If you were to ask us, "What is Bango?" we could say a lot of things. "A board game! A breakfast cereal! The newest pop music superstar!" But of course, since Bango! is actually a puzzle platformer, we would be dirty rotten liars. Race across blocks that plummet behind you, trying to clear the screen of them without falling yourself. It's harder than it sounds, and with an extra five levels each of "extra-hard" and "frustrating" difficulty, it's a challenge for everyone!
As the head of Castle Corp, you're watching all your business go across the hillock to Happy Family Shields and Accessories Incorporated. So what does a failing business do to get itself back on its feet? Why, employ a crew of knights with rocket packs to blast your rivals to medieval smithereens, of course!
In this tribute to vector arcade classics, you must make it through 10 levels containing deluge after deluge of asteroids without letting them knock you all the way to the bottom of the screen. Crash into as many asteroids as possible for bonus points!
A game of pure reflex, Zodiac Reactor blasts spiraling orbs at the center of the screen and asks you to collect them with near-perfect timing. It's like an intense bout of hyperspace Simon. If you are skilled enough, your reward will be the creation of a brand new star of your very own!
In Smile For Me, you are a recently deceased person who, seeing the tears of a grieving loved one, seeks to bring joy to that individual. Give it a try if you feel like you might like a breath of fresh air, a few minutes of unadorned sincerity to cleanse your palate, and a darn good escape game to boot.
Pwong 2 is like the hyperactive biker outcast stepchild of its Pong parents. Fast-paced action, psychedelic graphics and multiple-ball craziness included. It's a casual action game through and through, shiny enough to capture your attention for 20 minutes at a time. Just don't expect much in the way of replay value after you've completed all the difficulty modes and achievements.
Move your laserspots to light up all your lasercells in Laserworx, a tile-based puzzle game about lasers. The laserbeam between two laserspots will energize any lasercells it touches, but will be nullified if it hits a laserwall. Wait, that doesn't need a "laser" in front of it. They're just regular walls.
Sail the globe in search of treasure, push crates, dodge the cutest little itsy-bitsy monsters, unlock doors, ride magic carpets over a spiraling vortex of horror. It's a pirate themed carnival of wonder! The Arabian Sea is the tenth episode of this popular kid-friendly spook-fest.
In Greg Sergeant's aptly titled puzzle platformer, Use Boxmen, you, believe it or not, use boxmen to collect boxes. It sounds fairly simple and straightforward, but it's not, really. Some puzzles require you to think outside the box to reach their oftentimes very clever solution. Solving puzzles is only half the battle, however, as Use Boxmen takes its platforming element very seriously.
Though the original Who Am I? was a good-looking room escape game with some clever puzzles, it suffered from a lack of polish and some illogical puzzles. Robamimi has ameliorated these problems by reformulating (and, in numerous cases, entirely changing) the game's puzzles, cleaning up the interface and adding a save feature as well as a twinkly soundtrack.
Continue the fine, respected tradition of launching small creatures heavenward in this spiney sequel to the original Hedgehog Launch. The addition of new items to get and a slight graphical improvement wind up making this one feel like the game the original should have been, rather than a new game. Is it fun? Oh yes!
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!
Dynamic Systems, created by Lorenzo Nuvoletta, is another in a long line of games first made popular by The Incredible Machine, where you must fabricate an overly elaborate system of simple machines to perform a task that would hardly impress a toddler: putting a ball in a bucket.
While not the magnum opus of the escape game genre, Mystery House in Japan is fun, quick, and indisputably well-designed, perfect for a brief break in your day. While Bianco Bianco may not be the most stunningly original designer out there, it can always be counted upon to provide a solidly constructed and entertaining experience.
Tonypa has a well earned reputation for developing games that at once exhibit simple elegance and deceptively deep gameplay. Lacotipa, a tile-based puzzle with roots that extend back to Pipe Dreams, is yet another simple, beautiful, and addicting game for us to obsess over.
In Crane Wars, you play the role of a crane operator, and your mission is to grab hunks of building and stack them on top of each other. Your other, more fun mission is to fling stuff at those filthy scabs working next door!
Shy Dwarf is a gorgeously animated little adventure where you play as a little black blob with a jaunty red hat. But Shy Dwarf is something of an enigma. Fun, short, and completely baffling. We're not sure exactly what it all means, or if it's supposed to mean anything at all. Whatever the case, we couldn't resist its unmistakable charm.
Star Beacons is a pachinko-style arcade game from Steel Panda Studios. When an evil space armada captures a planet of jolly water creatures who use a giant star as their source of light, it's up to you, an intrepid waterite in a cool spaceship, to scour the deepest depths of space to retrieve the pieces of your broken star/sun.
Reach for the stars — literally — in Casual Space, where treasure, danger, and secrets are sprawled across two enormous maps comprising over 40 levels of spacey action! Balancing a quirky, kid-friendly presentation with some genuinely challenging gameplay, Casual Space is good casual fun for all ages.
At first glance, Scarygirl comes at you blazing on all cylinders like a triumph in Flash game production values. From the very start of the introductory cinematic sequence, the player is offered a glimpse at what appears to be one of the most fantastic Flash games to ever appear on the Web. In the end, the good outweighs the bad. Players can put up with loose controls, slipping and sliding their way through levels, when the brilliance of the rest of the game is so appealing. Every element combines to lift Scarygirl above the competition, serving to create one of the most exasperating yet fulfilling Flash games available today.
Polygonal Fury takes the basic chain reaction gameplay of Boomshine and adds a number of bells and whistles to it. Ultimately, it's a skill-based game, and the balance is perfect to keep you playing for just one more level, until you've finished them all.
A lighter. Some flour. A stick, a rock, a knife and a towel. How, using only these handful of items, can you escape a room? Six different ways, apparently, at least in Room Escape SIX, a new escape-the-room game from Japanese designer Kotaro. You are the latest challenger to enter a strange, hexagon-shaped building that exists solely to be escaped from; how you do so depends upon the way in which you use the room's odd furnishings.
What do you do when you're the only robot with power thousands of years after a mishap has sent your entire civilization offline? You put on the snazziest jazz soundtrack you can find and point-and-click your way through this short-but-stylish adventure. That's what!
Fantastic platform puzzler in which you play a Victorian magician who must correct a mistake by leading poor ghostly souls to a magic door. Including smart and elegant brain teasers that get increasingly more complicated as the levels progress. Altogether a fun and challenging new puzzle game from a promising new group of Flash game developers from New Zealand.
So there's this Ball. Ball wants to Go Home. It's your job to get Ball home. Ball lives in a hollow tree stump in a forest. Yes he does. Thankfully, said forest is filled with ramps, bridges, floating platforms, mine carts and more. Some parts are missing, and that's where you and your reflexes come in.
Another brilliant room escape game from Neutral, the authors of the amazing Vision. Lights features inventive tough-but-fair puzzles, gorgeous rendered scenes, and enough charm to drown a dozen rubber duckies.
Here are 50 more visual puns in a painting, hinting at the titles of 50 "great" movies you may have seen recently. Nice illustrations, relatively easy hints, and a smooth interface make this an light and pleasant diversion.
All you have to do in NinjaDoodle's ClickPLAY! is press the Play button, but that Play button sure does run and hide in some sneaky ways. Track it down and click it!
A fast-paced, tightly-designed version of Breakout by the talented Taro Ito. Use a big round smiley-face paddle to knock out all the bricks before they advance past the dotted line. Collect hearts to earn extra balls and shoot them into play at any time. Cute, fun, and simple.
It's another blast from the past with this week's Weekday Escape. It's an oldie from our friends at Bianco-Bianco by the name of Escape from Dr. Ichie's Factory, another gem in the Dr. Ichie series. The story's a familiar one: you wake up in the middle of an odd factory building, and you find a note from the culprit, Dr. Ichie, telling you that you have to solve some puzzles to escape from it.
Action, adventure, and painful, spiky death can all be yours in Chup, a new platformer from Tomas Pettersson. With a retro vibe and an intensely charismatic star, Chup offers a tricky jumping adventure that would make Mario proud.
A space-themed mixture of Time4Cat and Replica. Your hyper-drive has malfunctioned, and deadly replicas of your ship are popping out of a wormhole behind you, retracing your path. They only move when you do, but you still have to travel fast to collect the research from nearby planets that will allow you to escape.
Despite the title, there's no water falling from the sky in Nitrome's new game — only little bunny-like creatures. Help them fly like little floppy-eared helicopters past electrified birds and other hazards to rest on the targets below.
New features included in Stunt Pilot 2: A level editor. Bonus levels where you follow a curvy line that catches on fire if you're good enough. Cannons that shoot coins for you to catch in mid-air. Hollywood explosions that bring hot-air balloons and racing pylons crashing down around you. Yeah, this game rules.
Fun to play and play to say, ChuckaBOOM is a game from Ninja Doodle that makes throwing bombs into light entertainment! The object of each level is to clear a target number of stars, using bombs that go off three (short) seconds after you fling them.
Melon Lacquer. Mellifluous Lymphocytes. Marimba Lion. Just what, exactly, does #07 ML stand for? Anyway, this is another high-quality escape-the-room game from consistently excellent Japanese designer 58 Works, who also made Cottage and Escape from Test Kitchen 2.
Tower of Greed is a game about the banker's favorite deadly sin, in the form of an aggressively retro, fast-moving platformer. Will you exit the tower with untold riches? Or will you be betrayed by your own avarice? If your fingers are nimble enough, let's find out!
In Learn to Fly, you play as a penguin who looked himself up on Kiwipedia and took the whole "flightless bird" comment as a mortal insult. So he decides that he's going to learn to fly, presumably so he can visit whoever wrote that and give them a stern talking to. Fly high, long, and far to gain money and upgrade your penguin with gliders and rockets. And when you're done, try playing again to see if you can do it faster.
One man's trash is another man's treasure. We all have that one thing that's important to us; that one tiny, seemingly inconsequential thing that's somehow special. The Blue Beanie is grand adventure in a lilliputian package about just such an item, and one little hero's quest to bring it safely home.
A gorgeous puzzle game with an impeccable user interface, Minim sets the standard for browser-based casual games. Minimize molecules to nothingness by combining atoms with digits on them, according to a few simple rules. Despite the references to chemistry and some light math, Minim isn't an educational game. It's more like a comforting hug followed by a knuckle sandwich.
Toys is a compact, high-quality escape game that, if not exactly groundbreaking, is certainly enjoyable. A prominent feature of one of the game's puzzles is the usage of stereograms, a form of optical illusion in which a three-dimensional image is hidden within a two-dimensional picture. All in all, a high-quality production.
Miracle Witch is the bright, fast, colorful, hard-as-nails story of cute little witch Polfe and her quest to defeat the evil king Yeah Walusa, which is the best name for an evil king ever. Find secret treasures, slay monstrous bosses, solve obscure puzzles. Like a mouse-controlled Legend of Zelda,
How hard could building a bridge be? In a game where you have to retrieve an elephant from a distant island, the answer may surprise you. Cargo Bridge asks you to engineer a sturdy path for your movers as they transport crates, safes, and yes, elephants.
Pariboro is Tonypa's latest endeavour into the world of tile-based games of skill and luck. Forty tiles of three colors lie on the grid before you, and your job is to clear as many tiles as you can, before the random domino-generator produces one you can't match. Bonus: having a Casual Gameplay account saves your progress!
If a three-year-old or a five-year-old were to make their own platform game, Androkids 2 is exactly what it would look like. If you never quite got over collecting coins and jumping on the bad guys, this is definitely right up your alley. Kid-tested and approved.
Rougoku falls into the category of more "realistic" escape games, those that concentrate in large part upon collecting and using items in practical ways (with, of course, a few genuine puzzles thrown in). It is a solid room escape game from a solid developer, familiar and proven with games like this.
Prince Peep is the last of the Whistle Knights, who have guarded the legendary Arrow of Time for generations against all invaders. Help Peep keep the Arrow safe in the new defense title from Super Flash Bros: The Arrow of Time.
Fans of Samantha Swift's previous caper have cause to rejoice. Samantha Swift and the Golden Touch, the newest hidden object adventure in the franchise, offers a compelling combination of well-integrated mini-games and adventure-style item puzzles that do an excellent job of keeping the game feeling fresh throughout.
Put Paper Mario and Tim Burton in a blender and you get Paper Moon, a smooth, sophisticated example of how to integrate design and mechanics into a masterful casual game. It's a platformer with a twist, and with enough style and depth to keep you coming back for more.
Playing equal parts as a maze, a hide-and-seek game and a guessing game, the idea of Neon Maze is to run around a glowing labyrinth in your little blur-pod, changing colours to open up new areas, while attempting to find the exit platform. The graphical presentation and surprisingly intricate level design make this one a winner.
Finally we find out why we have been trapped in so many different rooms in the Great Escape series by Mateusz Skutnik and the Pastel Games crew. Apparently there have been ghosts at every turn, slamming doors and locking us in various areas of the house, and now it's up to you do deal with those ghosts, once and for all. The Great House Escape takes the locale from each of the six previous installments, plus hallways connecting them all, and turns them into one big final "great escape" game.
Loom Blend is another room escape game from Place of Light, who previously brought us Room Fake, Room Bath, Room Marine, and Loom Above. The game's scenario is nothing new: you are in a room filled with diabolical puzzles and more than a few secrets, and must employ all of your wits to escape. A simple premise, but one that Place of Light does very well.
Desktop TD Pro is a substantial new update to one of the grandfathers of tower defense, with new shiny graphics and menacing new "hopper" and "decoy" creeps. With the new Scenarios, Sprint Mode, and a completely customizable Sandbox Mode, this is a strong contender for Best Tower Defense Game Ever.
In the experimental game Gray, you are a white or black androgynous person in the midst of a rioting mob, filled with people of the opposite shade. Your goal is to talk to the people who are highlighted and attempt to convert them to your point of view. It's amazing how accurately such a simple little game can hold a mirror up to modern political discourse.
Windosill is the story of a toy car, a little blue box with wheels and a smokestack, who one day dares to journey outside of its confining storage shelf. You, armed with the power to touch, carry, poke, prod, and experiment, will lead the toy through a cool blue dream presented in stages, a series of shadow-boxes full of curious characters and structures, each with its own puzzle to be solved.
This is a story of pop-up people who live in pop-up houses next to pop-up castles and pop-up trees. Your goal is to make the right side of this picture-book world into a mirror image of the left side. Headspin Storybook combines fabulous graphics with a creative twist on the "spot the difference" genre, and you'll want to keep playing it till the very end.
Look! Off in the horizon! Ships with flags with skulls and crossbones! And tons of peg-legged men hobbling right this way! We've got pirates on our hands, and the need to defend against them! Pirate Defense is Hero Interactive's (Storm Winds, Bubble Tanks) take on tower defense games, with a steep slant toward traps and chain reactions. Give those pirates the worst day of their pillaging life.
Snake Ball is a game of mouse skill, in which you, the snake, must quickly score points by bouncing and trapping balls into a pit with your body. Green balls are healthy but score low, while red balls score big but slowly drive your snake insane. An insane snake is a disturbing sight, I'll tell you what.
Can you feel it? That buzzing in the air? That's the feeling of the excitement of a new Nitrome tingling at your senses. Or someone just stuck a fork in the microwave, but it's more likely the former. Power Up is a physics-based puzzler with a high-voltage bolt of challenging fun that lasts for up to 32 levels.
G-Sensor is a solid, well-plotted and very enjoyable escape-the-room game from Japanese developer HILG. You, as a nameless business-person, have checked into the mysterious Uncle Boo's Hotel, and now you can't get out!
Puzzle Defence is a charming mash-up of the SameGame play mechanic with RPG elements. Scary, adorable monsters are attacking your castle, and the only way to defend yourself is to match them together, puzzle/strategy-style. You just want to hug this game and tousle its hair.
Tantrix is a friendly one-player version of the 1988 board game by Mike McManaway, a game that may not have the renown of Scrabble or chess, but still attracts devoted players for annual tournaments. Try to form loops of a single color out of specially-designed hexagonal tiles, in either a puzzle mode or the more improvisational Solitaire mode.
Planet Basher is a blast to play. It's like a gigantic, customizable pachinko machine in space. Your goal is to buy planets and position them so that your rockets bounce off of them long enough to collect the required 200 stars in one round. How many rounds will it take you?
Bipole is a physics-heavy spin-cycle of a puzzler. The goal is simple: annihilate all the cute, smiling particles by colliding them with particles of the opposite charge, taking advantage of gravity and electrostatic attraction/repulsion to gain momentum.
Acting as a prequel to the original, Gemcraft Zero tells the story of a wizard who has become so entangled in his search for the fabled Gem of Eternity that his colleagues have cast him out. Any fan of tower defense games shouldn't miss this one, but even those who may not normally be interested in them should at least give it a try.
How cute can you take it? If your answer is merely "pretty darn cute", that won't be enough. Even your cursor becomes pudgy and extra cuddly as you set out to help the little Euwins return home. Build bridges across 70 levels worth of waterways in Bridgecraft!
Jmtb02 brings us a cheerfully nihilistic look at traffic, in the form of a fast-paced, fun little reflex-tester. Click on the stop-lights to turn them on or off, allowing cars, buses, and semi-trailers to pass through intersections safely. Can you beat all 20 levels, oh Invisible Sky-bound Weaver of the Woof and Warp of Interlocking Automobiles? Or will the jabbering banjo music drive you insane first?
In this single-player Flash implementation of the card game Sevens, you play a stone cactus, locked in an endless death-match with a room full of other stone cacti, hoping to prolong the sweet breath of life for a few more rounds before The Claw hauls you off to the Great Gravel-Maker in the Sky. No, really.
Loom above is the latest room escape game from Place of Light, one of our favorite room escape game developers. It's not nearly as long or challenging as previous releases we've seen by this developer, and there are far fewer items to find. The puzzles are all fairly straightforward and the game is a joy to play because of how well everything fits together. See for yourself.
Scarygirl is a huge (hours long) and absolutely stunning platform game just released today by a collaboration of companies, including art direction by concept creator, Nathan Jurevicius, an Australian-born artist now living in Toronto, Ontario. Although currently marred by gameplay issues causing player frustration, it is without a doubt one of the most visually appealing browser-based experiences we have ever seen.
Using proprietary physics simulation technology, Collider lets you in on all the particle-smashing action you can handle! Simply annihilate all the charged particles by crashing the positive ones into the negative ones in this gritty physics-based puzzler.
Prizma Puzzle is a new tile-based puzzler by Silengames, strong on aesthetics and brimming with potential. Using your mouse, your job is to form a path of light beams from a source of your choice to all of the pyramid-shaped goals. It's a bit on the easy side, but the snazzy package and a variety of prism tiles make it interesting.
Zerosum is an intense variation on match-3 puzzles, with strict policies on winning and losing but vast opportunities for strategy. Easy to learn, hard to master. Make matches by adding adjacent numbers together, but make sure you don't run out of digits to replace them! It's brain candy, once you get into it, like defusing a bomb constructed by an six-year-old arch-villain.
These puzzles are the same type of chess mind-benders that still appear in some newspapers next to the word jumble and bridge game brainteasers. Given an endgame position consisting of a few pieces, try to produce checkmate in a given number of moves. The difficulty curve eases you in gradually, and if you're good enough, you can tackle 650 unique puzzles. Regardless of your Elo rating, you'll find a challenge that will suit you with MateMaster.
Bart Bonte knows that at the end of the day, sometimes the simplest rewards are the sweetest. Me and the Key is a series of mini-games that all have the same end — getting the titular key. That's right. There's no zombies, no spaceships, no power-ups. Just you and a slowly evolving set of puzzles designed to test your common sense, and your ability to think outside the box.
In ooPixel's brilliant new action game Escape the Red Giant, the sun is about to die, and you have to keep yourself alive for as long as possible by jumping from one asteroid to the next. Between the detailed physics engine and the tight gameplay, you may find yourself addicted without realizing it.
Tower Core is another shining star from John Feltham, the author of the previous "Core" series of games. It continues the story line established in Soul Core without a hitch, and even provides a recap accessible from the main menu. An alien being has decided to attack Earth while it was vulnerable. We can't let this happen. Unfortunately, the planet's defense systems are powered by a special Power Core Deluxe which someone forgot to charge before leaving.
Though it may appear to be just a slightly more colorful clone of Loops of Zen,, Colourshift starts to separate itself when you have to start blending colors together. With a gentle learning curve, plenty of customizable options, and a page of unlockable achievements, Colourshift may just take you by surprise.
A great game for fans of quirky physics puzzles, Civiballs asks you to drop colored orbs into the corresponding urns. Most orbs begin the level suspended in the air by chains and ropes. Your only method of interaction is to cut those cords, and let physics handle the rest, as the civiballs bounce and roll through a network of ramps and obstacles to reach their home.
The latest wacky puzzle from Nitrome, Rustyard has you indirectly leading a junkyard robot with a striking resemblance to Wall-E. You cannot control the movements of the machine, but you can manipulate the environment with its buttons and switches and trolley tracks. Get the robot to the generator and charge up! Bzzzap!
Redstar Fall is a short but wonderfully executed and atmospheric entry in the physics-based stacking/unstacking genre. you begin each level with a pile of oddly-shaped blocks sitting on an island floating in the sky. Click on a block and it vanishes, allowing everything above to shift with the pull of gravity. Your goal is to ease the red star down so it comes to rest on the island.
The sixth installment of Mateusz Skutnik's Great Escape series. By now you should know what to expect; beatiful cartoony backgrounds, quirky music, and improbable contraptions you must build to make your unlikely escape. Oh, and bats. Maybe you weren't expecting the bats, but they're in there too.
Neptune is quite different from GUMP's previous room-escape games. It doesn't begin with an interesting introductory movie in which a pink-haired character does not encounter a huge building and doesn't decide to enter it, not passing an enigmatic red ladies' shoe that isn't resting on the ground outside.
There's delicious candy out there for those brave enough to mine it. Spin a giant orb made of coloured candy blocks to make the incoming bullets strike the blocks of your choice. But be careful you don't accidentally let the bullets strike the candy core! There may not be a lot of replayability or depth in Gregory Weir's Sugarcore, but there is a surprising amount of charm and cheek, and plenty of fast-paced puzzle blasting. Treating yourself to this candy won't make you feel guilty.
Zachtronics Industries has come up with a new "Game for Engineers", and given its central concept you'd think playing it would blow up the space-time continuum. It's a computer game about programming computer chips. Though it may take some time to grasp its central concepts, Kohctpyktop: Engineer of the People is a rich and rewarding puzzle game.
Assembler 3, by Bryce Summer, is a game about TWITCHING RAGE or to be more specific, a physics-based puzzle game with 44 levels, in which you must carefully position green objects within their equally green outlines. Maddening and compelling, Assembler 3 is sure to scratch your itch for GRAAAAAAAGH JUST STAY ON THE STUPID WEDGE YOU STUPID CRATE! MRAAAAAAAGH!!!
Drift Runners is a rip-roaring overhead racer from developer Long Animals, with no brakes, a variety of achievements and a hectic pace. Due to the emphasis on drifting, you don't carve the turns so much as shred them. It gets the controls right, it looks pretty, it makes crashing sounds at all the right times, and it rewards you for breaking stuff. Give it a spin.
Quaint room is a relatively short and easy room escape game, but it is also impressively polished and well-made. The graphics are aesthetically pleasing in a tidy sort of way, and the interface is completely smooth and user-friendly. So, take a break. Relax, step back a few years and enjoy this lovely example of classic Japanese gaming goodness.
The graphic presentation is fairly simple, but this is a deceptively deep Dr. Mario-style puzzler with a unique color-matching mechanic. Whenever you make a match, you leave behind a ball of a new color, and your job is to work your way up to the top of the rainbow scale. This adds a lot more gameplay dimension than you'd expect, and once you get into it, you will be hooked, trying to make that last couple of levels. Definitely give Combine a chance.
Your job in Nosobow, the newest creation from Tonypa, is to eliminate the non-matching tiles from the screen, while clicking a member of a pair puts you in jeopardy of losing the game. Behind the brilliantly simple design lies a intricate psychological game of self-pacing and concentration that will have you groaning in anguish every time you have to start back at square one.
A sequel to Open Doors, one of the most interesting puzzle games of 2008, has arrived, with an arresting makeover and just the right amount of extra spice. Open Doors 2 features compact puzzles with just the right number of new doors and mechanical gizmos. With a sparkling presentation and superb level design, this is one of the best puzzlers we've seen so far this year.
GlueFO 2.0, from the irRegular creators of Sproing Reloaded, has a simple premise: what if the heroic ship in Asteroids couldn't afford ammunition? What if the global recession were in fact universal, and the only way you could afford to bust space rocks was by sticking drifting pebbles to your hull, and then spraying them at the asteroids like deadly gravel?
What could be better than a game based on explosions? The goal is to get the yellow outlined cube to the bottom of the screen, and the only way to do it is by placing bombs in various locations and letting physics do the rest. The interesting part is how you can time the bombs to move blocks around the screen, one explosion after another.
Have you been wandering around in a haze since the first Perfect Balance, your heart crying out for the opportunity to wedge more things together? Do you miss the wedging like a starving shark misses bluefish? Then Perfect Balance: New Trials is here to offer you sweet, sweet, soul-crushing relief, in the form of 30 more levels of tough block stacking.
The vikings and the ice that trapped them have returned in an expansion on Nitrome's original physics-based puzzle game, Ice Breaker. Ice Breaker The Red Clan introduces lots of new obstacles to deal with strewn about an all-new set of levels. Vikings are trapped in the ice, walled-in by rock, or otherwise prevented from reaching the ship. Using your cursor as a cutting tool, it's your job to set them free. Manipulate each environment to provide a clear path from viking to ship and carve your way through 40 brand-new levels.
Another Room, by Japanese designer Mofuya, is a sweet, semi-short example of classic point-and-click that is executed with near-perfect competence. The game's puzzles are simple but well-crafted; while not wildly creative or different, they nonetheless offer a satisfying variety of problems to tackle. The room's neat, somewhat subdued appearance is pleasing to the eye and makes it simple to navigate the surroundings.
You remember Labyrinth, the board game where you turn knobs to roll a little steel ball to the exit, without hitting any holes along the way? Tilt is an example of the wooden labyrinth in 3D digital form, and an excellent one it is, too. Of course, one of the advantages of a digital version is the fact that the maze configuration does not have to stay static, and it certainly doesn't here. There are 66 different levels, many of them devilishly hard.
Hex Empire is a casual turn-based strategy war game, occupying a comfortable spot between the simplicity of Risk and the number crunching of the Avalon Hill-style board games that inspired the whole soldiers-on-hexagons thing. It lets you jump right into battle without much fuss, and offers enough tactical depth to be addictive even after several wars have ended. A bit of a treat, really.
Ever play Crack the Whip? The game where you hold hands with people in a line and then yank them around until someone loses hold of their neighbor's hand? Gen is a physics game with the same whippy slingshotty action, set in the world of microbiology. Maneuvering your little yellow cells to the big blue cell—without letting them get eaten by the red cells—will keep you swimming happily around in the petri dish for a while.