Director, game designer and art director Fumito Ueda and producer Kenji Kaido, along with the rest of the development team behind ICO, have broken the mold and released, exclusively for the Playstation 2, what has become the single most original and awe-inspiring gaming experience of my life, Shadow of the Colossus...
If you've spent any time around the indie gaming scene, you're familiar with the name increpare, also known as Stephen Lavelle. Known for creating short, small, creative and artistic-type games, increpare has jumped from the realm of experimental games to the world of full-fledged releases, unleashing the fantastic English Country Tune for the world to scratch their collective heads over. The game looks fantastic and plays like several of your favorite logic puzzle games rolled into one superb, pseudo-3D package.
Neutral brings out the big guns by delivering an escape game that's meatier and more complex than anything they've put out in recent years. With puzzles, clues, and items galore, it's a satisfyingly challenge experience that's a lot bigger than you might think...
As the name would suggest, Digital: A Love Story by Don't Take it Personally, Babe, It Just Ain't Your Story
author Christine Love, is a downloadable romance/mystery set against the backdrop of 1980s online technology. Part interactive fiction, part Uplink-style hacker game, and part nostalgic pastiche of a time of low-res graphics and crackling dial-ups that many current gamers never got to experience (which, for the record, this includes me, and, presumably, the author herself!). Digital: A Love Story offers a short, sweet and occasionally heart-wrenching trip back in time.
Miss Management is, in fifteen words or less, one of the most entertaining, captivating and hilarious casual games I've played in months. Developer Gamelab has really gone out of its way to craft unique characters that fuel the game from beginning to end, making it play like an interactive sitcom rather than your typical time management game (such as Diner Dash or Nanny Mania).
This Java applet game impressed me with the old-school charm of its scrolling tile-based worlds, its quirky characters and dialog, and its addictive gameplay. And yet the moment the game begins you realize that this is no ordinary Web game. Immediately you are teleporting back to the glory days of the SNES, and from there your task is to seek out the one last sprout, which is the one item you need to open the final gate.
Fantastic Contraption is a physics puzzle game in which the objective in each level is to move all red objects into a rectangular goal area. To do this, you are given a blue rectangular building area and a few different materials in which you can build your device. Standing in your way, however, are a variety of obstacles, ranging from gaping gaps to a sea of circles bent on destroying your red-object-mover-apparatus.
The main focus of Knytt Stories is atmosphere, environment and exploration, not complex gameplay and a barrage of media. With Knytt Stories you'll spend most of your time wandering around sparsely populated worlds looking for a few rare items, enjoying the beautiful visuals and ambient music the whole time. It's a unique experience in gaming and will pull you in from the moment you start playing.
Drawn: Dark Flight is the direct sequel to last year's hidden object/adventure hybrid Drawn: The Painted Tower, and it spins another intricate tale of dark mystery and intrigue. It pulls you in with a delicious atmosphere crafted by sublime visuals and strong storytelling, and its adventure-centric gameplay builds upon that by getting you to think about the environment, the items you find, and the puzzles in front of you. It's easily one of the best casual adventure games ever released.
A great Calamity rocks the world, wiping out all of civlization in an instant and leaving behind only a handful of floating islands in a vast void. As the Kid, along with your ever-present Narrator as a guide, search the remnants of the world for something that might rebuild it, uncovering the truth about the Calamity (and human nature) as you do. Featuring stunning visuals, an engrossing story related in a unique, immersive fashion, and fast-paced combat with upgradeable weapons, Bastion is a top-notch indie action RPG players looking for another realm and a good story will definitely want to investigate.
Best described as a cross between Teeworlds, Team Fortress 2, and an RPG, Altitude is a shockingly addictive online multiplayer game from indie studio Nimbly Games. Grab a plane and take to the skies as you compete (and co-operate) with other players and earn experience points bombing the enemy base and taking down foes with a variety of power-ups.
What's in a dream? April Ryan, a struggling art student, doesn't think there's much to the strange nightmares she's having. But she's wrong. A classic point-and-click adventure of epic proportions, The Longest Journey is the story of two worlds thrown out of balance. Featuring stellar dialogue, memorable characters, a haunting soundtrack and rich environments, this is a fantastic adventure that shows other titles in the genre how to do it right.
The classic point-and-click game Myst is still alive and well, living on over a dozen gaming platforms (including the iPhone) with a number of sequels and a few remakes, all going strong. Even decades after its original release, Myst is still a force to be reckoned with.
Airport Mania from South Winds Games is a time management sim that drops all the trite settings and food-related themes we've grown tired of in the genre. Instead of serving cake or pizza or sandwiches, your job is to direct airplanes, load passengers, and make sure everything runs smoothly. All of this is accomplished with a simple interface and airplanes that are too cute for their own good. And unlike real airports, you can actually have flights arrive on time or even early!
From mining basic raw resources to producing sci-fi hardware, this elaborate indie strategy sim with sandbox crafting and action elements has you single-handedly advancing an entire planet just to get home!
The first time I saw my velociraptor avatar trying desperately to outrun the scary wall of doom, I was completely sold. Three years have passed since the release of that Pixeljam racing platformer, and I find myself returning to its charms again and again. However, with time comes change, modification, upgrading, evolution. So is the potent rationale for the release of Dino Run: SE... And from what I've seen so far, it won't be going extinct from my hard drive any time soon.
A demo download for Windows only, Immortal Defense is a tower defense game with some aces up its sleeve. It's a game with impressive special effects and a captivating storyline, the latter of which is unusual in the tower defense genre. RPG Creations has put together a long-lasting demo experience should you be brave enough to take on the volunteer mission to fight millions of aliens using only the power of your consciousness.
Toulouse is played with three to five human or computer players, and a well designed interface and beautiful presentation make this web-based version user friendly and highly enjoyable. The folks at AsoBrain.com have also recently added the option of playing with up to two expansions to the original board game, making this as involved a Carcassonne experience as one could hope for.
Play as the lovable cast of Mercenary, Inc. as they do their best to defeat the Evil Witch of the Evil Cave in the solid, entertaining RPG Crystal Story by Emmanuel Salva Cruz. The controls of Crystal Story should be familiar to regular players of RPGs, where your mouse is used to navigate the various menus. Crystal Story isn't innovative, it's just a good RPG with anime style graphics, epic battle music and a story to put a smile on your face.
The fine folks at Pixeljam have really managed to outdo themselves, bringing us an outlandishly retro, high stakes, mad multiplayer dash for survival called Dino Run. Although there are three modes of play, the idea is basically the same: run as fast as you can! What we love most about Dino Run is neither the perfectly captured retro feel, nor the immense replay value, but the total interactivity your dino has with its surroundings.
When you think of what this medium is capable of it's easy to grab for lofty terms like "emergence" or even "organic beauty", but have nothing solid to hold onto. The Powder Game is a rare beacon of hope for those who dream of deep interactivity. It is a fondue of loose goals and free play; creation and destruction wrapped in a tumbling embrace. Oh yeah, this game is that good and will keep you engaged for hours.
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.
Auditorium is a fantastic new puzzle game of music and light. Solve each level by manipulating the flow of light to create the perfect balance of music. The streams of light represent sound particles that you bend toward boxes until the audio levels are full. When the flow is correct, the audio levels fill up with the proper color and all the parts of the music will play. Delightful, brilliant and stunning.
Go deeper into the subnet than ever before in the seventh installment of the wildly popular adventure game series from Mateusz Skutnik. Within the ruins of an otherworldly garden, will you finally find the answers you've been seeking, or will more questions arise to taunt you? The Core combines clean, beautiful visuals and top-notch atmosphere with some wonderfully tricky gameplay to create an experience that will draw you in and keep you guessing.
Minecraft is a sandbox game that lets you make your own world out of colorful building blocks. Construct a fortress, and then plant tulips on the parapets. Dig a vast network of subterranean tunnels, drop a colony of people down the rabbit hole, and watch them wander. Or, if you're in a particularly metacognitive mood, make a sandbox. Uncage your imagination, and let it take you where it will.
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!
Mya of Neutral just released her latest escape game, and it's another masterpiece. You find yourself trapped in a room that seems quite pleasant, but is full of a rather baffling array of hidden clues to find and codes to crack. With a little bit of elbow grease and some clever thinking, you too can conquer this fun, logical, and playful escape game from the creator of Vision.
Sometimes, a game goes through such a metamorphosis during its development cycle that it's practically a different product from its original release. Thus is the case with Minecraft, a little old building game, inspired by Infiniminer and Dwarf Fortress, and created by Markus Persson. Whether you can only play it for fifteen minutes at a time, or end up devoting hours at a stretch (often unintentionally) to it, Minecraft is intensely enjoyable, and an incredible bargain. Minecraft Beta will be out on December 20th, so this is your last opportunity to get the game at Alpha pricing and with the promise of all future updates for free
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.
The latest brilliant-yet-simple logic puzzle game to hit the Web goes by the intriguing title of The Codex of Alchemical Engineering. Called a "game for engineers" by its creator, your goal is to build machines out of mechanical arms that move and transform basic elements to create compounds required to pass each level. It's a cerebral puzzle game that tasks you with arranging and tweaking objects on both a small and grand scale, the final result of which is a burst of euphoric gaming bliss.
Braid is a groundbreaking platform game created by Jonathan Blow. With a deep, intriguing storyline, gorgeous artwork, enchanting music, and the unique ability to manipulate time, Braid is built from dozens of unique puzzles (no filler material) that will challenge your ability to think laterally while inspiring your philosophical mind to search for meaning with every object you encounter.
A wonderfully bizarre and strangely fun interactive narrative by Jakub Dvorský of Amanita Design. Samorost is the granddaddy of all Web Flash point-and-click adventure games. It is full of clicky puzzles and beautifully rendered scenes mixed with animations and various gadgetry. The number one game in the Best of 2004, and now it even has a sequel.
In Iji you play as, well, Iji. Iji is a human who has been enhanced with nanotechnology after Earth is abruptly invaded by aliens. Her new nanotech field provides her with a kind of shield and also gives her the incredible weaponry that every action-platformer hero needs to survive.
N is an award-winning action platform game of skill developed in Flash and available for download only (for Mac, PC, and Linux). The objective is to traverse a series of rooms using speed, dexterity and honed senses, as well as the ability to hold onto and jump from walls, which allows you to reach greater heights. The end result is an excellent game that is unique, original, and fun to play.
One of Spore's most touted and talked about features is how it leverages user-created content to populate the countless planets within the Spore universe. The Spore team accomplishes this by putting powerful and easy-to-use tools to create elements of the Spore universe in the hands of the masses. One of those tools is being released today, the Spore Creature Creator.
IncrediBots is a brand new physics-based webtoy from Grubby Games, creator of the Professor Fizzwizzle series. Much like Fantastic Contraption and Line Rider before it, IncrediBots gives you a handful of simple tools and sets you free to explore your creative impulses. Draw shapes, connect them with joints, and tweak their basic properties to create living, moving, and functioning 'bots that can perform any task. You can even make movies, complete with text, than can be shared with the IncrediBots community.
In 2007, Mardek set a new standard for flash RPG gaming. Now, fans of the series can rejoice as not only the latest installment finally sees the light of day, but the previous titles begin a significant overhaul. The turn-based fantasy themed tale centers around Mardek, a hero who starts off the series with the modest hero-type ambition of rescuing a princess from a dragon, and winds up... well, you'll see.
Man-eating plants! Skeletons! Giant spiders! Falling boulders! What do these things have in common? They're all very, very deadly. And they, along with a host of other unpleasantness hungry for your demise, are waiting for you in Spelunky, an incredibly addictive roguelike platformer from Derek Yu. Explore, descend, discover... just remember to watch your back and keep one hand on your whip!
Knytt is a downloadable game of exploration and atmosphere for Windows created by the author of Within a Deep Forest, Nifflas. The game emphasizes discovery and intrigue over everything and creates a massive world with varied environments and lots of places to explore. A spacecraft kidnapped the cat-like Knytt from his home but crashes on its way back, sending pieces of the ship across a mysterious planet. Your job is to traverse the barren world in search of the missing parts and try to get back home.
There's something strange about Alicia and Victor's new apartment. And maybe something stranger about their new landlord. This first installment in a new point-and-click adventure series from Anders Gustafsson combines a unique look with a surreal story to whet your appetite for the upcoming chapters.
Combining some of the best parts of Animal Crossing and Virtual Villagers with a sprinkling role playing know-how, Wandering Willows is something so incredibly alluring you'll burn through a few hours of game time before you realize what hit you. It's a pet-raising recipe-collecting item-bartering friend-gaining character-customizing leveling-up collect-a-thon!
Instead of playing the usual part of "hero who saves the world", Recettear fits you in behind the scenes as shopkeeper, the thankless job of providing an endless supply of items. You'll haggle with customers, make smart purchases as the guild, and even hire adventurers to strike out on your own, looting dungeons in true action/RPG form!
Terraria, a new action/adventure/creativity game from Re-Logic, is perfect for a sand emperor like myself. It offers the thrill of discovery mixed with the chance to meticulously construct your own little village, city or empire. And before you think it: yes, it's a lot like Minecraft, only in 2D!
What can you build using only a straightedge and a compass? A lot, apparently, as illustrated in Ancient Greek Geometry, a webtoy where you're drawing abilities are limited to circles and lines made by points you create. If you want, you can try to solve mathematical puzzles such as making triangles, squares, and the elusive pentagon using only these tools. How complex your drawings can get is entirely up to you.
Winterbells is a very simple wintertime game with the same gorgeous art and music found in all of Ferry's games on Orisinal. In Winterbells you control a snow-white rabbit who hops onto falling bells as they drift down from the night sky. Use the mouse to move the bunny left and right and time your jumps to keep moving upwards. The longer you stay hopping the higher your score.
Conceptis offers a variety of logical challenges at its website available to anyone. Eleven different puzzles await the intrepid solver, including familiar puzzles like Sudoku, Picross (here called "Pic-a-Pix"), Kakuro, Slitherlink, and a variety of puzzles that might even be new to logic puzzle lovers.
Point and click adventure games will never die, thanks in part to the efforts of Wadjet Eye Games, creator of the Blackwell series, The Shivah, and now, Emerald City Confidential. In the studio's latest title you are cast in the role of Petra, a young private eye trying to make a living in the strange Wizard of Oz-inspired world known as Emerald City. The handdrawn artwork is utterly captivating, the storytelling and writing top-notch, and the game itself is a package you won't be able to tear yourself away from.
Oh, Deadly Rooms of Death! Never has a redundant name heralded such awesomeness! The easy part of Beethro Budkin's quest to rid King Dugan's dungeon of terrorizing baddies is over, as he descends to floors 5 through 8. But even an expert smitemaster like Beethro may be stymied without a little guidance from you. So ready your Really Big Sword and enter DROD: King Dugan's Dungeon Lite - Episode 2, another great installment in Caravel Games' series of turn-based puzzle-strategy games.
Gamma Bros. is a deliciously slow-paced old-school space shooter created by PixelJam. It's written in flash and offers both an online version and downloadable files for the Mac and Windows. Although simple in looks and design, Gamma Bros. gives the illusion of a massive game world interspersed with moments of action and quiet space floating.
"Gorgeous" is the only word to describe the award-winning Dofus, a feast of sight and sound in the form of a Flash-based MMORPG created by the folks at Ankama Games. The art and music of Dofus follow in the finest traditions of anime, making the game something of a cross between WoW and Pokemon (with a dash of tongue-in-cheek humor thrown in for good measure).
Originally released in Japan back in 2007, Recettear is the story of an item shop, a girl, and a fairy. Recette's father took out a loan and then skipped town, leaving her to pay off the debt. Soon, she meets Tear, a fairy who is as persistent as she is... well, persistent. She teaches Recette to run an item shop out of her house, purchasing stock for adventurers who head out into the world to slay monsters. Buy and sell swords, shields, food products and more, haggling with each customer and placing items in ideal locations to attract business.
Eufloria, formerly known as Dyson, is a real-time strategy game built around the concepts of simplicity, ambience, and gentle pacing. It plays like an evolved version of Risk or Galcon, where sheer numbers and a good strategy are all you need to dominate. Eufloria isn't about warriors battling over blood-soaked soil. It's a slow, organic game that uses plants as its inspiration, challenging you to expand a seedling empire one asteroid at a time.
PrismaPix is a logic puzzle game that uses elements of Minesweeper and Conceptis Puzzles' Fill-a-Pix to create a new kind of experience that's both challenging and intriguing at the same time. Use clues to fill in spaces on the grid, switching between different layers (colors" to complete the entire image.
A Break in the Road is a unique game that puts you in the role of a DJ recording sounds throughout the city to mix into a one minute song. An amazingly well-produced cut scene, complete with top-notch voice acting talent, introduces the back story and drops you right into it.
The undead hordes are on the march, but your back yard is standing in the way, covered with fresh, fertilized topsoil. In this cheerfully absurd melding of resource management and tower defense, you must defend your delicious brains with an assortment of warrior plants. Plants vs. Zombies is the strangest, most original game from Popcap yet.
A brand new point-and-click room escape game has just been released by Japanese developer neutral, creator of RGB and Sphere, titled Vision. For some unknown reason you're trapped in a room with no exit. Search the exquisitely rendered (and eerily silent) environment for items that can help you escape!
Cooperate, or backstab? Build, or destroy? All for one and one for all, or every mouse for himself? That's the tension driving Transformice, a multiplayer puzzle platformer.
When your spaceship crash-lands onto an unknown desert planet, you regain consciousness to find yourself one of the only survivors. Red Herring Games presents an incredibly polished point-and-click adventure game that has to be seen to be believed.
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.
Super Smash Brothers Brawl: it has arrived. After multiple delays, countless stunning revelations, and years of speculation, the third edition of Nintendo's bizarre tribute to itself has hit store shelves. This isn't a review so much as a place for JIGsters who have Brawl to exchange friend codes
and hook up for online battles.
Sonny is most likely the best Flash RPG yet made. Imagine fluid battles that don't feel like a grind, complete with fluid animation and tactics that are actually interesting and fun. Now, imagine that you're a superhuman zombie. Yes, Sonny, this is it.
Robokill is an extremely well-polished shooter game that's as fun to play as it is easy to learn. You play the role of a mercenary robot hired to investigate and eradicate the hostile forces that have taken over Titan Prime, a space station orbiting Mars. On the order of Crimsonland, and if you've never heard of Crimsonland or the RIP series (top-down [WASD] shooters), you're in for a treat.
Physics-heavy, sandbox-style webtoys are loads of fun to play with, and Ha55ii's Powder Game has always stood as one of the best and most feature-rich. Version 7 introduces several new elements to unleash on your screen of chaos/coolness!
On of Eyezmaze has just released an updated 'remake' of his original Grow game, Grow (ver. 3), the game that inspired so many sequels and clones. It's one of the most unique and amazing Flash games ever produced, due mostly to its intricate animations and myriad combinations of possible outcomes. Now with 2 endings!
Just over two years ago from this day, a relatively unknown indie programmer called Notch posted about a work-in-progress version of a sandbox building game on the TIGSource forums. It was called Minecraft, and at the time, people thought it was really very cool. Fast forward to the present and Minecraft has sold over four million copies, been through extended alpha and beta phases, spawned the Mojang indie studio, and gained so much popularity, the launch of its official version took place at a Las Vegas convention dubbed MineCon. That's an impressive feat for any game, let alone one started by a single person. But now, Minecraft is officially out. No more beta, no more alpha, it's here. Time to lose yourself in a voxel world all over again!
Dice Wars is a unique new turn-based strategy game from Japan. Using nothing but dice and a randomly generated territory map made of hexagons, the game is similar in gameplay to that of the board game, Risk, though much simpler and quicker to play. The objective is to conquer all territories and eliminate all your opponents by attacking them with dice.
An Untitled Story is a perfect blend of tough platforming challenges, intimidating boss fights, and cunning secrets, all wrapped up in a layer of childlike mysticism and rough-shorn beauty. It is a chilled-out hardcore wonderland of action discovery, plus an unidentifiable je ne sais quoi
that just makes you want to drink it down in one gulp and then spit out a rainbow.
Not satisfied simply to have won second place in our last competition, game designer Lars Doucet has been busy reworking, researching, and refining his entry, the strategic defense game Super Energy Apocalypse. We are proud to announce that the full-fledged game has now been released!
Dwarf Complete is now available for iOS devices! And best of all it's FREE! For anyone who hasn't been around JIG for a few years, Dwarf Complete is an awesome dungeon escape adventure game from On of Eyezmaze. If you haven't already played the Flash version, or if you don't have an iOS device, you can play the game in your browser.
The original freeware platform adventure game Cave Story was released by Daisuke Amaya (Pixel) back in 2004. An English translation from Aeon Genesis followed just two months later, opening the game up to a much wider audience and allowing to vault to the top of the indie gaming world. Featuring amazing music, a well-written story, power-ups, upgrades, and a big world to explore, saying Cave Story was a hit is a gross understatement. Several years later, the game has been ported to half a dozen other systems and re-released with remastered music and updated HD graphics. Now, Cave Story+ is here, upgrading the freeware experience to something your eyes and ears can more fully appreciate!
Sand Sand Sand is another entry in the Falling Sand games from Dofi-Blog. This installment incorporates some of the best elements of World of Sand and Hell of Sand into one, allowing you to play with a variety of elements in even more ways than before.
Kiss your free time and your loved ones goodbye. Torchlight is here. The indie rogue-like/action/RPG title has been highly anticipated, but is it worth all the hype? Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Stop talking to me, I'm trying to play. With randomly generated dungeons, an obscene amount of treasure and monsters to hunt, and a faithful animal companion at your side, Torchlight is a stellar example of indie gaming at its finest.
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.
The main goal in Osmos is simple: you, an amoeba-esque organism known as a "mote," must absorb smaller motes to become bigger. As your size increases, you are able to absorb more and more motes until you are the largest one in the area. This seems like a simple objective, and at its core it is. But, in order to propel yourself around to capture motes, you must expel a part of your own mass, which in turn decreases your size. It's a beautiful and unique game of calm strategy and intense thought.
Drawn has returned. The third game in the series, Drawn: Trail of Shadows, dares to outdo its predecessors in what simply must be the most enchanting hidden object adventure game to date. The visuals have improved (if you can believe it!), the storytelling is even more intriguing, and the puzzles are as rich as before. Good hidden object games are hard to come by, so when you find a game this great, you'd best dive right in.
Enter into the experience of visualizing visualizing (whoa, meta!) in the CGDC7 award-winning interactive fiction title Dual Transform by Andrew Plotkin. Take on the role of a virtual engineer, of sorts, feeling the pressure of really making this project something to remember... something that really feels
All of mankind vanishes from the universe in an instant... except for one person. Saira, a photographer, has spent years alone, trying to figure out what happened that day. Now, she's very close to discovering what happened, and finally tracking down who might be the only other person left alive. Nifflas's newest puzzle-platformer is a beautiful journey of exploration and discovery, where the few gameplay hiccups are only minor bumps in a long road.
Bioware's classic single and multiplayer experience finally goes DRM free. Is it worth your time after eight years? Absolutely
. This computer adaptation of classic Dungeons and Dragons fantasy roleplaying not only features three robust campaigns, it also allows you to play a massive trove of community content completely free... or create your own. Explore new realms, create great heroes or villains... and maybe take a buddy along with you. Just remember to shout dibs on loot.
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.
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.
Makibishi Comic is an atmospheric, quirky, and well-drawn point-and-click flash created to promote the Japanese studio... Makibishi! You play the role of Asashin who is searching for five ninjas hidden across five different environments. Each stage is a new and creative area with multiple puzzles and scenes to experience. Think Blue Suburbia meets Hapland and you're ready to roll.
Blue Lacuna is one of those rare experiences that turns your set of assumptions about a medium on its head. Like Memento or The Usual Suspects or The Outsider, Aaron Reed's game transcends its medium to become more than the sum of its parts, an artwork that leaves a measurable change in the player. You might finish this game, but it may never leave you alone.
On the surface, it's easy to put Thomas Was Alone in the puzzle platform genre, citing games like The Lost Vikings when you discuss the gameplay mechanics and mentioning VVVVVV as another possible source of lo-fi indie inspiration. But after you've spent some time with the game, you suddenly realize it's much more than just a platformer. Thomas Was Alone is an interactive, character-driven puzzle experience with a beautiful audio visual presentation and gameplay controls/physics that were no doubt fine-tuned with fastidious precision.
Mortimer is back with another hidden object adventure in Mortimer Beckett and the Lost King! In case you couldn't tell, this time around a king is missing, and even though Mortimer is still stranded in the Time Paradox, he hops to it to set things right. Beautiful cut-scenes, superb inventory puzzles, and a well-made game on every front!
Warning Forever is a downloadable 2D shooter written by Hikoza Ohkubo of Hikware software. You pilot a tiny green ship with a single versatile weapon and must face off against a constant stream of bosses. No stages, no obstacles, no power-ups, just epic fights with massive enemy ships. And the surprising thing is they learn from your patterns and fight back. Yikes.
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.
At long, long last, Jordan Mechner's (creator of the original Prince of Persia game) adventure gaming masterpiece The Last Express is available as a digital download! The game was first released in 1997 where, despite being an amazing interactive experience, it failed to gain much commercial traction. Its cult status survived the turn of the century largely due to the unique nature of the gameplay, the incredible writing, and a visual style that's more like an animated television show than a video game. No more tracking down rate copies of the original CD-ROM. Just download, install, and enjoy!
Two years after your victory in the first game, Eschalon Book II finds you living a quiet life... perhaps too quiet, since your skills are beginning to erode, and you find yourself forgetting important details, but troubled by strange dreams. When you awake to find a note on your doorstep from a stranger who claims to know who you really are, you find that the adventure has only just begun in this turn-based isometric RPG featuring open world gameplay.
Set years after the game that won the community's vote for 2011 RPG of the Year, this turn-based RPG starts off with a literal bang as our dragon-boy hero falls from the sky like a meteorite on a quest to find an Oracle. But that's just the tip of the iceberg when he falls in with a certain mercenary group! With animated cutscenes, voice acting, and likable characters, this game offers a lot and is definitely worth a look.
Here's a game that needs no introduction around here, the next game in the amazing and wonderful Grow series from Eyezmaze has just released today. Grow Nano Vol. 3 has the same familiar gameplay, graphics, animation and soundtrack as the others, and it is sure to put a smile on your face.
Bloons Tower Defense 3 has finally been released after months of anticipation from all the hardcore Bloons fans out there. Picking up where Bloons TD 2 left off, the new game features even more tracks (eight in all!), new monkeys (towers) and upgraded gameplay mechanics.
Gemcraft brings a lot of innovation to the tower defense genre
, quite an accomplishment considering how crowded it already is. The new gameplay mechanics create a lot of strategic depth, and the game adds replay value by keeping track of your high score for each level, allowing you to go back and replay them for much higher scores once your wizard has leveled up and is more powerful.
Epic Battle Fantasy 3 has taken such a huge jump up from the first two games that it seems like a whole new series. Where the previous RPGs focused almost entirely on the turnbased "battle" portion of the title, kupo707's latest effort remembers the "epic" part--provided you're okay with a definition of epic that includes kitten slaying, shark battering rams, cow outfits, the shoop-da-woop face, and copious amounts of Comic Sans.
Choice of the Dragon is a choose your own adventure browser game where you live the life of a dragon, moving from decision to decision and being as docile or cruel as you want. It emphasizes character and story interaction, not puzzles, allowing you to grow into the game's world like few modern titles allow you to do.
World of Goo is a phenomenally creative physics-based building game where you assemble bits of goo to form structures leading to an exit pipe in each stage. The visuals are stunning, the sense of humor wry, and there are gameplay innovations at every corner.
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!
Mamono Sweeper is very similar to its ancient ancestor with some key differences. The first is that instead of bombs concealed behind anonymous tiles, you're sweeping for monsters. And you can't just avoid them, eventually you're going to have to reveal and kill all of the monsters on the board if you want to win. Slay monsters, go up in levels, and relive the addiction that was once minesweeper in this reboot of one of the most well known classic casual games.
Step into the shoes of the greatest naval hero of all time... you! In this sister-sequel to the popular "Choice of Dragon" text RPG, Choice of Broadsides lets you embark on a high seas adventure ascending through the ranks of the Royal Navy and dealing with whatever life throws at you. Think carefully about your choices as they could be the difference between death and promotion.
Here is one of my all-time favorites and it will surely be one of your favorites, too: ZomboCom. Actually there is no other place quite like it that I know of. It's unique, it's original, and it's one-of-a-kind; truly a rare swedish fish in a sea of jujubes.
Why are so many of the most difficult video games also the cutest? Maybe my brain just automatically forgets games that are both ugly and frustrating. Added to the "cute but evil" list comes Within a Deep Forest, a completely free downloadable game for Windows that casts you as a little blue ball, bouncing around a delightfully whimsical little world filled with the most frustrating jumping puzzles known to man.