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.
These days, there seem to be robots for almost everything. So why not outsource a robot to a difficult, complicated, and very nuanced task. That's right, you've conscripted your favorite robot friend, Chip, to simulate going on a date with you!
There's a saying that all's fair in love and war, but what about cheating? Oh no, not the cheating on your lover kind, but cheating the system! After all, in Practice Run, your sole objective should you choose to accept it, is the accumulation of Romance Points. Perform well, and you will score points! Perform badly, however (like, not taking a shower in three days), and watch your score take a tumble.
The Adventures of Elena Temple, what's in a name. You're playing as Elena, an archeologist, or maybe simply a treasure hunter, that's exploring a temple which kind of feels like a forbidden and hidden sacred place. The temple is filled with traps, blocks that break when you step on them, snakes and giant bats. No worries though, Elena is armed with her trusty gun. A gun that can only hold two bullets at the time, but there's extra bullets scattered throughout the temple so you will never run out. Now the fun thing is that you have to use those bullets to solve puzzles. Yes, every room in this temple has some sort of obstacle that you have to conquer, it can involve disappearing platforms on which you have to jump on to get to higher grounds, or it can simply be because snakes are blocking your path forward.
You are a scientist, and the writing is on the wall. The signs are dire and you cannot help but comprehend what is happening. Your island has seen a torrent of rain like you have never seen before, day after day. You've grabbed whatever you can carry and stuffed it into a makeshift boat to seek temporary refuge from your floating prison, to continue to take measurements faithfully until the end. Just as you push off, you're thinking to yourself: surely matters can't get worse?
This is the story of a young girl named Tabitha. Now before you groan in your chair thinking it's going to be some cliché little thing, let me get to the point and inform you that it also involves a mysterious cottage, a terrifying witch, and most notably, a potty-mouthed badger named Colin! In this slightly more adult version of a fairy tale, Tabitha is placed into a snowglobe (a "thing which all witches totally have) in a burst of magic that "no amount of artistry effects could hope to capture in seventy-two hours." There is a nice warm cottage, but as Tabitha's luck would have it, the door is locked firmly shut. Can you find a way in to continue the story?
Welcome to the future of 2017, dudes and dudettes, and it's like, totally rad. Or so you might think if you're freelance detective/police officer Jonathan Murphy P.I. Jonathan spends most of his time casually surfing the 'net catching up on the latest "dank memes," probably more even more so than actually working. It all takes a serious turn (or does it? You paying attention, Jonathan?!) when there's a case of "murder gone deadly" (are there non-deadly murders?) and you're pressed into service alongside a couple of old buddies. Or, as Jon might put it, it's "time to go crime-solve a crime!"
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.
If you're into both puzzle games and mathematics, Pictopix might just be the match made in heaven for you. The premise is simple: start with a grid of a given size, and fill in the tiles according to simple rules. Numbers next to each row and column indicate how many blocks of that row must be filled in, and if there are breaks between streaks of these rows. Each of these puzzles has exactly one solution, and can be determined purely by logic. Once you fill out everything - assuming you've not made any mistakes, which can happen if your powers of deduction slip - it'll complete into a picture as a little bonus. Will you make a tire, a swan, something else? Play Pictopix and watch the puzzles take shape before your eyes!
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?
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.
Pineview is a pleasant, serene town tucked away in the country, safely hidden away from the both the hustle and bustle and the sometimes traumatic events of city life. At least, that's the way it was until a few days ago, when the peaceful tranquility was shattered by a double shooting. A now not-so-happily ever after couple lay brutally murdered in their home, bullet wounds readily apparent on both their bodies. You've been called in to help investigate the scene and get to the bottom of it, but oddly enough, the police and detectives already there seemed convinced that everything is all wrapped up. Even as you have your doubts and begin to look at things - the scene of the crime, the witnesses, the evidence - more carefully, it seems the local police are adamant on the opposite approach, insisting that what happened is clear and merits no further checking. Do they have a point in that things are sometimes as plain as they seem, or are they a little too concerned with their holiday weekend over a couple of people's lives?
Good fortune (and fun!) will come to those who dig through the archives.