of the finest, compelling interactive experiences available on the Web today. It is altogether an exceptional work of interactive art.
Hot Air is a delightful action game with irresistible pixel graphics reminiscent of an old-school Mario game. Navigate a hot air balloon from its green starting platform to the red landing platform within each level. To succeed you will need to maneuver around obstacles and onto platforms, collecting keys to open gates while avoiding just about everything that will make the balloon pop. Much easier said than done.
Snowman Salvage is a fast-action Flash game in which you are tasked with maintaining a number of snowmen against increasingly heavy odds for 30 seconds. Later levels introduce hazards, such as snow plows and campfires, and eventually alien abductors. An upgrade system between levels allows the player to influence variables that affect game play.
The modest and lackluster appearance of this game hides well the exceptional gameplay beneath its surface. And yet with the very first serve across the net, one can immediately tell this is no retro game of Pong. Challenging and exciting, this is the latest game by the very talented Taro Ito of GameDesign in Japan. Arigatoo gozaimasu!
Take a trip through the history of games with a brand new Flash game offering from the MTV Obsessed website. MTV Obsessed: The Game contains roughly 20 mini-games that are organized within levels called "eras" that must be unlocked by playing through the Time Travel mode of play.
I stumbled across this flash game many months ago but only just recently noticed it bookmarked in my favorites. Created by a technology student named Arayh, Etherena Beta is an exceptionally good fighter featuring some of the creator's original characters.
Frappr, which is short for Friend Mapper, is a new Google Maps powered site that lets you map the zip codes for locations of anything you like, even a group of people such as the visitors of this site. So, why don't you add your zip code, and a nickname that you go by here, to the Jayisgames map and we'll see how many different countries are represented and where everyone who visits is from, hmm?
In a plea to save the whales, Greenpeace has posted this cute and delightful Flash game on its website for the world to play. Whale-Flip! puts you in control of two (2) different whales on a cooperative mission to rid the waters of the nasty polluting submarines.
This silly and surprisingly fun audio game with Simon-says gameplay is disguised as a quirky little Japanese title. Your task is to unlock all the flowers and climb as high as you can by repeating the sequence of notes, or tune, that each flower plays. Ridiculous fun.
Drifts is a Flash action game based on a very simple idea: collect the green bubbles while avoiding the purple ones. And yet the simplicity of the game is deceiving: underneath the surface lurks a challenge that is difficult to master. It's an exceptionally well-designed casual game that is fun to play.
Bugs is a gorgeous and enjoyable addition to Ferry Halim's Orisinal site, a sublime collection of casual Web games made in Flash, and it fits in perfectly with the others. Send bugs flying simply by jumping up and down. The game offers light-hearted gameplay that will tickle your funny bone with delight.
The Dark Complex builds on the brilliant puzzle work of the first game, The Dark Room, by creating an entire complex of rooms, each with its own unique puzzle inside. This is a game that will keep you busy and mesmerized for hours. Be sure to bring a paper and pencil with you, you'll need them to find your way out of this dark, complex game.
Pixel Field is an action strategy game that shines from its intuitive gameplay, immersive physics, soothing soundtrack, and excellent replay value. The red base that dangles and stretches as it is moved around each level creates an immersing sensation in which you can almost feel the physics in the game. Another brilliant game from Tonypa.
Kafkamesto is an unusual and dark interactive narrative that will at first seem familiar to those acquainted with point-and-click adventures, but beware the futility in store. The over-arching narrative seems to be as much a statement about Kafka's own life as it is the themes he often wrote about.
Rocket Bob is an attractive and adorable action strategy, platform jumping game created in Hamburg, Germany. The object of the game is to fire Bob like a projectile from the platform he's currently on to the next. It's just that simple. Bonus points are awarded for successful attempts based on accuracy and any additional bonus stars that you collect along the way.
The Enigma Puzzle is a sequence of riddles played in the same way as other games like it: Each one of its levels presents an HTML page with clues that you must use to figure out how to get to the next one. Use any tool at your disposal, including a text editor, graphics program, calculator, media player, and especially your browser's View Source function. Now with new levels (34-50) available!
Winter Tales is a classic game of construct-a-path using the pieces given and all within a time limit. I have seen games like this use pipes and others use train tracks. In this case, you are laying tracks in the snow for a jolly snowman on cross-country skis, go figure.
Letters 2 includes everything that made the first version great, plus it adds power-ups and an expanded high scores table to the mix. The result is an even better game, one that can help you be more productive while at the same time having some fun.
This action puzzle game uses physics as the basis for its gameplay. There is a package that must get to the exit of each level. In construction set style, utilize a palette of contraptions to build a system that moves the package to its final destination.
Although not a game, this is just too much fun not to share. Behold the magic of the Blue Ball Machine. Watch the tiny blue balls make their way around the huge machine. And the music that goes along with it is perfect. Rube Goldberg would be very pleased.
The opening scenario of Unforgiven Room is a nod to Takagi-san's original escape-the-room games, Crimson Room and Viridian Room, in which you wake up with a headache and can't remember a thing, nor even where you are. Such is the begining of a classic escape-the-room adventure.
A charming logic puzzle game starring cute little children that scamper into play in formation, and then flash their tummies at you when you solve their puzzles. The object of the instantly familiar game is to get all of the RayRays standing. Some RayRays affect others around it, so the trick becomes figuring out the correct sequence.
Klax 3D is an action strategy game in which the object is to catch colored tiles as they fall off a conveyor belt and stack them into horizontal, vertical, and diagonal rows. A fun an addictive casual game that has been around a few years, this Flash version is actually an adaptation of a classic Atari arcade game from 1989, also called Klax.
Balls and Walls is an absolutely fantastic game designed for the equally brilliant British band Athlete by Mortalbug and Quiet Phil. The game is extremely simplistic and very easy to get the hang of as soon as you start playing. Multiplayer mode is where the game's real beauty lies.
With Texas Hold'em poker games being all the rage these days, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to avoid seeing a game being played on ESPN, across the street, or even on Wisteria Lane. (Very Funny) Texas Hold'em is a straightforward Flash poker game that offers standard play against computer opponents.
Si et JP of Pepere.org sends word of his brand new game, Ringmania. A new take on a Puzzle Bobble clone, the object of the game is to clear the play field of all rings by connecting three (3) or more rings of the same color to make them "explode."
Penance is an escape-the-room type point-and-click adventure set in a purgatorial train station. The object of the game is to figure out why you are there and how to leave. It is a critical thinking person's game about suffering and atonement, and one in which your answers will ultimately affect the outcome.
From Robotduck comes this delightfully original and fiendishly challenging platformer with a sweet Halloween theme. Run and jump around platforms while avoiding enemies to grab all the candy on each level. And since Villiam is a vampire, he can turn into a bat and fly for a short duration, except that he needs candy to fuel his flight.
Deanimator is an elegantly simple, gorgeous and gruesome shooter that was inspired by one of H. P. Lovecraft's short stories, Herbert West: Reanimator, which is the gruesome tale of an eccentric young doctor with a penchant for experiments that involve reanimating the dead. If you have the stomach for survival horror, don't miss this one.
Soul Master is a decent game and one that fits with the current Halloween theme. The object of the game is to free enough souls within the time limit to make it to the next hell (level). There are ten (10) hells to complete, each requiring more souls to advance than the previous one.
Hellydrop is an action arcade game in which you have but one chance to fly the helicopter as far as you can. Avoid terrain, lightning bolts, and those ominous evil winged creatures lurking in the sky. The one-button game uses the mouse button only. Click to take-off, and then keep clicking to fly.
This gorgeous, interactive narrative and detective drama is set in the late 1920's and produced by the award-winning creative team at Preloaded in the UK. Death in Sakkara is an Egyptian adventure game that offers a rich immersing narrative experience peppered with historical content, puzzles, mystery and intrigue. All four (4) episodes available to play.
In Translymania, you play as a cute little vampire whom is trying to get some rest. Unfortunately for you, those pesky villagers are up to their antics again and have invaded your castle. They are milling about everywhere and disturbing your sleep. Use your vamptastic powers to turn them all into the undead, and return to your coffin before sunrise.
Enter Jinx to save the day. This gorgeous and adorable Flash game has kids written all over it, including those who are only kids-at-heart. In his first episode, Jinx comes upon the house on the hill that is all lit up for once on a dark and stormy night. Upon knocking, the door opens and Jinx decides to go in and have a look around.
A recent addition to David Thorburn's Teagames.com website, Zombie Romp is a 2D side-scrolling melee shooter the likes of which are beyond this world. The object of this simple shooter is to stay alive by shooting zillions of zombies and battling a battalion of bats.
The Stone of Anamara is a creepy point-and-click adventure game, created by Gabriel Rodriguez, that spans multiple chapters. In this first chapter, you uncover the story behind the asylum doctor, Alexander Graves, and the mysterious illness of one of his patients.
Mateusz Skutnik has created an extended version of his recent point-and-click game, Submachine. Boasting twice as many rooms, a new puzzle and an alternate ending, the new version is something of a remix to tide you over until he creates a sequel, which he promises is on the way.
For those who prefer a bit of a mind-bender over an action oriented game, Ankh follows in the same footsteps as not pr0n, God Tower, and various other password puzzles. In fact, this game was created by the very same person who created not pr0n. With Ankh, the author used nicely rendered scenes from an upcoming 3D adventure game set in ancient Egypt as backdrops for the game.
Hosted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) as part of the Game On initiative, Kelman to the Rescue was a previous winner of the "Best Game" category at the Flash-in-the-Can festival, held each year in Toronto.
As far as casual game design is concerned, I find much to celebrate about Gas Games. All of the games on the site have been created with a consistent appearance and style, and many of them feature gameplay that is unique and addictive. A few of my favorites are Fulfillment, Gravity, and Centrifuge.
Aquaria is a Flash adventure game created by So of Japan and featured at so-room.com along with several other Flash animations and fun interactive works. Yes, the game is in Japanese, and yet is filled with beautiful graphics and scenes like the one pictured.
Panda Fruit Bounce (original name is "Boong Boong Panda") is an action arcade game that is a variant of Breakout. Its object is to collect the indicated quantities of fruit by bouncing a panda bear around the play field. The Korean developed casual game is both gorgeous and full of charm, and is a joy to play for gamers of all ages.
Sporting stylized graphics and an infectious soundtrack, GunRun delivers the goods with flair in classic arcade action style. This beautiful 2D side-scrolling shooter was created in Flash by Felix Reidl of Germany.
One of my favorite mini-games from Globz gets another sequel: Twin Spin III picks-up where the first two left off, continuing the same addictive gameplay formula with 24 all-new levels. The core gameplay mechanic consists of clicking the mouse button (or space bar) to 'walk' a baton around the play field and explode all of the balloons that exist for each level.
It's about Chi power. Lead Artist for Lionhead Studios, Mark Healey, set out to create a video game of his own in his spare time. Over the course of a few years, an innovative and new, gorgeous and outrageous fighting game took shape under the name: Rag Doll Kung Fu. And now, a free demo is available!
Escape from Rhetundo Island is a little bit point-and-click, a little bit Lemmings, and a little bit Hapland all rolled into one. It strings together a sequence of individual screens, or vignettes, through which you must safely navigate the stick-figure protagonist, Johnny Tag. Another amazing game from Rob Allen.
Thanks go out to Nick Kouvaris for sending word about his latest puzzle game over at Lightforce Games, an excellent source for many wonderful and mind-bending puzzle games. CyberBox is a complete Flash remake of a DOS puzzle game of the same name created by Doug Beeferman in 1991.
Egg Run is a silly action strategy Flash game, and yet it is surprisingly fun due to its simplicity of design. The object is to catapult the egg to catch the twig(!), and then land on the platform that holds the ladder to advance to the next level.
Although I prefer to offer a wide array of games and genres over featuring games that are similar to those already reviewed, once in a while I come across a clone that offers something different in terms of gameplay that I feel is worth mentioning. Powerballs is a clone of Lines, as was the recently reviewed Bloomin' Gardens.
Flip Out is a straightforward, easy game to play. The objective is to flip over all of the white tiles within the time limit. If you do, a time bonus is awarded. You get to move on to the next level if you get at least 75% of the tiles before time expires. It's a simple idea of game done right, and it's fun and addictive, too.
This next game offers fun via the buying and selling of houses on a rapidly changing real estate market. Mansion Impossible is an action strategy Flash game in which the object is to make enough money to buy the millionaire's mansion and end the game, all within the quickest time possible.
Just a quick note to tell you that Mercedes Benz has just released their ninth Mixed Tape online.
Listen online or download all of the tracks, and share the music freely as you please. All courtesy of Mercedes Benz. Click....
Flyguy is a delightfully interactive Flash piece that is full of surprises. Use the arrow keys to navigate the flyguy around the environment and uncover the entertaining vignettes that await you. Created by TVM at Trevorvanmeter.com. Not a game, but fun just the same.
So you like turn-based strategy games, do you? Were you among the first to play Tactics Arena Online months ago, and still you can't get enough? Did you run through Spybot with nary an invalid checksum, only to crave more ever since? The wait is over.
From Digital Seed Entertainment comes Tactics Arena Online (TAO), a turn based strategy game the likes of Final Fantasy. By commanding an army of characters on a battlefield, your goal is to decimate your opponents team in a battle of weapons and abilities.
Submachine is a relatively easy, simple and straight forward point-and-click game of the escape-the-room variety. It will engage your puzzle-solving skills for about 10-15 minutes, and if you haven't played this one already you're in for a treat. So very popular that it spawned a 'remix' and a sequel.
HyperFrame is a new puzzle game offered by Shockwave.com that combines 3D graphics and an engaging soundtrack to create a compelling interactive experience. The goal of the game is fairly simple: connect each pair of same-colored blocks with an unbroken line that does not cross over, or use the same space as, another color.
Atoms is a Flash puzzle game of elegant design that loosely borrows elements from Chemistry for the basis of its gameplay. Created by Florian Bliesch of Hamburg, Germany, the object of the game is simply to connect all of the separate atoms together to form a single molecule.
Bloomin' Gardens is a strategy puzzle game in which the object is to line-up rows, columns or diagonals of five (5) or more matching flowers to eliminate them from play. The more flowers that match, the higher the score awarded. The game is actually a clone of Lines, and it has the feel and appeal of a classic casual game: it's easy to pick-up and play and yet difficult to master.
Urban Dead is a fantastic and superbly original MMOG that was created by Kevan Davis. To put it simply: it is a text-based zombie survival game that runs in any browser. Even if this sort of game isn't usually your thing, I'd thoroughly encourage you to give it a go, as it's an extremely original and absorbing experience.
Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates is a massively multiplayer online game world in which players take to the high seas to compete for pirate booty all the while playing addictive casual games! Sounds like a blast, and it is! So, climb aboard and see what all the fuss is about, and play free! =)
Voted Best of 2005 by the visitors of Jayisgames, the gameplay here is similar to the previous games in the series, Grow and Grow RPG. As with the others, the order in which you click the items determines the outcome of the game. Simple and delightful, these games are among the crown jewels of the Web. By Eyezmaze.
This odd pair of Flash puzzle games comes complete with a geeky title expressed in XML. Use the mouse for interaction within each puzzle: point, click, drag, whatever it takes to solve its mystery. The author offers up this description: "Within the confines of this virtual space cyclicality is deemed a violation of basic human sensibilities." I'll leave that for you to ponder.
A remarkably rich and highly detailed Shockwave game created for Lego by the folks at gameLab. This turn-based strategy game is a triple-A quality production set in a stunning high-tech universe. The developers have expertly combined story elements with engaging gameplay to create an extraordinary, satisfying and immersing experience.
Here is a unique opportunity to get started with a brand new game just entering an open beta stage. The name of the game is llor.nu, which is also its Web address, except I'm not sure if that should be pronounced "LORE-new" or "un-ROLL" as the name implies.
An fantastic Flash shoooter with fast action and stunning visuals, ShoOot is the certainly one of the greatest and most addictive games from the house of Tonypa. Borrowing an element of gameplay from Pang and Duo, the veteran casual game developer serves up an accessible and immediately gratifying experience using Web-efficient stylized graphics.
As I enter Guano Junction inside the Bat Hole, I check my equipment. Chef's hat? Check. Rubber axe? Check. Frilly skirt? Check. Dirty hobo gloves? Check. Pine-Fresh air freshener? Check (well, one can never be too careful). I am ready for anything.
Do you yearn for a game to challenge your massive intellect? Did you beat My Diamond Baby in a half-hour without cheating? Want something harder? Well, here it is: God Tower. This is the toughest puzzle game I've ever seen. I'm not going to lie to you; it's currently unbeaten. But that shouldn't be a problem for you, right?
Two different light-hearted and cute, point-and-click adventure games to offer up today, and both feature the same extraterrestrial main character. And while the first has been available for a couple of months, the second game has just been released.
See why this is considered one of the most terrifying horror games of all time! Nobody is willing to enter an abandoned house where the entire family committed suicide, but you're looking for the truth... unfortunately, somewhere in the dark, something is looking for you too...
NFH Propaganda is a creepy point-and-click adventure game created using a combination of Flash and a series of HTML pages. The result is highly reminiscent of the 99 Rooms, and as equally artistic: just replace all the graffiti with ghoulish animation and weirdness.
Slingstar marks the 26th Flash game created and released by David Thorburn on his Teagames.com website. The pace at which he is able to create new games is remarkable! In this one, the most recent of his games, he creates a new game by combining two classic gameplay mechanics: the slingshot and the platformer.
The Goat in the Grey Fedora is a strange and offbeat point-and-click adventure with a black and white film-noir atmosphere. The game's highpoint is definitely its sense of humor. Not only that, but it has an actual plotline, which, as the title implies, has to do with a goat. In a grey fedora.
An action puzzle Flash game played by using only knight moves from the game of Chess, Troyis is a simple yet challenging casual Web game for people of all ages. The objective is simple: fill all of the white squares of each level by landing on them with the knight.
A brand new game from the very talented casual game designer, Tonypa.
Finding 4 is a puzzle game in which the object is to locate, within the time alotted, the same set of four (4) figures on the play field as shown in the target set.
This next game is inherently gratifying to play, and it just feels good even though it's very short. Mr. Figgles is an action arcade game in which the object is simply to collect all the stars on the play field, within the time limit, while avoiding any traps and enemies.
Maze is another delightfully simple and accessible casual Web game by GameDesign of Japan. The object of this action puzzle game is to find the exit to each increasingly larger maze level within the time limit.
Bania Kururin is a wonderful Japanese action game in which you play as an anime-style cat-girl character with a rocket-pack on her back. The author of the game has kidnapped your little cat-friend and plans to eat him, so you must rescue him by collecting stars. Tricky at first to control, and yet very gratifying once you get the hang of it.
A good movie is worth watching. Spin is a good movie. Well, it is not really a movie. It is more like a short film, but that is not the point. Just go watch it.
Cave Story, or Doukutsu Monogatari, is a superb 2D platformer reminiscent of early platform games for the NES. Created by Pixel, it is a well-made and highly polished game with a superb storyline and brilliant gameplay that is altogether very enjoyable to play. The game requires a download, for Mac or PC, and is most highly recommended!
Iso-Infected is an action arcade Flash game created by Thorsten Diessner of Germany. With gameplay similar to the classic arcade sensation, Marble Madness, the object of the game is roll a ball around to collect all 15 blue gems hidden throughout the many areas of the game 'world'.
You are a fish dropped into a fish tank. Your job is to eat any fish that are smaller than you, which makes you grow. As you grow, you can therefore eat larger fish. Become king of this tiny sea world food chain.
Warehouse is an online remake of an offline remake of an online game, the original of which was called the Kung Fu Packing Crate Maze and was a computer generated game by the Atlanta-area eccentric, James W. Stephens.
La Pièce is a point-and-click Flash game that is unusually common, strangely familiar, and yet offers a unique experience than other 'escape the room' type games.