Normally, if someone tells you to have a blast, it's to wish you well and hope that you have a great time. Things are somewhat different, however, at your new job in the Bomb Squad Academy. As a matter of fact, your very occupation is the antithesis of making things go boom. Your objective is to successfully diffuse electrical circuits hooked up to a live (virtual, fortunately!) bomb and disable them, often with a timer running in the background. You'll have several instruments to aid you in your task, including wire cutters and the ability to flip switches thus controlling the path of electrical circuits.
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Out of a bunch of visual novels I've checked out recently, Cautionary Tale is probably one had some of the most work and love poured into it. Despite the name, there are actually three stories contained within this game, and quite honestly, any of the three could stand on their own merit as an independent game. These narratives are as follows. First, when Alex Kartha is given a full scholarship to attend a prestigious boarding school, she hopes she can finally leave behind the things that have haunted her ever since a fatal car accident involving her and her parents. Second is what seems an ordinary winter day, with Eli about to confess to his childhood crush. And finally, you'll experience "The Flood," the story of a girl about to become a woman about to turn eighteen, having vivid nightmares of the apparent impending doom of becoming an adult.
There's no time for an explanation. Hop in the car with a complete stranger and have him gun it. You're in too much pain for anything else as the melancholy of it all comes crashing down on your heads, like a tarp thrown suddenly over the world. Not a lot seems clear at the outsight of this venture other than the beginning of the end is settings in, as both of your eyes droop with the need for sleep. The gas in the car is only going to last for so long and inevitably, it seems the car will come to a stop at some point. In the meantime, the only question is how much you want to confide in your newfound partner, and whether you will survive the upcoming night.
Did you know you can easily become part of the Top Hat Club? You just need to find a top hat first. Welcome to the most sophisticated club of men that engage in smart talk and drink expensive liquors. Welcome to, the Top Hat Club. We don't have a lot of requirements, you don't have to be rich, you don't need to have a high status, you don't need to be of royalty. Everyone can become a member of our club. Everyone you say? Yes indeed, every person that wants to be part of the Top Hat Club can become a member. We only have one requirement, just a little thing you need to have for you to enter the club. That little thing? A Top Hat.
You wake up the same way as you have for as many days as you can remember: behind bars, locked away from your family. It's just another day, and it is time for you to rise and shine. There's work to be done, even as you trudge through the slow, somber melancholy of prison life. One day, though, you have a sudden urge to do something different. It seems innocent enough: you want to give a teddy bear to your daughter. There's only one small thing you must do to get there: break out of prison first!
A few months back in the good old days of 2017, I reviewed Yûrei Station, with not only its unique take on the style of narrative driven by beautiful hand-painted scenery, but also as a project accomplished with the help of brilliant young artists. Today it is a pleasure to share another installment in the same spirit of collaboration between adult coders and budding artists. But don't think Atelier Sentô simply rehashed things - this time, you'll explore a pair of adventures in the Coral Cove, and find that although the story is completely new and fresh, the tale is no less magical. A boy lays lazily in the sand next to a cat, with a set of colored pencils, a book, and an unbounded imagination. When you click on it, though, he'll eagerly sit up and show you the world he has created through pictures.
Now and then a puzzle game emerges that feels like a breath of fresh air. In the case of Sinkr, a 2D puzzle game by Wahler Digital, this is achieved largely through the minimalist design of the game's visuals and the originality of its mechanics. The game starts you off with a deceivingly simple task: guide the pucks home to their circular zones. To do this, you are given an array of hooks that you pull along in a set direction by winding a winch-like hexagon. Simply click and hold the hexagon to set the hooks in motion, using the grid in the background as a positioning guide if needed. The introductory levels are a breeze but things quickly become a bit more thought-intensive as new mechanics are added and combined in interesting ways.
Perhaps the word "mind-bending" is bandied about a bit too much when it comes to puzzle games. Nevertheless, I have the feeling that Nusan's Fragments of Euclid might be as worthy of the accolade as any other contender.
If you're not familiar with Euclid, he was a Greek mathematician known for being the founder of geometry. And boy, there is quite a bit of it in this twisted world of staircases and all sorts of geometric patterns that fold back on themselves. The game starts you off in a simple tutorial to introduce you to the machinations of this new geometric world. Despite there being little color and mostly shades of gray other than the occasional blue object that you can maneuver, the world is anything but dull.
Made for the Movie Game Jam 2018, Temple Escape is an action platformer based upon Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. You're an adventurer that resembles Indy, but lacking the whip, and you have to collect treasures in the form of coins and gems, dodge enemies and find your way to the end of each level. The overal quality reminds me a lot of some old DOS games like Dangerous Dave, where you basically have to do the same thing, collect treasures and reach the end of the level.
You come to your senses in some sort of ancient temple, shortly after being told you've been asleep too long and you need to wake up and leave the place (a bit cliché, I know, but stick with me here!). Ruins surround you, and you don't quite remember where you are or what you're doing here. You are a small, humanoid type creature with a small light near your head - at least, it appears to be your head - as what will sometimes be the only light to guide your way. There don't seem to be others around, so you may well be taking your journey in solitude. There are scratchings in a form resembling hieroglyphics around you that you can seem to make sense of. Will they guide you on a path to enlightenment or just lead you on a wild goose chase?
Mimi's Delivery Dash is the winner of this years Movie Game Jam! And how can it not be? It's based upon the anime Kiki's Delivery Service and the premise of the game is to collect orders and deliver them to people, using your broom. Yes, you've read that right, you're a little delivery witch and you have to fly up to people waving at you, grab their item, and fly to another person that wants that item. That way you will earn money (and if you're fast enough a bonus) which is your score. Oh, and you only have 3 minutes to get the highest score you can.
Long time ago we met little black dwarf with red pointy cap in charming little adventure Shy Dwarf (Plachý trpaslík) by Jaromír Plachý. Nine years later the same designer introduces another black creature in pointy cap, but fluffier and definitely not shy! His name is Chuchel, has a big mouth and isn't afraid to use it - it's yelling and singing, jumping and running around and making faces like slapstick entertainer - and slapstick film is the genre which the game resembles a lot, it's crazy and funny comedy composed of sketches.
Amanita Design's CHUCHEL is not one big adventure like Machinarium, the storyline is very simple. Chuchel loves cherries, d̶e̶u̶s̶ manus ex machina tears his cherry from his mouth and frustrated Chuchel is trying to get it again and again...and repeatedly loses it, being followed or outrun by Kekel, who apparently loves cherries too and in their Tom and Jerry-like relationship is the smaller (and sneakier) one.
Anyone who has worked in hospitality or seen a certain Wes Anderson film knows that being a lobby boy just isn't easy. The hotel has to be kept in tip top shape, the guests are always in need of a room service delivery, and foreign government agents are smuggling secrets across the border! All in a day's work for our petite protagonist. It's your first shift at the extravagant Maquisard Hotel and you hardly have time to get acquainted with your duties before a masked revolutionary tunnels through your bedroom floor and tasks you with identifying a government agent hiding among the hotel's five valued guests. The catch? You have only three days to catch the spy, so act quickly!
Who recalls the story of King Midas? He who turned everything to gold when he touched it. The Curse of Greed has a thing like that in common, as you jump over platforms in a world filled with traps like spikes and lasers. All around this place are scattered coins, coins you can pick up, coins you want to pick up, because that's what you do in platform style games like this. Coins give you a higher score, right? Well, not this time. In this game your health bar fills up with gold, every time you pick up a coin and that means two things, one your health depletes and two once your health bar is filled to the brim with gold, you'll turn into gold and it's game over.
Suspended from time and space as we know it, will you be able to make sense of it all? Welcome to Submachine Universe, an innovative Mateusz Skutnik endeavor joining a new gaming experience with the well-known, well-loved series. Set in iconic Submachine style, players are led on a scavenger hunt-esque adventure spanning various dimensions - some old, some new, and some with a twist.
At the time of its initial launch in 2010, Submachine Universe's distinction was being one of the only massively singleplayer online (MSO) games available. And despite its conversion in late 2017 to "free HD downloadable," Skutnik successfully maintained the aura of vastness and exploration that comes with MSOs.
Good fortune (and fun!) will come to those who dig through the archives.