The Big Old Tree that Dreams came into our lives a few years ago, unfolding the fantastic universe of the Forest Bed, and telling the story of one character, Myosotis, The Trader of Stories. With Bell's Heart it got our curiosity, giving us a great and unique adventure. With A Grain Of Truth it got our attention, giving us some crumbs about that universe, and creating questions that should be answered. And now the Rudowski brothers brought up a new game that might answer some questions, this time unraveling the story of The Trader of Stories herself from its very beginning.
Sadly, you opened your eyes today and once again, you are still alive, but barely. At least, that is how sadistically minded, eternal pessimist detective Dregg Morriss might put it. For once, he only wanted to have a decent birthday. The game opens with a flash-forward of him and the Crown Prince of Scion, one of the kingdoms in the game, laying on the floor soaked in blood and left to die.
Omnichronic is a clever point and click game from Jonas Nilsson that gives you everything you'd expect from a Pirate's tale. Buried treasure. Swashbuckling. Backstabbing. Time travel. Yes you heard me correctly, time travelling pirates. Throw in some Dwarves and essentially that makes it 'Time Bandits - The Game' and who wouldn't want to play that!
Who doesn't like a relaxing game of Minesweeper? Between us, it's one of the best games to relax
with, and not only because you get it on almost every computer ever, and is what I mainly play when the internet is down... Back to our subject, Minesweeper is a very popular game, and it got a couple of variations (my favorite among them is Mamono Sweeper). In the last week I found another interesting variant of Minesweeper, called Mine of Sight, by ZBlip.
Here at Jay Is Games we like our games a little strange and wacky, and Jake Hollands delivers that in spades with his offbeat sci-fi incremental game Spaceplan. You find yourself adrift in space with most of your systems out of commission, not sure what's going on or even where you are. It's up to you to get those systems repaired, find out what the heck is going on and try to sort it out. By clicking, of course! Spaceplan is a title that's tough to feature in a review without giving too much away, because so much of it's about learning about your situation and developing innovative — alright, utterly outlandish — ways to resolve it all. Spaceplan is fairly brief, something you can finish in a day or so — rather than something that stays around in a browser tab somewhere until you're ready to start charging rent — and it has plenty of ingenuity and creativity (along with a couple of naughty words, which we should probably alert you to). Unlike the vast majority of incrementals in which you click to buy things which give you bonuses and which only exist conceptually, here Jake has actually implemented them in the game as the other genres do and the results are palpable and a major improvement to the gaming experience. Even your craft's console is whimsically implemented, with vital functions designated things like, 'Word Outputter', 'Planet Looker', and 'Fact Holder'.
There's all the ingredients for a good robot heist. You have switches, lasers, guard robots, valuable loot, two endings, and robots.
Val (alias: Vertibot), a robot who can only push things vertically, has plans for the ultimate heist. A heist so big that not even the master of vertical pushing can do it alone. Val needs Harry (alias: Horibot), a robot who can only push things horizontally, in order to pull it off.
Arrow keys move, pressing x or space will switch bots (the activated bot will have a red light in the middle), r resets the level, and z rewinds time. You're close to the end of a level only to push a block too far? Pressing z undoes your mistake, so you don't have to redo the whole level!
Some of the larger levels really shrink the graphics on screen, but never to the extent that I couldn't tell what was going on.
[Note: Please be aware that this game deals with subject matter some may find upsetting.]
A Normal Lost Phone might possibly be the most immediately suspicious thing to call a phone, but here it's the title of this intriguing interactive narrative, created by the team calling themselves Accidental Queens for Global Game Jam 2016 in France, where you must try to figure out what happened to the phone's owner, a young man named Sam. You interact with the phone as you would any smart device, by clicking on icons and dragging the screen to scroll, and you'll need to search through old messages, calendar events, and more to find out the truth, as well as how to unlock certain functions. A Normal Lost Phone is largely a simple, personal narrative that will connect more with some than others, but one told in a creative way.
Before you fire up Chocolala Studio's Chocolate Shop Escape, I'm going to need you to clamp down tight on your sweet tooth, because otherwise you're never going to escape from here. As the title implies, you've been locked inside a small, trendy chocolate shop, and to find a way out, you'll need to solve some puzzles and gather some items, and resist the urge to lay underneath the chocolate fountain once you get it going. There's no changing cursor to show what's interactive, but the design is clean enough that you shouldn't need one. Just click on things around the room, and pay attention to your surroundings... even if a clue seems to be sitting right out in plain view, it might need a second look to make sure you're using it correctly. Chocolate Shop Escape is short, sweet, and just clever enough to make it a nice, light treat for escape fans. Make sure you have everything before you go!
Made in just three days for Ludum Dare, Sort the Court! by graebor, Amy Gerardy, and Bogdan Rybak is a simple sim about a king making all the hard choices to raise your kingdom to a population of 250 by presiding over the decisions people bring to you each day, though you can only answer Yes or No (type [Y] or [N]) to each of them, and you won't always know the consequences right away. Sometimes it might be as simple as loaning some cash to a fisherman, while others might have you deciding whether to potentially gamble away some souls for the chance at some extra cash. Decisions can impact your money, population, and happiness positively or negatively, and with 37 different characters and over 150 decisions, Sort the Court! is extremely charming with its cute art filled with lovely little touches and surprises. Help your kingdom grow, and check out the official Ludum Dare 34 page for Sort the Court! to vote!
After a space anomaly you, Captain Welmu for the Spacefleet, end up on the far side of the galaxy all alone with only your A.I unit to keep you company. On your way to returning home you run into a weak signal for help coming from a planet called Hox. Decided to appease your curiosity you go down to see if you can help, only, of course, to end up getting into your own predicament. Can you find a way to get off the planet or find who needs your help or maybe find a way to kill two birds with one stone? The Captain is just a small demo of the much larger planned game by SysiacGames. But if the game is anything like this demo, we'll all be anxiously awaiting the final product. This point-and-click adventure game feels like a teaser for something big and great by being something small, but great. With three different endings and an intro to the kind of gameplay and characters we can expect to see in the future project it still feels like a game on its own.
These little friends are inseparable. They literally light up each other's world. But when their plain of existences holds some precarious situations they have to use each other to make it through together. Literally, as both of them have major faults that only the other can make up for. In Undivided, an absolutely adorable puzzle game, there are two heroes, one green who can only move left and right with the [arrow keys], and one who is blue that can only move up with [W] and down with [S]. Thankfully neither of them are above taking a little tough love and will allow the other to push them towards the warmly glowing orange squares that is their exit. It's meant to be played with two players and a different experience is promised if you do, but if you are alone for the time being this game is more than enjoyable to play by yourself. These brightly colored heroes have enough friendship to go around. Made by a group of MFA students at USC's Interactive Media & Games Division, Undivided may not be the most challenging or the most advanced game in the puzzle genre but it's surely one of the cutest.
Randall Munroe's webcomic xkcd has been around for well over a decade, touching on everything from pop culture to science, love, and beyond, and it's garnered a pretty huge audience. To celebrate the launch of his new book, Thing Explainer, Randall Munroe has released Hoverboard, a very simple little platformer where you gather coins from a small playfield and drop them in a box. The end!... or is it?! Using the [WASD] or [arrow] keys to move and jump, you'll find your hoverboard can jump an infinite number of times and take you beyond the designated play area to explore a surprisingly huge black and white world with secrets aplenty. There's not much to do other than take in the sights and collect more coins, but with so much to find, all rendered in a simple but lovely black-and-white stickman style, Hoverboard is worth a romp as a great piece of interactive art full of secrets and references to everything under the sun.
It's a story as old as time itself: Boy finds sword. Boy stabs monster with sword. Boy rescues girl. Boy and girl go out for coffee or something. But what if things happen in the wrong order? What if the boy accidentally stabs the girl, or trips on the sword while walking hand-in-hand together? What if the monster reaches the girl first, accidentally scorching her in the process? What if the boy tries to stab the monster, but finds he has no sword? (Hint: scorching?) Such are the scenarios considered by Tiled Quest, an HTML5 sliding block puzzle game developed by Team Doa Ibu, made up of Alif, Rosanqodrian, Novel Apriaji, Rino Adi, and Anto Febian! Visit the creator's site at Tempa Labs!
If you're looking for rapid-fire, cute, point-and-click puzzle goodness, Ninjadoodle's name should be on your short list, and they're serving up another helping with Lightybulb 2, where, just like the original game, you're trying to figure out how to make the lightbulb in each level light up. Click on things to interact, but also try to drag objects around... you never know what might happen. The levels may look similar, but you'll have to solve them in a variety of different ways... math, deciphering codes, or even just good ol' process of elimination. If you like your puzzle games aggressively cute with a bouncy soundtrack, then Lightybulb 2 is probably a bright idea. Zing!
Good fortune (and fun!) will come to those who dig through the archives.