June 2006 Archives

  • Currently 4.5/5
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Rating: 4.5/5 (34 votes)
Comments (26) | Views (3,701)

discojungle.jpgHit the dance floor in this foot-stomping, original new take on the connect-three puzzle genre of casual gameplay, from PixelGo! of Barcelona.

In Disco Jungle, play as a funky blue elephant with a special ability to absorb the color of any dance floor tile and drop it anyplace else. Use it to connect three (3) or more same-color tiles, horizontally and/or vertically, to score points and clear levels. Go after lots of little 3-tile combos, or gather colors into one honking combo for massive pointage. Clear tiles with animals on them for bonus points.

Use the arrow keys for movement [left], [right], [up] and [down]. Press [X] to absorb the color of a tile with the elephant's trunk, swapping it with the one it was carrying. The elephant's ear will show the absorbed color you have to work with.

Connecting three or more tiles removes them from the dance floor temporarily revealing the sound system below. Avoid these holes in the floor by moving around them or jumping over by pressing [Z].

Plenty of power-ups and bonuses for combos keep this game engaging and fun. Later levels introduce security guard rhinoceros that will try to ram you into the speakers. Avoid them for best results.

Analysis: From the very first splash screen that greets you, everything about this game is fun, polished and of commercial quality. The game features a menagerie of adorable zoo animal characters all getting down (and each in its own individual style!) to a soundtrack of phat disco beats. I even found myself bopping up and down in my chair as I played. Great stuff!

PixelGo borrows an element of gameplay from as far back as Atari Video Cube. And while the gameplay is now similar to hundreds of other games, Disco Jungle changes it up and creates a unique game all its own. There's even a two-player mode that can be played either versus or cooperatively.

Truly exceptional art, sound and interface design, these gifted developers are ones to watch out for. "I like it!"

Play Disco Jungle

Cheers to Bass for the link to the game! =)

  • Currently 4.8/5
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Rating: 4.8/5 (84 votes)
Comments (44) | Views (9,381)

gammabros.gifJohnBGamma Bros. is a deliciously slow-paced old-school space shooter created by PixelJam. 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.

The brothers Buzz and Zap Gamma work in a giant space station near Jupiter. Their homes are on Earth, so each day they commute to and from their lab. It's a long trip filled with hazards in the form of strange creatures, enemy ships and careening asteroids. Your task is to guide them home after a long day. Make the trip from Jupiter to Earth while blasting enemies, collecting space coins and taking in the serene atmosphere.

Leaving the Jupiter station you choose one of the brothers to pilot. Buzz, the brother with the wild hair, and Zap, the one in blue, are different in appearance only. Take them out of the airlock and your journey begins. Enemies travel in packs and fly in patterns before settling on the side of the screen. If you don't destroy them as they appear, they'll form a large group that gradually moves toward you, sort of like a horizontal version of Space Invaders. Using the [arrow] keys to move and [WASD] keys to fire in four directions, maneuver your brother through the ships and take them out one by one.

Power-up canisters can be found by defeating enemies or purchased from a fly-by salesman who appears from time to time. Nab items like a double-laser, penetrating shots, or temporary invulnerability. You can also restore some energy to your damaged craft by picking up health canisters. If you take too many hits, your ship bites the dust and leaves you floating in a space suit. If this happens, your brother comes to the rescue. Tag him to switch characters and continue the long journey home.

The best part of Gamma Bros. is the deliberately slow, quiet gameplay. Background music plays only during important parts of the game, leaving the rest of your trip silent except a few sound effects. Surprisingly the slow pace makes Gamma Bros. twice as exciting. Mixing action with the serenity of gently scrolling backgrounds goes a long way for ambiance. Gamma Bros. is proof you don't need fancy video cards and polygons to make an immersing game. Just a good eye for composition.

Play Gamma Bros

Download the free full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the free full version

Thanks to Nikola, Nick and Arthur for letting us know about this one!

(3 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (78) | Views (9,881)

brainstrainer screenshot

A while back I was shown a demonstration of a "perpetual machine" made in Flash and composed of bumpers, kickers and conveyor belts, as well as other contraptions. The technology behind it was being developed by two very talented interactive multimedia professors, Nancy Doubleday and Steve Kurtz, in the IT department at RIT where I was attending graduate school. The purpose was to help fuel the creation of an engineering construction kit of sorts along with the help of Jason Arena, professor in RIT's New Media department, and Jose Rodriguez of JR Visuals. The result of that collaboration is the Brain Strainer, which is now available to play on the Globalspec website.

The objective of this physics-based game is to score enough points to launch the rocket by creating a machine using the objects provided. Any combination and quantity of objects may be used, and the points must be scored before the ball lands on the red launch button.

Simply click on an object from the palette and then click on a grid space to place it there. Use the eraser, or press [space] while clicking, to remove an object.

Choose between three (3) different ball materials: metal, wood, and rubber. The ball will bounce relative to the selected material's real-world physical properties, though there is only subtle differences between them.

Three difficulty levels vary in the quantity and positioning of objects already placed for you, and which cannot be moved. The Novice level allows free reign over all objects except for the starting position of the ball, and the launch button.

Analysis: I love construction kits, especially those involving physics and bouncing balls, and the Brain Strainer does a decent job of tickling that enthusiasm. The physics engine is solid (of course! ;), and yet the frame rate will suffer on slower machines thus making ball movement sluggish, but not unplayable.

Probably one of the best features is the ability to save your machines and send them to friends. To save more than one machine, however, you will have to send the current one to yourself and retrieve the corresponding URL from the email. Not the best implementation, but it works.

Great for a quick and casual diversion, there is certainly plenty here to come back to again and again.

Play Brain Strainer

Post a link to your best machine in the comments for everyone to try. =)

  • Currently 4.7/5
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Rating: 4.7/5 (234 votes)
Comments (134) | Views (44,875)
dicewars.gifDice Wars is a unique new turn-based strategy game from Taro Ito of GameDesign in 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.

The single-player game may be played with up to seven (7) computer opponents, selectable at the game's main menu. Simply choose a number and let the game begin. You always play as violet.

Each turn you may attack any opponent's territory from one of your adjacent territories as long as your territory has more than one (1) die on it; and you may attack as many territories as you wish. Your turn ends when you click the "End Turn" button.

dicewars illustrationThe rules of combat between two adjacent territories are simple (see illustration): all dice on the attacking territory are thrown and the total number of pips are added and compared against the total of throwing all dice from the defending territory. If the attacker's total is greater than the defender's, all attacking dice (minus one) move onto the defender's territory thus capturing it, and the defender dice for that territory are all removed. If the defender's total is greater than or equal to the attacker's total, the attacker loses all but one die for that territory.

No movement of dice is allowed between territories other than by attacking as noted above. At the conclusion of each turn, the greatest number of adjoining territories you have is calculated, and you are awarded a bonus of that number of dice. They are then automatically and randomly placed throughout all of your territories, up to a maximum of eight (8) dice on a single territory.

Analysis: As usual, Ito-san delivers a compelling casual game experience that feels both familiar and unique. It is amazingly simple to pick-up and play and yet difficult to master. The game relies heavily on the luck of the dice (obviously), which may turn some people off, and yet there are definite strategies that emerge as you play to help counter those seemingly random odds.

The game moves pretty quickly, so it may take a game or two to get used to. But play through a couple of games and you'll likely be hooked as I am. And when you finally do conquer all 7 computer opponents, just click the "History" button and sit back and watch the whole game again in instant replay. Sweet!

Dice Wars is an excellent single-player casual game experience that I'd like to see made into a true multiplayer online game.

Play Dice Wars

Looking for a bit more of challenge than the computer AI can give? Try Ryan Dewsbury's multiplayer version of Dice Wars, kdice!!.

(4 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (25) | Views (4,841)
Noahorangutan.jpg From David Thorburn, the fertile mind behind the enormous Teagames site, Orangutwang is a cute and original Flash-based action game. As with most of the other work available on Teagames, Orangutwang manages to blend Thorburn's remarkable physics expertise with simple and intuitive casual gameplay.

Maneuver about and collect all the bananas while avoiding insects by grabbing the orangutan's limbs and attaching them to the rings strewn about the stage. The orangutan can hang with both his hands and his feet, which can be helpful in tight spots. He sways and stretches like a fat rubber band crossed with a water balloon and, as a result, have a soft touch is just as important as grabbing the right ring. At times it may even be necessary to hold onto three rings simultaneously in order to keep your head or body from swinging into a bug.

As much as I enjoy games with sophisticated physics models, the game play often seems to suffer as a result. Not here, however; with Orangutwang, Thorburn has come up with a fresh and fun idea that plays almost as good as it looks. Orangutwang does suffer from a lack of sound effects, music and overall variety, but these are minor complaints. One quirk that took me by surprise: the screen won't scroll up or down while holding down the mouse button, so don't be afraid to hang onto a single rung and let it catch up to you.

Play Orangutwang

  • Currently 4.8/5
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Rating: 4.8/5 (23 votes)
Comments (12) | Views (3,359)

AndrewDownloadable for Windows only, Gibbage is a one-panel player verses player bloody shoot-out with gameplay that is not quite like anything else currently available on the market. Created over the period of two (2) years by the talented indie game development newcomer, Dan Marshall, Gibbage has the graphical sensibilities of the pixel games of yore.

Gibbage screenshotYour objective is to reduce your opponent's power to zero before your own is similarly reduced. Both power pools drain at a constant rate, but can be replenished by collecting cubes that drop randomly across the map. You can hold up to three of these at any time, my own observations indicated that one is worth 25 points, two are worth 70 points, and three worth 100. In addition, in order to help you out on your quest to frag your opponent, and thereby get them out of your way, there are randomly spawning power-ups ranging from homing rockets to land mines.

The options for play include a player versus AI option as well as the much recommended player vs. player hot seat option. The demo comes with 3 different levels, and the full game with a substantial 27 unlockable levels. What is impressive is the amount of dedication that has gone into making creating the quirks and environmental hazards that cause each level to be slightly different than the last.

Analysis: This game is a simple and enjoyable throwback to the days of pre-Internet multiplayer, where you would actually sit down with your friend, huddled around the keyboard trying to figure out who got which keys. It is in that environment where this game shines, and I recommend that before even trying the single player mode that you call over your closest friend or relative and get them to sit down and play some Gibbage with you—this game is easy enough to learn that even Grandma can join in the fun, but hard enough to master that you can still beat her when her rheumatism gets in the way. While the lack of true Internet or network multiplayer could be seen as a flaw, it is actually a conscious design decision, and once you start playing with a friend it quickly becomes obvious why. The other high points include the game's musical background and artistic style. While both are simple in nature they fit the atmosphere of the game perfectly and create a satisfying gaming experience.

Despite my high praise for all that is Gibbage, I do have one complaint. The respawn time is far too long. In a game this fast paced the player should never lose control of their character for an extended duration of time, and the ice power-up is a flaw for that reason as well. This should by no means deter you from picking up this gem and trying it out, but it would have been nice to have a few more options that would allow for adjusting things like which power-ups show up, the rate of power decay, and the respawn time.

In the end Gibbage is a testament to what a single dedicated individual can accomplish. It is a polished and fun game that is very much worth the download, and if you enjoy the demo the purchase is bargain priced. Click.

(5 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (11) | Views (4,413)

JohnBCombo! and Blockdown are two great Flash puzzle games by Anders Pousette. They're remarkably simple and build upon classic puzzle gaming themes while throwing a few fresh ideas into the mix. Each comes with a public high score board to give you a chance at your 15 minutes of fame. You'll have to earn it, but with the amount of time you'll spend playing each game, odds are you won't really mind.

combo.gifCombo! supplies a field of blocks flying in four directions at many different speeds. Using your spinning square of doom (ok, I made up the name), you must collect as many colored blocks as you can while avoiding the splotchy black blobs. To make things a little more interesting, a combo pattern appears at the bottom of the screen showing you a series of three colors. Capture squares in that order to get a score multiplier. The more you capture, the bigger the multiplier. If you collect a square that doesn't fit the combo your multiplication streak ends. On top of that, the combos are timed and change every once in a while, so you have to keep your eye on the timer. Combo! pulls your attention into several different places at once but manages to keep you hooked. It seems like it should be frustrating, but it's incredibly addictive.

blockdown.jpgBlockdown is a variation on the falling-blocks theme and plays like a cross between Breakout and Tetris. Except... upside-down. You control a small rectangle at the base of the screen and must catch falling blocks and stack them neatly at the bottom. Line up three like-colored rectangles to make them vanish, but don't let them stack too high. You can hold large piles of bricks and set them down wherever you need, but it's a challenge to balance block catching with block dropping while dealing with the odd brick that falls without you realizing it. It can get pretty frantic after a few minutes, but it won't let go of your attention for quite a while.

While both games are simple in terms of gameplay and graphics, one area I would love to see fleshed out a bit is the sound effects department. Combo! and Blockdown are completely silent, free of bleeps, bloops or background music. It's an interesting change of pace (and certainly preferrable to an annoying soundtrack), but I feel that even a little sound here and there would enhance gameplay. Blocks could make a "tink" sound when landing in Blockdown and gathered squares in Combo! could say, for example, "schwoop". Their exclusion doesn't detract from the experience of course, but a noise here and there might be a great addition to the already entertaining games.

Play Combo! and Blockdown.

(4 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (27) | Views (5,475)
NoahWhile free web-based challenges to Microsoft's wide range of productivity software have almost become commonplace (see: Google Spreadsheets, Writely), their enormously popular anti-productivity software (See: Minesweeper, Solitaire) have remained relatively safe... Until now.

solitaire_craving.gifIn a single month, two shots have been fired across Microsoft's Programs / Acessories / Games bow. First came Gminesweeper, an almost fully functioning parody of Minesweeper. Now Adam Lyttle has released Solitaire Craving and, although he claims it is still undergoing beta testing, the flawless AJAX implementation and ingenious community-based design is sure to please solitaire addicts worldwide.

Solitaire Craving uses a Klondike variation, the rules of which are summarized here. Every day a new challenge is randomly generated and made available on the site. After completing the game users have the option to assign a difficulty level which, averaged with the input of all the other users, determines whether the game is archived as an Easy, Medium or Difficult challenge. This ranking system is reminiscent of projects like Peekaboom or The ESP Game and could actually end up helping to determine the percentage of unbeatable Klondike games (however, considering the vast number of decks available, this would still take quite some time).

Analysis: Solitaire Craving's interface is clean, smooth and easy to use, but the real draw is the emphasis Lyttle has placed on community features. Each game has a comments section, and a site-wide ranking system keeps track of each user's number of moves made and total time spent playing. As the site has been online for a little over a week the user base is still developing, but is likely to expand rapidly as word spreads about this fantastic free version of one of the world's most popular card games.

Play Solitaire Craving

  • Currently 4.5/5
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Rating: 4.5/5 (25 votes)
Comments (26) | Views (4,103)

chickflick.jpgFrom Nitrome, the same Flash game developers that brought you the previously reviewed Roly Poly, Sandman, and Hot Air, comes this next game that features adorable characters adorned with rich saturated colors. Chick Flick is an action game of rescuing little chicks by bouncing them on a trampoline up into the safety of their nest.

Choose between using the arrow keys or the mouse to move the trampoline-holding-squirrels back and forth as chicks and various other items fall from the sky. Two-player cooperative mode is also available by utilizing both arrow keys and the mouse, though with a smaller trampoline apiece.

Save the chicks and don't let them hit the ground or lose a life. If you don't get a chick in the nest quick enough, more chicks will begin to fall. Save the required number of chicks to unlock the next level. Five (5) lives is all you have to unlock and play through all nine (9) levels in this charming game brimming with cuteness.

Here are some tips to get you started:
  • Chicks will bounce differently relative to their size
  • Eggs must be cracked-open with several bounces before the chick inside can be rescued
  • Time-bomb 'chicks' must be rescued before they count down to zero
  • Power-ups provide additional points and lives to add to the fun

Analysis: The graphics are gorgeous and the game is enjoyable for all age groups, though it may seem a bit slow at first for the more hardcore gamers out there. A model casual game, Chick Flick incorporates a simple and accessible gameplay mechanic that will be immediately familiar to anyone who has played Breakout or related games, and yet there is surprising depth to enjoy here. I like how later levels add complexity that affects how the various items bounce around the play field, which gradually increases the challenge of the game.

As is the case with all of Nitrome's games, Chick Flick sticks to the compelling and successful formula of presenting multiple levels to unlock, which gives the player an easily identifiable goal and reward structure. Excellent casual game design, as usual, from Nitrome.

Play Chick Flick

(4 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (78) | Views (7,436)

sudokucombat.gifA while back I was wondering when we would see multiplayer Sudoku since it would be fun to play against a friend or someone over the Web. Well, the time for wondering is over: Introducing Sudoku Combat.

Created by Marc Belmont, this browser-based multiplayer version of the popular puzzle game offers a new experience for those that prefer a more competitive challenge. Just enter a user name, select a puzzle difficulty, and then choose to play against a friend or a random stranger. Then it's a race to the finish.

Once a game begins, your opponent's progress is shown in a grid to the right of your own, which adds a little pressure to the mix. A chat window allows for teasing and taunting or friendly chat during play.

Friendly play: To play against a friend, have one person initiate a game by clicking the "Play against a friend" button. Doing so will display a URL link to copy and send to your friend via email or instant messenger.

Avatars: You may also choose an avatar to use for the games you play from a list of hundreds. There is no account to create or registration with the site, your avatar choice and number of games won and lost are conveniently saved as cookies on your computer.

Settings: During play you may select to have cells display multiple numbers if you are like me and need to make little notes while you solve a puzzle. You may also turn on/off the use of colored numbers, as well as the display of the timer. An additional feature called "sticky keys" will insert the last number you typed into a cell just by clicking it.

Sudoku Combat is an excellent multiplayer implementation of a very addictive puzzle game. Oh, and there is a single player version in case you need some practice. Click.

(7 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (14) | Views (2,817)

iconien.gifNoahAn intense, fast-paced action game from developer f1ash, Iconien plays like a modern update to the arcade classic, Missile Command. Put your basic click & drag mouse skills to the test as you defend your base from wave after wave of stubborn missiles, creepy bugs, mindless circles and powerful tanks.

Hold down the left mouse button and drag a box around the incoming projectiles before they reach your base, the strange unsympathetic eyeball in the center of the screen. Releasing the button will destroy whatever you've managed to enclose, or damage your base if it intersects with the box. Move objects by dragging them anywhere on the screen, and collect power ups by placing them on your base.

Like Air Support and Invader360, two f1ash games previously reviewed on JIG, Iconien manages to squeeze as much fun as possible out of a very simple idea. I particularly enjoyed the endless Survival mode, as the Easy and Normal game types both end after you defeat a certain enemy.

Play Iconien

Rating: 4.6/5 (30 votes)
Comments (54) | Views (7,383)

JohnB In Blue Suburbia, artist and flash designer Nathalie Lawhead creates a magnificently dark and dramatic world filled with striking imagery and haunting vignettes. bluesuburbia.jpgThe project began as a small animation on her website and grew to incorporate her own poetry and a number of small scenes commenting on western society and the modern school system. The application is more like an experiment in interactive poetry rather than a game, as there's no real goal, purpose or progression. Even still, Blue Suburbia is an absolutely stunning piece of artwork that you'll want to explore to its fullest.

As you move around in the dark, disconnected world, you'll come across Nathalie's writing embedded in objects or fading between various short scenes. There is rarely a clear path to take, you simply explore by moving the mouse and seeing what happens. It's exciting and chilling all at the same time, as you never really know what you'll stumble across next. Walking through doors, clicking on words or otherwise discovering a new area initiates a short scene interspersed with text. They're all different, they're all a little breathtaking, and they're completely fascinating to watch.

Nathalie best explains the underlying meaning to the various scenes and poetry found in Blue Suburbia:
"I find myself troubled about the wastefulness of our western society. From birth on, children are increasingly fed medication to control their behavior only to be plugged into society and used for someone else's profit. Modern civilization seems to be obsessed with producing and consuming... These kids had everything but personal value and purpose. That's why my suburbia is blue."

You'll be completely enamored by the dark atmosphere and haunting scenery in Blue Suburbia. Although the content is safe for all to view, due to the poignant and graphic nature of some of the images you might want to keep the little ones out of the room.


  • Currently 4.8/5
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Rating: 4.8/5 (61 votes)
Comments (389) | Views (12,606)

Bloc Media is a familiar name here at JIG as I have enjoyed playing and reviewing several of their previous efforts, including: Head Games, Pop Pirates, and Stackopolis. In fact, Stackopolis recently took home the Webby award for Best Game after having been up against some very stiff competition. So you can imagine my delight when Rick from Bloc sent word today of their latest browser-based effort, this team-based battle royal created for Sony's Playstation.com.

zwokfile.gifZWoK! is a charming and addictive, multiplayer, turn-based strategy Flash game in which players engage in battles using projectile firing weapons. It's a fight to the finish where the team with the last Zwok standing wins.

There are two opposing teams, Blooz vs. Grienz, and each round consists of 3-on-3 player teams selected and placed randomly by the ZWoK game server. The Blooz team begins each round on the left of the battlefield (also randomly selected), and the Grienz positions are all on the right.

Once a round begins you will have 10-seconds to move your Zwok with the arrow keys and click the mouse to select a power and angle for the selected weapon's trajectory. You may change weapons at any time by choosing from the drop-down menu next to your score. When the timer fires, everyone's moves are executed at once while you sit back and watch the mayhem! Each time you hit an opposing player you earn points relative to the damage incurred.

Gain experience by scoring points with your Zwok and new weapon options will become available to you. Before your score can be saved, however, you must join the ranks of the ZWoK by creating a character, choosing a user name and password, and selecting either the Blooz or the Grienz as the team you will be representing.

Analysis: ZWoK! is a crazy fun multiplayer game with attitude and panache. The artwork in the game is gorgeous, and the little zombie-like post-apocalyptic creatures are strangely cute and adorable. Besides being pretty to look at, the game is amazingly easy to jump right into and play, and it offers enough features to keep you coming back for more. The game is essentially a simple version of multiplayer Worms (also similar to Gunbound and even Scorched Earth), and yet its simplicity is one of the game's most redeeming qualities. It easily surpasses most of the Flash multiplayer turn-based strategy games I have played.

My only complaint is that I wish there were some way to save a friends list of preferred people to be matched up with, or against, as there seems to be no way to play with your friends. But that's about the only thing it seems to be lacking. This little game is a gem!

Tons of avatar combinations and colors to choose from, battle statistics and high score ranking to boot. This game has just the right elements to make it extremely addictive and a lot of fun to play! Another excellent game from the award-winning team at Bloc Media.

Play ZWoK!

Comments (48) | Views (5,684)

caluccigame.jpgHere is a unique twist on the Flash point-and-click room-escape genre. While the on-screen text is in Dutch, the supporting audio is in English thus making the game accessible to a wide audience.

In the Calucci game you play the role of a Mr. van der Berg, key witness for the prosecution of a ficticious mob organization, the Calucci family. In return for identifying the family's boss, Paul Calucci, you are granted protection with a new identity and residence in a community far away. Unfortunately, you no sooner get inside your new home and someone comes a knocking on the door. What will you do?

Move the mouse to pan the video footage left and right, up and down, to find clearly identifiable items and hotspots. Movement forward is possible when the small center dot glows green.

Analysis: Instead of tiny pixel-sized hotspots, this game makes excellent use of Flash video footage and lots of humorous, incorrect ending cut-scenes to create an engaging (but short) entertainment experience. The somewhat short time frame you have to escape is nicely balanced by the fact that anything you find carries over if and when you have to restart, which takes the pressure off and allows the player to enjoy failed attempts.

On the downside, the game appears to be a memory-hog, and I have read some reports that the game does not run in IE, so you may want to use Firefox from the start. Also, I found that sometimes the page did not render correctly for some reason. Mousing over the page revealed the restart button I needed to reset the game. Of course a page reload accomplishes the same thing.

Overall, an unusual and welcome twist to a popular, albeit over-populated, genre of Web game.

Cheers to Alex for suggesting this one. =)

Update: The game is no longer available to play. Previously tagged as: browser, escape, flash, free, game, macwinlinux, pointandclick, rating-g, video

(11 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (20) | Views (3,150)

mousemailer.jpgWith an aim to get everyone online and sending email with the click of a mouse, the British Computer Society has commissioned this cute, Flash action puzzler called Mouse Mailer, starring PC Mouse. (Apparently they don't care much about Mac users ;)

The objective of the game is to get PC Mouse's email past all the obstacles of cyberspace along the information superhighway. Bits of your mail will get lost if it hits an obstacle, so try to keep it all intact.

Most everything that needs your attention is highlighted in green. Click on levers to open doors, and on platforms to slide them into place. Click on a virus to kill it before it corrupts your mail. Timing is everything.

Of course the lesson to be learned from all this is that when sending email through the Internet, little mice in plastic balls risk their lives to get your message safely to its destination.

It all adds up to a charming little game, good fun for about a 10 minute diversion.

Play Mouse Mailer

A nibble of cheese to Anne for the link. =)

(7 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (23) | Views (3,506)
Reader review iconuchuwars.gifI found this shmup when I visited Babarageo for the banner game reviewed recently on JIG. The instructions are in Japanese, but it didn't take long to figure out what to do.

Uchuwars is a classic-style shmup with weapon power-ups and bombs. Control is with the mouse for movement and left click to shoot—you can hold it down for continuous fire; the low RSI factor is nice. Bombs are used with [B] key on keyboard.

You start with 5 shield and 3 bombs on each level, and whatever weapon level you had from the previous level. In addition to weapon power and bombs, supply ships also can drop shield points (recovers one shield). Once you lose all your shield points, it's game over. Actually, you just get returned to the splash screen.

On the splash screen, clicking on the little square next to "STAGE" will cycle through the stages you've been to, and you can retry those stages with the weapon power you had upon entering those stages. If you're up for extra challenge, after you've chosen a stage you can click the square next to "POWER" to lessen your firepower.. :)

The only downside I found so far is that bombs are not very effective, and you can have, at most, 3 of them.

Overall, I thought it was a nice casual shmup with nice execution and a good look-and-feel.

Play Uchuwars

A very kind cheers! to Alan for submitting this review for Uchuwars!

Rating: 4.7/5 (142 votes)
Comments (53) | Views (6,890)

JarodWhile jay is games is technically about, well, games, many of the visitors are also flash developers in general, and those of us who aren't (like me) sometimes reach a level of exposure that can only be classified "connoisseur."

Animator vs. AnimationThat is to say, we've seen enough of it that we can recognize what's good, what's bad, and what's good despite itself. (Warning: Coarse language.)

So for a less interactive experience (between bouts with the point-and-click adventures that are bountiful these days), I present to you just a few of the animations out there to watch.

Animator vs. Animation, by 17-year-old Alan Becker, draws a scene in the epic wars waged between the drawing and the drawn. Tensions draw high as the action starts simple and accelerates both in quantity and quality through the work, and the clever manipulation of screenshots will likely draw the appreciative attention of anyone who's ever worked in flash.

Short but sweet, the animation is anything but drawn out.

Play Animator vs. Animation

If you enjoyed this, be sure to check out the follow-up: Animator vs. Animation 2. Now, there is even game to play: Animator vs. Animation Game

(10 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (15) | Views (9,388)

JohnBBabarageo STG Banner is a tiny 15 pixel tall space shooter. Most banner games have a single goal that can usually be accomplished in a few seconds. However, STG Banner introduces something a little different: rotating images with clickable hotspots. It may not sound like much, but it adds a surprising amount of strategy to an otherwise mindless game.

babarageo.gifYou rack up points as you fly your ship and blast enemies at the top of the screen. Every 1,000 points triggers the image to change. There are over two dozen different scenes that appear, many of which integrate nicely into the playing field. Most images have clickable hotspots that will either give you a power-up, destroy your ship, or do something else entirely. Usually finding a clickable spot gives you a better weapon, so each time the image rotates you'll dart your cursor downwards and begin the hunt.

The fun/challenging part of the game is balancing your quest for hotspots with defending yourself on the battlefield. While checking for clickable areas on the banners you can still fire, but you can't move without returning the cursor to the top. In addition to the usual set of weapons (laser beam, wide shot, triple shot, etc), you can collect mega-upgrades by keeping good items and finding more hotspots.

While the game certainly isn't one to keep you occupied for hours on-end, it's a remarkably well-done title for a banner game. Balancing your tactics between banner clicking and enemy destroying is interesting, and the random events that can occur with strange hotspot clicks keep you on your toes. The game even gets a little more difficult as you progress, though the real reason you'll stick around is to see what weird images show up next.

Play Babarageo STG Banner

  • Currently 4.5/5
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Rating: 4.5/5 (571 votes)
Comments (485) | Views (91,351)
submachine2.gifMateusz Skutnik just sent word of the release of his latest game, Submachine 2: The Lighthouse, the sequel to his excellent Flash point-and-click adventure, Submachine, previously reviewed here at JIG.

Here's Mateusz's own description of the game:

"A sequel to the world's famous point-and-click Submachine game, that grabbed minds of millions of people. I received huge feedback from all around the world, most of the demands stated to make the second game bigger with harder puzzles. So here it is, while the first game had 20 rooms, this one has a total of 98 unique rooms, and the puzzles are a lot tougher, but that's just my subjective opinion, since I can't really tell if they are or not. Important notice: this game has NO dead ends, you cannot get to the point of no return, where the only option is to reset the game. No such thing in the Lighthouse. Hope you'll enjoy this game as much as I enjoyed making it, and sure enough, submachine3 is under construction as we speek, so expect more. Flash plugin 8 required to play this game." -Mateusz Skutnik

That should keep you busy for a while.

Play Submachine 2

We've been here covering the entire Submachine series since the very beginning with reviews and walkthroughs for all of them...

Outside the main storyline, and yet still another great Submachine, is a game created for the band Future Loop Foundation:

(18 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (24) | Views (4,078)

akairyu.gifAkai Ryu, or Red Dragon, is a surprisingly addictive little shooter created by Jason Reinsvold and available to play on his LostVectors website.

Use the mouse to control the red dragon, it will always follow the mouse cursor. The objective of the game is to stay alive as long as possible while shooting down all of the various enemies that come into play. Click the mouse to shoot the currently selected element straight from the dragon's mouth. Click on an element to change weapons, or use the number keys [1]..[6]. Press the [space] bar to activate spike bombs after shooting them.

What gives this game its surprising depth is that every enemy has a different strength and weakness, and you will need to learn them all to be effective. For example, the ice horse will deflect any ice shot at it, so you will have to try a different element.

The red dragon itself has its own strengths and weaknesses that must be taken into consideration as well. Its red back is resistant to fireballs and therefore any fireball hitting its back will be deflected away. Similarly, the dragon's white underside is resistant to ice and will deflect any ice that hits it. Ice and fireballs that are not deflected cause damage when the dragon comes in contact with them.

Spiked bombs will always cause damage, so it's best to avoid them altogether. Shoot any element at them to explode them at a safe distance.

Analysis: Although a rather simple shooter, Jason has done an excellent job of creating a much richer game play experience by implementing a complex set of behaviors. The result is a game that I found myself coming back to again and again. I especially liked the attention to detail seen in the animations and graphical effects, such as the falling air ships, the deflected fireballs, and the smoke trails they leave behind. The mesmerizing movement of the dragon really hooked me and pulled me in.

On the downside, the game's presentation would benefit from a more robust sound implementation, as the audio seemed only half-baked and incomplete.

Overall an unusual and original, deceptively simple game that's surprisingly fun to play.

Play Akai Ryu

  • Currently 4.7/5
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Rating: 4.7/5 (29 votes)
Comments (40) | Views (6,120)
The enviably talented crew at Nitrome have just released their latest game and it's an ambitious effort to put it mildly. Roly Poly is a Flash action game of skill with a unique mechanic: Click and drag to tilt the play field and use gravity to roll the little hedgehog to the goal of each level, and within the time limit provided.

Avoid spikes, bombs, electricity and other craziness as you tumble towards the goal. Use a free fall drop when necessary to zoom past menacing traps unscathed.

You have unlimited lives, so there is no pressure to succeed with a level immediately. Some will take a few times through to get an idea of how each of the traps, obstacles and enemies behave. Use the options screen to change the quality setting lower if the frame rate is choppy or runs slow on your computer.

Analysis: As seen in their previous work, Nitrome dares to go where few other Flash game devs have gone before with respect to gameplay mechanics. Regardless of whether this is, in part, due to the inherent performance limitations of Flash, Mat, Heather and crew certainly deserve credit for pushing the Flash envelope. And while the performance was unsatisfactory on my Mac Powerbook G4, I was able to reduce the quality setting of the game running on my 1.7GHz PC to be able to enjoy the fun packed inside this addictive little game.

There is very coarse granularity in the sensitivity of how fast the hedgehog tumbles with respect to how far the play field is tilted. In other words, there are only a few different velocities to be concerned with: slow, medium and fast. And because it is a Flash game, this works to the game's advantage as it yields a forgiving gameplay mechanic. And though I would prefer tighter control paired with more accurate physics, that is probably expecting too much of the Flash platform—at least at this point in time. Besides, the mechanics and physics in this game seem well paired together for the game play experience it offers.

Performance issues aside, everything about this game is commercial quality from the animations and sound to the design of the menus and the unlockable levels of increasing difficulty. Excellent work. Fun and addictive to boot. Let's roll! =)

  • Currently 4.2/5
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Rating: 4.2/5 (32 votes)
Comments (323) | Views (11,144)
theprivacy.gifThe Privacy is another Flash point-and-click adventure from the stellar Gotmail team that gave us The Bar, Il Destino, The Salon and others. This game is set in a high-tech, big-brother world where even the watchers are watched and elaborate security systems are commonplace.

As with other games by these talented Japanese Flash game developers, literary references can be found lying about within this game, such as George Orwell's "1984" and JD Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye", an easy means of channeling a narrative into well-traveled territory without having to actually provide much narrative content. The game leverages the power of suggestion to its advantage.

Of course the real stars of these games are the phenomenal photo-realistic environments created from 3D models, and the high-tech theme of the game sets the stage for some absolutely stunning visuals. It is quite evident that much attention to detail went into making this gorgeous game.

I was not a fan of their previous work, The Bar. Although beautiful and stunning in its own right, the puzzles were awkward and the solutions to some were not very logical at all. I am pleased to say that the design team has learned much from their previous work thus making The Privacy one of their best efforts so far. I especially liked the fact that every puzzle has a logical solution and none were too difficult to solve on ones own. An excellent diversion for anyone that enjoys these types of games.

Play The Privacy

Cheers to Cobber for suggesting the game. =)

  • Currently 4.6/5
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Rating: 4.6/5 (322 votes)
Comments (96) | Views (67,919)

grow2.jpgIf you have been a visitor here for a while now, then you are no doubt familiar with and have played the original Grow game. But did you know that its full name is Grow ver.3? So what ever happened to Grow ver.2? Well, On just made it available to play on his Eyezmaze website.

Grow ver.2 is completely different than what Grow ver.3 turned out to be, and yet the basic premise is the same as it is for all of the Grow games: Just click on the various items, one-by-one, and try to make them all reach their maximum level. Hint: order matters.

While not as colorful as his other Grow games, this one features similar charming and deliciously strange characters and animation as all the others. Bite-size and delightful as usual.

Play Grow ver.2

A big cheer to Kogita for alerting me to this new development at Eyezmaze. =)

Still want more Grow? Play the entire Grow series of games (in order of release)...

  • Currently 4.5/5
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Rating: 4.5/5 (47 votes)
Comments (73) | Views (9,393)

pricilla.jpgPricilla Gone Missing is a Flash point-and-click adventure from Johan Törnkvist, a talented design and technology student at Hyper Island in Kariskrona, Sweden.

The game begins with the player learning of the disappearance of Pricilla (Aunt "Prissy") and that warrants an investigation. From there a charming little adventure unfolds in which the player must look for items and clues to progress through the story. But don't expect to find Pricilla in this installment; the game is only the first part of what is promised to be a continuing saga.

Standard point-and-click protocol is observed by clicking on items to add them to the inventory, and by dragging found items into play or onto other inventory items. Navigation between scenes is accomplished by moving the player-character in a third-person perspective by clicking on a destination location.

Analysis: This game is a great start to what will hopefully be a completed story someday. The stylized graphics are an appealing mix of 2D and 3D elements that together create an almost photo-realistic appearance. The third-person perspective and art design reminded me of the venerable Samorost without seeming like a copy or a clone. The audio is simple and subtle and creates just the right atmosphere and support for the game. The few puzzles are logical and enjoyable, and accessible to even the most casual gamer. Finally, there is no small hidden pixel hunting to this game, which no doubt will be welcome news to anyone who was put-off by the difficulty of the previously reviewed Out file#01.

Johan has done an exceptional job of providing the basis for a compelling story-based point-and-click adventure with charming graphics and gameplay, so let's give him lots of praise to motivate him to finish it. =)

Play Pricilla Gone Missing

Cheers to Froggie for the heads-up about the game, and to Johan himself for permission to host the game on the JIG servers.

  • Currently 4.3/5
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Rating: 4.3/5 (33 votes)
Comments (21) | Views (3,799)

NoahGalactor is a Flash-based point-and-click room exploration game from the Finnish Consumer Agency. Aimed at increasing awareness of consumer issues, Galactor's meticulous style and dry humor transcends the stigma often associated with educational entertainment. While the information within may not necessarily be accurate in regards to consumer protection laws outside of Finland, the game still contains a wealth of good advice and common sense.

galator.jpgClicking on various objects in your impeccably furnished isometric room will soon reveal that almost everything you own is damaged, defective or undesirable in some way. You'll be prompted with three choices, the correct answer being the one in which your needs and the requirements of Finnish law are both satisfied. Occasionally people will knock on your door asking for advice or bearing bills, but the first visitor you receive is a very special one; it is a deliveryman carrying the Galactor KV2000, a galactic material mover containing a visitor from outer space who is about to turn your innocuous consumer issues lesson into an out of this world sci-fi adventure! Your alien guest's apparatus is out of energy and he needs your help, a cruel irony considering his mission is to deliver the Seven Books of Wisdom, designed to help teach earthlings about the importance of a sustainable lifestyle.

Analysis: A remarkable amount of care has been put into what could be considered an educational game, a genre often particularly non-entertaining. However, Galactor is enjoyable and well written, with a keen comedic sense and bizarre sci-fi backstory. Apart from the excellent user interface, the team behind Galactor have great eyes for detail and included several cute little touches such as the reflection of your mouse cursor in the mirror, Rami the guinea pig, or the fully interactive poetry book.

Play Galactor

(2 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (15) | Views (7,605)

JohnBApple Collector is a unique puzzle/physics game written in Java by Matt Hopkins. The goal of each level is to collect a certain number of apples within the specified time period. The delicious fruits pour out of containers and you must draw girders to bounce them into the right basket. The game begins simply enough but introduces multiple colors of apples and other complications that will make your apple picking days much more challenging.

applecollector.jpgYou guide apples into their baskets by setting up girders for them to bounce off of. Simply click and drag with the left mouse button and release when you're ready to place. You can remove the structures by right clicking or tapping the spacebar while the cursor is over a girder. This is the bread-and-butter of Apple Collector and it's important to build an intuitive sense of where girders should be placed and exactly when to place them. It's equal amounts of timing and precision and it takes some time to get the hang of.

The wooden boxes at the bottom of the screen are confusing at first, but really they're an integral part of the gameplay strategy. Each box represents an event and has a timer bar indicating when that event will end. They also have icons on the face showing you what exactly will happen, plus a white string tied to the object it will affect (usually the apple cannon). It sounds a little complicated, but once you play the game you'll see how easy the system works. When you're playing all you have to do is glance at the bottom of the screen to see what's going to happen next.

The levels get tough pretty quickly, forcing you to become proficient at girder laying at a rapid pace. Fortunately you can retry a level at any time or just skip it and move on to the next. There's also a downloadable version of Apple Collector that allows you to create your own levels with a little programming finesse. Just follow the instructions on Matt's website to make your own apple collecting bonanza.

Analysis: When I first saw Apple Collector I was overwhelmed with moving objects and seemingly complex gameplay. After reading the short intro everything fell into place and I was hooked. The great thing about this game is that it involves both quick reflexes and a logical mind. You can't just place girders willy-nilly (did I just type that?), you have to know what to place and when to place it. Quite a remarkable game stuffed into such an unassuming package.


Thanks to Matthew for sending this one in!

  • Currently 4/5
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Rating: 4/5 (63 votes)
Comments (231) | Views (12,400)

outfile01.gifAmidst a sea of room escape games that have flooded the Web of late, only a few seem to rise above the tide by offering a truly exceptional interactive experience. This next one is one of those rare titles, and yet it is of the most difficult I have seen.

The oddly named OUT file#01 is a classic Flash point-and-click room escape game, and it features all the usual suspects: locked doors, missing keys, pieces of paper with clues, and secret compartments galore. Your job, of course, is to escape by unlocking the mystery within the room that holds you captive.

Items found will appear in your inventory. Click on an item to use it within the room, or to combine with another item. Click the "item info" button to get a closer look. As you explore there may seem to be a puzzle at every turn and no clue in sight to help solve it. Keep hunting and examining and you will discover the secrets that await you.

Analysis: A lot of attention to detail went into the creation of this game and it reminded me of Toshimitsu Takagi's genre defining work as seen in the Viridian Room, and the White Chamber. This time we have Isomura Kai of Tonakai Interactive to thank. OUT file#01 has been brilliantly conceived and crafted to be a fully interactive room with a lot of functionality that is not immediately visible. The puzzles are thought provoking and cleverly designed, and at least one requires you to listen; however, the same puzzle may be solved by other means if hearing is not your strong suit. It's an excellent game, though not an easy game by any means.

Caution: it is possible to die in this game so be careful lest you be forced to restart from the beginning. Also, the game makes excellent use of audio, so be aware and use headphones if necessary.

Play OUT file#01

Cheers to Clancy for suggesting it. =)

(4 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (15) | Views (3,412)

rainbowwars.gifRainbow Wars is a retro-style arcade shooter available as a free download for Windows, and it is one of those rare finds that becomes an instant favorite once you see it in action. Sporting similar controls to that of the classic Robotron, in which two joysticks are used to control movement and firing separately, this game captures the essence of a classic arcade experience in a well-developed albeit small package.

Just plug a standard dual-analog controller into the USB port for best results, or use the keyboard if you prefer. The game also supports two-player cooperative play for maximum, unparalleled fun.

There are infinite levels to Rainbow Wars that differ in the number of enemies and the frequency with which they spawn. Six (6) different enemies, each with its own specific behavior and attack, will spawn at various times and locations throughout each level. You are given three (3) lives to clear all the enemies from a level.

Two (2) special bombs (Vortex and Blast) are awarded at specific point intervals. Just pass over them to activate their power. Vortex creates a black hole that sucks everything but your ship into it for easy target shooting. Blast sends out an impressive shock wave that destroys everything in its path—except your ship, of course.

Bonus points are awarded at the end of a level for taking little or no damage. In addition to the end-of-level bonus, a score multiplier can be earned for each 100 enemies destroyed without losing a life. Once you get hit, the score multiplier resets back to 1.0.

Analysis: Rainbow Wars is a game that I just knew I would love the minute I got my hands on it. The tight and responsive controls and fierce fast-paced action are just the ticket for facilitating some very gratifying gameplay. Everything about this game screams retro arcade classic, my only complaint is that there isn't much to it. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, because for what Rainbow Wars offers it delivers in spades.

Luke Schneider, a designer at Volition (THQ), initially conceived and developed the game in a relatively short period of time (~60 hours) using GameMaker for an internal company presentation on rapid prototyping. It turned out so well that he was allowed to offer it to the world to play for free.

Download the free full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Not available.
Try Boot Camp or Parallels or CrossOver Games.

(10 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (13) | Views (3,307)

JohnBAs anyone who's worked in an office knows, staving off boredom is your primary objective. Enter Binball Wizard, a simple flash game similar to Cyrkam Airtös. All you have to do is kick a ball into a trash bin located somewhere in the office. Control the power, height and direction of the ball and smash objects in the room. Then sit back, finish your coffee, then maybe file that TPS report when you have time.

binball.gifMove your mouse to choose the arc and direction of your kick. Hold the left mouse button to start the power gauge running. You get bonus points for smashing office furniture, so feel free to take out that LCD monitor or let a little fresh air into the room by "opening" the window.

Hitting the bin is either an exercise in sheer luck or binballing skill. You can bounce the ball off any object, but sometimes you just have to shoot blindly. Trial and error are the keys, taking shots and adjusting speed and direction very slightly to get it to the goal.

The game is part of reed.co.uk, a job search engine based in the United Kingdom. There are a few optional survey questions at the beginning of the game and a few promotional links at the end, but in-between it's all game. Ten levels of binballing wizardry, to be more precise.

Analysis: The game's presentation is very simple and intuitive: just move the mouse and click a button. That frees up your time to experiment with kicking the ball around the office. Sometimes it's more fun to smash everything in sight, so be sure to take that detour after you've become a binballing wizard.

The ball-bouncing physics sometimes feel a little soft, but not so much to be completely unnatural. The last level was quite a bit more difficult because of the collision detection, but it's the last level, so I suppose that's the point. Overall the game is quite well-balanced and a good diversion. Combine it with a healthy dose of Cyrkam Airtös and I'm set for the afternoon.

Binball Wizard is an excellent time waster, perfect for the cubicle-bound or anyone looking to have a little fun.


Thanks to Bj8rn for letting us know about this one!

(13 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (19) | Views (7,778)

bicycleholdem.jpgOne of Microsoft's internal game studios, Carbonated Games, recently released a new multiplayer card game that takes the standard online poker bar and raises it.

Bicycle Texas Hold'em is a free-to-play tournament-style card game for eight (8) players and available through Microsoft's MSN Games portal. Although primarily a Web-based Flash game, you will need the Windows operating system and IE to play it due to the ActiveX controls the game requires.

It is a fairly standard game for its kind, featuring rounds of increasing blinds and classic all-in, no-limit betting. The buy-in is $100, though no actual money is ever won or lost in the game.

One of the criticisms of online poker games is that you lose the body language clues that can play an important role in determining whether to bet, call or fold. What sets this game apart from others is the addition of "digital tells" revealed as animations that occur when players: look at their cards, examine their chips, examine the pot or the chips of other players. These subtle clues could potentially tip the cards in your favor if read correctly against the player being observed. While no "tell" is a guarantee since even tells can be faked, it does indeed add a dimension previously missing from online poker.

To play Bicycle Texas Hold'em you will need an MSN account, which is free. Just register, select a nickname, and you're good to go. Once signed in, click the "Play Now" button to load the game and get to the main game menu. From there you will find three (3) modes to choose from: Vs. Computer, Quick Match, or Invite a Friend. Computer opponents in this game are rather dull and very easy to beat so I suggest playing against real human opponents if you want a challenge. If you have an MSN Messenger account the game apparently interfaces with that and will allow you to invite your friends to a tournament. That being said, I recommend selecting the QuickMatch option because that is where all the action is.

Once in QuickMatch, choose between a 'Standard' non-rated game with no turn timer, All-in Hold'em, or Heads-up play against a single opponent. The real deal of these three choices is, of course, the All-in Hold'em game, which will factor into your overall rating and, more importantly, the system will try to match you against other opponents of your skill level. The game keeps track of your statistics and your overall rating if you decide to play rated games, and your wins and losses are factored into the computation. All-in Hold'em is also where most of the online players are.

Analysis: I have been having a lot of fun playing this game, and I've played with many nice people online. Of course, the higher my rating has climbed the higher calibre of player I am being matched with, which also increases the quality of play experience. Having a higher rating, however, does not prevent the lower rated players from appearing from time to time, but they are often eliminated before the end of the first round.

The digital tells are a welcome improvement and provide just enough additional information to make it apparent that you are playing against real people. Some players reported to me that the little animations can be distracting, but there is an option to turn them off if that is the case with you.

My biggest complaint is with the matching system responsible for collecting 8 players together for a game. Often at least one player will fail to join and the system must then find another to fill the empty space before a game can begin. The problem is that the matching cycle often takes longer to wait through than the time it takes a player to quit out to the menu and request another game. In fact, many players have realized this and will begin to drop out immediately as soon as one player fails to join. From my observations, the more players that do this the more difficult it becomes to actually get a game started.

Another issue is that sometimes cards that are folded appear back on the table in front of the player that discarded them. Although they are generally in a different orientation to the cards in play, it can make it confusing to keep track of who is still in a hand.

These are rather small nuisances to an otherwise excellent effort. Microsoft's Bicycle Texas Hold'em makes no bluff about raising the bar with the introduction of its digital tells that bring you closer to your online opponents.

Play Bicycle Texas Hold'em

(3 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (10) | Views (3,883)

JohnBSoccer Challenge, the latest from JP at Pepere.org, is an online flash game where you play eight different mini-games with colored soccer balls. They're all very simple and you can jump right in and start playing, but be prepared to say goodbye to the next hour of your day.

soccer.png RunRun - Try to clear the screen by kicking colored soccer balls into their respective goals.

Ability - Guide a soccer ball through an obstacle course and keep it from touching the white lines.

GoalKeeper - The opposite of RunRun, your job is to keep the balls from reaching the goals for as long as possible.

Race - Drive the soccer ball through the obstacle course and to the goal as quickly as possible.

RunDrunk - The same basic goal as RunRun, unfortunately you're a little tipsy and can't really control yourself.

GoldenGates - Lines with a small opening sweep the screen and you must keep the ball on the field as long as possible.

BrickBreaker - It's Breakout... with soccer balls.

Invisible - Simply guide the ball to the goal. Oh, and the walls are invisible.

Just like all of the games at Pepere.org (we've featured several before), they have realistic physics and are simple but highly addictive.


  • Currently 4.2/5
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Rating: 4.2/5 (39 votes)
Comments (40) | Views (18,038)
JohnBJIG reader Josh recently pointed us to a flash version of the old raft puzzle everyone played back in grade school. The simple idea is that a group of people must cross a river using a small raft. Unfortunately not everyone gets along and there are certain rules that must be followed in order to get everyone across safely.

raft.pngThe group consists of a woman and two girls, a man and two boys, and a policeman with a thief. If you leave certain people alone with others, trouble will ensue. For example, the thief will only behave if the policeman is on the same bank.

The complete rules are as follows:

  • A maximum of two people can be on the raft at a time.
  • One adult must be on the raft to operate it.
  • The man cannot be with any of the girls without the woman present.
  • Conversely, the woman can't stay with the boys without the man there.
  • The thief must be with the policeman or be alone.

It's a simple brain teaser with an enjoyable presentation. The game is in Chinese, but the only text is on the opening screen. Click the big circle to start playing. And good luck.


(1 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (12) | Views (2,883)


JohnB A minor release from flash game developer LUT!, known for the plasticine game Tomb of Doom and the point-and-click horror games Darkness 1 & 2, Invasion of the Space Invaders from Outer Space is a little on the wacky side. You fly a disguised space ship above the streets of Earth gathering humans and evading the police. Use your mouse to toss cars and people skyward, or just devour them in your toast slots. Stay alive long enough and you'll unlock a special bonus.

There's very little to the game other than collecting humans and bashing cars, but it's a good game to brighten an otherwise dull day. Head over and give it a try, then dive into the other games when you're ready for something more substantial.

As a warning, the site features pop-up ads, some of which appear only when you leave the site. Be prepared.


Thanks to Bob for sending us the info!

Use code jayisgames for 20% off E-WIN gaming chair

HsELP Jayisgames.com

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